Sounds like an adventure with possibly catastrophic outcome! Let's do it!
"Is this the place with the problem they called me for?"
"It works! HeheahahaHAHAHAH! IT WOR-HER-HERRKS!">>620756>>620757
The two of you enter, one after the other, into a large amber lit hall. Warm air coils around your bodies as, before the two of you, a cackling stallion in giant poofy robes stomps the ground. A minute passes before he returns to you both.
"Welcome vallans! Word of Celestia has brought you here! Come! We've not a moment to lose!"
The strange stallion starts walking away towards a pair of large double doors
"A marauder has taken over one of our great cities, four days' travel from here! You are come to deal withthis problem yes yes!"
"I shoulda known this job paid too well. Still, it's been a while since I got to flex my own kicking hooves."
"You are sort of weird, but yes, that is why we are here!"
The stallion reaches into his poofy robes and pulls out a couple of bags.
"Food and drink! A map if you so desire! Head east on any road and you will find the city!"
"It'll be too much of a bother to head back empty hoofed anyways."
Take the goods and start heading out.>>620761
"You got brought in by the ad too?"
"How long do we have to walk?">>620763
"And a sense of adventure!"
"Beats being cooped up in the shop all day. Name's Zamorano. You have anything needing a fix, I'm the Donk to call."
"Lira Quinuty, demonolist at your service!"
"I knew those dime novels were going to corrupt the youth. At least tell me you don't call in incubi and such."
"Four days! FOUURR- "
The stallion gets yanked into the hallway by a pair of painted diamond dogs with spears…
The two of you exit the grand palace, then the grand city around it. One last look about is set before you 'head east' as the wizard continues to shout.
Your first day's walk is uneventful. The road is sometimes packed with gargantuant Giraffes, enormous Elephants, cantankerous Camels, or even troops of armored diamond dogs patrolling the pathways. When afternoon turns to evening you find a small set of camps set up around a shallow pool. The road past is empty, none around are keen to travel at night.
"Oh no, imps are more of my thing!"
Giggle at that.>>620768
"Should we keep going at night? It's not safe, but we'd get there sooner."
"As long as you keep 'em on a leash. They got into City Hall one day and let me tell ya', they are not easy to clean up. Got a nice contract outta it, though.">>620769>>620768
"Better off getting some rest. Even when all you do is book learnin', you need some shut-eye or it all stops making sense."
"That's the fun of it!"
Nod with a pout.
"Okay, I guess… but let's rest quick so we can adventure as soon as possible!"
"You're still a growing kid. Close your eyes and enjoy your dreams."
The two of you set up around the camps, a couple of oddities among perpetual giants. Interestingly enough, the warriors around are all diamond dogs. Or at least close to them.
Even as chilly wind sweeps in with night, your sun cooked clothes stay warm. The food and water is dry, but holds when eaten. Camps light up with personal fires; The only sounds from light chatter, tiny crackling, or the travelers rustling through their inventories…
Keep half an eye open as I daze off to sleep, who knows what's lurking out there…
I'll work on my Cane a little before going to sleep.
Perception Roll '1d10'>>620781
"Looks like it's time for us to be on our way."Roll #1 7 = 7
"Finally!"Roll #1 8 = 8
"Don't forget to brush your teeth."
"You're not my dad!"
Having eaten and drank, you set along with the few others. There are much less guards this far out, the few you see along the road look less uniform in both discipline and armament. Following the sun's path, you both notice a group of guards stationed behind a broken palanquin. Other travelers watch as they pass by, and only a few stop to chat with the unfortunates.
It seems to be an issue with some priests who came from a discarded road. Their attendants fled them and are stuck here.
"That doesn't mean you can go without brushing your teeth like a barbarian. How's any ancient demon supposed to respect you when you have cavities?"
"Fix it with a deal of course!">>620801
They look like they might need some help…
"Hey, we should check those guys out!"
"What seems to be the problem with y'all?">>620805
"You know how much a real, certified
Dentist costs? You probably wouldn't even be able to pay a Demon one."
"How would you know? Are you the expert?"
"I'm sure Demons got bills to pay in the Underworld too! Those disposable fairy tales of today must make all the kids think they can clap their hooves together and get a wish without working for it."
"Actually you can ask them really
nicely with a few bindings and seals and demonic rituals to do anything free, but they get a bit pissy if you mess up!"
"Hmm, might actually be cheaper and easier than a regular dentist…"
One of the attendants, a diamond dog female, addresses you.
"I know right?">>620818
Tilt my head.
"Uhm, come again?"
The diamond dog, motions with her paws about a set of rocks, more diamond dogs, and some kind of crevasse.
"Lis praetres sont'attakés par kantoullos! It'saserdotii somo stati attakati da kantoullo
Look questioningly at the donk with a shrug.
Then back at the dog.
"Dooo youuuuuu speaaaaaaaak Equestriaaaaan?"
Shrug at the mare.
"Did she lose something back there?"
The distraught diamond dog goes to one of the guards, shouts in her first language, then returns with the guard in tow. The guard does pointing gestures further into the unseen pass.
"Ih- 'olie mahn still insigh, iss?"
"The Holy Man is still inside? How'd he get stuck in there?"
"We need a translator here! C'mon! I still don't get a thing?"
Are there any ponies who look like they might be able to speak clearly and understandably?
The female attendant jabbers in quick hard words while the guard continues to pronounce equestrian at his best ability.
"Hii attake di- by…. ah… k-kantoullo. 'ohnlie gud naim.">>620835
There is a colt running along the road with a small saddle bouncing behind him. If you're quick enough you can catch him and find out if he knows enough equestrian to translate!
Fly after the colt!
And totally not-creepily try to land in front of him!
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
"He's being attacked? Why didn't you say so earlier!?"
I'll start trotting off over there!>>620839
"Hey, we need to help someone!"
"That's what I'm trying!"
You land in front of him, sweating under the hot sun and looking of death. The colt skids to a halt in front of you!
"Cabayo o kingeto? Dumnos epo a gibbo!">>620841
The passage is small and winding upwards. It inclines for 50 meters before your vision further ahead is cut.
Flick my ears.
"That's nice and all, but do you speak Equestrian?"
"Oh- Aquestrean? I speak that yes! I am messenger to City Steps, what is?"
Pick him up!
"I need you to translate with that dog over there!"
Fly him over!
I'll try to reach traverse it for now.
"One time in my life I wish I was born a Goat."
You ignore the colt's protests, in varying languages, and set him next to the diamond dog attendant who spins her words again. The colt calmly turns to you after listening to the diamond dog's harsh language.
"Yes, there is big kantullo by pit pool. Water priest attacked and left there, these are his servants yes?">>620850
You get up to a halfway point when you see that Lira is using a colt to translate what the diamond dog is saying. After a few minutes rest you find that the incline widens out a few feet up.
Let's check it out. Up here, I can at least get a good view of where we are.
"Who is the big kantullo? Any idea who attacked the water preist?"
Pic related. The poolside looks far closer than you were led to imagine, yet no figures can be seen from this distance. The way down is winding and narrows near the base, again.>>620857
"Not who, kantullo is beast by pool. Does not leave pool if priest is around, only listens to priest."
"Is it possible that someone attacked the priest so the kantullo would come out?"
Time for a pool party, then. And here I am without swim trunks.
Head down there, constantly shouting out:
"Hey holy man, here pony or Zebra or whatever you are!"
The colt translates back and forth between the two of you
"No. Priest has magic and authority to keep kantullo away. They attacked anyway. Not sure why.">>620864
You get down to the base of the mountain again. The ground is warm, moist, and pliable - from here all the way to the pool. You can see mounds of upturned earth and markings on the ground where the attendants came and ran. MIN8 to see how far they went from where you're standing.
"I thought I was just going to fix some pipes today."
Perception '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
"So… where are the assi-… assas… the guys who attacked?"
Looks like they just made it to the pool before turning around, several dirt covered mounds indicate an ambush of sorts.MIN10: There is a large shell beside the mounds, with what looks like a pony-sized claw just sticking out within your view>>620868
"She did no see, nor did others. Where is the donkey you came with? …You came with a donkey?"
"Oh, I think I saw him going to the lake when I was flying back! I think… maybe? Maybe we can all go and talk to the priest!"
I'll get my old cane ready and try to put some distance between us. Make them work a little for their ambush.
The diamond dog shakes her head and talks, the colt does the same but in Equestrian.
"No, is more dangerous for us than you. A-and I'm not a soldier of Aquestrea!">>620875
You walk further towards the pool, each step cautious and calculated. When you get 7 steps out, two large black orbs pop out from underneath the shell.
"So, what will we get it if we sold this mystery? I'm sure something nice! So we will try!"
Pat the mane of the colt.
"You stay around in case I need you to translate more!"
Fly up and try to look for the donk!
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
"You the one causing trouble around here? Can't a Donkey enjoy a nice stroll by the water anymore?"
I'll start twirling my cane, make it clear I'll attack if it gets close.
You jump into the sky and climb until you're over the mountain looking down the other side. You see pic related: >>620861
as well as MIN10: The donkey slowly circling the outline of a very large, very crustacean looking object underneath the sand>>620880
The black orbs don't move, but some of the smaller mounds do, and from one of the mounds springs forth a dirty brown paw.
I have special eyes!
Fly towards the oasis!Roll #1 9 = 9
"Honestly, don't make any more moves, you hear!?"
Reach out and strike near the paws.
'2d10'Roll #1 5, 10 = 15
You already saw it.
You fly over every one, prompting the creature to rise from its underground safety.>>620884
You get close and strike for the paw, a very large claw reaches out and snaps at your blade - pulling back you strike at the claw instead. Lightning arcs from your blade as you connect with the superhard chitin, zapping the weapon and making it reel back from you.
An enormous monstrous creature emerges from the wet sand, covered in blistering red armor, sporting six legs, and wielding two powerful claws. Black eyes above the armor stare at you both, then slowly retreat closer to the armor on its back.
Time for an IMP-PLOSION!
SUMMON DEM IMPS!
'1d10+2'Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"I'm sure those Dogs back there wouldn't mind having you for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner."
Aiming for the eyes, letting the Trick Cane extend towards them.
Double Slash '2d10'Roll #1 6, 5 = 11
You summon a small black orb, which explodes with Imps. One imp dies from being exploded into meaty chunks, several start fighting amongst each other over the crab's back and begin to kill each other instead. Only one manages to know what you intend and starts banging on the crab's chitin!>>620889
You feint to the left and slash at the crab, your first swing connects with its claw that leaves another black mark on it, your second misses and hits an Imp on the crab's back. The crab lazily rises to its fullest and skitters away from you!
Pretty good result!
Try and Lifestream the big-ass crab in the meantime!
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
Keep slashing to make it run away.
"This is what you speciest deserve. This is a mixed lake, no one claims it for themselves!"
Double slash to keep it running. '2d10'Roll #1 6, 2 = 8
You lifestream one of the unruly Imps, transferring life from it to the others in their messed up game of king of the hill. The obedient imp turns and starts swiping at the creature's obsidian eyes.>>620894
You stab at its claw, coloring it black and filling the air with a burnt fishy smell. You take another stab just as the crab reaches up, grabs one of the last two imps, and hurls it into you! You hit the ground with a dead Imp impaled on your sword.
"Great, I'm going to have to clean up demonic blood after this."
Double Slash after removing the Imp. '2d10'Roll #1 4, 5 = 9
Since I have Minion Mastery, try and get another batch of imps while that one works on the eye! Guess I have to roll for imp damage too
And for MORE IMPS
'1d10+2'Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
The last unruly Imp stands proudly as king of the crab, just before the crab skitters away at top hulking speed. >>620904
The Imp lands dazed in front of you. It gathers itself quickly enough to associate you with the crab and starts trying to claw at you!>>620906
The Imp loyal to you falls in front of the crab and barely keeps hold of the shell while the crab moves at blinding speed!
You summon another clutch of Imps right over the crab, the explosion throws them all around the crab! While they fight each other and the crab, none of them look ready to follow your command.
There are 5 enemy Imps around the crab now.
"Don't worry, I got this! They will get the crab eventually!"
Use the Night spell to conceal us so they will focus on the crabby!
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"Hey, your Imps are acting all defective like. They always like this?"
Double Slash at the idiotic Imp. '2d10'Roll #1 10, 8 = 18
"…most of the time, yes!"
"So I was right. You barely starting out into this demon business, aren't you?"
"I-It's really hard, okay?!"
As you murmur the spell, a great black claw reaches out from the horizon. It grabs the sun and plunges the world into a black abyss.
Yet for all the darkness you and Zamorano can both see the creatures illuminated in white.>>620910
You slice the Imp's throat, then impale it in the chest. The small creature dies choking on its blood as the world darkens.
The Imps begin to fight the giant crab, most climb on it as a couple die trying to rip out its claws
"We all gotta start somewhere! Where'd you start out with, one of those beginner books? Going to school for it or so.ethin'?!"
Help 'em out by cutting at the claw too.
Double Slash '2d10'Roll #1 10, 2 = 12
I'll try and lifesteam the crab again!
"They sort of want to Inquisition me at school for it, soooooo…"Roll #1 6 = 6
"You're having so much trouble controlling them, I could see why! Don't you have to focus or somesuch to get them to do what you want!?"
"I should!….somehow! I'm working it out!"
Your lightning tipped blade strikes across the Crab's right claw, cracking the solid chitin along its reach. The crab doesn't seem to notice as it beats an imp to death using the broken body of another. The swinging body wings you and takes you off balance!
Through the crab's cracked armor you sap life from it, the whispy substance floats into the air as the crab breaks off its own arm and beats away all the living imps with it!
What's that, dead imps?
I must summon more!
'1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"Isn't there a manual for them?">>622168
"Hey, the little lady's toys aren't weapons!"
Attack the hole it made after ripping out its arm. Lightning Double Slash '2d10'Roll #1 9, 3 = 12
"They are all in demonic!"
"That just means you gotta work harder at keeping 'em under wraps. You don't see me tossing badgers at things and letting them run amok just 'cause they're badgers."
You summon another exploding black orb, several imps die and add their meaty gibblets to the eruption, another is thrown over the back of Zamorano, and two land behind the large crab! The last two are the most obedient and begin climbing atop the creature!>>622170
The crab swings its arm at you. The first thrust is parried and the creature's arm breaks apart and flings meaty parts around, but your face gets hit with those meaty parts as well. Your vision is blinded and you hear something mad and growling behind you!
Get the stuff out of my eyes! '1d10'
"Don't get close!" Wild swing. '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
"That's it babies! Go for the squishy parts!"
Cast Night to help them!
"Patience and Practice makes an Imp Master unless you get torn apart!"Roll #1 1 = 1
You toss and flail about with both your front hooves in the air, in doing so you injure the growling creature!>>622180
You spin and motion into the air for another claw to grasp the sun, sure to reach whatever dark gods in your cry for aid. Yet as you finish the motions and end your silent chant nothing happens. Then there is a great unearthly cry that rumbles the very sand beneath you. The world turns a blinding white as the great black claw in the sky burns away.
"WHO DARES DARKEN MY SUNLIGHT
The great creature beats away most of the unruly imps before its severed arm splinters away
"Was this part of your summoning?!"
"I-I just wanted a bit of shade down here! It's really hot!"
Uh… try and beat at the crab with my staff!
I've gotta give imp summoning a rest!
Now with a roll
"No… but it could have been worse!"Roll #1 9 = 9
Keep up the attack!
Double Slash '2d10'>>623537
"How could it have been worse than that!"Roll #1 8, 5 = 13
don't want to know!"
"I'm beginning to think you started summoning them because you hate yourself, ya know."
"That's a really mean thing to say!"
"Don't mess with powers that can get you killed on a whim then!"
"I haven't died yet!"
File: 1429035916634.png (Spoiler Image, 202.46 KB, 500x800, tumblr_n8clwzgQQv1tar3zuo1….png)
You both beat the creature further towards the desert pool. The day gets more and more bright with each passing second. Then from underneath the monster's legs burst forth a great explosion, absorbing all surrounding light as it ascends into the sky.
The creature explodes, as do the imps atop it. When the sunlight fades, a towering equinoid stands before you; bathed in porcelain clarity and assured power…
Boomed the newcomer
Tentatively raise a hoof.
"Sorrysosorryaboutthat! I'll keep a better eye on the little girl next time."
Put my hoof over her shoulders.
The equinoid's face looks to the bodies of dead imps, diamond dogs
"YOU STAND AMIDST THE TEMPLE OF LIVING WATER"
Then looks down at the various parts of the creature's body laying around
"DO NOT TAINT THIS GROUND WITH YOUR UNHOLY SERVITUDE"
Their eyes close, and light slowly edges to its natural state.
"I'm not little!">>623547
"Of course, of course! We'll leave now!"
"You won't have to worry about us!">>623548
You leave back for the distressed attendants, covered in dried sand and feeling oddly refreshed when you get back.
The little colt sees Lira and runs up, asking in his odd equestrian what the result of your excavation was.
"This wasn't what I expected when I showed up to work yesterday, at least.">>623548
"We're still alive, so I'll have to say you did good, kid."
"See? I can totally control what happens!">>623550
"There was this big crab thing which we totally managed to kill and not by some odd incident either!"
"We should have brought something of the crab back. Even with Imp marks, I'm sure some Griffin would have bought it."
"I think we were a bit preoccupied at the moment!"
"That just means we gotta pay more attention next time! A little extra coin goes a long way!"
"Like better food?"
"Yup, something besides desert hay. Maybe even a few lessons for you. Someone around here should know a little about summoning."
The colt turns back and translates for the attendants and the guards, after some exchange the pony turns back to you both.
"Food and lodging at next town, talk the guard gates and speak: sego a caddos, lautru e'embrek. You help the priest, temple and guard thank you today."
And with that the colt turns and takes off down the road again
Poke the donkey!
"Did you hear that?
Segoacados lutru emberek! We get free food and stuff for helping them! Let's go!"
"Then let's get some before we have to head out again!"
"In the next town, not here!"
"I know, I'm just saying."
As you set out again, the sun bears down harder on you both. The ground cooks and cracks with every step, the dust fills the long road leading into a seamless eternity, and you're hooves are sore.
Every hour you either pass by a group of exotic sapient creatures or get passed by a group of exotic sapient creatures, some attempt to bridge the gap between equestrian to sell you wares, but your dialect and currency don't always get the better of their nature.
As day turns to afternoon and dusk you find yourselves in a vast desert with very few camps spread around.
"Aww, I was really hoping we'd get to that settlement! Now we'll have to camp again!"
"I've had worse lodging, little Pegasus. Let's find some place under a rock and settle in."
"Fine, but I'm not little!"
"Keep those Imps of yours under wraps and I'll reconsider."
"They are free spirits! Well… demons, technically, and they probably should be bound and not free, but you get it!"
"Yup, and that's why I'll keep calling you that way, Lira. When we hit the next town, let's see if we can't pick you up something a little more reliable than those hopped up demon gerbils. You can keep summoning them, but don't rely 100% on something you can't control."
"I also drain the lifeforce of my enemies and cause total darkness! That's not just imps!"
You find a sandy hole to get comfortable in, eating and cooling down as the sun sets. The stars light up the night, and a chill breeze sets as the indicated of few other camps are by their fire lights.
MIN8: In the middle of the night a massive tiered palanquin, set by six massive decorated elephants slowly makes its way down the road towards the city you're headed to. Low lights and tired chatter wisp from the moving structure.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"So you have to get up close against dangerous people or call on those that might try to eat you? If I can get my hands on some reliable material, I can make you something a bit less risky.">>623571
Special eyes and ears. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"Eh, you're still a kid, so I won't hold that against ya'."
"Well… uh… you're old! And a donkey!"
"Now now, flattery won't get you everywhere.">>623576
"What's for breakfast?"
The goat turns towards you both, then looks back at the fire.
Shrug at the donkey.
I shrugh back, then try and dig myself out.
"Would it be too much to ask for some help, Mister or Misses Goat?"
"Try asking in goat?"
"I never learned that language. You were in school, did thye teach you that there?"
You both stay in the warm sand for several more minutes until the goat gets up and leaves, taking their utensils with. What's left behind are a pair of small flat rocks with lightly cooked greens and berries on them. The sun peeks several inches over several mountainous pillars to the east, and already travelers are making their way to and from along the desert road.
"I learned about magics!">>630641
Try and summon imps?
They can dig us out!
'1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
I'll use my cane to try and burrow myself out.
'2d10'Roll #1 4, 1 = 5
"But you have to be able to read the magic books when they give you homework. And I'm sure there was a Goat magic user or two that wrote stuff down."
You summon a group of imps, immediately 2/3rds of the group starts to fight amongst itself. Two knowledgeable ones help Lira and Zamorano out while dirt is kicked into the air several yards away.>>630645
You nearly shock yourself before a friendlier-than-normal imp helps you get loose enough to shuffle the rest of the way out.
"Thank you, young, uh, Imp was it? Is that your proper name?">>630644
"Do these guys have names?"
"I learned demontongue!">>630651
"Yay, help us!"
Try and climb out with their help!>>630655
"I just call them imps… they usually die too easily."
The pony-sized creature stares at you with marble black eyes.>>630656
You are out, and the imp then goes to join in the worsening fight not far off
"We should have you work on that. They're a little unstable." I point to the ones fighting among themselves. "But they can do good it seems.">>630641
"Let's get the food the Goat left us before the wind spoils it."
They can resolve their differences then!>>630660
"It's a work in progress!"
"They are still a little odd to me.">>630661
"Well, how much more work did your teachers say you needed?"
I'll start eating into the food before we head down the trail.
Eat a bit too myself.
"Oh, the demonlogy stuff is sort of unofficial, so I'm training myself. All guesswork!"
"I don't know whether to be surprised at the fact that you haven't been caught or that the material was lying around for you to learn that stuff."
"I sort of picked it up during a witch hunt."
The two of you eat quietly in the intensifying heat as imps beat each other to death not far away, thankfully they are all downwind.
When the last imp dies of exhaustion and gets swallowed into a black pit underneath, you both leave. The trip takes just as long, the sun is just as intemperate, and the passerby are just as gigantic. Along the road you see the road split into two and lead towards a gigantic pit.
"Are you sure this is the right way?"
"And that didn't discourage you from looking into the matters? You're braver than I thought.">>630670
"They said it was 4 days out, a pit would be a good hiding place. We should look into it. Maybe we can finish this task sooner."
"I trust in my abilities!"
"You lead the way, you're the donkey jack!"
Time to investigate a pit in the middle of the desert.
You make it to the edge of the pit, seeing most of the other travelers walking around the edge before disappearing inside. Over the side you find a half-mile drop down, a deep water pit at the bottom, and nearly countless amounts of holes along the wall big enough for even the large desert creatures to comfortably walk around in. On the wall going down is an etched sign that reads "Lazulite Deep"
It's an underground city
"Plenty of place for raiders to hide, or pitch their stolen wares here. Let's go in and take a look."
"Just watch out for the edges."
"IT's pretty spooky…"
Follow the donk as we descend
The first few floors have some large open areas for caravans to stop in.
The next floors down house packed taverns, eateries, and open rooms for travelers wanting some rest.
The last few floors seems to be living quarters for those who permanently stay here, with the (arguably) richest having untethered access to the dark pool at the bottom
"Let's look into some of the taverns. Thieves and raiders might be there spending their ill-gotten gold."
"You are so obsessed with those thieves and raiders! Do you have a crush on them?"
Enter a tavern at random!
"That is why we are here, remember? And this place seems pretty big. You of all people should be eager to find out what they stole."
You indeed see plenty of rough types in several taverns, many of them are larger than the average camel around here.>>630682
You push your way into a packed tavern and look around, it smells
"I don't think they have any demon stuff!">>630684
"Ugh, did something die here?"
"A big city like this attracts all types. I'd be looking for tools myself if I wasn't on the job, but you should keep an eye out.">>630684
I'll watch them. Does it look like they have an unusually large pile of loot or gold on them?
You get pushed around by various large bodies after saying that, but the stench doesn't get any worse or any better. There are a few rough looking travelers in the tavern you're in, their talk can't be heard above the chatter in here.>>630686
After a few minutes' watching you see that these guys don't have much gold on them, but someone smaller than the norm passes through the bunch with something large over their back!
"That one, let's follow him and see what's up with 'em."
"And get out of this stench!"
You follow a zebra stallion, from the color of his stripe. He makes his way ardently through the crowded tavern to either the corner or the back of the room.>>630689
You see Lira disappear into the back of the Tavern, her small colorful frame disappears behind a giraffe's large speckled butt.
Let's try the back room!
I'll start trying to keep up with Lira.
You follow the zebra stallion through the back room door, sliding in just behind him before the door closes. There are a bunch of boxes along the wall with a general passage through the center to a doorless room.>>630696
You get to the door just as it closes again.
I saw where it closed, right? Can I force it open.
Keep following him, hiding behind boxes on the way!
It's an old wooden door, the poor thing might break into a million pieces - depending on how you force it open.>>631005
The zebra immediately looks back to make sure the door shut closed! MIN8 to not get seen on the spot!
I'll use Night to make it super dark so he can't see me!
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
There has to be a lock somewhere. Look around, was there a lever or something to open it I can see? '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
The zebra's sharp senses catch the back end of your rump as you dive behind boxes, immediately he shouts at you to reveal yourself!>>631008
There's a used brass lever along the upper half of the door, but that'll have to wait as someone from the inside shouts. They may have discovered Lira!
"Nopony is here, you are just seeing things!"
"Did that girl summon more of her critters in here!?" I ask myself.
Try and force this door open then! '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
The zebra drops his sack opposite the wall.
"Get out here! Now! I'm not giving you another chance!">>631013
You rear your hind legs and kick the door down. The old wood splinters, flying through the room and taking out the zebra in front of it.
The commotion calms down some of the rowdy patrons, who look in your direction!
"You okay, I thought I heard yer or her Imps' yelling!?"
"Get out here! Now! I'm not giving you another chance! I'm just an echo!"
The zebra is buried underneath the door, likely out cold. Commotion from further inside the backroom erupts as other voices shout towards you.>>631087
You don't see any sign of Lira here, that is until you hear her talking about echos.
"Geez, I was handling it just fine!"
"You just ran off and started yelling, I thought you were in danger."
"I didn't yell at all!"
"Well I've heard nothing but yelling since you came in here!"
As you two argue, a set of hooves scuffs the dirt floor. A tall and thin stallion looks at the downed zebra then at you two.
The stallion turns and starts for the room beyond.
"Hey guys! We got intruders!"
"Yeah! They are in the bar, pretending to be our friends! Go get 'em!"
Totally playing along here!
"What she's saying!"
You are in a pit-city named Lazulite Deep, currently inside a seedy bar unsuccessfully infiltrating a back room where the suspicious zebra you followed is knocked cold. A pale skinny stallion has been alerted to your presence…>>631104>>631105
The stallion gives you both a questioning look before darting back through the hallway.
"I don't think he believed us!"
"Just keep it up and I'm sure he will."
Moments pass before the skinny stallion returns, joined by taller muscular stallions. One breaks from the small group and looks down onto you both.
"Who are you?"
"Who are you
"You mean you don't know?"
The stallion towers over you, but ignores your question.>>634830
"There aren't many shorties running through here, least of all unstriped
ones. Who are you, and why did you kill my runner?"
"Kill? We didn't kill anyone!"
"He's just taking a bit if a long nap, nothing too big, you know."
The stallion looks down to the zebra he's standing over, and kicks him with a leg. The zebra groans but doesn't move. Seeing as the striped equine is still alive, the leader horse looks back at the skinny stallion, who shrugs. After questionably satisfied that none of his subordinates are dead, the leader horse lowers his gaze back to you both.
"Alright, why are you here?"
"He seemed like he was in trouble, with that door over him and everything!"
"We heard some yelling and rushed over. To help, yes."
The stallion signs, then looks over you and out to the bar.
"These large bodies need to watch themselves. Thanks for your… concern."
"Do we get a reward?"
"No problem. We have to look out for each other, especially with those raiders going about stealing from hapless merchants."
"Not from me.">>634845
"Crying shame, that is."
"….You can go now."
"Come on Lira, let's leave the nice people for now."
Point at the guy.
"What about him?">>634850
"Let's not get involved in any more 'misunderstandings' for a bit."
Go with the donk
"You have a hard time thinking too far ahead, dontcha?"
A big smile shows up on my face as I look at her.
You both quickly and quietly leave the room where the door is propped against the hinges again.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time! What now?"
"Come on, if yo rreally think these guys are worth looking into, help me find a good vantage point. Let's see who goes in and out."
"I think they are too much on edge now!"
"Not if we're careful. Besides, we'd just he travelers setting down for a drink if they ask."
You both find your way to some raised stools at a high counter. Out of everyone in the room, your diminutive sizes put you at odds with the robust patrons here. Tall horses are walking around serving drinks, one stops at your table.
Do I have the funds to get some nice, non-alcoholic refreshments?
I'll get a soft-drink if we still have some money.>>634874
"We'll they don't need to know anything else. They don't exactly look like the types to attack random passerby's and attract more attention."
"They want to be really sneaky with whatever they do back there!"
There seems to have been a small amount of differently cut coins at the bottom of your traveling bags. Enough to replenish the stores you were given before embarking on this hot journey.
GET SOME NICE COLD OJ
"But when your in town, trying to be sneaky stands out more. Acting like you belong works better, and if they were storing anything there, they have to go in to trade it or move it. We'll see 'em and follow them then."
"But that's boring!"
"But getting hit hurts. And I'm not young enough to get back up from too many kicks."
"That's why we summon the imps!"
"So they can ruin any leads we were after?"
"And prevent getting kicked!"
The horse takes your order and leaves, she returns with two clay bottles. One with a wide lip is pushed towards Lira, another with a fat body and small lip is pushed towards Zamorano.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"Let's just look and see who we throw those imps at, that sound good?"
"I can make no promises!"
"Just what we needed for now."
Do I feel/notice it? >>634894
You do. In fact if no sooner did she turn and walk away did one of those stallions from the back room pass between you two and towards the exit.
Investigate the letter.
Inside the letter are a number of scratch marks with arrows to other scratch marks, and at the bottom are unreadable words.
/ > VX
// > XXiii
/// > C
//// > VVC
\\\ > XCiX
Tilt my head
"What are you doing?"
"There's a note here. Can you read it."
"And don't look now, but one of our friends from the backnjust came out."
Take a look at it.
The stallion pays neither of you any attention and smoothly makes his way out of the bar and further down.
No one else seems to be leaving from the backroom.
"Let's keep it for now. But, whatta ya say we finish our drinks and tail the person who just left. Came outta your backdoor youbwere worried about."
Down my drink and canter after the stallion!
You take a few seconds to finish your drinks and make for the entrance. The stallion is loaded with a bag, and taking the scenic route down towards the city's bottom.
Follow from a distance!
"Keep looking at the vendors. Make it look like we're just another set of traveling equines. Maybe you'll find something you'll like too."
"I'll want to get paid for whatever we do before I start spending!"
You follow the stallion has he makes his rounds through some blacksmiths, dried produce, and even some textile areas of the lower bazaars.
As you get further down the heat begins to wear thin and the air moistens. The stallion's sack thins, the further he goes down, and when his bag is finally thin, you all are at the bottom of the city.
At the Lazulite Pool
"He has been busy!"
Where does he go now?
"We'll wait for him to make the next move. Just try to look like you're admiring the scenery if he sees you."
From here, the stallion takes a left at the road. He goes into a small hallway that follows part of the pool leading down.
Keep going down!>>634913
"We can't lose him now!"
"Be safe, though.">>634914
Keep my distance but keep after.
You follow the stallion down the hallway, down some winding stairs, and into a naturally lit room. Glowing mushrooms illuminate a rather large bubble-formation half-filled with water. The stallion is inside and at the edge of the water, he slides off the sack and pulls out of his clothes before walking into the water.
I'm not sure if I want to follow him in there.
Just watch what's going on!
Yeah, looks to funky. Keep eyes on him from a distance and away from the water.
It turns out the stallion is here washing himself. From some lit writings on the wall, this section is an old washing area for small statured creatures.
I'm clean enough, or at least not dirty enough to wash with a stallion!
"You keep an eye on him!"
"An actual good idea and show of decency. Color me impressed.">>634920
If it's an open pool area, I'll come in too.
You sit in the hallway leading to a washroom, watching a stallion wash himself. THINGS ARE GETTING STEAMY IN THERE>>634922
You walk in, seeing a ledge that's not too far from the wall and hallway. The stallion left his own stuff on one end of the ledge, it seems you can do the same.
It's also pretty icky so there's that!
But you don't have to know!>>634923
I'M NOT WATCHING!
If he's got line of sight to it, I'll make sure to keep my stuff a little aways from his. As much as I want to pee into his, I don't want to give him the chance to get into mine.
THen, let's get into the water.
WELL YOU SURE DON'T WANT TO LEAVE NOW DO YOU>>634925
The stallion glances at you then moves a few feet away and rests against the ledge. Every few minutes he dips his head into the water or scrubs himself underwater.
I'll copy him. Now is a good time as any to get clean.
JUST SIT DOWN SOMEWHERE ELSE
It gets quiet as you both share the pool. After awhile the stallion just rests in the cool water.>>634928
You sit opposite the hall and read your summoning book, going over things you've already learned.
I'll show that silly donkey I can control the imps!
It's been hot outside, and after the little stint in the bar, I'm going to enjoy the water for a bit more.
You quickly skim over the stuff you already know, then start to read up on newer summoning rituals and more complete spells…>>634931
The calm is broken when the stallion speaks up.
"Yeah, it's a welcome relief after experiencing the desert for so long. Name's Zamorano, you?"
"Sandy Winds. We don't get many shorties around here, and those we do are usually zebras. Equestria?"
Ooh, more powerful spells!
"León, to be exact. Got hit with a bit of wanderlust in my old age, wanted to see the rest of the world. What brings you here?"
You skip ahead to read up on a demon summoner who nearly broke Equestria into shambles with unstoppable demon summoning. Little is said about what happened to the summoner though.>>634936
"Born here. All I know are the deserts and lime spires. Come here for the silver?"
"Mostly to take in the sights, but I do have some requests to look into things like that. If it isn't too much, can you talk to me about it?"
The stallion glances at his pack, then closes his eyes
"If I know about what you ask, sure."
"Friends and family asked for a few bits here and there. Any good jewelers you could recommend? I've got a sweetheart waiting back home, so I want to surprise her with something."
I'm sure the summoner was juuuuuuuuuuust fine and not banished to some demonic realm!
"There's a bi-pa merchant a few levels up you can see. There are better jewelers along the roads, from what I have seen. Jade is a common stone you can get cheap, I'm sure she'll like that.">>634941
You learn some humility in reading that you have not been making the correct incantations. You can be using all those you summon if you take a deep breath and prepare your words before spitting them into the air!
"Thanks for the tips. I'll be headed down that way anyway, just had a detour into town. Thanks pal."
With that, I'll step out. He's probably dine for the day too if he came here.
I'm just so excited every time I see them show up!
But them not killing each other would be even more exciting!
The stallion sits in the pool a bit longer, then gets out when you're half dressed.>>634944
The dark book you learn from is not to be taken lightly, nor is the magic you wield from it. However there is another set of chapters after this which allude to Plague Winds!
Oooh, they sound interesting!
Give them a read!
Make whatever small talk is necessary, then head out first.>>634946
"Sorry to interrupt, but we'll be coming out now."
"Just make sure you are dressed, geez!"
"Hmph, like I need to be reminded."
You learn that these types of abilities range from simple poisons to full on blood pacts of purely demonic power.>>634947
From the stallion's gruff voice, and how his handles his equipment, you gather that he's more than capable as a scrapper. When you leave you hear him mumbling something
I can't wait to see my lovely demons again!>>634949
"Found anything out?"
"Just some information on jewelry vendors. I'd say we stay careful around him, since he's our only lead for now."
"And in the meantime?"
"Keep looking for anything suspicious. I doubt we're operating with a small group of raiders."
DAYS HAVE PASSED
The dynamic duo fought bad guys, found map information, found the number and location of the raided city, and are now on their way over. The fourth day, Zamorano and Lira Quinuty stand before a large and colorful encampment carried by five towering elephants. There are a few empty campsites around the merchant palace, but the noise of laughter and clacking of metal on metal can be heard from where you're standing.
Not far off is a group of saddle arabian horses, armed and armored as they guard the entrance to the palace.
"Are you ready for this? Looks like they've got half the desert's population here."