Mist. It covers you like a wet sheet of the softest silks, seeping inside your ragged breaths sapping the air away from your throat.
You are left here, dizzy and stunned, water reaching up to your ankles, in what seems to be the crossing between two very large roads.
And on every side, old buildings like you have never seen before, covered in the green and blue colors of nature's unchecked growth, fighting high against the fog.
As the initial stupor fades away and the softer, clearer strokes of the world which now surrounds you fall into place, details begin to crop up.
The crumbled walls and open doors suggest this place has been long since abandoned, and the water-flooded streets are scattered with strange, unusual sights.
Long stilts of metal jutting out of the water, overgrown skeletrons of large rusted boxes, tiny fishes swimming without a care between your legs as you catch a glimpse of your own reflection in the murky green water…
And them. Other ponies, looking all different, all as out of place as you, in this silent piece of old civilization.
Character list: http://pastebin.com/TgwJKKP1
I haven't been summoner, have I? Rude.
"Wuhell, mhn, this is higmhly irregulharh."
Mumble under my beard as I look around.
If you have, must be some random prankster, since you can't see any familiar face around!
Maybe the old wizard-looking unicorn beside you?>>643002
The distant cry of birds is the only answer the mist covered buildings offer.
"By the beard of Grogar where is this place?"
Try walking around the water a little.
Look at you with narrowed, confused eyes.
"Mhm, whell, I don't recall your hrm, faces."
"Did you call me? For what? Rheumatism, arthritis, impotence? We'll see how I can treat those."
Under the water old lichens and a soft layer of dirt hide something hard, smooth, like rock.
It makes walking easier than it should normally be in water.
The fog cuts off your sight not even twenty or so steps short of your nose, and your exploration quickly reveals that the four roads keep on going for much longer than you're able to see, coasted at all sides by the impossibly tall and dense buildings.
"Probably because we never met."
Shrug a bit at him. "What should I call you?"
"Hrm, well, yyou could call me Graey Matter, because, that's my name, my name I've been living with for, hum, quite some time, many years and decades, in fact, with my name, hrm, yes."
Stroke my beard and gaze into the distance.>>643006
"No, no, why did you call me?"
"Four different paths.. This place must be.. a lot bigger than I expected..">>643009
"Many many years? Do you know much about picking a good route? I was thinking the second path, for no particular reason, just seems nicer than the first."
"Oh, you have a disease of the mind? Harder to treat, but if you let me read your mind I think I can diagnose you better."
Not only that, but every few steps you can see a new hole, a new door, a new stair to nowhere, losing itself in the pitch black insides of those gargantuan buildings.
Shake my head.
"Noh, no, my joints are achy occasionnaly. I was a springy colt once, hmr, yes, vhery ggood times, they were, back when thepastureshm been greener.">>643010
"Yes, that path, good, I like it! Reminds me of my hm, earlier days, when I was still an adventurer."
"Well, I am obliged to give you a mind read if you need it."
Now where the hell am I?>>643010
"Any idea where this is? Did you call us?"
Shake my head.
"I'm, hrm, quite fine, quite fine. Fine."
Where the hell are
you, little pony?
It's the intersection between two roads, this much is clear, but the buildings on every side escape the boundaries of geometry, like impossible towers they seem bound together by their close denseness, jutting into the fog, disappearing into the sky.
"Great! I knew you'd have good instincts behind that grey beard." >>643014
"Looks like a dream to me dear. Just don't be scared whatever happens.. they like to feed on fear.">>643012
Go to the top of the stairs.
"Oh yes, my beard, almost as old as I am, have had this beard for hrm forever."
Time to follow this unicorn!
"Oh, it's easy to purge fear. Want some happy drinks?"
I can deal with mental monsters. >>643016
It's tempting to climb one, but I'll just follow unicorn.
Trotting close to the walls of one of the buildings you reach for what maybe, once, could have been called stairs.
Only the skeleton of a spiraling set of metal stairs remains, laying upon the walls of a building, stepping with extreme care beside each and every one of those holes in the wall that once could have been called windows.
Up it goes, every hole opening up to tiny rooms filled with the green of overflowing vegetation and the brown of old walls and torn papers. Each one of the rooms different, but at the same time similar to the others, like they were all built by the same hoof.
Soon the ground is so far away, the fog covers it, and you are unable to make out anything but the building you are climbing and the one opposite to it across the now invisible street.
Then, a metallic ping.
Roll reflexes (AGI)>>643019
That's just what he's doing!
Who makes an invisible street?
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
"Did you name your beard? Anything that old and majestic needs a name." >>643019
"…Depends on what a 'happy drink' is?" I reply with a smile. >>643020
rollin' '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Shake my head.
"Noh, no no, my beard hrm ishjust my good old beard, no name because it is part of me, yes, part of me for a good while now.">>643020
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
It's because you are so far above the ground that now it's lost in the fog!
Instantly you realize the stair is about to give way, and slide with no effort to the side, into the crumbled room you were passing by.>>643022
Just like Lizzie, you jump to the side in a decisive, fast motion.>>643023
But you instead don't even realize anything's wrong until it's too late.
As the others jump ship, you are left on the stairs, wondering to yourself why kids these days are always in a hurry…
Before the skin-curling screech of bending metal reaches your ears, and your hooves find themselves without a hold.
The stairs are coming down, tearing themselves away from the wall!
ACT FAST, everyone!
Well, hrm, now.
That's not good.
Try to climb away!
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
"Just a little setback. Nothing too worry about."
'1d10' climb back toward the ground.Roll #1 3 = 3
Use that same youthful agility to get to safe ground!
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Totally ignore the stallion falling to his doom?
And climb back how, like a spider would, on the slippery walls of stone overgrown with greenery amidst the fog, to reach a ground so far below you that is now lost in the mist, with no climbing gear to boot?>>643025
With a surprising display of strength for an old stallion, using the small hold your forehooves found as the stairs were crumbling away, you pull yourself up, into the same room Palicore and Lizzie were in.>>643027
That room is safe ground.
The inside of the room is darker, older than those on the lower levels. Here you can barely see any vegetation, and the floor reveals a pattern of dust settled into the cracks of ceramic tiles which cover the floor.
The room itself houses couches eaten away by time and animals, and a small table with a box on top, stuck in a corner.
The wall opposite to the one you came in through hosts a doorframe, through which you can see a corridor going left and right, and an old, heavy door to seal everything away.
"We should, hrrm, have flied, we fools. Well, not literally, hrm of course, not flight like the birds, but as in run."
Try to pull out a fitting key to the door from my beard.
'1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
It's a small, flat key of silvery metal, shining and pristine as if was just forged, jagged just a bit on the long end.
Strange, strange key indeed.
Try it in the door
I don't deal in metal…
Let's see the couches. Any easily recognisable animal signs?
You move through the room and then reach the corridor, your hooves stepping on something which once, most likely, used to be a carpet, rousing clouds of dust from it.
After cleaning away the old slit under the pommel, you are able to fit in that effortlessly. You dirty old perv.
Moments later a strangely lubricated mechanism clicks, and the door is unlocked.>>643032
Bugs. Lots, lots of bugs eating away at the fabric and strange yellow foam found inside the couch.
Just what you'd expect from something left to decompose for… Decades? Centuries?
Push it open, what is behind it?
"Something, hrm, oh yes, I found it."
I'm no pegasus, I can't dive down after him.
I guess I will just look around this crumbling room for other doors.
Why would something ancient call us?>>643034
>>643035Read the other replies, you are all in the room, the old guy opened up the main door.
You decide thus to survey the rest of the small cluster of rooms, running the length of the dusty corridor.
Here, hung up on frames, are paintings depicting strangely dressed ponies in strangely decorated houses.
They must have been rich, because these paintings are of the highest quality possible, you can barely tell them from reality.
For some reason, they are behind glass.
Walking, you reach the end of the corridor. Here, another room opens up, filled with strange furniture, with pots and kettles hanging from it and serving platters left out in the open.
Please roll perception (MEN).>>643036
The door opened up on a black, empty room with no roof and no bottom, just a lengthy set of stairs running in circles down to what you can only assume to be the bottom of this building, and up, to a ceiling made of glass, water dripping in a constant stream through some of its now broken panes.
The ceiling is much closer than the floor.
"Hwell, I suppose we should, hrm, yes, should indulge ourselves in curiosity."
Up to the ceiling!
'1d10' rolling!Roll #1 4 = 4
"My client SHOULD be here somewhere."
"Surely, hrm, yes, yes."
You turn left immediately out of the door, up the slippery marble stairs, careful not to trip on the thin layer of water which envelopes them, up and up again, passing by broken, open, or even missing doors.
Please roll perception (MEN)>>643040
It must have been your imagination.
This place looks like it used to have food, a very long time ago. Also, the other two unicorns are leaving!
My senses are not what they used to be.
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
"What a strange place.."
Try opening the glass of one of the paintings. '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
"Why water here? Does it rain often?"
How old is this marble, anyway?
No, they most definitely aren't!
None of these rooms seem of particular interest to you.
Finally, you are at the top. The stairway blends into the wall and leaves you with a lone, small frame of black metal fashioned in a net, looking out onto…
The sun?! There is no fog outside, not at this height!>>643041
You may roll perception too, of course.>>643046
Few billion years, give or take.>>643045
The frames have a simple opening mechanism on the back, it's a joke to pull the thing away.
Having it actually in your hooves, you can tell this is no painting at all. More like a very fine sheet of… Something, with the image perfectly etched onto it.
It feels strange at the touch.
I know. I'll lay this painting on the table. And another if I have time.
"Ah, yes, splendidnh. Hrm, quite beautiful, ah, yes."
Can I see what else is there around here from the top?
Nobody's chasing you.
Going back to the room, make another perception check.
How many of these 'paintings' are you gonna lay on the table?
You only see a bit of the rooftop, bathed in evening sunlight, covered in plants of all kinds, with their flowers open and facing the sky.
The stream of water running down the stairs seems to be coming from here.
Try to climate control some of that mist away then!
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
I'll do it for him, then
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
It's not the mist covering the panorama, it's the plants. There is no mist around here.
Only the iron gate separates you from the outside.>>643052
Can't trust these old marbles called eyes!
Can I cautiosly try to collect some of the plants?
I'll lay out 4 of them.Roll #1 8 = 8
Look for interesting samples.
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
Scenes of familiar life. Ponies at tables, ponies on the streets, ponies watching that box you saw earlier…
And in the fourth pic, something interesting. Seems like there is a train here. You do know trains, at least! It's somewhere indoors though. You can't make any sense of the writing.>>643054
If you get past the gate, sure.>>643056
The plants you can see from here are normal, day to day plantlife. No killer flytrap or living pine tree.
At least not that you can see without even being outside.
Trains? Well that sounds like a way out. put a hoof right onto the train painting as if I intended to walk in.
But you do notice something out of the ordinary.
There was a bunch of small metal containers on top of the set of furniture in the back of this room earlier, and now it's gone! And for some strange coincidence, the door of one of the lower cupboards is open…
Does it look hard?
"Aha, you're messing with me aren't you. Okay. I'll play along."
Close the cupboard door.
The gate is made of interwoven bars of soft metal, probably painted over in black.
As you rock it, the thing wavers. Maybe a few hard hits can push it off its hinges.
Time to buck it!
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
Old man rules.
One simple hit, and the whole thing is derailed off its hinges. You are now free to reach outside.
"Not bad. You might stronger than most.">>643065
Look for the freakiest plants
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
You both enter the 'garden', a collection of random plants seeded atop this building by nothing but the wind, flowers of green and purple and orange seep away happily at the warm water which runs through the dirt-encrusted floor, looking up at a large evening sun, setting over the mist covered city.
A canopy of trees blocks your view of what's past the building, but you could probably climb them to have a better look.
There are very few flowers you do not already know from your studies. Lizzie gathers some medical plants she could make decoctions out of, and Graey finds seeds needed for one of his oldest, hardest rituals. Which he doesn't really fully remember!
It was something grand, I'm sure! Climb back, maybe we should head down.
>>643061Sorry, missed this reply.
As you lower yourself to reach for the door, your eyes fall on white.
The white of a shaved colt head, only thing poking out of the darkness of the cupboard, staring at you with terrorized eyes.
It lasts nothing but a moment, after which the colt rushes out trying to escape!
Beat this roll, with whichever mean you want.
'1d10+1'Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
How ordinary. Oh, well.
As in, beat it if you want to stop him.>>643068>>643070
You feel a whiff of the evening air caress you, it's getting cold.
Graey heads back in, for the stairs, descending them-
Head back for the apartment you left Palicore in?
Exactly! Left who where?
Let him run away, but follow him! '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
He dashes for the room you came in through, but tumbles back out a moment later, maybe realizing the stairs are gone, only to sprint out of the main door.
He's now running down the slippery stairs at full speed.>>643072
Yes, just that.
As you reach for it, you see a tiny cold, head shaved and painted white against the green of his coat, run down the stairs at full speed.
Palicore is giving chase.
'1d10' try to keep up with him.Roll #1 6 = 6
I suppose I should chase too!
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
Everything happens pretty fast.
The colt runs out, sees the two ponies making their way back, panics, hits the wrong step of the stairs and starts slipping down, tumbling and crashing headfirst into the wall.
The water around him paints a deep shade of pink, and you are sure something's not right with that kid…Pause