Amy, Flaming, Flow, Rus Tea, Blessings, Onion, Box and Renee
Observer, Shei, Pryce, River, Wireframe, Spitshine, Zjetya and Volkama/Deriva
>All at full H/W
Last time on HQ…https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/28519233/#28521286
The party split early in the morning, when demons are at their weakest. The group led by Observer, Pryce and Shei went north to search for the Crystal Workshop and investigate why someone was trying to lead Sugar there. The others investigated the gory remains of a fight in the previous night; a demon witness explained that it was the outcome of when a demon tried to hit on Vizsla, who is apparently now Count Imaal's lover; one of Vizsla's travelling companions obliterated the would-be suitor. Amy, Flaming and Flow led their group northeast, where the killers went, reasoning that they would know of Mudi's whereabouts. >>677655>>677657
After passing an inspection gate and getting directions from a starfish demon, you reached the Crystal Workshop, finding it locked, its occupants (if any) unresponsive to knocks on the front gate. The ancient stone walls were dripping with the strange green Witchbone Afterglow. Spitshine led you around the cobblestone plaza and sought out an unlabeled entrance on the side; after picking the lock, a pile of furniture, serving as a blockade, tumbled onto him.
Spitshine emerges from the pile with a mild whine, his hide only lightly bruised. "Some lock…"
This entry is old and a layer of scum rests on the floor. The end of the hall comes to a T-junction, and along the walls rest all kinds of trinkets and charms from a myriad of cultures; tools for exorcising demons and warding off evil spirits. There is no source of light near, so you cannot see far down either junction.>>677656>>677654https://youtu.be/MEYqUDhmiu8
You entered the Ivory Spindle; the hub of transport routes, shuttle lanes and elevators used as a nexus for many forms of transport and trade in Vitral. The doors had been blown off, the lights snuffed and all was covered in the rust of disrepair and abandonment. The air was stuffy and thick with the stink of mold and flesh. After navigating a bit, you crossed a doorway blocked by thick slimy strands. Your only light source was Blessings' glowing scimitar.
The faint sound makes an erratic series of toneless pulses, too faint to count; they seem both near and far; close yet indistinguishable. A sharp metallic creak vibrates through the walls.
From a path to the right, a lengthy appendage with countless claws drags itself along the ground. It's fat and covered in a clothlike skin with many pricks running up and down, but it grows skinny as it recedes into the black. It does not approach you, but merely taps its sharpened nails along the ground in a slow rhythm.
The arm is so fat that it blocks the path ahead.
Pryce's horn glows as he helps push off the furniture from Spitshine.
"Something must have been trying to get in if they piled all their furniture to block this."
"Come on, we found a way in."
Pryce says to the rest of the group back at the main door, shepherding everypony back together as they enter.
With light fading as they venture deeper, he attempts to light his horn to illuminate as much as he can so they aren't caught offguard.>Telekinesis [Fire] [1d10]
"Hopefully whoever lives here will be friendly, or at least give us a nice sanctuary given all this trinkets."
He comments as they pass over the collection of knickknacks on the wall. Reaching the junction, he looks down both ways.
"I vote we go down the left path."Roll #1 9 = 9
Amy bounces up to what seems to be the end of the appendage and extends her hoof for shaking. "Howdy! My name is Amy. What's yours?"
[1d10] to make contact!Roll #1 3 = 3
After pulling through the slimy strands, Flaming gags after making it to the other side, "BLEECH! Gross… what is all this stuff, some kind of demon plant?" She asks aloud as they move on ahead, but as the metal-scratching sound makes itself known, Flaming stops in her place and freezes, frozen in fear at the sight of the clothlike claw dragging its nails along the ground. "G-g-g-reat, now what?"
She stares at the waiting, tapping claw with great apprehension, approaching it steadily as she lowers her voice, "He-hello? Can you understand us? We're walking through here, is that gonna be a problem? H-huh?">>677660
As Amy dives for it, Shorthorns gasps, grabbing at her tail with her teeth, "Amy no! What if it grabs you?!"
You light a large, illuminating fire.
The air is fresh with the scent of wet moss, and the floors have grass growing between the stones. You pick up a faint magical aura from the architecture. The right path leads down a dead-end hallway with many locked doors, but all but the final one appear broken. The left path has a room with three pony-sized golems walking around. They have stone cylindrical bodies and domed heads, with metal joints and four glowing eyes on each cardinal point of the head. Beyond them is an open doorway.
"What should we do?" Zjetya asks. "Figure we're just following you for now.">>677661>>677662
A sore on the side of the arm pops when Amy approaches, and splashes her with a foul molten fluid. She loses four Hits, and will take continuing damage of 2 Hits for 3 turns.
Renee shovels some snow from outside onto the affected spot. [1d10+2]
"Get back!" Rus hisses. "Who knows how many more of them are in here?"
The arm trashes a bit, trying to flop onto Amy like an injured creature. [1d10+2]Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
Flaming gasps as the arm leaps at Amy, "I knew it! I KNEW something bad was gonna happen…" she growls, her horns lighting up in blue embers to forcibly draw its attention away, "Don't you dare touch her, monstrous spawn! Quick, get her back, and move past it while I draw its attention!"
>Offering on the Mountain:Automatic; Recharge 2 after effect ends; A cursed blue fire encircles your head, drawing the ire of enemies, leaving them more likely to target you over allies who have not attacked yet. Allies who score critical successes attract more ire. This effect lasts 3 turns.
Observer looks around the building, opening his Fourth Eye in attempts to give him better vision in the darkness, looking both ways to find out a better route to take.
"We should attempt to find out where they store their documents. With enough blueprints I could learn how to craft similar machinery to the ones they make here."Roll #1 5 = 5
You discern that there may be items in the room with the unbroken lock, and give yourself a slight boost to night vision.
"Maybe they'll let us borrow some. It doesn't look like they like demons, they might be willing to aid us.">>677663
Pryce looks at the two options.
"Let's head left. These golems don't look too broken, so they might be new-ish. Whoever lives ere might have them set up as an extra guard, …hopefully from demons."
Pryce says, leading left.
"Why would it do that, silly?">>677663
"Eep!" Amy yelps as the liquid hurts her.
"Agh, that's disgusting!" she complains. "But, at least it didn't grab me," she adds, looking to Flaming with a smile.
Amy leaps away from it as it tries to flail onto her. [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"It's TRYING TO right now! And it sprayed acid all over you, that's WAY worse! A-are you okay?!"
"Yeah… It kind of hurts… And it's really gross. But, I'm fine."
Amy grins and spreads her arms out. "Want a hug!?" she asks with a maniacal laugh.
"No need to borrow, I should be able to recreate them if I memorize them well enough. Any locks we come across, I may be able to open them." Observer says, looking towards a room with an unbroken lock.>>677667
Observer decides to look over the lock for ways to pick it open.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
"It LOOKS really gross.. blegh, I bet it'll stink up your coat too." her eyes open much wider, "N-no! Don't hug me until it's gone, I don't wanna get it on me!"
"Never hurts to ask, they might let us see all of them if we do."
"Are you sure you want to check that? There's probably a reason its still locked with every other one broken."
Pryce says with caution as Observer starts to diverge from the group.
The fat arm-like thing tries to claw its way over to you, but you hear a sickening crunch of ice from the corridor that the majority of its body lies in. One of its fingers slides off, filling the air with the putrid stink of decomposing flesh. Molten pus splashes toward you.
You dash from the reach of the arm as it preoccupies itself with Flaming. The spots burnt by the molten pus quickly grow numb as the skin is painlessly eaten away. Renee's attempt to heal it only spreads it to herself, and it eats away at her arm and chest.>Amy 1/6>Renee 0/6
Rus throws a weapon from her bag at the creature. [1d10+2] [1d3]
As the arm flails, an opening appears. Roll if you want to jump around it.>>677670
As you wander through the room, you hear a stone sliding into place, and you are showered with angry glass pieces from above, which slice all across your neck, back and shoulders. You shortly feel as though you have the onset of a flu.
"Figured that wouldn't be the last of the traps," River says. "Be a bit more careful."
Spitshine impatiently rushes into the dark ahead.
>Pryce 3/5, Sick>Sick: You feel stiff and just want to go to bed; you can no longer perform an Instant and Normal action in the same turn, only one or the other. Lasts until cured.>>677679
You deftly undo a lock without springing a poison dart trap rigged in the wall.
Inside, you see a ransacked bedroom that has little of value besides a red cape; it has a built-in necklace with an opal brooch.Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
Flaming's ears wince at the sounds of the cracking of the ice, and looks down at the bottom of the fat arm, "I-it's breaking? Maybe it'll fall through!" She cries out as she draws its attention, trying to avoid the spraying acid of out the fallen finger as she tries to fight back a gag, "E-every move make it move, it's breaking the floor!"
[1d10] Dodging the on-coming acidRoll #1 6 = 6
See the replies to Amy and Flaming (first two in this post cycle)
"No worries, Pryce. I will turn away from danger if there is any." He says, disabling a trap before plucking open the lock.>>677684
Observer peers around the room, his eyes settling on the red cape. He scans the room for more possible traps before doing a complete scan on the red cape.
>Perception: Search for traps
[1d10+3]>Analyze: Red Cape
[1d10+1]Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
"Okay, this is annoying," Amy barks angrily. "Go away!" she shouts at the arm thing.
Holy energy radiates from her body and envelope the arm.
>Wrath [1d10+3]Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6
"Be careful, and don't dawdle too long.">>677684
Pryce stops in place as he hears the stone slide. He looks up a moment before the glass showers upon him, turning back down to avoid any in his eyes just in time. He shakes the glass off and beats his wings to clean them, giving a pained inhale from all the lacerations.
"B-Better me than any of you at least…"
Pryce says, voice holding a little wheeze.
As Spitshine runs off, Pryce holds up a hoof.
"Ugh, th-that couldn't have been just glass. Let's hurry, a-and watch your step everypony."
As he marches forward his horn gives a weak light, trying to cleanse this illness.>Mantra of Purity [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Flow shakes his head.
"What the heck, man?…"
He equips the Glove of the Cloudsmith and applies Ice to the Apostle Spinsaw.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Shei-Sher enters the musty insides of the tower, grimacing at the groddy cobble floor. Shei-Sher has been lagging it behind the party as he takes a meticulous and enraptured inspection of the all artifacts that adorn the wall
>Appraise [1d10+1] if theres more information to give>Searching for something that may be useful and not cursed [1d10+1]Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
Seems like that was the only one around here. The cape is stylish, but otherwise ordinary. Perhaps worth some money in a trade. >>677688
You fail to get out of the way, and the wave splashes all around your lower half. The affected areas quickly grow numb, but you can see the skin decomposing before your eyes. You lose 4 Hits and will lose 2 more per turn until healed. >>677694>>677700>>677688>>677700
The holy wave fries the arm, and with a loud crunch of breaking ice, it flies backward against the wall, clearing the path. It flails about desperately, and you see part of its other end tugged into the light. The other end is completely frozen solid, and you faintly see the corridor where it lay is coated with ice. The main arm crusts over with a vile yellow crystalline sap.
Renee splits off the part of her body which was splashed by the pus, reforming at about 1/3 her original size. She splashes snow onto the injured, healing them, but the newly-regenerated skin is raw with fresh, bright pain.>Amy 7/6>Flaming 8/7
"Looks like the trail to our witch," Blessings says grimly. "But assuredly, also whatever that arm was connected to."
The route which the arm blocked is open, but so is the ice-filled corridor. >>677700
The creature "dies" as you apply the charge, but you note its broken frozen end. It seems to be a weakness.>>677699
Your wooziness makes it hard to concentrate.
Ahead, you go down several twisting halls until you reach a narrow room that was once a kitchen, now ransacked. In the far right corner there is an upward staircase, but laying before it is a sophisticated clockwork creature in the shape of an owlbear, though its legs are thicker and more like that of a panther. It lays before the staircase, guarding it.
Spitshine is near the doorway to this room, feeling around the ground with a stick for traps. [1d10+1]>>677705
Whoever set up these anti-spirit wards seemed to have gone through an encyclopedia of superstitions, as there are no end of random objects, scrawlings and trinkets that have no use, but are merely believed to shake off demons. You spy a vine-and-origami headdresses from Circadia, which actually does make you less noticeable by Evil beings.
The others have gone ahead without you; roll navigation.Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
Observer lifts the cape up with his telekinesis, moving it over to wear it himself. He looks at himself for a moment to feel the fabric the cape is made of before making his way back to rejoin Pryce, looking out for anymore traps.
>Perception: Continue searching traps
[1d10+3]Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
Amy nods with silent purpose as she heads through the corridor she opened up.
Flaming wails at the acid's contact to her lower half, jumping and rolling along the ground as she tries to rub it off, "AAaah! Ow, ow, get it off, get it off, it burns!" she whines until Renee splashes her snow onto the afflicted areas, gasping for breath as she watches Amy's holy wrath destroy the monstrosity. She pants, and sighs, "T-thank you. That was close. What in the name of the spirits is this thing…"
She leads on towards the now accessible ice-path that the monster was blocking, looking over at the crusted body that leads within. "Y-you don't suppose this thing is part of something bigger, do you Blessings?" She asks, before sighing as she stares at the icy path.
"Well, if you ask me, I guess it makes sense that SOMEPONY doesn't want us going down this path… and whatever demons don't desire is worth checking into." She looks at Renee, "Everyone! Let's go down here, but stick close in case there's more of this thing." Her blue embers along her horns whiff out of existence, and she presses the march onwards.
>Voting ice path
Flow grunts in frustration as the Glove refuses to work. He stows it away and starts turning the crank on the Spinsaw to get it started.
"Dumb thing…never works…"
Once the Spinsaw is whizzing fast, he heads down the ice path.
Shei-Sher frowns initially at his findings. Kicking the wall and thinking "That was a fine waste of time. Complete amateurs these people."
Shei smirks at the sight of the headdress and plucks it off the wall gleefully. Taking off the half skull helm he props the headdress along his horns.
As Shei turns to continue following his party he is painted pale at finding he's been left behind "aaaaaahh" he meekly utters as he grows afraid like a child who lost their parent in a supermarket.
He ambles down the corridor looking both ways "uuh Pryce??" His echoes through the chamber "Y-You can have the helmet now."
After a few minutes spent dawdling in increasing fear and nervousness Shei soon indecisively chooses his path.>Navigation [1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
Pryce stops as he sees Spitshine, catching his breath from this sickness.
"H-Have you always been this fast?"
He speaks through a wheeze.
He looks into the kitchen, letting Spitshine continue undisturbed. His eyes settle on the creature, looking much more intimidating as it blocks passage.
"Think it might let us pass?"
He asks the ones still with him.
Observer detects that there are certain spots in the grass that have been marked with green paint; stepping onto one of these spots will cause a bucket of animal blood to spill onto you. Spitshine retreats and whispers the same to Pryce and the others. Because you discern their locations, you can avoid them Automatically.
"Probably not if it were a true beast," Volkama says, "but perhaps this one could be distracted more easily? It is a mere machine, no thinker as we are.">>677721
As you follow the sounds of Pryce and Observer, you slip on some glass along the floor, and trip and cut your leg. You shortly gain the flulike symptoms that you see on Pryce as you catch up to them. You see the room that they do (see previous post).>Shei 5/7, Sick>Sick: You feel stiff and just want to go to bed; you can no longer perform an Instant and Normal action in the same turn, only one or the other. Lasts until cured.>>677713>>677715>>677718https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNeIWyHBeD0
The temperature drops drastically as you lead your group down the hall. Blessings' glowing sword does little to light the way. The scents all vanish, aside from the sickly rotting scent of fruit and mold and vomit, with a flowery undertone that makes it a little sweet.
The metal creaks and churns grow louder, and you feel a grand shifting beneath your hooves, as if the Spindle itself were rocking with an irregular tempo, like a diseased heart. You reach a sprawling chamber that you cannot discern the dimensions of. It seemed to be the site of a great and recent battle. Splattered all along the floor is a massive bulging layer of pink and black flesh, sprawling out like a carpet. Immense chunks of it are frozen solid. Limbs resembling the arm you just fought lie all around the room; some lay dead and crystallized, while others weakly inch along the ground, twitching in apparent misery.
Amy notices that there's a texture along the ground resembling her merryflower root; the texture seems to grow deeper toward the center of the room.
"We just fought… a piece of it?" Onion asks with uncharacteristic worry.
The chamber is wide and the irregular heartbeat leaves you mildly disoriented. Roll to find the way through.
"We should walk more cautiously, I don't want to bring a flu back onto the ship when it's time to return." Observer says to Pryce and Shei, moving through the grass and avoiding the traps he spotted. As Observer moves past the traps, he keeps an eye out for more traps along the way.
>Perception: Trap seeking
[1d10+3]Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
"Glass and blood? What kind of pony would set traps like these."
Pryce utters under his breath as Spitshine says his findings.
He steps into the kitchen, avoiding the spots and looking at the machine from a distance.
Pryce thinks, looking over some of the kitchen supplies. Looking back into the hallway behind it, Pryce starts to focus his magic. He stops for a moment, coughing a few times. Focusing again, he tries to use his magic to pull some of the loose utensils into the hall behind it, to sound as if someone has passed to gauge the machines reaction.>Hat Magic [1d10]>>677733
"I don't *cough* plan on it. Oberserver, could yo examine this machine from a distance? Maybe we can shut it off to get by it easily."Roll #1 5 = 5
Shei-Sher winces at the cut. as he gets up from the floor he begins to wobble and cough moderately then violently. "*cough* *cough!* *hack* *Wheeze* Ghastly!" His asthma has seened to activate as he wheezes with every breath. "How could I not be more careful."
Shei-Sher catches up with the party and hears the conversation.
"Right" Shei replies to Volkama's comment "Before we try anything I'd like to appraise i- *COUGH COUGH!* Mhm , first."
Shei-Sher dangles Pupil over the OwlBear machination.
Shei passes the half skull helm to Pryce "Pryce I've had my fill. Do you still want the helm?"Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
"I suppose I could… Give me one moment."
[1d10+2]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"Had your fill in wearing the helm?"
Pryce says, raising an eyebrow in Shei's handing it over. He takes it still in his telekinesis.
"Of course it was just a piece of it," Amy giggles. "What kind of silly thing would JUST be an arm?"
Amy tiptoes around the design as well as the arms. [1d10] to find a way through the roomRoll #1 1 = 1
Flaming shivers intensively as they approaching further down the icy hallway, her singed fur not doing much to keep her from the cold as they find their way through the shifting, creaking metal heart of the city. "W-w-why is it getting s-s-s-o cold…?"
As they enter the massive chamber, Flaming suppresses a loud gasp as she looks at the twisting, frozen pieces of pink/black flesh strewn all over the floor, eyes warily looking between those arms that yet live. "W-what is this monstrosity? It reminds me of when we were in Circadia." She sighs, looking to Onion, "W-we should be fine, these ones are slower the closer we get to the c-c-c-cold I think. Just avoid stepping close to them and we-we-we should be just fine." Shorthorns assures, stepping onto the disgusting material of the chamber, "Blessings, stay close, we need your light."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Flow groans as the smell starts to get to him. He continues to crank the Spinsaw's blade as he tries navigating through the chamber, being careful not to step in any foreign liquids.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
There seems to be another trap on the staircase; setting hoof on the first five steps will cause some kind of alarm that will summon the golems and clockwork owlbear to attack. That will require a roll to avoid.
Pryce's distraction proves useful, as the owlbear automaton jolts up and stiffly walks across the room toward the back, head kept low as it investigates the area, leaving the staircase unguarded.
The others seize the opportunity, creeping forward as the owlbear moves away, taking care to avoid the traps.>>677737>>677738>Owlbear Automaton>HP: 297/390>Weak: None>Null: Elec>This automaton was the private project of the previous owner of the workshop, a wise pony beloved by the local community of workers. Technically unfinished, it was shipped out in haste to guard the Workshop's fearful occupants.>>677744>>677742>>677743
As you circle around the carnage and the wreckage of the mostly-collapsed chamber, Flaming notices a gateway not blocked by debris and devoid of monsters.
"Ah-a, linger on, thou art so fair…" a flamboyant deep voice taunts. Amy and Flow feel a creeping feeling slither down their backs. Ice has formed around their hooves in the shape of sharp needles, which jab into their limbs, just deep enough to prick the nerves in Amy's legs, and freeze bits of Flow's limbs. "I imprisoned your murderers; take your vengeance, O sweet Flower of the Pit…"
The heartbeat accelerates to a violent frenzy, and something metal shatters above. Debris and chains fall from above, and you see a great chunk of metal is falling from the ceiling, threatening to crush Amy and Flow!
Amy and Flow must roll to dodge, at a -2.
Rus Tea, Blessings and Onion fling their attacks at the falling metal, while Renee attacks the ice imprisoning Amy and Flow (if she gets an 8 or above, you roll at -1 instead)
[1d10+2] ReRoll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 3 + 4 = 7
/ Roll #3 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #4 9 + 2 = 11
Flaming turns around in glee as she spots the gateway, "Blessings, shine your sword over here! I think I found something…"
As the voice calls out, she drops down into a battle-stance, horns out and legs poised to jump as she listens to it, "WHO ARE YOU!? Where are you?"
As the huge crash sounds above, Shorthorns looks up in shock at the huge chunk of metal falling, and runs at the frozen Amy/Flow, "No! Amy, Flow, move out of the way!" She cries out as she leaps up at the metal head on to bust it open on her head, "GRAAAAAH!"
[1d10+3]>All or NothingRoll #1 1 + 3 = 4
Observer turns to tend to Shei for a moment, working a bit of his magic before turning to avoid the traps.
"Stand still, Shei." Observer says, attempting to cure Shei of his sickness.
>Purgative Dose: Automatic Instant; Recharge 3; Your other action this turn will autocrit a target which is afflicted with a status condition, at the cost of removing that status condition.>Slap the sickness out of him
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
"Who did I murder," Amy asks as she looks up and around as if she could find the voice. "I'm sorry, I've kind of killed a lot of ponies. But, I'm trying to make up for my mistakes. Can I do something to h-"
However, she cuts herself off as she sees the metal falling at her. She jumps out of the way. [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
>>677761>Phantasmagoria of Infallibility: Use whenever you critfail as a free action; Both rolls are DC 4; On success, the critfail's negative effects are negated but the roll still fails. You then "store" that critfail for later use. As an Instant action, you can use that stored critfail on an enemy. This critfail will not affect their rolls for that turn, but it will cause 1 critfail's worth of damage and negative effects to occur to them. You can store up to 3 critfails.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Pryce mentally sighs in relief at how easy it was to clear the path, following slow with the others to the staircase. He pulls up his cloak over his mouth to keep his coughs and other sicknesses muffled.>>677761>>677737>>677755
"Zjetya, carry Spitshine. Volkama, carry your wife. Wireframe, carry Shei. Observer, I can lift you over. River, you can get over with your shoes. We can all avoid the triggered steps easily."
Once the ice starts freezing bits of Flow's limbs, he starts frantically looking around. He looks above as the chains and debris starts to fall on Amy and him.
"Oh you gotta be kiddin me!"
He grips tightly onto the Maitreya Tsurugi, and prepares to slash the giant piece of metal as it comes crashing down on him.>Effect: It is much easier to cut through the environment (walls, floors, nearby objects) with this sword.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9
"Hm?" shei-sher looks at Observer revving up his magic to do something. For some reason he suddenly feels nervous.>>677765>>677755
Shei-Sher looks over to wireframe and back at Pryce "T-that wil be quite fine Pryce."
Shei-Sher coughs up a bit before taking a few step back before the stairs and performs a goatly prance up the five stairs.>Goatcraft: passive; Min -1 for all climbing and agility rolls, and can use anything as food, including non-food items
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
In the wild frenzy of debris, splintering chunks of chain and metal fly all about, and embed themselves all along your neck, shoulders and chest, and a horridly jagged shard embeds itself into your forehead. You fall into your back, but in great pain, bleeding from many places. Oorzof's circlet is knocked off your head into the darkness.
A firm backhand across the cheek hurts like a bitch and doesn't heal Shei.>>677769>>677762
"I'd heard the purple one was a bit thick, but I wasn't aware it was so bad. I do hate to dim my poetry, though…" the voice taunts. "I'm telling it that YOU killed it, when it was really Vizsla and I. I'm blaming you wrongly. Need I draw you a picture of the reasoning?"
Amy is able to dive out of range, and the combined attacks are enough to break up the falling chunk of ceiling that it breaks apart around Flow, leaving him unharmed, albeit shattered with minor dust.
"Ah. You cut through it. I'm mildly impressed. Oooh, such a pity about the brave buffalo, though…" the voice says, and you notice Flaming's grave injuries.>>677771>>677773>>677763
The others float over the rigged stairs easily, but the weaker Wireframe has trouble lugging up Shei, and his hoof catches on the top of the very last stair. Homemade noisemakers clatter and send chilling metal rings through the air. You hear a tumultuous clattering of footsteps as the owlbear and golems rush toward you.
The others start to run upstairs. "Wireframe you wimp! Can't you transform into something strong for once?" Spitshine shouts.
"Shut it, asshole!" Wireframe spits. "We'll just blockade them when we get up there!"
"S-sorry Wireframe!" Shei-Sher wobbles out of her grip and in a impulse plants his hoof on the cobble wall beside the stairs to summon a crude gate of stone to block entry from the front of the stairs.>Dream of Alchemy+2 [1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Flow slams the tsurugi back into its sheath and stows it away. He notices Flaming and crouches down next to her.
"Maybe running full speed at a giant chunk of metal isn't the best course of action, Shorty."
He takes off his scarf and starts taking out shards of metal. Carefully. He lets Renee/Amy perform their medical magic on Flaming.
He uses the Inheritance to summon Vice and Trapper.
"Find her circlet, my good friends. Did we see where it went?">"Kinda sorta."
The two clones wander off in search of the circlet.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
"You can fight about it after we block them off! Just run!"
Pryce shouts back as they trade insults, letting everypony else run ahead first. He looks down at the stairs, if they were trapped then they're probably loose. His horn glows bright, flickering as he gets into a coughing fit as he tries to pull up the stairs to block the staircase, or at least make it harder to traverse for the machines.>Telekinesis [1d10]
He runs up the stairs after the others after his attempt.Roll #1 2 = 2
Observer attempts to run from the danger of the golems and owlbear. He uses his telekinesis to trip any of the golems or the owlbear if they get too close.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
As the huge mass of metals lams down into Flaming, breaking through her attack and sending her to the ground full of jagged shards and profuse bleeding, likely both external and internal, Flaming cries out in anguish, "AAAAAAAAGH!"
When the metal finishes collapsing, she can barely hear the voice above, struggling to maintain consciousness as she struggles to pick herself off of the fleshy, frozen floor, "A-gaagh… oww….. oww…. w-what are you… talking about…?" she winces, moving sluggishly with all the metal in her body as she feels her bloodied scalp. "M-my circlet!"
She looks out frantically in the darkness, limping as she tries to look for her treasure, "Wh-where did it go? Blessing! Your light!"
[1d10] To search for it in the darkness>>677786
As Flow crouches down besides her, she manages a very weak moo of a laugh as she rubs at her shards, "M-my head can take it… ow… I-I was trying to break it so it wouldn't land on you, but, heh… I-I guess you had yourselves covered. I-I'll be alright, truly,"
She sighs as she looks at Vice, "But, yes, I could use help, that circlet was a gift from Lady Hardspine, I CAN'T lose it…"Roll #1 9 = 9
"I don't like liars…" Amy grumbles. "But, for a lie, that's a kinda silly one. Can't you just attack us yourself? I mean, if you killed a thing, then doesn't that mean you're stronger than the thing anyway?"
Amy looks over and sees Flaming injured. Without saying anything, she walks over and feeds her a potion.
>Natural Remedy [1d10+3]
Amy thinks as she feeds the potion to Flaming then looks back up at the ceiling as if that's where the voice is coming from. "Are you the moody witch?"Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4
Merryflower root save: [1d3]Roll #1 3 = 3
V&T find the circlet after a little bit of digging, finding it caught beneath a defaced, broken statue dripping with crystallized pus. Pus clings to the circlet, and though it's putrid, it doesn't damage the circlet itself.>>677789>>677793>>677786
Renee and Flow hold Flaming still to keep her from squirming as Renee and Amy heal her, but Flaming's injuries are still rather grave. The damage is very deep, and the best they can do is to keep it from getting worse.
The voice sighs theatrically. "You just don't understand nuance or panache, do you? Preparing a meal is an art
, and no PROPER artiste sullies himself needlessly. Am I going flow enough for you?
"Mudi? Hmm-hmm-hmm. That little lambchop wishes she could be me. I just like to trail along in her shadow, spreading a few misfortunes here and there. For what is satisfaction but the overcoming of misfortune?"
The half-frozen, destroyed heart shudders wildly, and a great, misshapen limb resembling a crooked wasp's stinger juts up into the air, stabbing at the ceiling wildly. It weakly stops, and crumbles.
"Ugh… are you done?" the male voice asks the heart. "Dirty Tartarian caretakers… brutish to the end. I've pored over the 256 great temptations and I cannot fathom what could POSSIBLY tempt Mudi into wanting into Tartarus so badly. But, my curtain descends. Ta-ta next Scene…">>677787>>677785>>677788
You scatter various blocks and bits of rubble to block your path, but the pounding steps draw near!
>Wait for the result of this
"Light shines from heaven," Zjetya deeply intones, and a harsh wind blows down past you at the staircase, shaking it wildly.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5
The wind current blows a few more chunks of rock and refuse at the staircase, adding to what you've already thrown down to set up a weak barricade.
"That should hold for now," Zjetya pants, as the barricade allows you a brief moment of respite. "Here, we should…"
A tingling, like an electric shock, descends upon you, and the others' expressions show they feel it too.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9zipzqHWFs
Pryce's flame goes out.
"Magic is forbidden on this floor," a message in your mind reads. It is without a voice, but you know it to be true.
"All magic?" River asks fearfully. "Who's doing this? I don't consent to such limitations!"
"Anyone who'd set up a thing like this would probably keep a failsafe around for himself. C'mon, let's see if we can find it," Wireframe says.
The path ahead is a plain hallway, with thick grass growing all around you, making it hard to see the floor. It leads to a locked door.
"I'm sorry," Amy laughs. "I'm not smart enough for being fancy or cool. But, before you go, could you please do me a favor? I want to talk to Moody. Since you always follow her, you can tell me where she is, right?"
>Prayer of Enlightenment to learn Compassion>Mantra of Equality to convince the demon(?) [1d10] with a DC-3Roll #1 8 = 8
Observer looks around the hallway as well as checking the grass for traps, he attempts to check out the locked door too to see if he can get it opened.
>Engineering: Locked door
Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5 / Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7
"Whoa, wh-hat was that?"
Pryce questions in surprise after Zjetya conjures that torrent of wind.>>677805
He climbs up the rest of the stairs to rejoin the others, going a little slow to not leave him wheezing again.
As he's shocked, Pryce holds a hoof to the wall, holding on as he hacks after the electric surge, legs feeling weak.
Pryce is about to light his horn to give them vision again, but with what they've already seen, and being shut down, fear grows from the pit of his stomach and prevents him from testing it.
"Let's just get off this floor."
Pryce says through a sniffle, following the others down the hall.
"It just said this floor, once we move on we don't need to worry."
As they walk, he tries to keep an eye out from any sign of this voice, or if there's some device there to shut down their magic.>Perception [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Flaming struggles against Flow and Renee's grasp as Amy and Renee apply their cures, but still winces heavily in pain as she struggles to cope with the searing pain of the shrapnel.
She growls to herself, "Ow…. ow… R-renee, isn't there MORE you can do? It still hurts…" she angrily turns up at the voice as it continues to haunt them, "You sure do like to talk a lot… so if you're not either of the witches, WHO are you then…? What is this thing you're tormenting and accusing us of having killed?" She asks the voice before it mentions its curtain descending, she shouts, "Don't you leave! W-we're not done here!" She struggles to stand, leaning heavily on Renee and looking at Rus Tea for support.>>677807
"T-this must be the thing that was traveling with Vizsla and killed those ponies last night… but I don't know what it could be. C-can you keep it talking, it has to be coming from somewhere."
She whines silently, "A-and can I have another potion, please? I-I think I'm a liiiittle more hurt than usual… ow…"
The goo duo bring the circlet back to Flaming, and wipe some of the disgusting pus off before they set it in front of her.
Flow shoots an annoyed look at his scarf when he's done with Flaming, as it now has small traces of blood on it.
"Ah whatever. Hardly liked this thing anyways…"
He wraps it around his neck and revs up the Spinsaw, looking at the half-frozen heart.
"Right, time to see what this thing can do."
He goes for two quick swipes with the Spinsaw.
Before he does, Vice reaches into Flow's coat to see if any bounties have been completed, or if any of them are glowing.Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10
/ Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10
Shei-Sher thinks to himself "That will be annoying, but I will try to respect my position as a guest."
Shei-Sher runs up the stairs, as he is the lowest at the steps. Wheezing and coughing to at least follow after Observer and the same pattern his runs to avoid traps.
Roll #1 8 = 8
[1d2]Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
As the circlet is returned, pus cleanly wiped off, she lowers her head as she struggles to stand, "Thank you Sir Flow… sorry about your scarf but I think the blood gives it, um, character?"
Vice looks at Flow, then back to Flaming.>"Granted, it is your blood, Miss Shorthorns. I'm sure he appreciates the few splashes of red on it, though. He does like red, after all!"
He nervously laughs.
Flaming blushes hard, "M-maybe mention it's somepony else's blood if they ask though… s-say you got it from a vicious foe who didn't go down easy, that will sound more impressive."
"Now, you're ruining my exit! I do not linger longer on the stage than is proper for my role!"
"Nopony's twistin' your arm to stick around, ya fancy-talkin' slickster," Onion points out.
"You're just mangling the Equish language now! I should've done my lines in Neighsco…" the voice says. "Seek Mudi in the Ash Ward of the Forge Vimana. But I warn you: she is hardly in the mood… or mental state… for interviewing new henchmen.
"Ah, yes, your quaint convention of names. What name shall I take for myself in this incarnation? Mmm… Kaliyau. I have enjoyed that story, so that shall suffice.
"NOW I'm leaving!" the voice says finally.>>677810
The heart shudders, causing the room to quake. Several severed, dying appendages break off to try to swing at you.
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] [1d10+1]
One wanted poster glows: it shows a silhouette of a tall humanoid figure with a horse head. The artist depicts him as wearing a sexy flamenco dancer's gown, but a note at the bottom says that details are scarce. When the demon says he is Kaliyau, the name appears on the glowing poster.>>677810>>677808>>677814
"What, can't you control the wind with a song lyric?" Zjetya shoots back at Pryce with a challenging tone.
Observer unlocks the door while the others keep an eye out for surprises. Seeing none, you forge on.
The next room you enter is a thin hallway, so thin that you must proceed in single file. There is no wall on the right side, only a mirror that reflects the room despite the lack of a light source. The far wall is also a mirror, reflecting Observer, who is at the front of the line.
Spitshine, who is at the back, shuts the door behind you.
"I would very much like to prod the brain of the architect," Volkama says.
"Obviously it's a puzzle!" Spitshine says. "What, too hard for you?"
"What do we do?" River asks, genuinely stumped.Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11
"Ash Vimana of the Forge Ward, got it," Amy says with a nod as if she actually got that right. "Thank you, Kaliyau. Giving ominous information and your name? That's TOTALLY a better exit anyway. I definitely think you're cooler than if you left the first time."
"I'll… have to look up that name later, though," she adds with a laugh. "Byeeeeeeee."
Amy waves in every direction, hoping that will help.
She looks at everyone else. >>677827>>677817
"Well, it sounds like this thing was a guard of Tartarus or something," Amy says, pointing to the limbs everywhere. "So, I don't really care about it. We got what we came for. Let's go."
Amy begins to hop out the way she came. Along the way, she tosses Flaming another potion. [1d10+3]Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
Flow keeps the Spinsaw's onslaught going, giving the heart another two violent sawings as he grits his teeth.
Vice blinks.>"Ah…so he didn't have a name beforehand…">>677830
I'd be glad to, let me just cut this heart up first!"
He yells over the Spinsaw's loud volume.Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9
/ Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4
As Kaliyau makes his exit, she growls and shouts up at the cieling of the chamber, "We'll find you, you know! You can't run from us, demon!"
As Flow's buzz-saw slices at the heart above, Flaming quivers and tries to keep her grounds at the quaking of the frozen flesh beneath her, and looks on in shock as some of the appendages strike out at Flow. She growls, spitting up blood to the side as she charges the 1st one, "Let's see if I can pay you back!"
[1d10+3] All or Nothing>>677830
As Amy gives her another potion, she sighs as she drinks it up, "Thank you again. But, wait, before we go: I saw another gate in the darkness! Maybe it goes through, 'Ash' if I remember the map correctly should be the opposite side of where we came in. If we go out the way we came, we'll have to go aaaaall the way around, but if this leads straight through, we'll get to Ash in no time!"Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7
Shei says after Volkama's comment "I would like to ask how many years bad luck would incur from breaking one."
"I could astral project to observe the area from another point of view but that would anger our host. I could also shine my aura to reveal anything that is hidden from us but the light reflecting from so many directions may blind us." Upon further contemplation Shei says "There is a possibility that this is but a one-way window however. Everyone close your eyes for a moment or squint at least."
Shei-Sher lets his aura fill the room with ambient light to reveal anything hidden and particularly if the mirrors are one-way windows.
>PHASE AURA: Your body sheds light in a small radius of 5 meters, in a color you choose when you learn this skill. All creatures in this range cannot turn invisible or become hidden, creatures already hidden or invisible are made clear, and incorporeal beings and lingering magical effects and wards manifest a visible shape.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
Observer looks about the room carefully, observing anything out of place or off with the mirrors. He stands there, solving the puzzle in his head before continuing on.
>Engineering: Looking for hints
Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
"Give me a day or two with the scroll and *coughcugh* I w-will, ugh."
Pryce tries to counter back at the challenge, before the coughing fit breaks the wind form his sails, and lungs.
As they enter the thin hallway, Pryce looks around in the odd structure, trying to stand strong with the mirrors starting to make his queasiness worse.
"Maybe we have to show only one pony in the mirror. Get the biggest in front, so they block everypony else."
"…Who's the biggest here?"
You hear a faint frustrated snarl from Kaliyau as his voice fades away.>>677831>>677833>>677830>Flaming 8/5
An ominous dark feeling descends upon Flow; though he carves up quite a bit of this slab of the broken heart and in the process destroys many arms that protrude from it, the feeling only grows worse. The nearby arms dissolve into mush, and so does Flow. He loses his material from for a moment, then reforms as a severe dark wind blows through him.
The heart remains still as the saw clatters to the ground and stops spinning. The heartbeat of the chamber is replaced with a distant, sharp cry; a mournful one. It comes from the heart, though sounds countless infinite distances away.>>677835>>677836
"That would be me," Volkama says, puffing his chest out against Pryce's. "Don't you sneeze on me."
Observer notices something odd in the mirror on the right wall; though it reflects everyone perfectly, he sees that River has a key sticking out of her hair, but only in the reflection. The real River has no such key stuck in her mane. She is currently near the back, just ahead of Spitshine.>>677834
The mirrors are no such thing, but you and Pryce now notice the key in the mirror-River's hair, as described above. "How long have I had that there?" River asks with mild surprise, taking the moment to inspect her body in the mirror. Her expression quickly turns to sad disgust.
Observer attempts to pluck the key from River's hair, looking for the door to put the key into. "These rooms seem to be set up more as tests than security measures."
Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5
After exerting his aura Shei-Sher sits down feeling particularly fatigued "Oh.. guuh mrp. I *wheeze* need to sit down. I feel so queezy"
As Kaliyau snarls at Amy, she lets loose a small chuckle. "I don't think he liked your suggestion very much…"
As the dark acid washes over Flow, temporarily suspending his material form, she gasps, and cries out in shock as she sees her friend melt before her eyes, "FLOW! No, no, no, this can't be…"
As he reforms, but the winds howl around him, Flaming pauses in her grief, but feels chills not only from her friend but of the sharp, distant cry of the heart, and the creature it belongs to, around them as she huddles down in one spot, "W-what just happened? What is it doing? Is it… crying?" She asks aloud, before turning back to Flow, "Flow, a-are you okay? You just.. melted!"
Pryce takes a step back as Volkama chest-bumps him, walking into whoever is behind him.
"Wasn't planning on *cough* it."
Pryce says, quickly covering his mouth with his robe at the cough.
Pryce turns his head as the key becomes visible in River's mane.
"Okay, correction. River, you go upfront."
After the suggestion, Pryce checks in the mirror to see if there's anything else that only shows in the mirror on any of the group.>Perception [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Flow stumbles backwards as the dark wind blows right through him.
He falls on the floor, and starts revving up his Spinsaw to go in fro another round until both his clones stop him.>>"Oi oi! No more o' that, sonny!">"Yes Sir Flow, you've already caused enough harm to it, and yourself."
Flow retaliates, and pushes them off.
"Just…get a weapon, damnit! It's a demon. We kill demons. Plain and simple."
He revs up the Spinsaw and goes in for another round.
The duo both sigh in defeat. Vice hoists Schlangenschwert on his shoulder, and Trapper takes the tsurugi and parrying dagger. The two of them keep their distance.>>677841
"Nothing major, Shorty, just got the wind knocked outta me!">"He's pushing himself to exterminate this thing…I fear he might just dissolve again."Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6
/ Roll #2 3 + 3 = 6
[1d2]Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
Flaming lets out a brief sigh as her goo knight companion confirms he's okay upon his reform, "T-that's good. I was afraid, when you just MELTED like that I thought… w-well you should still have Renee look at you!"
As his buzzsaw cuts away at the heart, she looks at Vice, frowning, "It's weird but, this… monster, I think it's crying. Like it's hurt. Which, makes sense, a-and I don't know WHY it even matters, it hurt US first, but… it sounds a little sad."
The goo duo both nod, and interrupt Flow's attacks with their own.
Vice parries the spinsaw, and Trapper hooks the spinsaw with his parrying dagger.
>"Sir Flow, leave it.">>"I'll a've t' agree lad. The bloody thing ain't got a reason t' die jus yet."
Amy frowns when the heart makes its sound, tearing up a bit. She waits for Flow to finish his episode.>>677843
"Why do you kill things?" Amy asks in a somber, but curious voice.>>677841
"Suggestion?" Amy cocks her head. "I was COMPLIMENTING him! Or… her? I mean, I don't want to assume. I should read that story first."
A look of realization crosses her face. "Or… get someone to read it to me…"
>>677843>>"Aye lass. This thing pro'ly jus wanted us t' leave."
Trapper's accent seems much different than usual.>>677847>"There's no reason to be concerned, Miss Thest, Flow's just…being a bit unreasonable, that's all."
[First response was ment for Flaming]
"That's not an excuse," Amy responds in a similarly somber tone.
Flow grunts as he struggles against his clones.
"This thing was attacking us, why shouldn't we kill it?!"
Being at the front, you cannot reach River, but the others pass the key to you. You can't feel it, but as you look at it in the mirror, you know you hold it in your hooves.
As you look at yourself in the smaller mirror at the end of the hall, you get the feeling you're missing one component. The reflection is a jumbled mess of the ponies standing behind you: there's no door. There is a door at the other end, but that would just lead you back the way you came, even with this mirror key. But if the door was here in front of you…>>677842>>677840
There are no other things visible in the mirror that aren't present in the real world, but you have the same idea as Observer: a mirror key is useless if there's no door to use it on. But there's a door at the other end of the hall, where you came in. The mirror key wouldn't have an effect on the real door, though. But if there were a door in front of Observer…>>677840>>677842
River turns to you and passes you some sweet-smelling red leaves from her pocket. "This will ease your symptoms," she says glumly. >>677843>>677845>>677847
Renee and Rus Tea intervene as well to try to keep Flow from attacking the heart further, but Rus is nearly blown away by Flow's power while Renee stands strong. "WHAT are you doing!?" Renee demands. "There are plenty of other demons about, but can we pick a fight with this one when it's strong as sin, even in shambles as it is?"
The room grows quiet. The others soldier on, fleeing the palpable tension.
They go down the path that Flaming saw earlier, and they eventually see light peeking through rubble. It's a tight squeeze, but you climb over the bits and pieces of broken equipment and piles of destroyed architecture, and reach the outside.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-_-XLUCzyc
>All are healed for 1 Wound as Renee heals everyone
The Forge Vimana is oddly cheerier now that it is morning, instead of evening. The streets, though riddled with trash and refuse, are fairly peaceful, and there seem to be fewer violent outbursts than usual. An odd sense of optimism radiates from the demons.
"I envy their capacity to smile in such conditions," Rus Tea grumbles. Blessings wears a similar frown.
Flaming huffs, "Well it could also sound like a suggestion if you listen really close to your compliment. But, point is, I think that creature doesn't like it when things aren't going exactly his way. I hate that."
She blushes, "S-same here. I'm not even sure I know what 'story' Kaliyau is.">>677848
As Trapper's tone sets off something odd, Shorthorns leans over, "Should we, you know… stop him?">>677851
"Because it is not attacking us anymore, I think it may just let us leave. That creature said it tricked it into thinking we 'killed' it somehow, whatever that could mean… I think it's just defending itself. We are technically in its territory.">>677851>>677850
Flaming blushes, "But, this creature could also be suffering… and commonly it is the duty of a warrior to end the suffering of a beast if they can."
Observer looks at the reflection of the key, thinking of how to solve this puzzle. He then sticks it into the reflection of the door, seeing if that will unlock anything.
Shei-Sher takes the leaves from river's hoof "Thank you." and eats them.>>677852
Shei suffers a bit of a coughing fit and then calls over to Observer "Observer, I think I figured it out. The mirror on your end reflects the door."
meant to reply to you with this >>677855
Pryce says, keeping his mouth covered as River hands him the leaves. He pops them in his mouth, chewing as he thinks.>>677852>>677851>>677840
"I think I know what to do. Everyone, pair up as I said earlier for flying over the stairs. We need to move out of the way so the door can be reflected."
(pairs here >>677765
"Observer, I'll leave you on the ground so you can reach the lock."
He says, flapping his wings to hover up a bit.
Flow reluctantly lets go of the crank and stows away the spinsaw. He hurriedly leaves the scene, but not before spitting on the ground next to the path.
He takes a moment to collect himself after seeing the demons and their cheery attitudes. He's reminded of that scarecrow from earlier, and looks down at the ground.>>"Aye lad, ah feel it tay. They're positive, in light of all this. Ah don't think they're oll bad, eh?">>677853
"No need, lass. Th' hothead's all cooled doon now."
He follows Flow through the passage.
>"I think it'd be best if we leave the beast alone, Miss Shorty. Lest Flow's temper heaten up, and he does something rash."
"I'm intrigued to see what the next room has for us."
Flaming pushes on ahead, leaving the heart and the frozen chamber behind as she winks her eyes at the sudden sunlight peeking through the rubble, warming her fur as she hastily digs and crawls over the broken rubble to make it through to see the light of day in the Forge Vimana.
She takes in a deep whiff, free of the stink (for the most part) that was in the chamber, though the trash and refuse quickly sullies her good mood, "AAaagh… uhh… s-still better than in there." She looks around at the happy-go-lucky demons pacing the streets, looking up at Rus-Tea as she begins to move ahead past the remains of the hole. "I wonder what they're so happy about… what is this district used for again? It's called the 'Forge' Vimana if I recall, so I assume it makes weapons of war?">>677858
She sighs in relief, "V-very well then… I hope its suffering does not last forever. I wasn't sure what the right decision was to make but, so long as it no longer tries to kill us, we'll leave the monst-… beast, be."
She looks at Flow, and whispers down to Trapper, "Do you REALLY think Flow will be okay?">>677853
meant this for >>677847
"This is a pretty welcome change from all the fights."
"Yeah…" Amy sighs. "I wish I could do more…">>677852
As they exit back into the Forge Vimana, Amy gets in Rus Tea's face and gives her a hug.
"Smiling is easy! You just need to think of a funny joke!"
She begins to giggle hysterically as if she's finished telling a joke.
Trapper whispers back.
"Aye lass. Sure e' might a've a few…temper issues, but Flow can 'andle 'imself."
"Y'kno, I 'ad t' switch accents t' calm the lad doon."
A collective "Ohhh" passes through the hallway. Seeing their reflections blocking the reflection of the door in the smaller mirror, the group take to the air so as to allow the door to be reflected without them blocking it. The mirror key causes the mirror on the far wall to open like a door, allowing you to pass into the next room.
"Coulda done that myself if I got a bit to think about it," Spitshine says. Volkama makes a similar hushed complaint.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqWixE_2_CE
The next room is thankfully more spacious than earlier; it is a rustic, elaborate dining area that has been ransacked recently. There seems to be not a trace of food left, but you see a great many broken old tools laying around. There is a curious golden-bound book laying on a nearby counter. At the far end of the room, there is a fat-bellied automaton blocking off a doorway. This automaton is not nearly made to the same quality as the one downstairs; this one is made out of random trash and junk, and its two hands are fused to a pair of unwieldy double-sided hammers. Amateur work at best. Many tiny notes lay about the room.
There are two doors on either side of the automaton, but they only lead to a bedroom and an empty closet.>>677860>>677858>>677862
Flow and only Flow notes that there are other contracts glowing now. Rus affectionately returns the hug and forces a smile, but Blessings' mood is only soured by the demons' mirth.
"We stick together," Blessings says. "A demon's happiness is our tragedy. There is nothing uplifting about this city."
Onion mutters nervously to himself, then steps forward. "I'mma float an idea for ya Blessings. Why don't we do as the Mariposans do?"
"You're calling these demons citizens?
They are less than the least of us," Blessings counters.
"I dunno… That don't explain all that I heard in the bar. Too many talkin' bout their homes… how different their 'homes' looked when they 'took them back'. Somethin' just don't add up to me. Not that I'm a mathy dog to begin with," Onion says. "Plus, a little recon could point us right to Mudi, get us some details on what kinda firepower she got."
Blessings frowns, but has a defeated expression. "Do as you like."
"You know, I kind of do too. It's really a GROSS monster, but… I don't know, I just kinda felt bad for it. But maybe if we beat that fancy story whoever it was, we can help it somehow.">>677863
Flaming winces, "I've, kind of noticed… guess you don't get to be as fine a warrior as Flow without a few issues with one's temper. Reminds me of my own clan."
"You can change those?!">>677864
As Blessing's comment, she nods her head, sticking close to Rus Tea and Amy in particular until Onion speaks up against Blessings.
She nods her head, "I agree with Blessings: whatever their stories are, however it is they came to 'take back' these homes, these demons are dangerous and still capable of tremendous evil. We shouldn't let our guard down around them…" she looks up at Blessings, "Although, some have proved more agreeable than others… that creature mentioned the Ash Wards, it could not hurt to obtain some information before-hoof on this." She trots ahead to the streets paved with garbage, shouting, "Besides, so long as we have that medal of Flow's and Amy's, they know not to mess with us!"
[1d10] Looking for some bundle of information on the Ash Wards among the streetsRoll #1 3 = 3
Shei-Sher starts to feel better from eating the leaves. He enters the room, expressing dismay for the scene.
Shei-Sher's first reaction is to appraise the automaton at the other side of the room>appraise [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Pryce steps into the next room, lowering his robe as his throat feels a bit better from the herbs. He looks over the scattered tools and other junk lying about, staring at the large machine.
"…Is this a cooking puzzle?"
Pryce questions out loud, stepping over to the book and flipping it open.
"Everypony else, check those notes. We might need to piece at lot of stuff together."
Observer inspects the notes about the room first, leading himself over to the golden-bound book. He flips it open, inspecting it page by page. Observer can't help but admire the puzzles it took to get here, even if the next doorway is blocked by a garbage golem.
>Perception: Reading through notes and book
Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10
Flow's eyes widen, and he looks out into the crowd of demons, all wandering about. He constantly takes glances down at the new contracts that are highlighted, and he stays paralyzed for a few seconds, eyes wide and mouth shut.>"Sir Flow, what's the matter"
The goo shakes his head, and looks at Vice.
"N-nothing, just remembering something."
He follows the others, and constantly scans the crowd.>>677865
"Aye. Th' poor lad as 'ardly 'ad a moment of peace. Always fightin with 'im. Believe me, I've seen it firsthand." he laughs.
"Aye lass, I can change it. This'un is similar t' his father. Cept' maybe not as pr'nounced as mine."
"I wouldn't mind talking to the locals more too," Amy interjects. "I-if someone will watch me…" she adds quickly and timidly.
Amy looks to Blessings with a thoughtful expression. Suddenly, her face lights up. "Hey! Blessings! I got a joke for you!" she starts giggling.
"So, there's this colt, okay? And, there's this filly he really likes, but he's so scared to talk to her because all the colts like her. So, there's this party coming up, and the colt decides, this is the perfect time to ask the filly on a date! But, it turns out all the colts are asking her out to the same party."
"But, the colt is determined. He won't back down so easy! He waits in the long line of colts all asking her out. And, they all get rejected. So, the colt is getting more and more scared the longer the line goes. If all of them get rejected, what chance does he have? But, he keeps waiting in line. Finally, it's his turn! He asks her to the party. And, she says yes! But, he has to buy her a nice dress to the party."
"So, the colt goes to the store to buy her a dress. But, there's a really long line at the dress store today. So, the little colt waits in line for hooooours to buy her this dress. He doesn't mind, it's for the filly he likes! Finally, he gets to the end of the line and he buys the dress."
"So, he gets her the dress, and she likes it. He's so happy. But, now she says she won't go to the party unless she gets there in the fancy carriage he can get. So, he goes to rent a carriage on the day of the party. But, everyone decided that they want to rent a carriage for the party. So, he's waiting in line for HOURS for this carriage. Luckily, he saw this coming. He went there in the morning. By the time he gets the carriage, it's almost time for the party. So, he goes to pick the filly up, and they go to the party together."
"But, it's a big party. Everyone's getting there at the same time, and everyone can't fit in the door at once. So, they have to wait in a looooong line just to get into the party. But, the colt doesn't mind. He's with the filly he likes. Finally, they make it through the line and they're at the party."
"The filly decides that she wants some punch. So, the colt goes to get her some punch."
Suddenly, Amy is distracted by something in the sky and starts staring at the clouds.
"It sucks…" Amy sighs. "I want to help, but I don't know how…"
"His papa has a really funny accent. What is that, I don't recognize it.">>677870
As Amy begins her long joke in the attempt to get Blessings to crack a smile, she listens in, but as the joke goes on and on, Flaming quickly begins to lose as much interest as Amy is distracted part way through. She nudges Amy's side with her head
"This isn't a joke, it's a story. And when does it get funny, Amy?"
>>677866>The King of Trash>HP: 180/230>A hastily-made guard forged from the remnants of a proposed document for a more efficient worker in the Forge Vimana's working-class and slave districts. The one was made by the daughter of the Crystal Workshop's previous owner, who was well-loved around the Forge Vimana for her contributions to her father's work, which eased their daily toiling in the blasted heat of the forges.>Weak: Dark>Repel: Light>>677867>>677868
As the book flips open, a tired old stallion's voice speaks to you in Neighsco, which Pryce cannot understand.
>["Ah, sir. I trust you slept well? I do not know what is keeping the servants, but I assure you they shall be here anon bearing a fresh pot of tea. What shall I read for you this morning?"]
It's coming from the book.>>677870
Blessings approaches you, waving her hoof a bit frantically. "W-well, what happened? You can't just stop there!">>677869
A flash of red. A gray body. Is that? No, it's someone else. Between the overlapping voices, you find a faintly familiar laugh… but it's just some overlapping demon guffaws. But there's a smell. A familiar waft of alcohol…
"Who are you looking for?" Renee asks, concerned.>>677865
You see many groups of small demons looking into shop windows, hanging around one another, getting into minor fights at times. A tall palefaced paper doll riding on a camel, which you have never seen before, appears to be leading one group down this street, giving them a tour.
"Oh, there's no punch line," Amy says, waving a dismissive hoof, casually.
Then, after giving them both a moment to get it, she busts out laughing, rolling on the ground unable to control herself.
"Galloway Isle, lass. T's a bit south a' ere'. E' traveled all th' wae t' Obscurus, where e' met is' one true love. I'm sure ye can fig're out th' rest, lass," he finishes with a sly grin.
Blessings stands there with a disappointed frown. Well, she tries to look disappointed, but her lips soon press together and she succumbs to an annoyed laugh. "You're a demon in many ways, you tricky hussy," she says, letting herself have a full hearted laugh.
My grammar is bad on the King of Trash description. For clarity, the Crystal Workshop's previous owner is the father, and he's the one who's well-loved. The maker of the King of Trash is the daughter.
"What?! What do you mean there's no punch…. line…"
Flaming's eyes shrink to little dots, and she holds her muzzle with her hooves to keep the snickers in, "FPffffff… n-no punch… line, heheheehehe!" she stomps a hoof, "I-I get it! Punch-line! Like, the line for the drink wasn't there, but hehehe you also meant there wasn't an ending to the joke!" She smiles, "R-right?" She asks nervously, unsure if she interpreted it correctly. Pony humor can be so weird.
"YES!" Amy says, through her laughter, grabbing Flaming and pulling her down to the ground with her. She continues to roll back and forth with Flaming trapped in a vice-like hug as Amy giggles uncontrollably.
As she's pulled down, Flaming kicks her hooves and shouts, "YES! I got it! I got the joke, hahahaha!" She squeezes against Amy and tries to wiggle through, still giggling, "Hehehe, o-okay, Amy, it was funny, y-you can let me go now."
"Fiiiine," Amy huffs, through her giggles. She lets Flaming go and gets up.
Tonight is the conclusion of Shei-Sher's detour so as not to slow down the main thread. Post sheets and reply.
"I'll let you tug on them all you want when you get back! I have both my wings!" Laciela protests. "Ichimonji's got her hooves full right now, unfortunately. They think they have found the sheep responsible for some of the weird occurrences and demon appearances around Zha, so Ichimonji's on the team to take him out as proof of Ecclesia's innocence in the matter."
Little Journey doesn't notice you yet.
"It seems he hasn't told you what happened to him, neh?" Little Journey explains. "The fact that he's been able to communicate with anyone at all has been nothing short of astounding. You see, after the Rapture, he attempted to return to his Domain in the Beyond to fully regain his powers before pursuing the cowardly Devas. But, the Deva Enjoma anticipated this, and laid a trap there for Buiwong. Enjoma cut a hole in reality with the Blade, and shoved Buiwong partway through before closing the hole, effectively cutting him in half.
"But that is no way to kill a god. Buiwong's essence was split billions of ways across the endless expanse of Subspace, neither existing fully in our world or in another. He has only recently regained his capacity to communicate with anyone, but he has been guiding many ever since."
The black scrawl remains unbroken.
"Really?! That's great," Flaming gives a small sigh of relief through the conch, shaking her head. "We had to leave Zha quickly due to an angel attack, as I am sure she's heard. We think we have found the source of it and… uh, given some 'interesting' help, we should be able to stop it from ever happening again in the future."
She huffs, "Laciela, listen, this next part is extremely important. Your wing… I am sorry to be asking this of you, I understand it must be sort of embarrassing but, have you ever had anything bad happen to it in the past? Maybe before Ecclesia found you?"
She looks at Little Journey again, very eager to speak to a young buffalo like her, but waits for the conch call to finish up before she jumps into it.
"Yeah, we heard all about the Bodhidharma's appearance from the refugees. When you see the angels, tell 'em to kill the demons this time.
"I did get injured pretty badly once. Mariposa held out a really long time against the demons, but after a Marquis-ranked demon used a really, really, REALLY horrible chemical attack on the ponies living in the Comfy and Forge Vimanas, everyone else began to panic. There were riots and factions forming straightaway, and I knew from what mom and dad told me about the stuff happening in the courts and markets, this whole demon invasion was the last straw for ponies who had been looking for a reason to overthrow the crown.
"Demons were pouring into the city, and riots and battles were just getting worse, so me and Yareakh decided to run with some of the aristocrats' kids. We got pretty far before we were caught in a small, narrow canyon by some rebels who wanted to take us hostage. But, there was a demon up above who saw the fighting and decided to join the fun. He knocked down a rockslide onto all of us. This one guy, I saw his head come off and it got squished all over his friend…
"Uh…" Laciela pauses as if trying to remember. "Yeah we all got banged up real badly there. My wing was caught underneath a rock, but together, me and Yareakh were able to lift the rock and get it out, but it was still torn and bleeding pretty badly, until Doctor Galton and Sir Gegenschein saved us."
"Oh, if you only knew the circumstances… you won't believe this, but they actually managed to form a TRUCE with the demons in this city! It's an uneasy truce but, they're not killing each other. Crazy, right? Oh! And, there are at least a few Mariposans still here. Not all of them are well but, some of them are even fighting back like Evil's Judgement."
Afterwards, she listens to Laciela's story of when Mariposas was attacked and the ensuing rebellion. As the story turns gruesome, Flaming puts a hoof over her chest.
"And, after this rock crushed your wing, did it remain that badly damaged until Doctor Galton saved you? What did she do to fix you up after they all found you and brought you to Ecclesia's base? I'm… I'm a little worried to give you the details but, we have reason to believe a witch here in the city might have some kind of, 'copy' of your wing. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but it's the honest truth!"
Laciela doesn't respond for a while after you mention the truce and the few surviving Mariposans. "Oh… okay. Thanks for keeping an eye on them. A lot of days… I start to wonder if there was more me and Yarry coulda done. Like, if we had appeased the Song more, or if we'd brought more people to the Grave Marriages… anyway."https://youtu.be/_sS5FEdqyTc
"Flaming," Laciela says with a high level of familiarity and friendliness limited to the closest of friends. Something in it makes you feel quite calm and trusting. "We should lay this to rest. Whatever she has, it's what you said yourself: A copy. Just a copy. It's not worth worrying about. If she thinks she's got a little souvenir of me, I'll just kick her ass before she can brag about it as if she had beaten the grrrrrreat Laciela!" she laughs, tone gradually returning to normal.
"No need to thank me, Laciela… I know what it's like to wonder how your people are doing. I actually found one of my own clan here as well." She frowns, "I… I don't know if I can answer that. There's always more we WANT to do, but, that's not the same as more you CAN do. But, there's no use going over it now. The past is the past, princess, it's what you do now that matters."
As the familiar and friendly tone sets over her, Flaming's body quivers as she feels Laciela's comforting voice, like a sister's calm her state of being and she slumps to the ground. "Oh… I-I mean, I understand that, if you say it is…" she grits her teeth, "N-no, wait, Laciela please, it's important! This witch might be an ally, not an enemy, but we can't make that call unless we know the whole truth. You DO know something, don't you?" She asks accusingly, "Please, I'm sorry about saying you had spiders in your hair, I'll explain that later too but please believe me when I say I want to HELP Mariposa."
[1d10] An attempt to convinceRoll #1 5 = 5
The sensation stops. "Look, I don't know any more than you! Yareakh's here too, and she saw that my wing was hurt, but not severed! And if my friends weren't busy with all the tinker-monkey work the Laity's making them do, I'd get them to testify too! I really don't remember getting my wing cut off! How much longer are we gonna fixate on this?
She grunts with annoyance. "Although I really don't know why a witch would go to the trouble of replicating JUST my wing, if that's really a replica. Is she making a whole me? Can you just go and ask her where she got it?"
Shei-Sher breaks from his work on the Gigginox to reply to Little Journey
"I think I've met a piece of Buiwong. Sitting at the root of some vast wyrm that claimed to be the claw of God. Thank you, that paints a more sincere picture of Buiwong. For one reason or another I couldn't help but picturing him lounging on a straw chair by a beach shore in his new plane. It's remarkable that you'd know so much of the going abouts in the beyond. Praytell, what is your place in all these matters?"
"You really don't know then?" Flaming asks, shuffling her hooves somewhat guilty along the ground. "I'm sorry to push it, Princess, I… I just wanted to be sure. I don't really know if I can just ASK her that, I'm not even sure if we can trust her entirely. I think there must be some way to find out though. I hate to ask, but can I ask your sister if she knows anything…?"
"I think she just wants you for your magic though. All i've seen of your wing is a single feather. She uses it to write words and then, whatever word she writes, happens to whatever it is she is writing ON. It's incredible."
"I am from the Clan Sinking-Rain, first calf of the great warrior Pillar-Breaker. Sadly, during a territorial fight with the Clan Climbing-Fire, who were under Buiwong's leadership, I was beaten and captured to be a war slave. Just like when I had been captured in years past by Sleeping-Stone and Living-Wind, my father expected me to escape by myself.
"Yet, while those clans treated me and other slaves so poorly, shaming us for our weakness in battle, Climbing-Fire was a whole different world. I was regarded as an equal, and made to work no more than I could bear. Though the Highland's various racial tribes, the deer, buffalo and dogs, always quarreled in the outside tribes, Buiwong's leadership unified all the racial groups in a harmony they'd never seen. He would reclaim our lands, restore glory and our old charging fields, and end the ponies' subjugation of our people! He had been wronged just as we had! Why would I want to leave?
"So when the Rapture happened, I abandoned the weak Sinking-Rain Clan, but Climbing-Fire did not feel the need to 'accept' me. As far as they cared, I was already their brother. Those of us who remained faithful to him, he guided us every day, defending us against the demons as we marched northwest, to where he was gathering many other followers of his. Many of my tribe are now safely living in a small country called Amlapura, southeast of here many weeks' journey. But unfortunately many had lost faith and fallen away on the journey here.">>681699
"Huh, trust her? So you've been talking with her for a while now? YAREAKH, C'MERE!"
You hear Yareakh and Laciela bicker on the line for a while, then some shuffling sounds, presumably as the two sisters squish their heads together so they can both hear and talk.
"Hi, Flaming. You're consorting with witches now and you're eating her poop stew? That's really gross, you know," Yareakh says scoldingly. "But this magic, anyway… that's weird. None of Laciela's powers have anything to do with writing, and she's barely literate to boot!"
"Yeah, a lot, actually. It's all very important, the moment Ichimonji is free to speak you MUST tell her to contact me. It involves a plan for stopping the demons from destroying everything, a real possible solution too."
As the two sisters bicker back and forth on the line, Shorty pulls her head back a bit as Yareakh comes on. She pulls her head back to the conch and shouts, "WHAT?! I am NOT eating witch poop stew, you take that back right now!" She shouts angrily.
After she calms down, she states, "Oh, well, that's understandable. I can barely read or write either, though I have a good excuse. Hmmm… so she might just be borrowing her power then from the wing's 'data' I think I heard it called. If I brought back a piece of it, could you two tell what it is?"
Shei-Sher harbors admonishing feelings for the buffalo's tale. He feels compelled to speak his feelings truly on the matter but he thinks that might be very good of his demi-god image. And though Shei knew there would be nothing good to come out of such a conversation, he can't help himself.
"Haha now that was the cause to originally make me so contemptuous of Buiwong. Aye, our stories of opposite worlds. I come from an upbringing of slavery as-well. Quite lush in comparison beside the menagerie of horrors that come with serving an occultist, but in contrast I was ostracized by every caste in my community. Slaves and Griffon alike -my unique place in society was considered unacceptable but Crowley ensured I would live. I think it is fortunate Hearthome became rubble before your people could reclaim their land. It would be a stain on Accorsian history for a philistine God and legion of equal rapport to conquer a nation-state of high civility. I apologize for being so forthright on this Day of Slavery. I joined with Buiwong because it was convenient in saving my people, even if they never treated me like one of their own and still to certain extent, I felt it was my higher purpose to lead the Goats and they so desperately needed a Shepherd."
"However that was tangential to my question. How do you know so much? Who are you to Buiwong? Not to sound rude."
"Hmmmmm, don't like it so much when someone's spreading rumors about you, do you?" Laciela smugly says.
"Wasn't that just a misunderstanding on our part and not a rumor that Flaming spread?" Yareakh asked.
"Oh, I'm sure that's what she'd love to claim, but now we're even.">>681701
"Be super careful if you try to bring it back," Yareakh says. "Anything a witch tinkers around with could melt the bedrock. It'd be especially dangerous now. There's some kind of sickness going around Zha, but it seems like it's only affecting people who know some kind of healing abilities or magic, so we have to quarantine them and all the refugees we've let in recently. If the wing did something awful, it could be much worse than normal.">>681702
"It was? Oh, my mistake. I get excited when I'm talking about him. Like Vortigern and the Dragon, he has appointed me to the team he has constructed to replace River Spring, Tantra, Shining Light and Septum Axis. He is aware of all their whereabouts, and has worn off his presence on them. Thus, he can see and feel through the as though they were his spider. Fear not, for Sardonyx is with him again at long last. It was because of how raggedly I had worn myself in defending Climbing-Fire during our exodus, even though I am not related to them by blood. You mentioned that he seemed uncaring of you at times? Well, perhaps it is like what I heard you mention earlier, how eastern wizards toy cruelly with those whom they like. Truly, there must be some good reason why he has not spoken to you yet, but I have faith your time is near. He has rewarded me greatly, so just think how much more he shall reward you!"
Shei-Sher wears a very squimish expression accompanied by a nervous smile at the comment.
>so just think how much more he shall reward you!"
"That frightens me. I pray to whoever hears that Buiwong doesn't play by the customs of eastern wizards. I have met Tantra only just recently. Chummy pony, but a bit too loud for me to hold company with. RiverSpring on the other hoof, I wish she would give Buiwong another chance and join my cause. I am still testing the waters with her, but she is prone to recoiling at the mention. I think a reunion between her and Shining Light would be heartwarming. Precisely what River needs after so much hardship. I can't say I am acquainted with either Septum Axis or Sardonyx. Perhaps my memory fails me. Is there any method of swift contact I might have you? Little Journey, Vortigern -er Dragon? My kingdom come's soon and with it a journey to Buiwong. I imagine this is something you might aid me in."
Flaming growls in retort, "I was NOT spreading rumors, you only thought I was! I don't spread silly gossip around like some silly ponies do."
As Yareakh comes to her defense, she nods her head, "THANK YOU Yareakh. It's good to know someone knows what's really going on.">>681703
"The sickness is mostly affecting the healers…? I don't remember any illness being this bad and we didn't leave but a few days ago. Tell them to try as hard as they can to find the cause, if it's anything to do with the cloud that came from here, we'll find it."
"As to the wing… if it is dangerous, I will keep it away then, but someone should analyze it. Can Galton look at it back in town?"
She looks over at the dragon, the pegasi, and the buffalo especially with impatience, "Listen, again: I need you to go get Ichimonji as soon as you can, I need to tell her about what the witch told us personally, it's too important."
[I mean buffalo]
"You know what, Flaming? Ichimonji's not your personal surrogate mama. We'll pass along the message, but you gotta be patient," Laciela says.
"We'll tell Doctor Galton," Yareakh says. "She and the other Choir members here in Zha have their hooves full because of the huge influx of refugees we've been getting. It's complicated, but for a number of reasons, the Choir thinks that the demons are trying to get as many refugees into Zha as possible. For what, nopony knows, but it can't be good. If you can get the wing though, she'll totally look at it."
The savage-looking Vortigern is staring holes through your head.>>681704
"If that kingdom is what Buiwong told you to do, best of luck. But if he has remained silent on the matter yet, I would not follow through on it if I were you. I know he is going to play his hoof soon. Don't you think it's strange that so much of Accorsia has headed from the southeastern corner of Huoli, all the way to the northwest? Ecclesia, my tribe, Accorsian angels, all of us… It is because Buiwong has been nudging us this way. He can only control so much, but like a harpist at her instrument, all he requires is to lay the very corner of his hoof upon the string to send causal vibrations all throughout. We are here for a purpose."
"I see your friend has a Caller Conch. To reach me, the whisper-wind is 'The Bridge of Threads is strumming.'"
Flaming gasps, "W-what?! I… I know that! I just, I'm in Ecclesia now, and she's my leader so, it's important that I tell her stuff, you know? It involves making a deal with the witch so I can't exactly just tell it to anypony!" She says, clearly telling it to somepony.
To Yareakh, she says, "They're TRYING to fill it with refugees…? That's weird. Try your best to keep everything under control, I don't know if all demons would know what is being planned but, if there is some demon that knows what the purpose of sending them all to Zha is, I can find it here."
"I think that's everything at the moment. Just, get back to me quickly before…" She pauses as she sees Vortigern staring holes at her, the buffalo feeling quite nervous as she looks on at the pegasus. "W-what? Do I have something on my face?" She asks, before narrowing her gaze, "I'm not the only one who looks goofy here you know."
Shei-Sher's eyebrows raise and his face brightens by the sudden revelation.
"That's why! That is why Shining Light, Gegenschein, and Galton are within the ranks of Ecclessia! Well that certainly explains a lot. I do think my people deserve their own kingdom, but I suppose I will post-pone my aspirations for my curiosities. Whatever Buiwong is concocting I do hope it's not as spectacular as shattering the sky above."
Shei-Sher walks a few paces away from the three and the Gigginox "Spare a moment. I have been meaning to introduce you to someone Little Journey. Please refrain from mentioning word of Buiwong.">>681707>>681705
Shei-Sher ambles over to where Flaming had been speaking into her conch. "Flaming Shorthorns? Are you finished? It's time I introduce you." Shei-Sher leads her back to the three surrounding Shei's Gigginox.
"Little Journey, Vortigen, Dragon I would like to introduce you to Flaming Shorthorns. Flaming Shorthorns" with a hoof Shei gestures to each. "meet Journey, Vortigen, and Dragon."
"Well, don't think that the rest of the Congregation and Laity don't have questions about why she seems like your favorite, so soon after you joined us," Laciela says. "I'm just saying this for your own good. Some folks who have been here for months and months barely get any recognition from the Choir."
"We don't know who's ordering it, but this is too big of a happening to disregard as coincidence," Yareakh says. "The Choir thinks it's signaling that there are demon warlords who are managing to accomplish the impossible by unifying and organizing demons rather than just letting 'em run free."
"A DEAL with a witch!? Okay, you DEFINITELY want to tell Galton instead of Ichimonji… she's the only one who'd probably listen," Laciela says. "She's a little more friendly with the occult than Ichimonji; Ichimonji would break your snout for suggesting an alliance with practitioners of dark arts."
"Such a task shall seem trivial to the wonders he desires to perform, and yet those wonders will be for the good of all - angel, demon, mortal… even Deva.">>681708>>681709
"Excuse me, my name is pronounced, _____
protests, clearly enjoying the confusion called by the empty sound of his 'name.'
Vortigern silently stares at both of you, her mane a ragged, unkempt mess. Her face is marked with lines, suggesting she's probably around a mother's age, and her feathers are all out of place and unclean.
Flaming flattens her ears a bit, "Oh… I… w-well, I haven't really met the rest of the choir yet. Ichimonji is the reason I'm IN Ecclessia, who else would I report to?"
"All the same, I… I'm not sure if I feel like telling that to Galton," she says, remembering what she's been told about Galton's 'odd' sway over the princesses and how it might tie into Buiwong's schemes. "Ichimonji can yell at me all she likes, I'm used to it.">>681711>>681710
As Shei stumbles back over to Flaming, she looks at him with surprise as she drags him back to the giggionx. She looks at the pet, petting it lightly with a hoof before looking at the others.
"Oh… well, that is an odd name for a dragon but, well met Pronounced!" She bows her head low, "I-it is truly an honor to be in your presence. As it is for any buffalo to meet a dragon. Y-your scales look very hard and tough, if I might add." She turns to look at Vortigern, still fluffing up her ears and looking at her with confusion as she stares, and says, "Hi there," before turning to Little Journey last. She smiles widely at him, "And h-hello! You don't know how happy I am to see another of us here!" She shouts, before ramming her head into his roughly in a traditional buffalo hello
[1d10] slamming my head on hisRoll #1 6 = 6
"Do not mind the dragon. He is merely a tease. and I suspect Vortigen's stare is the most of a conversation you with her. However I imagine you and Little Journey have much to talk about."
Shei-Sher smiles seeing Flaming butt her head with Little Journey. Know this is an amicable greeting. Now able to focused Shei-Sher returns to freeing his Gigginox. He works double diligently his preparations. Afraid if he can't remove Mudi's curse he will have go seeking out her feather. Laying scrolls and adapting symbols from his books. He tries for a spell more precise. Shei-Sher takes his finished charm and wraps a piece of wool over it. With the thing he has made Shei slowly but firmly rubs off the ink letters written on his Gigginox.
[1d10+1] SpellBreakerRoll #1 3 + 1 = 4
"A bunch of ponies can say that Ichimonji's the reason they're in Ecclesia. Just don't go thinking that you'll get special treatment, especially when she's pretty busy trying to stop whoever's bringing demons into Zha right now," Yareakh says. "Anyway, we have to go. Bye!">>681712>>681713
"Don't get mad if she doesn't speak," _____
says, gesturing at Vortigern. "Her voice is on loan to another."
Little Journey returns the head-smash to Flaming, leaving her legs shaky. "Likewise! Have you kept up your prayers to Buiwong?" he asks cheerfully.
The writing smudges away for a moment, but the black scrawl re-configures itself, reading "VIOLENT"
The gigginox's tail slaps Shei across the garden against the wall of a nearby shed. He loses 3 Hits.
Flaming takes that to heart, wondering if she has been asking too much of Ichimonji during her short time in the organization. "R-right… bye. Good luck.">>681713>>681714
"The dragon…? You mean Pronounced? He is a bit odd, but…" she takes a second look at the flying dragon, her eyes squinting as she takes a closer look at his form. "I… I'm sorry, I was so excited to see a dragon I might not have noticed but, is he made of… paper? Is he not a REAL dragon?" She huffs, almost sounding a little defeated.
She asks _____
"Oh! I'm sorry. Mudi didn't steal it from you, did she?">>681714
As her head is smashed upon quite enthusiastically by her fellow buffalo, Flaming quivers with excitement, about ready to bounce in joy at the familiar sensation. As he asks the fatal question though, she immediately stops, looking at him as one would look at a dead body. "WHAT!? I-is that supposed to be some kind of joke because, I didn't think it was funny, Little Journey.">>681713
After hearing Buiwong mentioned, she pulls at Shei's fur and asks, "What CLAN is he from?"
"Ba-a-h!" Shei bleats as Mudi's curse retaliates. "Curses. I was certain that would do it."
Shei kneels on the ground beside his Gigginox. He puts a hoof on the side of his head and leans over his pet. Wearing an annoyed expression when Little Journey mentions Buiwong to Flaming.>>681715
Before she might blow up at Little Journey's response Shei swiftly interjects "Flaming, is Mudi in the cabin? What was she last doing?
"Climbing Fire, same as you Shorthorns." Shei-Sher responds with acute annoyance.
Flaming huffs, "She was getting a visit from her sister, Vizsla is here as well and I think she wants to help us again. Amy was trying to talk to both of them," she frowns, "I don't know if she's still mad at you though. Sorry. You probably won't get thrown up on again though.">>681717
"I guess that explains why he thinks highly of Buiwong but, NOT after the Firmament broke! Are you sure he isn't some Stone idiot who's been hiding under a rock?!"
>>681718>You probably won't get thrown up on again though."
"That is fantastic to hear because I have new garments now and I prefer it's original color" Shei says ever more vexed.>>681718
"Why the grievance for immigration. What of the colorful culture we are to be enriched with?" Shei says sarcastically with poor humor.
"She lent her voice to Buiwong," _____
says. "My name vanished many years ago. I deserve to be at the top of the dragon families of Ornifex, so I challenged the elder family to ritual dual known as Prokolot. Yet, the cowardly new rulers refused to honor this rite. When I cast the first blow at the patriarch anyway, I was punished. I was unnamed.
"So when I heard that a bitter little mother of three from one of the tribes of unwashed savages in the Ornifex mountains had become a serial killer against the ruling elite of Ornifex… and even broke the scales of a dragon's neck, I thought I'd join her. If they wouldn't listen to a duel, they'd listen to a warhammer.">>681715
"So you have fallen away. I empathize with your loss, but do not sympathize with it," Little Journey says. You recognize that his coat is much much thicker than yours. That is a common trait among the Sinking-Rain buffalo, who have to endure much ritual rainfall summoning dances as well as swim in their territories. "Know that Buiwong has taken good care of the faithful members Tribe, guiding them to a land called Amlapura, where they are safe."
members of our Tribe*
"What did I say about saying his name, what did I say what did I say." Shei-Sher iterates to himself as he buries his face in his Gigginox's torso
"I noticed," she says, pulling at the disguise he put on. "This is a dress. Why are you wearing a dress?" She smiles, "Did Novelus make it look fuuuuuun?" She teases.>>681720
"That… that's incredible. Buffalo have duels all the time too but, losing one's name? What an odd practice the dragons are known for." She says, looking up at him with grandeur. She turns towards Vortigen, "So you're both from Ornifex like Zjetya? I've thought of going there, just to see more dragons. You're a mama? Why did you become a… a serial killer?">>681720
"The faithful…?!" Flaming looks at his coat, recognizing the familiar Sinking-Rain thickness but too fraught with anger to ask Shei why he said he was from Climbing Fire. She moves in on him, "The only reason we need a new home in the FIRST place is because of that… that… that traitorous, ugly, stupid jerk! H-he MADE the demons come down and destroy our home, what do you mean he's still leading us?" She asks.
"Climbing Fire served him faithfully once, but after what happened I'll be thrown in the Sleeping Dragon before I see another of my clan worshiping him. If you even ARE of my clan."
"It's a shame you can't see things the way the faithful do. Our people's service to Buiwong was never without purpose, and these greater trials are nothing more but the breath of the Sleeping Dragon coming awake to harden us and burn through our weakness. Buiwong had been wrongfully imprisoned by the Devas, just as our people were wrongfully imprisoned and relegated to a small portion of land by the ponies. Just as the ponies did to the Changelings and Dragons, whom they drove from Accorsia. Buiwong will one day restore our lands to the fullest. Wouldn't you rather stampede on a massive, empty grass plain, instead of dodging about in the cramped forests and valleys that we've had to endure for so long? Can't you see what he has to offer?">>681723
Vortigern pats the side of _____
's head, and ______
begins to explain.
Hailing from the Osi tribe of Ornifex, Vortigern was next in line for ascension to Clan Mother. In Ornifex, a casting of lots is performed every five years among the native tribes to determine who among the tribes' children shall be taken across Yongning-si as servants for the Dragon Knights, never to be seen again by the outside world. Vortigern, in an attempt to spare her tribe's young mothers the horror of surrendering a child, rigged the lots so that she drew all three lots for her tribe. However, she vastly overestimated her ability to endure the unbearable weight of loss, and was driven to a bloody madness. She is now reviled by the ruling elite of Ornifex as a mass murderer and terrorist, who has also committed the unforgivable sin of murdering a dragon.
"For your information! A seasoned professional in the ways of fashion said it looked nice on me. And I am going make amendments to it in place of a unisex garb.">>681723
"So you are fine with a serial killer but worshiping a god that wanted to return home is where you cross the line? Have you taken into consideration there are members of your clan that haven't lost faith as you have?"
Shei-Sher takes his face out from his pet's side
"You murdered a dragon!" he is genuinely impressed "You have my applause" He brings up his hooves to clap briefly.
She says with a stomp of her hoof. "Yeah, I KNEW THAT! I-I know buffalo getting a raw deal was the whole reason we signed on with him in the first place, we had that in common, but don't you see where that's gotten us?! Our homes… they're gone! We're WORSE now than we ever were with Accorsia's ponies. Demons probably have flattened the Sleeping Dragon, rendered our forests to cincders… so, now we're doing all we can to stop the demons, or at least I am, and what is Buiwong doing? NOTHING."
"Ho-how can you say he still has followers? Do you even know where our clan is, because I sure don't.">>681724
"T-they take children from ponies as servants? I didn't know. Are you saying she sacrificed her own family so others wouldn't have to endure that?" She frowns, "Well… what happened to her children after that? Are they okay?">>681725
She chuckles non-stop, "Oh, it looks VERY nice. You're pretty as Dania ever was. Are you thinking of asking out Pryce or Flow? I think you can date more than one pony at a time so Amy won't get mad.">>681725
She growls as he takes Journey's side, "A single pony's actions can't compare to what BUIWONG has done to the world. And if there are any who still follow him, I'll smack them up until they think straight."
"Don't congratulate us!" _____
says. "We snuffed out the life of a minor one at best. We have neither reason nor urge to celebrate until we have toppled the patriarch and his kin."
"That's what we'll discover along the cloudy path to the top," _____
"They are very near, hiding in a country called Amlapura. Like your Ecclesia, like the Accorsian angels… and like you, Buiwong nudged and guided them to the northwest, all in according with his greater design."
Little Journey winces as you point out some legitimate grievances and fears. "If a parent does everything for a calf, will the calf learn to do anything for himself?" he asks. "Perhaps a religious discussion wasn't the best topic for an introduction. May I take you out on a run? Oh! What day is it? Did the Hearts and Horns Dance already pass us?"
"You will have time for that later," _____
says. "But you dawdle too much here. All of that we will have time to think on later, after Mudi, Vizsla and Lord Buiwong establish a country of peace soon enough."
Lamp, Journey, Vortigern and
start to lead the both of you back to the cottage.
shei-Sher face contorts wildly in disgust "Eughk! Don't even insinuate such a thing! That is repulsive Flaming!"
"We are in agreement. I am merely suggesting that it isn't outrageous to presume that members of your tribe remain faithful. Especially since Buiwong did succeed in wreaking havoc upon Hearthome during his leave."