/q/ - Quest


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Night has fallen. A new day awaits tomorrow… best to finish your business tonight.


Marina and Maeda have returned. If you wish to ride with Marina, you should get your bits back and get the Underseaboat brought around. If not, the porters will pick up the altar shortly.

You're a little hungry and very tired.

Marina and Maeda
Little Lamp informed you of the money in the well. Marina went diving and recovered 250+'5d10' bits. You have arrived back at town – you can split or keep the bits however you like. Maeda is the richest character.

Little Lamp followed you back. You're both very hungry.

Aira is feeling a little better tonight.

You're very hungry. Lilly is moving out, and Marina and Maeda got back.

You have a destiny to choose. Who will you go with?

You're very hungry.

Roll #1 2, 8, 3, 3, 10 = 26


"Marina, we should find the others and then…"
Groan in rhythm with my stomach.
"…Have something to eat."


I bet Lamp is hungry too. We can use some of that well money to buy a nice big dinner for the three of us.


I'm gonna miss Lilly ;_;

I'll ask Aira if she feels strong enough to go have dinner with me.
Maeda and Rhanna are free to join as well.


"Well, if they're as hungry as we are, then they'll probably be at the tavern."


Marina, you still have enough food supplies for 6 meals. Alternatively, The Upper Hoof – the tavern which serves as the hub of the town – sells meals. 5 for a single, or 9 for a double order. Decide how to split up that money!

You meet up with Selena, Rhanna, and Lilly at The Upper Hoof.

Aira stays behind in the room to rest for now – you run into Marina and Maeda at the Upper Hoof.


Let's approach Marina.
"Hey Marina? Now that I've got the altar back, I'm heading off to Autumnsreach."


"I think Lilly was so pressed for time.."
"Ah, there you are!
I feared you had already left!"




Flatten my ears.
"What? What's wrong?"


A destiny you say?
Her stomach growls a little, she couldn't think straight when she was hungry, but as always, she opted to stick with Selena
''I thought you were going to leave?…''


"Right. I still need to tell the guys on the ship we found that altar. We could have you there in a jiffy."
Hmm. I should probably resupply my food stores for my ice chest. We're not gonna get far with a half-dozen clams, three lobsters, and three yellowtail… But that can wait until after we eat.
"Say, about that well money. Are we going to be splitting it up amongst everyone?"


"I thought you had left, what's wrong!"


"I hardly need money right now. If there is any outstanding debt to be paid, we can do it with that gold."


"I arranged for transport but… if Marina wants to help get me there instead that works too. I just figured she'd be joining you guys!"


"Well, we could resupply the ship with it, if nothing else. Though I'm sure Lamp Light might like to have something to her name."
"Are you kidding? Helping you get that altar back to where it came from is why we all came along in the first place."


''Well we were just going to eat I think… If you wanna join…But what about that weird altar thing that turns you into a boy and vice-versa?''


"Once everyone gets something to eat, I'll go notify the guys on my ship that we've got it, and we can load it up on there in two shakes of a catfish's tail."


"You better go to the ship quickly then and get your money back!"


''In two what of a what tai- oh nevermind, that sounds like something good''


"That's good, that's… nice. It's nice to know I'll have somepony at my side as I plunge into the abyss."

"Your money you mean!"

I'm going to go ahead and call off the transport.


Going to eat some food.

Are you still a doll?


You head out to the port authority. On the way you notice that the comparatively unassuming boulevard beyond the red light district has blossomed in the night light – a number of electrical signs like the one you saw at the barber. It looks like a lot of ponies are out there, but you don't know what the fuss is about. A marketplace, it kinda looks like.

You arrive at the port authority and take a number.

Maeda got fixed.

Buying it here at the Upper Hoof? 5 for a single or 9 for a double. You're very hungry.


I'll nod at her.
Right. Food time for me, and Lamp Light too, if she's hungry.
"Hey Squirt, you hungry?"



PS: What were the other artifacts I have again? I remember Fly's cape.

"Seems like you're yourself again!"


There's a red light district here? No one told me anything about prostitutes!

I'm going to wait my turn.


I'll pay a double for everyone with the money we got from the well.
"You will never believe what the fix was."
Chuckle and cast a gaze at Marina.


Look at both of you expectantly?


I'll scrunch heavily.
"It was a stupid cure."




''Ooh Did you had to eat some kind of mystic magic voodoo plant to come back?''
''Oh, so did you share a loving kiss of true love then?''


"Now, don't be so lude before a child."
Sip from my cup.
"Not quite.
By the way Rhanna, have you met Lamp Light yet?"

Prop the filly forth, to meet the other girl.


I'll roll my eyes.
"No, that's a classic one, which is perfectly fine. What she needed were tears. Seapony tears."
I'll harrumph.
"No. Instead I was mercilessly driven to tears."


"Ooooh. I didn't know that was a thing!"


"I didn't either. Kinda still wish I didn't."


"Might want to tickle her down once more, just in case it happens again~!


Lamp Light is acting shy and avoiding the conversation, but nods hesitantly.

Banked can now be viewed here


Hot and dipping with fat, the Hamburgerbergians would like the way they prepare potatoes here.

Maeda bought your meal.

Oh yes, that's what they meant by 'party' hotels.

You eventually get your turn at the counter.


''uh…No I haven't…eer…Hi there?'' She then turns back to Maeda
''Who is she?… Also where di you find her?''
''What? Did you had to cut onions? or see something really sad?''


Lamp Light scrunches. She's shy.


Rhanna just keeps an awkward silence
''…Nice meeting you too''


Wait, why am I even here? I should be speaking to the captain again!


"Don't you even dare."
"Alright, let's go get you something, then! We've got fish and seaweed."
And I'll bring her over to the bar so she's got a solid surface to eat from. Give her a boost into the chair, if she needs it.


Lamp Light draws back into her meal.

Yours is getting cold – you should start on it. It's a big heaping potato. Fried, and with all the fixings.


The pony at the counter sighs as you trot away. You go see the porter at the entrance to the ship.

"Ready to board?"

Actually, today is fried potatoes. Lamp Light chows down, Maeda already bought it.


I'll sit next to Lamp Light and dig into mine as well.


"Say Light, do you know anypony in town?"


She does just that, slightly bummed, and bites down the potato, glad to finally fill her tummy


"Now, Maeda, do you still want to go to Enkilj?"


"Actually, I want to cancel my transport. I found a friend who will help me get around instead!"


Nod gravely.
"Yes. And I wish I could call in the whole might of the inquisition bu-"
Gasp and turn to Lilly!
"You might be the pony to save us all!"


Sorry, I'm at the docks right now!


This thing is fried, which is a sort of food preparation you are not familiar with. You may not know potatoes, either. In any case, it's an alien experience.

"Not really, except for the ponies who work for Gavin's Grocer. They sold food to the monastery and would make the trip down once every few weeks."

"Very well, here's your fee, minus a small deposit for cancellation. Good luck - the reef is dangerous."


I rush and leave my plate unfinished, running for the docks to find you, screaming your name.


You startle the porter as you charge own the docks like a madpony


It's certainly interesting. Coriander would probably be more excited about these things. Maybe I should bring him back some, on the way back to the crab…
I'll nibble for a few minutes, then look at Lamp Light. Is she still busy eating?


"Thank you."

Flatten my ears.
"What the heck? What's wrong?"


I need your help! Equestria needs your help!"


She seems to have been driven into it by Rhanna's outgoingness, but she's already nearly through the heaping plate.


Hmmmm, eat my food while thinking about cultists


"You are going back to Autumnsreach-
That city is one of the main bases of the Inquisition, stationed at the Basilica of Saint Radiant.
I need you to deliver a message to them. I need you to warn them about Enkilj!"


"Careful, you might give yourself a stomach ache if you eat that fast."


''Hmn…Marina you never had potatos right? I mean, they don't grow down there in the ocean as far as I know…They're a soil thing…Actually…Do you guys grow food there? like, veggies from the ground? I never stopped to think about it…'' she ponders


"Uh… sure. I can do that. What do I need to tell them exactly though?"


"My brother has a bit of a side project going where he tries to grow things ponies bring down from the surface."
I'll grin a little sheepishly.
"I'll admit I've probably eaten more sugar canes than I should have. But I don't think he's ever run across a potato."


Thingken about cult stuffs I guess?

Lamp Light scrunches again. "Maybe."

Lamp finally volunteers: "Most of the food around here comes from the trees. Bananas, coconuts, that kind of thing. Or the sea."


Look at Lamp.
How old is she?


Probably eight or ten. She doesn't have a cutie mark yet.


"You just need deliery this letter-"
Write it before her own eyes. A letter detailing the cult and their meeting in Enkilj after they came into possession of various cursed artifacts from the now abandoned monastery near New Earth. A letter asking for their help, as swift as possible.
Then seal it with the Inquisition's seal and hoof it to Lilly.


Poor dear.
Why are we attracting so many kids?


''cool. Do you know How does he do that?''
''potatoes don't grow from trees though'' She raised a fork to correct Lamp
''It's a pity there's no fish…I mean potato is nice but man I could go for salmon right now…''


The letter gets a little damp because you had to leverage the paper against the side of the ship.

Better question: why are you attracting so many adults?


B-because I-I'm pretty…


Chuckle a little.
"You've got a bit of stuff on your snout."
Dig through my purse for a napkin or kerchief, but fail to find one. Guess I need to pick up one later.
"Say, Lamp Light, what were you thinking of doing now? Do you have anywhere to go?"
"He puts them in the ground, of course. Silt is good for plants."


"I didn't even know they operated that far away…"
Not to mention all the nasty rumors you hear about the inquisition…
"… But I'll get it delivered, I promise."


''Silt is his name?…Or did you mean Salt?''


"The potatoes aren't from here, smart aleck. They're shipped in."

Lamp points to a nearby board. It says:

Tonight's Special: Dixie Taters w/ All Fixings

"Maybe if I go back to the monastery, more monks will come eventually. Someone has to tell them what happened."


You've been adventuring with one all this time!
"Thank you, Lilly. And may you be have a long and happy life from now on."
Squeeze her into a hug.


''Well I know that, dummy'' She huffs


Lamp just sighs and returns to her potato.


Yeah, but an entire organization can't be judged by observing only one member belonging to it!
"I'm sure we'll meet again… once I got rid of that damned altar."


Rhanna was about to blow raspberry at her, but had another thought crossing her mind
She bit down another chunk of the potato and chewed on it a little, before turning to Lamp and opening her mouth, giving her a view of all the half chewed potato mess in her mouth and teeth


"Eww! Why?"


"No no, silt is a type of loamy, sandy soil that carries a lot of vital nutrients for some plants."
"Would you like to come with me, or Maeda? I'm sure either of us could find you a good home, if you don't have anyone else to go to."


She rubs her temples.

"That's a lot to ask. I don't know… Anything. I never had to plan this much."


She swallows her food And snickers ''To see the look on your face!'' She boops Lamp with a finger
''Oooh…I never heard of that! Is it some soil that only growns in your home?''


"Marina, do you think you can have Lilly back in time?"


"Yes, we'll meet again."
Now, back to the inn.


She shakes her head. "I have a lot to think about right now. Quit it!"


She chuckles ''okay okay…What are you thinking about anyways then?''


Follow Maeda back to the inn.


"Well, it's alright to take your time and think on it, but we're probably going to be leaving some time in the morning."
I'll give her a little smile and pat her on the head.
"But don't overthink it, since the decision really boils down to whether or not you want to stay here on this island."
I'll shake my head.
"Nah, Coriander says that anywhere there's a river or something, there's bound to be silt."
I'll nod.
"It might be close, but our ship is fast, especially since it goes underwater and we don't have to worry about storms or stuff like that. The real problem's going to be getting that slab where it's supposed to go."


"Make sure Lilly doesn't fall asleep!"


"Marina is asking me what I want to do with just the rest of my life."

She frowns at you.

You don't have a room, but Selena's is empty right now if you're just looking for a bed.

Ara ara, so sudden.


"That could affect my whole life!"


Address Marina and Lilly.
"I think the two of you should hurry."


"Yeah, I'd like to hurry please…"


''Neato! I'll remember that then''
''Is she really? Well Did you decided then?…''
She turns back to Marina
''What exactly did you ask her?''


They're not at the inn, they're at the tavern.

"No! You're distracting me!"


She scrunches
''Okay fine, just think about it then!''


Dammit Wf! To the tavern then.


So be it


"Well, there's only so much I can do. She's been running on coffee and adrenaline for, what, three days now? I'm surprised she hasn't dropped already."
I'll nod.
"That's true. But I'll make things a bit easier: Lilly and I are headed to Autumnsreach, and from there back to my home. We can take you with us, if you want to go, and I can almost guarantee that if you don't find a place in Autumnsreach, you'll have a home with in my town. Maeda is going to that crazy cultist island, and from there I don't know. Or you could stay here and wait for another group of Celestial missionaries in an empty fort, far away from town."
I'll smile a little.
"That's a secret."


I meant that.


"Slap her with your fish tail if you have to!"


''Come ooooonnn I wanna knooooow!''


"Marina, when are we leaving? I called off my transport."

I frown.
"No don't do that. Please."


She sighs. "Fine, I'll go. Maybe I can pass on the knowledge of my teachers in Autumnsreach."


"I was just kidding!"

Wink at you!


"Hopefully it won't come to that."
"A mare needs her secrets, Rhanna. You'll understand when you're older."
"Right about now, if you've got everything packed."
"Alright, in that case, once you finish your dinner, you can help keep Lilly awake while I go fetch our ship."
Ruffle her mane.
And with that, I'm out the door and towards where we parked the U-Boat.



It's a bit of a hike through the jungle. Roll encounters.



Roll #1 4 = 4


"Just the altar left now."

I don't think I've met Lamp yet, so I'll give her a friendly nod.


I lose track for 5 minutes and already we are going back to the jungle!?


''Everyone says that…'' She waves to Marina as she goes
''Bye Marina…''


I am, you're in the tavern. The boat's being brought around so the slab can be loaded.


You head through the dense jungle. Perception.

She sighs resignedly.


Why not ask for help!
"Back to you, little one."
Turn to Lamp Light.
"What do you plan on doing now?"


Oh crap, what did I do?
"Are you okay? My name is Lilly Belle."


I'm perceptive. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"I've decided to return to Autumnsreach. The Church has to know what happened, and there were some secrets kept by the monks of St. Szwall – they need to be recovered by the order."

You narrowly skirt a deep pitfall trap without falling in. Whew. You would've been like a fish in a barrel.

With that, the rest of your trip is uneventful. Your retinue perks up as you approach.

"Heiress, news from the Aquamarine City."

"Just… a lot of stuff is happening at once. It's a lot to take in."


"Well, I've got news too! We found the altar, it just needs to be loaded up. So what's new on your end?"


"You already have friends there?
I'm impressed."
Give her a little smile.


"When do you want to leave?
Aira wants to join as well, but she still needs rest…"


"Will she be of any help, though?"


"Of course, she can fight."


Shake my head.
"In her conditions, I meant."


''But where are you going off to then miss Selena? We're still going to look for Aria, right?…Or are you going alone to find her?''


"Oh. I understand how you feel, things have been really crazy for all of us lately."


"…I want to keep her here, but she won't want to. If I leave her here, she'll go on her own. At least if she's with us, I can protect her."

"Yes, that's what I mean. We think she's in Enkilj."


"The city has been busy. The engines have been repaired, population is booming, and the last resistance forces driven out. Also, on a more personal note for you, Coriander has taken a mate. Your mother reminds you to not let adventure get in the way of your own search for love, which I found rather humorous."

"Not really, but I have to do something…"

She looks pensive – surprisingly so for one so young.


"It's her sister we are talking about…"
"Something the church gave you?"


I'll leave her alone so she can recuperate from all this stuff going on.

I think I need some coffee or tea anyway. Can I order some?


I'll scrunch and blush at that last bit.
"I don't see how that's any of her business!"
"Anyway, we've got to circle around to the docks so we can load up that altar. We leave as soon as we've got it loaded, secured, and we're stocked."


"Exactly, she won't stay here while we go help Aria."


''I'll go with you then, okay? Since Lilly and Marina are going and all, I doubt only Maeda can make sure you're alrighty'' She crosses her arms ''After all I know you won't get far without my amazing knowledge to guide you, eh?'' She snickers


"Which is why, despite how worried you are, you will have to take her along."




"Yes, or… no. Not really, it's complicated. I mean, monasteries do research and protect artifacts. Someone has to recover all of that. I know where everything is, the pitfalls, the codes. So… it would be like abandoning my post if I didn't help them sort it all out."

There is coffee – a local favorite. It'll help you stay awake a little better, but it probably isn't crazy healthy to keep drinking so much. It's 4 bits. A bit expensive.

"Yeah, okay. We'll set the sail – not that it actually uses the wind or anything. Get below deck, Miss Love Hunter."


Ruffle her head.
"Good girl. You'd make a great, dutyful inquisitor."


"Anyway, the altar is up near the bridge between the town and the Celestial Monastery. We didn't have enough rope to drag it down, and none of the others could touch it without being tossed about twenty feet. So it's going to be up to us to move that slab. Fair warning, it changes your gender when you touch it."


Well… maybe I shouldn't. I'm going to go to the post office real quick instead.



She seems a little lost in thought. Must be all that time in the library – those monks are a little more on the bookish end of the crusading spectrum.

"Better not tell the rest of the crew. They've been getting lonely away from their mates."

You head by the post office, unlocking it with your key. The priority package is gone. They have the complimentary food and coffee here. The newspaper headline is:

Prench Banking Scandal


"But when do you want to leave…I want her to rest at least another night."



Flick through the paper though, just in case there's something that's actually interesting sounding.


I'll blush again.
"They wouldn't seriously… that's improbable."


It's okay. Until the world doesn't put her down, it will be good.
"I've got something for you."
"I do need a night of rest myself, and probably so do you."


"So we'll leave tomorrow, that's fine!"


Nod in agreement.


"Hmmm, I need to talk to somepony now. About some dice."




Playwright Stirs Scandal
Daylight Period Moving Next Week
MSL Hiring: Privateers
Unwinnable War
Trotantine Ambassador Seeks Immunity

"They might. Cloud Hopper is a horny bastard. But if it's all the same to you, it was just a joke."

She looks up, questioning.


"I can tell, there's something on your mind…"


"Yes. You won't believe me but my friend here Fly, gave me this die telling it would bring me luck if I rolled it. I didn't believe her, but it did!"


''Is it about that weird dice you had before?''




Unwinnable war? Which one?


''yeah that dice! I want to get one too! Who's this Fly friend though? what a weird name to give someone…Fly''


"For… four years? Five? Every day was slow. More has happened in a week than has happened in the years preceding that. I don't have words to explain how I feel…"


"A lucky die? That sounds interesting."
Put a hoof on her chest, letting it rest upon her heart…
"Thumping hard, isn't it?"


"I'll go speak to Fly."

Go upstairs and ask to see Fly


She walks along, curious to meet this Fly fellow


"I shall join you in a moment. I too have found a strange dice."


Unwinnable War

Canterlot, 14:02. Official sources within the capital are remaining silent in response to pressure from expert sources which have deemed the war on piracy 'an unwinnable war'. Although piracy is down more than 80% in the past twenty years, in the past five, it has reached a relative plateau of effectiveness. The renewed interest comes in light of the anniversary of the siege of Triangle Cove, which started six years ago last week, and continues to this day. In the modern day, most pirate hunting is carried out by MSL privateers, but these efforts are subsidized by the Equestrian government. When asked to comment on the effectiveness of this strategy, Royal Guard Captain Silver Shield responded: "Unequivocally."

The bouncer stops you. "Tickets?"


I'm not going there yet.
Still talking with Lamp Light.


"I merely want to see Fly. Is she here?"


Wow… this really brings out some bad emotions in me. Put the newspaper down, I don't need to read anything more.

I'll find something to munch on in silence while I wait on Marina.


Maybe some time as a mare will chill him out. Let's hope there's enough rope, though.
Once we hit land, I'll have to guide them to where we left the altar.


"Probably. She spends all day in the upper lounge on level three."

She recoils a little bit with surprise.

"I guess?"


"Could you tell her I'm here?"


There's always those Unseasonably Warm Pockets. They taste like garbage but they have all the nutrients you need to be a courier, including your daily allotment of goodwill, because your job doesn't provide any.

The team of stallion seaponies follows you out. A troubling thought crosses your mind that your mom may have sent you out with all stallions on purpose with regards to 'finding love', so you dismiss the thought before it can develop further.

"Yep, that's a big rock alright."

"Okay, but I can't guarantee she'll come down."

He yells into the tube, as before.


Wait patiently


"The pony body is built for action. For power. Meditation, knowledge and clarity of mind are all one huge mean to a single end.
Honoring your life like the divine blessing it is. Never letting it go unspent.
What you are feeling is your body earing the call. It needs to live."


But I grew up with most of these guys. They're like brothers, kinda. Marrying any of them would be weird.
"Be careful with it, or you'll find yourselves more in touch with your feminine sides than you thought possible. We've got enough rope, right?"


Once I'm done eating, I'll wander off to the docks to wait on fish horse.


After what feels like forever, Fly swoops down.

"If you're planning on hanging around New Earth for a while, Selena, you really ought to look into getting a place in high society."

"Maybe… meditation as a lot of my day, though. I haven't had time to take things in."

Which is why you banish the thought!

"We raided the ship for all it's worth. Any less and we're not sure it will work."

You dunno where she'll make port, of course – since her ship was not moored here originally, but closer to the volcano.


"Did you ever play outside with other kids?"


I'm sure it'll stand out pretty well anyway. Are there any clouds I can sit on for a good view on the place?


"I'm not much of a high society mare…"


''Oh woah…Hi there…you…''
She looked at Fly up and down
'1d10' appraise

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Well, let's get dragging, then."
I'll head on over to the altar and swap into a guy form.
"This way, I'll be able to help pull my weight, at least."


"A long time ago, yes."

It's a dark night. You squint for clouds, and you see some in the distance.

"High society in an adventuring town does not equate to cocktails and tuxedos. Anyway, you summoned me?"

She looks very spooky. She's a griffon with a crooked beak wearing a long, black cape. You get an uneasy vibe from her.

"Just don't get too amorous while you're like that. Your mother wanted you to find love, but probably not get knocked up."

With more than a few grunts of strain, your party eventually moves the altar to the underseaboat.


"I wanted to ask about these dice again. I tried them and they actually work after all."


Brrr, Rhanna doesn't like gryphons…
''We uh…We were here about the dice thingy…''


"Big surprise. One taste and they always come back for more."


"Boys don't get knocked up."
After it's secured, I'll swap back to female and head out to find Lilly.


''Well hey, I never used one of these weird special dices before!''


How about a roof instead?


"Try it again. I bet there are kids outside right now!"


"What's the price?"


You have to sail back first! So you do so.

"I have a variety of dice for your perusal."

1d2 … 100 bits
1d3 … 80 bits
1d4 … 70 bits
1d6 … 70 bits
1d8 … 90 bits
1d10 … 100 bits

She sighs. "I don't need even more on my mind… I need to meditate. I don't have my room anymore, though…"

You slide onto the Port Authority. You head all the loud ruckus inside. Sounds still busy, even now.

You see the Underseaboat cruising into port.


"…that's a high price!"


"Speaking of."
Hoof her a bag with 50 bits.
"Take this. It will buy you safety until you arrive in Autumnsreach. And a stay in most inns."


''I…I don't have all that money…''


"It is. And my customers keep coming back for more. What price can you put on your life? But maybe I can offer an alternative."

"Thank you… I'm not sure what to say. But thank you."


Oh good!

Start gliding down from my spot towards it.


Well, that should take all of, what, ten minutes? At most?


"I'm listening…."


''What kinda alternative?''


"Don't be silly. You are such a brave little girl, you deserve it!"


You finally cruise into port.

Marina is here, she has your altar.

"You can extract bone dust – not from ponies, that is only delicious, not useful for dice. From the world. When you go to strange, exotic locales, you can extract dust with a certain spell. If you bring that dust to me, I will make you dice for a cheaper price. This is not your sort of pony magic that needs a catalyst – it is the magic of my forefather, it requires only an incantation. The magic of spirits, not ghosts."

"Can you be brave when you're filled with terror?"


"Strange exotic locales. Specify. As in not often visited or just very weird compared to the usual pony towns?"


''Magic?…That sounds cool as hay! How do we do this Bone dust extraction mumbo jumbo?''


"That's the only time one can be brave!"


Right, time to head out and find Lilly and Lamp Light. It's probably too late at night to restock our provisions, but the fish we'll catch on the way should be fine. And I've got enough until we reach Autumnsreach, I'm fairly sure…


Perfect, we're set!
"Did everything go okay?"


"I explained to you before – places not visited have less of their ambient luck used up. Strange places, too, might work. Unusual sights. Anywhere like that – those are the places where the luck of the world can be tapped into."

She produces a card, which looks suspiciously mass produced. "Read this over the site, and dig. You look like a good digger, yes?"

"How do you mean?"

Lilly meets you on deck.


I'll nod.
"Yep, everything's fine. If you've got everything you need, we should be good to go. I just need to get Lamp Light."


"You sound like Itztli. He always talks about unused potential…or something."


''The best kind, yup!''


"She's still with Maeda I reckon. Talking about their Celestia stuff."


Btw wf, I bet I put Sunny in my room with Aira while I was there.


"What is bravery, if not one's resolve as hir heart fills with dread?"


I'll roll my eyes.
"Well, I suppose it's natural. The filly's been raised by those missionaries pretty much, so Maeda's probably the most familiar thing to her."
I'll pat you on the back as I pass by.
"Anyway, go get settled, we leave shortly."
And then I'll head back to the tavern.


"The rabbit? I'm not surprised. Priests often subscribe religious importance to spiritual phenomenon when no such connection exists."


"I don't know… I don't feel brave."


I want to go check on the altar, just to be sure…


"But do you want to be?"


"So what's this incantation?"


It's safely tied up in the hold. You'll be staring at it a lot for the next three days because this isn't a very spacious belowdecks.

"It's on the card. It's different for each who reads it, no point in trying to slip that past you."

"To be brave… who wouldn't?"


"Thanks. By the way, I was thinking about settling down here.
How do these adventurers get on this level?
By adventuring a lot?"


''ooh lemme see'' She takes a read at the card


"Mild ponies. Those who prefer to be left to live their quiet lives in silence, doing the one thing they know, without ever trying to find new things to marvel at.
But you, you don't want to be that kind of pony, I bet?"


Back in the tavern I go.
I assume Maeda and Lamp are still in conversation?


Good. I want to give it mean looks so it knows it's a bad altar.

Gods, why does this have to take so long?


"Yeah, or contests – or paying. Most of the big names around here – Mama Anne, me, DLC, Candy Carlow, Cool Whip, Hot Diggity, and others – are all up on level three. Most veteran adventurers are on level two. The only sorts you get here on one are greenies or drifters."

It says "Mother is drinking again." Creepy.

She looks uncertain. "I do like that kind of life – you can find new things to marvel at in silence, in introspection. That's what monks do. There are mysteries of the universe you can't see, that you can only learn through text. The abbot said this new electrical essence will change the world, and we have to know it now or the church won't be able to respond to it. There were marvels, even in the quiet."

She stops rambling a moment. "But… I would still want to be brave."


The night seems to drag forever when you're tired, doesn't it?


Her expression turns sour and worried
''W-what is the deal with these cards?…''


You mean to tell me these young ones need levels now to feel good?
Why, in my day, adventuring was about drama and danger and rooms filled with gold! And romance!
….or at least that's what we hoped it would be!"


Especially since I can't even sleep!

… Or maybe this is the best time to sleep? While we're not on the move yet.


Right. I'll head over, and make a small coughing noise.
"Lamp Light, are you ready?"


Fly's beak twists into a grin.

"Interesting reaction. They always are."

"They're just tiers. Society has always been split up by social status. This just makes that social status more visible and vertical."

Could be. You're used to bedding down in offices. Even now you feel the sloshing of the waves below.

"Oh… Yes, I guess so."


"Don't you see this is just a ploy by crooked corporations to monetize adventuring?"


There's a bed here isn't there? Where that strange rabbit is living under?


She picks it up and puts it away ''So…what's this about this social status tiers in society you two are talking about?''


I'll give her a weak smile.
"It's gonna be a little crowded, but that shouldn't be too unbearable."
I'll pat her head.
"Do you have everything you need?"


"Conversely, there are marvels you can't read about.
The smile of an old friend you have to see off.
The smell of salt on the grey midnight sands as waves wash over you.
The eyes of the pony who you know as your equal, as he admits defeat and spares your life.
Emotions are born of the wild side of our mind, of a side which books cannot replicate. A side you have to experience.
Do not limit yourself to either one, don't be slave to your mind or servant to a phylosophy. Live to bring all that Celestia gave you to its brightest heights.
Let the little sun inside you shine with each coming day."


"If it gets you what you want… do you care?"

If you call the sling-like hammocks "beds".

Itztli has drilled a hole in the wall - like a mousehole - except that logically a hole in that location should cause the ship to flood with hullbreach. Instead, he seems to have a little room back there far beyond where the ship should end.

He's fluffing a pillow on his (rabbit) King-size satin four-poster bed.

"The tavern has three floors. Better adventurers get better food and drinks, on higher levels."

"Yes… I think so. Let's go."

"That's… something I need time to think about. I hope I see you again, Miss Tree."


''Better…Adventurers?… And what makes an adventurer better then?''


"I understand. Come now, you need to rest."
To the inn. I will rent a room, one bed, should have enough space for myself and a kid.


I'll inwardly roll my eyes at Maeda's rant.
Moon, does that girl need a hobby.
"See you later, Maeda. Don't let those cultists do whatever it is they're up to."
"Alright, it's this way."
And I'll lead her off to the ship.
"Also, we might not have enough beds, so you can share a bunk with me, if that's okay."


"More gold, more adventures completed, come on, you can figure it out, you're a bright little dog."

"Oh, sorry, Miss Tree, I'm leaving now. Goodbye."

She nods, and leaves with Marina.

"Uh.. maybe I'll just take a corner."


Teaches me right for only reading my replies.
"Bye, little Lamp Light.
And be everything you want to be!"


''Well of course I a-wait…how do you know that?…''


Oh he's such a cutie!

I won't disturb him. I'll try to catch some sleep of my own first. I can't hold out like this for another three days.


She told you 'I hope to see you again' and said she was going to Autumnsreach!

"Yeah… I will. Thanks."

"It was an arbitrary compliment."


You pass out immediately. You were tired.



Eh, I didn't think it was gonna happen RIGHT NOW.
Okay, go see this "Fly" character.


"Are you sure? It'd be more comfortable…"
I'll shrug.
"But, if you'd prefer, I'm sure we can set you up a little nest."
Back to the boat.


She rubs her arm ''Well…Thanks…but moving on to the adventure thing…Since when were things this…uh…what's the word for that…Sistemized? I thought adventurers and adventures were experiences of things like self discovery and finding thrill in your life…Heck, what even classifies an adventure as such? does it have to meet certain objectives? do you have to bring back so much gold? do you have to find a mystic Item in an abandoned tomb? A combination of all these?'' Asked the little pup, full of questions


She is a spooky looking Griffon wearing an almost stereotypical 'vampire' cape. She has a crooked looking beak and is talking to Rhanna/Selena.


Lilly is here, already asleep

"Yes. There is a council that sets those stipulations. Only official quests count."


She seems indignated
''really? A council? Okay okay this is sounding really dumb…Why did they did that and who had this idea? And what makes a quest be 'official?''


"I hope I'm not interrupting."


''hmn…oh, Hi Maeda…no I was just talking to Fly…She is telling me about how adventures are being turned into some sort of system…Can you believe that?''


"No, just business."

"You would have to ask them. Most only are interested in 'is this quest official', not what makes it official. Jobs from the board are official. In any case, it's not really where I make my money."


She must have been exhausted.
"Oh, one last thing. Don't touch the big altar unless you want to feel what it's like being a colt. I don't have a clue why this thing does that, but that seems to be the only enchantment it has on it."
Give Lamp a little smile.
"Sure you don't to sleep in a bunk?"


"I've heard you are an expert of dice."
Pull out my own pirate dice.
"Is this one of those you dabble in?"
"Ah yes, I think I've had this conversation already.
Mr… What was his name, again?"


"Oh, I know. I read the report."

Lamp hops into an unoccupied bunk. "I just didn't want to share."


"Very interesting. Yes, it is."


"And then, what is it?"


Chuckle a little.
"Little scamp."
At any rate, I'll put a blanket over Lilly, so she doesn't get cold, and then slip into my own bunk.
"If you have any problems during the night, just come wake me up, okay?"


"Pirate Die. Not the exclamation, the noun."

She gives you a beaky grin.

"Yeah… Night."


"Good night, Lamp Light. Dream peacefully."


''Wow…'' She puts a hand on her hip
''That's the dumbest thing I heard of today…I think I'll actually go take a look there quickly, yeah…But…Where do you make your money then-Wait, wait…Lemme guess…Because of how adventures are now so systemized like that, it means there's now a buncha so called 'adventurers' going around, and you make money out of them, selling magical dices that give luck, so they can complete their quests, getting money for it, money of which YOU gain a part of because they will always come back to buy more dice before a quest to make sure they are succesful, and when they are not or either have no money…You give them the info about the bone dust''
She pulls her card and looks at it
''So that way you make even more dice…''
She looks back up at Fly
''And that means you can make a lot of money without even going through any danger or bothering about leaving…
It's…wow…That's a super genius plan!''
''Fly…Her name is Fly''


Ready to skip?



She puts a hand in her forehead
''Wow…You're a really smart fellow, miss Fly…''


"And now I know the name.
But what does it do?"
"Do you think she is a Mister?"
"But if you can sell them, you can probably even make them.


Unless there's craaaazy dream stuff or Lamp Light waking me up in the night, then yes.


''Yeah but Fly only told us what they are made of: bone dust…And not how to make them…And I said MISS not mister''
''…She's a miss, right?''


"Keep it on you. You'll find your luck improves at the moment it breaks. When you need more, you come back and buy some from me. The universe has a way of deciding on its own when the best time to bail you out is. Rhanna and I have a mutual friend, Selena, who is already convinced of their value."


''…How do you know my name?''


"I see."
Then I will take advantage of this meta mechanic and put an unfunded amount of trust into her dice.
How much money do I have?



"A griffoness needs her secrets, Rhanna!"



''You're a creepy Griffoness then!''


Lilly & Marina in… St. Radiant's Fire

You awaken to the uneven shifting of the vessel. The ship idly shakes back and forth in the waves. These days will no doubt prove to be boring ones – or at least, you hope they'll be so uneventful.

"Well, good. That's part of my bit."

You're tired, better sleep soon.

520 bits!


She rubs her eyes, she had to sleep
"Can I at least have a look at one dice please? Any dice works I just wanna see it" She says extending her paw


"I need to think this over."
Out I go. Where did the postpony say all adventurers gathered?


I'm not really bored considering the situation I'm in. Can't sleep too much though. I'll settle for inspecting the altar a little more closely.


Here, at The Upper Hoof. You should probably get some sleep, though.

She holds one up in her claw. It's a wooden coin, not a die.

It looks very worn and is actually quite boring to look at. The inscriptions and symbols are all worn down from what looks like hundreds of years of use and disuse. It's a surprise it still has magical power.


She blinks
"Hey! I said a dice, not a wood coin!"


… Is there anyone in sight right now or are they abovedecks?


Ask around. See if they have a notice board of some kind.


"It's the same."

Lamp Light and Marina are sleeping on their hammocks. Itztli isn't in his home – nowhere to be seen. The other ponies are up on the main deck, presumably working or on break. This isn't much of a view down here in the tiny, cramped hold.

They do, outside the Upper Hoof.



Roll #1 6 = 6


Very well. Hang a notice. Something about the inquisition needing heroes for a most holy duty.
Everyone involved will receive 100 bits and the absolution of their sins. Five heroes required.
Meeting tomorrow at dawn.
THEN I can sleep.


Dammit. I don't really have anything to do then. I don't want to wake Marina or Lamp Light… and I can't mess around with the altar because the noise will wake them up.


It looks like a wooden coin. It has an very, very faint glow, and seems… 'full'.

Crash in the streets?

Too true. It's really rough being cooped up inside this place. This waiting threatens to drive you crazy!


I guess I'll just read some more of Red's book to keep my mind busy.


Nooope, I have a room already rented!


She instinctively sniffed it a little
"That's pretty weird…" She yawns
"How do you make those anyways?"


I recall you spoke about going to the Vignette Apple, but I don't remember you actually renting a room there?


On Establishment………12
The Role of the State….38
Transition Point………182
The Red Number………..201

"Bone dust. Don't let the wooden appearance deceive you."


The red number?


The fishpony has awoken.


"I know I know you told me that! But what's the process of creating it eh?"


The Red Number
I explain this to give you the context necessary for understanding that this transition is not only something that can happen, but something that WILL happen. To avoid further buildup and adieu, the number is approximately one hundred eighty per square mile. At this point, transition is inevitable. So it must be concluded that in any urbanized world, transition must occur. There is no other way around it. One can either choose to live in the largely rural world of separation where each individual lives in small tribes, eventually ruled through feudal chains up to a single Monarch or two Diarches, but this cannot happen in any condensed society. Republicanism always emerges. The only difference is whether this is channeled through the lens of classism or the lens of the people. Island communities like Reptil tend to reach this number faster because size is a commodity which cannot be squandered. But this phenomenon is on the brink across the entire world. Even now electrical essence and steam essence are being captured and utilized. Populations grow. The inflation observed in recent years is unlike anything ever observed before. I predict in the next decade alone, prices of all goods will raise 400%, and the price of food will raise 800%. This is a price revolution which will - WILL - usher in the new age. It is a symptom of change that I have already observed.

Marina stirs.


Lilly is up and reading. Lamp is still asleep, everyone else is gone – probably upstairs.

"I wouldn't be very clever if I told you that."


Ok tell you what. Make the 4 heroes required and let's go to the Apple, get a room for me and Rhanna if she needs it and crash.
Leave instruction with the tavern owner and the Apple's owner to send Rhanna my way if she wonders where I am.


Yawn widely.
"G'morning. Sleep well?"


You get a key from the strange mechanical machine and retire for the night.



Why does she always have to be so intense about these things… I guess she has some good points when it comes to the inflation of prices though.

Look up from my book.
"Like a brick. Now I just got to stay up for as long as I can without dying."


She crosses her arms "Well you gotta pass the knowledge to someone don't you think? Is there anyone else that knows how to make these dice? Do you have kids of your own or plan to have? If no to any of them, then I really think that you should teach someone so that the knowledge is not lost! Come oooon you should totes tell me!"


"Aw, it's not gonna be so bad! There's plenty for a couple mares and a filly to do on this tub."
I'll scratch my chin.
"Though most of it does happen to be looking out the portholes at undersea life."
My stomach will grumble a bit.
"Well, that sounds like the breakfast bell. Are you hungry?"


"You could say that."


"When I die, I will pass the knowledge on to the griffon successor that devours my flesh, as my father before me."


Since Sion ain't here…
Dream. Wine.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Well, then there's only one thing to do! Time to make breakfast."
I'll roll out of my bunk and wander over to the ice box.
Now, let's see… I think I'll cook up that yellowtail for breakfast.
"Is yellowtail alright with you? We're probably not going to get any decent kelp or seaweed until we hit Autumnsreach."


"Yellowtail? What the hell is Yellowtail?"


It's a Nice Box. It's also your only store of some foods that you won't be able to get while at sea – like the potato you've stowed in here.

Yellowtail it is.

You have a fitful night of dreams. You see a face, but it's shrouded in darkness. Instinctively, you know it's your father. You awaken in the morning feeling much more rested.

The beds here are surprisingly comfortable. Can't argue with that. Not to mention they use two sheets. High thread count. You haven't slept as well in a long time, dreams notwithstanding.


She cringes and backs away a little
"Eew… Do gryphons always do that? And well… How about instead we make a little deal, eh? I'll go traveling around a lot, so why just sell your dice in this place? You could have it being sold all over the world! Sounds good right? Well you know how smart I am don't ya? Well I have tons of ideas of things to invent and help ponies and make life better for everyone, but for that I'll need sponsoring or money in some way. So what you say you teach me and only me how to make the Pirate dice, I make a bunch of them and sell them whenever I go, and I come back here once two or three months or so and give you half of the money I make? Sweet deal right?"


Well, time to go check on my little heroes!


"It's a fish, silly. A type of flounder. It's really tasty!"
It is a cold box that keeps things cold, like ice. So an ice box!
Time to prep breakfast. I'm sure this thing has a galley somewhere, so I'll cook in there. Taking six, of course.


I gag.
"Don't like fish…"


"Well, have you tried it? I didn't like a lot of the plants my brother grew until I tried them!"


"Ponies aren't meant to eat fish!"

Check my pockets, I'm sure I still have some food lying around!


Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"If ponies weren't meant to eat fish, then why are they so tasty? Lunites one, arguments zero."


"Let's see… No, no, no, no, yes, no, and no."

Fly counts the answers out with a claw and an amused grin.

"Isn't it past your bedtime, pup? I will see you again soon, I am sure."

She flits back to the third floor.

Sure, if you just want it to taste AVERAGE, you could take six.

You have… lint.

You've heard leather is supposed to be edible.. you have those goggles….



"Are you sure you don't just have some seaweed lying around or something?"


Or I could trip and light the boat on fire. I think I'll take my chances with average fish.
"Well… there is a potato in the ice box…"
I'll think a minute.
"Hey! That'd make a great side dish! Thanks for reminding me!"
Dig out the potato from the box and start preparing it.


She scrunches and shakes a fist in the air as the gryphonness flies away
"A scientist hardly cares about those things!" She turns around and leaves, grumbling
"You'll see… I just… Need to find a way to make big money… Then I'll show you…"


I thought you were saving that for your brother.

Anyway, here's what's in the box:
>Dixie Potato w/ All Fixin's
>Bleu stuffed olives
>Chocolate protein shake
>Monterrey jack cheese cube
>Diced tomatoes
>Sugar cane
>Assorted fish
>Lobster claws (8)
>Squid (1/4 lb)
>One pufferfish
>One quart beer (for basting)
>Any number of spices and garnishes, ranging from paprika to sugar to salt

You're very tired


Hm… no one is waiting at your door. Did no one read your ad last night or this morning? Better investigate.


She yawns again and goes down to look for Maeda
"Maeda? Maedaaaa? Where are ya?"


The bartender waves you over. "Your friend already went back to her room at the Vignette Apple."


…Oh right.
Well, how hard can it be to find potatoes in Autumnsreach? He's going to have his flippers full with kids soon enough anyway.
Let's see, what to put with that yellowtail… Let's go with the garnishings (rosemary) and tomato, and some of the oil from those olives ought to make it taste better for Lilly, since she doesn't like meat.
It's like mom used to do to me, hide gross food in good food to hide the flavor.


So it shall be.


"Ooh, thank you" She down a little nod and walks out to the Apple to find Maeda's room


Once inside, you take the other bed and pass out. Tomorrow will be a full day… a day of…

Selena, Maeda, and Rhanna in… Days In Waiting


"You really like cooking don't you?"


Indeed. Enter the building. See what's up.


Enter… The Upper Hoof, the tavern?


"Well, it's the only thing I was really good at down there, you know? I can't fight, and I'm clueless about mechanics, but cooking? Seeing the faces of ponies enjoying what you make? It made me feel like I really made their day better."
I'll be quiet for a moment, but then smile at Lilly.
"Of course, not everything was a success. I remember one time I tried cooking up some weird flying fish that was floating around down there, and let me tell you that was a mistake I will never repeat."



Big things soon, faff if you like



"A flying fish? That doesn't sound appetizing at all."


"Well, it more glided than flew, but the wings weren't what I was going for."
I'll chuckle sheepishly.
"I should have guessed it was a chaos fish, but I was like, twelve. I've never had such a bad stomachache before or since."


The helmspony, a stallion who goes by Irons, descends the stairs opposite. "Marina, you have a visitor."

It's busy today. The offerings at the grill on level one are Weed Salad and Fried Eggs


Well, look at miss fancyshoes and her visitors! I'm staying here where there's air to breathe.


"A visitor? Out here?"
I'll scrunch a bit.
"How does mom always know where to send ponies? Send them in, I'm still in the middle of breakfast."


Many blows his breath and scrunches. You've known this guy as long as you've held the Aquamarine City, and a little before. He seems pretty unflappable, so you wonder what has him in a huff.

It becomes IMMEDIATELY obvious when your visitor descends. Decked out in gleaming black leather, flanked by scurvy earth ponies, and resting a hoof on a gleaming, gem-encrusted sword, a tall, dark, and handsome pirate descends the stairs. And unfortunately one that you've had the misfortune of knowing in the past.

"Avast! Truly, you are an adventurous little sweetroll, aren't you?"

It's Treacherous Davy. A pirate three times your age (granted, silver fox) who seems convinced you're engaged. So far he's probably harmless.

"I couldn't help but notice you were making your way across the sea, love, and thought you might need a ride in style. You know, not with these…"

He gestures vaguely at the compact interior of the ship.

"Accommodations." The word is dripping with sarcasm. He's probably harmless. Probably. Many Irons is covering his face with a hoof.


Pirates!? Now that's interesting!


My expression will remain calculatedly deadpan.
"Well, I suppose that solves the problem of my appetite. There's no room left for food with all the hot air that just blew in."
I'll raise an eyebrow.
"How exactly did you manage to find us, anyway? I thought we were underwater."
Looking at Irons, I'll raise the other brow.
"We were underwater, weren't we?"


Many doesn't make eye contact when he remarks, "We're currently disentangling the Underseaboat from Davy's extensive network of deep sea nets."

Davy laughs for about twice as long as would be reasonable. "What a coincidence that we'd run into each other out here, isn't it! Truly the Lady of the Sea smiles upon our union! We should really set a date, you know, while we're here."

Luna has always had a special significance to sailors back in the old day – something apparently even your father knew. Your mom said that it was easy to find secret worshipers among old seafaring ponies. Davy has made it clear in the past that this is why your union is so important, though you've always suspected he has something deeper going on besides aligning with a largely in-hiding religion.


I'll groan inwardly.
Again with the nets.
"You seem to have made quite the effort to ensure that it wasn't a coincidence, Davy. Surely there are other, more appropriately-aged mares who are wilting for lack of your attention?"
I'm pretty sure Davy just wants our U-Boat and crab fortress. Secret Pirate Islands are hard to come by nowadays.


"Oh, sure, hundreds – younger and older than yourself. You should be honored. Could be, even the old Crone back at Triangle Cove, maybe!"

He chuckles heartily. No one else laughs. He knees a subordinate. His two guards laugh with him.

"We were just headed back. Maybe you'd like to join as after we drop off your friend in Autumnsreach?"


"I am in a rush, you know!"


You wake up in the morning feeling well rested. After blinking a few times, you realize you're not in the room that you were staying in with Selena. Maybe you forgot to head back?

Wait… you're under ground. In a burrow… like the old days. Was it all a dream? Did you never leave Equestria?


"Oh, I'm sure with our mighty sails, you'll make it twice as fast!"


"Unfortunately, captain, I have business in Autumnsreach, and as you're well aware, business must come before…"
I'll almost choke on the distaste of the word.
Then I'll scuttle around the table and throw a leg around Lilly's shoulders.
"I'm currently escorting this young mare for a rather important bit of business, dreadfully dangerous stuff, and unless you feel comfortable risking hide and health against an ancient nightmare beast, then I would appreciate if your crew could assist mine in freeing our ship from your nets."


"Well! Why didn't you say so? I'll serve that nasty beastie to you as, say, a wedding gift?"


"I could not ask you to do such a dreadful task, Davy. After all, it also involves a cursed tablet, that we've got in the hold by the way, and it has to get there within the next two days. Otherwise, my poor friend here will become a victim to that beast."
I'll give a rather solemn frown.
"This is Old Magick, Davy, and something only we priestesses of the moon can handle. Your… enthusiasm is appreciated, but I fear you would simply be a snack to it. Surely the world can't lose such a, uh, notable pony such as yourself. Not after what happened to the last most infamous mistress of the seas."


Hold on… What?
Get up from whenever I am laying down and look around
"What the heck?…" I mutter. Is this even My bed?


"What? September? That was years ago! No, I will not be cowed! Why don't you join us on the Locker and start picking cake flavors in the kitchen? We'll all sail together to see this beast in Autumnsreach while you start working on wedding preparations."

Contrary to common folklore, Treacherous Davy's Locker is not at the bottom of the sea, but is, in fact, still in service and a very fast ship, notorious for its sails made from giant spider silk, which is very difficult to get without terrible prices from diamond dogs merchants.

Well, it's a bail of hay, which is pretty much what your bed was like before… could it really have been a dream?

You hear roughhousing diamond dogs in the other room of the burrow… which is still more evidence that you're back home, unfortunately.


"No…" I jump off my bed and run through the closest door to make sure this is real… It can't be…


You turn the corner and see…

A couple of diamond dogs in loincloths wrestling. You don't recognize either of them. A scarred, muscular bitch in the corner looks up from the match and hails you with a deep, guttural bark.

"The pup awakens."


I'll start to sweat a little. He's more persistent this time. Probably because my mother isn't around.
"Captain Davy, surely you can't begin to expect me to entertain the idea of marriage! Not when my own father is missing, and my mother is occupied with her duties. There is simply too much to be done before I can even consider marriage that, while the offer is certainly… appreciated, but I'm afraid that I must decline your generous offer."


"What… Uuhh… What?" is all I can say as I stare at both the wrestling dogs and the scarred dog Lady
"Who are you? Where am I? Where's miss Selena and Lilly and Maeda?"


"Interesting… so you're saying, all I need to do is recover your father, and you'll set a date? Ha ha ha, I'll be sure to have him in the bri… dge of the ship within the week! And then, you'll have no choice to stop putting it off! Well, have fun in Autumnsreach, love, I'm sure you'll be brilliant!"

With a little flourish and sheathing of his blade, Davy heads back up the stairs with his crewponies. Many looks pleased to be rid of him. "That sounded… ominous. I ought to check on the de-netting process."

"Good questions… which do you want answered the most, runt?"


"Please do. And send word to mother, if you could. If the good captain gets… delayed by inclement weather, I would not be too put out."


I keep staring at her with the same wide eyed curious look
"Where am I…"


"I've got a bad feeling… probably nothing, we'll see about it."

Irons heads back up. Well, your meal was interrupted.

The bitch grins widely. "Good choice. This is the Battle Burrow, one in a series of burrows along this coast. We saw you passed out in town and dragged you back here. I can tell by your muscles, you're Southron. A Musdoggy Dog. Born to rule and fight, fight and rule."


And my appetite, ruined.
Sighing, I'll head back to my seat.
"Sorry for that, Lilly. I honestly don't know how he keeps tracking us down. He's probably got a wizard or something on his boat with pony-finding spells."
Shiver a bit, then mutter.


"Woah wait… You just saw me sleeping and straight up went to take me here? What the heck! What's your problem, Lady? Selena will be awfully worried I'm gone!"


"Selena, huh? Doesn't sound so tough. I can probably take her."

She grins again. "Maybe you, too. You look pretty strong, runt. You train much?"

After a few minutes, you feel a great shudder, and hear a splash. You must be free.


Make a quick check on the hold to make sure the altar's still there.


Since the hold is the same as the deck you're on (and the sleeping deck) – this being such a small ship – you can glance over and confirm its location. No one's snatching that out from under your snout!

Only a few minutes pass before another terrible shake wracks the ship.


"Did you even heard what I said? Alright I'll repeat. What. Is. Your. Problem? You don't just go around and kidnap pups whenever you see! That's messed up!"


Okay that shouldn't be happening. Head topside. I swear to Luna if that creepy old fillyphile hauled our boat up to his ship…


She raises a brow, clearly amused. The two dogs fighting between you are finishing up their match, as one is pinned.

"Alright, this is your last free answer. It's not kidnapping if you take a pup back to its home burrow. You belong with us, pup, not in some pony town. We're headed to the front, across the Forbidding Sea."

You never thought you'd have a sudden acute preference for being hauled up by Davy.

Your ship is entangled in the terrible tentacles of a giant octopus – most of your crew have abandoned their positions on the ship to engage it, but half of them are missing. As Rough Swimmer, a red seapony bolts forward to jab it in the beak, a bolt of light hits him in the back, and he floats, paralyzed, down toward the darkness. This far out in the ocean, it could be hundreds of leagues deep… someone has to rescue them… someone has to right the ship… someone has to stop this terrible octopus!

A tentacle is coming right for you! Roll dodge!


A bolt of light? This thing has magic? Or are we being attacked by two things? Whatever, dodge for now. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"of course it is kidnapping! I don't even know you for Pete sake! And I wanna go back home, I'm not going to stay with you and fight for nothing like a stupid dog"


A snatching tentacle misses your adept swimming. Out of the corner of your eye you can see another paralyzing magical bolt extend from one of the octopus's tentacles. Wizard octopus. That's a new one. You're really missing Lilly's gun about now.

Irons mouths something at you from across the way, but the waves carry it. The ship begins to pitch and yaw as the octopus withdraws two tentacles to dedicate three entirely to your capture.

"I told you, you are home, runt. Or you will be, after we take you to the front."


"No! This is weird I wanna go back with miss Selena! And stop calling me runt, my name is Rhanna! Rha-nna!"


Why is it focusing on me!?
I've got to make my way to the helm, otherwise the ship will be lost, along with Lilly, Lamplight, and the altar.
I suppose I should be rolling so '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"What do you want to go back to some pony town so much for, anyway?"

As the octopus grabs you, it drags you up close to its eye and examines you. Suddenly, it turns loose the ship and loses all interest in the crew, and begins rapidly swimming away. You wish you could say you could comment on the state of the ship, but it's blocked behind a large cloud of black ink.

You struggle, and and the octopus reaches inward, drawing you toward its gaping maw… a dreadfully sharp-looking beak.

Right when you think you're about to be snapped in half, it blows a bubble, which envelops you and you begin to float up toward the surface. It doesn't stop. You keep floating. You begin to soar high up into the sky. You can see quite a long way a way, but you don't have much time to look. Roll for scrutiny.


Oh come on what is this I'm a fish pony not a bird pony

Roll #1 3 = 3


Pick ONE thing to examine more closely
>The distant ship Locker
>The black spot where you estimate the Underseaboat is
>The big cloud above you
>The tropical island not far away
>Something else


"it ain't none of your business Lady!" I cross my arms


She laughs. The other two dogs get up and shake paws.

"Good. Not giving away answers for free. That's good. Neither will I!"


Well, I'm heading towards that cloud, so let's look at that.


"Well fine, I'll just excuse myself then" I show my tongue at the dog Lady and look around for an exit


You think you see some figures perched above. Ponies, by the looks of it – maybe pegasi? What are they doing so far out here?

Your bubble makes a sudden turn for the tropical island after you get even with the top of the mountain at its center. Oh boy.

It begins to pick up speed and soon, the world around you starts to blur as it reaches an incredible velocity. With a sudden pop, you roll to a stop in front of a dark blue pegasus with a prodigious Merlot-red beard. If that's not enough of a shocking visage, he's dressed up as a king – full flowing ermine robe, scepter, and crown.

"How did you like the terrible WIZARD OCTOPUS of the great ADVENTURER-KING and MAD SCIENTIST / SORCERER / CHOCOLATE EXPERT known as Ornitrex? I take it your accommodations were pleasing, my sweet, sweet DAMSEL / BRIDE?"

You are alone, on a great mossy cliff on the side of a mountain. The ship spot seems pretty far away.

She snatches you up by the skin of your neck!

"Ha! You think you're pretty tough, eh? I like your spirit. We'll have you in armor in no time."


I'm at a loss.




I start struggling "Hey! Let go of me! I don't want to be put in armor and I'm NOT going to fight!"


I'll sit down fairly hard.
"I have no idea what's going on. Please tell me that you didn't nearly rip apart our ship just to kidnap me."


"Where's your pride, runt? Don't you want to reclaim our homeland? If there's one thing every dog has drilled into their head, it's the importance of home. And we're going to retake ours. The lost lands. Lost Musdoggy."

"OF COURSE! And now, my young damsel, I will store you in a tower, possibly on a volcanic island, not like this one, this one is useless. There, we will be married, and SEAL THE PACT."


I'll bury my face in my hooves.
"No, no I'm not doing this. I've already got one old creepy pony trying to marry me, I don't need two."
I'll sigh heavily.
"No offense, of course. I mean, you seem… thematically prepared but, really? Really? Have a care for the kidnapped, please. My friend is going to die if I don't help her get that altar back where it's supposed to go."


"I don't… No, I don't want to go back to musdoggy! I'm not every dog! I want to stay with the ponies!" I bark and start to claw her paw that Is holding me

Roll #1 7 = 7


"HA! Do you think I, Ornitrex, care about ONE MERE LIFE? Do you have any idea how spec–"

Ornitrex, adventurer-king / mad scientist / sorcerer / chocolate expert, is cut off as he is tackled off the cliff, bodily, by two flying ponies. A third, a jet-pack bat pony wearing a simple bronze circlet and light leather armor gives you a mischievous grin, having replaced the position of Ornitrex. "YOU look like you could use a rescue party. May I have the pleasure?"

He reaches out to take your hoof, if you'll offer it.

She doesn't fight you and lets you tumble gracelessly to the ground. Ouch.

"What kind of diamond dog are you, anyway? Living with ponies, not caring about the homeland? That's a disgrace."


"Oh whatever, I'm just going where Luna wills it now."
Take his hoof.
"Name's Marina. Your name?"


"Yeah? Well… I-I don't care! I was way happier with ponies than I was with my family…" I rub my arm
"Can I please go now?"


He kisses it, and then hoists you as he flies out off the cliff. You can see Ornitrex struggling with two other ponies, firing off lighting bolts at random, below.

It looks like Underseaboat has righted itself, at least. You wonder where the Wizard-Octopus is…

"The pleasure is all mine, but I of course know your name, Princess. I am Prince Vlad, and it is my great honor to meet you."

"Nobody ever barred the door, runt. Sorry for giving you a place to sleep instead of leaving you out to rot on the side of the street. But maybe you should ask yourself why this pony you think cares about you left you out to sleep in the cold and dark. Maybe some day you'll wonder what it means to be a diamond dog. On that day, make for Musdoggy. We're moving out tomorrow, maybe you'll be able to catch the fighting."

Hm. Guess you can just… go.


"Princess? That's news to me."
I'll point down to the U-Boat.
"There's my ship, if you can set me down around there. It's a bit small, but I think we can fit the you and your friends on there if need be."


He gives you a fang-filled smile. "Well, it sounds as though news travels slowly at sea."

He glides down toward the ship. "To be honest, I did not expect so much… competition."


I rub my neck a little
"You're lying… I was sleeping with Maeda in a Inn bed! I remember it…"


"You think we smashed into a pony inn just to grab you? What for? Anyway, you don't gotta argue with me, get out there and see the un-broken inn for yourself. Maybe you just need some time to think it over before you decide on your priorities. Like I said, we ship out tomorrow, runt. Cmon, Dino, let's go for a round."

The victor from the previous match gives the bitch a nod.


"To be completely honest, I'm not too thrilled with it either. First that creepy old pirate who been following me for years, now some insane choclateer with a pet squid, and now a prince. Not that you're an unwelcome change of pace from the others, since you're at least somewhere near my age, but I'm still just horribly confused at why this is happening all at once."


"Hey… Wait… Uh… What's your name, miss?"


You land on the deck with a thud. Irons doesn't seem pleased with your new addition.

"Well, perhaps I should elucidate, then. You, Princess Marina, have been named Heiress Apparent to the Aquamarine City, and more importantly, the High Priestesshood of the Lunar faith."

Mom could've given you some warning on that one.

"Anfisa. Remember it! It'll be carved in the side of a mountain back in the motherland!"


"Wait I'm what. Since when? Mom's the high priestess. I need time to process this."
I'll sit down with a small thud.


"… Okay… See you I guess… " I sorta wave as I find my way out of the place


He gives you a suave smile. "Yes, well, perhaps Heiress Designate is more proper. You have only just been selected. I'm only glad I could be there to rescue you in your time of need. It would be a pity for such a beautiful princess to be menaced by that terrible Ornitrex."

Irons grumbles something under his breath, which you probably imagine is something along the lines of 'I had to fight a squid, unswamp a boat, rescue several sea ponies, and you don't hear me bragging about it'

The exit of the burrow isn't hard to find, but it's camouflaged. You wouldn't probably find it if you didn't know where to look. Popping out of the brush, you're only a fifty meters from the town of New Earth.


"Weird dumb dog Lady…" I mutter as I hop along to the city


It doesn't take long at all to get back. Where to?


"Which I appreciate, really, but I'm kinda strapped for time at the moment. Like I told that salty old fart Davy, I've got too much on my agenda to even think about this whole romancing thing. Which is what I assume brought you into the area."
I'll scrunch a bit.
"How did you three all just appear out of nowhere on the same day like that anyway? Did mom put a tracking spell on me or something?"


Well, I should first find Maeda… Maybe I could see that adventurers guild place Selena was around yesterday…


"Well, not that I'm aware of, though that Ornitex did appear to be some sort of… how do you say in your beautiful exotic tongue… sorcerer? Yes?"

Irons groans. "If you'd clear off deck, I'd like to get back under water, to hopefully avoid further romantic interruptions?"

It wasn't a guild – it was a tavern! More of an adventurer meeting place. Maeda is there at the tavern, but she looks busy. Sylt is asleep.


Well.. I shouldn't bother her, off to that guild Tavern meeting place then!


You're already there. She was at the tavern. Selena was at the tavern. You are at the tavern. If you're getting too tired, we can stop. Sleepiness affecting you?


"Well, he's got two friends that are either entangled with that crazy old wizard, so unless they show up in a minute or two, they're missing the boat."
I'll start heading towards the hold.
"They've got five minutes starting now. They're not here, we go on. Time's a-wasting and I've got business in Autumnsreach."


Vlad seems unconcerned. "I'm sure they'll catch up. All the better for some alone time between us, no, my beautiful foreign flower?"


just a little, but I also can't remember too well after a while
Oh yeah, man I'm still feeling a bit drowsy… Kinda Dunno what to do too


The town holds many excitements, you just have to seek them out!


"Flattery gets you nothing, Prince. I'm not some pond lily courtesan that you might be used to. If anything, I'm more like a sea urchin. So I'd prefer if you'd speak to me without the fancy language. And you'll probably be expected to pull your weight if you're riding with us, since it's gonna be pretty cramped down there."


"Oh? I am not trying to flatter, merely stating the truth, as evident to all observers, no? Besides, I do not think your crewmen would like me getting in the wa–"

Irons stuffs a bundle of ropes into his hooves. "Haul these lines."

Vlad looks disappointed, but helps, grudgingly. Irons ushers you toward the stairs. "Probably better to head back under, we're about to submerge. What a day."


"And it's only just started. Don't be too hard on him, I don't think he's got much experience with boats. And he did carry me back here, at least."
Sighing heavily, I'll head belowdecks.


Well why the heck not?! Let's go outside and seek some adventure!
'1d10' roll for things

Roll #1 3 = 3


Irons stops you for a moment at the other side of the threshold. As the waves roll over the sides of the ship, he's silhouetted by the rolling of the sea behind him, rising up to cover the deck, just beyond the magical border that seals in the air and out water. "Listen… Marina… I know this is probably the worst time to bring this up, but I've been meaning to make out with it for years, and now with all of these new ponies out of nowhere… I hate to do this to you, but I want to tell you, I've been trying to work up the courage to ask you out for along time. It's not about this heiress thing. That's not important to me. I know it's the last thing you want on your mind right now, but I just wanted it off my chest, now that everyone else is going to try to take you. Just… remember that you have options. You don't have to choose someone for politics."

He gives you a meaningful look, and returns to his dutiful command of the ship, drawing in a line as he heads for the helm, out the barrier. That was… surprisingly candid for him. He's muscular and a hard worker, but you never took him for the crush type.

Vlad bursts through the water barrier, spitting out a mouthful of water. "Eugh. I would not have minded a warning about how quickly this ship dives."

There seems to be a trail of broken metal pieces leading out to the bad side of town… Looks intriguing to a dog like you.




Well, that's something I don't know how to deal with right now.
"It depends on who's driving, actually. And the weather. On a clear day like today, well, you saw how fast it went under."
I'll let a small chuckle escape.
"Now, I suppose I should get the rest of the crew who isn't busy used to the sight of you. This way."
And it's off to the hold to rejoin Lilly and Lamplight.


Lilly and Marina

Marina returns from above, with a jet-black batpony in tow. He's wearing light leather armor and a bronze circlet.


Those junk pieces are tempting… investigate?

Selena and Maeda
The bar is quite rowdy this morning, so clearly it wasn't lack of adventurers explaining why Maeda's posting wasn't heeded.


"Wha-? Who is this guy?"


Go eat with Maeda.
I'll ask Maeda how she is doing with the prep.


She seems to be absorbed in her work.

"This word in your language, is ah, one who rescues, yes?"


Can I ask some background questions?
What are Aira and Aria like, from what I know from them?


"Lilly, this is Prince Vlad of… he never actually mentioned. He and his two friends saved me from being kidnapped a bit ago. Apparently when my mom took over the Aquamarine City, that made me a princess and now in the span of a morning I've run into four different suitors."


Aira Springleaf, 20 years old
Class: Bard
Cutie Mark: Lute

Aira is a dreamer and her heart's of gold. She never really seemed to pay much attention when you tried to get her into the family business, but she liked stories about your mom and performing. Doesn't she know that a stable life is better than one on the road hoping you'll get to eat that day?

Aria Springleaf, 20 years old
Class: Shaman
Cutie Mark: Lightning Bolt

Aria took an interest in your garden and Sunny at an early age, but it wasn't long after that she began to chafe under your ground-bound lifestyle. She has dreamed of moving to a pegasus city for a long time, and it was no secret she hoped to fund something to that effect with this trip. More brash and headstrong than Aira, she is interested in the chief industries of the pegasi, cloud manipulation and weather applications.

Anything else?

"I am the son of Grand Duke Vlad IV, making me Vlad V. I am the heir apparent to the seat at the Lonely Tower, which holds in its demesne all of Transcastria."


"Princess? But it's not a kingdom!"


"Princess is, how you say, a more general term than that."


"I see."
"Well, my mom's also the high priestess of what's left of the Lunar religion, so… yeah."
"There's that, too."


"It is a beautiful country. You should allow me to show it to you. The views will take one's breath away."


I look cross.
"It's not really fair though is it? Sons of dukes and priestesses all being called princes and princesses? Where do we draw the line here? Am I a princess because my mother was a sea captain?"


"She is a princess because she is marrying me, a prince."


"Perhaps, but now is certainly not the-"
I'll sigh a bit.
"As I've told my other suitors, I'm not really 'on the market' yet. I've got things to do. So far your saving grace is that you aren't three times my age and are actually polite."
Though Irons is too, but that's a different matter.


"But if princess Celestia is the same rank as you… does that make your father more powerful? I mean no offense but you don't look like a demigod to me! I'm sort of jealous of your wings though."


Hmmm, since Maeda is busy I should go take a look upstairs.
I'll ask the innkeeper how to gain entrance upstairs.


Vlad has a dark and distant expression for a moment. "Princess Celestia took the name Princess instead of Empress hundreds of years ago as a political move. She believes this makes her less intimidating to her subjects. She should not be underestimated."

The visage clears up so quickly, it's almost like it was never there.

"In any case, I would not say that Celestia and I are the same by any measure."


"You can either subscribe, or sometimes a month of subscription will be given out for winning a contest. The whole subscriber model was come up with by DLC!"


"Who's DLC?"


She scratches her head with a hoof. "Didn't I mention him to you the first night you blew into town?"


"I'm not underestimating Celestia, believe me. I really hope I never have to meet her, because that'd only spell trouble for me.

Anyway, I'm Lilly Belle. Nice to meet you."


"You mentioned him, but I don't think you went into detail…"


"A friend of the princess-to-be is a friend of mine. Charmed."

He outstretches a hoof to accept yours.

"Delano Landry Charles is the primary franchise holder. He owns just about every building and business in New Earth, besides most of the ships! He made his fortune back in the day in the microtransactions industry, but now he's looking into other business models. He lives on a palace ship out in the bay, one of those merchant galleons."


"My, a high roller. What kind of contests can get you a subscription? Is one going on now?"


"Hey… Who's leaving all the garbage around?" I start following the trail with curiosity as I try to make out more of the metal pieces

Roll #1 1 = 1


Shake it daintily.
"Well honestly, all these politics are way above me so I won't concern myself with them. You bats like the night though, right?"


"Tonight, I believe there's a ring-throwing competition. It'll be in the basement, also known as the sub-floor. Great contests are running every night. It could happen, only on the sub-floor."

You get so caught up in following the wreckage that you don't even notice when you walk face-first into a big heap of metal and plaster. It looks like you ended up at some kind of junkyard out on the beach. Half of the stuff is floating away into the water. Based on the beached, dead fish, you're guessing it's pretty toxic. There's a ram here, pouring small metal fragments into a nearby chute. In spite of the loud noise of shrapnel falling off the pile you bumped, he doesn't pay you any mind.

He draws your hoof up and kisses it. He flashes you a fanged smile. "You could say that. Certainly, Luna is close to our… hearts."


"And Nightmare Moon?"


"Daily contests, that sounds neat.
Can I sign up here?"


"Ow Ow… Hey,Mister goat guy, what is up with all the metal? It's… Kinda Killing the fish…"


He raises a brow. "She's gone, is she not?"

She wags a hoof. "Only on the sub. Floor."

He turns around. He has huge, thick glasses and looks pretty old.

"Eh? Speak up, whipper snapper!"


"Thank you!"
Hmm, still a long time until that.

I'll check up on Aira.
Knock on the door and peek in.
Is she still sleeping?


I shrug.
"I never delved into theology so all I know are the generic tales, but I know there's still some servants of her out there and they're a right pain!"


No, she's up and about, prodding Sunny.

"If only the rest of the world were so black and white, it would certainly make things easier, hm?"


"Good morning!"
Open the door and go in.


"I said what is the deal with all this metal, Mister goat guy!" She speaks up, a little weirded out


"I have some words of wisdom of my own: Never touch or remove cursed artifacts that belong to Luna or Nightmare Moon or whatever you want to call her!"


She blinks a few times. "You're very chipper this morning."

"Eh? Oh, this… just a little old-fashioned RE-cycling my boy."

"So I've heard. Or any other religious artifacts, for that matter."


"I'm just happy you're feeling better!"
Open the curtains.
"Do you feel like going for a walk?"


"I feel like getting my stuff back. Some of my things might still be here, or maybe in holding if they cleaned out my room. But my guitar is still in the clutches of some cultist."


"Hey, I'm not a boy! And… Wait, you're not the one throwing metal on the sea? Who did this then?"


"This is a dump, my boy. A dump!"


"They're not old pony tales, which I learned the hard way! But I'll be free again soon. And able to sleep again! Do you know how long it's been since I had a decent night of rest? I can only take nightmare fueled naps these days!"


"Maeda thinks they're in Enkilj. We're preparing to go there and save Aria, as well as your guitar."


"It sounds terrible. Perhaps you will sleep better now that I am near. I have been said to have, as you say, a calming presence."

Nothing else eventful happened that day.

"That's what I gleaned from earlier. I'm just a little lost without something to put my energy into. I guess we could go for a walk. I'll show you around town."


''A dump?…In the sea? why are they allowing this even?…Also what are you gonna recycle all this metal into, mister?''


"Oh, that's a great idea!"


"Well, this seemed like the cheapest way, I'll wager. As for that, my boy, I'm planning to build a ship that can fly… TO THE MOON!"

"It may look small, but it's actually surprisingly full of activity…"

You spend the rest of the day looking around town. The ring throwing competition is soon.





I want to talk some to her.
"How are you feeling?"
Look at her belly, is she healing?


I should avoid it when I can.


Gasp in surprise ''Wait you what? to the moon? That's MY idea!''



It looks pretty scarred, still. Though that could be due to the graft.

It's difficult to stay awake without anything to occupy you. Got something to do?

"Nope, pretty sure it was my idea. Had it back in '62. A good year!"


"We should do something about that!"


I raise a finger to speak
''B-but I…I thought…'' Start rubbing my arm ''Well this is kinda awkward now…Uuuh…What is your name mister? Mine is Rhanna''


I doubt Red's book is enough to keep me awake. It's heavy stuff.

Maybe I can make some rough dice with my survival skills! Playing a dice game with someone might be fun.

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"I hope you're not eating that level one slop!"

You knap some wooden dice.

Who will you try to keep up all night with your dice?

"Oh, most folks call me Old Ram MacMeal, but you can call me Old Ram, boy."


"You mean what they serve in the bar?"


My new friend Vlad! And maybe Marina.


''Uh…Well mister Ram…'' I sit down, picking a piece of the metal and closely examining it ''Why you wanna go to the moon anyway?…''
'1d10' appraise

Roll #1 9 = 9


Vlad plays with you for a bit. Marina has had a full day and wants to sleep. Roll 2d10 Skill/Wakefulness.

It looks to be iron scraps. These particular scraps came off barn hinges. They're badly rusted.

"To prove I can, boy, why else does anyone do anything?"

"On the first floor, yeah. You know, the PUBLIC floor."



What a nice guy! It's a shame Marina is already going to marry him.

Roll #1 4, 4 = 8


''Huh…Well that's…Kind of a really weird coicidence because that's kinda the same reason why I wanted to go to the moon…''
''By the way…Are you sure you wanna use this iron? it's awfully oxidated…''


"Wants to sleep" can be replaced with "wants to help her friend stay awake". So I'm good for a game or five.


"You make it sound like that's a bad thing…"


You play poorly, which makes Vlad more willing to play. Normally you would pass out, but you barely manage to stay awake because of your game.

You press on until morning.

"Iron won't work anyway, it's just a component for refining."

You make the same check, then, you're staying up all night?

"C'mon mom, it didn't take us long to realize that you have to subscribe if you want all the best benefits."


"So you subscribe and then you get good food for free?"


"No, but you get the privilege of paying for more expensive, higher quality food…"


''Really?…Are you like…Working alone on your won with this? Don't get me wrong but it might be awfully difficult to get stuff done all on your oooown…''


"….So you pay so you can pay for more expensive food?"


"Well, you haven't seen what I've done so far on my own, eh, boy?"

"Right, but it's better food, and since you're on the upper floors, everyone can see you eating it."


Not all night, but a few hours. '2d10'

Roll #1 7, 3 = 10


Victory! Eat a big one, Nightmare Moon!

How much further to Autumnsreach?


''Ooh…Do you have a spaceship already?!''


"And you and Aria did that?
You're adventurers, you should be saving your money, not spend it on frivolities!"
Go into preaching mode.
"When I was an adventurer, I saved everything I had! Why on board of the ships we sometimes got to eat the seaweed from the side of the ship. And I never complained, because that's the sacrifices you make if you want to build up savings! If I hadn't done that, why I might never have been able to buy my shop!"


You stay up pretty easily. Vlad is pleased that you are so easily defeated at the game, but takes his victory quite gracefully.

DAWN OF THE SECOND DAY - 48 hours remain

"Maybe I do, boy. Guess you'll have to come see."

"You don't get it mom, being part of society is important. I should've expected this from the mare who won't work with any guilds and doesn't even go out on the town anymore!"


''Oooh maaaaan can I? can I really? Where is it? where where?!''


"You're throwing away everything you earned to this DLC pony and for what? So you can show off to other ponies who are also giving their money to DLC. Do you think that will make you happy?"


Well, there's that.
In the morning, it's time for breakfast. Hope they like fish, because it's what we're having. Forever.


Aaaaawh. This is torture.



Delicious torture. Look, it's even smiling at you.


"Eh, out in the forest, but I've got some errands to finish up before I head back…"

"It already did make me happy. And by the way, more than the actually adventuring part. You sure talk that up, but it got me kidnapped, drugged, and stabbed! But I put up with that for the part that I do like!"

Vlad makes short work of his fish. Lilly is probably getting sick of it.

Things are slow. Vlad doesn't seem to mind the slow rate and never seems to get tired. He just patiently lounges on his bed. Irons looks in from the upper deck probably a little more than was necessary but never says anything.

The day passes quite slowly… Around noon you can feel the ship shaking as it breaks free of the water. You can hear the crow yell: "Land, ho! Equestria is now in sight!"




Open my mouth and close it again.
Stay calm Selena. You'll seem like an old pony.

"You know what, perhaps you're right. I haven't tried it. I was thinking about trying in the Ring competition this evening so I could see what it was all about."


''Aww…Like what? oh oh oh oh I can help!''


Well, too bad. She'll have to wait until we hit Autumnsreach for anything else. Seaweed only goes so far.


You're enjoying this aren't you? Next time I'm bringing my own supplies.

… When I have money of my own again.


Hey, a mare works with what she has at hoof. Don't worry, when we get to Autumnsreach, I'll make whatever you want. Assuming we can find the ingredients.


Sometime later….

I see Emrille again in the bar! I canter to her.
"You know, drinking is bad for you."


Snicker and put the glass down.
"Don't worry, I won't get knocked up with twins from it."
Snicker again at my own joke.
"So, you're back, huh?"


My left ear flaps all on its own!
"As you can see."
Sit down and order a drink as well.
"I'll be leaving soon for Enkilj. Maybe I'll come back here afterwards, this seems like a nice place to settle down!"


"Told you so."
"Well, you know, if you make it out alive."


"You're doubting I will?"


"I'm not, I'm just reminding you how many fucking times we died back in the day. Ain't no fucking freaky necromancer here to scrape us up from the floor now."
Smirk and pat my pistol holster.
"At least here showing this off is enough. Nopony wants to start trouble in a small place like this. Not even me!"


"Say, do you know about the VIP area upstairs?"


"Yeah? What about it?"


"Aira was talking about it today.
She told me you needed a subscription to get in. So you could buy the more expensive food in there, and show off to other ponies.
And apparently all kinds of adventurers are spending all their money there, just to show off."
Shake my head.
"I thought she and Aria might be a little more prudent…"


"Hey, I used to be like that back in the day too. Loved to spend that blood money on frivolous shit that made no sense. Drinking and taking my spot here is more than enough now."


"Yeah, but you didn't pay a subscription for the privilege to do it.
Somehow this feels illegal.
Like what are they even paying for?"


"They pay so they can pay more.
I have to say, I thought you'd have less stupid kids."


"They're just going along with the crowd. Everypony here seems to be doing it!
Whoever this DLC character is, he's very good at misleading ponies."


Sip on my drink.
"Whoa, that got you worked up, didn't it?"


"They're not stupid, just a bit inexperienced. We all did stupid things once!"


"Well… more like a lot of times.
We were pirates."


"At least we didn't have to pay Abilio for the privilege of being a pirate."


"No, but that fucking sheep or goat or whatever the fuck she was, I bet she was ripping us off with the fucking doubloons."


"You mean that disgusting slimy pony?"

The sheep was yarr 1, remember the crystal pon covered in slime.


Wave a hoof.
"Ehh… maybe you weren't even there. Fuck all of them, is what I'm getting at. I could have had more gold!"


"You can't enjoy gold if you're dead."


"I can be buried with money!"


"I'd rather not. I wouldn't want some greedy zebra digging up my coffin for the money."


"That's why you trap it! With a gun! Someone tries to open it and then BANG!"
Hit the bar with my hoof.


"That's going through a lot of trouble just to be buried with gold."


"You can also kill from beyond the grave, and how fucking cool is that?"


"It only works once!"


"Five times, if we go with the revolver."


"You have it all planned out."


"That's right. Be careful when you bring me flowers."


"Now I'm not so sure if I'd want to visit your grave."


Fake a pout.
"You couldn't stop crying, I bet."


"I would be sad.
I bet you'd want to be buried with your gun as well."


"Well, how else will I use it to shoot graverobbers?"


"I thought you'd use a smaller one.
That one looks impractical for a trap."


"A gun smaller than my pistol? That's not a gun, that'd be a peashooter."
"Plus, y'know, it's the only one I still have."


"It is a nice gun."


Narrow my eyes.
"Don't even dream about it, you're not getting it."
"I do remember how fond of it you were when I shot right next to your ear with it~"


"My ear still doesn't feel completely right."


"You were freaking the fuck out, screaming at me 'oh gosh what if you shot me!'"
"As if I ever miss!"


"I never did get an apology…"


"Sorry I guess? It was still a good joke, though, admit it."


"Fine, you scared me."


"You know I'd never actually shoot you~"


Give you a shiggy diggy look.
"Are you still trying to seduce me?"


Give you an innocent look and flutter my eyes.
"I don't know, am I?"


"Hmmm, you're definitely flirting."


"Hey, I can't help it, okay? Old flames die hard and all that!"


Stick out my tongue.
"You're just incurable."


"Then why are you showing me your cute little tongue?~"


"To give you something to think about when you're going back to Tela."


Glance down at your blue flank.
"Should have showed me something else in that case!"


Slip my cape a bit up, showing a little bit more flank.


Grin up at you for a second.
"Oh my~
You're keeping in shape I see!"


Enjoy the look on your face.
"Adventuring is good for the physique."


"That definitely shows!"
Keep enjoying the show!


"You should be ashamed, still on the prowl at your age~" I say teasingly.


"Hey, chalk it up as something that should have happened decades ago!"


"It was a bit your own fault you know! Always been such a loudmouth."


"Do fucking enlighten me then! How does a dyke charm a Selena?"


"I don't think a dyke ever did. But you could have been a lot more romantic!"


"You mean sharing a cloud shower or someshit?"


"That would have gone a long way! Or drinking some tea and listening! I have to admit, you became a better conversation partner with age."


"I'm in no rush to anywhere but dying now, so I can afford to take it slow!"


"Well, I like it!"


"You like it slow and steady, huh?"


"I definitely do!"


"Savoring every second?"


"Just as much as you~"


"Now I almost want to find a nice little cloud."
Smirk at you.


"I'm afraid I'll need to go. Business calls."
Walk away from the bar and "accidentally" drop a coin.
Bend over slowly, giving you a good look from behind before walking off.


Get a very good look with a grin.
"I'm here anytime you need me~"


It looks like Maeda is finished looking over her papers and is free to talk.

First thing you did upon entering The Upper Hoof is ask for some answers about why no one responded to your job posting. Apparently people want 'official' quests approved by the town council. You've just finished reading their paperwork with your superior investigative skills. It's actually not that hard to apply, if someone can brave the daunting paperwork as well as you. However, the processing will take about three days. You've already picked up a form here at the tavern and have filled out most of the general information. It looks like questing is actually subsidized – that is, the town will match your reward on certain applicable quests, which is actually really great for you. Once you've selected a reward and projected timetable, you can submit it and get it approved and rated for difficulty.

Marina & Lilly
Roll Perception

"Hmmm… welp, not much. I gotta get some steel oats at the general store, and dredge some crab boxes along the shore, but after that, we can go."

Night. Things are quiet now, but they won't be soon. You have business to take care of. If you can just get to the docks across town… It would be too much to ask for that it goes smoothly. You are currently at 世俗的な歓喜のハウス [Megumi's House of Worldly Delights], a walled apartment complex that the Yakuza "offers" as housing to those they don't want going anywhere. You are on the third floor, in your personal room. The walls are paper in more ways than one. You're all packed, the floor is cold. You are all alone. You must reach the docks.


What kind though?

Roll #1 2 = 2


I'm a perceptive horse. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Where is that pone?


''I'll get the oats for you! And we meet here then we can go to your place! I just need the cash though!''


I don't actually remember how much money I have on me.


I must follow the way of the ninja and hide in plain sight like ghost insect. I try to disguise myself as a monk. Nobody will dare bother me that way!

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


2+3 = 5 and 3

You distract yourselves with talking. It's not until much later in the day that Lamp Light approaches, slogging through the water, and asks: "Was the water this high before?"

The rabbit hole is completely submerged, though Itztli doesn't seem to mind.

"Oh, I don't deal in money. It's a heinous sin. Give the stallion at the desk this…!"

He drops what appears to be a compact cube of iron in front of you that he has extracted from his machine.

Maeda is also here at the tavern.


You bind back your mane and tail, and throw on some loose-fitting garments. Now to escape the premises without raising the alarm. Better be careful around those who might recognize you.


My ears perk up and I raise my head from the stack of paperwork!
Something happened?"
Gasp in panic!
"Is it your daughters?"


Right so. Put down 100bits as reward per person, 4 persons required.
What are the requirements to have the reward matched?


I sure hope Aira is with me.

"What? No! I wanted to know how the preperations for the Enkilj expedition are going."


Carefully hold it
'1d10' appraise
''Aye aye, mister! I'll be right back!…''
head out to find the general store

Roll #1 1 = 1


Sigh and pat on the papers.
"Slow, but steady."


"What the… what's going on now? Marina! Did you forget to close a window?"


"How can I help?
What do you need to do?
Can't we just…pack up and leave?"
Look over the papers.


It has to be rated at least a level 5 quest, whatever that means. You glean it has something to do with difficulty. Maybe someone around here in this adventurer tavern could help you estimate your own if you're worried.

Yes, she's here at the bar, but distracted by ordering from the "low quality first floor menu".

That… sure is some rusty iron!

You wander the streets a bit. Roll common sense to find the store, this place is kinda weirdly laid out.


"What? No, it wasn't. We shouldn't be taking on water unless we're going under."
I'll frown a bit.
"You didn't happen to see a hole or anything, did you?"
"We're above water. The only thing that'd be sinking us is if we were going back down, or if there's a hole."


This is an application for official quest designation by New Earth. It says it will be processed in 3 business days, guaranteed.


She climbs out of the water onto a bed.


"Sure, we can, but the two of us alone will accomplish ver-"
Cough, looking at Aria.
"The three of us, alone, will accomplish little!
So I'm looking to recruit help, but that will take time. They have a whole procedure in this town.
Three days."
It's paperwork, they must have an office!


They do, you can turn it in at the Port Authority.


I can just get to the deck then? Time to investigate!


"Quest designation? How about just asking ponies?"


Grumble a bit.
"Alright, you two stay put and stay dry, I'm going to get the crew to check the hull and belowdecks. Hopefully it's nothing serious and we can pump this water out of here."
And with that, I'll head up to the rest of the crew.


'1d10' true enoguh

Roll #1 10 = 10


"I tried last night, not a soul replied.
Follow me, more paperwork to do!"


I'll be subtle about it. Is there a window I can hop through?


"What? I was listening!"

You head up. Looks like the ship isn't submerged right now, you can see the Equestrian coast. Irons has the helm, but in general the crew are relaxed right now and not at stations. Vlad is circling high above.

"Duh, mom, no one's gonna go on a quest if they won't get credit. Plus, DLC will give you extra experience if you buy his chips."

You turn a corner and walk right into the door. That was easy! This place is stuffed with all kinds of stuff. You imagine you could buy just about anything legal here, and you pick your way over a stack of music boxes and through a maze of lingerie to the counter.

You head over to the Port Authority and take a number. Again.

Looks like a light wait in the morning, though.

Not as such. There's a sliding paper door, but you're on the third floor with no balcony. You slide it open just to check. There's a tree across the way… it would be a difficult jump, but if you make it, you could get out of here easily. On the other hand, failure would hurt and certainly alert the guards.



Follow her to the port authority.


"You know, if you want to level up and take better quests. Plus, there's a leaderboard."


Clear my throat.
"I'm not sure if you ponies are aware, but we're sinking."


"Hey, Irons. We seem to be taking on water, or it didn't drain right when we came up. You want me and a few other guys to check the hull for holes?"
I'll look over the crew.
"It'll give them something to do, at least."


"….What? You're speaking in riddles!"


Geez why would ponies need so much clothing anyways? they usually walk around naked!
Anyways, time to find those darn oats! no getting distracted!


"Wait wait wait. Aria. How does this work?
What qualifies as a five star quest?"


If I fail my jump I still have my wings! But I don't want to make too much noise with my flapping wings so I guess I've gotta try sneaking out. Pop a smoke bomb for dramatic effect and activate my Chameleon smoke!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Dixie Red questions, "Sinking?"

"Hm… Could be that magical octopus I had to fight off the other day. Magic fish to damage a magic boat. Pity there's no bilge on this thing. Boys, get the buckets. In the mean time, you're the best swimmer on the ship. Have a look?"

"You're hopeless sometimes, mom!"

You can't find any sorts of oats on the food aisle that are "steel", just regular oats. Hmm…

"You mean level five, right? It's a measure of difficulty. Like, a level one quest could be done by just about anypony, but it takes a lot of small quests to save up to level 5 in experience, so the theory is you'd be ready for a level 5 if you can finish a bunch of level 4s. 5 is pretty dangerous, though. I've heard they go as high as ten, overall, but it's rare to see them much over 5 or 6. Speaking of, I know they were re-evaluating the difficulty of quests in Enkilj recently."


You vanish in a blink, though you make less of a convincing monk now. Where to?


"..I'm sorry…it just seems so weird to me to have all these things just to go on an adventure…."


"How hard does 'kill every last cultist in Enkilj with an Inquisitor' sound?"


"Alright. Hope it's nothing serious, because I'm not sure how we'll repair this thing."
I'll give Lilly a little wave and then dive off the ship. Let's look for cracks, holes, and other things that might lead to leaks. '1d10'
Swear to Luna, if there's a leek down here that's causing this, I'm going to be so incredibly angry at Discord.

Roll #1 5 = 5


weird…Better go ask the clerk or somepony on the counter then!
''Um..Excuse me, I'm looking for Steel oats, you have 'em?''


I huff.
"I'll have you know I'm a very good swimmer as well."


"Well, most people don't plan their own adventures, they just go get one from the quest givers, or a quest board."

"The whole city? That's like… a war! Level ten, I guess? The place is huge, even the artifact quest I went on was a level four and we just needed to recover some pottery from the outskirts. Plus, there are… you know, rumors."

No cracks that you can make out, but there is something… odd. Some kind of shadow clings to the bottom starboard side of the ship. It's large, and sways in the water like a reef.

The stallion chuckles. "Here for Old MacMeal, eh? I've got you covered, right here. You have the shipment?"

He places a box of steel bullets on the counter. They're .50 caliber!

"Never seen you fly, ma'am, but she's half fish."


Adaptation is important for a ninja! I'm going downstairs so I can just sneak out one of the ground level exits.


"That's racist!"


"Tell me about the rumors."


"Hmmmmph…well if that's how it is, then we'll do it that way…"


Swim back up.
"There's something on the bottom of the ship. Can you toss me a stick or something? I don't want to touch it, since it looks gross."


Give her my sword.
"Just so you know, you're crew made a racist remark behind your back."


You slide open your door as stealthily as possible. Once in the complex proper, you can roll Perception on any room to get a better idea of what is inside of it. Otherwise, it's so dark that you will only be informed of things you clearly remember and moving creatures.

This hall is silent and empty. You hear the soft patter of hooves approaching.

Irons just laughs bemusedly. "Why don't you come up here with me and watch the waves while we wait?"

"They may just be trying to drum up hype for the end of this quest season, but they say that the cultists of Enkilj are summoning a Dark God to destroy the world. Probably just hype."



I blink
''Wait a minute these are bullets for guns…I wanted Steel oats mist-Ooooooooh…Oh…'' Realization suddenly hits me as I feel stupid for a moment
''Yeah I got it right here…'' put the weird rusted metal thingy on the counter


"Sow 'em wisely. Thanks for your business."

He takes the iron cube and lowers the box so you can reach it more easily.


"Whaaat? They wouldn't do that."
Once I've got the sword, I'll dive back down and head towards that shadowy thing. See if I can't get a closer look at it before I go nuts with Lilly's sword.


Perception roll. I have the keen eyes of a hawk on the hunt and the ears of an hunted rabbit at the same time.

Roll #1 6 = 6


It seems to almost glow in a sinister fashion. But in an opposite sort of way that absorbs light. Creepy. It is roughly shaped like coral, you imagine… or maybe a huge, lumpy barnacle.


Fly up there.
"I've seen enough waves lately, I'm ready to look at some earth instead!"


"Nah, they are pretty spot on."
Reply matter-of-factly.
"I think we need to talk with the pony in charge here. Who is that?"


Of course it does. Because nothing on this ship makes sense.
Welp, swim up to the bottom of the ship, and attempt to wedge it off with the tip of the sword. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


''Thank you mister! oh can I have a caramel too?'' Hand him one of the twenty so bits I had with me
''…Actually make it two'' give one more bit


There is a suspiciously still mouse scanning the halls on the other end. Yakuza Animal-Watcher, maybe.

The noise coming toward you is just your next-door roommate, Mei Nuo Ping. She's a troubled mare. Deep in debt related to drug abuse. You doubt she's leaving any time soon. She slides open her door and closes it behind her.

He points out to the shore. "This is northern Equestria, as we're following the Middle Seas current. We're somewhere in Mildwinter, which is not far south from Snowborder."

"Woah, how could you know that?!"

Your number gets called at the desk.

"As for the pony in charge, everyone knows that's DLC!"

It skitters across the boat with surprising speed and settles onto the port side.

That was… one of the creepiest things you've ever seen. And you grew up part of the time inside a Discordian city.


He drops a couple of caramel drops down to you.


Bump in.
"Wait, DLC is also in charge of the port authority? I thought he was a businesspony?"


Turn to the desk.
"I need to see DLC. Right now."
Shine my badge.
"Inquisition business. And lucrative business."


That's… yeah that's weird, alright.
Swim back up.
"Hey, Irons, think you can spare a guy or two from the bucket line? The thing on the bottom of the ship moved. Like, skittered. I'd feel more comfortable removing it with some help."


Have I been in this region before? I mean I doubt it since I used to work on the east coast…

"Is there really no way to go faster than this?"
Rub my tired eyes.


I've no time for druggies. I can't risk offering help! I'm gonna wait for a moment to see what happens.


"DLC owns just about everything in town, including the quest approval board and port authority."

The pony at the desk turns a shade of white. The manager comes over from the office in back. "Inquisition? The government of New Earth accepts no responsibility for works produced by its citizens. Creative works are the sole property of their producers except when being sold, in which case a royalty may be assessed."

"That's… weird. Do you think we should pull over on the shoreline?"

"We're making surprisingly good time. The current is very strong. This is the fastest you can travel by sea."


The mouse scans the corridor a few more times and then heads down the stairs. It's all quiet in this hall.


"That might be best, in case it decides to try and scuttle the boat instead of going quietly."


Look at Maeda.


Pop one in my mouth and savor it as I go back to the old goat


"Calm your horses, I'm not here to stir up trouble. I need to talk contracts with DLC.
A big, juicy contract."


"Skittering? Give me back my sword! I'll have a go at taking it out."


He takes a close look at your badge. "Well. He'll be in from his ship to speak to the Quest Board later today. If it's really so urgent, you could talk to him then. Right now, he's out on the Pleasure Cruise, which is his personal galleon, out in the bay."

"Right, let's pull over first, just so we don't go down with the ship."

Irons guides it close to shore, and the other workers help tie it up.


He's back, fighting with a crab cage to get it up the shore.

"Ah, there you are. And you got the oats! Good."


Move on ahead and go down those stairs…


''yeah, weird why you call bullets that…why you need these for anyways?''


"This actually works well for me, I have business to attend to before the day ends.
Where is he lives?"


You'll get that once we're in place.
"It's gonna be rough unless you can breathe underwater. It might run up on land, though."
And I guess I'll get my spear from storage after we lay anchor.


"Oh my, you hear that Aira, we'll talk to this DLC!"


This room is dark. It's the second floor common room. Unlike your floor, which is structured with doors off halls, this one has a large central room with rooms off of it. They're smaller than your apartment. There's a housekeeper cleaning a nearby room, and a Yakuza thug sitting in a commonroom chair.

"Well, I have my rights. Anyway, let's get goin'."

He gives the cage another jerk and begins to tow it along.

"He spends most of his days living on the Pleasure Cruise."

"Kinda intimidating, but I guess she knows what she's doing."

When you make port, Irons leads several other ponies down below the ship with you. They most of them are sea ponies, but Irons is an Earth Pony with a waterbreath necklace your mother gifted to him a while back.

"Let's get to it."


"Well then. I will be visiting him soon enough, announce me. Maeda Tree with the Equestrian Inquisition."
"Now girls! Who's up for a trip to the good old monastery full of dead ponies?"


"My, I better wash up before meeting him!"
Check out my hat, do I hve to clean it?"

"Huh? What good will that do? Will it give….expierenshe?"


"No. It will fulfill a vision."


Yarr, let's begin our cleaning of this weird-ass thing on the bottom of the ship.


Follow him
''Are those bullets fooooor…Fighting against weird space creatures you find?'' Make pew pew noises as I shoot the air with gun hands


More perceptiveness!

Roll #1 8 = 8


My fucking sword please?


I gave it back when we dropped the anchor!


"You're not thinking of going out to the Pleasure Cruise are you? No one visits DLC. He'll be on the shore later this afternoon, speaking to the board on the fourth floor of The Upper Hoof. Here… take this note, the bouncers will let you in."

Got ledger!

The hat remains fine because it is magic. The rest of your clothes could use some cleaning, though.

You approach. Irons closes and stabs at it, but it immediately detaches from the boat, swims to land with a single thrust, and takes off across the landscape.

"Not our problem anymore… no way that will come back to bite us, do you think?"

"More like weird creatures trespassing on my property!"

You start to head out of town into the jungle.

There's a service tunnel near you – used for maid services. It's cramped, but it would allow you to bypass the room.


I look mildly disappointed.
"I sort of wanted to stab it too."


"Oh fine, you overtly dramatic horses."
How long does the trip to and back from the monastery take?


I will use that tunnel. Burrowing underground like hidden mole.


I'll get that done immediately after the monastery thing

Are Aira's clothes okay?



Sigh a bit.
"I'm sure it will, now that I'm apparently a desirable kidnapping target."
Shake my head.
"Well, let's bail out the rest of the boat, then get back underway. We don't have the time to hunt it down, since Lilly's on a tight schedule."
I'll look towards the land mass. Any trees with fruit we could pick real quick? Lilly might enjoy something other than fish for once.


"No, I'm being literal! I had a vision about a book in that library!"


By air? Maybe half an hour one way. By land, probably an hour each way.

"It moved really fast underwater. Weird."

Not so much underground, as you are still on the second floor. The tunnel exits into two rooms, or there's a vent to the outside. You might be able to leap to the wall from here, if you want to chance it.

She doesn't have clothes, she was naked when you found her!

Roll Survival to search for fruit.


"Aira! What happened to your clothes?"



Roll #1 7 = 7



Watch and learn, fishy. Survival forage.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"They got stolen, remember? I told you this morning I wanted to find out if the town still had my stuff."

No trees bearing fruit, but you do find some blueberries. They're not perfectly ripe, but they're far enough along to use.

You find the remains of a moose that collapsed, looks like it was shot and the hunter never found it. It's still fresh. And there are dandelions and honeysuckle here too.


Well, they'll certainly add a bit of tartness to things! Gather what I can, then make my way back to the boat.


Well I kinda need to go there myself. No idea what will happen once we reach the book.
What hour is it?


"I thought you had asked already!"


I'll just follow the tunnel! like… um I don't even know what kind of animal does that!



Although its body would make for a great sleeping place to combat the cold. I'm going for the flowers! Devour them all!


Go along as well, making sure to memorize the way back
'Soooo you live in the jungle?''



Like a maid animal. Want to exit here, or go into room 1, or room 2?

"I didn't want to run off on my own."

Hmm… Lilly hasn't returned yet.

Mmmmmmm… tasty.


"Well, let's ask it before we go to this monastery. If they lost your clothing, we'll need time to think of something."


I hope that thing didn't find her and decide to take her along.
Time to track her down. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Better than that fucking seaweed, I'll tell you that one for free.

Better return to my people though!


"Only place you can be free anymore. Law of the jungle."

"Right, I'll go by my old place. Where do you want to meet?"


Check room 1. Perception roll!

Roll #1 7 = 7


"We might have to push our visit to the monastery to after the talk with DLC anyway."


"Your old place?!? I want to see it! I'll come with you."

"Maeda, we need to go real quick, where shall we meet?"


You reunite. Lilly looks disheveled – messy hair, slightly drooling with sticky stuff around her lips.

Either she just had an orgasm, finished taking some intense drugs, or she found land food.


"Oh that makes it easier!"

"Let's go then!"


"I'm coming with you!"


Looks like a storage room. No one in here, but it looks like there's a spray bottle and a bag of coins. Potentially useful!

"Uhhh… no, I think it's better you stick with Maeda. I'll go alone."


''Law of the jungle? what law is that?''


"Oh, don't be silly. I'm coming along."



Yes. Take these two items and check the second room. Perception roll.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Well well.
"You must have found something tasty? I found some blueberries."


"You know – the strong survive. Or in this case, the well-armed! Anyway, we're nearly there, keep an eye out for traps!"

"Mom, you're embarrassing me, let me go alone, I'm a grown mare."

This is a dark passage. Looks like a narrow corridor that connects to the opposite side of the common room, so you can access the stairs down to level one.


"Dandelions… honeysuckle…"
Let out a delighted groan and move on.


When you return to the ship, Irons is pointing to the flag atop the mast. "A fair wind. Let's get going."


"I see. Did you remember to save any?"
"Aye aye, let's ship out."


"Well sure, sorry. But do tell me where it is at least? Maybe I can drop by some other time. And do you know a place where I can wash my clothes? If you're quick you can bring your clothes to me and I'll wash them too."


"I saved them from certain death by age."


Roll my eyes.
"Yes, but now you can't have any later."


"It's one of the apartment places, I had a longterm deal with Aria. Why don't you head by Windy Cleaners. They're out by the shore and just got in an amazing mechanical cleaning device."


"Cleaning device? So I won't have to use the old wash board? Okay! Well, I'll see you there right?"


This will work as long as no one lurks in the shadows by escaping my sharp eyes. Sneak further!


I will hang around and 'stealthily' follow her.


I shrug.
"That's future Lilly's problems, not mine."


"Are you coming with my, Maeda?"


"Yeah, I'll be by after, as soon as possible."

Roll stealthy ponoe.

You head down the stairs. This is the main room, you can see the front desk, the hall to the back rooms, the dining area, and the front door. Two thugs are guarding the door, maybe there's an alternate way out.

"I have a good feeling about this wind. We're better off now that we're rid of that ill omen."


"Good, see you later!" wave her off.


'1d10' g2g

Roll #1 8 = 8


"It was worth the weight though."
Pat my belly.


"I hope so."
"So is having more fish for dinner. But there will be blueberries in something later."




Perception roll? Maybe a window or something since I'm on the ground floor now!

Roll #1 1 = 1


''Y-you put traps around your house and don't even remember where you put them?!''
'1d10' look around

Roll #1 8 = 8


You break off and follow her back to the apartment district. For a moment she pauses in the middle of the street. Dive for cover with a roll! Then blend with a roll!
>In the alley to the right (long dive, high cover)
>The trashcan (small dive, medium cover)
>Another pedestrian (no dive, no cover)

Instead of a washboard setup and a clothing line, there are two mysterious boxes in the so-called laundry place.

As you set off, Irons comes down. "The crew is starting to get a little hungry. What do we have in the stocks?"

You hear movement behind you. You turn around, just in time to see something huge move around the corner.


"No, no. I mean, yes. Some of them. There are a lot, but I'm still pretty spry."

Your careful eyes allow you to narrowly avoid a pit trap!


What indeed! I need to hurry I think! Can I see any other exits anywhere?

Roll #1 9 = 9


These many rolls can only spell doom.

Roll #1 4, 1 = 5


"Has anyone like, tried to steal your idea ever, Mister?" I ask as I carefully follow along


There's a deadly silence.

Besides the front door, you remember a back exit through the kitchens. You might also find an alternate behind the service desk.

No windows – paper structure, remember? Though if you get desperate, you could bust through a wall.

"Ha! No, not the idea, but definitely the parts. Come here."

You finally round one last clump of trees and come to an old wooden shack surrounded by sandbag fortifications. There's a large pyramid figure covered up in a tarp nearby.

You're not exactly equipped with Stealth!

In any case, you make a dive for the trash can but loudly bang into it. Aira scrunches and flies off.


Oh for fuck's-
Okay, tell you what.
I'm gonna chase off her!
With a good dose of DREAM WINE!

Roll #1 7 = 7


I'm going to try to check behind the service desk.

Roll #1 8 = 8


In your dream, you see Aira laughing. She looks inebriated. There are bright lights. She's with Aria. They're walking home. It's raining. More lights. They fiddle with a door inside. Nearby the door you can see the right half of a sign


The sound of the door closing wakes you up.

You steathily roll over behind the service desk. You can see their front-end safe here, and a filing cabinet. It probably has a lot of details on the girls staying here. There is a sliding door to the back administrative office. You peak over the counter. The thugs are still at the front door.


Perfect. I have something to go off on.
Now all I need to do is write the paper sign around, make a sketch of it '1d10' and show it around asking for help.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Can I take my file along silently?

Roll #1 10 = 10


Most adventurers aren't exactly what you'd call "intelligent". You pick a few random passersby out of the crew and they can't make heads or tells of the gibberish. Ugh.

Looks like it's up to someone with brains.

You very quietly slide open the file cabinet and withdraw your file. It has some cursory overview in plain Neighponese, but it's partially encrypted. At least they don't have it anymore.

One of the thugs starts to head for the kitchen.


Bag it and sneak into the office if I can. More perception rolls!

Roll #1 7 = 7


Someone with brains…
The local surgeon!


You very quietly open the door to the office. You hear movement behind you.

The office is small and cramped. There's a big carpet covering most of the floor, so you can move quietly in here. You feel an unnatural draft. There is no ventilation here. In the corner, you see a toad perched on table. It is extremely dark in this room.

I meant you, but okay, you can ask him, too.

The barbarian barber looks up from cleaning his scalpel as you enter. "RETURNING FOR SOME SERVICE?"


"This is where you live? Ooh, is that it?!" I point at the pyramid figure


"Of a sort, and yes, this is my property. Always defending it against all sorts of unsavory anti-intellectuals."

He starts unstaking the tarp. "Gotta keep it under the tarp with all this weather we have…"


You are too much of a flatterer.
I did not remember the guy was a barbarian, on top of being a barber.
"No. Do you know this half of a sign?"


Another animal spy, so I gotta be quiet like a summer breeze. Try to feel for the source of the draft!

Roll #1 1 = 1


Remember? He's the BARBAR.



You slip on the carpet, crashing to the floor. (Stealth lost, but alert not raised… yet)

The slip revealed a hidden passage under the carpet, as you bunched it up!


I need to get back into proper hiding in my chameleon smoke first of all!

Roll #1 1 = 1


You fumble the bottle, and it smashes on the ground. The toad croaks loudly!

You hear loud running hoofsteps. It's the fuzz – cheese it!


Last word might very well be "Interact", but I'm slightly stumped on the others… Give me 5.


Open up that fucking hatch quickly! it is time to sprint like the hunted rabbit!


The tunnel is dark and narrow, and your heart pounds along to the beat of your hooves. You can hear them behind you… they're gaining on you!

You see a crack of light just up ahead, and without breaking sprint, kick it open! You tumble into the underground aquifer, a powerful river pushing you along under the city. You turn around. The thugs have stopped at the door you kicked open, you can see by the lights of their lantern.

There's a growing sound of water… it's quite loud. What could be causing that? The current sure is strong here, and you can't seem to fly out because of all the water saturation weighing down your wings.


A thundering waterfall! Try to swim to the side of the river! Leap like a spawning salmon!



Roll #1 6 = 6


"Mares stay… Free with contract?"
Look a bit perplexed.


You leap, and roll onto a slight embankment near the edge. Glancing over the side, the waterfall was a pretty steep drop onto sharp rocks. Whew.

You get your bearings. Hey… you're downstream at the docks! Now you just have to find the ship "Yamato"…



Wave a hoof.
"No, I'm fine…"
And focus on the sign.
Let's go look for apartment buildings.


"Pretty smart… Saaaay what even made you come up with the idea? Who are those anti intellectuals? What will you do when you're out there on the moon? Oh gosh gosh gosh I have so many questions!"


Shake myself dry a bit first. I got out of there quickly, but now I must find my escape vessel. Disguise myself into a fishermare.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


You find a passed out drunken fishermare on the shore. Perfect disguise!

"You know these days most folks don't care about innovation, they just want to make a quick bit!"

They make up most of the town. You stayed at the Vignette Apple. The Upper Hoof was able to make arrangements to determine which apartments had openings for you.


Now I must find the Yamato


"That's dumb, why would anyone not want progress for the good of everyone?"


Ask around for a place with that sign? And describe the one house I saw in my vision, too.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Now I must find the Yamato somewhere. do I know what kind of ship it is or something or am I expected to just luck it?


"Some folks are just short-sighted and only interested in themselves."

In your disguise, the port authority ignores you as you trot on through. You scan the names of ships…


Someone in town directs you to the Sweet Serenade. It's an apartment / housing community built down third avenue. On the outer door, you see a sign to the left of it:

It doesn't seem like a good part of town. There are a lot of lascivious mares (and even stallions) here. Looks like even the outer door requires a key though.

There is a business office to the left, if you want to go in there.


"Bleh… Anywaaaaaays, how close are ya to finishing that?"


Thinking more logically, contract might only have meant the adventuring contract, and I could have just asked to those DLC lackeys for apartments which offered such promotions, but not having someone to bounce ideas with is a curse.
Now. On to the reception!


Look it over.
Any indications how it's used?


What kinda ship is it? I board the ship, fly on if I have to!


"Very close now. I just need a few more parts, but I've been putting them off because they require a lot of travel. What I really need is a #1 Ionium Jet, Omega Stabilizer, and Repair-Type Bolt."

He rubs his chin. "The Repair-Type bolt solves a degradation problem I've run into. I've heard they have them up in Novdogod. The #1 Ionium Jet is a Manako Group design, somewhere up in Equestria. I need it to boost propulsion to break the atmosphere. Finally, there's the Omega Stabilizer. I can make it myself, but I need Ghost Sponge, and it only grows on the shores of Abeardeen."

It's not an issue. You stroll aboard. Unfortunately, as soon as you step out into the middle of the deck, Ponies with blades pop out from behind every door, porthole, and mast!

Flowing Tree is there, at the helm, looking imposing.


The business office is small. A mare at the counter looks up. "Yes?"

It's a big box with a porthole, like a ship. It seems that you're supposed to insert clothes, and then insert money to a slot. Hmm…


Aira said there was something here…

Hmmm let me put my clothes in here…
Now…put some money in the slot.


Rub the back of my head "this stuff is hard to find, Don't suppose you like, hired someone to help find it did ya?" I start taking notes of what he said


It must be haunted by a ghost! The door snaps shut, and the machine begins to emit a low whirr! The chamber fills with the box's spit, and it begins to slosh around your clothes in its mouth!

"Well, I figured I'd put it off 'til last, but at this point, I'm not sure I have enough years left to get it all. Travel is tough on an old ram."


Hey, I'm not that old fashioned, narrator.
I can see it's a machine.

Sit down and wait…look around, any other ponies here…


I throw off my disguise in a dramatic fashion!
"Flowing Tree… I came under the cover of night like a prowling cat. Here I am now, on the Yamato as discussed."


"You knooooow… I could get these stiff for you mister Ram, I have been traveling a lot, if I find it, I could bring it back to you no problem!"


Looks like it's just you right now. Good thing you came early in the day! Actually, back in the day, washboarding and hanging stuff up to dry took all day, you kinda think you might miss the community of it all. There's nothing much here but some chemical jars and a box of linens.

He chuckles. "That's a mighty fine offer, but you can't expect me to think you'll follow through. It's a long, long way away to each of those places."


Oh well, it was a bother at times…but I do miss somepony to talk to…
Hopefully Aira will drop by…


"I can handle it! I travel a lot I told you! I don't even have a home of my own anyway, and I got the gift of youth still!" smile proudly
"Come oooooooooon lemme help ya old guy!"


After some time, Aira arrives with her bags and a scrunchy face.

"Well, I got some of my stuff back, but my instrument is still gone… and Maeda was following me around!"

Not a moment after, the machine dings, and pops open. Your clothes are all wet! But clean.

"You know how to use the dryer, right? Same deal."

"Well, I won't reject a helping paw. I'll be holding down the old homestead."


Leave the helm, strolling with the confidence of an old, bored sea wolf towards the mare.
And as I'm a few steps behind the last of the armed ponies on deck, my hoof snags my own hat, and I bow in overtly dramatic fashion.
"Well done, little cat.
But don't think the night over just yet."

Order my crew to stand down.


"Woohoo! Does that means you'll let me go to the moon with ya?"


"She's one of those inquisition ponies, she can't help herself probably."
Take out my clothes and put them in the dryer.
"This is so fast!" I say with a bit of wonder.


They sheathe their blades and go back to their business.

One of them pushes out a big crate with air holes. "Your chariot awaits, miss cat."

"Ha, sure, if we finish it."

"Yeah, but you have to be careful to not mix stuff of different colors. Like, red will bleed onto white."


"I'm looking for a friend of mine, young pegasus called Aira. She told me she lived here."


Strike a victory pose
"I promise I won't disappoint mister!"


"I see. What do you think happened to your guitar?"



"Yeah, yeah. I'm going to go get some lunch going. You're free to stay if you like, or head back."

"It's probably in Enkilj somewhere. I can't do much without it."


"No, they will never stop chasing me down. This I will have to live with."


"Could you tell me the room?"


Chuckle a bit.
"You have a flair for the dramatic arts, miss cat.
This is no time to be talking about your life, we will do that once you are high at sea.
For now, get in the box!"


"I can't give out room numbers, sorry. You can wait inside if you want, but that's it."


Rub my neck
"I think I should go find the others… I'll see you later mister Ram! Thank you!"
Head off


Flash my badge.
"You may."


"I'm sorry, sweetie. We'll get it back, no worries. Those cultists haven't seen the last of us!"


"Yes, my time to hide has come. Like tree squirrel during winter season."


And to that, I will not even raise a brow.
"Now, if anything happens…
We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
And let's seal the box.
Once the box is sealed and fastened, I will go through the list of what needs to be done before leaving.



You (very carefully) evade the traps and head back to town.

"Speaking of, I haven't seen most of your friends in a while. What happened?"

You get in the box. It's not a cardboard box, but it's still pretty stealthy…

[The sound of waves is peaceful]

You awaken. Quite some time has passed. It has been at least a few days you've been on the ship. Any time you pass another vessel, you have to flee belowdecks.

Today is different though. You've been awakened by a loud crash.

You pack up, and move out.

Several days later, all is well. Things have been going quite smoothly, in fact, and you're headed up the Equestrian coastline, nearly to your drop point. You're taking a break in your office when a huge crumpling sound rings out, and your ship gives a terrible shake.



Roll to stay awake. This is a very difficult check.


Now what can I do?


"The number.
I'm with the inquisition. It might not be illegal outside of equestria, but it is still a sin upon your immortal soul to refuse an inquisitorial order."



Roll #1 5 = 5


"By Davy Pone's locker!"
Grab me swords and rush to the deck!


I pop emergency chameleon smoke!

Roll #1 10 = 10


You're awakened by a sudden loud sound reverberating through the depths. A general panic seems to be going through the crew above based on the sounds of things.

Lamp Light questions, "What's going on?"

She frowns. "So wait… you were lying about being her friend?"

You haven't seen your group in a while.

Technically, Treacherous Davy is still active. You briefly wonder if the Locker is still in service, but dismiss the thought.

The crew are assembled and look dismal. "Captain, we've run up on a reef. We made in toward the shoreline to avoid sandbar. We didn't want to lose the current."

You are a very stealthy ponoe.


"Lilly and Marina have gone back to Equestria to bring back an altar.
It's a long story…"


"And the dogs?"


"No, I am not. I was lying about her expecting me."
Smile candidly back.


Dang… I should really ask around that Tavern if anyone saw any of them


"Rhanna….she's hangng around town somewhere. She's quite a hooffull."


I probably have a fit and fall out of bed.
"THE NIGHTMARES ARE COMING ALIVE IT'S ALL COLLAPSING AND… wait, I think we crashed into something again. It better not be another damn tentacle monster!"


"You bunch of near sighter pests! let's go belowdeck and assert the damage.
Reel the sails in!"


Whisper in his ear from my hiding smoke.
"Are we dead?"


The mare at the desk doesn't look too bright. "So… if you're not her friend… why do you want to know her room number?"

You head into the tavern once again. Same mare as always is running the desk. Looks like it has become very crowded, as it is now about noon.

The dryer dings.

"Well, where did you want to go after this again? To talk to DLC? Oh – and I had some clean clothes after all."

"Aye, cap'n."

You head below. The bilge deck is nearly entirely flooded already, but the stock deck above it looks fine. The engineers can't get down to do the work until the water level drops, but the water level can't drop as long as there are holes in the ship. They're doing their best to make temporary patches.

"It sounded further off. I think we're… um, what's the opposite of submerge? Emerging? Ascending?"


Is this mare daft?
I told her I am her friend!
"Inquisition's business."


How big are the holes?


"We'll go see this DLC, hopefully Maeda is back. And we can tell her to stop following you around…"


Ask her if she saw any of my friends, making sure to be loud!


"Ascending sounds right… Emerge sounds like coming out of the water itself. So something horrible is lurking around out there, that's just our luck!"
Let's wait and see what the crew does up there.


And with that I want to know how many there are, too.


"Well, I'm telling my manager on you. But there is a room for Aira in 113."

You can't tell, the deck is flooded.

"We're not sure if we can salvage the ship. Should we send up a distress flare? We're close to shore, but they might see the hold, which is still loaded with cargo."

"Okay. I think we were supposed to meet on the 4th floor of the Upper Hoof. It's about time right now, but we need the ledger she has."

"The mare you were with? Let's see… they came in earlier this morning but left, and I didn't catch where they were going. I think maybe the Port Authority, because they wanted to turn in quest documents?"

The sounds above seem to calm down, but you retain your trajectory up.


"Port Autority… Got it, thanks miss!"
To the port I go


Let's wait it out.
"You're not scared are you, Lamp Light? I didn't want to spook you or anything, I'm just going a little crazy I think."


"No, we need this ship."
Take a loong, hard look at this whole situation…
"Here's what we do. Engineers!
Insulate this deck from the bilge right now. Make it so she won't sink for the next twelve hours.
Everyone else, form a chain and pump water out until they are done!"


"You do that."
Off to room 113 I go.


Stomp my hoof.
"Now that's just rude.
First she follows you around, then she doesn't even have the decency to show up to her own meeting!
Well it's up to us then to entertain mister DLC until she arrives."
Put on my clothes.
"How do I look?"


You head down to the Port Authority, but none of your friends are here!

"I dunno…"

She does seem a little uncomfortable.

"How will we bucket out water if the deck with the water is sealed off? Or you just want the deck caulked?"

You head over to 113. You pass through a small piano bar and past a small pool shaped like a note symbol. You get a bunch of glances as you pass though. At 113, the door is locked.


"Prim and pressed. But we can't get UP to level 4 to talk to him until she shows up."


Oh come on!
Ask around, see if I have any luck if someone knows where they went


"You oughta caulk it first before sealing it off! Haul water until it's time to seal!"


"Well isn't that dandy…I wonder where she could be…"


Knock knock.


Apparently they were planning to go back to meet DLC at the tavern at noon… it's noon now! Better head back.

They start carrying out your orders, but it soon becomes apparent that you're losing ground. Or deck, in this case.

"Who knows? I thought she was still following me."

No answer. It's noon.


"Let's just go to the bar and wait there." I say in a bad mood.


Okay, where is the merchandise stored?


Give her an awkward pat on the head.
"Don't worry, I might be sleep deprived but I can still fight back if something creeps in here."


Let's go search the bar I saw earlier.


I guess I should help too. Come out of hiding and get bucketing!


Stomp my way back then!


You sit at the bar. It's very crowded here, because ponies are in for the lunch rush.

The stock deck, the next to lowest level. Above that is the gun deck, and above that, the main deck.

Irons comes down from above. "We think a ship has hit a reef. They haven't sent up a distress flare yet, but they look like they're in critical condition. Marina wants to know if you'd be willing to let us stop for a time to help rescue the crew."

It's a very small bar with a piano and a bartender mare dressed up like a magician. She's scowling at you.

Bucket, bucket! It just seems like you're falling behind, it's making you nervous!

This time, you spot Selena and Aira at the counter.


"Got a problem?"


"Well… yeah I guess. We should hurry up though in that case!"


Okay here's what we do. Dive in and assert the damage.


Tap my hoof and tell Aira about the demon altar story in the meantime


"Front desk says you're harassing the customers! Get out of here, you're bad for business."

You emerge from the water, and begin to approach the ship. It's safe to head up now.

It looks pretty torn up down here. About a fourth of the starboard wall has caved. Brutal. Fortunately, the pumps are still intact.

You emerge for breath. "Captain, a ship is hailing us. We think they want to help save the ship, or at least the crew."

"Wow that's… creepy. I don't even know… Though, I guess, some ponies would probably pay a lot for that kind of artifact."


There she is!
Approach her silently from behind, then jump to scare her with a bark!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Get to the deck and go airborne. Inspect the damaged ship from the air.


"Light Heart loved it. But no amount of money is worth Lilly's life."




Alright, the pumps are here…
"Great! We might all be fucked upside down."
Let out a long, fat laugh.
"Come and help get the pumps going lads! Let's not make our friends' efforts go to waste!"
And I will go on deck, to have a chat with them.


"Haul me out."
Ignore her past that. Is Aira here?


I'm unshakable. But how far away are we from a coastline? In case I must ditch this ride and fly…



It looks like it's losing altitude fast, but the damaged portion is submerged.

The Ghost of Light Heart has come to taunt you. It flies above, surveying your wreck. Does your miserable old soul really still feel guilt for splitting apart all those years ago? You remind yourself that her death wasn't your fault. She stayed in the game too long. You can't be independent anymore, that's why you're with the Yakuza. She shouldn't haunt you.

You blink your eyes. The spectre doesn't disappear.

Not here at the bar.

"I'm talking to the owner about this! We can't have you monks barging into town and knocking down doors just because you don't like business."

You head up to the top check where you can get a view. Within flight range.

Another vessel is coming in to assist, and a pegasus is surveying your damage.


Roll on my back giggling "Ehehehe, I got you good miss Selena!" I give her a brief hug
"So what ya doing here?"
"Oh hi Aira!"



Go for a landing. But be on guard!


Stop for a moment.
"The monks are all dead."
Then turn to her, perfectly calm.
"Killed by monsters this town was too busy doing 'quests' to bother with.
How's that for business?"


"We'll go visit mister DLC."
Look you over, do you look properly dressed and bathed?


Sigh, looking her in the eyes with a tiny tear.
"Belle, mon cheur, it's been years now."


"Pity they didn't take you instead. So what now, zealot, bashing up the joint because you're sad? Some love you preach."

"I wish we didn't have to wait…"


Look spooked.
"W-What? How do you know my name? Is this another strange dream?"


"Some patience Aira.
It's something you still have to learn. Good things come with time."


A stroke of luck for me. If this ship sinks and I hop onto another one, it will make my trail far harder to follow.


Absolutely not!
"Dee El cee? What a silly name" I giggle
"What you need with this guy anyhow?"


"How strange. You had a different voice last time, Liberty…"


I laugh awkwardly.
"That's… not my name actually. But if you think I'm Liberty Belle… you must have known my mother! What are the chances?"


"If you care to know-"
Walk up to the piano, leaning onto it, slightly tired.
"I'm looking for the daughter of a friend. She might be in troubles, and is not opening up to us.
That's why I'm here."
Look slightly defeated.


"Rhanna! You can't come with us like that!"

Any water aaround to clean this dirty doge quickly?


"Your mother?!"
Walk up to her, slinted eyes surveying the mare.
Then pick her up and spin her around!
It's been decades!"


''Like that how?'' Look down at myself
''Oh…Sorry I was at the beach and found a weird goat guy that took me to his shed in the jungle''


"You…what?!? What did he do to you?"


She blows her breath.

"Maeda wants his help to organize a raid."

Flowing seems to know the pegasus.

"Maybe you don't flash your badge and scare the customers off if you're trying to help some pony. Ponies come to New Earth because they want a fresh start, not to have the Inquisition banging on their door."

Afternoon waxes onward. Wasn't there somewhere you planned on being?

You could maybe wash her in the ocean?


Flutter my wings in panic as I get swung around.
"Has it!?"


''Nothing. He told me he was building something to go to the moon just like me! Can you believe that? He looked like a pretty cool old guy and I even helped him a little, went to the market and got him a bag of bullets, weird thing is that they call it Stell oats''


Yeah, I was supposed to meet DLC. Didn't figure this would takes THIS long!
Time to leave.


No time for that.
I'll just grab a table napkin and wipe away the worst of it.

Exchange glances with Aira.

"So you worked on a machine? Nothing else?"


"A thousand apologies for interrupting."
I bow.
"We hit a reef and the ocean will swallow us soon like a hungry ooze. Can you provide help?"


You head back to the Upper Hoof. Everyone here is waiting on you!

Aira scrunches.

Maeda arrives!


"Don't you remember me?
I'm Flowing Tree! Was on f-"
Look around, settling her down and calming myself.
"-We should talk about this later. Our ship's got a hole as big as the gap teeth of a hag on her bilge, can your lot spare any engineers?"


"What a crew."


''Ow ow, you're being kinda rough…And yeah, we just worked a bit on a machine to go to space, and he told me he needs to find some stuff but he's too old to go get them himself ya know? He said I could go to the moon with him if he finished! isn't that like, all sorts of awesome!?''


And with that, motion everyone to get moving.
"Where had you ran off to, Rhanna?"


Get up and follow her.
No time to confront her now.
"You certainly took your time."


"We can! And the ship and crew we have can go underwater just fine so this scenario shouldn't be an issue to us."

I nod.

I need to talk to the seahorse crew about this and ask them if they can provide help here.


"Rhanna, take it from me. I met a lot of goats in my life, and all of them were a bit screwloose."


"I lost faith in equinity halfway through."


Aira scrunches at you but doesn't say anything.

They're on approach course.

PAUSE - Feel free to faff


"Well then go, call'em up!
I'm not ready to see my ship sink just yet!"


''Found a goat dude, gonna do a favor for him and such…Oh yeah and another thing…I woke up and got kidnapped by a weird big dog lady and her mutt and she was trying to get me to be a fighter, they said they were going to take Musdoggy back!''
''Every single one?…Well he was a bit weird, he had traps all around his house and such''


"What is it now, you saw me after that ill-fathed dive?"
"What were you expecting, honestly.
Acting like a murder suspect who'd just been caught red handed!"
"Musdoggy now?
And make a fighter out of you?"
[worry intensifies]


"They're on their way, had to change course first and stuff after we heard that crash of yours. How could you have just hit a reef like that, was your navigator sleeping?"


"Yes, now he might not have any bad ideas. But take what he says with a grain of salt, okay?"

"Acting like a what?!?"
Stop right there and turn to you.
"Inquisitor, is Aira a suspect for you? What are you accusing her off?"


Nod frantically
''yeah She was trying to get me to fight and such but I was like, nah I don't wanna do that, and then they let me leave…I was kinda scared because of how they took me from my bed at night and into that weird place…I think I'll have to sleep with an eye open from now on, really''
''You're the boss miss Selena!''


"Probably. I will have words with the boy later."


I bow again.
"You are most generous Lilly-san."


"I was worried for her!
She might have been in trouble, that's what!"
"Could you lead us back to the weird place?"


"Over what? Because she wanted some privacy? Is that enough to make you suspicious?"


''Sure can! But why you got so interested in it out of the sudden?''


Look at her as if I didn't understand her question.
"…yes? I'm an Inquisitor, in the academy we had a score for how suspicious we were!"


"Why!? They tried to dognap you!
I want to get some light on this!"


"Well listen to me, you might be a big bad Inquisitor, but your job is to fight heresy and not to harrass random citizens.
Now is my daughter accused of heresy?"


''Aw I'm fine, thanks for worrying about me…I just don't think they'll still be there ya know…They probally left by now..''


Okay, time to stop walking. Time to sit down, take off the halberd from my back, set it on the ground and fall on my back, looking at the sky.


"Than you stop harrassing her. I have the fullest confidence in my daughter and if something is wrong, she'll tell me.
You might be an inquisitor, but this is my group and in my group we trust each other. So either you trust my daughter as well or you can find yourself somepony else to adventure with!"


Keep on looking at clouds.
"It's hard, you know. Having literally everyone, everywhere you go say that to you. Use those words.
The big bad inquisitor.
She will come and snuff away your children as you sleep!
She will put your dog in prison for all eternity!
Do you ever think that maybe we have other reasons?
That maybe, all we ever wanted to do was help ponies?"


Roll my eyes.
"Oh boohoo, you're such a victim. Here's an idea, you want people to like you? Stop following them for no reason!
Now show that the Inquisition really is here to help ponies by getting up, stop acting silly and let's go upstairs to talk to this DLC fellow."


Turn around and stare at her with angry eyes.
"You are a true bitch, Selena."


"Oh what's the matter, did I hurt your feelings? Are you really an Inquisitor? Because I wouldn't think an Inquisitor would be hurt so easily."


"You go on such a big rant when somepony only wanted to do you a favor.
Go away.
I don't need you."


Put my hoof on your shoulder and lower my voice.
"Listen, you think I'm bad? I've fought some real mean ponies in my life, Maeda. And if you're going to be an Inquisitor you'll meet a lot of ponies far worse than me. And you're going to be working with a lot of ponies far worse than me.
If it was really just about doing me a favor, then thank you but if you had just asked me I could have told you it was unnecessary.
Now, will you take that as a lady and continue together with this job or are you going to let your feelings get the better of you and run off on your own?"


"It's not you, Selena. It's not any one time, it's not any one pony…"
Sigh and roll over, grabbing my weapon in the process, shaking away the hoof, and standing back up.
"Let's get this done with."


Let you go and follow you up.

Hugs will be for some other time.


Right, so, sinking ship, we're going over to see what's what. And I'm in the water.


I spy sushi on approach. I fly down the ship above the water.
"Konnichiwa gajin."


I'll give this pony a confused look.
"Is that a hello or something?"


I'm mildly surprised this sushi creature speaks! Is it that intelligent?
"Yes hello. Are you here to help or to be noodle side dish?"


I'll frown up at you.
"Well, if your first thought is to eat me, maybe I shouldn't help."
Guess I should tread water for a bit.
"Anyway, it looks like your boat's in trouble. Did you run into my friend Lilly on deck? She flew out before I could catch up with her."


"A thousand apologies, I did not mean to offend."
I perform an airbow to show I'm serious.
"Lilly? Lilly Belle? Flowing Tree knows her from before. He commands this ship…"
Look behind me at the sinking ship.
"… usually he is better captain."


"Well, coral has a way of sneaking up on ponies who don't have the right charts. Or who misjudge the tides."
I'll shrug a little in the water.
"Luckily for you we were passing by, so if nothing else I'm pretty sure we can get you guys beached on the shore. I'm Marina, by the way. What's your name?"


"Call me 伊賀. Why does a fishpony need a ship?"


…what a weird language.
"Think maybe you could pronounce that a little slower? As for the ship, well, it carries a lot more food and ponies than a pod of seaponies normally would be able to. Plus it's usually faster."



"Lilly Belle does not look like a fishpony. Is she a fishermare, your mortal enemy?"


"What? No. She's a courier, and we're taking her to Autumnsreach. It's kind of a matter of life or death."


"What happens in Autumnsreach? Is that Equestria?"


"Well, she's got something that needs to be returned there, and if it doesn't her life is forfeit. So we're trying to get there as quick as our boat can go. And I think it's sorta kinda part of Equestria, since we're along the coast of the Equestrian continent now, but I've always been kinda fuzzy about boundaries and stuff."
I'll paddle a bit more.
"Anyway, Iga, do you think you could give me a lift to the deck? That way I can meet up with both Lilly and your captain and we can sort out how we're going to move your boat."


"I will pull you out like lobster in fancy restaurant."
I grab onto her and lift her out of the water.


I guess I'll just sorta hang tight, then, until we hit the deck.


Put her down on the deck.
"We are here. A ship in need."


"Seems sturdy enough, barring present circumstances."
I'll kick my legs a bit to get the water off of them.
"So, what brought you all over onto the coral, anyway? Trying to cut some time from your trip?"


"I am a passenger, I don't know these things. But time is of the essence yes."


"Right, well, I guess we'd best bother your captain, then. See what supplies he's got on-hoof to patch this tub enough to make landfall."
And if Lilly's above-decks, I can go find her. If not, I'll be relying on Iga to lead the way.


I think everyone is on deck right now. We wait for the other ship to reach us.
"Are you an Equestrian citizen?"


"You know, I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I was born in Equestrian waters, but since apparently seaponies are classified as myths nowadays, I'm not sure I count. How about you? You from around here?"


"No. You don't know how to become one? I need to become one. An Equestrian."


I'll shrug.
"Well, I'm sure there's at least one church or census office in Autumnsreach that could help with that, and that's about a day's sailing. Seaponies are probably a bit outside of the system."


"Most excellent. Thank you Marina-sushi. I will share you my noodles tonight."


"You're welcome?"
What even is a sushi? Is that her weird word for a seapony? I'm so confused.


"Your hospitality is legendary. Have you ever visited Neighpon?"


"I haven't. I've spent most of my time with my mom, working with her to help get rid of some Discord cultists."


She does not know the Yakuza. Most excellent.
"We do not like visitors."


I'll raise an eyebrow.
"Then why'd you ask me if I'd been?"
Snort a little.
"Though I can sort of understand, sometimes ponies can be jerks."


"Yakuza dislikes westerners. Maybe they would not dislike you because you are sushi."


"Who are the Yakuza? And what's sushi mean, anyway?"


"They are dangerous. The wise steer clear from them like a snail from salt. Sushi is fishy."


"Oh. So they're sort of like a gang, or something?"


"They are an organization."


"Okay. I guess they're pretty far-reaching then, at least in Neighpon."


"Yes. They have eyes everywhere. Crossing them is certain death."


"Huh. Well, glad I haven't crossed any of them yet!"


"I must go talk to Flowing Tree about what will happen next. We can continue our conversation later over noodles."


"Okay. I need to talk to him too. So let's go butt into his conversation."


Tree and Irons have arranged to have the damaged ship beached for now. Tree apparently has contacts in Equestria who can help with the ship repairs, and the city of Autumnsreach is only twelve hours by sea. Meanwhile, the engineers can work on patching up the Yamato.

This means that Iga can make landfall in an Equestrian city sooner, Lilly can get back to dropping off her payload, and Marina can keep putting distance between herself and Ornitrex.

Twelve hours more… another day another destiny. This neverending road to Autumnsreach. This demon who charges Lilly with a crime will surely come another time. One day more.

For now, your ship submerges below the waves. For Iga, it's an alien experience. Down here belowdecks, there's a scholarly filly, a suspiciously large rodent hole, a few bunks, a VERY packed cargo hold with suspicious objects, and Lilly. Lilly is wearing an Equestrian Courier's Uniform.


One more day of this torment. When this is all over I'm going to take a long nap on a fluffy cloud.


"I hope you don't mind the, uh, closeness of the quearters down here. This ship wasn't really meant to hold this many ponies at once, plus cargo."


This just looks like another smuggling ship.

I bow.
"A million apologies. I did not state my name before. In your tongue, I am called Iga."


"Oh. No need to apologize for that. My name's Lilly Belle. Nice to meet you Iga. I'm sorry to say I'm not really at my best right now though, sleep is a rarity for me nowadays!"


I inspect the hole.
"Is this where the foal sleeps?"

"You must not apologize. Your generosity is most appreciated."


"No, Lamplight gets a bunk. I… I don't know when that hole got there, actually."


"Oh that's where Selena's friend Itzlzi sleeps. He's a real cutie."


Inside the hole you see a miniature desk and reading lamp. There's a small bookcase and fine carpeting. In the back of the space, there's a baby grand piano, downsized. It looks like it takes up way too much space for something that could logically fit in the side of the ship.

No one's home right now.


"Its Lee? I don't think we've met."


"He's a bit unusual, but keeps out of the way."


… okay. I size up the foal instead.
"Konnichiwa, what is your name?"


"That'd explain why I never saw him."


Hmmm, have a look around and see if I can find him anywhere!

Roll #1 9 = 9


Weird… he's not anywhere belowdecks, as far as you can tell. You thought he might be going through that new cargo. Mysterious.

The foal seems a little uncertain at first, but finally replies: "Lamp Light, miss."


"He's probably just shy about the new company. Poor thing."


That reminds me, have we eaten yet today? If we haven't, I've a few things I could do.



"You are a passenger like me, yes? Are you an Equestrian citizen?"


Alright. After Lamp Light is done talking to Iga, I'll ask her if she wants to help me cook something for the crew.
"Well, as long as he doesn't stir up trouble, I don't think it'll be a problem."


"I am a steward of the Order of Oil, by the Grace of Celestia, a defender of Equestria and the world."

She recites it by rote.


"Most impressive. You work for Celestia? A monk?"


"Yes, I was a bookkeeper for the Order at St. Szwall in the New World. But there was… an attack. Now, it's my responsibility to make sure all of the knowledge and dangerous artifacts protected by the order are recovered."


"And we'll do what we can to support her."
Put a hoof on her shoulder.
"… Somehow."


She squirms a little bit and moves out from under your leg.

"I … thanks."


Grin at her sheepishly and remove my hoof.


This all goes over my head I think. I
"How do I become a citizen of Equestria? This autumnsreach… what kind of work is there to do in autumnsreach?"


I wonder if Lamp ever got this much attention before.



"Autumnsreach is the holiest city in Equestria - by extension, the world, even moreso than Canterlot. Even shrines to the Elementals and moderate Naturalists are tolerated there. According to legend, it was founded almost two thousand years ago, where Celestia first touched Equestria when she descended from the Heavens to fight Discord and unite all ponies. Autumnsreach is a great city, but there are significant restrictions on trade there due to decency laws. Still, if you are a skilled bookkeeper, such as a scribe or book binder, you can find much work. I spent years there before moving out to St. Szwall. There is also work for the Church – especially the Inquisition, these days. Since it's a port city, there is also some fishing industry."

Probably not, but she seems well disciplined in answering questions. Probably treated more as a walking encyclopedia by old scholars and attended knights.


"I bet Autumnsreach has a lot of beautiful temples like in Canterlot. It sounds like a nice city to just sort of wander around in to me."


Well, I guess I'll just sit for a bit until they're done. Getting Lamp Light to help me cook might be fun for her.


"I learned to write, but not Equestrian. I cannot read Equestrian, only speak it. I should learn it swiftly to integrate into the Equestrian peoples. Autumnsreach does not sound like a city for work to me."


"Why don't you just enlist as a courier like me? Free food and shelter! You get to travel around a lot too, even though the pay isn't that great…"


"Maybe… I haven't seen Canterlot."

"There was a lot of work in the New World."


"I will consider your words over noodles."
I bow.
"You are invited to eat along if you wish."


I'll clap my hooves together.
"Speaking of eating, Lamp Light, no one's eaten yet today. Do you want to help me cook something for everyone?"


"I'm not really a cook. I can't make anything without directions."


"I'm not exactly sure what noodles even are to be fair.

Either way, I'll skip for now. Food only makes me sleepier."


I'll smile a bit and puff out my chest.
"Well, don't you worry about that! Between the two of us, I'm sure we'll make something delicious!"
I'll give you a sly look.
"Are you sure? Because otherwise those blue berries I picked earlier will just have to be eaten by somepony else."


"I had my fill. Don't tempt me you succubus!"


Any equipment around to heat up some water?


"Hm… if you say so."


That cargo hold looks pretty stuffed if you want to scrounge around in there. Roll Search.



Roll #1 3 = 3


"I'm not a sucky bus! I'm a cook! There's a difference."
It's in the galley, which is where we're going eventually.
I'll toss Lamp on my back, and get moving towards the galley.
"So, what do you want to eat today? We've got fish, some lobster I think, there should still be some clams… Those blueberries will make a good dessert item, I'm sure. Oh, we could even maybe whip up some seaweed dish for Lilly, since she hates fish for some reason!"



Lamp frowns and hops off. It's a short move to the stocks – Iga is back here looking around, too.

"Yes, I've heard her loudly complaining."

Roll #1 1 = 1


A great deal of space back here is taken up by a large stone altar. It must be weighing down the ship significantly.


If nothing else I can use it as a table. Put down my stuff on it and grab my noodles.


I'll pout a little.
"It really makes me sad that she doesn't like the fish I cook. Makes me kinda doubt my abilities as a cook. Anyway, I think we'll go with the tuna today. If you could start scaling them on the board there, I'll get the herbs and such ready. And see if we can dig up any seaweed or kelp to go with it."
Once I'm sure Lamp's fine with the scaler, I'll head up to the main deck and see if I can't scrounge any seaweed.


You retrieve your noodles from your pack. The 'table' has carvings, but they are too worn to make out.

"Scaling? Like… weighing?"


Oh boy.
"No no, scaling is when you take the scales off a fish. It's easy once you get the hang of it, here."
I'll demonstrate.
"You take this thing here, and then run it against the grain of the fish scales. It's why fish that are cooked aren't all crunchy and tough, since the scales are off."


I'm taking this to the galley. I need to get some water cooking hot!


Lamp frowns. "A neophyte is not to wield a blade."

The 'galley' is 'the corner of the hold where Marina is'. She doesn't have a controlled burn set up yet, but she has a mini-furnace that can be used for such.


I'll ruffle her mane.
"But it's not a blade, silly, it's a tool. Surely they let you cut fruit and stuff at the monastery, right? A kitchen tool is different in intent to a weapon."


"I did scholarly work at the monastery. Still… alright."


I'm taking control of this facility now. Get a pot of water cooking.

"It is not a tool. It is a limb. You must become one with the blade. Observe."
Get out my katana…


"Just take it easy, and you should be alright. I'll check up on you when I get back with that seaweed."
And I'll head up to fetch that. She… should be fine until then.
"No! No swords in the kitchen!"


Lamp backs up.


"You do not listen. It is not a tool or a sword. It is an extension of the body."
I cut up the mass of noodle strips!


I'll interpose myself between Lamp and the insane Neighponese.
"That's completely besides the point!"


"It is on point. Very pointy."


"I think there's a bit of a language barrier here. What you have there is clearly a weapon and intended to be used as one. That is not something we use in an admittedly cramped kitchen where somepony could get hurt."
I'll rub the bridge of my snout with my hoof.
"For my sake, could you perhaps use the tools available in the future instead of… that? I know you're probably very good with it, but this is not where something like that is used."


"You do not understand. This is not a tool or a weapon. I don't need tools or weapons. Should I help with fish?"
Point at the fish with my blade.


"No, thank you, I'm sure Lamp and I can prepare them. I appreciate your asking, though."


"Very well."
I put the noodles in the cooking pot.


But there's no fire yet! You just have wet noodles, like Marina.


This mare's crazy.
Seaweed. I was going for seaweed.
Before I head up, I'll whisper to Lamplight.
"Don't let her scare you, she's just… foreign. They do things differently in Neighpon, I think."


"How do I fire?"


"Like so."
And I'll light the little fire we use.


"Great fortune upon you." Now we're cookin'!


I'll approach this pony that mistook me for my mother.
"You said you saw me when I was young?"


"I'm not afraid, but I disapprove."

She does sound like she's mimicking someone.

Within the narrow walls of the furnace, a small controlled fire emerges. Soon, you can cook.


How are the repairs going?
"Sure did. Just wee like this."
Raise a hoof up to knee length.
"The quietest of the bunch, I must admit."


"So you knew my parents well? Did you… like… work together?"


The Yamato was beached so that engineers could repair it. You're accompanying this small Underseaboat on a twelve hour voyage to Autumnsreach, along with Iga. Once there, you can exchange some of your goods, which were moved to the hold of this ship stealthily. Iga can also look into citizenship and work.

You plan to rendezvous back with your crew at evening tomorrow, which affords you six hours at most before you need to depart Autumnsreach.


[Pause, but feel free to continue faff]


Who, I wonder.
But that's for that, and I'm for seaweed. Let's go fetch some.


Rolling cooking.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Nod, slowly, staring into her eyes with just the slightest opening of my slanted eyes.
"I trust you won't talk about boring things like work, though.
Old, old work."


"I never indulged myself in those things. I just… remember some stuff from back when I was a foal."


"All good, I hope. You grew up in such a lively place."
Smile at her.
"So many good memories to have!"


"Well… I was 8 when I lost them, so I don't have that many memories of that time."


"Ah well. Then."
Sit down, unbundling something from the long, drooping sleeves of my traditional neighponese clothes.
"What would you like to know?"


"Just… about what they were like really.

… Hey if you knew my parents, does that mean you knew Red too? And Selena? Emrille?"


"Red? Of course. I remember all of you little kids of Light Heart.
Red, you, and that little jenny, how was she called…"
Take up a thinking expression for a moment.


"Adel. Selena told me about her, but I never realized I had another half-sister. I don't recall anything about her at all. The only sisters I knew I had were Red and Grey."


"I suppose your mother's companion was always jaelous…
But yes, I knew Emrille and Selena too. Why, that little scamp."
Chuckle, lost in thought.
The item hidden into my sleeves turns out to be a small, pocket sized teapot, and some bags of the substance.
"Why, I wonder how she is now. How are her kids? How did you two even meet?"


"Selena pretty much saved my life you know. It's only thanks to her I managed to find back that thing."
Subtly motion at the altar, wherever it's situated right now.


"Right. That thing."
Put the tea to boil on the small, half-magical pot.
"I must admit, it's been a while since I last saw it.
Wouldn't you know, the first time me and that altar met, I was about to destroy it.
Must have been twenty years ago now."


"Count yourself lucky you didn't, because Nightmare Moon would've sent that soul-flaying demon after you instead."


Let the soft bubbling of the tea be the only noise in the room as I look at her silently.
Almost a minute of this goes on, before I begin pouring the result to both of us.
"Nightmare Moon. What an old, old name."


"Not to me. Not anymore. This demon, it's hunting for me because it thinks I'm really my mother and that I was the one who stole that damn altar! It took me all my money and a good chunk of Selena's money to find it and bring it back to where they want it. I'm lucky Selena confused me for my mother like you did. Seems like a lot of ponies do that… so I guess I must look a lot alike."


"Even an old devil like Nightmare Moon was tricked it seems.
Now these old eyes feel better about the mistake they made."
Chuckle and put two sugarcubes into my tea.
"How many?"


"Two will do.

This nightmare is almost over at least. I can barely sleep because that thing tracks me down through my dreams. It's really haunting."


"Tea will help you then. It sharpens the senses, keeps ponies awake."
Start sipping.
"But back to our topic. Your mother. She…
She was an unique mare. Both in her affinity to our line of work and her femininity."
Smile at her.
"You retain at least one of those traits."


"Okay, you're talking about Liberty right? Not Rosemary? I guess Rosemary was my actual mother…"


"No, I'm talking about your father, if you put it like that.
From your mother…"
"I really hope you didn't get the smarts from her."


I raise a brow.
"Everyone I asked so far only described her as being silent and introverted… Like she was the polar opposite."


"I think the pony you should ask about Rosemary would be… Light Heart herself.
The only opinion on that mare I'd trust. Only one to get close enough."


"I figured… Nopony seemed to really know her that well. They do talk a lot of good about my… father though. I'm not sure if that's all just sugarcoating or not, because I know she did do bad stuff too. Uh… no offense."


"She was good at what she did, no matter what it was.
It was a shame seeing her go."


"Well… I miss them both of course. I only have good memories from those times. I hope they're doing okay wherever they might be…"


"But let's not indulge any more of these sad thoughts!
What of Selena, you still have not told me anything of her! And the twins!"


"Selena's been very generous to me, like I said before. Her daughters were in trouble too though, so that's why she's back in the new world, to help them out."


I pause for a moment, cup held in mid air.
"What kind, of trouble?"


"I'm not entirely clear on what's gone on, but they got into trouble with these sinister cultists for one reason or the other."


"But you… Fixed that, did you not?"
My eyes fixate on her now more than ever.


"We got one of them out okay… Aira's the one. Although when I left the new world, she was still drugged up because of those cultists."


Stand up and start pacing back and forth.
"Oh you do not know the predictment you put me in, young mare."




"You see, I swore to protect those kids. But my current business ventures force me to…
Keep my course, if you get my drift.
I feel conflicted."


"That was three days ago, by the time you'd be able to get there they'll have probably moved on…

I mean once I've saved my own soul, I want to get back to them too. I owe Selena big time for all the help she provided."


"Right. Do tell me about this problem of yours.
What do you have to do with the altar?"


"Return it to where it belongs, which was this apparently old Lunar temple in Autumnsreach that has been flooded by the sea."


"Good thing your ships goes underwater then!"


"For all my misfortunes, I've had a lot of lucky breaks as well to be fair."


"Then, let us drink one more cup. To luck."
Sit down again and pour more, with a smile.


Gulp down some of the tea.
"I don't suppose you'd have any idea where my sisters Grey and Adel are these days, would you…?"


"Not currently, no.
But in a few days, maybe I could gather some information.
Though that does tell me you found Red, did you not?"


"Yes, she helped me out as well. But she's in trouble as well, so I'm really worried about her."


"Red in trouble?"
"Who would have ever thought."


"She was always really nice to me… but she left my parents when she got into a fight with them."


"I can see why. Light Heart valued her freedom."


"As do I! But she's still my sister."


"What is she up to now? Still those ideas of grandure of hers, dancing through her mind?"


"She's become dictator of Reptil. It's complicated…"


Chuckle amused again.
"I'm sure it is. It often was. Overtly so, with Red. Dictator of Reptil. What a title.
But speaking of your sister Adel, are you aware of the fate of her race?"


"Well I've heard stories… that's been going on for a long time now. I hope she didn't pass away too."


"Jennies are most prized between the donkey race. So no, I'd not worry about that."


"Well I am. I mean Grey… she was still with my parents when their last stand happened. What if Red is all I have left? She's in trouble right now but I can't help her until I get this sinister demon dog off of my back."
I sigh.


"Well you are almost there. Working your little fluttery heart off will only tire you more."


"I don't have heart flutters…"


"It was a figure of speech. Your mother did, and since you are a pegasus…"
Trail off, making a circling, dismissive motion with my tea holding hoof.
"Nevermind that."


"Sorry, my mind isn't all there right now. I haven't been lucid for over a week now."


"Quite understandable.
Tell me of your travels, maybe it will keep you from drifting off."


"Well, like I said Selena has been helping me out a bunch. There's others traveling with us too like Rhanna and Maeda-"
I pause and narrow my eyes.
"Wait a second, if you know Selena… and you're Neighponese… what was your full name again?"


"Flowing Tree the Spring Blossom of a Thousand Leaves from the Garden of house Ganteki.
I don't use my full name often."


"Do you know Maeda Tree? She looks slightly Neighponese… and is a trained inquisitor. I think Maeda and Selena talked about you… which is probably not great news for you."


"Maeda Tree you say? Not a name I ever heard before.
Not one of my relatives, if that is what you're asking."


"I think she at least thinks you're her father, but don't quote me on that. I don't remember that well."


"Well now. What an unsurprising turn of events. Guess we'd better keep this little meeting a secret then."
Wink at her.


"She didn't really seem very happy with you. 'Disdain' is the word I'd probably used to describe her feelings."


"I can easily see why. Truthfully, the very fact she bears my name seems strange, to me."


"She's a very intense type of character. I don't envy you if she aims to hunt you down. I don't know what the entire story behind it is, but I think I'd rather stay ignorant… I've got so many things to worry about already."


"I can understand that.
Then, I'd like to buy your silence for a story, miss Belle."
Smile, and begin recounting one of our many sea-faring exploits, romanticizing it just enough to make the murdering and pillaging seem kid-friendly.
I think we got most of it down, no?


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