/q/ - Quest


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With the spoils divided, the room is now quiet for a moment.

Dixie Red groans: "What'd we come down here for, again?"

Irons replies: "Apparently we don't need to kill a hydra now. Or, that's the hope. Where do we go from here?"

And finally Cumin: "Back to The Scorch. From there, we can follow the Slipway down into the Great Flow Chamber."


Well they're saying these words, but they mean nothing to me.

"Right. Sure."


"Right. Red, you're in no shape to help carry that rock, so I'll swap out with you."
Did they drag it down here, or leave it back a ways so they could get here faster?



The altar was left further behind still at the Great Worship Chamber where it has been rigged to a makeshift transport device. Leaving it behind was a risk, but necessary for all of the NPCs to join in the fight.

"No complaints from me."

Cumin inquires: "You're nearly delivered - why such gloom?"


"If that sinister demon doesn't get me, I may just collapse and die of exhaustion soon. It's been… a long, sleepless nightmare."


"Oh… I see."


"But just think of how well you'll sleep after it's over! While we're here, we could even set you up on a nice, big, comfy bed."
Rub the back of my neck.
"Though, I mean, my crew and I will probably be gone in the morning, but you'll be super-refreshed, without a doubt! You might even sleep the whole day, too!"


"Can we like… talk less about how nice sleeping is and move more before I actually do collapse in here?"


"Right, right, sorry."
"Irons, Vlad, could you two please lend a hoof to Red and Cumin until we get back to the altar?"


Irons nods. "But regardless, we can't take for granted the hydra is dead. Incidentally, where does this back exit lead?"

Cumin shrugs: "Not entirely sure. I never made it down this far, and the information on a floorplan I've been able to establish is shaky - in books, ponies rarely mention where a room is located or what it's attached to, just that it's there. Like, they'll write about the reflecting pond or the menagerie and one has to use clues to-"

"I get it."

Vlad gives you a winning smile. "I'd rather give you a hoof my exotic foreign flower."


"She is right. The swifter we leave this watery place, the better it will be for our minds."


Roll my eyes.
"I'll keep that in mind if I get wounded."
"Once we're all ready, we'll head back to pick up the altar."


Roll for encounter


Aw man. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


With indefatigable purpose, you depart the Great Library. With one last glance at the Survivor's Last Stand, you trod onward down the Dark Hallway. Finally, you have returned to The Scorch.

This landing is characterized by a number of carbonized marks on the floor, hints of extremely hot flame once covering it.
There is another slipway headed down, and two doors on this landing. Neither is labeled, but both are airlocks. One leads to the Dark Hallway, the other, likely to the pump station for this level.

The altar is further up still, and the destination further down… Roll when ready.


Everyone roll?

Roll #1 3 = 3


Well, we should probably drag the altar down while we're here. Save us the walk back, at any rate.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Just for whoever is leading the formation.

You return up the treacherous Slipway. It is an exhausting journey on its own, though - to fight the slope after such a battle, and in the dark with little light but the glimmer of a torch, and bricks fraught with moisture.

Good fortune meets you at the top, however: the altar stands unmolested.


Didn't we still have that little rope line of lightning in bottles? I could have sworn we did.
Regardless, poke the altar.


"Well… at least nopony stole it while we were gone."


"Well, who else is in here but us?"
I'll pause for a second.
"And, uh, the shadow things. But it's not like they can touch it, right? Right."
Pick up one of the ropes we've got attached to the altar.


It can't be removed from the room it's in due to length. Cutting the rope that holds it together makes the lightning die out. Why is anyone's guess.

Cumin speculates briefly. "Well, there could be other escaped monsters from the menagerie, constructs – like the one whose death made The Scorch. Or tomb robbers."

Irons: "This is not a productive area of discussion."


I grab one of the ropes myself. "I shall aid Marina-sushi."


If you still want to lead the descent, roll again. Alternatively, let someone else take the party lead and roll.


Well, bugger.

"Irons is right, we can talk about this after we get this slab back where it belongs."
I'll let someone who isn't dragging this thing be our scout.


That leaves Lilly as the obvious choice.


Yes, I'm obviously the best choice in my current state. Surely I will not sleepwalk my way into a bad situation.

Roll #1 7 = 7


You exit the Great Worship Chamber and down into the Slipway. Although it is dark and treacherous, you descend with deft footing and reconvene at The Scorch.

"The remains left in this place are of a great fire elemental, perhaps slain by the same group that originally sacked the library and disarmed the traps leading to it - or perhaps the fight was another day. There is too little evidence to know."

Will it be downward toward the Great Flow Chamber? Roll when ready.


"Well let's hope it's actually dead then."
Further down.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Principle Drain A

Your descent of the slipway is steady, if slow, until you come to a round chamber where the lowered path - once a faint trickle, now nourished by additional streams a mighty flow - ceases over a large grate. From here, the water drains vertically.

Irons coughs. "Where to?"

Cumin shrinks back a little.


I rub my head.
"Someone who's actually familiar with these kind of places should be deciding that…"




"Uh, well, this is the fastest way down. It drains directly into the Great Flow Chamber with no intervening rooms. I thought based on the books that there was a maintenance walkway, but…"

He trails off, cringing.


"… No alternatives?"


"Ah. I see… That does make it a little harder, then."
I'll think a second.
"You said fastest. What's the next fastest?"



"The largest and surest is the grand promenade, but it is also the longest. The fastest besides this… there's the other drain which would require similar lowering, most likely. Or through the private chambers of the high priestess… she would need an alternate way up and down due to the rituals. There is probably a secret passage in or around the Moon Pool, but that's so far up."

Irons groans. "We didn't even know we should be checking for secret passages."


Vlad puts a hoof to his chin. "The walls require much deadspace due to the drains, pipes, and mechanisms. Plenty of room for passages."


I sigh.
"I guess it can't be helped."


"Well, There's no helping it now."
Scratch my chin a moment.
"Vlad's got a point, but there's also the risk of that dead space being full of water."
After thinking a moment further, I'll throw out an idea.
"How about this: Iga, Lilly, and I will hit up the moon pool and look for secret doors while you guys rest here and make sure your wounds are well-looked after. If we find something, one of us will come back down to help Irons and Vlad drag the altar up there. So that'll probably be either Iga or I. Sound good?"


I nod at the walking sushi.
"Yes. It is understood."


But I should look everywhere for these passages in that case, yes? I could be standing on one without knowing it. Check!

Roll #1 9 = 9


You search the walls of the chamber and you notice, near the top, there is a ledge. With a flying ninja leap, you grab the ledge and pull yourself up. There is a small maintenance shaft here that services a room above this one, but also has an access shaft downward, following the flow of the water.

There's a ladder here, too, that you can lower for the others!


That makes a difference. I peer out over the edge.
"I have found something."


"That's great!"


Irons urges: "Well?"


"Looks like Iga found our way down! Let's get this thing up there while the getting's good."


I shove the ladder down so the others who cannot ninja can traverse this gap.


"Hm, we'll need to hoist it up to get it down though."

Vlad remarks, "So this wallflower is not so wrong about the way after all?"


"I never said you were, Vlad."
Look to the ladder, then back to the others.
"Let's get Red and Cumin up first, then we can use their weight to help us haul the altar over the gap."


Vlad bursts out laughing. You don't get what's so funny but others seem to have. After he collects himself, he finishes: "Yes, this is not an issue."

Everyone roll Strength to haul the altar up to the ledge.


Oh. Wait. Cumin. Duh.
Well, too late to correct myself now.
I'll just haul it. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Super nippon rice strength!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Oh boy, my specialty.


Roll #1 6 = 6


You shakily heave and ho, but with a last burst of strength from Iga it comes over the edge and settles, with a thud, in the maintenance shaft. This should make for a more controlled descent than simply a drop down the drain - if perhaps slower and marred by dodging pipework.


Let us hurry then. This place is too drippy.


Well, as long as we keep it from falling on top of us, we'll be fine.
"Iga, do you think you can scout ahead a bit, and see if there are any more of those acid-spitting mollusks down there? I'd rather find that out now than when we're committed to it."


Roll to lead the party since Marina has given you the leadership


"I can do this."


Roll #1 7 = 7


The Shaft

Secrets and wonders can be found in the most tenebrous corners of this place. This uncomfortably narrow shaft is criscrossed with pipes jutting at odd angles. Tanks, filled with unknown solutions, populate its niches and nooks. You stalk onward through the dark.

Although the way is narrow and unclean, you navigate safely to where the path comes to its end. From here, you have another shallow overlook over a huge chamber.

Great Flow Chamber
This mighty ciscern is hundreds of meters in area and at least sixty such in depth - and that's just to the water's surface. In the center of the room, where light is cast down from the chamber above.

To your left and down, there is a huge door into the chamber that opens at water-level. Across the way, there is a jutting balcony inlaid with ornate shells and pearls. At the foot of the balcony's wall there is a small outcropping with a door and fine stone carvings – it looks like the altar was torn free from here!


If that is the altar spot, perhaps fate smiles upon us.
"I believe we have arrived at the place we sought."


Meanwhile, in the Lower City Depths…

Enough fooling around, then. What will it be, poke around in the back room, or keep going for the glowing door at the end of the way?


Let's just take a brief look in the back room, real brief, before moving on


Roll encounter


I'd have someone poke around my back room IYKWIM

I'll just inspect this statue here again with all the gems.


It's still a hewn statue, matching the natural stone which the cave has been carved from. It has hair-thin 'cracks' near its joints and is encrusted with gemstones.


Inspect these cracks. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10



Roll #1 9 = 9


Construct Foundry

If the statue outside represented a more noble breed, then the torch now casts its light over the mutts. Roughly formed boulders given a vaguely pony shape with jutting limbs and no detail, usually characterized by one oversized central gemstone. You are very lucky, because they are inactive and do not spring to life to strangle you.

On the far wall, a guitar catches your eye. On the left wall, away from the construction tools, you also spy a large button.

They appear to be cracked just right to give the statue a range of motion, if a statue could move. Surely nothing more than absurdity.


Possibly.But I've seen many crazy stuff when I was a pirate.
Not gonna touch this statue anymore.


Cool, let's take the guitar and idly strum it before carrying it with us
Now let's take a look at this biiiiig button
'1d10' appraise

Roll #1 8 = 8


I also shout back "Hey miss Selena, I found something cool!"


Oh dear.
Let's go see.


Strumming the guitar doesn't seem to make any noise - or at least, not very much.

The button is on a box bolted directly into the wall, you'd need to deconstruct it to see what it's mechanized to.

In response to your shout, the room is filled with an eerie glow as the crystals built into the constructs begin to glow. You've woken them!


Oh no!
"Rhanna, look out!"
Gotta wait for my acid spray.
Aim my gun.
"Stop. Can you hear us?"


Oh no
Let's get my weapon ready for the incoming fight
'1d10' sharpen
'1d10' also appraise them

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 9 = 9


They've finished warming up, and they begin to attack! They are the crystal constructs, they're here to win the day. And if you think they can't they'll always find a way. That's why the ponies of this city build them. Constructs 1 & 2, and 3… and the front room even!

Two gang up on your to bash you from either side, but only one connects!

You can't focus on sharpening your blade enough to finish the job, but you do get a good look at the first one.

The third construct leers at you, its shoddy construction making it unable to connect with your fleet movements.

Construct 1 [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Skills: Rough Hewn: passive; Deal -2 damage, take -2 damage from any source except hammers.
Description: It's tough, and that's just about all there is to say about it.

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]

A construct will enter combat from the front room next turn!


Oh! Quick, check that tool box for any hammers while taking a look at the next construct!
'1d10' appraise

Roll #1 1 = 1


Roll search


"Aira, I could use some inspiration right now!"
Fire at those gems! '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


How can you not find a hammer in a toolbox?!

Roll #1 9 = 9


You had to find a toolbox in the room, since I didn't mention one! But you found one after all.

You retrieve a hammer, but don't have time to appraise a new construct.

The remaining construct gives you a full hit to the broadside!

The statue from the front room enters in all its glory!
Its perfectly chiseled form forms words, and it speaks:

"Anon, you die."

It leaps in the air and opens with a flying kick, but fortunately you move and only get bruised on the arm. Still - ow! That's a lot of rock!

"Huh? What's going on in there?"
Aria will enter next turn.

Your assault plinks off uselessly!

A critical hit and a full hit await you, however! One construct punches you in the face, while the other smashes your foot!

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]


Aira pls plsssss
You were here 5 seconds agooo

I think I had a rope in my saddlebags?
Lasso that shit around construct 1's feet '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Miss Selena, quick, take this!"
Try to make a quick gadget and toss it to her
'1d10' gadget, distill life

Roll #1 8 = 8


also I meant to say tool storage, not box


It tramples right over the rope and punches you in the stomach. You also get punched in the flank by another! That's TWO kinds of punch, and that's better than one!

In fairness, it was probably a tough sell to get a moving construct made out of rock to hang around in one place long enough to get tied up.

Aria enters. Her music is just depressingly bad (critfail)! Probably because she's using a poor instrument. Everyone gets -1 next turn.

Selena tossed you a +1 Distill Life filter for your distillation magic.

You make a gadget and toss it to Selena, but you still get punched by Construct 3.

"Diamond Dog, you are already dead."

Anon smashes out the ceiling so some rocks fall on you and trap you!

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] HLP


Drop my ears.
This is bad.
But quick, Distill some life '1d10' using gadget

Roll #1 10 = 10


I really have to stop forgetting to appraise

Rocks, hah! I'll easily dig through them!

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 6 = 6


Everyone got a potion! (10-1+1 = crit)

Aira tries a more simple tune and it's inspiring! +1 next turn.

The statue brings a stoney hand down on her head and smashes her into helplessness!

Constructs 1 and 2 swing and miss!

You can't appraise while Helpless!

You scrape and scratch and finally burrow free, but it isn't easy.

Construct 3 gives you a full smack to the face!

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (POT)
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] (POT)


Drink potion!
Then Acid the shit out of all these statues '1d10+1'

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


I already had a Potion with me before, so I should have drunk it before Selena gave me another one?
Now let's sharpen that hammer up!
Not going to appraise this turn since drinking the old Potion should already have taken my instant action


'1d10' sharpen

Roll #1 1 = 1


They are remarkably sturdy against acid, but you do burn all of them a bit.

The constructs miss you entirely, so Anon shows up to critically smash you straight in the teeth with a stoney foot! You're knocked down (but you'll get up again, he's never gonna keep you down).

You fumble your bow and collapse! Fortunately, you only get a little punched by Construct 3.

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP


aaa! What's going on! Get up… '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


I wasn't trying to sharpen my bow!
'1d10' updog

Roll #1 5 = 5


You didn't provide any details about it!

What's updog no updog for you! …until…

One construct tries to smash you but spends the whole turn trying to cross the room slowly.

Anon glancingly slaps you. "Shush your mouth!"

With lightning speed, you roll back up and even pull Rhanna to her paws!

2 constructs each try to hurt you, but their joints are too stiff to close in!

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░]


Fuck what do I do what do I do?!?
Pull a big hammer from my hat '1d10+2'

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Okay, let's sharpen that hammer now and appraise that next construct, hopefully we won't get hit this time
'1d10' appraise
'1d10' sharpen

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 3 = 3


You pull out a fine mallet with a metal plate on the end. This will do nicely!

Both constructs try to smash you but just get in each others' way.

You stop and wonder about how to sharpen your hammer for a minute instead of actually doing it. Hm…

Construct 2 [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░]
Skills: Rough Hewn: passive; Deal -2 damage, take -2 damage from any source except hammers.
Description: It's tough, and that's just about all there is to say about it.


Put my hat on again and give the mallet to Rhanna.
Distill Life again and keep moving '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


Also one construct misses you but Anon kicks you in the shin.

"You are so tiny!"

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]


You tried to give the hammer to Rhanna, but she didn't want it. (Already holding a hammer)


Oh well, I'm distilling life anyway


"I already have a hammer! Use that one yourself!"
You know what let's just hit these fools after drinking my Potion
'1d10' attack the first construct

Roll #1 3 = 3


You haven't received the potion yet! Drink it next turn.

You glancingly ping the first construct. 3 bloodies you with a knock to the head, and Anon tries to finish you but misses!

Made potions!

One of the constructs swing and misses you, but he creates the opening for the other one to critically smash your neck!

Construct 1
Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓░░░░░░░░░] (POT)
Rhanna [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (POT)


Take my potion!
Then get ready and slam the construct 1 with my hammer! '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


I was talking about the Potion that Selena gave me earlier in this fight that I got after drinking the Potion she gave me way earlier!

But I drink my Potion that Selena just brewed and try to sharpen Selena's hammer



Roll #1 10 = 10


A critical hit, you finished it!

You get smashed by a construct. Anon is trying to dazzle you. Next turn, roll resist instead of acting!

You can only hold one potion at once.

You pick up a piece of construct and rig it to the front of the hammer to make it sharper! (+1)

You get smashed by a construct. Anon is trying to dazzle you. Next turn, roll resist instead of acting!

Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]


Oh my, anon, I don't know why but he's very qt.
No, keep running and distill life again '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


'1d10' whoop whopp focus on the battle

Roll #1 10 = 10


Perfect resist! Anon sobs in the corner (2 turns) that no one appreciates his exquisite chiseled form.


Oh right, now Distill Life '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


I'm too young for that!
Appraise Anon analytically
And then kick the second construct ass with the hammer

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 1 = 1


You fumble your tools and go helpless. Must be sympathy for the construct.

Construct 2 misses you!

His form is too magnificent to comprehend. You collapse in awed appreciation of his rugged body.

Construct 3 misses you.

Construct 2
Construct 3
Anon (HLP-1)

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP




A new challenger approaches! They could really use some help with these constructs.


G-get up '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


Get up '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


They need upness first.
Help Rhanna up.

Roll #1 1 = 1


O-oh my that statue is handsome (HLP)

Construct 3 punches you in the flank, but its rough hewn form is not meant for fighting (yet) and it hardly hurts through your armor

Your nose begins to bleed. And not from the beatings!

You can't quite get up. Construct 2 misses.

Anon cheers up. "I'm just glad I have an audience that appreciates me!"

Construct 2
Construct 3
Anon (HLP-1)

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░] HLP


Correction: Anon is up now


Nooooo get up before that perfect body entrances and warms up my old limbs '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


It's completely from the injures you disgusting freak
'1d10' now we're up

Roll #1 2 = 2



Roll #1 4 = 4


How could such a non-pony be so entrancing? You get up before these questions can be answered.

Anon misses you with a kick!

You two are still down, though.

Construct 2 and 3 both kick Maeda while she's down.

Construct 2
Construct 3
Anon (HLP-1)

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP


Not entrancing enough to evade my HOLY HAMMER
Hammer Anons perfectly chiseled butt '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


'1d10' this is no time to play dead

Roll #1 9 = 9


"How can something so handsome, be so cruel!"

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Such are the tides of fate, which cast us as enemies. Alas: it would never work. We are from two different worlds. Me, an animated statue construct perfect in every way. You, a pony trespasser designated for early decommissioning. It is best that we just end this quickly."

Fucking articulate constructs! 2 and 3 are less so, and 3 manages to injure you while down.

Back in the fight!

Anon tries to collapse some rocks on you, but only a few land.

You put a crack in his crack.

Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] HLP


Get some distill life up in this bitch '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


"So be it. I will find the strength to end your perfection!"

Roll #1 2 = 2


Roll one of my dice!


Don't forget your +1!
It's hammer time for the second construct
Also appraise Anon
'1d10' appraise
'1d10' hammering

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 6 = 6


Roll the 6 one '1d6'

Roll #1 5 = 5


You roll the 6, it vanishes into oblivion. Suddenly… your potion, which was about to explode, calms down and settles into a good batch.

Construct 2 misses you with a slow stoney swing!

Maybe you will, but not quite yet, since you're still dazzled!

His form is too perfect to be appraised, clearly!

You hammer construct 2: large cracks appear in the side. Construct 3 bashes at you but misses.

Anon punches you in the face. "Like what you see?"

Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (POT)
Rhanna [▓░░░░░░░░░] (POT)
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] HLP (POT)


Take my potion!
Another hammer strike upon Anon's bald head. '1d10'
I-I don't think I saw such a perfect head before!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Roll '1d7'

Roll #1 7 = 7


He looks more like a dorky tall thing, it's hard to appraise him because looking at him makes me giggle!
Drink the Potion and dig a hole. Let's see how strong he is when he gets his foot stuck!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Construct 2 and 3 each give you a full hit from either side, capitalizing on your distraction!

You roll away another die: your mallet is drawn like a magnet to a soft spot on the head, where cracks appear.

"Alas! The world churns!"

You try to dig a hole, but he's smart enough to stay out of it. He tries kicking at you but can't hit you from that angle.


Construct 2
Construct 3

Selena [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] HLP (POT)


Mother may I stand up?

Roll #1 2 = 2



Roll #1 1 = 1



Roll #1 4 = 4


Maybe you should ask for a hand…


"Weird statue, I love you, but YOU HAVE TO GO!" ACID THE SHIT OUT OF THEM '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Don't worry I got you

Roll #1 3 = 3


You corrode the constructs with some acid, but not enough to finish any of them.

Anon speaks. "Go, now, to the ground."

Comboing with Construct 2, you get knocked out!

No luck for Maeda. At least Construct 3 misses Rhanna.

Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] HLP (POT)


Aira recovered from the Dazzle!


"Come on Maeda get up!"
It's up to me to get rid of the costruct 3
'1d10' hammer!

Roll #1 3 = 3


My day will come.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Aira pulled you up. (10)

"W-wow that statue was pretty dreamy! Oh wait, here he comes again!"

He kicks you in the neck!

A glancing blow, but a blow none the less! Constructs 2 and 3 both miss you.

Construct 2
Construct 3

Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (POT)


I'm too fast for them
'1d10' hammer the construct 2

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Maeda! Maeda! Use this!" throw her my hammer "They're weak to hammers!"


Spin around and drive my spear into the thing's perfect abs.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Nevermind, use the hammer!


Cracks form; forms yield; dust, evoked.

You get brutally punched by Construct 3!

(Crit) You smash through the stone, and the animation leaves it. Loot spills out all over the floor.

(Roll 11d10 for loot when the battle ends, got 8 bonus dice for critfails)

Construct 3

Rhanna [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (POT)


Costruct 3's time!

Roll #1 8 = 8


Construct 3

Rhanna [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (POT)


You finish off the remaining construct. The room is quiet once again.


Aira shakes you awake.

"Mom, are you okay? Wake up! Mom?!"


Let's help Selena up!
She needs to wake up and soon!


Rub my hurt arm with a pout
Let's check Selena too!


Open up my eyes.
"What happened?"


"There was a hands– I mean there was a statue and you got knocked out from the blows! I thought you might have a concussion!"


"We won! And look, lotsa loot too!"


Rub my head.
"Ooooh, oh yes, I remember now. That perfectly chiseled abs…"


Slowly get up and take a look at the loot.
"Thanks Rhanna, Maeda, Aira. You did a good job…"



Roll #1 7, 1, 7, 4, 10, 3, 8, 8, 1, 2, 1 = 52


Tail wagging
"You too! Now come on. Can you get up on your own?"


You found gemstones worth 70 bits, an unappraised magic guitar, an unappraised magic stone, and the following pirate dice:
d1 (2)
d8 (2)


Take a look at the guitar, it isn't Aira's?


"Can I take a look at those?"


It's not Aira's, this is some strange design you've never seen. Probably built in this very workshop with the vile darke artes of the Demon of Fives.


"Of course, go ahead."

I'll sit down on my haunches.


Roll Appraise


"Just a sec"
Taking 6 to appraise both the stone and guitar


You have to roll for these appraisals.


Do I have to roll? We're out of combat
'1d10' here's the roll anyways

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Maeda, what do you think thoe statues were?"


Magic item appraisals are always strenuous.

Failed the guitar appraisal (you can still roll the other):

This guitar does not seem well adapted to the acoustics of a typical guitar. There's no sound chamber at all. Just wires over a board. Madness!


Okay, relay the information to Selena and appraise the stone

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Spirits of lust and temptation sealed inside stone!"


Heart of True Amber - This magical stone which was once at the heart of a statue construct emits electricity. Touching it is dangerous, as arcs frequently come off of it. You're sure you'll be able to find more than one use for this.


"Ooh I'm keeping this!"


I'll let everyone have the dice they want.
Just share equally, that 3 dice for each and 2 for me.


And the money?

Which dice do you want?


A d10, a d8 and a d4


d1 (2)


d1, d3


70 is so problematic!
20 for Maeda, Rhanna and Aira.
10 for me.


Selena got d1,d2,d8


NEXT TIME: Will we EVER finish?


I'll give the d8 to Aira


It was too spooky for her, she gave it back


What a pussy!
Aria would have taken it.
Don't say this out loud.


Aira clears her throat. W"ell that was… distracting. I just hope Aria is still okay. Who knows what's being done with the slaves they took to the lair of the demon!"


"Unspeakable horrors, I'm sure."
Then give Selena a quick look and hastily correct myself.
"But I'm sure Aria will be fine! Totally!"


"Aira, don't say such things!'
Put the guitar in my saddlebags and get a move on


Lower City Depths (Outskirts)
Exiting the shop, you have but the narrow walkway to traverse to arrive at the glowing door on the far end of the room. Party leader, roll for encounter.


let's pocket that gem and cover it with a cloth and get going
maybe I can find some string somewhere to tie it up



Roll #1 10 = 10


You lead the party by wing along the ledge, and as you near the terminus of your journey, you spot an ambush set up to burst out of one of the shops and assault your team. Knowing their location, you could just ferry the non-fliers over by air and skip the fight entirely, or head into the second floor of the shop and come down, catching your would-be attackers by surprise from behind.

The former offers a faster arrival time, hopefully to save Aria. The other may yield more loot as you defeat more enemies.


I wanna fly, need to save Aria fast pls!
"There's an ambush over there, let's fly around it". I whisper


"Good eyes."


With Selena lifting Maeda and Aira lifting Rhanna, you're able to (briefly) maintain flight to sneak past the ambush.

The way is clear! The door ahead. It screams like a brilliant star in the dark of the lower city.


Time to open that door!


Oh it's open. Door in this case might be substitutable with 'portal', 'threshold' or 'opening in the rock'. A bright red glow is emitted from within. As you approach, a wave of heat rolls over you. It's hot down there!


Start panting
''There's definetly a demon here if the place is this hot…''


"Should have brought more holy water…"


''Yeah…I would really like some water now…''


"So hot…"
Do we have any water?


Aira is the only one with a waterskin!

Lair of the Demon (Cells in Waiting)
The temperature in this hallway is sweltering and the rocks are cast in an ominous red light by the large braziers. Shadows dance.

This is a long cellblock hallway which has had most of its cells already opened and abandoned. Only two cells are left, with quivering ponies hiding in the shadows. There are no guards - perhaps their station is beyond the stairs down at the end of the hallway.


check one of the cells and stand in front of the bars ''Hey, hello?''


! Go to the first cell I see, quick!


No one you recognize inside. The ponies quiver and cower back from you. Your shadows are cast, long and macabre, over their pitiful forms by the burning braziers behind you.


Keys around?


None just hanging. The door might be smashable with proper leverage - it's metal, but the frame is light. but it would create noise for sure.

One of the ponies brightens. "I recognize your sigil! Thank Celestia, the Inquisition has come to save us! We're rescued!"

The mood suddenly and jerkily changes, as a desperation to stay unnoticed shifts to a desperation to get free - ponies charge the bars and rattle them. "You have to get us out of here!"

"Help! They'll come back soon!"


''Shhhh Shhhh! they'll come back even sooner if you guys don't shut up!''


Aira suddenly gasps. "Daisy, you're alive?"

One of the pink ponoes from the cell brightens. "Aira, it's you? Get us out of here!"

"Daisy, have you seen my sister? I can't find her!"

"Well… I know something, but get me out first, we can talk about it later!"


"Don't worry, we'll help you, but you must be quiet, where is the key?"


"Be quiet, least somepony hear you. We are gonna break you out."
Try and force a lock open with the handle of my halberd.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"The slavers usually hold them but I think the Mathamancers have taken over that job for the ceremony. We don't know what happened to the ones that have already been taken!"

You jam the end of your halberd smartly under the bottom of the door and jump onto the upward end, lifting the entire door of its hinges quietly. Just a matter of leverage. That only leaves one cell locked.

Those ponies take off for the exit. Aira's friend is in the other cell.


Off to the other cell, repeat the same trick.


Roll to force silently



Roll #1 1 = 1


I'm using a pirate die.
My d1.


Let's sneak towards the stairs and look ahead to warn everyone if I see any of the guards


The door seems to be about to screech, but a die falls out of your pocket and vanishes. Useless things!

Weirdly and by unrelated circumstances, the door comes off quietly, though. Lucky.

Daisy addresses Aira and Selena…
"Aira, your sister is in another village! Or, at least I think she is. She led a rebellion when we were being brought back from the volcano and got free along with three other ponies! I don't know if they made it, but she said that they were going to try to escape to Bokis Cargo, a trading port on the northern coast of the Cape of New Seas. I think if she was still here, she'd probably be dead… they've taken so many of us away already…"

You creep toward the next area, but you hear voices. Roll if you want to try to quietly take a look.


"…she's not here?"
I sounds very sad…


"Another village?! We spent so long to get here!"



Roll #1 7 = 7


"Ssh, shh. Quiet! We gotta get out of here. The Demon is performing a divination for the High Priestess at this very moment!"

Lair of the Demon (Crossroads)
This chamber is a medium-sized circular antechamber which opens in four directions - the one you've exited from, one branching path in either direction, and one huge set of double doors straight ahead, which are now standing open. To your left it looks like some kind of archive, and to the right you feel a burst of cold air on your face. Could it be an opening to the surface?

There are voices from both the archive room and the doors straight ahead.


"We must stop that, right now!"


head back and tell the others about what I found


"I'll tell you all I know, since you are a member of the Inquisition, I know you'll try to stop it. The Demon seems to be a huge creature from what I've heard… maybe it's made of stone, or has stone skin, or wears a stone mask, I'm not sure. Its body puts off so much heat that this entire wing of the lower city is heated by it, and it has a team of cryomancers that try to keep it cooled off. I'm not sure what they use the sacrifices for, but I don't think it can be good!"


Please do tell them


"This will require special precautions…"



I look sad.
'…she's not here…"


Aira concurs. "There's nothing left for us here. We should just leave and try to find Aria."


okay gosh

''I found a big room ahead with four doors down the stairs…I heard voices from a library and a big open room with huuuge doors. I also heard voices coming from both! and there's also a really cold room on the east door…Maybe the cryomancers?''


Give her a hug.
"There, there. We'll find her."


"No, Aira, we're here and we'll help these ponies!"


"And…we have to find your guitar!"


"It could be in any one of those shops or even in the slave city…"

Daisy shakes her head. "Your guitar was magic, I saw them take it to the Mathamancer's study to get appraised. It's probably still there."


"Okay, we don't have much time, here's what we'll do.
First we find this guitar, then we come back here and kill the cryomancers, hopefully killing the demon in the process."


Daisy points out, "The cryomancers have separate chambers, but in a divination, they are probably all with the demon itself, trying to keep it cool while it sees the future. I've heard its fortunes, everything it predicts - past present or future - is true!"


"Yes, I want Aira's guitar back!"


"If we are lucky, it won't turn its eye towards us."


Daisy shrugs. "Good luck, then. I'm getting out of here. I'm guessing you didn't come here alone? No way you just snuck past an army."


"We did.
But go back, daisy. There's a camp outside Enkilj, that'll take care of you.
Oh and be sure to say we saved you. That gets us credit nowadays!"


"Good luck."

She takes off.


"…you know, in my days, ponies helped each other!"
I say once she's gone


"This place feels strange from the ground up.
It's like everyone's under a crazy spell."


Aira lays back her ears. "That's not fair mom, she did give us a lot of information."


"Hmmmph, if they don't help, what good is it?!"

"You're right, in a way.
Let's continue!"


"They will help, at least a bit. We know a weakness of the demon, and where to find the guitar."
Take a short pause.
"And that Aria is still alive, and fighting on."


Lair of the Demon (Crossroads)
This chamber is a medium-sized circular antechamber which opens in four directions - the one you've exited from, one branching path in either direction, and one huge set of double doors straight ahead, which are now standing open. To your left it looks like some kind of archive, and to the right you feel a burst of cold air on your face. Could it be an opening to the surface?

There are voices from both the archive room and the doors straight ahead.


"Now, what did they say the place was…"


"Under some kind of spell?"


Shake my head quickly.
"Your guitar Aira! Where did Daisy say it had been taken to?!"


"The Mathamancers' Study"


"Then we'll go there!"


"You have any idea where that is?
I'd say the books look promising…"


"Let's see, there are three directions. Daisy said one of them leads to the study and one to the cryomancers' quarters, and another to the demon itself. Rhanna speculated that the cold path, to the right, might lead to the cryomancers' quarters. I would imagine if I had a giant demon, I would put him behind the big double doors…"


"Then it's decided. To the left!"


To the left!


Mathamancer's Study

You peak around the corner into the chamber. There are large stacks of books here, but none of them have lettering on their covers, they're all in numbers! Out of a nearby stack of books you see a Gust diary sticking out.

At the back of the room there are two ornately dressed ponies discussing something in an unknown language over a guitar on the table in front of them.





I always knew math was evil.



You've got their attention!

"Odds of hostility are high. Above 75%."

"Hmm… victory odds are in our favor, however. More than 60% chance without aid, which increases to 90% if backup arrives."


"Calculations based on unknown variables has no meaning. Give us the guitar and we'll be gone."


Math is stupid!


"Like your Smith-type friend, we are skilled in Appraisal. We leverage this to calculate odds and shift battles in our favor."

"To where do you suppose you would go if your request was entertained?"


"To end this place of heresy.
Stand in our way, and not even a 99% chance of failure will stop me."


"That is statistically improbable."


"To get Asia's guitar and get out of here!… And maybe kick some demon butt while we're at it too!"
'1d10' let's see how they like MY appraise!

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Look, what if I bought that guitar from you, what are the odds we just buy it from you and we are on our way, no need to fight."


"But miss Selena, they're the bad guys, we gotta beat them!"


"Sssh, you'll get plenty of fighting later. Besides, math isn't evil. Hard maybe, but not evil."


"Yet, not impossible."


"I know it's not evil… And if we just leave these guys, they're just gonna tell their friends about us and if that happens we're screwed!


Something about appraising these ponies gives you a headache…

Mathamancer []
>Improved Appraise:
>High Order Mathematics:

"A fool's bet."

"It is unlikely you possess anything of barter value significant to us. Your currency is also foreign. You may pose a suggested trade if you think we might have overlooked something, however."

"I think it is unlikely, but statistically settling the matter by hearing you out will have a negligible effect on the outcome of a potential battle regardless."


Pull a….ancient ponygreek math book out of my hat, one from ponthagoras '1d10+2'

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


This isn't good…
'1d10' gadget, distill life and give it to Selena

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Mmmm. And the odds only get worse from there."

Texts do seem to be the right line of thinking though. You get the nagging sensation that maybe you've come to rely a bit too much on Hat Magic over the years to bail you out - instead of your wits. You dismiss the thought because it stirs up VERY complicated feelings about the owner of the hat in question that you really don't have time to deal with right now.

"Have any ideas Mom? Something you've picked up over all those travels?"

Your nerves make you fumble.


Slowly walk around the room…
"Tell me what's the most valuable book in here."


You have a sneaking suspicion that Rhanna can't read Q, which as mentioned, is what all of the books (except the Gust diary) are in.


She can use appraise on them!


G-geez these guys are freaking me out
Let's try to calm down a little
"How should I know?! They're all weird and just full of nonsense numbers!"


Okay. Fuck this.
Which book are they keeping the cleanest, or on some elevated pedestal covered in anti-dust sheets and such?
Which one of those looks the most "important"?

Roll #1 1 = 1


The immediate standouts are the three books on the table where the guitar is laying. You can't make sense of their categorization system in the stacks but dust isn't giving you any clue. They don't enjoy any nice pedestals or decorations in this room: in fact, the opposite. It seems decidedly spartan. It's the opposite of every kind of mathematician you've ever seen. Cleric-mathematicians are fond of illuminations, artwork, and fine gold trim. They make lengthy dedications that border on poetry. This squat, dark room with its cold, calculated math feels positively soulless.


Then maybe there is something they value more than old tomes…
Spare papers.
Look for spare papers laying around, freshly inked. Walk over to them.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Spare paper is in abundance here. However, the search makes you feel even more alienated by the room. No inkwells. Yet they clearly have written, loose papers. There are no quills. No fountain pens. How are these documents being produced?

Besides the loose papers on the table - you squint and guess by the diagram that they are documenting the guitar - there is also the Gust diary sticking out of a nearby stack, although it was obviously not produced by them, given the entirely different style of writing, language, etc.


Maybe I could try to steal one of these books sneakily


Sure, roll for it


Uhmm…take out my writing kit and show it to them.


'1d10' yoink

Roll #1 9 = 9


"We have no need for primitive writing instruments. Is that all?"

You grab the topmost one quietly while Selena has them distracted.


Quills, but no ink.
Fresh papers, but no inkwell…
They are written in their own blood, I'm ready to bet.
And I know what I could trade.
"You can't read that book."
Point at the diary.


Uhm, scratch my head.
What about those diaries indeed.
Take 'em out.


"To the contrary: if we could not read that book, it would not be possible to have discourse with you. Equestrians are notoriously limited in their foreign language skills."

"Interesting. You have the rest of the set. The raw data is more interesting than the processed data. However, whether or not we will trade is unknown as of this moment."

"Therefore we are willing to trade."

Both of them share a smirk. This must be a logician joke.


"Yes, we'd be happy to trade them, but as a little extra, can we read the last diary as well?"


"By all means."


Give them the diaries.
Then take the guitar and hoof it to Aria.


all mine!
Well now that they're probally going to make deals let's watch the door and make sure they don't have backup coming for us
I don't trust that smile



AIRA hugs her guitar. "It's good to have you back!"


"Say. What's the odd look like, now?"


Aaaaw, that melts my heart.
I'd want to hug her, but I know she wouldn't like me doing that in public.
Let's read that diary.


"Perhaps as you may have recognized before, odds work more reliably over very large averages. For instance, predicting the fall of the city and preparing for it."

Just Lucky I'm Alive - Gerald Gust
I penetrated the cell block, and I had a look for Caroline… she's not here! Maybe deeper? Or… No, I won't think about it! I tried to pry off those doors… they looked loose on their hinges. When I started, though, an ice mage came after me. I took fight and swung around the corner. I'm just lucky to be alive. Gotta play this smart… if I'm not careful, I could end up on ice. I've got to remember to stop by their chambers and repay the favor after I've found Caroline.


Put it back.
"Let's get going, we don't have much time!"


As we walk back I say "I like the leaves."


Aira acts a little cagey. "Oh, haha. Yeah. They look really nice, right?"


''I didn't see any backups or any of the sort coming around…maybe they were bluffing about the whole thing''


"And it's so skillfully done. Where did you have it decorated like that?"


"I knew a guy in New Earth who was really good with that kind of thing…"


"My, I'd like to drop by sometime as well. Maybe he can engrave my pistols."


"I don't really keep in touch anymore, sorry… Hey, shouldn't we be focusing on that demon?!"




"Unless you're having second thoughts… I know the way to Bokis Cargo. I've been there before, we can ditch the paladins, if you want to go find Aria."


Finally give the two scatterbrains an annoyed look.
"Let's get out of here. Writing in numbers and being nerds is not heresy."


"Huh? Why didn't you say before?"


Aira points out: "Well, from here, we can either leave, head across the hall to the Cryomancers' Quarters, or down into the deepest chamber - where the Demon we've heard so much about surely waits."

"I said I wanted to leave right away when we found out Aria wasn't here! I just thought the information about where to find it wasn't as important. It's a well known trade post."


"Taking out the cryomancers would be a great help in the fight against the demon."


''We don't even have to deal with the demons then?''
''Maybe, but I still wanted to know what was that stuff all about so I borrowed myself one of their books!''
''Well…If she is not here then we don't have a reason to fight this demon then''


Shake my head.
"No, we can't leave each other alone. That's bad luck!
Aria will have to wait a little longer."

"Yes, let's do that."


"I can't remember… didn't someone tell us that they're probably already down there in the Demon's Throne because of the prophesy being told right now?"

"Well, alright."

"The siege will no doubt continue either way."


"Weren't they working from some kind of balcony?"


"It's… possible? I don't remember hearing that, but maybe I forgot in the excitement? Or maybe you had one of your visions?"


"I might be imagining things…"
'1d10' to have a vision.

Roll #1 2 = 2


''Well let's check out their quarters then. if they are there we'll take them out and move on to the demon''


Time to get a move on, if Maeda stops staring into the air.
What does the Inquisition do with their students during training to cause that?
I don't want to think about it…


You swallow a deep swig of your dream wine. Your head swims, and darkness flows. This is a decrepit lair of woe you stand in. Imagines of slave-drivers urging on their charges… little hope, even now.

You shake yourself out of it with little to show for your investment but stress and the faint numbness of liquid courage.

You run across the hall, passing the door haunted by moan-like chants, even know echoing in their strange, silted, staccato language - Q.

Cryomancers' Quarters
This chamber is strikingly cold, perhaps thirty degree (Celsius) drop. Unlike the lair of the Mathamancers, this room stinks of extravagance. The chambers are stained with bottles of wine, which now roll freely on the floor. Ecstasy and decadence come easy for these priests - the chamber streaked with gold and blue banners. Large, messy beds dot the chamber, and a frozen fountain is at the center. There are coins scattered throughout of all sorts of denominations from all corners of the world. A slave appears to be sleeping in a nearby bed - nay, she is dead. Preserved by the cold. At the back of the room, there is a full length mirror. Standing before it, recoiling in anger, is a great griffon, wings spread - but motionless as a statue. Encased in ice. The creature is dressed as an adventurer, a loose cloak and some odd machinery strapped around his shoulder.

You shake Maeda out of her Trance as Rhanna moves ahead.


*shake shake*


"Calm down, calm down… I'm out of it."
Sigh, and push meekly Selena away.
"Let's get going, where did the kid run off to?"


Look worried at her.
"Hey, take one of these!"
Distill Life for a health potion for her. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


"I'm fine, really."


"Okay….let's look for Rhanna…"


A curious art, the distillation of life. Where life is found in surplus - the great meadows and forests, or townhouses bursting with life - these are rarely the places where it most desperately be distilled.

Nothing hangs in this air but death. (Cooling down)


"Rhanna! Rhanna!"
Where is that puppy


Kinda weird how those organized and calm guys back there would be close to a place so messy…
Or maybe that's just the demon

I walk up to the Gryphon popsicle…That must be the guy that left the notes behind!
…Well poor him
Let's walk back a bit and meet back with Selena and Maeda


Cryomancers' Quarters
This chamber is strikingly cold, perhaps thirty degree (Celsius) drop. Unlike the lair of the Mathamancers, this room stinks of extravagance. The chambers are stained with bottles of wine, which now roll freely on the floor. Ecstasy and decadence come easy for these priests - the chamber streaked with gold and blue banners. Large, messy beds dot the chamber, and a frozen fountain is at the center. There are coins scattered throughout of all sorts of denominations from all corners of the world. A slave appears to be sleeping in a nearby bed - nay, she is dead. Preserved by the cold. At the back of the room, there is a full length mirror. Standing before it, recoiling in anger, is a great griffon, wings spread - but motionless as a statue. Encased in ice. The creature is dressed as a soldier vagrant, a loose cloak and some odd machinery strapped around his shoulder.

The rapacious, if haggard scamp is here, even now - eying over the chamber of exuberant wealth.


''I'm here I'm here. Don't shout though, the cryomancers might be hanging around…''


Paths crossed: words, into synchronous. Time: short.


Nod silently. "What's that thing on the gryphon?"


''I'm not sure…Let me take a look''
Let's appraise that machinery on his shoulder

Roll #1 6 = 6


(Appraisal) It's a heavy mechanical mechanism about 30cm x 20cm x 20cm. Based on the keys, which are labeled with letters, it seems to be a portable press. The mechanism is fascinating.

(Practical) It looks very heavy if the stance is anything to go by. It must be valuable to carry such a thing into combat, though its metallic make and size perhaps at least afford it the ability to shield a wayward blow.


Yours is the top reply


Put on my fur coat!
Take a look at the scamp.


Wow…This guy was ready for any writting emergencies I bet
''It's just a press he put in his shoulder…That explains why he scattered those notes and why their writing looked a little too perfect…''


The scamp, accompanied in her thoughtful craft, is accompanied by the divine hellion. Even now, they make what they may of the frozen unfortunate.


Go over to the mirror.
Does my coat look good?


''Who is that over there?…'' point to the scamp


"A press?"
Read some of those notes.


''Yeah you know. He used that to write on his way''
'…Think we should try to get him out of all that ice?''


A layer of carbon mars your visage. Choked, gasping for breath under the oppressive smoke of this tenebrous lair. The time for action is now - not flagrant posing!

The notes your group collected? Sure, you can read them [in old threads].

You think better of pointing at yourself


Look around.
"There's nopony here!"


"Is he even alive still?"
The notes Rhanna just said were scattered around here.


None but the dead and soon to be. The chanting from beyond the hall echoes ever loudly. A climax will no doubt come any second.

She has a loose understanding of "here". By "here", she means since entering the city.


warm myself up.
How's Aira doing?
"Maeda, do we still need to do a lot here? We should move on…"


''Hmmn…Maybeeee? I mean you can freeze meat and keep it good right? He's probally fine''
''If we're going, you should take this''
'1d10' give Selena a gadget for Distil life

Roll #1 4 = 4


Aira seems preoccupied with the chanting.

"I have concerns about how ominous the music is getting…"


You lose your focus when the chanting from beyond the hall comes to an ominous and heart-stirring stop. Now, only silence remains. Chilling - one could hear a pin drop.


Hold my breath. Reach for my halberd.


''N-nevermind, let's just get going…''
I stay besides the Selena, trying to warm myself with her coat


"I have a bad feeling about this!"


There is a stirring in the halls. A shriek of exultation pierces - echoing with grim intent. You hear a flurry of hoofsteps on stone.


Grab my weapon.


Engage Tacticool Mode, hiding beside a door.


A number of ponies bolt past you, exiting the great worship chamber where the demon no doubt lurks. They don't stop to check on you.

At least that's a few less you'll have to fight. The ominous silence seems to have returned with the departure of those ponies.


Find somewhere to hide and snipe!


"Well…no where to go but up…"


She just had to talk.


Look towards the chamber they just ran out of
''I think they made the


Or in this case down: the great descent into the deepest chamber of the underground depths that make up the lower city.

Her words echo faintly, but with no reply or apparent reaction. Across the hall, the Mathamancers depart hastily with stuffed backpacks in tow.


Motion towards the descent then. Down we go.


Time to go and kill!


Lair of the Demon (Throne Approach)

These great stairs look large enough to accommodate potentially a hundred ponies at once - torture cages hang freely from the ceiling for 'decoration'. They are all barren now. Sounds of stirring, of life, come from below, but due to the angle of descent, you cannot see the chamber ahead, and once you descend, you will immediately be in sight of anything down there with no thresholds to hide at.

If there was ever a time for final preparations - this was it.


Does everyone have a potion?
Otherwise, Distill Life


Sit down. I need to pray.
Do it in the same old way I always did. Completely silent, bathing a rolled up rag in dream wine and tying it around my head. The sweltering heat should make it evaporate nicely, something sweet to smell as I confide in higher powers.

Dream Wine.

Roll #1 7 = 7


You prepare potions for the party. Your alchemized spells are Homing Missile, Homing Missile, and Bolster


let's make sure my bolts are all good to go
'1d10' gadget again

Roll #1 6 = 6


That's good!
I'm ready


You see a face. It seems like a year since you've seen her, but in truth it has only been a couple of weeks. Inquisitor Lord Wind. The last thing she told you, before you departed…

"Use your best judgment. I have faith in your abilities, as in our Lady of the Light. Only confidence in the virtue of our path will lead us to victory. It is this certainty in the truth that leads us to triumph over evil - and why we can do what common ponies cannot."

You open your eyes. The vivid memory has strengthened your resolve. You gain +2 to all attempts to stand up for the next fight only.

You buckle down and focus. Growing frustrated with your slip-ups, you rip off a piece of your shirt and tie it around your head as a sweatband to keep the sweat out of your eyes as you work - it's swelteringly hot down here. For the next fight only, your Gadget is Instant Automatic and gadgets will not break, even if the user fails.

You create a +1 attack gadget - a scope.

Before you go in, Aira gives you a little hug. "We don't have to do this, you know…"

But after sharing a moment looking into your eyes, she nods. "Okay. We can do this… We will do this. Together."

Your bond presses you to succeed! You get +1 to all actions for the next fight only.


"Yes, remember, look your enemy right in the eye! Never back down!"


Time to go commando!
''Let's do this everyone!''


"Yes. Let's go."
March forth.


Lair of the Demon (Throne)

You descend the stairs, entering into a circular plaza. To your left and right there are short stairways to a lowered area where there are a number of large water tanks - bubbling ferociously. The room is cobbled stone throughout, and drenched in blood. Attending each tank, there is a pony, each looking ferociously noble - dressed in jewels, gems, and finery.

Directly before you, however, occupying a great deal of your field of view, is a hulking stone face, several times larger than any of you. Its maw gapes wide. Hot air floods from its stinking gullet. Its eyes are perhaps the largest rubies you've ever seen. Directly before the face, between it and your little circular stand, there is a deep pit, from which several spears jut forth. They are swinging back and forth wildly. A loud, deep, voice fills the room without warning, causing even the attendants to cringe due to volume. It's in Q, and incomprehensible.

A pony on one of the lower sections - in simpler garb, more like a Mathamancer than the ponies at each tank - addresses you. "Selena and Aira Springleaf. Rhanna the Free, Maeda Tree - your coming was foretold. You are intending to fight - I tell you, there is no point. Turn back now and save your other daughter. Any victory you think you might win here would be a hollow one."


Step forward.
"We're not afraid of you! If this is the best you have, you might as well surrender now and spare us the trouble of coming over to spank you!"


Raise my bow to the pony
''You're just saying that to get us to leave your demon alone! But I ain't having that, now get out outta here before we hurt you too''


"Your victory would be meaningless. Our master's phylactery has already been moved to a safe location. Even if you were to win a victory here - unlikely - it would mean nothing. Instead, I have negotiated with our master in preparation for your coming. If you instead leave and spare us, his loyal servants, a fight which would certainly result in the death of at least one of us, the great and benevolent Demon of Fives will offer you this: four tellings, past present or future. Absolute accuracy. Truth beyond all truth."


Lower my crossbow
''…Anything we want to know?…''


"This isn't a Genie, obviously we won't agree to it if you ask us something that would imply you're planning to betray us - for example where we hid the phylactery, weakness, et cetera. But questions of the rest of the city - even the Upper City, are fair game. But I suspect your questions are more personal - perhaps of your family, the one you left behind?"


Puff my chest.
"We know he'll just lie! Demons always lie! Just like you!"


Stick my tongue at him ''I don't care about them anymore! And you know what, I'm not sure if I care about any of this deal either… How can I know I can even trust you huh? How can I be sure that what the demon tells me it's true HUH?!''


"What motivation is there for lying? It makes no difference to me the reason your bastard's father left you, or his current whereabouts. You seem to believe that 'evil' exists - a dangerous preconception. Nothing here is evil - it is directed toward progress, on a path to greatness. Not a drop of blood was spilled unnecessarily. So why lie to spite you? I am even aware you cut a deal with two of my underlings in the other room. I had thought you were a more shrewd bargainer."


Aira glances at you after that line


I don't notice that!

"The only deal I'm cutting is one to get that …THING" point to the big head "back to wherever it came from!"


''Y-you're just trying to confuse me…Yeah, I won't fall for that. Demons lie and their servants are liars too! This progress you talk about is just for your own benefit!''
Raise my crossbow again
''No one thinks of themselves to be evil and see themselves as being 'good' or 'progressive' but that's just a bunch of dirt you're saying! Now GET AWAY!''
'1d10+1' Fire!

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


"You are being very stubborn about killing something which cannot die. There is no reason to be so loyal to the Inquisition. They have been holding very important mail from your family for years - something you are totally unaware of."


Lemme see how stumped I am by that '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


"…you're lying."
But a lot less animated than before.


The bolt plinks off of the Demon harmlessly!

"You will regret this trespass!"

The Interpreter cries "íÑZ…ÀüðÃWS!" and points at Maeda.

Atl coats Aira in a layer of frost! She's helpless!

Xiuhcoatl covers Rhanna in a layer of frost. She's helpless!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░] (POT) HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets) HLP
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] (POT) (+2 vs HLP) MARKED


Rhanna struggles to get free from the ice! '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Try to get Aira out of the ice! '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I'd hardly call the safeguard of all of Equestria no reason."
Mirror Elixir!

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Rhanna broke free! She gets frozen again!

You can't dig through the ice - its cutting chill hurts your hooves! (5)

Aira broke herself free! (7)

Yolotli froze Aira!

As you're about to take a swig of your elixir, the spears in the pit - which seem to be rocking back and forth at random - suddenly straighten rigidly and begin to propel themselves out of the pit at high speeds! They hit the walls and with impossible coincidental trajectory, end up raining down upon you!

Meztli blasts you with an ice spear!

Xiuhcoatl raises her hooves to the air.

The Interpreter yells something incomprehensible, and waves his arms wildly.

The Demon of Fives [▓░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░] (POT) HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets) HLP
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (POT) (+2 vs HLP)


Again again again!

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


Take to the air and swoop over the interpreter.
Alchemist fire! '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4



Roll #1 1 = 1


Aira breaks herself free, but gets frozen again!

You take a brutal swing at the Interpreter. A righteous blow!

"You waste time here! The Demon has no interest in the destruction of the world and its data!"

Rhanna tries to get up, but is stressed by the heat of the chamber! (-1 next attempt to get up)

The glancing shot hits his robes and he quickly quashes the fire. (5)

Xiuhcoatl flings an Ice-Spear at Selena, but it missed.

A SONOROUS BLAST emanates from the Demon of Fives! You clutch your ears and crumple as it knocks you helpless!

Coatl, Namacuix, Yolotli, and Atl wave their hooves in the air ritually!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░] HLP (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] (POT) HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets) HLP
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓░░░░░░░░] HLP (POT) (+2 vs HLP)


use my bolster to get up!


Up. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


I mean GET UP '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Start panting and up well go

Roll #1 7 = 7


Aira and Selena languish on the ground!

The Interpreter points at Selena and yells in his foreign tongue!

Rhanna and Maeda are back up and in action!

The cryomancers reel

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░] HLP (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1) MARKED
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] (POT) HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓░░░░░░░░] (POT) (+2 vs HLP)


Aaaa! Get up quick! '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Those guys can't be up to anything good with that
Take aim and shoot Atl!

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


Let's actually protect ourselves now.
Mirror Elixir, washed down with a side of health potion.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Aira languishes on the ground next to you. "We've… got to get up!"

A barrage of spears rains down on you, but only half hit!

A glancing ice spear hits Aira!

A bolt sprouts from Atl's bejeweled chest. With a scream of age, she fires back an ice spear at you.

Critical mirror! Your body turns chrome enough to absorb TWO incoming ice spears! Pick targets for them next turn with your action.

The interpreter yells in his foreign tongue and marks YOU!

Xiuhcoatl waves her arms in the air!

Meztli casts a FROST BARRIER on Atl!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew BARRIER
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] HLP (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (POT) HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)


"We have to!" '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Reflect one onto the interpreter, just as I Fervor and charge at him!
The other one goes back to whoever casts it.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Time to sharpen up
And drink a Potion while we're at it

Roll #1 1 = 1


Aira gets up! Meztli misses her!

Xiuhcoatl is charging a frost orb!

You're up, and back in the fight!

Yolotli gets speared!

You glancingly hit the Interpreter - he staggers back, clearly badly wounded. He marks Selena!

The Demon fires spears upon you, but they're glacing. They take a toll nonetheless! Namacuix and Yolotli wave their arms.

With all the frostfire around, you can't focus! You growl at yourself for refusing to appraise anything.

Atl casts a FROST BARRIER on Yolotli.

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter (wounded)
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind BARRIER (wounded)
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew BARRIER (wounded)
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] (POT) (Bol-HM-HM) (+1)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (POT)
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)


Can't do much about it.
wham wham wham, whak the interpreter.

Roll #1 7 = 7


Quickly drink my health potion!

Then use my homing potion '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Bah, I'll just try again later
What the heck is about that ice barrier though? If it's just ice, It's breakable, right?
'1d10' appraise
'1d10+1' and shoot Xiucoatl

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3


Roll a 8 die '1d8'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Namacuix freezes Aira where Coatl failed!

You slash the interpreter again! He groans: "Your regrets will be interminal! You will be terminal!"

Meztli freezes you!

The potion cracks … it's going to spill out on the floor!

A die rolls out onto the floor and vanishes! Your homing magic is unleashed with a perfect 5 darts! (Roll to target at your leisure)

Xiuhcoatl fires a frost orb at you… you feel your previous motivation sapped from you! (+1 bonus lost)

A barrage of spears rain down on you again!

Frost Barrier: Blocks one damaging effect.

Atl, the Morning Dew [▓▓░░░]
>Frost Orb: Automatic; Charges one turn, then saps a character's bonus.
>Ice Spear: Standard attack. Ranged.
>Freeze!: On a pass, deals 1 damage and renders a target Helpless.
>Ritual: Reduce the Demon's heat by 3 on a full cast, or 2 on a glancing cast.
Description: Cryomancer with the duty of preventing the Demon from overheating. Very light target.

Atl waves her hooves in the air!

The Interpreter marks you!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
The Interpreter (wounded)
Coatl the Frostweaver
Coolant Tank Alpha
Namacuix of the Permafrost
Coolant Tank Beta
Yolotli the Chilling Wind BARRIER (wounded)
Coolant Tank Delta
Atl the Morning Dew BARRIER (wounded)
Coolant Tank Gamma
Meztli the Palpable Dark
Coolant Tank Epsilon
Xiuhcoatl of the Grave-Chill (damaged)
Coolant Tank Zeta

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (Bol-HM)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (POT) (Fast Gadgets) MARKED
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓░░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP) HLP




Hello darkness my old friend
Not time for you yet.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Please no!
Time for Acid Spray! '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Use my 1 die to crit that!


Only one? Well better start getting rid of them!
'1d10+1' on Atl
'1d10' Appraise the Demon of Fives

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 1 = 1



Your spray nozzle groans. Twisted. Reeling. About to break. The seems around the patches on the tube bulge under the pressure. The bilious blight within sizzles with misintent. Just when the tube is about to give away, you feel shocked to the core, an otherworldly sensation passes through you. Within your pocket, you can feel the 1 die disappear.

Caustic spray drenches the rogues' gallery - illicting a chorus of screams!

Coatl and Yolotli attempted to freeze Selena!

Rise, slowly, but with purpose and indefatigable resolve - many will fall in the face of evil, but not you. Not this day!

(Crit) Regained 2 health!

Meztli missed you with a spear!

Atl, shield broken by the acid, is felled by your bolt!

A rain of spears comes down upon you! One misses, one is a full blow! Reeling from the blow, as consciousness fades, you wish you had thought to drink your potion…

Namacuix waves his arms!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
Coatl the Frostweaver [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Alpha [Cracked]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Beta [Cracked]
Yolotli the Chilling Wind [Wounded]
Coolant Tank Delta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Gamma [Cracked]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (Bol-HM)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░] HLP
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)

No one is marked! The Demon prepares for a series of Sonorous Blasts!


I said I drank my potion here >>657542


Fly around as fast as Rainbow Dosh to dodge those Blasts! '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Oh, missed that. Keep an eye on the damage charts and let me know if I miss something. Okay, you've got 3 health left, then.


Dance around the blasts, focusing fully on defense.

Roll #1 5 = 5


''Good onemiss Selena!'' I groan out with the pain from the spear. Dang these guys are tough
Time to dig for cover!

Roll #1 10 = 10



No one is marked! The Demon of Fives prepares to manually exhaust its heat!

(Crit) Rhanna pries loose one of the gold plates and shields (PC's choice) Selena from the blast. Maeda stiffens against the blow, but is knocked down.

Aira, already on the ground, is helpless but to take the blast.

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
Coatl the Frostweaver [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Alpha [Cracked]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Beta [Cracked]
Yolotli the Chilling Wind [Wounded]
Coolant Tank Delta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Gamma [Cracked]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (Bol-HM)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] HLP
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓▓░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓░░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP) HLP


Oh, that was a partial dodge, you do get 1 health back


>The Demon of Fives [▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░]


Oh gee. Down again.

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3



Gotta distill life quick '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Crit pls! '1d2'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Use a pirate die. The d1.


Now that we got cover and they're distracted, let's keep the pressure with another shot!
'1d10+1' Yolotli

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


Aira is back up!

Strange and possibly heretical, these dice that you have been afforded languish even now in your satchel. It is only with a passing thought that one seems to blink out of existence. You will not be felled by fire, nor demon, nor frost. TO VICTORY!

(Crit) +2 health

You are burned by the heat bellowing forth from the mouth of the Demon!

One of your dice rolls off into the pit…

You rapidly distribute life potions - siphoned from the death of so many in this chamber - to your companions.

You are burned by the heat bellowing forth from the mouth of the Demon!

Coatl freezes you! A series of ice and fire!

You pick off one Cryomancer, as the other helps cool the Demon!

Meztli freezes you!

You are burned by the heat bellowing forth from the mouth of the Demon!

Namacuix waves his arms.

The Demon of Fives [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Coatl the Frostweaver [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Alpha [Cracked]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Beta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Delta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Gamma [Cracked]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Bol-HM) HLP
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (POT)
Rhanna "the Free" [▓░░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets) (POT) HLP
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP) (POT)

No one is marked! The Demon prepares for a series of Sonorous Blasts!


Updated heat with arm waving

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]


I think there's a song about this shit! Get out '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


No sounds.
Instead, strike the coolant tank closest to the demon to disrupt its attack!
And drink a pot.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Aira drinks her potion and smashes Coolant Tank Alpha!


ow ow ow ow get up up up

Roll #1 5 = 5


'1d3' dice dice dice

Roll #1 2 = 2


Selena and Rhanna get back up!

Instead of a sonorous blast, a choking black smoke emerges from the Demon's mouth. It's too hot!

Coatl, Namacuix, and Meztli wave their arms!

No one is marked! The Demon prepares to exhaust excess heat!

The Demon of Fives [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Coatl the Frostweaver [Death's Door]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Delta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Gamma [Cracked]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Selena Springleaf, the Alchemist [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Bol-HM)
Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░]
Rhanna "the Free" [▓░░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets) (POT)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)


Back in the hole we go
drink that potion and sharpen!

Roll #1 8 = 8


Strike at Coatl.

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Aira, watch out!"
try to dodge this stuff myself! '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


C-crit? '1d2'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Aira smashes tank Gamma!

Flames bellow from the mouth of the Demon!

You slip on your own blood as a die rolls away into the abyss.

You are burned by the exhaust and lose consciousness…

Powerful! Your blade gleams with ability! (+1)

You are burned by the exhaust!

You dispatch the cryomancer in a singular strike!

You are burned by the exhaust!

Namacuix and Meztli wave their arms.

The Demon of Fives [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Delta [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Gamma [Cracked]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)

No one is marked! The Demon prepares a sonorous blast!


I lay down?



Aira smashes Tank Delta!


>The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]

**Corrected heat post-waving


''Miss Selena!''
Alright this thing asked for it
shoot the thing right in it's stupid face!

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Aira calls out to you, "Maeda, we need to overheat it before the next blast! Hurry!"


Fervor. Attack coolant tank Gamma!

Roll #1 3 = 3


Use the d8 pirate die.

Roll #1 8 = 8


A powerful blow! You smash through the tank!

Instead of a sonorous blast, a choking black smoke emerges from the Demon's mouth. It's too hot!

The bolt plinks off harmlessly.

Namacuix and Meztli wave their arms!

The Demon of Fives [░░░░░░░░░░]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Meztli the Palpable Dark [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓▓░░░░░░░]
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓▓░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)

No one is marked! The Demon prepares to fire blindly!


Mirror elixir!

Roll #1 9 = 9


+2, forgot it.


I-I fricked up!
Jump behind the Maeda!


And we pretend that we're dead.


'1d10' dodge doge

Roll #1 7 = 7


Aira smashes Meztli over the head with her instrument, finishing him!

She is hit by wildly fired spears! (Glancing)

(Crit) You swig your mirror elixir just in time to absorb an Ice Spear from Namacuix! (Glancing) Redirect it!

You are hit by wildly fired spears! (Glancing)

You evade the wildly fired spears entirely!

The Demon of Fives [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Namacuix of the Permafrost [Death's Door]
Coolant Tank Epsilon [Cracked]
Coolant Tank Zeta [Cracked]

Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)

No one is marked! The Demon prepares a sonorous blast!


Aira smashes Tank Epsilon!


Run tank Zeta!

Roll #1 3 = 3



Roll #1 3 = 3


I'm too fast for them!
now let's open the crack at that tank Zeeta

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


'1d7' dice help me

Roll #1 7 = 7


Together, you crack open the last tank! The sweltering heat of the room seems to intensify!

The ice spear hit Namacuix, and finished the job!

Instead of a sonorous blast, a choking black smoke emerges from the Demon's mouth. It's too hot!

The Demon cannot exhaust heat without tanks!

No one is marked! The Demon prepares a blind fire!

The Demon of Fives [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░]

Aira Springleaf, the Heiress [▓▓░░░░░░░░]
Rhanna "the Free" [▓▓░░░░░░░░] (Fast Gadgets)
Maeda Tree, the Inquisitor [▓▓░░░░░░░░░] (+2 vs HLP)


"It's going to blow! Just survive!"

Dodge action (Glancing)


Drag Selena with me to the hole to escape the blast!

Roll #1 6 = 6


The Demon fires off one last barrage, spears shooting in every direction. The room trembles with heat and smoke as the head of stone begins to collapse.

Voices in many languages - Q, the local cult tongue, and even Equestrian coalesce. With one last roar of hatred, the giant rubies that make up its eyes fall into the pit, and the idol itself crumbles - spent.

You think - perhaps nothing more than paranoia - that it said, "Futility".

Loot rolls: 7d10



Roll #1 7 = 7


Without any further casualties, you regroup around Selena's salvaged body - beaten, but breathing.


I'm part alchemist too.
Can I try and make one of those healing potions with her tools?


Poke out of the hole
Get Selena out and shake her up ''Miss Selena get up! Ah geez you…Are really hurt…''
''Maeda?Aria-I mean Aira…Whatever. Are you alright?''


"I'll make it, I think…"

You could try fumbling around with them. Regardless, you feel inspired toward new growth. Maybe you should regroup back at the vanguard post with the other Inquisitors - there you might have time to dwell on your skills to gain.


''I did healed before, I can try again. She taught me!''
'1d10' Improvise…Something…

Roll #1 2 = 2


The goods, too carbonized


Well, there's one more thing I can try
Let's lick her booboos, it always made me feel a bit better


I hope to Celestia I don't wake up now to whatever Rhanna is doing to my booboos


Selena awakes to a very unhygienic bath

Aira: "We should get out of here… it's hot, and we're on death's door."


"aaaa, what's happening?!"


''Natural healing!''
''Come on, you got hurt pretty bad…We should get out of here before some other mad dudes show up and get angry we killed the demon…Speaking of which there's that loot laying on the floor''
Help Selena up
''I think I'm gonna take one of those gem eyes with me!''


"Uh…you don't remember those healing potions….?"




"Let's go."
I get back up.


I need something first. A trophy of the kill. Carve it off the demon's burning body.


''We should get that loot tho''
'7d10' I'll do it

Roll #1 9, 2, 9, 7, 7, 4, 10 = 48


You salvage gemstones and gold plate off the ground valued at 360 bits. A momentous haul!

There are no magic items to be found in the wreckage.

You found these pirate dice:
1d4, 2d7, 1d9, 1d10


I'll let the others pick up their haul.
I don't feel good.


''Ah dang, no magic stuff this time…''
''Don't mind if I keep this gems though!''
I'll take the gems and one d4


Go by her side.
"How are you feeling?"


Try to crack a smile.
"I'm fine. All of you did a great job…"


"She was knocked conscious, I'm sure she feels weak, still… we can divide the spoils when we get topside. Let's go."

Aira is ready.


''Yeah we all did a great job. I still can't believe we won! come on, let's get outta here and spend some of this loot on a nice dinner somewhere''


"And fast."
Help Selena walk out.


Lair of the Demon (Throne Access)
Even now, this vile stair reeks of death.

Lair of the Demon (Crossroads)
Silence, in all directions now.

Lair of the Demon (Cells in Waiting)
Empty, now…

Lower City Depths (Outskirts)
Left with a choice: backtrack along the edge back through the Construct Factory, or fight your way through the Slave City?


Just walk along.


Backtrack along the edge


Can, in setting, magic potions replenish us to full strength?
Do we have water and food?


keep following quietly, admiring muh gems



The great airlocks at the peak of the temple - once terrifying, now a symbol of your escape. Your crew is pretty badly battered, but fortunately Cumin helped you time your exit to low tide.

It's early morning, the your vessel, out in the bay, turns to approach upon your exit.

Lilly and Iga will be out shortly - she needed a moment alone, after all of this, and Iga is watching her back (and probably looting - you don't want to be a part of that and get cursed).

Besides, you wanted to make sure your crewmen made it back alright. By the looks of the expectant faces on deck, however, news has arrived.


Oh gee, I wonder what could top being named a princess.
Let's get Red up on the boat first, though, since they'll have more medical supplies there. And we should patch up Cumin before leaving him in Autumnsreach.


Selena can make potions, but with each passing turn, there is the possibility of ambush.

Selena leads on regardless.

Construct Foundry
Now motionless. The sculpted hand of Anon lay open on the floor as you trudge by.

Lower City Depths (Outskirts)
You can see the great gate in the distance…

Lower City Depths (Approach)
The gate… how fortunate that it is not yet closed or barred. It would certainly spell your doom. Perhaps the slaves fled through here.

Lower City
The enormous stairway winds up to the light - something it feels like it has been months since you had last seen. The storefronts on either side are being actively pillaged by adventurers and military folk alike. Seems you're back in "safe" territory.

Enkilj, Temple City
The seven tiers of the city have been ravaged by war. The lower five are quiet now, and a battle rages at the sixth tier. The magical smoke which once protected the upper levels is now dispelled, and aerial fighters actively buzz the temple city's peak.

Forward Camp: Courage
It seems the military leadership has moved on from the camp at the frontal gates, preferring tents closer to the action. Here, there are medical tents and a team of antiquarians appraising objects for value and potential curse danger.


Make those potions then, distill life.
Do I need to roll?


One of your riggers - Quick Whistle - remarks, "Aye, the altar claims one last toll. It turned two mares into an even scrawnier mare."

Cumin blushes at the obvious insult.

As Red is carried below, Irons asks for the report.

"Prince Vlad has been summoned back to Transcastria, but there is more sinister news, I am afraid. We have news that the High Priestess's once-consort has been imprisoned at Bright Harbor, the most secure prison in the known world, at Princessland, a prison colony in Caballeria. Apparently the Inquisition discovered that there were Lunites in Bridgewater Port."


Not with the passive bonus of being in a medical tent with supplies. You can heal up.


I'm in a medical tent now?


Clearly you are wandering through this land, dazed, like a zombie. Your daughter gently shakes you.

"Mom? We're back at camp."


"Huh? What's the matter, Aria?"
(not a typo)


"Leave him be, Whistle. We'd never have gotten the altar back in place in time without him. Just have him patched up before we leave."
I'll pause a moment.
"Mom's… you mean my father is in jail? How did they find him? How did they find out about the other Lunites? Do you know if they're still alive, beyond being imprisoned?"
Stopping a moment, I'll collect myself.
"No, you can't possibly know that, since it would have been days ago when this happened, and messages don't travel that fast…"
Sighing, I'll continue.
"Prince Vlad, I'm afraid we might have to part ways on the route to Caballeria. We- I can't in good conscience involve you in this, especially after you have already helped with this altar business."


"It's Aira! We're back, are you alright?"


Shake my head.
"Wait, where are we?"


"The camp at the gates of Enkilj, we made it out of the Lower City."


''We should find someone to tell about the Demon…Well, you should take Miss Selena to lay down a while…She dosn't look good…I'll go deal with that Demon business''
Let's look for someone important and full of autority to inform!


"…Right…right…I'm sorry, Aira. I guess I'm not the adventurer I used to be…"


Find the officers in charge of the camp.


"The news came in this morning. It's not new news I'm afraid - it would seem they were sold out after an investigation twelve days ago. WE only found out because we received word straight from the stallion who found your father - you don't want to know who, but I am guessing you already know. Do you know how long you've been underground in that temple?"

Cumin chokes out, "Probably about two and a half days."

Vlad nods sadly. "I am afraid, my lovely paramour, zat this must be our parting - if I am summoned, duty calls. However.. I should like a favor from you, as a promise of your intent. We both know that aligning with Transcastria would benefit both of our people."


"What? Without you, we never would have made it! What about that big acid! You were like, woosh!"

You're not sure who is in charge here, but Golden Wing, the injured wing commander is actually in the tent recovering here. She waves at you as you amble uncertainly.


''Hey there miss Golden Wing. We got great news! We killed the demon and most of the followers down there deep in the lower city!''


Smile and give her a hug.
"I'm really proud of you. Both of you. You're much smarter girls then I was at your age. I did all kinds of stupid things. It makes me so joyful to see both of you have become such strong mares."


"The Demon? Of Fives, you mean? We had received intelligence about this so-called 'god', an object of heretical worship. You found it?"

She sighs. "I just want to get Aria… but it's good news, in a way, that she was able to break out…"


"We'll find her, I know it!"


''Found it and destroyed it. Here, I even got the gems it had for eyes!'' Show her the goods, but not too close to her!


I'll sit down for a second, my head swimming. After a few breathes, I'll get back to my feet.
"Vlad, I'm sorry but I can't make any promises, and I feel that I would be doing you a great disservice by not taking the time to think through this seriously. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be in a position to think anymore, so I can only promise that I will consider it, after I rescue my father and bring him to my mother. Then, on the crab, I'll have the time to give this matter the thought it deserves."
Sighing slightly, I'll unhook the necklace I've been sporting this entire trip.
"While I can't give you the answer you want right now, can you accept this token as an assurance that I am going to weigh this matter seriously in the near future?"


Those eye gems fell into the pit - they were huge anyway! But you did collect many gemstones, regardless.

"Impressive - if true. There is no doubt a reward in it, a bounty on its destruction. I'd like to hear what the Inquisitor has to say."


Wow! Smile and trot over.
"Nice yo see you all in one piece!"
Just show her the trophy I carved off the demon's body.
"True as day."


Dang, I wanted those eyes! I would have dragged them with me if needed!
''Sure, she's right here with me''


Vlad gives you a wide grin. "Very good then. We will meet again, soon."

With that, he sneaks a quick kiss, and takes off with the necklace and his bats.

Irons coughs. "Princessland, based on my reckoning, would not be far out of the way to stop at Aquamarine on the way. We'd lose at most… six hours, plus however long we stay. I imagine you'll want to leave at once, although Cumin hasn't been treated yet, and we do not have word on Lilly's plans, or Iga's. That being said, I think we've done them enough favors, and the loot from the temple is surely enough to buy them passage. They are not outlaws in this land, as we are."

Cumin also seems really uncomfortable since leaving the temple, as well, for some reason…



She salutes with her casted leg.

"It is good to see Our Lady of the Sun has protected you in this endeavor. I will take your word for it that the Demon is dispatched, then. One less thing to worry about for us - and one writ of reward, for you. Now only the High Priestess remains."

Aira blurts out, "Is the Inquisition actually holding our mail?!"

Golden Wing raises a brow.


Raise a brow as well.
"Not by my hoof, if that's what you're asking."


I barely remember.
After this I'm going to take a vacation with Emmy.
Dear Celestia, I'm already calling her Emmy.


''Oh yeah about that… Those cultists were talking about that and how there's something they're hiding from Selena…They even offered to let us know the aswer to any question we asked. The Demon would aswer it if we gave up, but we kicked their butts of course! We don't make deals with demons!''


"We owe Cumin at least to patch him up before we set sail. I want to make certain everything is prepared for the voyage, since we haven't had a chance lately to take this thing out to get some things you can't get underwater. I'm sure the townsfolk at home would like a little something from the surface once in a while, right? Anyway. That should give everyone enough time to prepare, tell Lily and Iga they're on their own as far as transport is concerned, and get Cumin back to the Celestials before they miss him. Then, we leave with the tide."
I'll wobble a bit.
"And, really, I could just use the chance to lie down. Irons, I can leave this all in your hooves, right?"


Golden Wing coughs. "Regardless of my wings - I am no courier. I am sure it is a misunderstanding, or perhaps a devil's trick. But I am sure if you inquired with the Office of Information, writ in hand, they would be assured of your good intent and release any mail - if mail it be - they happen to be holding."


Irons, the faithful rock, nods. "I will make ready for sail."

Cumin scrunches uneasily.


"Aira, could you go and see if they have anything?"


I'll take a few steps, but stop.
"What's the matter, Cumin? They're not going to eat you.


''Yeah, I knew they were just trying to bluff and convince us to not fight…''
''Soooo, since we defeated that demon thing, do we get some cool privileges around here now?''


"Who's in charge of this camp, Golden?"


Commander Golden*


"Ah, right now? Well, alright. It might be an hour. I guess you could use the rest, though."

"Well, there's no way I can cover up all the damage down there, and all those supplies sacked… those were supposed to last for a long time. Angry sponsors aside, it's going to be pretty apparent that I helped Lunites, and I'm worried - especially about this latest news of Lunites being taken to Bright Harbor…"

It would seem that Autumnsreach may be dangerous for Cumin to remain in. Of course, you are under no obligation to take in the frail scholar. You could leave him, but if he IS taken and tortured, you doubt he'll last long. Perhaps it would be best to cut his throat and throw the body to the fish - no chance of torture, and he would be given an honorable funeral, as no one would suspect he helped you willingly if executed.

"Good question. I have rank, but I believe the chief of medicine, Doctor Aquarius, has command. These are only civilians - High Command has moved to tier four."

She spits. "Cowards. Leaving two whole segments of cities between themselves and the fighting. I'd be up there with the bombings right now - covering myself in glory - if I could get the paperwork to leave."


I think I can use the rest indeed.


Aira takes off to head back to the main adventuring camp at the shore.


Scrunch a bit, thinking this over.
"Let's say I do get this paperwork cleared. You won't kill yourself, will you?"


I think I'll go to the shrine of Celestia.


Ugh, why is nothing ever easy.
"Fine, fine, we'll just say we kidnapped you and take you along. It's not a lie if it's true."
Assuming that Whistle's still about, I'll boss him around a little.
"Whistle, could you take Cumin to get patched up, and then show him his bunk, or spot on the floor, or wherever we can put him? We're keeping him, apparently."
And with that, I'm off to go to my quarters (and by quarters I mean hammock in the cargo area) and process the amount of shit that's happened today.



She gives a hollow laugh. "Good luck with that! Aquarius is a stern and bitter soul. Perhaps too many years of cleaning up soldiers while doing no fighting herself! Regardless, I would be grateful if you could put some sense into her."

The camp you're thinking of is the camp Aira is headed to. This is just a small camp - a few tents and a barricade, set up at the gates of Enkilj. The shrine is at the main camp at the shore, across the battlefield.


"Can't really have the mare who saved my flank miss out on all the fun, can I?"
Smile and move to leave.
"Rest well, Golden."
"I'll go deal with paperwork. You look still very out of it, miss Selena."


Cumin sheepishly, without looking up, says, "Thank you. I really appreciate it."

Whistle is getting Cumin settled in not very far away, but you pull some crates around your hammock so that you have a little privacy. It's days like this you wish you were on a big ship - one with Captain's Quarters.

How to decompress, though?


Well fuck, I wouldn't have sent Aira alone all the way there if I knew.
Oh well.
I guess I'll lay down in someplace soft and private and think about the past. Put Face's Fez in front of me and stare at it.


"I will see you soon."


"Hey, chin up.
We did a great thing for the good of many, many ponies today."
Leave with a smile.


This Fez… did you keep it out of rationalization, or because you actually felt something? What about those letters? Could they be from Face? But… why even bother? You already threw away the other ones. What could these say? But then, twenty years can change things…

Ugh. Better to just get some rest.

Wing nods. "Take care. The fighting is getting thick up there. I have to admire the courage of those blasphemous pagans - They're fighting to the last stallion and mare. Most would've broken and attempted retreat, yet they seem to have rallied every last individual to protect their altar. They won't last the day, though."


I wonder what he'd say if he were here.
Despite him being a scumbag, the times we were together were wonderful


''Think I can find this Aquarius in the medical tents then? or is he somewhere else? I'm not looking for fame and glory in battle…I just want to know if anyone here could help me get my paws in a few things…''


"Indeed - Aquarius is likely now skulking in his surgical tent, whether there is someone for surgery or not."

Probably something vague but hopeful. He had a way with ambiguities.


Stare at the ceiling and try to make sense of everything. Starting from the top.
The father I didn't even know was still alive was not only discovered by that creepy old pirate, but by the Inquisition too. And almost two weeks ago, to boot! He's probably just going to say that that's good enough and try to get me to marry him again.
And what the heck was mom doing, leaving father in some po-dunk village instead of taking him along? What was she thinking? Now I've got to clean up that mess and break him out of the most dangerous prison, apparently, and you just know it's going to be crawling with inqusitors and guards and mages, all of whom will be more than happy to kill first and question never.

I'm going to be spending much of the trip like this, going over how this is all stupid, how we'll needs maps (if any exist), how we have no chance of succeeding, how we might have a chance, what that salty old creep pirate will ask for in return for helping if he shows up, and so on.
In short, it's not a leisurely trip.


The courage of desperados.
Let's be off to it then.


I like ambiguities.


Skip onward to The Aquamarine City? Perhaps answers will be found yet there.

The tent is indeed depopulated - save for a squat red mare performing an autopsy on a dead cultist. Without turning, she acknowledges your entry.

"Leave new cadavers in the pile out back."

You are a good pony for reasons.


At least ambiguities are interesting, facts are boring!


To the tent we go
''Hey Maeda…Should we have told her about the Phylacentery thingy?…They said the demon wouldn't be really dead so…''
''You're not Aquarius…Are you?''


I doubt it, but there will be words to be had.


"We've killed one of the bodies of the demon of five."


"Doctor Aquarius, C.M.O."

You traveled at sea for several nights. When dawn broke on the fourth day, you had followed the great currents of the Manesian Sea beyond the Cape of New Seas - well on your way to Princessland, and now above the Aquamarine City.

At least, you suppose, the Inquisitors had to make an even longer voyage to Princessland.

"Interesting. Was it organic? I had heard it was made of stone."




''Uh… Yeah it was really tough, and really really really hot. It needed these weird things to keep it cool at all times or else it would explode, which was exactly how we defeated it''


A pity they made the first one to Bridgewater.


The rhythmic sloshing of the waves licks against the sides of the ship, as it gently tosses on the waves. You hear the sound of hooves descending the stairs. With your nautical know-how, you expect it's Irons, beckoning you to join the crew topdeck and issue a command - but it's not. It's Silver Clam, the lookout, retiring to a cot.

With all the complaints about space, the Underseaboat is actually not so cramped anymore. With Iga, Lilly, and the retinue of a certain bat pony gone, that frees up a lot of space, especially during the active shifts when most of your crew are at their posts. The only ones down here are hot-bunkers sleeping off their shift, and Cumin.

Cumin has been sort of awkwardly keeping to himself for a few days. You can tell he's very shy and keeps to himself, although he does seem to be very well read. Mimicking your stylings, he dragged some crates over near his bunk to offer a degree of privacy, but you've seen him sketching the engravings on the ship's hull - Discordian runes - through the cracks.


Well, a little conversation helps the trip go faster, right? Right. Wander over to Cumin's crate fort and knock lightly while peering over the crates.
"So I guess it's a safe bet that you're curious about the boat."


He jerks up into a rigid sitting position in surprise. "Oh! Ah… yes, or, it passes the time, at least. It's an unusual construction… No seepage."

Cumin blushes. "I mean, I didn't see a bilge anywhere, so that means no water is leaking in at all… it's not normal, even for a boat that can sail underwater."


I'll chuckle a little.
"Well, we've long since stopped trying to make sense of it. So long as it works, we don't think too hard about it."
I'll rub my chin a bit.
"But, then again, isn't that true for a lot of Discordian things? You think too hard on them and then suddenly you go bonkers."


Cumin looks down at his physique.

"Well, I know that I look weak to…" He stops again, embarrassed. "Um… muscular? Princess like yourself, but part of my training was to resist the mental stresses of 'dangerous' documents."

He seems a little flustered after that last comment, so he very quickly moves on, "I thought I might be able to see if the runes are translatable in the Aquamarine City, if you'll let me come along, that is."

He offers a look of pleading.


I'm muscular? Since when? Pony, is he in for a surprise when we get to the crab.
"You're still the pony that decided it was a great idea to come after us with a bum leg and still drive off some demons, so I doubt anyone would make fun of you for that. As for letting you into Aquamarine City, that was sort of the plan."
I'll raise an eyebrow at him.
"What did you think we were going to do, drop you at some deserted island or something?"


"I thought you'd make me stay behind on the boat. We're in the middle of the Great Ocean - there's nowhere for miles around to lay anchor, meaning a crew has to be left behind on the ship."

The Aquamarine City, as you of course recall, boasts the Twisting Stair, which is how you got the last group of ponies out without diving suits. In case your memory is hazy, it's a very, very long staircase that leads to a hatch that opens - inexplicably - to the water's surface. Of course, it only opens from the other side, so someone will have to go down and let them know you've arrived. Irons will probably organize it without a need for an explicit order - he's dependable like that.


Or we could just dock where we launched last time. I'm sure mom and the others have managed to clean up the place a bit.
"There's a few things you need to know about Aquamarine City, and the first thing is that a lot of it won't make a lot of sense. We did sort of capture it from a bunch of Discordians. The second is that there are several ways of getting there, and one of them actually reaches the surface."


Docking below is an option, but it's not a moon pool dock. That is to say, Cumin would need to swim from the dock to the aerated areas. Or more accurately, you would probably have to carry him because he doesn't look like a strong swimmer.

"I've read about the city - there's actually a surprising amount of work about it. Adventurers wrote about it as a legendary place, like O Dourado. There are a few surviving Discordian texts, too. It dates back, according to them, to when Discord walked free."


Oh yeah. Well, good thing Irons probably already took that into account.
"Well, considering it's a giant crab, that would sorta make some kind of sense? Because I doubt any Discord cultist in the last several hundred years could whip up the right amount of power to make something like it."


"So it's all true? There is really a river of chocolate and it is attended by statue servants?"

You imagine he's probably picturing Prench maids, not the horrific mind flyers - brains carved from stone which did indeed serve as its attendants. And the only chocolate down there is the exotic cocoa your twin tried growing. You wonder how he's doing.


I'll shake my head.
"The only chocolate down there is the kind my brother tried growing. Before I left, he'd managed to turn a fair bit of ground into a farm, and was growing a bunch of stuff."
I'll frown a bit.
"Apparently him getting married made my mom get a little antsy about my own progress in that area, which is why I'm suddenly surrounded by ponies who are either aiming for my political value that I seem to have somehow picked up, or are using the confusion to suddenly confess feelings."
I'll shake my head.
"But, anyway, you were asking about statues and stuff. Only servants we ran into down there were made of brain coral and weird rocks. That could fly."


"O-oh, yeah, that must be pretty bad, having all those ponies who want to be with you."

He blushes again and avoids eye contact. He's either developing a crush, hasn't had much romantic luck, or both.

Before you can dwell on it further, the duty bell rings up on the top deck. You have arrived.


"Well, considering two of them are old enough to be my grandfather, it's certainly weird. But, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little flattered by the attention. Anyway, sounds like we've arrived, so, you might want to gather your things."
Since I'll just be getting back on the boat, I'll leave my stuff here and head up on deck.


The crew are lined up in formation and saluting as you ascend. Many Irons is at the end, at attention.

"Princess. We've docked with the hatch to the Twisting Stair, and it is open, awaiting your arrival home."

He briskly approaches, and whispers, "Your mother has insisted on some ceremony for your arrival. I know you're not a fan, but this might be less painful for everyone involved if we just go along with it."


I'll sigh a bit, and nod.
"Right, right. Cumin's going to be our guest for a bit, so he's coming down with us. So once he's up here, we'll head down with whatever fanfare that's going to happen."


"I expected as much. We're also changing out some of the crew - there are ponies here that miss their families, even after only a couple weeks' voyage. It was supposed to be just to the coast, after all."

Irons gives you a firm clap on the shoulder. It's nice to receive some informal treatment, at least. Then he ushers Cumin, dawdling, up and to the edge of the boat.

"You've already been announced, so the iron is hot."

Ready to descend?


Take a deep breath, square my shoulders a bit, and then nod.
"Right, let's get this over with. Faster we get off the boat, faster everyone else can too."


The way down only generates frustration at attempting to be formal. It's long. The Twisted Stair is obviously some sort of spacial distortion so it's annoying that it's extremely long anyway. Surely they could've made it shorter if the hatch opens out of nowhere to begin with.

Regardless, after what feels like a short eternity, you finish your descent into the chapel - but it doesn't look like the chapel you left behind. The chapel was under reconstruction when you left, and the workers have departed. The buttresses outside have been repaired, and the arches within are encrusted with large amethyst gemstones. You've exited into the belfry - from here, one last brief stairway down into the chapel proper.

The air here feels… alive, and you can hear the undulating chatter of ponies down below.

Irons takes your hoof. "Ready? This would be a bad time to trip."


"Would be about par for the course, though, wouldn't it? Still doesn't feel right, having to put on airs around ponies I grew up with."


"I think that's the point. I don't claim to understand everything that the High Priestess does, but I have a suspicion–"

"Announcing the Princess of Aquamarine!"

"We can talk about it later - just remember your mother speaks regularly with our Goddess."


"Yeah, yeah."
Head high, now. And down the steps.


A strange light has filled the chapel. Below, your mother is in full regalia at the altar, and the residents of the Aquamarine City - many old friends, but a surprisingly large number of new faces - line the pews in seats.

"At last, my daughter returns from her journey. Truly we are blessed. Please, join me here at the altar."

As you descend, a band starts to play, and a standing ovation begins. You approach the altar, and your mother has a thin smile.

"It would seem your blessed task is complete. Do you have any words for Our Lady of the Night on account of your safe passage?"


"Only that I thank her for the calm seas and clear nights of the journey, and that what was taken is safely restored."
Don't fidget don't fidget don't fidget


"Wise words. But enough ceremony - I am certain our congregation is ready for festivities. The ushers will lead the procession out to Festival Lane, where there will be cake to celebrate the return. We will join you shortly!"

With that, ponies begin filing out the back. Your mother addresses you in a lower voice. "I am glad to see you are safe, especially given the news that your retinue brought me regarding your father."


"I was going to speak with you about that, actually. It's where we're headed next."


"So soon? You haven't seen the city, or met your sister in law. Not to mention that this is a time of celebration, and our city is a sanctuary. For too long we have fought for a place of our own free from persecution and prosecution - now the last of the Discordians have been driven out from the shadows. The guerrilla attacks have ceased and our city is at peace."


"I know, I know. And I'm not heading out immediately. We do need to swap out the crew, restock on things, make sure we're prepared to lay siege to Princessland. That's gonna take at least a couple days."
I'll frown a bit.
"And I've got words for Coriander, for putting the pressure on me to get married."


"There are reasons for this which you do not have the perspective to fully understand. Some day, however, you will appreciate the foresight that has been gifted to us. But behold - the return of the altar to the temple at Autumnsreach has renewed some of our Lady's vigor. She has blessed this once-profane temple, and it is consecrated ground. Brick by brick, the taint if Discordianism is being driven out. These are the rewards reaped by one that maintains the path of righteousness."

She nods solemnly. The chapel has all but cleared, besides Irons and the royal guard. "The Faith has changed me more than you can know. Perhaps, in time, you will feel its tug on yourself. This marriage is the first step of that process, but it does not need to be an unpleasant one."


"Well, yeah, but I still feel kinda rushed into it. I mean, we weren't even a day out last time before I ran into three different ponies going after me. Davy and that crotchety old wizard were both old enough to be my grandfather!"
Snort a bit.
"At least Irons and Vlad are in my age bracket. Geez."


Mera gives a little bemused chuckle. "Davy is no older than I am, although I am getting on in years. He wouldn't be my choice - the last of the great pirates would no doubt be a useful ally, and there is no doubt that he is pious in his way, but I would prefer an arrangement which increased the prestige of our house. And besides, Davy apparently did not dispatch an envoy with the information about your father to us, given that we never received word until now. Unsurprising, I suppose. The Sorcerer, by all accounts, is more of a direct threat, however. I do not think your will would occur to him in the first place."


"Well, whatever. It's still weird being expected to just jump to this kind of decision. I'm still having trouble coming to grips with Irons being one of my suitors."
Sink to a whisper.
"I mean, I never really thought of him in that way, you know? He was just a reliable friend. It's weird to switch views on that so quickly, right?"


Your mother glances up at Irons on the other end of the room, standing at attention by the door.

She sighs. "I knew he had an interest, but I had hoped his duty to the throne would cause him to avoid any awkwardness. As he isn't an outsider, he would certainly be the most popular choice from the common ponies here in Aquamarine City. A proficient fighter and leader, but the marriage would be morganatic."


"Well, he only confessed to his feelings after Vlad showed up. I think he might have felt that, if he didn't say, he'd never be able to. And, I mean, I can sorta get where he's coming from, but it's still a really surprising thing. Was it like that with you and dad?"


"Hm… Your father and I had a complex relationship - not either of our fault. As you know, most sea ponies are 'ferals' - they live deep under the waves, away from civilization. When my people were Awakened by Luna, there was a transitional period. I couldn't understand it at the time, but I was changing, mentally. Growing wiser - something that continued even after your father was no longer in the picture. This is not the sort of wisdom one gains by reading books or listening to kones - it was a physiological change, a divine gift which changed my brain and my mind. When we met, I was childlike and playful. He saved me from the brink of death and cared for me - it felt like love. But the pony I was when we met changed over time. I had a higher call to answer. When the time came to part, he didn't protest much. I know in truth that the mare he had fallen in love with had vanished as I grew into my role - a stalwart attitude and divine wisdom are fine traits in a leader, but the vigorous passion of youth was spent."

She pauses. "This is a considerable amount of information to tell you all at once. I am sure you need time to absorb all of it. I wanted to make clear some of the circumstances which surround my ascension so that you would understand my earlier statements about Luna's designs. These changes may come to you in time as well."


I'll frown slightly. It feels like she's saying she only got with dad because she was young and stupid.
"I kinda hope not. I don't think I'll ever really be ready for the kind of responsibility you have."
Rubbing the back of my neck, I'll sigh.
"I suppose I'll just have to deal with it when or if it happens. But what was stopping dad from coming with us?"


"Truly, I think, your father indebted himself to too many masters. He always aimed to please - he was under contract with pirates, under contract with a doctor he had romantic feelings for, felt loyalty to the Sun for his sister's sake, loyalty to the moon for his teacher's sake. It was too much to ask him to abandon his entire past for me. In truth, I wanted him to be happy, and we became estranged to a degree as Luna's divinity welled within me. He had another family, another life… a normal life. One that I did not desire or see any reason to deny him. And now that chance at normalcy as been violated."


I'll just mull over that for a while.
"I'm still going to give him a piece of my mind for letting all of us go so easily, when we save him."


"I am certain he is quite uncomfortable already if he is indeed to be held at Bright Harbor. The name is more pleasant than the place it signifies."


"Well, that's Celestial humor for you, I guess."
I'll remember Cumin.
"Speaking of Celestials, we, uh, kinda kidnapped one on the way back, since I didn't feel right leaving him to the tender mercies of the more zealous of his order. He's a historian, so he might actually be able to help us make some sense of this place, if nothing else. He was cataloging the Lunar artifacts in the temple, and we sorta dragged him along because he knew the layout of the top couple of floors."
I'll smile a little sheepishly.
"We wouldn't have gotten the altar back in place in time without his help, so I said he could be a guest here."


"So I've heard. What do you make of him?"


"What I think? Well…"
I'll ponder on that for a minute.
"He's kinda on the scrawny side, but he's got a decent head on his shoulders and he's braver than he gives himself credit for. Pretty shy, though."
I'll shrug.
"A little physical training, and some confidence, and he'd probably be a force to reckon with."


"Honest, do you think?"


"Well, he doesn't seem the sort to be really good at hiding things, so maybe?"
I'll stop a second.
"You're not… thinking of dropping him in the middle of the ocean or something because you don't think he can be trusted, are you?"


She looks a little bemused after your statement. "I think that might be politically unwise after the news that has reached us this morning, and now makes sense in conjunction with your story. He might have a hint of artifice at least."


I'll look at her confused.
"What do you mean?"


"Due to our exile from the mainland, I have my scouts in Equestria keep an eye on politics. Earlier this week the Duke of Hatfield, the duchy which hosts Manehattan, has come under pressure to renounce his previously very tolerant views of Lunites. You see, the Duke is a rare member of the aristocracy who believes in ending the Schism, which is advantageous to us. Unfortunately, his nephew was recently kidnapped by 'radical' Lunites from his research in the city of Autumnsreach, right under the nose of the High Inquisitor. The boy is Equestrian nobility on his father's side, and his mother is a member of the priesthood. I have my doubts that he had a legitimate fear of being imprisoned by the Inquisition."


I'll put my face in my hooves.
"Oh nooooo"


"I wonder why a young noblepony would insist on tagging along with a young princess who by all accounts saved his life and nursed him back to health. Even with my divine enlightenment, it eludes me!"

She is not a very good actor.


"I didn't know any of that!"
Clunk my forehead with my hooves.
"And if he's got a crush on me, that makes this even harder to think about, since there'd be all sorts of rumors and stuff about him being seduced by me or something!"


"Hm… it could be a good match, politically. If Celestia had the political capital or will to silence the Duke of Hatfield, she would have done it long ago. It is a very rich province that he rules from. Pity about being so frail, but nobles often are. But even if you have no romantic interest in the lordling, I do have a use for him."


"That's no different than marrying me off to Vlad, then!"
Snort a bit.
"Can we at least… can we just say that it was a miscommunication about him being kidnapped, and that he's our guest in thanks for his assistance in stopping a horrible nightmare beast from popping up?"


"I'm sure we will think of the right spin. You may have noticed the increase in population lately: with the Aquamarine City secure and safe, we have begun receiving fresh immigrants. Soon we will be able to debut our presence and become a beacon for Lunites all over. That is why a marriage alliance with either Equestria or the Lunar kingdom of Transcastria would be useful and prestigious. In either case, I'd like to send him to Bright Harbor with you. I have foreseen that I will not be able to dissuade you from going personally, but if you fail in your task, the lordling may afford you some clemency. Perhaps for now you might choose to avoid disclosing that you know about his origins, but that I will leave to you."


"Honestly I just don't want to think about any marriage things, or their consequences."
Sigh heavily.
"Anyway, I think I'm going to go bother Coriander. He still in his fields, usually?"


"Not anymore. We have a number of farmers that expressed an interest in it among the immigrants, and finding engineers has been somewhat easier than we expected… perhaps engineering is growing more important in the world? In any case, his role is mostly supervisory now - I have made sure of it. I expect he is with his wife - she was a good match, and they have been amorous to my understanding."


"Ew. I didn't need to know that. Do you know where he's likely to be, then? Or should I just float around town and see what's changed for myself?"


"Yes, although many of the names have changed, so the signs will not be useful to you. The previous names - Mania, Depression, Insanity, Dementia, Terror, Madness - did not engender positive feelings with new arrivals, although the Dreamers' Walk has kept its old name. He lives in the other square. This is Dusk Square, and that one is Dawn Square. He lives in the Waning Tower, and your room is in the Waxing Tower."


"Right. I'll go see if he's in, then."
I'll stop a moment, and then hug Mera.
"I missed you, mom. And I'm glad the fighting's over with."


The embrace is warm, although pointy due to all of the gemstones in her outfit.

"I know. There will come a day that you will not feel driven to adventure so far from home, but today is not that day. Until then, I only ask for your safety."


I'll chuckle a little.
"You're also asking for me to get married, you know."
Squeeze the hug a bit tighter for a second, and then let go.
"Anyway, it's been way too long since the last time I bothered Coriander, so I'm going to go do that now. And then I've got a lot of thinking to do before we head out for Bright Harbor."


"I rarely comment on the physical aspects of one's character because it is such a transient thing, but perhaps there is something left of a normal mother in me… you have grown so much. Not just in spirit, or character, either. I would swear you've gained an inch in two weeks. In any case, be kind to your brother."


"I know, I know. He's going to have his hooves full with his children eventually, and then I won't be able to make fun of him at all."
Smile a bit.
"And of course I'm still growing, I'm the big sister, after all. It's just my body is only now catching up."


'Dusk Square' has changed - most notably the mining projects that the Discordians started have been resumed - mining out the stone and petrified coral that make up the walls of this great chamber, so that new structures can be built to house new arrivals. The tunnel to the other square is far from stately, but it is cleared of debris fully and looks like the kind of place that you won't get crushed in via cave-in. On the way through, you pass a large clam on the wall that serves as decoration. Inspecting your image in the mirror-like mother-of-pearl, you do look like you might have grown a little - surprising for one your age, as girls usually finish growing very early. Ha! Take that, Coriander.


Just means I was right. All I needed was to get out a little, see the world. Broaden my horizons.
Anyway, time to head up to the Waning Tower. Even if he's not there, his wife should be.


The Waning Tower seems to be a new construction made from the excavations on the other side of the 'crab'. A good thing, too, because the old tower which overlooked this square was made of rusty iron cages and would not be comfortable to live in.

You wander in, and suddenly realize in the foyer that you don't really know where you're going. Not like anyone will stop a princess, you suppose, but is the whole tower set aside for Coriander and his family? Judging by the greenery here in the foyer, that might be so. It looks deeply under construction, though - no workponies here now, but their scaffolding remains, a telltale sign. Looks like the stairs haven't been tiled yet either - they're just rough hewn. There is a door here on the first floor though: perhaps the most promising. Besides that, there look to be two rooms on the next level.


Well, let's knock on that first door.


Coriander's familiar, if tired, voice calls from within. "Come in. If it's a delivery you can just leave it in the foyer, though."


"Well, well, well. So how's the newlywed little brother of mine?"
Head inside.


"Hey, you're back little sis. I'm doing well… just tired, but things have been busy around here. How's my baby sister been after a couple weeks in the world?"


"Taller, for one."
Smirk at him.
"And I'll bet they have been busy. I hear you're a supervisor now! Big step from humble farmer of two weeks ago."


"Well, I don't know if being the only thing keeping this rock moving is 'humble', but I would say 'Prince' is the bigger promotion. And married to a lady of noble class, no less."


"So I hear. How's that going, by the way? Mom wasn't very… discrete about how you two get along, but I figure I'd ask you how things are going. A sister's got to worry about her brother, after all."


"She has always been a little strange, I don't know how you haven't grown accustomed to it yet. Rose has… a lot of energy. I'm told it runs in the blood - this is the Novdogodian branch of the Compass dynastic line. I've never really had a head for politics but maybe that means something to you."


"It's because knowing it happens and hearing it straight from your mom are two different things. It's weird."
I'll raise an eyebrow, though.
"And what makes you think I've got a head for politics? I spent most of my time cooking, remember?"
I'll take a seat nearby on a clear spot of ground.
"But it was political, huh?"


"Well, there were some obvious other considerations. A seapony suitor was available, but - well, you were just complaining about awkwardness with mother, so I won't bother explaining. Rose is nice, though. I'm sure she'll be nicer in a few years once she settles down."


"Well, by then I'm going to have my own problems, too."
"Did you… did you want to marry? I mean, it's so soon, right?"


"I don't know, maybe those are just your girl hormones talking or something. I mean, yeah, it was sudden but… it's not awful, you know. So yeah, it was a little shocking to jump straight into it without dating a little first, but I don't regret it. Yet, anyway - I guess just over a week isn't much time to judge by. Mom was obviously planning this for a while… she already had suitors lined up."


Scrunch a bit.
"No doubt about that. But at least none of yours were a smelly old pirate or some nutty wizard with a pet kraken."
"And then there's the Transcastrian Vlad, and Irons too. And now there's a fifth one!"
Flop on the ground.
"This is all just going too fast. A maiden's heart needs some time, you know?"
Be silent a moment.
"So, you heard about Dad?"


"What about him?"


"Well, about how he's in Bright Harbor, and how before that he was off in Bridgewater, doing Luna knows what, for 18 years. Aren't you the least little bit curious as to why he didn't try harder to come with mom? What he's been doing all this time?"


"Not to go on a diatribe but it doesn't really make a difference to me. Fatherhood has nothing to do with seed and everything to do with raising a foal."


"Yeah, but… mom said it was because she changed that we left, but why did he just let her go so easily? Why did he let us go so easily? That's what I want to know."


"He didn't even know us. It's easy to walk away from the unknown."


"That's a load of phooey. Parents don't just abandon their kids for nothing. There had to have been a reason. And when we break him out of Bright Harbor, I'm gonna get it."


"Break him out?"


"Yeah, he got picked up by the Inquisition something like two weeks ago. So we're stopping here to restock and supply before we head to Princessland and Bright Harbor to bust him out. He'd been living in Bridgewater until then."
I'll sit back up, and look at Coriander.
"Did you not know?"


"No - besides what you just said. And I didn't even know where Bright Harbor was before you said Princessland, or that it was an Inquisition place. You just said he is 'in' Bright Harbor. I guess those are rough breaks."


"You… really don't care, do you? I mean, I know we don't know anything about him, but… really?"
I'll cock my head slightly.


"Yeah, I pity the guy. I pity anyone the Inquisition picks up."


"But that's it?"
Frown a little.
"I know you're probably just tired, but come on, little brother. Aren't you angry, or sad, or anything?"


"Hey, I'm the wrong person to ask. I don't even know the guy. So what's your point?"


"My point is that a pony should feel more than nothing for the one that fathered them! Even if he wasn't here, you'd still feel curious as to what he was like, or why mom loved him in the first place!"
I'll huff a bit and get to my hooves.
"Is it wrong to think that we should feel something? Or is it just me? Am I the only one who was curious?"


"Yeah, feel bad for him because he's in a rough spot and you should feel sympathy for anyone in that spot because you're a decent pony. But you don't have to love him."


"Who said anything about love here? I'm angry he gave us up, and I want to know why. And if I have to break him out of an Inquisitorial prison to find that out, then that's just what I'm going to have to do."


"Didn't anyone ever tell you to not go looking for a fight? Who fights just for the privilege of fighting someone else?""


"A mare determined to get answers, that's who."
I'll punctuate that with a small stomp of my hoof.
"Anyway, I've got thinking to do, so I'll let you get back to napping or whatever you were doing. Tell your wife I said hello."


"Alright. But I don't believe for one second that this is about our natural father. This is really a way for you to put off marriage obligations. You're going to have to deal with it eventually. Good luck, little sis."


"That's what the thinking is about."
Grimace a bit.
"There are two strong political reasons to do it, and then there's dealing with Irons's feelings."
Sigh a bit.
"I might have to draw a chart."
Wave a bit to Coriander, and then make my way out. Time to see how the Waxing Tower looks now.


The waxing tower has undergone considerable changes - no longer merely a winding stair with rooms jutting off of each side of it, proper walls have been built around it so that it doesn't look like it might collapse at any moment.


I wonder which one is my room now. There's a front desk thing, right?


The structure seems empty. It's very dusty in here with the chalky stone that the walls were constructed out of. No interior decorating to speak of, just cold, rough stone.

You suppose you might as well try the third floor, your previous venue.


Up we go, then. To my old room.


Here, at least, some familiarity. The strange crystalline walls and floor of the room allow you to see down into the unoccupied areas of the tower. Clearly it's a work in progress. Still, it makes for a very large window to watch the city below. A wild berth has been given to the pillar of heat in the center of the room - which is harmless if you aren't touching it, but can cook meat in mere minutes.


A constant companion of yesteryear.
Flop on my bed. Today has made me very tired.


You could almost just… doze off…


A few hours never hurt anypony. Besides, it's not like they expect me to do anything other than get married right away. Sleep takes me.


You nap for an hour on a medical cot. When you awake, Aira has returned with the mail.


Get up again and sit down on my haunches.
Rub my eyes.
Then take the letters and look at the senders.


Roll Knowledge (Mail)



Roll #1 7 = 7


There are fourteen letters. Aira seems somewhat distressed but attempts to keep a straight face while there is obvious pain in her voice: "I think most of them are from father. They said the letters were being held because they were sent from the Oddomane Empire and there are special controls on all intelligence in and out of the Empire, due to tensions."

(2+) It's immediately noticeable that the letters have been opened. The hoofwriting on the bulk of the letters is clearly Face's. The last two aren't in his style.

(4+) Face's hoofwriting gets worse in progression with each letter. Most of the letters look many years old: you split up sixteen years ago and received three letters that year, two of which you tossed. One other appears to be of similar age. The others appear to be from wider jumps in time, maybe a year or more. One letter - one of the two not from Face - looks very recent, and it actually has a return address to Dixie. The style of envelope is very different than the Oddomane style Face was sending.

(6+) There are two different kinds of adhesives on the letters, suggesting that it was opened once years ago, then opened again minutes ago, and never resealed.

No reason to read old mail from a pony you already threw away the letters from, is there? Twelve new ones makes no difference, does it? That leaves two other pieces of mail, one from Dixie (with return address) and one from the Oddomanes. This last Oddomane mail is on fine gold leafed enveloping - gilded to each corner.


This certainly puts a dumper on things.
She clearly read them.
Open up the gilded one


Ms. Springleaf,
With conditions worsening, my good friend Jolly has asked me to write this letter, as his condition has worsened to the point the legible text was becoming difficult. As today, the date of writing, marks the eighteenth birthday of your daughters, Jolly saw fit to have this gift delivered to you. I should hope that it arrives in good haste, and it is my personal wish that good health be upon you. I should hope to host you and your family at this autumnal feast, regardless of previous rejections. You are welcome at my table.

Ali Apple

Grand Vizier to the Oddomane Throne

This letter is… confusing without context. It also contains a key. The key is tagged: Bank of Witherloo #1442

Eighteenth birthday… so that would be two years ago?


Read the one from Dixie


Ms. Springleaf
My aunt told me if I ever needed help from outside of the Confederation, I should write you. Well… I'm not sure what to do. My cousin turned up at my house one night, distraught. She left her home in Equestria to come here. She said that she had found out where her half-sister was being held - but that we would need a ship, and maybe a small army, or a skilled burglar. I don't know what to do… but I don't have anything like that. I was hoping you might be able to help me arrange things - and perhaps verify my cousin's claims. Thank you for your time, please write back soon.

Glory Belle


[Distraught intensifies]
Start picking up another one.
I'm probably shaking at this point as I read another one, this time, the most recent one that I identify from Face


The hoofwriting is really bad. You might describe it as childish: uneven, unpracticed strokes. Shaky lines and loops. Like somepony couldn't hold a pen properly for whatever reason.

Aira & Aria

Happy birthday, wherever you are. I wish you would write me back, but I understand why you wouldn't. When I was seventeen, I did a lot of things I wasn't proud of but now I am glad I had those experiences while I had my health. Life is about opportunity. I wish I knew what you girls enjoyed, I would send it to you. Years ago I had a dog, and I have one now as well. I would like to send you one, but the animal laws to ship across borders are very difficult these days.

I love you.


The letter drops from hooves.
Rub my temples.
This can't be happening right now.


Aira seems to have departed the tent while you were reading. Keep reading, or have you had your fill?


No, read the oldest one I can find.



As promised, I'm writing you upon
arrival. The voyage was longer than
you would think from looking at a
map. If Roads awakened me
in a spiritual way, arriving in
Istanbull has awakened my sense
of adventure that I had thought was
in some ways a thing of the past.
I hope to find more than just
answers and remedy here: there is
opportunity and adventure to be
had in these streets. My permanent
address, if you want to mail me
back, will be at Box 111 at the
Central Mailing Authority. It's
not so unlike home. Perhaps our
cultures are not so unlike one
another? I know those last two
letters were pretty heavy, but
I wanted to tell you those things
because they were very personal.
But as personal as those were,
there are still things I haven't
dared to say. I don't think I will
ever work up the courage, left to
my own devices. So I promise you
this: if you mail me back, I will
answer one question, no matter what
it is.



Throw it away to whatever corner of the tent.
Sit in the tent brooding.
…Aira…I gotta talk to her…
Go out of the tent, where is she?


You don't see her around. Fly up for a bird's eye view? Or perhaps check inside some other tents?


Fly up!


Aira was out behind the tent on her own. She's sitting on her haunches, bent over with her head on something about even with her head, like a bench. It's shining in the sun, kind of golden.


Land down near her.


Aira is gently shaking. She looks like she might be crying.

She's resting her head on what appear to be small and thin gold bricks. There are twelve, each stacked up on top of one another. Although they are very small - almost postcard sized and about an inch tall - if they are pure gold, all of it would be worth thousands of bits.


"Sweetie?" I say softly.


She doesn't answer initially.


Ehm, try to hug her?


She doesn't resist.


Just hug her and wait….


"They were holding the mail because of state secrets… it didn't even mean anything to them. They didn't even take the birthday gifts out. They didn't care about the contents at all…"


Rub her neck.
"I know, sweetie…"


"This whole war feels pointless now. Aria isn't even here, and I don't care about helping the Inquisition finish burning down the city. If you want to finish the job, fine, but I'm going back to my apartment in New Earth."

She suddenly gets up and starts shoving gold plates into her satchel. "Half of these are for Aria… so I have to make sure she gets them."


"We'll get to her…" I say weakly.


She looks away, sun catching the tears streaming down her face, glinting in her coat.

"We don't have a lot of family left… I can't lose Aria. I'll see you in town tonight, I'm leaving in the morning for Bokis Cargo no matter what."

With that, she pulls free, and takes off toward New Earth.


I'll stay here.
I promised to stay and help Maeda.
But it feels really wrong…


I need someone to vent this anger to.
Where's Rhannaanyone


Gonna collect them letters and go sit at the shrine.
I really need some guidance right now!


As mentioned twice before, that shrine is at a different camp, the one by the sea!

So instead you take a stick and draw a sun in the sand. Any sun in a storm.


I forgot.
Anyway, gonna draw that sun and uhm…brood.


Okay, who's here besides me?


If the next attack is not happening for a while, I'll fly to the shrine in the main camp.


Mama Anne is in camp if you wanted to consult her for counsel.

Alternatively, you can fly back to the main camp. It's a long way to fly, but not particularly difficult.


Hmmm, Mama Anne seemed like a nice mare.
Let's fly to her!


Mama Anne is here, strapping some large bags stuffed with pillaged loot onto a sled.

"Oh, the wayward student returns, doncha know. Well, isn't it a lovely day for some adventure? I think I've got my fill though, eh?"

She pats her bags.


"Wow, that's an impressive package!"


"Well, this is what we do it for, yeah? I reckon profit is just puttin' yer ol' little nosey to the ground and finding out what's worth lootin', don' cha know? I teach loot selection on Wednesdays, too, if that interests you."


"Maybe I could use that, I only find trouble these days…"


"Sounds like someone took a two gallon swig of depression to me!"


"Hmmm, more like 5 gallons…or liters."


"Somethin' on your mind honeybun?"


"Hmmm, do you have any foals, mamma?"


"Three boys, all went into adventurin', doncha know."


"…what about their father?"
"wait, sorry that's imappropriate.."I mumble a little quieter.


With the medical stuff out of the way, you have some downtime to pursue your own interests.

"Oh, never you mind. He works in taxes - a good trade, doncha know. Not very adventurous, but good money and a good stallion. Better these days with prices hiking."


"You're a lucky mare…"
look down
"we're not all so lucky…"


I should go ahead and see if I got any mail… Not like I should expect much though.


"Lissen, I get yer all depressed but wandering around vaguely commenting on what has ya down inn gonna solve nothin' at all, doncha know. Buck up missy! Today's won a great victory, an' not just for lootin', but also fer drivin' out some real nasty folks. An' if not that, appreciate that it's a beautiful day out. Look at that. A robin's perched right over there on that tree. There's always beauty in the world if you open up to see it."

You received a letter from Old Ram MacMeal, and another from a name you don't recognize - Grizzle.


Oh cool! And…Cool I guess?
Let's read the MacmMeal letter first


"What if I might have made some terrible mistake, and I might not ever be able to fix it?"


The letter is in type - from one of those big writing machines. Presumably the stationary kind, unlike the miniature one you saw carried by that Griffon.

I thought about what you said about
getting out there and finishing
the consarned blasted damned rocket
before I kick the bucket. So I'm
doing it. Tomorrow morning I'm
taking off without any delays.
Got myself a boat on my last
savings and got an old friend to
watch my compound. I've been
loading up the rocket on the ship,
and tomorrow our rocket-carrying
ship (I call it rocket-ship for
short) will be clear for sailing.
On account of your involvement,
YOU ARE INVITED. So, boy, if you
long for adventure, this is your


"If ya can't change it then why're ya agonizing about it. Shouldn't ya save yer worries for the things ya CAN change?"


Crack a faint smile.
"I guess so…"


I almost ruin the paper with how tight I hold it in my paws
Ugh…And what does the other letter say?


"Well good, 'cause I'm fresh out of sage advice, doncha know! I gotta get this loot back to town! See ya around!"

This paper is much shorter. It's quite the opposite. The top of the scrawled, wrinkled note is just a paw print, dipped in ink and smeared at the top of the page as a calling card. The message reads in nearly illegible scratching:

You had time to think
We're going to the motherland
There will be blood and glory
Join us and claim your birthright
Learn what it means to be Dog


Oh it's Those guys again…Crap…
Fold both the letters and store them away…I'll have to tell Selena and Maeda about that…
I start walking around, playing with one of my ears in worry


You see Selena flying off into the distance. She must be headed back to the main camp to pray at the shrine. Maeda is so occupied with her Inquisitor stuff, too…

What's a dog to do? You guess you could go back to the main camp, following Selena, and talk to Bran if you felt like it. Or try something else to ease your anxiety.


There she goes…Well…I can tell her latter…MacMeal's place isn't THAT far away right?
Well let's find Bran. He'll like to hear about my adventures…


MacMeal's Compound is up near New Earth. The plan is to head back there at the end of the day anyway - after this whole Enkilj business is sorted out.

Bran is a mare, don't forget. You walk across the long battlefield and finally back to the main war camp, and to the antiquarians' tent. Bran is here looking over some documents when you enter.

"Well, you're still in one piece." She gently comments with a faint smile from behind her hood.


But Bran is totally a boy name!

''Yeah, those two take good care of me…We barely managed to make out of there alive though…We were pretty lucky''
Walk up to her and peek. What's she reading?


Selena hinted earlier that she thinks 'Bran' is short for a different name.

"That's good. You seem like a talented youth."

She appears to be reading a scroll that is written in Q.


hrmrgh again with Q…
''Oh yeah…I also got this book from the libraries in the Demon's place… Look'' hand her that book


"Hmm… 'Statistical Analysis of Populations in Density Greater Than 180 Per Square Mile'. Sounds like dense stuff. Reminds me of another book I read not long ago, but you say you got it from the library at Enkilj?"


''Yeah while we were talking with some cultists, I managed to sneak this one with me… Is it about anything useful?''


"Maybe… haven't you ever heard the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover'? It sounds like they were Redist scholars though…"


''Redist Scholars?''


"Revolutionaries who read works by the writer 'Red'. I wouldn't talk about her openly though: she advocates overthrowing the monarchy, and she is a public enemy in Equestria."


''Wait…Red?…Public enemy? What did she do?''


"Well, she suggested toppling Celestia. Many ponies think this is criminal, regicidal, and heretical."


''Why? I mean, not the criminal regicidal whatever-idal thing…Why she was suggesting toppling Celestia?''


"She believes, based on her sociological observations, that as populations increase in Equestria, prices will spiral out of control, and the only way to prevent starvation is to install a new form of government. But like I said, it's probably better to NOT talk about it here in the middle of an Inquisitorial camp."


''Okay alright…Uuh…So…Anything came out of those Blueprints yet? I got all these cool stuff and I want it to go to some use!''


"You took them with you, remember? I didn't have much time to look when you brought it by before, but to be honest, you need an engineer, not a magician. I can translate the document for you, help you pick supplies - but I'm not certain I could put it together."

MacMeal would probably help you if you couldn't put it together yourself.


''Hmmnrgh…Alright I'll try to figure something out of it…But I would be really thankful if you helped!''



Great Flow Chamber
This mighty ciscern is hundreds of meters in area and at least sixty such in depth - and that's just to the water's surface. In the center of the room, where light is cast down from the chamber above.

To your left and down, there is a huge door into the chamber that opens at water-level. Across the way, there is a jutting balcony inlaid with ornate shells and pearls. At the foot of the balcony's wall there is a small outcropping with a door and fine stone carvings – it looks like the altar was torn free from here!

Vlad alights from the ledge and soars down below, over the waves. After a moment, he flies back up and nods. "The water is about ten feet deep. We can drop the altar into the water and hope it will break the fall, then drag it up from there."

Cumin shakes his head. "I wouldn't want to hang around in that water. I think we should try lowering it by scaling down the walls with it and having the fliers support it."

Vlad rolls his eyes. "Of course you think we should do it the hard way - you aren't going to be doing the lifting!"

What do you think?


I think my body will shut down soon because of exhaustion.
"Drop it. I can't… fly. Not like this."


Vlad flashes a smile. "Smart pony."

Irons nods. "We'll drop it, but Vlad - help slow its descent with your wings as much as you can. If it cracks on the landing, or even breaks the floor - this whole trip might be pointless."

With that decision out of the way, the altar is moved to the edge. Vlad takes the reins of the sled that it rides on, and they get ready for one last shove.

"I'd ask if you want to do the honors, but I suspect you don't want to touch the magical gender-swapping altar before it is potentially out of reach."

With that, he jerks it. Vlad struggles - bat wings flapping against the altar, but it's a mostly foregone conclusion. It drops, literally, like a rock. There is an enormous splash as water rockets up thirty feet into the air. The sound of the echoing blast as rock hits bottom rings like a cannon all around you. At least it helped wake you up.

Now, it rests in the dark waters below - still unsettled. Cumin is fidgeting in the back, like he might have something to say, but he's too shy.

Irons nods. "I'm not risking Red down there - he couldn't climb back up in his state. Neither could Cumin. I think I ought to escort them back to the surface. Do you think you, Vlad, and Marina can handle it from here, Lilly?"


My eyes droop slightly.
"You're asking me? I'm not really in a state to make sensible decisions right now."


"Well, it's your fate. Still, I think this is the right call. If you had anything else you want ask Cumin about this place, I'd ask it now."


Turn to stare at Cumin, blinking at him a few times.
"Do you?"


"I- uh. Do I what?"


I sigh and rub my temples.
"You know… have any advice or something?"


"Well, I didn't want to comment on it, but it's kind of easy to lose track of time down here. More… time might have passed than you think. You know, you stopped for rests and ate twice."

You check your hoof. The moon symbol has disappeared. What? You thought you had days left!

Irons: "Let's get out of here. Good luck, Lilly."


Stare at my hoof for a good moment, processing this without paying attention to anything else.
"Oh well."


Iga remarks offhandedly, from the shadows: "Gaijin pony took that pretty well. Ready to fly down? Go quick quick."

With that, she alights. You're alone on the ledge. Perhaps it's just sleep deprivation hallucinations, but the hairs of your coat on the back of your neck slowly begin to stand up.


"I'm all out of fear right now. I don't think that part of my brain is working anymore."
Flap my wings and go after her.


You, Iga, and Vlad are circling over the waters, where Marina is below, trying to wrestle with the reins to the altar.

Vlad remarks: "Just gotta get it up onto this big central island and it's home. That's the whole job, right? And then the curse is broken? So you're about - what is this measurement in Equestrian? - fifteen feet from no more curse. Not so bad."


"It's coming for me. I can feel it's very close."


A profound still fills the chamber. Even as you can SEE Marina thrashing with the altar below, as Vlad and Iga move to help her - there is no sound. The water does not seem to react to their motions. You feel strangely cool, even though the room was a stale, dull warmth before.

Strange lights fill the chamber. The torch itself exudes no light, but yourself and gemstones studded in the walls - previously hidden - how host an eerie glow. The others pay no mind to these lights. They are too distracted by the altar.


"What's with the lights… and why's it so cold?"


The ponies - as they are - don't react. They would probably be unsettled by the gemstones turning into eyes anyway. Blood is running down the walls. Something is pounding on the great main doors to the chamber. The altar is being exhumed from the water… only, perhaps ten feet away now, at the water's edge…


Grasp my head and wince.
"Hallucinations… must be."


The doors burst, and color leaves the room. The enters. Your friends are motionless, as if frozen.

A howl which persists for no less than three eternities rips through the chamber.

You are asleep. You are mine, Liberty Belle.


Close my eyes.

"Well done. You caught me in the act of doing what you wanted me to do."


When I first began my hunt, I thought this world was the same. But nothing is the same - nothing makes sense anymore. There are no daylands or nightlands - just one continuous land that takes night and day in turn. The world has lost meaning. The Mistress has gone silent. The Lunites are dead.

There is nothing left in this world for me. Only a hunger to fulfill my purpose.

Perhaps, with the evisceration of a desecration, I will find peace. I will have you!

It leaps, losing all proportionality. Arms balloon and rubber band back and forth, gnashing teeth and claws seem to be everywhere. Roll dodge, combat has begun!

The Cralund

Lilly Belle [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]


"Hot body… interesting. I wonder what generated such heat? Did it eat the prisoners? That's what we've been suspecting."



"Oh for…"
"Let's not turn this dream into a nightmare!"

Roll #1 8 = 8


Strange voices echo in your mind - disembodied. "She's asleep!" "Almost there… wake her up after…"

Claws close in from all sides - it's impossible to dodge them all, but you get by with just minor scrapes.

A pounding of hearts fills the chamber to a jungle-like beat.

Across the dreary lands I have hunted you. How I wish to sink in my teeth.

The Cralund
Lilly Belle [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░]

Distance: ?? meters


''Uuh… I dunno…maybe?''
Scratch my ears
''When we were there it was always generating more and more heat, so much that it had some cryomancers with the job of cooling it down all the time…Along with these weird pods that also cooled it off. We beat the demon by breaking it and it heated up so much it exploded! Like BOOM! We almost got caught in the explosion too but luckily we're fine''





Mmmmm… can I imagine something and make it true? Be an active dreamer?

Because I sure could use a bit of light right now.


"Exploded. How unhygienic. I don't suppose you got a blood sample?"


Roll for it, if you like




"Pity about that. Well, not much I can do without samples. Perhaps one of the other teams will bring some of the flesh of the cadaver."


"Can't you like find a hobby or something? Anything that doesn't involve terrorizing the wrong pony?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


''Yeah you should totally do that…though ya should watch out, we didn't really fight everything in there so they might find more trouble if they get down there…''

''Oh! There was also this really weird construct thing that we fought before the demon…It's name was Anon?… It was really tall and Selena and Maeda were acting really weird around it. I got this thing from inside of it!''
Show her the Amber(it was an amber right?) that I got


"You are asking the wrong mare. We didn't have the time to inspect it."


"Come on… just six more feet at most. It's almost in position."

You strain, trying to change this nightmare into a dream. Instead, you just break out into a sweat of metal spikes. Ack! Helpless.

The Cralund attempts to leap on you, but is deterred by the spikes and draws back for now.

The Cralund
Lilly Belle [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░] HLP

Distance: 1.82 meters


"A large gemstone. Interesting. In its intestinal track? Embedded on its skin layer somewhere?"


"How about… a wife? Do you have a wife?"
I groan as the spikes drop from my body, trying to get back up.
"Just leave me be…"

Roll #1 9 = 9


I honestly don't remember the description.


''I don't think it had intestines… It definetly has a magicky feel to it though… What you think I could do with it? I was thinking of strapping it to my collar and use it to try magic!''


You eject the spikes as he slashes at your fringes. You're becoming unwound as the errant strings that make up your body become loose!

"Ergh… come on, shove!"

So near to satisfaction - would even you give up the delight of climax were the tables turned?

The Cralund
Lilly Belle [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]

Distance: 1.22 meters

"Bah - gemstones. This is not my department! I am a mare of science, yes, but of medicine."


shrug ''Gems are pretty cool…Who I should talk with about gems around here then?''


"Perhaps those tinkerers back at the main camp would be interested. Now if you do not have news of any interesting anatomy, then I must attend to my practice."


"If anything will come to mind, I will let you know. Who's in charge of the rest of the assault?"


Back away, keep avoiding it.
"No wife! I get it! I'm more of a journey above destination kind of pony myself."

Roll #1 2 = 2


''okay geez…Sorry I didn't bring back the demon's head''
let's get outta here and to the main camp we g-wait

Poke your leg ''Hey…Maeda? I kinda got some stuff I had to tell ya and Selena…''


"Command remains with Stalwart Shield. The city fight has turned into a rout, anyway."


"Lift! Lift!"

You dodge back and avoid the worst of a terrible blow.

The Cralund
Lilly Belle [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░]

Distance: 0.61 meters

Each of us only seeks our satisfaction.


"Well let's do that in a moment, once we're alone."
"Is that good?"




"A rout is when an obviously-victorious army takes no prisoners and instead just wipes out the enemy. Not a fan."


Time to fly!

"No… I'm mostly trying to not die over some stupid ideology."

Roll #1 8 = 8


Shake my head.
"Something's amiss. They must be running away, falling back.
The demon still has a phylactery somewhere."


"Perhaps one of the military minds can tell you if some have retreated, but as far as I know, they've been falling back to the highest tier - to protect the High Priestess. Personally, I think we've been misinterpreting the nature of our enemy. Viewing it as one hierarchy. By all reports, the ponies of the priest caste which live at the highest level do not even speak Q."


"What have we found out about Q anyway? Is it demonic in nature?"


You dodge out of reach of one last slash, and the world shakes, and crumbles.

Thank you.

You feel cold, and wet. Something hits your face hard. You open an eye.

Iga is standing over you. "Hey. You fell asleep. Altar's back. You think you cured?"


"I'm not a linguist, I'm a doctor. I had hoped finding the demon might turn up more answers, but it doesn't seem like it has. Maybe the Artificiers will know something more once they look into the corpse of the Demon."


Blink rapidly at the mare standing over me.
"I… think… so? Did the altar do anything?"


"What's it gonna do? It just a big rock."

She points a hoof at the altar, now fit in like a puzzle piece to the stonework.


"That's gonna be a fun time… I should assist them."

Now, out I go.

"What was it you had to say, Rhanna?"


Y-you didn't forget to ask for Golden Wing's leave from the doctor, did you?


"-and about Golden Wing… She needs to get out of bed already. It's no good for her."


''Well…I got this letter… And I sorta need to go.''

''…I might not come back for a while either…''


Drop my head back to the ground and close my eyes.
"It's gone. I can't even feel its presence anymore…"


"Perhaps - but there's no reason for her to be up. If I gave her leave, she'd lead a bombing run on the top tier. There's no need for such drastic destruction. I don't want to play any part in a rout of an already defeated army."


"Good. Let's get out of here. Useless - room full of gemstones pony can't even take."

Marina smiles. "So… feel better? You look tired!"


"See, you might just see them as defeated, but we have no idea what this High Priestess of theirs is capable of."


"So what, use bombs to kill one pony?"


"I'll need a bed, three days of time and a large jar of ice cream before I'll feel better.."


"Right. Let's go."

Head back up?


"Or anything it could summon from the depths of hell."


Zombiewalking wherever the others go.


"The collateral damage could hurt our own troops. I won't be a part of it."

In a daze you head back up. The others get on the ship. They seem to buzz around like flies as they move quickly about their business. You pass out on the beach.

You are shaken awake when dawn comes by Many Irons - the captain of Marina's ship. "Hey. We have business elsewhere - seapony stuff, it's personal. Glad we could help, but now you're on your own for transportation. I'm not telling you how to live your life, but maybe you ought to tell your old lady - the one you were traveling with before - that you're still alive."


"The failure to destroy an abomination unto this world could hurt every single innocent soul on the new world, do you want to be part of that?
Soldiers know their job, they chose this. They are fighting to save those who can't save themselves. Don't be so arrogant as to assume what they want!"


"I often overrule the wishes of soldiers - like right now. I won't assume anything about what they want, I make a ruling based on the preservation of life."


Look at him grumpily, displeased to be woken up from my hibernation. Blinking repeatedly, I move a hoof in front of my eyes to block out the light.
"Yes, I'll just fly across an ocean to tell her that. She could be anywhere by now."


"You're a mail pony, right? I thought the Equestrian mail motto was 'we'll find 'em' or something like that. Just send a letter if you don't think you can do it."


"We'll find 'em once our bodies aren't at risk of crashing into cardiac arrest."


"Take a couple days to sleep it off while someone else delivers the mail. Anyway, Marina wanted me to arrange for you to have somewhere to sleep so we got you a three day stay at the Holy Arms Inn in the city. That wasn't awkward or anything."


Peek out from behind my hoof.
"Really? You did? After all that happened?"


"Don't ask me what she sees in you. Don't get me wrong, you seem like a nice mainlander, but we've repaid the fighting to retake the city several times over by now, I think."

Irons offers you a hoof up.


"Your calculations on the preservation of life only accounts for soldiers, not civilians."


"I don't buy this r–"

"Doctor Aquarius, we have a surgery."

"Fine - enough. Get out. You have your leave. I don't have time to argue with you, and I'm sure if she's already sent one snake she'll just keep sending them until I relent. Get out of my surgical tent."


"… Interesting."
Accept the hoof, still squinting as he pulls me up.
"Not in a state to argue with that though."


He hoofs you a roomkey. #107.

"Goodbye, Lilly Belle. It has been… something. I'm afraid Marina was too tired to see you off personally. She's asleep."


"Well, I can relate."
Take the key, but hold onto his hoof for a moment.
"Thanks. For all what you did."


Leave, disappointed in her stubbornness.
Where was I going?


"Do you ever get the feeling that you won't see someone again? Because I'm not getting that feeling right now."

To talk to Rhanna and Selena.



"Couldn't tell you. Anything I think, say or experience right now could be clouded by fatigue and exhaustion."


But Selena isn't here.


"Take care, Lilly."

He turns, and boards the Underseaboat. You hear him issue commands above, to take off.

To the inn?


I will talk to her later!


Yes… Yes.


You dazedly walk to the inn, past the counter, and to room 107. You try the key. Trot in… about to collapse.

On the bed: "Herro loomie!"


Oh no…

"I don't recall ordering company for the night."


"Sushipony offel me flee loom fol thlee day! Vely good yeah?"


"Sushipony booked this room so I could sleep. I'm dead inside right now.

… Have you seen pen and paper lying around here somewhere?"


"Oh yeah, paper on the desk. Vely nice accomodation."


Sit down for a minute, understanding brightening my face.
"Well then. What is it, kid? Something from home?"


"Make yourself useful and find a post office in this place… I need to send a letter before I hibernate…"


"Plolly front desk take mail letter yeah?"


''No…I mean yeah…No-UGH! Sorta! but it's just about those dogs that are up to no good…Here…There's the letter they gave me''



Inspect the letter with detached calm.
"These dogs are your family?"


I guess it'll have to do.

Write up a letter which I'll actually write out once I'm not dead. addressed to Selena. Then head back down to the reception desk to drop it off.


''No they're not! When we were back at New Earth, they kidnapped me in the night and dragged me away somewhere…There was this mean dog lady and they were talking about a buncha nonsense…But they sounded like they wanted trouble… So I had to tell this to you and Selena…''


They take the letter, and before you can think to do anything else, you return to your room for some sleep.

A sleep of several days.


"I don't get it then. Why would you be going anywhere?"


No, I actually do have something else on my mind…

I'll ask the inn ponies to wake me up in 12 hours. I can't be sleeping for days while Red is in a pickle.


There is, of course, the other letter…

Twelve hours it is.


''I'm not going with these guys…I'm gonna go with a friend…I got invited to something and I only got until tomorrow to get there…''
let's hand her the other letter as well


"But then that doesn't answer the question of what you are doing!"


''Here…Read the letter…''
Pass Maeda the other letter
''I'm gonna go to the moon''


Link me.



"Rhanna, this is insane! Only Luna can reach the Moon!"


''It's not insane, it's science! And she only got there with magic''
Point up
''I'm gonna get there with a rocket!''


"Rockets blow up and nothing else, you will become dog pudding!"


''That is a different kind of rocket! This one is going to take us there safely AND return!…Though I'm not sure how it is gonna be up there in space…I'll go prepared! If Luna survived there, then I won't have much trouble either''


"Space?" Look confused.


''Yeah you know, space! up there beyond the clouds!''


"You mean the sky?"


no no no no! even beyond that!''


"But… The Sky's the limit!"


''Not for us, scientists! There are just so many things to explore up there Maeda…Can you imagine what kind of stuff I can find there on the moon?''


"You will find the mare in the moon and then be gobbled up by darkness!"


''Bah, how can ya be so sure? You never been to the moon before have ya? huh? have ya?''


"Because Celestia herself sent Nightmare Moon there!"


''Well…She isn't there anymore is she?''


"Of course she is! Don't you ever go to mess?"
Look quite angry!


''Go to where?? Mess?''


"Church, you heaten mutt!
That's it, I'm taking you to church tomorrow!"


''What? No! I have to be on the moon tomorrow!''


"Then we are doing a prayer right now!"


''A prayer for what?''


Grab her paw quickly, frowning with a slight unnerved blush.
"A prayer for your safe trip."


Can't do nothing but let myself get dragged away then


Nah we are sitting here in the middle of the camp.
And then I mutter a prayer to Celestia.
"-and finally, shield her on the dark side of the Moon."


I stand around awkwardly, scratching my neck, wondering if I should do or say something
''Is that it?…I don't feel any different''


"It's works on faith. So if you believe, it will work!"


''So I just…gotta believe? that's it? How am I gonna know when it is working then?! I can't believe in something I can't see, feel or touch!''



I'm writing this letter in good health from Autumnsreach, Equestria. I can feel my body is close to shutting down completely so I'll keep this short. Things have cleared up for me and I'm no longer being followed by a sinister creature spawned from the depths of Nightmare Moon's nether regions. Marina and her followers have left port as they had their own business to tend to. I'll be staying at a local inn for a couple of days to recover and regain my bearings on the situation. Once I've rested up I'll be finding a way to reach my sister-in-peril Red, wherever she may be.

If possible at all, I'll try to regroup with you in the near future. I'll be awaiting your response.

I remain,

Lilly Belle


You jolt to an uneven consciousness when somepony starts shaking you. You feel a little nauseous… it's a staff pony.

"You requested to be awoken in twelve hours? It's now eight PM."

You take off for the main camp. It's a long flight, but after a time you arrive. There is a thin but extant stream of adventurers returning to camp here, and others taking down their tents and returning to New Earth. Those that have given up the fight already or had their fill.

The executive section of the camp has already been liquidated: DLC and his corporate subordinates have either moved to a forward camp or returned to his great ship, which still remains docked here. The most unchanged of the three partitions is the Inquisitorial camp, which remains active with support staff.


Does this mean I received that letter?


No, Lilly is on the same day as you, it needs time to travel!


Anyway, if Selena has a free moment she'd probably use it to write some letters as well. But I could do that during pause.
Uummmm, visit the shrine?


I groan, probably sprawled out on the bed in a very undignified position.
"Celestia…? Is that you?"


The shrine is in the still-active Inquisitorial region of the camp. Injured ponies or their close fellows have come here to ask for Celestia's blessing for a speedy recovery. Already the tent is filled with the spoils of war. There is a wait, but no one to talk to, you have nothing to pass the time but waiting.

Finally, it's your turn. You arrive at the great altar at the front of the line and a priest is waiting to speak to you.


"Ah, no. I just work here. Let us know if you need anything else."

Groggily, you glance toward the other side of the bed. Iga isn't there - who knows where she took off to.


"Tea… please…"


She's gone… it's unclear if she heard you. Bleh. You'll find out in a few minutes you suppose.

Well, now what?


Uhm…how does this work?
Do I say "Forgive me father for I have sinned?"


Crawl out of bed and attempt to reach a source of water.


The same way it worked before. Typically you have a turn with the altar. Some take this as a moment for prayer or quiet contemplation, whereas others consult with the priesthood for morale support and wise counsel.

There's a basin on the desk opposite the beds. Your coat itches from the unwashed salt - a symptom of repeated dives into seawater.


Dunk my head in the water for a moment, then start I'll washing my coat off.


Take a moment to pray before the altar of the Sun.
"Father, do you have a moment?"


The water is cold, and the cleaning is awkward without a mirror and with just a basin, but it gives you some relief. Your wings could use a preening, too - you've been neglecting it.

The staffer returns with a mug of tea. "Will that be all?"

Brother. The only parent figure in the Celestial church is the 'mother' herself.

"Of course, although be mindful of the many other children of Celestia here."


"Certainly, it's just..I need to get something off my chest…"


"… Do you know how to preen wings?"


"Go on."

"Miss, if you will excuse my saying so, but this is an inn, not a day spa."


"My daughters haven't seen their father in years. We never heard anything from him but now we've received word that not only did he try to contact us, but couldn't, but he's….he might be dead…"


"Not a rebel are you? Fine then."


"Sister, remember that this life is a transient one. As the Book of Twilight states in Canto IV, blessed is she who dwells not on this life, but the life to come. All those that have faith in Her shall be reunited in Her afterlife. I know it is easy to dwell on the losses of this material world, but have faith, because no parting is permanent for those united in Her."

She departs. The tea was served warm, and you set it down on the desk as your hooves start to get a little uncomfortably hot from the mug. No sign of Iga… but upon further examination, you were left the daily newspaper. It was on Iga's nightstand.


Read it while I'm sipping my tea.


Think about this.
"I don't think I'll see him in Celestia's realm…"


"No pony is perfect, my sister. I am sure whatever misdeeds your husband engaged in were from the natural flaws of the body and that his spirit, ever-faithful, will rejoin you in ever greater splendor."

Skimming the headlines…

Food Price Hikes Continue

Red Leader Sighted in Equestria

Manako Group Patents New Movable Type Machine

Wholesome Marine Life Flourishing

Siege of Enkilj Breaks After One Week

Unrest in South Novdogod

Inside the Emperor's Ball: Exotic Temptations of the Oddomane World





"…thank you, brother."
It didn't really cheer me up, but I guess it's the best I'm getting here.


Red Leader Sighted in Equestria

Fillydelphia, 2:01 PM. A leader of the Red movement which has swept some lower-class and spiritually disenchanted communities has been spotted making overtures to locals in a speech outside Fillydelphia two days ago. The enigmatic figure known only as the Peoples' Dictator remains largely unknown outside of her island home of Reptil. She remains wanted for questioning by the Equestrian government. Law-abiding citizens should be cautious around this figure, who is known to travel with professional thugs and conduct shake-downs. To report suspicious behavior, contact your local Office of Information.

It was really just a blurb… what a baity title. Still, PD is alive, apparently?

With that, you make way for other ponies. Where to next?


Fillydelphia… that's far away.


Eh, not sure. I think I'll go check my alchemy equipment somewhere before going to Enkilj again.


Sounds like she's taking care of herself, though. Pity it is unlikely the Enkilj story will confer information about Selena's status.

You find a nice quiet corner in the adventurers' quarter and pull off your sack. It's getting a little weathered.

The tube that you funnel your acid through looks like it's holding well, at least… And your other equipment is still in fair condition.


Selena's probably even further away. I'll still read the story though.


Siege of Enkilj Breaks After One Week

New Earth, 1:11 AM. Reports of victory on the battlefield came in this morning shortly after the fall of the main gates of Enkilj - a city of dangerous heretic ritualists operating in the New World. This comes only hours after the collapse of a mercenary army under the infamous Vox, who is said to have been assassinated during the preceding battle. Commander Stalwart Shield was available for direct comment, but the Equestrian Press Secretary offered this official statement: 'With the fall of the outer walls, we expect full control of the city within 24 hours.' No statement has been made as to the costs of the battle thus far.


Hmmm, I might need to buy some new equipment later.
I wish I hadn't sold everything…



How much cash do I have? I recall Selena giving me a bunch for travel.



It reminds you that you still haven't split the spoils from your victory over the Demon - you'll need to remember to do it next time you get together with the others.



I'll need transportation. Which means heading out to port authority.


Next time, I don't know why everypony ran off. I feel so alone right now.
Clean my equipment.


The port is fairly busy - not as busy as the major cities you've visited, but nonetheless - hosting the golden armada of the Inquisition. Still, here you hope to find purchase in a more civilian freighter. But to where?

It could use it. Your alembics are getting so dusty it's hard to tell them apart from your mortars.


Where I left the New World from.


Scrub scrub!
Maybe I can go and wash my clothes as well in the….washing maching was it?


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