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."
>Vice and trapper
"Hell yeah, let's do this!" the dino demon says, turning around. His smoky body doesn't have shoulders to begin with though, so this might be a tricky operation.
Mocha holds up a rag silently, the same kind she tried to throw at the capra demon.
>Flow and Observer
Neither Vortigern nor the dragon are able to wrestle Tunguska the bunyip into submission. Tunguska chortles, then laughs, and finally starts giggling uncontrollably, much to the embarrassment of Vortigern and to the consternation of the dragon.
"Bastard… a guy like you always has a weakness. I'll find it, alright… and if not, you'll get one." _____ snarls.
>Flaming, Amy, Pryce
The dog seems genuinely confused. "Hmm? Oh. I'm guessing you're foreigners, aren't you? You're all probably from a place where slaves are treated like shit. That's not the case around here. Even before the demons came around, being a slave was a highly-sought gig if you could find a rich master. Food, a clean bed, sometimes even a stipend for your labor. Nowadays, becoming a slave to a strong demon is the only way a weak person can guarantee their survival, with how violent and barren the rest of the world is. We are quite literally saving lives by doing this. But, if you want to kill these ponies by condemning them to die out in the wastes, you can try to stop us."
"Can we not have this conversation when the whole street is on fire?" one thug asks.
"Oh! I totally forgot!" the leader says. "Right, we should be off. So, buh-bye."
"Well, I just had a question," the thug (a stout red donkey) whose friend you allegedly ate, says. "Uhh… there's no easy way to ask this: How did he taste?"
Volkama approaches. "Shei, can you dare explain why you decided to smoke a sample of one of the world's most dangerous and addictive biochemical weapons, potentially affecting us with addiction as well?"
River then disappears down a dark corridor.
"Oh no, we're coming with you."
Pryce interjects to the pack leader's farewell.
"We need to talk to Splitz, and you're not stopping us.">>685686>"Yea Shei. You saw what that stuff did to all those ponies, it's fake happiness! If you needed to cheer up you could have just asked me to do some tricks for ya."
Kid Pryce says, starting out sternly and ending with a concerned tone that almost sounds like he wants Shei to ask for a trick.
But as River forms a dark corridor, KP turns and quickly runs through after her.
Shei-Sher feels the shame hang over him like a corpse. He is far too depressed from his encounter with Miracle to respond with nervous laughter.
"I.. It was the only way to counteract her mind-controlling capabilities.." he realizes that's not very specific "Er.. you see -I.." Volkama should notice the apparent youth and loss of vigor in Shei-Sher's stature, now shorter and more nubile, he appears to be about twelve years old. Shei-Sher takes out the core from his bag thinking it might better explain what he was doing. "I was fighting an angel. I'm so sorry, i-if that death of me, I would not of been here to stop the Joy from spreading." He hangs his head low.
Shei-Sher notices River had left via her god given teleport. He grimaces, thinking she left without him to fantasia. He can only hope he brings him some medication as well.
"I need to clean the bathroom." Shei-Sher stows away the orb and gets to acquiring cleaning materials from the closet "Er.. friend?" Shei addresses KP "Care to, lend a hoof?"
>Also, reposting this from the 4chan thread
Pryce 9/5 (9/5)
Flaming 8/6 (8/7)
Amy 7/5 (7/5)
Flow 11/5 (11/5)
Observer 7/6 (7/6)
Shei 8/4 (8/5)
>Please check if these are accurate and correct me if I'm wronghttps://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/30004579/#30006032
Last time on HQ…
Amy, Flaming, Pryce, Busta and LJ tracked down a squad of the Banana Splitz gang, while the squad was hunting down mortals to take as slaves amid the chaos in the Cozy Vimana. The squad refused to take Amy to their leader, as they were too busy.
After losing his battle with Miracle, Shei lost even more of his Data: The leftover essence of Gabby, which he had inherited from the Archetypal Data Pillars in the Everfree forest. He lost his ability to use her seal, as well as her power of controlling her sealed targets. Not only that, but he was now fated to die in about 24 hours from JOY withdrawal, unless he could get the addiction antidote and undergo rehabilitation.
Not to mention whatever might come of the pitch-black arrow he obtained from the Claw of God.
Observer and Flow journeyed north with Vortigern and the dragon, before they were stopped by a bunyip in their way who wanted to arm-wrestle them.
Mocha, Trapper and Vice were stopped by a demon who wanted a shoulder rub. Only, because the demon was a snake made of smoke, he had no shoulders.
>>685688>i-if that death of me
i-if that had been the death of me
KP quickly rambles out as he runs after her.
Trapper clasps his hooves together.>>"Now mate, just be warned, this might be so good, that you fookin knock out, alright?"
He winks at Mocha right before he starts massaging the demon's non-existent shoulders.
Flow huffs, and rolls his arm around.
"Alright alright, I'll show you what for! I'm just not at full power!"
He goes another round with the bunyip.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
Observer shrinks down back to his normal size, however his form has yet to shift back to his very feminine looking pony body. He hovers there as he ponders for a moment.
As he thinks, he continues to scan the bunyip in silence.
>Analyze: Seek weaknesses
[1d10+1]Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
As the dog gives them the run-around on the slaves, Flaming growls, "You know, we've MET your slaves before. I would hardly call you saving lives based on what we saw back in Circadia."
She looks up at Pryce, and nods in agreement, "Yeah, we're not going anywhere without talking to Splitz. Now, are you going to point us in the right direction or not?"
>[1d10] Rolling a pre-emptive perception roll to search in case they tell us to find him on our ownRoll #1 8 = 8
Shei-Sher's frown deepens as he finds KP has left him with Volkama
"Well," Amy says conversationally in response to the question. "It's kinda hard to say. I don't remember exactly who you're talking about. Diamond Dogs taste kinda bad. Too tough too. Most other things taste like chicken. Except griffons, for some reason."
Amy rubs her chin in thought, contemplating why that would be. "I guess their meat is more liony and less birdy. Cats taste gross. There's nothing good about cats."
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Flaming freezes up, looking at Amy wearily.
"You don't know what… buffalo taste like, do you?"
"Sorry, but we've got business to attend to. If you want to hang out with us and come back once we're done, that's fine. Just give us a holler if you see anyone who needs help," the dog says as his soldiers fan out.
Flaming sees that the street you're on continues south for a long way. Past the boundary of the fires, the buildings look to have been flattened all at once, and mountains of debris choke all the streets which connect to this one, effectively making it a chokepoint. >>685688
"Fighting an angel!?" Volkama exclaims. He snatches your bag and peers inside. "But, where? I see no angels here, just this…" he looks again at Miracle's core. "Oh. That must be it, then. But… why? And how? And how did you lose against a goddamn ball?"
"Does that even matter?" Zjetya asks. "The big question is, why the hell were you doing that by yourSELF!?"
"I'm baaack!" you hear Onion say from the entrance.
The arrow vibrates subtly in your grasp.>>685696
"More liony… less birdy," the thug repeats. You notice that he is writing down your description on a sheet of parchment. As he speaks you see that he has big, wolf-sized canines, despite being a donkey. "Now, did you eat him raw, cooked, stir fried? What do you recommend as far as spices and meal prep go?">>685687https://youtu.be/MRbO6HV9-6U
As you head down the dark corridor with River, you notice that she is crying silently.
Shortly, the corridor leads you to the outskirts of Fantasia, where a soft cool rain falls. The city is in much better state than you last saw it in. Many fairy tale creatures, mostly animals, stand as guards upon the fortified ramparts. In the streets, you see refugees and fairies going about their business. They look a little lean, but unharmed. It's almost a semblance of normal, pre-demon life.
River leads you to the alchemist laboratory where Orcus produced the JOY using the Crud. She stops at the doors and sighs nervously. The elegant renaissance-style building has been given a new coat of paint, and repaired. The magitech factory which it was connected to has been mostly torn down.>>685692>>685693
Flow is unable to move Tunguska's arm. Tunguska yawns and props himself up with the other hand. "Well, what a shame, neither strong in the head nor in the arms. Posh. Oh well. You ought to just go back the way you came; you will not pass me today."
Observer realizes that the bunyip, despite his size, is not stronger than four individuals pooling all their strength together as one.
The dragon spreads out his neck-frills, tripling his size. "This is a meaningless waste of time! I am an envoy of the gods! You must let me pass at least!"
Tunguska looks around. "What gods? Only me around here."
"Bastard…!" the dragon growls.>>685697
Mocha rolls her eyes. Trapper massages the demon to the best of his ability, but the demon doesn't seem too impressed. "Okaaay, I guess you can pass but don't quit your day job."
The demon dissipates his smoke, and lets you pass. As you continue along the road, a thick red mist clouds the way forward. There are many corpses underfoot, both mortal and demon. You cannot see much of what is ahead of you, as the mist is quite thick. "I don't know if we should go this way…" Mocha wonders aloud.
"You know…" Amy puts her hoof to her chin pensively. "I don't think I do. Buffalo kind of keep to themselves so I haven't really interacted with them much."
Then, she smiles. "If you want, I could find out," she says, followed by a playful nip at Flaming's face.>>685699
"It was usually a spur of the moment thing, so usually raw. But, cooked is always-" she stops herself.
"Woah woah woah!" she waves her hooves frantically. "No! I'm not suggesting you eat anyone! It's definitely NOT a road you want to go down. Trust me."
"Are you… having demon troubles?" she asks awkwardly as if she's asking about an STD.
"And we have business too. So how about you tell us where Splitz is and we can leave it at that?"
Pryce states again.
"Surely you don't have anything to worry about, and neither would Splitz. We're only five against a gang leader, he can only gain from anything that might happen."
Pryce says, trying to coerce the dog into giving up the information.>Coerce [1d10]>>685699
KP after River as he tries to catch up, but slows as he notices the crying. He walks behind her, a little unsure of how to help cheer her up when she was drugged with something that forces happiness.
He looks around at the sights, part of him wanting to stare in awe and taking in the fantastic sights to his child eyes, but there's a pony that needs help and that's more important!
He steps up beside River as she stops at the door, raising a hoof of comfort as high as he can reach to her shoulder (his reach only going up to the upper leg).>"I'm here for you, if you need anything or any help."
He says to River, giving a light smile through the rain.Roll #1 3 = 3
Flaming smiles awkwardly as Amy admits to not knowing the taste of buffalo, but as the pony nips at her face the calf gives a loud yelp and darts back behind Pryce, taking behind his wing for cover as she scatters. "N-nope! I don't want you to find out, nuh-uh. You can have Pryce instead, alright?">>685699
As the dog and his soldiers fan out, Flaming groans. "We don't have time to 'help' him, we're just here to talk down Splitz. We have to find him before things get even crazier."
She takes a look through the burning city streets, towards the flattened buildings and mountain of debris towards the chokepoint. She stares at it.
"You know… if I was invading this city fighting an army much larger than mine, I'd base ourselves behind a choke point to take away the advantage of numbers. Let's check out that way, everyone. Follow me!" Flaming shouts as she leads the way
"It's far more difficult than playing ball you dense coot!" shei-Sher grabs his head as a headache pangs and sends painful shivers down his entire frame "Sorry -I'm not feeling well."
Shei-Sher has grabbed a bucket, soap and some sponges from the nearby supply closet and gets to scrubbing the condensated Joy off the surfaces of the bathroom. As he does so he answers Zjetya "Because, this was my dance to do with Miracle. When I was in the birdcage, I tapped into the deepest catacombs of her mind, we were engaged in thrilling and deadly conversation! When she passed away she had the good grace to pass along her hindbrain so we might reach a conclusion. In there is the other half of my philosophy. If I could take it from her I could reverse the transformation of ponies to angels and demons, I have no doubt about it. But I lost, and I've lost so much. Abandon any ideas you are entertaining Volkama she is far more powerful than the sum of our company's powers. I only held a chance in hell because of my abilities to assert control over minds. But she has confiscated that from me in exchange for my life."
Pryce looks back at Flaming as she uses him as a shield.
"Nopony is eating anypony today, alright?"
Pryce says to both of them like they're children.
Shei-Sher notices the Arrow's vibration and appraises it with his own eye.>so now that I have withdrawal I got -1s to all actions right?
He doesn't pay any mind to Onion's arrival.Roll #1 5 = 5
Flaming points out at Amy, "She started it, she said she wanted to try a bite outta me!" She holds up the wing, "I bet these are tastier anyhow, right?"
Amy laughs. "Hmm. I wonder if Alicorns taste better.">>685704
"I was just playing!" Amy whines childishly.
"Are you TELLING on me!?" Amy squeaks, offended. "I thought you were better than that!"
Flow puffs his cheeks out and points at Tunguska.
"Just you wait, we'll find a way across soon enough!"
Both Vice and Trapper warily eye the place around them.>>"Aye lass, we oughta be leavin ere.">"Quite. The amount of corpses around here are certainly not easing my worry…this gas might be toxic and we wouldn't know it."
"I don't care who started it, I'm ending it."
Pryce pulls his wing out of Flaming's hoof.
"I only have two, so nopony will get a chance to find out.">>685707
"This isn't the time for play!"
"He never stated that we may try all at once." Observer says to the others. He turns his attention back to the bunyip, prepared to arm wrestle again. "We will attempt once more, together."
Flaming squeals back at Amy, "My survival instincts kicked in, I didn't have a choice! What do you care, aren't you to old to get in trouble?">>685710
Flaming grumps as he pulls the wing away. "She STILL started it."
Flow twists his head around.
"Oh yeah, you're right."
He gets his arm ready once more
The two clones try looking through the mist for another route.
V: [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
"Aren't YOU too old to be telling on ponies!?" Amy shoots the blame back at Flaming.
"Just stay out here, and do not come inside. I will be back in a minute." River says. She enters the laboratory.>>685700
"Huh? Demon trouble? No, our demons are pretty cooperative if you're stronger than them. Oh, you mean these!" he points at his big canines. "Nah, I'm not a demon. I went to a fleshweaver and had him give me these teeth. Now I can eat whoever I want. I'd been thinking about joining this circle of cannibals I'd heard about who live near Nibbuta, and then you showed up! What good timing, right?"
"He's promised to eat us when we die," another thug chimes in, "You know, so that a demon can't have us.">>685703
"Wait a moment… you lost your ability to control minds?" Volkama asks. "Well, I fail to see the problem there. I'm sure she'll hold it there for safekeeping." He picks up the core and rolls it around a little. "And the fact that nothing is happening to me right now shows that she doesn't seem able to use it on me from inside there. The problem is solved! Bwahahaha. Now we can be friends again! All is right with the world.">>685705>You have not entered withdrawal yet, so no. In 12 hours you will suffer withdrawal's penalties
Remarkably, you have an easier time appraising it with your naked eye than with Pupil. It seems that Pupil has some kind of aversion to it.>Vae Victis>Effect: Upon a successful hit, the target's DC to Hit next turn becomes 0, such that even a critfail succeeds against them.
A voice comes from within Vae Victis, a withered and weak one. "You cannot get something for nothing…">Listen further?
The dragon pauses and then bonks his own head against a tree. "Are you goddamned serious!?"
Vortigern laughs silently, the closest thing the two of you have seen to a happy expression.
Tunguska tenses up, realizing his trick has been found out. "Ahh-ha! Well then. Now I'll actually have to put some effort in.
"Shut up!" the dragon snarls. He and Vortigern stand next to the two of you. "Alright. On three. One, two…!"
[1d10+2] the dragon>>685701>>685702>>685708
"Well, if you're trying to hit up the slave auction, I'm afraid it won't happen until tomorrow, once we're out of here," the dog says. "But Splitz'll tell you where it'll take place. Right now he's by the southeast corner of the lake south of here. But be careful. A powerful wind is going to come from the west once all the search-and-rescue teams are back at the ship. And nothing is going to survive what it brings. You know, to cover our tracks."
You run down the path that Flaming spotted, free of the smoke and fire of the earlier stretch of the road. Soon, even LJ and Busta are breathing heavily, exhausted and panting due to the nasty stink of smoke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zQFOJsijw
After about another hour of climbing over broken buildings, piles of trash and many, many corpses, you reach a wide area, where the clumped-together houses finally end. up ahead, you see the northern shore of the smaller, southern lake of the Cozy Vimana. Hundreds of thugs are gathered, many of them unwashed, injured and gritty-looking. They're overseeing the collection of slaves, gathering them in tents, marking them, and treating their injuries. You cannot tell how many slaves, thugs or demons are there, but there are at least 200 around here by your estimation.
"What an efficient operation!" LJ exclaims.
You notice a broken window on the second floor of a nearby poorhouse. The building has been slumped over, across the other nearby houses, which are all tightly packed around one another. It looks like a good way of circumventing the gas. Mocha starts climbing up herself, effortlessly with her eight legs.Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
Flow makes sure not to get his goo on anyone else as he clasps his hoof on Tunguska's hand, and uses his strength to push.
Vice starts climbing as best as he can, with Trapper right behind him.
V: [1d10]>>"Oi love, I know it's still early…but…can I please ride you, lass? I can't bleedin climb for shite!">"Quit coming up with excuses and climb!"Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
Amy looks at the thug with concern. "If you're going to eat someone who's already dead, then I guess it's okay… But, it can get… addictive. I wouldn't do it myself, even if I didn't kill them. I know I wouldn't be able to control myself. So, I think you should do it sparingly. Otherwise, you'll be tempted to kill people to eat them. And, that's just wrong, obviously.">>685717
As Amy trots along, she looks at the slave. "Good," she says with a nod. "We're on the right track. He's gotta be close now!"
Her snout becomes dog-like again, and she begins to sniff out Splitz. [1d10] to find him!Roll #1 10 = 10
>>685716>"No can do. I said I'm here for you, and that means at all times until I see you better."
KP practically recites like a code of honor, following right behind River into the laboratory.>>685712>>685715
Pryce sighs as the two bicker back and forth.>>685717
Pryce stops as they finally gain sight of the masses under Splitz, body feeling strained from trekking across the city again two days in a row. He looks over the numbers, only seeing them as obstacles now that are blocking them from Splitz and from leaving.
He shoots LJ a dirty look as he exclaims and compliments the sight, before he starts to march down to find Splitz.
"Come on, he should be easy to spot.">Navigate through the crowd [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"I'm only fourteen," Flaming shoots back, perhaps the first time she's been in favor of mentioning how 'young' she is.>>685717
The thick smoke building up causes Flaming to hack a little as she pushes through, but she does not let it bother her too much. The rising smoke of the Sleeping Dragon in her journeys into it were just as harsh.
After coming through the broken buildings and many corpses, looking at them sadly as she does so, and looks up ahead at the lake of Cozy Vimana. She looks on at all of the slaves being treated by the thugs, and gives a small glare at Little Journey.
"Don't let them fool you too much, we've seen their operation before. It's nothing like the Climbing Fire's slaves, we treat ours like new clan mates, not commodities. Let's go check closer." She moves on towards the camp, shouting at any thugs nearby, "Hey! Can you tell us where to find Splitz?"
[1d10] For convincing demandsRoll #1 10 = 10
Shei-Sher is flumoxed and yet filled with irritation at Volkama's derisive display. He would share the sentimental attachment he had toward his seal and spell but it would likely only incur more ridicule "Yes.. fuuunny…" His voice cracks with bridled anger. "Please be careful with that Volkama. The secrets contained within will leap gorges in mending the errors of our world."
Shortly after Shei-Sher returns to his scrubbing he finds a voice speaking to him. His is certain where it is from and sighs. He wouldn't want to ignore a debt to be paid. "I know.." Shei-Sher laments.
"I'm sorry," Amy says as her ears go down in response to the sigh.>>685721
"Well-" she begins to say, but stops herself, not wanting to agitate Pryce further.
She cocks her head. "Your clan had slaves?" Amy asks conversationally, without a hint of disapproval in her voice.
Observer attempts to join in with the arm wrestling, seeing if his normal voidling form has the strength to help.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
The thugs and their guard demons grow tense as you approach, stepping forward to keep you from interacting with the slaves. But then, through each of your methods, you are directed southeast around the perimeter of the lakeshore. There, you see a collection of ships, but they have magitech engines and technology on their undersides, as well as large sets of wheels for ground travel.
In the center of the ship-cluster, you see Banana Splitz's red-and-mahogany ship. Strangely, it isn't guarded. There's nobody on board as far as you can tell, at least not outside.>>685718
Trapper and Vice end up slipping, and in a humorous sequence of falls, manage to hit their heads on every bit of debris possible on the way down, much to Mocha's horror. >Trapper and Vice 0/0>>685720
KP notices that much of the lab's inner workings have been appropriated from their use under Orcus, and now seem to be producing a wide variety of potions. It looks quite a lot like depictions of witches' and wizards' labs from fairy tales, only not nearly as gritty or dark.
Eventually, River reaches a room in the back, and in a drawer, she finds a set of blue vials. KP recognizes this room. It's the room in which Pryce, River and Shei figured out how to derive an addiction antidote from JOY itself. River takes a cluster of ten vials. "They won't need so much anymore. And I don't know for sure if Shei has extra doses. He probably does."
She conjures another dark corridor. "Are you ready to return? Going through these too often may give you nausea.">>685724>>685718
Between the four of you, you manage to move Tunguska's arm down about halfway toward the ground. But, before you can get any further, he lazily moves his arm back up, tossing you all backward. "Ha! Ha! Ha!" he laughs slowly. "Ahhh, still undefeated after so long. Oh, that old dragon couldn't stop me even now."
Tunguska picks up the hollow tree trunk and blows into it. Each of you return your souls to your bodies. He scoots off to the side. "That's the furthest a group of mortals has pushed me. You've earned this for sure. But tell me at least where you're going!">>685722
Volkama smiles. "Oh yes, I will have lots of fun with them. And you will not. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC6deOAReoM
As you work, a vague idea nibbles at the back of your mind, and the upper center of your vision feels black. Your ears fill with the low churn of deep water. Against your will, you are made to imagine the face of each person in your party, including the NPCs. Then, you see images of Buiwong, Ba'drel, Cer'reg, Crowley, your mother Shei-perd, Hexapod Chorazin, Vizsla, Mudi… everyone whose face and name you know. Finally, you see Amy's face.
"You have three days," the withered voice intones, like an old person with sunken jowls. "For you begged power of God without offering a sacrifice upon the Noble Tabernacle. In three days, this debt shall be collected, unless you pay before then."
For an instant, you feel dozens of smaller arrows sprout from the shaft of Vae Victis, stabbing all throughout your arm like a ball of spikes. But then, the sensation fades, and you realize it was just a hallucination.
Flaming nods, "Uh-huh! Our clan was the strongest of ALL the clans, and sometimes we'd butt heads with them. And sometimes, not all of them would get away from the battle. So we'd take them in as slaves for them to make themselves useful, or to trade back to their original clans."
She scowls, "But we treated slaves right. We never gave them something we couldn't do ourselves, and lots of them even wanted to stay and become Climbing Fire themselves rather than be returned."
"Sounds like making friends to me."
"We are seeking ruins that I wish to research, however the others seem to be more after treasure." Observer says as he shifts back to his feminine pony form.
Flaming nods, "Right. Sometimes with doing a little more work that you don't exactly want to do but there's a reason slaves stuck around."
She stares at Little Journey a little bit, then leans in quiet, "Like, you notice how Little Journey's coat is a LOT thicker than mine is? Natural Climbing Fire buffalo like me don't have that because it'd be way too hot for our plains, but he's originally of the Sinking Rain, who need those coats for the frequent rainfalls. He was totally a slave who took a liking to the better tribe.">>685725
As they're directed through the camp, Flaming makes sure to take a look at all of the slaves they've collected, eying their condition as they're taken in by the Splitz gang. She finally recognizes the tall-tell sign of the tread-bearing ships she saw back in Circadia, and goes running up to the red one, "There it is!" She shouts in jubilation as she begins to scamper up the ramp on board, looking around the sailor-less ship. "Huh, why isn't anyone on it?"
She looks for a door to take her below deck, "Come one, everyone, he has to be on this ship somewhere."
[1d10] Searching for SplitzRoll #1 6 = 6
Pryce pays no mind to the thugs and demons, keeping his eyes focused out for Splitz. As the ship comes into view, Pryce spreads his wings to fly out and land on its deck.
"Splitz! Come up if you're down there, we have some talking to do!"
He shouts down into the ship, assuming he's down there.>>685725
KP looks over the vials and new decor with fascination, wondering what each may do. He follows away from them after River once she pulls out her cures.
He looks over to the corridor, then up to River.>"Sorta…Before we go anywhere, are you alright?"
He asks with concern.>" I saw you crying, and you didn't look like you wanted to come in here."
Amy giggles a little bit. "I feel like I know a secret now! I like learning about cultures!"
She snickers, "Yeah, and I think it musta helped too. I think those Sinking Rain wethoofs are like their coats: big and soft. But did you see Little Journey smash his way through that magma dog earlier? And I never heard any one swear like him either. I thought he was kind of a big jerk at first, partly for being a fake Climbing Fire and partly for worshiping Buiwong," she practically spits out the name, "But he's nicer than I thought."
Shei-Sher pauses for a moment as he scrubs, utterly soberly "I am in such deep shit."
"I want to bargain." He quickly whispers "I will give you all the demons of Huoli, returned in a month's time to Tartarus. Should I fail, I give you mine and the lives of every goat saved by my hoof. They are rightfully mine by love under law."
Shei-Sher appears to be staring at the floor from Volkama's perspective. Without turning back to him, he asks "Volkama, seeing how we are friends again. Would you mind killing every single spider on this ship. In return I'll cook your favorite meal tonight, and I promise a special surprise to be revealed at later notice that you will find absolutely delectable."
"If he worships Buiwong, doesn't that kinda make him MORE like a Climbing Fire?" Amy contemplates.
Flaming growls, turning into a snap, "Not anymore! After what that bug did to the world I don't respect any Climbing Fire who still thinks he's worthy of worship. We lost our home because that idiotic old god broke the Firmament without even a plan as to what to do when all the demons came rolling through!"
Flow huffs as he keels over, his arm having fell off from straining it.
"I'm here on a hunt, and coincidentally, paired up with these guys."
>>685733>I forgot a month is 20 days
change that to "in 30 days time"
Busta pauses when you start to go below-deck. "I'll stick around up here, and if someone starts coming toward the ship, I'll give a shout! It could be Count Imaal's assassins in disguise."
Like with the deck, the first below-deck floor (B1F, for short) is deserted. Most of the rooms are locked, but the ones that aren't locked are full of paperwork, ledgers, lists of checks, scrolls, etc. As you get to the end of the hall, you find a very ornate door installed. It must lead to Splitz's room. But, it is locked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsoLYWTzqSY
If you choose to look through the keyhole, you see Splitz fast asleep in a rocking chair, without his chitinous armor. There is a red filly asleep on his stomach, and on the bed next to the chair, there is a green mare, also asleep.>>685730
"I'll say my piece on the ship," River grunts. "Shei needs to hear it.">>685733
The voice from Vae Victis pauses. "I am sorry. Since when were you under the impression you could negotiate with Our God, AFTER the deal? You probably should have hammered out these details with Him when you asked for power."
"I said we CAN be friends again. Not that we are. At some point, perhaps, but now, no. Besides, your last 'surprise' was that you are a bag bitch for chemical weapons. I am not interested in seeing another surprise, and I am not your exterminator. But, I could be," Volkama says defiantly, before walking off. You notice Zjetya, Onion and Box giving you odd glares.>>685730>>685733
KP and River return to the ship. River grabs Shei and sets him outside the bathroom, then enters by herself and locks the door.>>685737>>685728
"Very good!" Tunguska says. "I remember the days of my hunts. A time long ago, I'm afraid. Good hunting. May the Treibheanna's winds be at your back."
Tunguska picks up the cart and sets you on the other side of the river, and after saying goodbye, you are off.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3zle1ZfxQc
After many more hours of travel north made rapid by the Rumblers, the special bounty poster of Voir Dire, which Hope gave to Flow, begins to glow orange, indicating a dangerous bounty. But, a small transparent arrow alights over the poster, pointing north-northeast.
"Do these usually do that?" the dragon asks with wonder. They don't.
Soon, you reach the boundary of a great, deep evergreen forest. The terrain is steep and rocky, and the Rumblers are reluctant to continue. The arrow is now pointing due northeast. Vortigern looks to the two of you expectantly.
Amy looks through the keyhole and sees the filly. She knows what she is looking at. "Disgusting…" she mutters to herself.
She knocks on the door loudly. "Sundae!" she shouts. "We need to talk!"
[1d10] to wake him upRoll #1 3 = 3
Pryce peers through the keyhole, astonished that Splitz can sleep so peacefully while he raids a fallen city for more slaves and peons. He takes a step back from the door, horn glowing as he tries to bust open the lock on the door to enter.>Telekinesis: Break Lock [1d10]
"Splitz, wake up!">>685739>"Ok."
KP says, nodding as he follows River back through the corridor.>>685739
KP steps out of the corridor, wobbling a little bit.>"Whoa, you weren't kidding when you said it can make you queezie."
As River pulls Shei aside, KP goes to follow but stops as the door is shut and locked. He looks up with a pout and feeling insulted, knocking on the door.>"Heeey, what's the deal?"
He huffs.Roll #1 2 = 2
Observer peers about, keeping an eye out for intriguing details in the area. "This bounty you're after… Do you suppose he resides in the ruins we seek?" She asks Flow.
Shei-Sher whispers angrily at the arrow "I am Shei-Sher, Child of Sabuul, Shepherd sent from Sh'harel, Spider of Bui-Wong, and the only personal student of The Great Beast Aliester Crow-ley! I know exactly where I lie! And what my conditions are to bargain! You will tell your Master my name and my proposal or he shall only have my soul in Tartarus throttling you for all eternity!"
Shei-Sher puts away the sponge and runs over to Volkama, he whisper in his ear. "Do this for me and I will hand over to you the opportunity to use my godmother's spell for control over me for an entire 30 days. The cause will be completely justified among our company and you will even have a chance to appear heroic when doing so."Roll #1 4 = 4
Flaming peers through the keyhole, but before her eyes see anything her nostrils flare, the buffalo quickly backing away from the door as she snorts, "Ugh! I smell… yeck. Yeah, he's doing something GROSS in there, my nose can smell it."
Seeing as how Amy and Pryce are already knocking on the door, Flaming smiles, and tries to add her voice to the pack. She takes a deep breath
"SPLIIIIITZ! WAKE! UP!!!!!!!"
[1d10] VolumeRoll #1 10 = 10
[1d10+3]Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13
>>685744>Flaming peers through the keyhole, but before her eyes see anything her nostrils flare…..
requesting this line be ignored, just keep the line after of her shouting
"Alrighty then, looks like we have a challenge on our hands…">>685742
"One can only hope!"
He hops off of the cart
"O, dear God…" the old voice says. "Boys, we've got another one."
The voice ends.
Volkama laughs for a few good minutes. "Nothing could ever tempt me to sink to your level of weakness that I would need or even want your wretched power. How can it even compete with mine? Besides. It's no longer yours to offer, isn't it? It belongs to the angel now.">>685741>>685743
River exits the bathroom after about ten minutes. "Nothing, not anymore. My addiction has been cured. Shall we have lunch?">>685741>>685740>>685744
You hear some confused grunts and a few crashing sounds. "Ow…" the filly says.
"You okay, Sundae?" Splitz asks.
"Not really? Can you just go see who's there?"
Splitz unlocks the door and peeks at you, with the mare and the filly peering at you from behind his leg. The filly looks to be maybe seven years old at most, while the mare, like Splitz, is in her forty's or so. "I'm sorry, but the auction won't be until tomorrow. You can see yourselves out, now."
Splitz doesn't seem to recognize you.>>685747>>685745
The Rumblers refuse to continue. So, the dragon curls around them and the cart for a few moments. Then, an igloo of paper forms around them. It takes on a green shade, blending in partially with the foliage. The rumblers settle down and relax. "They shall be safe here for now," the dragon explains. "Now, onward."
As you proceed, the ground is rough and uneven, though the earth that you walk on is smooth. In places, parts of the ground rise up in long, thin cords, like a vein rising up beneath the skin of your arm. There are protrusions like this on the trees and on the plants as well. As you pass by a very large tree with the width of a lighthouse, you see one of these protrusions on the tree start to move. It rises up, and its head splits into flaps, becoming a cobra-like shape. It steadily observes you, unnerving Vortigern and the dragon.
Flow squints and checks the bounty to see where Voir Dire is. He pauses his walking as the cobra-branch appears, and takes a good look at it.
"Whatdya see, Observer? Any info on that thing? My eyes ain't as good as they used to be."
After Flaming shouts down the door, she looks pleased as punch with herself as she hear's the crashing sound, but her ears raise up at the sounds of what appears to be a young voice.
When the door opens, she is surprised to see the mare and filly among them, staring back and forth between them: she didn't remember if Spitshine had mentioned having a sister. As Splitz initially seems to dismiss them, she grumbles, pushing towards the front of the door. She gives the filly a little wave of her hoof, then turns to Splitz.
"We're not here for the auction, Splitz. We're here to ask you to leave this city alone." She turns her head, "Don't you remember us?"
Observer peers back at the cobra-like being, scanning it while minimizing it slightly.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
KP tilts his head at the sudden turn.>"You sure?"
He eyes her over, giving her an examining glare. It only lasts for a few seconds before he hops back up into a smile.>"Sure, I could use a snack about now."
He says happily, taking up the offer.>>685748
"We're not here to talk about the auction. The demon lords in this place are out for your head and if you don't leave now you won't be around to have
Pryce warns in a stern tone, ignoring the filly and mare.
"Yeah, sorry, we've been sent to tell you to stop taking slaves and to let go the ones you've taken from this city. I don't really wanna hear about whatever justification you have. It doesn't matter what either of us wants. We're trying to save your life. Cause, if you don't do what we ask, someone else is gonna kill you."
>Prayer of Enlightenment for Compassion>Mantra of Equality to get him to listen to reason [1d10+2] with a DC-3Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
Shei-Sher feels the walls closing in on him, the stress wraps over his mind and feels as though it will collapse as it shrinks upon him, but it only shrinks and shrinks reminding him of the position he is in. Shei-Sher slaps his face with a hoof, not meaning to fly off the handle like that but this stress and agitation from withdrawal is killing him. LITERALLY!
Shei-Sher relaxes off his tippy toes and tells Volkama soberly "I have my notes and you have seen me use it well enough times to grab the concept, but If that is how you feel, so may it be.">>685748>>685739>Didn't see River's interaction with Shei
Shei-Sher stands beside the Bathroom exit and speaks with River "Excuse me RiverSpring, an apology and explanation is in order. " Shei-Sher takes Miracle's orb out from his bag and presents it "This is an Angel's core, the short version is I had projected myself into it to learn something that could revert ponies who transformed into either angel or demon back to their natural state. I burned a saucer of JOY in an effort to counteract the angel's mind controlling capabilities. However my efforts were in vane, I was overwhelmed, and a partition of my data had been confiscated." Shei-Sher gestures to his body, explaining his reversion into youth. "The Joy contained within the bathroom was completely under control, no one was meant to be hurt by this, except for me. I am truly, utterly sorry." Shei iterates the apology slowly, and with all due sincerity. "I promise I only had the interests of the group at heart. So may I please have the antidote before I perish?"
In a moment after Shei-Sher's interaction with River Shei-Sher ambles over to Kid Pryce.
"Excuse me, you seem to know me. Would you care to speak with me outside for a moment."
KP looks from Shei to the kitchen and back.>"But lunch…"
Is his answer.
"Hmm? Oh, oh, don't tell me!" Splitz pauses, tapping his head. "Yes, you're the ones from Circadia. You're a both bit more sober than the last time I saw you," he says to Pryce and Amy, in reference to the former's bloodmoon madness and Amy's partial demon transformation. "So, someone's after me. Wow, tell me something I don't know." Splitz reaches into a nearby chest and draws out a peculiar onyx padlock, like one from a dungeon. "So, who is it this time? A rival? A freedom fighter? A leader, perhaps? C'mon, I deserve to know. Otherwise my daughter here might be in danger, right?">>685751>>685749
Observer notes that this creature is not a distinct monster, but rather a part of a deep network of a nameless, sleeping being that lives inside this whole area. This cobra can be likened to a nerve, or perhaps more accurately, a finger. The cobra circles around your group slowly, sticking out a tongue much like a real snake. Then, it lays back down on the tree, apparently uninterested in you.>>685754>>685752
"And HOW do you know ANY of that?" River says to Shei. Her voice is completely calm and even. Happy, even. "And why would you bring an angel onboard this ship if it's not dead? Why would you try to face it alone? So, first, you keep a sample of the world's most deadly biochemical weapon right under my nose, which I had been forced to brew after spending my ENTIRE LIFE trying to heal people. Second, you don't tell us that you kept it despite seeing firsthand all the evil that it's wrought and the horrible ways in which the afflicted die. Third, you decide it would be a good idea to SMOKE it, by yourself, in the bathroom, where it could have easily spread to any of us the moment the door opened? Are you sure you haven't been possessed by Orcus? And you have the gall to even stand in front of me right now and admit to all of it.
Her voice starts to warble. "Well, it doesn't matter much now. I don't have the patience or mental and emotional fortitude required to stage an intervention for someone as unhinged as you have demonstrated yourself to be. In other words, you can fucking walk to Fantasia if you want an antidote. Goodbye, Shei. You are already dead."
"Please?" Shei-Sher asks with a look of desperation.
KP rolls his head back in thought.>"I don't knooow…"
His head drops back down to look at Shei.>"Why don't you come with, you look like you need to eat anyways."
Shei-Sher gets the message "I understand"
and follows Kid Pryce to the dinning table
Last time on HQ (for these two)…https://arch.b4k.co/mlp/thread/30311730/#30313266
Amy and Flaming decided they needed to get stronger quick before going into Tartarus with Mudi. Volkama suggested they try the Smoldering Grove, a tournament house that offered prizes for fighters who did well enough in the arenas. To this end they entered a 2v2 match with a pair of yokai. The condition for winning was that they had to force the other team to use their strongest move, and that they could not kill them.
—>Amy just now obtained Homing Magic from PoE
Zjetya and Volkama go over to 10-C. "Good luck, you two!" Volkama adds.
The battle arena is a fairly clean, square stone room, well lit, with barrels of weapons and magic runes in every corner. Up above, the roof is made of a transparent material, allowing demon onlookers to observe the battles.
Your opponents are a pair of youkai. They appear to be foreigners, chatting in a strange tongue. The first is a large black bear with a freakishly big set of eyes, wearing a loose robe, with a long scroll in his hand. The second is a cyclops tengu with a bag full of souvenirs over his shoulder and some traditional Mariposan garb. He's got a stick with a lantern on the end as well.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPsU-ZMC6SA
As a loud bell clangs, the two greet you in their foreign language and bow. Then, they spring into action.
The panda starts to chant. [1d10+1: 9 + 1 = 10] Mind Reader vs Amy
The tengu sparks up his lantern's fire. [1d10+1: 10 + 1 = 11] Homing Missiles: Fire
Amy's color drains toward her face as her tattoos glow. She opens her mouth wide and balls of white energy come out.
[1d10+1] for Homing MissileRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
As Amy and Flaming head into their personal arena for their match, she stares down at the two odd youkai, ears flattening in bewilderment at their appearance. "What a weird looking pair… the bear could almost pass for normal but what's with the nose and the eye on the other?"
As they bow, Flaming quickly bows her own head as well, not wanting to be outdone for etiquette, and springs into action as she charges at the bear. "Haaaaaaaaa!">Charge: Passive; At the beginning of combat declare a charge against one enemy. You get a +2 bonus on that target at the cost of increasing critical failure range by 1
[1d10+2] She moves to slam her fore-hooves with a regular attackRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
The feeling of buzzing in your brain disrupts your concentration. The panda's eyes widen shortly thereafter, and exclaims in surprise in his foreign tongue.
Shadows start to gather in the panda's claws. [1d10+1] A Word in Your Ear>>686837
But, you quickly knock over the panda. He rolls back up and shoves you off, just as the tengu floats overhead with his lantern.
[1d10+1] Fire Homing Missiles vs FlamingRoll #1 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #3 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #4 7 + 1 = 8
Flaming grunts as her hooves connect with the pand and knock him over, rebounding as she moves around to the side to flank him. "Amy! I got the big one, you take long-nose!" She shouts as she bounces up onto the panda's back and tries throw him down to the ground
[1d10+2] Regular attackRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Amy gives the Panda an insulted look. "Hey!" she shouts. "My head isn't THAT messed up! If you can't appreciate it, get out!"
She grunts as she uses her rarely used mental muscles to force him out. [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
The panda rolls to the side, throwing you off his back, right into one of the tengu's fireballs, after which you land on your side near the wall.>Flaming 3/7
The tengu flings another orb your way. [1d10+1]>>686840
As the shadow spreads from the panda's claws to your head, Ego takes control, thrashing and gnashing as she attempts to stave off his influence.>You have another (final) chance at fighting off the panda's spellRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
Amy laughs through her struggle. "I don't think you want to do that."
[1d10] to regain control of her mindRoll #1 7 = 7
Flaming grunts as she's tossed by the Panda to the far wall, wincing as she feels the fire-ball's sting shortly after, "Graah!"
She shakes off the pain, and tries to stand. "Good, they gave me a strong one. Usually I'm told NOT to go near bears but I'll make an exception this time."
[1d10] Standing upRoll #1 2 = 2
Focusing together with Ego, you bite straight through the shadows surrounding your head, breaking them off and severing the panda's attempt at control. Seeing this, he changes tactics and attempts to slice you with his claws.
You manage to buck the tengu's fireball back at him and land a hit, but the effort burns you again and disrupts your chances of getting up.
The tengu charges another spell with his lantern…
[1d10+2] Energy Orb vs Amy and FlamingRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3
Flaming gasps as the on-coming fireball from the tengu, and quickly bucks her hooves back at it to send it flying back, "No THANKS, you keep it!"
[1d10] As she's given a moment to breath, she looks at the charging fire-spell and tries to move out of the wayRoll #1 10 = 10
"Ha! Take that!" Amy gloats. "But, if you want me to be a demon, I'll play along."
>Mystic Animal Totem
Amy changes her form into that of a white wolf. She howls and a portal appears.
>Animal Mastery to summon a Nail Beast [1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You get back up.>>686847>>686846
Amy summons a nail beast, interrupting the panda's charge as he leaps back from the newly-formed creature.
Some cracks in the tengu's lantern begin to glow, and his charged spell erupts and burns both him and the panda. The two are still in the fight however.
The panda begins to chant, and clouds of light surround him and the tengu. [1d10+2] Healing bonds
The tengu tosses aside the broken lantern and conjures fire in his palms. [1d10+2] Storm BoltRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
While the crack breaks in the lantern and the spell incinerates both of them, Flaming smiles and takes the moment to re-bound back to her feat as Amy shapeshifts into that of a wolf. "Alright, while they're distracted…" she says to herself as she focuses a prayer and her horns glow white…>Prayer for Salvation: Automatic; Recharge 2; The target's next recovery from Helplessness will be an Automatic Instant action, and the target will get +1 to all future attempts to get up until the end of combat.>Aiming on myself
>>686848>>686849>turn 2 of 4 of wolfness
"The panda heals. Get him first," Amy says, analyzing the situation in an uncharacteristic calmness.
The nail beast shoots at the panda. >Passive; The Nail Beast’s attacks succeed on DC4+ and hits twice per attack.
Amy tosses a potion to Flaming. [1d10+3]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 2 + 3 = 5
Merryflower Root, plz. [1d3]Roll #1 2 = 2
You bolster yourself just before the tengu's fireball hits and singes you.>Flaming 5/6
But instead of dissipating, these flames encircle you and start to turn greenish purple. [1d10+2] Polymorph>>686850
The panda takes the blow head-on, but appears to be on his last legs now. Shadows gather around your head again… [1d10+1] A Word in Your Ear
You decide to toss away the potion at the last second. Probably for the best.Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
"Okay, that's enough of that!" Amy says as her tatoos light up again.
>Homing Missiles charging [1d10+1]
>Nail Beast nails the panda [1d10]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
As the flaming fireball slams into her, Flaming winces and dives out of the way as her horns stop glowing, racing along the edge of the arena as she moves to target the Panda once more as the nail beast shoots at it. "Alright, I'm going for it!" She notices the flames glowing greenish purple, and attempts to move past it as she slams back into the Panda with her fore-hooves, "Hit me with all the flames you want, won't slow me down!"
[1d10+2] Physical Attack
[1d10+2] Mantra of Recovery: Recharge 2 after effect ends; Instant; Cannot be used at full Hits; On use, select an enemy. Every turn, you drain two Hits from that target. This effect ends when you go helpless, or after 3 turns pass, whichever comes first.>Both on the PandaRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
The panda tries to tank both of the hits, but in doing so, gets knocked back against the doorway with a dull thud, bleeding slightly from his injuries. As he crawls back up, he puts up the palms of his paws, creating a sign of surrender. He then bows to you.
[1d10+3] Prayer of Healing
The green-purple flames engulf Flaming, leaving her transformed into a small rabbit with horns and buffalo fluff on her head.
The tengu, seeing that his companion has surrendered, meekly backs away for a moment, but pauses with resolve, and charges up a final attack of his own. [1d10+3] Earthen GraspRoll #1 9 + 3 = 12
/ Roll #2 3 + 3 = 6
Amy grins as she sees the Panda surrender, despite yet another failed attack. "I CAN do this!" she says loudly as her fades back to pony form.
>Homing Missiles once more with gusto! [1d10+1]
>Nail Beast nails the tengu [1d10]Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
With the Panda shoved off back to the edge of the arena, Flaming huffs and looks at the bear before he surrenders, bowing to them. Flaming smiles, bowing herself, "You put up a great fight, sir."
However, as the green flames circle around her and transform her into a jackalo (jack rabbit + buffalo), Flaming lets out a small wail as she's transformed. "AAAAAAAAAAH!"
When she looks down at herself, her small, rabbit like eyes open wide with shock, and she looks down at herself as she sees the form she's become. "W-wha… what?! WHAT!" She shouts in a high-pitched voice as she stares bloody murder at the tengu, charging at him with her paws swiping at his long nose. "CHANGE ME BACK CHANGE ME BACK CHANGE ME BAACK!""
>Effect: Activating Wild Hunt no longer gives a free Automatic action, but instead knocks back all nearby enemies and applies a debuff of -1 to all their rolls for 5 turns (or until debuff is broken). The debuff does not stack and wears off if this relic is removed.
[1d10+2] Physical attackRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
Amy does a double take. It takes her a moment to register that the rabbit is Flaming. She begins having a giggle fit.
"But you're soooooo cuuuuuute!" Amy says, looking at Flaming with big, adoring eyes. "Can I pet you?"
Flaming stares up at the large, imposing white wolf that Amy has taken, and stomps her rabbit-foot on the tile of the arena multiple times in quick succession. "No you can not! I am not some dumb cute little bunny, I am a WARRIOR! This is the worst!"
Amy is unable to contain her giggles and they come out in a single large adoring squee at Flaming tapping her foot. "I can't help it!" she says as she rubs Flaming behind the ears.
Amy charges a single orb. At least it has gusto.
The tengu floats around the nail beast's attack, but Flaming's attack pins him against the wall. As vines burst up from the floor of the arena, they merely bop the nail beast a few times on the head.>Nail Beast 3/4
You hear a wooden whistling sound, and a ghostly mare with a royal scribe look about her floats into the room through the doors that the yokai entered through. "By my readings, those were your strongest attacks, no?" She then repeats the question in the language the yokai spoke.
The yokai nod, and so does the ghost. She says another sentence in that language, then the two yokai bow to you and exit. "Well, those two wouldn't have had much a chance anyway. Here you go," she says, and floats over a set of three golden tokens with her magic. "You've earned these. You can redeem them at the altar that's down the hall, to the right, third room on the left."
"Oooooh," Amy says with fascination as the ghost floats into the ring. Amy pokes the ghost repeatedly curiously as the ghost speaks with the yokai, though her hoof likely just goes right through.
When the ghost turns to talk to her, she suddenly stands upright and stiff as if she's a solider standing at attention. "Oh. We won!? Aaaawesome!" she says with a hoof pump. "Thank you."
She takes the coins and bounces happily out of the arena to turn the coins in. >>686868
"That wasn't so bad," Amy says to the (possibly) still rabbit Flaming.
Flaming lets out a few huffs as she lets up on her adorable assault on the tengu, stopping only once she hears the whistle blowing. The rabbit stops and turns towards the ghostly looking mare as she descends. "We… we won?"
Flaming relaxes, letting out a huff, "We won!" She looks over at the three golden tokens, her mouth forming an 'oooh' sound as she watches them float over. "Thank you!" She does not give the Tengu the same bow of honor she offered the bear, and then turns up at Amy as she feels her ears getting rubbed>>686870
Flaming's whiskers twitch, and she shivers at Amy petting her. "You can never. EVER. Tell Pryce or anyone else." She crosses her arms, making a very pouty face. "Why didn't YOU turn into a stupid bunny, you like cute stuff… HEY!"
Before she bounces out of the arena with Amy (literally bouncing) she shouts at the Tengu, "How long is this supposed to last for?!"
Amy giggles as she picks Flaming up and embraces her lightly. "Your secret is safe with me."
She then proceeds to put Flaming on her head.
Flaming grunts as she's lightly hugged, still looking rather grumpy for a rabbit as she wiggles in Amy's grasp. "T-thanks. Why a BUNNY, couldn't it have at least been something cool like, a lizard or something?"
She sits down on top of Amy's head, settling down and scratching at her head as she sees her horns. "Huh. At least I got to keep THOSE, that's good. Don't know how much of a buffalo I would be without my horns." She looks down at Amy from atop her head, "Can't wait to see what they have here, the other arena in the first Vimana we landed in had really neat stuff."
"They had stuff?" Amy asks, genuinely surprised.
The tengu shrugs and says something that sounds like a half-assed apology, though you cannot understand his words.>>686874>>686876
As you hop along, Volkama and Zjetya shortly come out of their room. Volkama's rats sit on his shoulder, clutching the three tokens. "Hardly much of a challenge, that."
"If I had to guess, I'd suspect that most of the strongest demons in the city-state have already vacated the premises and are out fighting or looting in the city proper," Zjetya says. "Probably, only those who don't care or are too weak to survive out there are gonna be around here."
"Easier for us then!" Volkama declares.
As you wander the fiercely-decorated stone halls, it strikes you that most of the building's occupants aren't combatants, but rather those who have come here seeking shelter or medical attention. There's evidence that Mocha has been here already, as you see that many of them are wearing clothing similar to the kind that she was wearing and passing around around the Windhill, as well as eating the kind of pastries and dried fruits you remember seeing in the cabin.
The token altar is a large circular room with a dozen grisly-looking altars set up in a circle, taking the shape of a guardian beast, a kind of dragon with eagle-like features, holding a scale in its taloned hands. As you approach one altar, you see a small inscription at the bottom of the altar, listing what you may get for offering tokens.
[Obviously the below is not what the altar literally
says, this is just the short version for clarity]>3 tokens - a magical trinket; unlikely to have much effect in combat unless used very creatively>9 tokens - a magical relic with a minor effect (note that you can only equip 1 relic; switching them takes 2 rounds of combat)>15 tokens - a magical item, relic or weapon with a significant effect>Note that although you cannot specify what you want the reward to exactly be, you can request it to have a particular nature, theme or focus, ie diplomacy, defence, conjuration of items, wilderness survival, etc.
"Hmmmm," Amy grumbles, a little disappointed. "We need more tokens. I at least want a relic. But, I also don't want to hog all the tokens."
"Wanna go again?" Amy asks as she looks up at Flaming on her head.
Shorthorns nods, "Yeah, even had some stuff I recognize from Climbing Fire! I don't know how they got their demon mitts on it but I thought that was cool to see at least.">>686886
Flaming leers at the tengu and gives a few stomps of her rabbit-like feet, turning around without another word and leaving him. "Whatever. As long as it's not permanent.">>686886
As they meet up with Volkama and Zjetya again outside of their room, Flaming gasps and ducks behind Amy's mane to get some cover to avoid being seen, but nonetheless voices out her comments, "Uh, yeah, ours were no big deal either. I just got… shrunk, temporarily but, otherwise we're just fine. Glad that was so easy!"
As they wander up to the alter, Flaming looks around at the many refugees here, smiling as she recognizes Mocha's delicious foods. "Woah. She sure has been busy…" When she looks up at the menu, she taps at her chin,>>686886>>686888
"If we could both get 15, that should REALLY let us get some power that we'll need to take on Tartarus. I'd say lets go on for another one!" She hops enthusiastically.
"Hmm…" Zjetya looks around at the refugees. "Well, this might seem a little lame to a big, brave bunny warrior like yourself, but why don't we see if any of them out there have tokens they're willing to trade for? Could be quicker and easier than just fighting.">>686888>>686886
"Very well, I'm enjoying myself. Much better than being ordered around by Shei in that ship, the little junkie," Volkama says, petting his rats protectively. Flaming catches the rats having a giggle at her expense.
The four of you hop back to the main reception hall and express your desire to fight again to the overseer-demon. "Hee-ho! Go down to 15-D now. It's a simpler match in this room. Knock your opponent to their knees three times and you win."
You head down to 15-D and enter a stone, flame-lit dungeon room much like the one you were in for your previous match. On the other end enter an armored centipede and a small green goblin clothed in ritzy red garb on its back. The centipede is as big as an SUV, and about its length as well.
The ghostly mare peeks her head in. "Have fun, and begin!"
The centipede just sort of stands there menacingly.>Protect on Goblin, Auto Instant>Guardian [1d10+2]
Meanwhile, the goblin points his fingertips at you, and they crackle with dark magic. >Transfix vs Amy [1d10+3]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10
Flaming's long, bunny ears fall down as she's teased by Zjetya, grumbling, "Grrrrm…. PLEASE don't tell anyone else on the ship. Or I'll throw you off of it." She looks at the rats laughing at her next and shouts, "And I'm STILL bigger than you punks so watch it!"
She looks around at the refugees, and nods. "I see…. that's actually not a bad idea. Let's ask around after our next match.">>686891
After healing and thankfully returning to her restore Buffalo form, practically skipping in joy at being back to normal, Flaming goes into the arena and looks on at the huge, armored centipeed and the goblin on its back. "We have to knock THAT thing down to its knees…?! Alright… here it goes!"
[1d10+5] >Charge + All or Nothing
Aimed at the centipede to try and knock it over, "Let's go Amy!"Roll #1 3 + 5 = 8
"What would we trade them for their tokens though?" Amy asks Zjetya before going to the next match.
"That's a big bug…" Amy says, intimidated as she looks up at the scary creature. "That's also a lot of knees." She smiles.
Her tattoos flash as her entire body blasts at both of her opponents.
>Wrath [1d10+3]Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
"That just makes it easier, right? We only need to make it go to one set of knees!"
The centipede stands resilient against your attacks, and lazily throws itself against Flaming's head with a charge of its own. [1d10+4] Slam
The goblin cowers from Amy's flame, allowing the centipede to take the brunt of the attacks. Blue and purple lightning jump from his fingertips, paralyzing Amy and causing her to stumble over, helpless.
>Amy 0/4 (1/3 knockdowns)
Cackling cruelly, the goblin then turns his wicked gaze on Flaming, as swirls of sickly red energy engulf his other hand. [1d10+3] LifestreamRoll #1 6 + 4 = 10
/ Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4
"Okay, that's not fair!" Amy objects angrily as she struggles to her feet. [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Flaming grunts as her head slams into it but to no avail, gasping out a bit, "Woah, this thing is STRONG. Going to need to put a little more muscle into it…"
As sickly red energy gathers in the palm of the goblin, Flaming counters with focusing on her own white energy, praying for her ability to withstand his attacks as she stands her ground>Prayer of Salvation on myself
Chortling and snorting, the goblin kicks at the air with wild glee and mirth at your anger.
You get back up.>>686901
Your white energy blocks the goblin's dark magic and even sets off a reverse reaction, causing it to backfire awfully on the goblin. Snorting in rage, he twirls his fingers and tries to disable your protective field with a storm of black lightning.
The centipede pushes you back with his headbutt, and tries to squish you against the wall next. [1d10+4]>Flaming 3/7Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
/ Roll #2 9 + 4 = 13
Flaming smirks as the white magic of her prayers counter set the goblin's dark magic, ready to slam into him next before she's caught off guard by the centipede that slams her away.
Before she is squished against the wall, she looks up at the incoming centipede's head, "You want to bash heads? Be my guest!" and slams her head into it
[1d10+2] Mantra of Recovery on the centipede
[1d10+5] All or Nothing headbuttRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 + 5 = 8
"You won't be laughing long…" She mutters angrily.
>[1d10+1] to Homing MissilesRoll #1 5 + 1 = 6
You charge one missile.>>686904
The goblin's magic destroys your bolstering white magic, but as he's busy with that, you set another spell on the centipede, healing you just before he can squish you against the wall.
>Flaming 2/6 (went helpless from the hit but healed by Mantra)>Flaming at 1/3 knockdowns>>686904>>686905
The centipede slumps down with a loud snort, apparently quite exhausted and not quite ready to bother with all this battling.>Centipede at 1/3 knockdowns
The goblin looks up in a panic, realizing his situation. He slings more black lightning at Flaming to keep her away from him.
[1d10+2] DeathblowRoll #1 1 + 2 = 3
Amy smiles. "Take this!" she shouts as her magic missile and and another wrath are launched from her body.
>[1d10+1] to launch the magic missile at the goblin>[1d10+3] for wrath to bothRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #2 5 + 3 = 8
[1d10] First rolling for Huge to see if I go helplessRoll #1 5 = 5
Flaming grunts as she's pounded back into the wall, the healing magic of her horns healing her somewhat as she shakes off the injury, looking at the centipede with a smirk as she sees it has fallen down as well. "H-hehe…. see? Told ya. Don't butt horns with a Climbing Fire." She turns to look at the goblin, dodging his lightning as she runs towards him with her horns thrusted out. "That's one down…!"
[1d10+3] All or NothingRoll #1 3 + 3 = 6
The goblin launches a counter-spell, shredding through your missile with a pillar of lighting to shock you.>Amy 2/4
Your wrath singes both combatants, but the centipede doesn't seem to care all that much as it rears back up, the goblin furious and red in the face.>>686912
You knock the smug goblin off his high centipede, causing him to dangle over the side with one foot still caught in the saddle. The centipede swings its weight around, trying to smash at you.
>Goblin 1/3 knockdownsRoll #1 8 + 4 = 12
"You can't knock me down that easily!" Amy says with a grin.
She whips out a potion and drinks it. [1d10+3]Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10
As the Centipede's tail threatens to smash into her once again, Flaming bucks off of the saddle from where she hit the goblin rider, and tries to counter slam into the tail with her head once more
[1d10+5] All or Nothing on centipedeRoll #1 10 + 5 = 15
You heal yourself to 7/5>>686916
You clash several times with the big monster, and although it ultimately knocks you back onto your ass and leaves you with a splitting headache, you see that parts of its armor are beginning to break off.
>Flaming 0/5>Flaming at 2/3 knockdowns
Meanwhile, the goblin regains his senses and climbs back aboard his mount, seething, yet grinning all the same. He tries his sickly red magic on Amy this time.
[1d10+3] LifestreamRoll #1 8 + 3 = 11
>>686918>>686918>Prayer for Salvation activates
Flaming grunts each time her head classes with the mighty tail of the centipede, "Grrr… you're… a tough one, aren't you!" She shouts before her skull finally gives in, screaming as she's knocked tot he other side of the arena on her ass as she shakes her head free of the pain, a small white glow around her body lifting her up and giving her quickened resolve.
She stares up at the Goblin as he charges something meant for Amy, leaping up back towards the centipede and running along its length as she tries to knock him off balance before he fires it
[1d10+3] All or NothingRoll #1 10 + 3 = 13
Amy sees Flaming go down a second time and becomes concerned. "Time to kick it up a notch!" she says, starting to enjoy herself.
>Mystic Animal Totem
She barks at them with white flames. >[1d10+4] for WrathRoll #1 3 + 4 = 7
You get back up again.>>686923
You cook your foes with white flames, but feel your strength leaving you as the goblin's red magic envelops your body. The goblin noticeably grows taller as he drains energy.
The centipede stands around, as if it's lost its train of thought. [Protect, automatic]
Meanwhile, the goblin launches a wave of dark energy at Flaming. [1d10+2] Word of PowerRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
As Flaming stands up, she bends her knees and shakes off her head. "That's two… I only get one more chance." She looks up and sees the goblin firing down at her, and then shouts to Amy, "AMY! We have to team up! Put everything you have into the centipede, and THEN the goblin! We'll take them out 2 on 1 each!" He horns begin to glow a vibrant, striking white
Commandment of Harmony: Once per combat; Automatic; For 3 turns, you and all allies may ignore all Recharge periods, and the DC for all rolls is reduced by 2.
Amy does not falter and merely barks again.
>Wrath [1d10+4]Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7
Amy's white flames protect her from attack, forcing the goblin to steer his centipede around the ring to chase after Flaming again with a shrill, cruel cackle.
[1d10+4] ShatterRoll #1 6 + 3 = 9
/ Roll #2 5 + 4 = 9
"GO DOWN!" she shouts angrily at them, each word creating another wave of flaming holy power.
>Wrath [1d10+4]Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14
[1d10] Rolling HugeRoll #1 2 = 2
Flaming cries out as she charges for the Centipede as well, bringing the full force of her horns upon it in a final charge with all her strength
[1d10+5] DC -2 All or Nothing on the CentipedeRoll #1 9 + 5 = 14
The centipede settles down again, apparently growing quite tired of this hullabaloo. >Centipede 2/3 knockdowns
However, in a display of braznness, the goblin leaps off the back of his mount and blasts Flaming with a full net of black lightning, knocking her to the ground for a third time. He lets up his onslaught, and as he does, another ghostly mare floats through the wall and picks up Flaming. The mare passes through the wall and sets down Flaming on a flat bench to the right of the doorway leading to the arena. "Well, you tried. If your partner can pull it through, then you'll still get the tokens."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVBeTMCKJ5c
Unable to attack Amy directly, the goblin puts his hands together and tries to punch his way through the white fire, covering himself with a dark blue aura.
[1d10+2] SpellbreakerRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
Amy turns back to see Flaming taken off the arena. She grunts angrily. "Don't worry, Flaming. I got this!"
"I WILL NOT BE BEATEN!" she shrieks, her holy flames washing over the enemy like a tide of pain.
>[1d10+5] for Wrath>extra +1 for Crystal Emotions (I remembered!)Roll #1 9 + 5 = 14
Flaming cries out as the goblin slams into her with a fist full of black lightning, the buffalo crying out as she's electrocuted and sent down to her knees once again, letting herself be picked up by the ghost.
As she comes too on the bench, she looks into the arena, "I lost….? I LOST?!" She growls angerly, slamming her head down into the bench in a headbutt before she calls out over to Amy
"Take them down Amy, I know you can do it! Win!"
The goblin's rapid punches clear the white flames, leaving you unprotected. But, your next blast knocks back both the goblin and the centipede against the far doorway. Although the goblin climbs back aboard his mount, he appears to be on his last legs. The centipede charges forward, unabated by the flames.>Goblin 2/3 knockdowns
"Well, don't get so worked up over it. I saw that your friend still had a lot in her, so I think she's got this."Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5
Flaming growls as she sticks her head down. "I HATE to lose. And we really need these coins, too. But, I think you might be right. Look at her GO out there, I could feel the heat she's putting out from outside the stadium if I left."
>>686940>turn 1 of new wolf
As Amy's energy and wolf form fade, she is empowered by Flaming's Commandment. She roars as her body flickers. She grows a little bit as her color gets a little darker. As it her body rests in a pale grey, her tattoos begin to glow a deep black.
She huffs slowly as she exerts herself to keep up with her opponents. "I CAN'T lose here!" she huffs.
She barks at them loudly again, not letting up at them.
>Wrath again! [1d10+4]Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12
"Whatcha need the coins for so badly, if I can ask?">>686944
You push back the worm again. Unable to attack you directly, it rampages about the room, thrashing wildly and attempting to knock over everything in sight in an attempt to get at you.
>roll instant dodge, DC 8 to avoid the mess of debris which the centipede is tossing around the room
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Flaming watches the fight intensely as the centipede begins kicking up the entire arena trying to take down Wolf Amy, looking up at the ghost mare as she answers, "We lost a fight yesterday that nearly cost us our lives, and where we're going next, it's going to be even more dangerous… I was hoping to use these fights to help my friend get a little more confident, but also heard thought it could make us stronger in general. Those relics sound like they'll do the trick."
"JUST. SIT. DOWN!" Amy shouts as she continues her assault.
>Wrath [1d10+4]Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14
Amy focuses her assault all around her as well to push away any debris falling toward her. [1d10] to "dodge"Roll #1 7 = 7
"If that's the case, you may want to try that beard thing that came in recently… supposedly it was shaved off the face of a saint. I guess that could help but you'd look a little silly in it.">>686947>>686948
"Grrrrgh…! Oh, come on, play fair!" the goblin shouts as Amy prepares the final blast. The explosion knocks him and his mount up through the viewing-hole in the arena's ceiling, until they fall down and land somewhere well outside the area. The ghostly mare floats back inside and gives Amy three tokens. "Good job. You guys are really crushing it for a pair of mortal weenies. You and those other two that came with you, for that matter."
As Amy manages to shoot out a final wave of a bark that sends both of their opponents up and out through hole of the arena, Flaming looks on in shock, smiling widely as she skips and hops out of her bench area towards the wolf-ified pony. "YESS! You did it! I knew you could Amy, way to go!" She shouts in glee as she runs up and bonks her head into Amy's leg congratulatory.
She turns and looks at the ghostly mare and raises her brow, "Wait… what? 'Beard thing'? What 'beard thing', you mean some kind of prize for the tokens?"
Amy huffs and puffs heavily as she reverts and shrinks back to pony form. Once her body is back to normal, she doubles over onto her knees and throws up some black goop.
Once she is done throwing up, she wipes her mouth and lets out a victorious shout to the sky. She then hobbles out of the arena, completely fatigued.
Amy curiously pokes at the ghost's chest as she talks to her. "Thanks!" she suddenly perks up and stops poking the ghost. "But, I'm a girl," she adds as if she's correcting something the ghost said.>>686947
"That was a good fight!" Amy says with a very fatigued laugh, giving Flaming a half-hearted headbutt to Flaming's head.
Amy backs off as she sees Amy hock up some bile, and cringes. "Ewwww… Amy, are you alright? You must have been exhausted after shouting that much!" She bows her head, "I'm sorry I wasn't much help at the end, but, it looks like my last bit of magic helped in the end. You were incredible out there, my throat would be sore after something like that."
She looks at their three new coins. "A few more and we should be able to get something good, but before we do another fight, I'm thinking we should take Zjetya's advice and ask if anyone isn't gonna use theirs anymore."
*Flaming backs off
"Yeah, it's a very strange artifact we've gotten recently in a raid on a few temples out in Nibbuta. Supposedly, it came from the face of a saint. You two sound like foreigners, based on your accents. But, in a lot of religions, the body parts and bones of saints are highly revered, because they can perform miracles."
You pick up Zjetya's and Volkama's voices over the din of chatter and combat. As you look down the hall, you see them talking with Evil's Judgment, and an orange goo pony in a blue gi. You recognize him as Sir Estuary, whom you met in Fantasia Palace, as a traveling companion of Mister Friendly and Freischutz.
"I totally couldn't have done that without your power, Flaming," Amy says as she pats Flaming on the back. "Shortyhorns," she adds after a moment.
"I'm fine," Amy says with a laugh and a wave of her hoof. "That's, wasn't a fatigue barf. That was a negative barf."
She laughs and points at the black goop on the ground that came from her mouth. "You think that's a normal color?"
She sighs. Or just breaths heavily from fatigue. "Yeah, we should probably get some coins faster somehow. That was rough."
Flaming blushes and smiles a bit as she's pat on the back, looking at Amy with a welling of pride as she congratulates her. "Thanks… but this was totally your victory, Amy. You should be proud." She snickers, "Still having trouble saying my nick name? You remember I said I don't mind either, right?"
As you explain what the barf was, Flaming glares, "ANY kind of barf is bad Amy," she looks at the bile, and cringes, "ESPECIALLY black barf, that's definitely not a normal color… wait, were you eating a lot of black food?"
"What? No!" Amy says, waving her hooves.
"Have I not explained it before?" Amy cocks her head. "I mean, I threw it all up on Shei that one time the other day. It's… well I'm not really sure. I mean, it's my negativity. Through my meditation, I learned how to literally force my emotions out of me. I use them for my attacks. It… really doesn't feel good coming out, though."
"I'll be honest, though…" Amy says, looking back at the black goo on the ground. "I'm not sure how exactly I made it able to turn into a like actually physical thing…"
Flaming winces, "Oh… yeah, I DO remember that but, I just thought you were sick at the time. You WERE kind of going through a lot and, throwing on Shei I thought was just your body's way of coping." She looks and turns at the black goop, her eyebrows raising. "So, what you're saying then is, that, that barf is literally your emotions? Your bad ones like anger and stuff?" She goes over to inspect the goop, dare not touching it.
"That's really weird… how about AFTER it comes out, do you feel better? You'd have to be right?" As you comment on not knowing how you did it, she asks, "Did Ego do it?"
"Yeah, I usually feel a lot better after."
"But, If Ego has something to do with it, I don't think she does it on purpose. I mean, I learned how to do that specifically to control myself back when I didn't understand I had a demon in me. So… it kind of ruins her fun."
Amy shrugs. "You can go ahead and touch it," she says as she pokes at it. "It's gross, but it also disappears pretty fast. Since it's… you know… not supposed to be real."
As she pokes at it, the substance appears to start evaporating. As it evaporates off her hoof, some brown residue is left behind. Amy jumps and wipes her hoof on the ground quickly. "Ew ew ew. Okay maybe some of that WAS me being tired," she laughs.
Flaming looks up in surprise as you admit it's safe to touch, and, not wanting to appear cowardly, dares to do so, only giving it a light prod of her hoof as it begins evaporating. As it evaporates entirely, she jumps back from the brown residue, laughing at Amy as she scrapes her hoof on the ground. "Pfffffhahahah! I THOUGHT it was gonna be gross underneath!"
She chuckles as she makes sure she didn't get anymore on her own hoof, "I guess I'll wait to touch it next time. So, that's how you got rid of all your negative emotions back when you were having to control yourself? I guess I never saw you THAT angry before Shei made you that angry, you never got mad at me or anyone before that since I met you. You sure it's safe just getting them out like that? I usually just stomp stuff if I'm mad."
Amy laughs. "Of COURSE it's not safe! Have you MET me? I'm insane!"
"I got pretty angry at that Orcus demon sheep guy," Amy contemplates. "I got all wolfy and I couldn't control myself. I remember I threw it up so much I used it like a laser out of my mouth when I turned back into a pony. When I have enough of it and I have enough power going, I can make it a a really strong weapon. But, that's usually when I can't control myself. Which is also when I REALLY need to do it."
Flaming smiles, "Oh, right. Heh… I guess I almost forgot who I was talking too. That makes more sense then."
As she flashes back to the Orcus fight, she opens her eyes wider, "OH! So that was the same thing only, focused into a form of attack? So it doesn't HAVE to be barf. Huh…" she rubs at her chin. "So, it's really not too different from when you let all your rage into an attack… well, I understand the need to get it out of you. And if you could put it into something useful, might as well. Still," she winces at the barf, "That way is kind of gross still, though. I think you should try banging your head into something next time and see if that does it."
"Hehe, well my head isn't as hard as yours," Amy says, rubbing Flaming's head.
Post sheets. This marks the continuation of session 145 for Amy and Shei. The very last post of the previous session is being redacted and it will continue with an updated version to reflect Shei's last action.
Last time on HQ…
Amy and Shei, in spirit form, found Metatron as he headed toward the sheep embassy, where Mudi was apparently "collecting shades," according to Vizsla. When it seemed that Metatron sensed them, the Phomesa revealed herself as a distraction to placate the terrible angel.
Eventually, they reached the embassy, and traveled downward to the second basement level. Previously, it was there that they saw a thousand mortals who had willingly sacrificed their lives to the angels in the hope of salvation. The corpses had undergone the same mutations that Asa had, resulting in their bodies turning into a strange substance that was both squishy and fragile, exposing black smoke underneath, that was presumably their soul.
Mudi was in the back of the room, trying to placate a group of these black souls, when Metatron and the party arrived. An argument between her and Metatron revealed that she had captured part of Mirror Image's soul, presumably in a crystal or other vessel. Now, the challenge would be to get the other half, and escape once again.
>Shei's last post>A look of desperation flashes through Shei-Sher's face He looks to Mudi and then looks back to Amy and then back to Mudi. Indecisive. And then back to Amy. his teeth gritted.
>"Amy you're killing me." Shei-Sher runs out of the cloak, and out of the Phomesa's shroud. The Vae Victus manifests in Shei-Sher's grip and he strikes at Metatron.>Vae Victus
>Shei-Sher yells "MUDI DO SOMETHING!"
Metatron turns in surprise and throws up his forehoof in defense. The arrowhead of the Vae Victus clashes with a solid barrier of static, grating and sending sparks into the air. It's Metatron's White Noise Barrier, and it's even stronger than what Miracle had.
Mudi gasps. "Shei, STOP!"
As the black fog reaches the far end of the room, several small white, pony-shaped wisps appear behind Mudi. They're Shades, and she crouches in front of them with one hoof stretched protectively to the side. With a gulp, she looks between them and Metatron.
Metatron remains silent, but locks eyes with Shei, his blurry face unreadable.
As Mudi is distracted by Shei's attack, Amy rushes up to her and grabs the piece of Mirror out of her hooves.
"I need this," she says as she yanks it away, and starts running.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Shei-Sher remains standing before Metatron. The depth of Shei's error now coming into view. Shei-Sher return's Metatron gaze.
Shei-Sher affirms himself to speak boldly "I could not resist interfering. The lives of everyone I cherish is at stake. Why are you doing this? Why not leave our humble world alone to descend in peace."
As you touch the black smoke surrounding Mudi, a searing pain rips through your body; you stop floating and instead hit the ground running, completely back in your own physical form, with your possessions returned to you as well. Mudi does nothing to stop you as you take the crystal. "I'm sorry it had to be this way. She's on the north side of the lake."
As you grab the crystal and start to run back up the stairs to the exit, you remember the tainted atmosphere of the Birdcage.>If you exit, roll 1d5 for holding your breath; you can use objects such as cloth to protect your mouth if you have them in your inventory>>688319
Like with Amy, you are also forcibly returned to your physical form by the strange black fog.
Metatron disregards your words and glances quickly back at Mudi, as if expecting another attack. Instead, Mudi remains still, face dripping in a cold sweat. With a visible gulp, she steps forward three paces. She kneels and lowers her hooves before her, then bends and kowtows to Metatron.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbaYgKfBqk8
"Metatron, please… let the Shades and us go," Mudi says, voice shaking. "If not us, then at least the Shades. They had nothing to do with this; they offered themselves to the angels based on a false hope of salvation that Miracle never delivered. Shei is right: You gain nothing by killing us now. And if you still want to destroy anyone, then destroy me. I am to blame for why Shei and his companions came here in the first place. Allow me to die for them. But, not yet.
"I endeavor to build a kingdom of peace through the powers that lay within Tartarus. On the chance that I succeed, then I will meet you on the field of battle at a time and place of your choosing. Even if I face you at full power, I know full well that I will not last even a minute against you. And when I am defeated, I will accept the judgment that's been awaiting me for a long time. But please, not now."
Metatron's impassive face starts showing small signs of exhaustion. "Oh, both of you, just shut up."
"Shei, this is ridiculous," Amy tries to say to him loud enough that he hears, but under the conversation. "Just c'mon. Let's get out of here!"
"Mudi.." Shei-Sher is blown away by the words coming from Mudi's mouth.
Shei-Sher turns back to the Phomesa and Amy "Go.. Metatron is still deciding."
Shei-Sher goes on his knees and prostrates himself before Metatron.
Amy stares at Shei with a combination of annoyance and apprehension. She bites her lip in thought.
"I'm only leaving because you told me to… I trust you, Shei… Please don't die.">>688321
Amy jumps on the Phomesa. "Take me to the lake, please," Amy asks it awkwardly.
[1d5] for holding breathRoll #1 1 = 1
Metatron is silent for quite a while, then in an instant, starts to crack up. "That look… it's just so perfect. It's just so damn crafted and scripted and contrived. The angels were right! The cycle of the world never changes. People make mistakes, then they run from them, then they try to foist the blame and responsibilities onto someone else. Mortals, gods, demons, angels– we're all guilty of it, over and over and over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER!
It never changes! And every generation, the false messiahs crop up, spouting cliche lines lifted from holy books and cobbled together superstition. They promise a quick and easy salvation: Just give me all your power and money and females and attention, and I'll make the whole problem go away, quick and clean! Priests, charlatans– even Buiwong, for all his crap about justice and the natural order of the cosmos, his entire case was predicated upon this messiah complex bullshit.
"The question every time is, do you really believe your own drivel, or do you at least have the integrity to recognize how your simplistic, black-white morality isn't going to truly fix these eternal problems?"
Mudi remains silent, face pale. Metatron clenches a hoof.>>688324
The Phomesa quickly wraps her scarf around your face, giving you a little more insurance against the disease-bearing dust. (+4 turns)
"You," Metatron calls from behind. "Just take the damn soul. I don't care anymore. Leave the body, what's left of it… I need to bury it."
The Phomesa kicks off into the sky and flies over the lake as fast as she can. (Roll perception)
Amy stares at Metatron before she leaves. For that briefest of moments, she doesn't feel terrified of Metatron. She feels sad. She frowns.
"I understand," she says with a grim nod, then flies away.
As she flies, she looks around for the rest of Mirror in the haze of the glass and destruction. [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
The hairs rasie on Shei-Sher on every word Metatron speaks. "If I may speak.. I believe I understand. We live in a romance. Our love for life creates catastrophe and our hate for it frees it. We live in ignorance as we roam seperated from Y'dryth it's only to be expected of a mortal. Errors corrected are beautiful stories of redemption, but they are made redundant by forgetfulness. The things we always knew were true become forgotten as a generation must walk the new cycle. But is it truely such an ignoble thing, what we are? Is it truly? We are trying, it is recognized, so we dance the mortal coil.. Just know.. Mudi.. Metatron if you care. This world cannot be ruled by tyrants. That was our folly, it shall not be repeated. I dream that our world can be lifted from disgrace. It is not enough to protect our home. We must redeem it."
You see a trail of carnage amidst the smoke: The remains of a large metal body lay strewn across the streets, with black wiring and white metal laying in broken chunks everywhere. You point it out to the Phomesa, and she dives down to the street level. Mirror's body, what little is left of it, is broken and twisted, and the damage indicates the extent to which Metatron must have battered it after the fact.
But, curiously, you see the core: A circular gemstone as big as a filly, laying, undamaged, on the ground beneath a few roof tiles. It's unclear why Metatron would so deliberately leave it intact, when Mirror stated that its destruction was the only way to truly kill an angel.>>688328
Metatron starts muttering partway through the speech. "Shut up, shut up, shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP!"
Then, a long pause.
"Don't let another bit of this talk of redemption out of your mouth unless you're going to back it up. I'll not hear another word from someone ELSE who thinks he knows how to save the world."
Metatron turns and starts to walk away. "If you survive Tartarus… I'll see you both again."
Shei-Sher stands up once Metatron takes his leave. Shei ambles to Mudi "Well then.. There is something about an Angel that can make one feel they are talking from their ass."
"Say Mudi, I thought you were not able to leave your little dimension? And yet here you stand."
Shei-Sher thinks to ask before Metatron totally leaves. "Metaton? Forgive me for pushing my luck but.. I would like to know. What drives you. When you are a being of your status. What is your reason for going on?"
Pupil takes advantage of the moment to Appraise Metatron.
[1d10] AppraiseRoll #1 3 = 3
Amy begins to panic as she approaches the body, not sure how to take the soul out. "Ummmm," she says to the Phomesa. "Do you know what to do?"
Amy takes the half of the soul she has and holds it up to the core. "Come on, don't you want to be whole?" she asks the core.
[1d10] to suck the souls together or somethingRoll #1 5 = 5
Mudi stands, face drenched in sweat. "Throughout all of that… nothing. That's what I amounted to before him."
She slowly starts to count up the Shades assembled behind her. "That was not a lie… at the time that I told you that. When my sister dragged me up here, I sensed a terrifying quantity of spirit energy lingering around the embassy. A thousand lives, all voluntarily snuffed out in a single moment. All these people here sacrificed themselves to empower Miracle. But, after she died, their sacrifice, their Pact, was empty. Worthless. And because of the unfulfilled Pact, their souls were ripe for being mutated by Metatron's energy, as you doubtlessly saw with the hunters.
"So, I… panicked. I thought, well, if I was able to hold all of that power myself without dying, it wasn't unreasonable to think that someone else hypothetically could, if it was proportional to the power that they normally held. So, I redistributed it to some of the Shades, and the Drawings, in tiny pieces they could handle. I got out as quickly as I could to try to help some of these people who sacrificed themselves. I tried to take them into the cartoon world at first, but it didn't stop the transformation. So, the only thing I could do was to turn them into Shades. By fundamentally altering the structure of the soul, it's freed them from transforming. I'm sorry I had to break my agreement with Amy, but I never thought I'd be able to use a spell as wicked as Lifedrain to actually save someone from a worse fate.">>688336
"To get someone –mortals, the Devas, Y'idryth– to stop running and take responsibility for this whole damn mess," Metatron says vaguely as he heads upstairs and leaves the building.>>688338
A purple swirl starts to form between the core and the crystal, and the light within the core dwindles, until it eventually vanishes, filling the crystal.
(4 turns of air left)
The Phomesa tugs at your arm anxiously.
"I know," Amy says to the Phomesa. "We're running out of time. But, we gotta go get Shei. Take me back to him. Hopefully his whole problem is fixed."
[1d10] if you need itRoll #1 5 = 5
>>688342>but I never thought I'd be able to use a spell as wicked as Lifedrain to actually save someone from a worse fate.
"That is funny. When I had it, I often time needed to use my power for Control to quell the madness of fledging half-demons."
"I assumed as much for you. At the least, that whatever business you had collecting souls again. It was mostly benign. Amy is taking it all quite personally however."
Shei-Sher takes the ice key out from his coat. "I have this with me. Let us regroup and then we may focus on assembling Mirror Image at your cabin."
You fly back across the lake, and feel your lungs starting to strain ever so slightly. Below, by the entrance of the embassy, you see Vizsla sitting around glumly, with a pile of metal limbs by her. You recognize them as belonging to the four hunters who willingly got angelic prosthetic body parts, Asa, Basileus, Cartesi and Dianxin. >>688347
"I understand why she would. It was a test to see if I could be trusted to hold to my word. It's something anyone would do if someone of my horrible reputation started asking to be handed a bunch of power and made a mes– er, a hero. And, it's a cottage, not a cabin."
She looks at the ice key. "Right, Vizsla. She was incredibly sad at how little Metatron entertained her attacks. He hardly took so much as a swing at her, even though she was really putting a dent in him. I can feel her disappointment from here. Literally. There's magatsuhi in the freaking air."
Amy continues to hold her breath as she flies back to Shei.
"Cottage, cabin, they are synonyms" Shei retorts "And come now. You were about to say that word. You make Metatron's words stab deeper when you corroborate his points like this. Certainly I've never had fantasies.. I still sometimes do infact. But power for it's own sake is more virtuous than for the sake of adulation."
>There's magatsuhi in the freaking air."
"Yes. I can taste it. The Blood Moon's was more decadent though."
>>688353>Certainly I've never had fantasies
"Certainly I've had fantasies"
Amy, Shei, Vizsla and Mudi regroup within the second basement floor of the embassy, with Vizsla dragging in her collection of prosthetic limbs. She melts part of her left arm and splashes Amy and the Phomesa, wiping off the dust from their bodies with chilly water.
"You'll want to get a more thorough cleaning later, Amy" Vizsla warns. "That stuff is truly horrid, but thankfully I am beyond such needs as breathing."
Mudi looks sadly at Amy, then at Shei. "The ice key, please."
"Of course." Shei-Sher takes the Ice Key out once more and uses it on a nearby door.
"Am I not infected?" Amy asks Vizsla, genuinely surprised. "I figured I'd have to cure myself."
Then, Amy shakes her head. "I don't know why either of you are being so nice to me. You must know the deal is off."
"So far, it seems like it's transmitted mostly through breathing in the dust, or having it fall into an existing, open wound. Simply having it touch the skin doesn't seem to be enough to contract the disease it carries. Which is why it works best when the victim is panicking and thus, not concentrating on holding their breath.">>688358https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5yLqkO4Cp4
"Look, Amy, I get it," Mudi begins with a sigh. "I really get it. I understand. If the tables were turned, I'd be on the same page as you are. I broke my agreement because I thought that doing so could help someone. It did–" she gestures at the small Shades gathering around her legs. "But that's not the point. It was a test to see under what conditions I would break my word. And anyone who breaks their word just because they think they're doing the right thing is, intentions aside, an untrustworthy and dangerous person. Especially if they have a warped system of morality, or if they ever become obsessed with a twisted form of 'justice.' ESPECIALLY
if it's someone of my current position, let alone the position I'd be in if I were to get the power I'm seeking.
"You can walk away right now if you want. I don't mind it. All I ask is that you just let me have the Garment. That's the one thing I need from you."
Amy stares at Shei. Her body fluctuates between various shades of purple, but her face remains flat with a touch of disdain. Her tattoos glow ever-so-slightly. She looks to Shei, then back to Mudi.
"I want to know why," she says simply.
Shei becomes a bit nervous when Amy looks to him. He doesn't say a word and continues to listen.
"I had to do it– just look at them," Mudi says, gesturing back down to the room where the sacrifices lay. Out of the broken, mutated bodies, pillars of smoke form and move about aimlessly. "They sacrificed themselves to Miracle in exchange for a salvation that never came. Their souls were branded by the Pact, and when it went unfulfilled, Metatron's mere presence was enough for them to mutate into the monsters that you see here. I was able to save a few before they transformed by turning them into Shades and moving them into my world. Turning a soul into a Shade fundamentally re-writes the nature of the soul, and it was just enough to free them of the Pact."
"I'm not happy about breaking our agreement. I never should have made it, but as I was telling Shei, I never imagined a situation in which it could be used to save someone rather than exploit them, as he was telling me about his Control spell."
Shei-Sher remains silent, waiting on Amy's deliberation.
Amy stares at Mudi for over a minute without saying anything. A progressively increasingly frustrated look crosses her face.
"I HATE this!" she suddenly blurts out. "I hate it. I hate it. I hateitIhateitIhateitIhate! This is why I hate lies. This is why I hate broken promises! I can't tell! I can't tell how much you're saying to make me feel better and how much you actually believe. I hate not knowing. And, it makes me hate you!"
Amy groans loudly. "I know you probably don't know any way to fix them. But, if I'm going to trust you again, we need to find a way. Not now. But, once we're done with all of this, it needs to be OUR top priority. I know, you'll have a world to help. But, we need to fix this."
Amy steps forward and gets in Mudi's face. "That's what happens when you mess up. You fix it. Understand?" she says in a fierce tone. As she does, she bares sharp canine teeth uncomfortably close to Mudi's face. The same teeth that ate her sister.
Mudi doesn't retaliate, but stares Amy steadily in the eye. "What the hell do you think I've been trying to do this entire time?" she asks, empty of sarcasm or snark.
"Mudi's on her way to being a regular savior already," Vizsla says cynically. "She already has her crucifixion all planned out. I wonder if it'll be enough?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Mudi growls at Vizsla.
"I'm just not sure if your redemptive math is as accurate as you think it is."
"Just shut up! This is exactly what Metatron meant. There's nothing to be gained in SAYING we're going to save the world. I'm going to actually do it, and then I'm going to save the Shades, and then I'm going to protect the new thousand year kingdom of peace from Metatron and the end of the world!" Mudi screams.
Vizsla laughs and bites her lip. "We'll let the demons be the judge of that."
Amy looks between Vizsla and Mudi with a grimace. "If your plan is to use Vizsla to make me want to defend you… It's working," she says, suddenly changing her tone to a more bubbly one.
"It's not about redemption," Amy says to Vizsla. "It's just about making things better. No one has to kill themselves. That doesn't help anything."
"As long as you want to fix this…" Amy says, looking to Mudi. "I guess that's enough."
"I don't know if I have to say this, but as a fellow terrible person trying to do better, I think I should give this advice: keep strict rules on yourself. When you know something is wrong, just don't do it. No matter how much of a good idea it seems, just assume you don't know enough to determine whether or not it's good. Just go with your rules. At least at first."
"I guess that's why I get so mad when ponies do bad things. I forget not everyone is being as strict on themselves as I am. But, I guess maybe they should be…" Amy laughs. It seems like she's drifted off and is more just talking to herself now.
Shei-Sher is a slight embarassed at Amy's behavior, because he's aware than with the power gap between her and Mudi, the witches are being very gratuitous.
Again Shei cringes but with some derision at Mudi's outburst "I wonder if I come across as narcissistic as this."
"I'm not such a conspirator that I can make my own sister work against me to– to confuse you into– er, well, to make her do anything, really," Mudi says. "Even I can't control her."
"I'm not the one you have to convince on that redemption thing…" Vizsla adds.
"I guess that's a good idea," Mudi says in response to your rules, but she seems… unconvinced.>>688375
"Yes," Vizsla says.
With that, you take again to the realm of ice, and make your way back to the cottage in the cartoon world.
"How is it narcissistic to want to help people!?" Amy snaps at Shei.
"Because Mudi is seeking to capitalize on their adulation."
Last time on HQ…
Flow had gone back to Gegenschein to discuss the matter of his bounty, and the assassin known as the Hooded Rider. Still, there was the matter of Tartarus to deal with. Flow had hunted the Voir Dire because Hope had believed the bounty would yield a useful relic. It had, and this could give the party an edge in Tartarus.
But, Flow's experience as a hunter and fighter are telling him that the party is still woefully under-equipped for the task. Given by what is said about Tartarus in superstition and folklore, the dark beasts that make the land their home could overwhelm the party as easily as a blizzard overwhelms those foolhardy enough to travel into it. To survive it, they would need far more than their current preparations; they would need knowledge, and they would need more allies. It wouldn't matter whether they were mortal or demon, friend or foe. Mudi's plan, if successful, would give everyone protection against horrors such as Metatron and Miracle.>>688469
"Ah yes, we did take care of that. Well, I did. The others were not so keen on it. But I insist on it every time."
Gegenschein clears his throat. "Well, old boy, I have to say, I wonder how the rest of your team is doing. The spies we sent to Mariposa have sent some unsettling reports. Demons, notorious for chaos, infighting and being uncontrollable, have been sighted as cooperating in large numbers toward some common goal. Do you know what is going on in there?"
Flow crosses his arms and lets out a deep sigh.
"Yeah. Some angels have decided to stir up some trouble there, and one of the big players, Metatron, brought down some real pain on the city. We saw it first-hand. If it weren't for the help of another angel we were sent to rescue, we woulda been…" he shudders, "I don't even know what woulda happened."
He shakes his head.
"Point is, real bad shit's going down."
"Ah, I see." Gegenschein claps you supportively on the shoulder, but appears troubled himself. "I've never been sure how to respond in times like this. My education as an Ecclesian, indeed as an Accorsian, tells me that whatever damned beings the judgment was for surely deserved it. If not, they'd have been taken to the New Kingdom along with the chosen. But as a griffon, as a mere fellow living being who was left behind on this world… it's nothing I can make sense of. It's destruction without a purpose."
"Now, what of the demons living there? Is it safe to assume they're on the move, or have they made a stand in the city-state?"
"That, I'm unsure of. As soon as we managed to escape, we had erm…gone to this hall, where all these demon lords had met. I can't really remember the details, because I was offered a job by an old friend of mine: to hunt down Voir Dire. If I were to harbor a guess, I'd say that they're trying to find a way to kick Metatron out, but, I haven't a clue at what's really going on. Hell, even if they were to try and mobilize against him, they wouldn't stand much of a chance. Call it, "hunter's intuition," I suppose. They lack the proper power to get rid of him, let alone wear his strength down."
"It's a damn shame, too, what with all these plans and schemes we're getting wrapped up in, this is just another problem we're forced to face."
As you talk, Gegenschein flags down a nearby supply cart, and retrieves some waterskins and cups, pouring you a drink. "Awful business. I can't offer any sympathy to demons. Still… between you and me, I can only hope such suffering is mercifully quick."
"Schemes and plans, eh? Do tell, boy, I thought you were only a hunter, not a politician."
Flow smiles and downs the glass in one quick swig.
"Aye, I am a hunter, and I certainly wish I could do it full time nowadays, what with business being so plentiful. Demons certainly are more challenging than us mortals… But alas, there've been plans floating around to give us an edge over these demons, such as going to Tartarus itself…which believe me, is a damn suicide mission.">"No amount of numbers can possibly complete the kind of task we're going to do, it's just not possible!">>"Aye lad, they've been forced to play on our turf, but if we gotta fight em on theirs? We're in for a right beating, we are…"
"My thoughts exactly…literally. Empowering a bloody witch won't do us any good…I don't trust that wench, not one damn bit."
Shei explained the JOY and withdrawal problems to Mocha, and she quickly retrieved River and Pryce from the qilin village so that he could be treated. River had regained her composure from earlier, and although she glared at Shei while she prepared the barracks, there was an imperceptible weakening in her fury over his use of JOY.
Time passed as the ship flew to Fantasia. It's been over eleven hours since Shei consumed the JOY dose, and as the high fades, the onset of withdrawal is near, caressing gently at the corners of his senses. In the barracks, a single bed has been segregated and pushed to the back of the room. River, Pryce, Zjetya and Renee sit at the other end, a few feet away from Shei.
"Alright," River begins heavily. "I'm going to get some shut-eye. Zjetya will keep track of time with this hourglass I picked up in Vitral. Three hours before the deadline, she will wake me up so I have enough time to get focused, evaluate the symptoms and prepare to treat you. Renee will assist me, although the procedure is as simple as forcing a pill down your throat. I'm not taking any chances with time, since I can't be exactly sure when the drug will take your life.
"I don't know what you'll see while the withdrawal unfolds. What you perceive is not a mere dream or a hallucination. JOY is nasty. Vindictive. The nightmares are a sign that the drug itself is working its way back from your body, through your brain, into your psyche. It's going to try to tear up as much furniture as it can up there, not to torture you, but to convince us to give you another hit of JOY. Keep yourself as clean and untouched as you can, as the things you see may indeed damage you permanently.">>688492
"Tartarus? Ahh, Galton was right after all. She'd had inklings that business pertaining to that was going on, after we'd seen some demons scouring ruins. Interrogation yielded information on one young miss Mudi. Is this the witch you refer to?"
The three goos nod their heads.>>"Aye lad, the bloody witch gives me the creeps, what with her damn unusual fookin dimension n crap…"
"Only reason I'm going is to hunt demons, nothing more."
Pryce sits the others as River explains the plans for the night and dealing with Shei's sickness.
"Is there anything you need me to do to help out?"
He asks as River doesn't mention his name.
When Shei had explained to Mocha his situation he hoped she could of simply let him go to the village, but things transpired otherwise and Shei fears everyone on the ship might hear his agony.
Shei-Sher sits at the edge of the bed set aside for him. Head hung low and holding it with his hooves, as he dreads the moment he slips away into the dragging pressure underneath his temples.
Gegenschein grins like a knife, crooked and shiny. "Why, lad, I've got quite a mind to join you then, and the good Doctor Galton is quite the occultist herself. It sounds like a most dangerous venture. How about it? Allow us to join you on behalf of Ecclesia, and in exchange, I will forward to you whatever literature I find on the Hooded Rider.">>688499
"Take alternating rests with Zjetya, and help keep a written record of how many hours have passed, to make sure we do this on time." She leans in and starts whispering. "I want to get as much time out of this as I can. Later, you may have to strap him to the bed, depending on how much the process affects his nervous system.">>688501
"I think what I hate most about what you did was the attitude behind it," River adds, her voice low. "'I can do anything and it'll be alright. The healer will come save me.' 'It doesn't matter how much danger I'm in. The healer will make everything right.' 'The healer would never deny me; I can be as reckless with my life and everyone else's as I damn well please!'"
She stops and huffs. "And damn it all to hell, you're right. You've got me in a bind here. I can't do anything about the oaths I took up. Even so: Take every second of what you see to heart. Now, lay down. Try to relax. And don't give me a fucking word of backtalk."
Flow raises an eyebrow.
"You sure about that? No doubt, we might not even make it back alive, or in one piece.">>"Ah, don't be that way, lad. The more the merrier! As long as we've got dedicated demon pulverizers, those fookin beasts down under won't know what hit em!">"He's right. We should be accepting whatever help we can get. It's not like we know much about this new mark we're after, as well. It's a win-win situation!"
Flow sighs and nods.
"Well, who am I to deny the help of a skilled fighter such as yourself?"
Pryce nods at the order.
("…I can't blame you for wanting that, but does it gets that bad? Those JOY victims before looked like they could barely move.")
He whispers back.
He looks to Zjetya.
"Do you want to rest first, or watch first?"
Shei-Sher would like to justify his actions, but doesn't say a word. She is right after all. He just wasn't thinking about failure, he didn't take anything else into consideration.
Shei lies down into the bed, trying to relax.
"Excellent! I shall have to inform the whole Choir of this business. I'm sure they'll hate me and you for it. But that's all part of the fun, of course. And besides, if this Mudi is untrustworthy, I can't stomach the idea of losing you folks to her down there."
He offers his claw to shake.>>688507
"We encountered them at the end of the withdrawal stage, when they were near death. The convulsions and mania typically peak between hours 14 through 18."
Zjetya rubs her head. "Well, I'm not that tired. I was going to stay up and read for a bit."
"Want to play cards?" Renee asks.>>688508
Having carefully cleaned the hazmat suit earlier, River slips into it, and pulls the blanket up to your chin. She opens her mouth to say more, but a scratching of many voices overlapping is all that you hear. An invisible weight descends over your mouth, slithering and alive, and colors peel apart into the misty vapor of dreams.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxQ3GxtZtE4
A light. The growl of old magitech. Heavy, musty clothing. You feel wooden boards beneath your hooves, drowning in too-bright lights all above. You've returned to a well-familiar theatre stage, in Mr'uthgar. The orchestra is half-heartedly strumming and tuning instruments, and through the blinding light, you see suggestions of shapes in the audience. A full house. Your head swims.
"You really are a rare breed, my friend. I'm certain my band of misfits has already caught the eye of a few Choir members. What's the harm in getting a few more bad glances at us?"
He shifts his hand into a claw to give him a proper claw shake, but pauses before he can clasp his gooey claw around his.
"I have another proposition for you."
"Sounds like a rough sigh. Glad we stopped it from happening anymore, aside from Shei here."
"I thought you couldn't read?" Pryce questions, "Er, n-not to be rude."
"Sure, I could do a round or two."
Shei-Sher meanders about the theatre room, drowsily ambling past the blurry figures amongst the stage.
Shei-Sher makes his way through, trying to get behind the curtains and out of view.
"More, eh? Alright, let's have it: What do you have in mind?" Gegenschein asks, truly surprised.>>688518
"Well, Rus was going to give me a reading lesson, starting with the alphabet. She used to read the books right to me, but while I enjoy her bombastic narrations, I'd like to be able to do it myself."
Renee digs a pack of cards out of her bag, but in her attempt to shuffle, all of them spill to the floor. "Ah… 52 pickup.">>688519
Whenever you step out of the light, the scene's background warbles and fumbles. It isn't until you are free of the harsh light that you can see that the theater is decrepit and crumbling. The red stink of rot and rust hang everywhere, dizzying and permanent. The floors and walls are filthy, alternatively made of both metal and a dry, leathery substance, riddled with small holes that resemble insect hives.
At the end of the hall, you find an exit, leading to the metal dias upon which the theatre is built. The sky is black and curving.
"I've already expressed my displeasure with having Mudi in control, obviously. I have an ulterior motive for going into Tartarus."
He reaches into his coat, and retrieves the tent peg.
"I'm on a witch hunt. And this thing is perfect for the job. My good friend also expressed his displeasure at the thought of Mudi gaining any power down in Tartarus, so, we decided that the only thing she'll be getting, is a spike through her chest. An insane plan, I know. But I think I can manage. What I need, is to get close to her, which is difficult on its own. I just need to make sure whoever we go in with, doesn't try and stop me. Hell, a little help would be more than appreciated.">"Obviously, Ecclesia would have a hard time resisting Mudi, should she try and do anything with that newfound power of hers, so this could be…insurance against that. Now we can't let just anyone know about this, Flow seems to trust you, and so do I. Heck, I'm sure not even the Choir should know about this plan just yet…"
"The point is, I'm gonna make sure that bloody witch stays in Tartarus. A dirty job, I know, but an important one."
"I could help you with a few lessons, if you need anything more grounded."
Pryce reaches down to help pick up the cards, but stops.
"Hmm, let me try something."
Pryce fans out a wing over the cards, trying to see if he has the control enough to quickly pull them into one stack.>[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Shei looks on for a moment, but that snapshots of the scene live on as he averts his gaze. His sensations warbling as he feels the urge to regurgitate. Shei runs down to the end of the hall and pushes out the exit door.
Barging through the exit Shei looks all around him, taking in the surroundings. "…This is a dream." Shei says with recognition, he soon recollects himself and realizes what's happening. He wonders if he could just fly far into the sky until he woke up. That always seems to work, but maybe he wouldn't want to be awake.
Shei-Sher finds his way off the Dias and ambles down the Mr'uthgar streets.
"I see. Well, too much for one, as they say. I won't tell anyone just yet. But, I need more details before I can agree. You keep saying Mudi is trying to gain power. But, why? There are ways of gaining power that don't involve going into Tartarus. What kind of power? How much is it?">>688527
"Rus is quite the literary genius. So, I might need a little help with the basics, since she'd like to throw me into the deep end right away."
You recover all the cards into a neat pile. "Well, I should let you take over the games then," Renee admits. "It's hard holding them with a slippery grip. Do you know any games? That was my only one.">>688530https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KebElkWgTA
As though your very thoughts had prickled the fabric of the dream, the darkness of the horizon and sky shifts, curls and expands, pulling upward with a fleshy creak. A three-layered moon brightens above, rimmed with white, with sickly yellow in the middle layer, and deep black in the center. It's an eye, and the horizon is the side of a griffon's cheek, as the face yawns.
Along the road you walk, many small holes emerge, each no bigger than half a centimeter. They spread out all along in every direction. Long, thin metal appendages, reminiscent of lab equipment, can be seen, peeking out of the holes, making it tricky to walk.
Shei does not react, he walks forward toward the horizon with the sort of obliviousness towards the oddness of it all that can only be procured in a dream. He soon even forgets that he is even in a dream as he goes through the motions of what transpires.
Shei's only thoughts are of how irksome it is to walk down this street and how long will take before he gets home.
"Well, she had mentioned something about being able to fight back against the demons, don't know how or why, but it's bad.">"She basically wants to gain control over the demons. Mudi already drained a substantial amount of power from these witchbone stones, but she can't absorb said power without being killed. However, there's a place in Tartarus that preserves whatever is placed inside of it, some kind of lake or something, and as soon as she enters that lake, she'll absorb the power she's holding onto. She believes that if she were in control of the demons, she could usher in a kind of peace between mortals and demons.">>"And I don't believe a bloody word of it!">"While she most certainly isn't nearly as openly hostile as her sister Vizsla, we have our doubts. She claims to be using it to establish a kingdom where demons and mortals can live together, but let's face it. She'll have absolute power over everything in that kingdom, as well as near unstoppable power in general. As outwardly kind as she may be, that amount of power shouldn't rest in just anyone's hands…I doubt she'll keep up her peaceful desires for long."
"Sure, I can help a little after a game. After this morning, well… not much has happened so I'm not too tired yet."
Pryce levitates the deck of cards out of his wing, looking rather proud at pulling it off.
"I mainly know tricks, hmm. How about poker? That's simple enough."
"Mmm. Shei, what have you forgotten now of the theater routine?" a voice clatters, low like thunder. It is deep and familiar, and as it speaks, the nearby houses lose their magitech gleam and take on a texture like skin, only puffy, with pores uncomfortably visible. Molding together, the houses start to resemble Crowley's tower. Only, with many of them all trying to imitate the structure, it's hard to know which is the true one. The voice speaks again, but his words are nonsensical and muffled, and easily forgotten.>>688537
"Mmm. The whole situation inspires a special kind of terror. Her promise uses simple reasoning, and promises a messianic result. A horrific proposition. Although… I have my doubts that her idea is faulty to the core. If someone could be trusted to hold that kind of power, it would surely bring an end to Ecclesia's woes. But, who would it be?" He thinks and laughs. "Ah, thoughts for another time, perhaps. I shall assist you in dethroning this witch– on the condition that we strike when the time is ripe. She will doubtlessly have her supporters. The trick is to subvert her authority and leave her without allies when we attempt the assassination.">>688539
"Sounds good. River, care for a round?" Renee asks.
"Oh… mmm, just one, I suppose I can spare," River says.
Zjetya brings over another bed to serve as the table for the game.
"Aye, but I'd rather no one have that kind of power, it's simply too much for any mortal being to have… and besides, why create peace when we can just keep on slaying demons? Haven't had much time to think of a proper plan yet, I usually just act on instinct… and I doubt it'll be easy to catch her off guard, I suspect she's wary of everyone who even comes near her."
"This'll be a lot harder than I thought…"
Shei-Sher continues his ambling through the night, as he complains out loud to the disembodied voice "Leave me be Crow-ley. I want to go to my room."
Pryce shuffles the cards as Zjetya pushes over a bed for them to use.
"We can skip betting and just go for who has the best cards, since we're only doing a few rounds."
"As a quick summary of the rules, we get these five cards. You either want to get cards of the same number, or have all five numbers in a row. From lowest to best, you want to get either two matching, three matching, five in a row, a two pair with a three pair, the five highest numbers in a row, and then the bst is all four of a number."
Pryce deals out five cards to each of them, setting the deck to the side.
"So from these cards, you can replace up to three, and then we all show our cards to see who wins."
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 4 = 4
/ Roll #4 8 = 8
/ Roll #5 3 = 3
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
/ Roll #4 4 = 4
/ Roll #5 8 = 8
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 13 = 13
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
/ Roll #4 5 = 5
/ Roll #5 2 = 2
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 13 = 13
/ Roll #3 13 = 13
/ Roll #4 10 = 10
/ Roll #5 12 = 12
"Worry not, lad! Galton has enough brains for the three of us. I shall not tell her of the plan until we are absolutely ready. She will enjoy the sudden challenge, I wager. She is one of the Setgetsiin, so not even a mind reader would be able to pry the information from her."
"For now, return to your allies and prepare yourself. I will send the information to you once it's ready.">>688545
"I'm taking you to your room, right now. You can't come out until you've grown. Then, I'm going to cast you out."
The face in the horizon and sky turns, stretching into the light until his bulging profile, distorted, lumpy and curving along the bend of the sky until his face consumes the sky above and around you. His face is pitted and mottled, and covered in filth. A hand reaches out from behind and plucks you up. One of the towers spreads outward, like an anthill. Crowley stuffs you into one of the rooms through a half-melting window at the top, into a musty, moldy room, resembling a cell.>>688549
River, Zjetya and Renee all go for the deck to replace some of their cards.>Renee
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13]>Zjetya
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13]>River
[1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 5 = 5
/ Roll #4 11 = 11
/ Roll #5 8 = 8
/ Roll #6 13 = 13
Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 1 = 1
[1d13] [1d13] [1d13]Roll #1 11 = 11
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
Last time on HQ…
In the tunnel of fire, Flow encountered the spirit of Sir Estuary, whom he'd first encountered while training in Lilane with his goos. This time, the spirit was more chatty and amicable, although ready for a fight as always.
"Seemed like a fun place to be. The battlefield on the eve of battle is a place where spirits dance, they say. I've never been too superstitious, but I come to pay my respects to them."
As you hold up the stone, he scratches his head and cocks an arrogant grin. "Certainly looks familiar. You been holding it for me? How nice. You figure out the real trick to it yet?"
Flow grins as arrogantly as Estuary.
"A noble swordsman, I see. Seems like our lot has become so rare these days…" he trails off.
"Funny, I was hoping you'd be the one to tell me how it works. Looks like we're up a creek without a paddle," he squints his eyes at the Inheritance, "Bah! I'm sure one of us'll find out how to use it," Flow feigns ignorance.
He props his katana over his shoulders like a yoke. "My memory might be a little fuzzy, but I might know a thing or two. Whaddya say we give it some practice?"
He starts sliding the sword out of the scabbard.
Flow stuffs the Inheritance in his gooey chest and uses it.
"Nice sword there, son. Ain't seen any of those where I'm from."
He starts pulling Schlangenschwert out of its scabbard.
"Yours is a little too flashy for me, old pony. But let's hear them speak for themselves."
As Estuary starts to walk forward, his body becomes blurry and indistinct, fading transparently like a mirage in the desert. His sword seems to disappear and reappear at random, as if you were hallucinating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK5iRoMHzCk
[1d10+2] [1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
Flow blinks as he's taken by suprise due to Estuary's fading body. He brandishes Schlangenschwert and tests to see if he can even leave a mark on him.
Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #2 2 + 4 = 6
Your first attack grazes the side of his body, but the second fades through his dissipating form. He vanishes, and the sound of metal whipping through air signals that he's swept around to your side on the narrow path. He cuts upward through your chest.
He remains indistinct, and time seems to compress around you in the haze of the battle. He strikes again.
[1d10+2] A Vision of RetributionRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #3 8 + 2 = 10
Flow curses as Estuary lands his hits, and he whips around to deliver two quick slashes. The feeling that time is distorting around him doesn't help either as he tries landing another hit.
Frustrated, Flow concentrates on himself as he delivers his blows.>Visions of Grandeur
[1d10]Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12
/ Roll #2 1 + 4 = 5
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
Both you and Estuary seem to move in slow motion, and you are able to perceive each frame of your movements, each twitch and change in direction, each droplet of goo dancing between your clashing swords.
As you trade hits, Estuary rolls backward, then charges forward, stabbing upward toward the Inheritance.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
With all movement being slowed significantly, Flow growls as he tries willing his body to move faster, to no avail. He brings Schlangenschwert down as Estuary charges at him, and tries jabbing him twice.
[1d10+4]Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12
/ Roll #2 3 + 4 = 7
Driven like a madpony, Estuary endures your attack for the sake of knocking the Inheritance out of your chest. He hops over you and grabs it with his free hoof.
As you fall, Estuary lands on your other side, smirking while twirling the stone on the tip of his hoof.
Just as quickly as he fell, Flow hops back on his feet.
"What's with the smile, son? I'm just getting warmed up!"
Estuary absorbs the Inheritance into himself. His expression sobers, and he raises a hoof to his mouth, eyes closed, wearing a meditative expression. A second later, he takes the scabbard in his teeth while holding his sword in his hoof. There appears to be a mirrored double of Estuary, nearly completely overlain onto the original, but slightly to the left. Estuary and his double move as one, leaping back into the fray with a love of battle.
[1d10+2] ImpaleRoll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #3 8 + 2 = 10
Flow wipes his mouth, and slams down Schlangenschwert on Estuary as he leaps forwards. He also reaches behind his back to start cranking up the Spinsaw, and focuses on himself.
>Visions of Grandeur
Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12 / Roll #2 9 = 9
As you buff yourself, Estuary's double stabs upward into you, and leaves the katana embedded in your chest. "Now watch this!" the two samurai say with wild excitement.
As you slam down onto the two, Estuary and his double split into two, yielding four mirage-like versions of the young samurai. The four leap for your limbs, attempting to pin you before you can strike again.
[1d10+2] SlamRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #3 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #4 10 + 2 = 12
"Four?" he asks aloud.
As they all gang up on him, Flow reaches back, and waves the Spinsaw through the air, aiming to cut up all four Estuaries.
>critfail DC 4
Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
As if they were one, the Estuaries fall on top of you and wrestle you to the ground, pinning you against the white-hot stones with overlapping boasts and arrogant scoffs. >Flow 0/3
One Estuary jabs at your face with his elbow. [1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Flow grits his teeth as he tries getting his limbs back together.>recovering
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
You struggle and roll about furiously, and the four Estuaries are hard-pressed to keep you pinned, but eventually, they corner you, pushing you dangerously close to the wall of flame.>Flow 0/2
"Whaddya say, old-timer?" Estuary asks, his voice straining under the effort. "You throw in the towel yet?"
"I don't quit till I'm dead, son!"
He starts struggling against the Estuaries.>Escape Artist
You break free of their grasps, scattering them against the ground. The four get up, cautiously watching you, clearly winded but not any less eager to fight.
Flow rolls his shoulders, and takes out the coin he won from his last hunt.
"How unfortunate, son. You've forced me to get serious."
He flicks it in the air and catches it before rushing to two of the Estuary clones, and swiping them with the spinning blade as he concentrates on himself once more.
>I Dream of Strength
[1d10]Roll #1 7 + 5 = 12
/ Roll #2 7 + 5 = 12
/ Roll #3 10 = 10
[1d2]Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
You shred three of the remaining Estuaries to pieces. Their goo flows back to the last one standing, replenishing his injuries. Charging like a madpony with scabbard and sword in grasp, he leaps and slashes at you.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
Flow charges at Estuary as well, and aims the Spinsaw's rotating blade right at his chest. He pushes it forwards, and swings upwards against him.
[1d10+5]Roll #1 5 + 5 = 10
/ Roll #2 5 + 5 = 10
Estuary is forced to skid to a halt as the spinsaw comes at him. He jams the sword into the rotating blades not a moment too soon, jamming the spinsaw. Yet the automatic saw knocks his sword out of the way, and the impact throws Estuary to the ground, dazed.
Defeated, he stands and claps. "Not bad, not bad." He retrieves the Inheritance and tosses it to you. "So, did you see the trick?"
Flow catches it, and looks disappointingly at the Spinsaw before stowing it away.
"Man I just fixed this damn thing…"
"Just barely. You…absorbed it into yourself? I usually just make simple clones with the damned thing. Never seen anything quite like making a copy like that…" a smile slowly cracks on his face, "You're pretty good."
"I took the cloning to the next step," Estuary says, sheathing the sword. "It's the same basic thing as what you've been doing. Here, I'll show you… soon as we get out of this damn tunnel. It's like an oven in here. What drove you to come here in the first place, you wanna evaporate?"
"Next step? I didn't even know there were steps…."
Flow blinks for a good few seconds, until he remembers what he came in here for.
"Oh blast! Uh…yeah. Let's get out of here."
He looks around for a way out.
As the only way out is the way forward, you and Estuary head for the end of the tunnel. At the end, you are engulfed in light, then a cool breeze. The fire dissipates, and you find that you are at the festival in Fantasia, standing before the Ecclesian priest in white. Though the path was straight, it seems you've walked in a circle.
Estuary tips his hat to the priest, and wanders away. "Let's find a nice quiet spot."
Flow nods at the priest as well.
"Thank you, it was an…eye-opening experience," he says with a smile before he leaves to follow Estuary.
Estuary takes you to one of the lesser-populated parts of town, near the bed of the river which runs through the city. He sits under the bridge which crosses the river, drinking from the water. "Right then. Get comfortable, sit upright, and try not to think too much about the Inheritance floating inside you. Meditate until you stop noticing it as something distinct from you."
Flow drinks from the river as well, refreshing himself from the burning coals he felt earlier. He sits down and closes his eyes as he tries emptying his mind, trying to empty all feeling from his body.
The meditation is highly calming, particularly with the droning of the river nearby. "Alright. Now raise your hooves, as smoothly as you can. Let each frame of your movement sit distinctly in your mind."
Flow does as Estuary instructs, and tries not to jerk his arms or move rigidly. He lets his hooves flow upwards, and makes a distinct note about his movements.
"Maintaining that same speed, make your movements more complex. Push outward toward the sound of my voice, then lower your hooves, and repeat. Keep doing it, even as I move."
Estuary repeats his instructions slowly, and starts moving around you.
Flow, despite not having lungs, takes deep breaths as he does as Estuary instructs, moving his hooves with the same natural flow, following his movements with his hooves as the young master walks around him.
"Alright. Keep at it for a little while longer. Then, keep your ears open, and body relaxed. It shouldn't be much longer."
The Inheritance's presence has completely vanished from your senses, and you gain a certain degree of awareness of the nearby world, one that absorbs far more than your mere physical senses, combined with a tranquility that makes it easy to place yourself in the world.
Last time on HQ…
The party continued the magic show. Mudi and Vizsla's performance revealed that Vizsla was capable of both summoning and controlling a vast amount of Wendigoes, while Mudi herself was barely strong enough to exercise only a small degree of control over them. In order to command a demon, the summoner's strength has to exceed that of the demon's. However, there was another, perhaps more vital implication: Wendigoes are known to be docile unless a source of powerful hatred and resentment is nearby. Although tensions were rising in Fantasia over resources and living space, it didn't seem to have reached a point resembling hatred just yet, suggesting that the wendigoes were getting their energy from one or perhaps both witches instead.
Meanwhile Flow had a duel with the apparition of a younger Sir Estuary in the tunnel of fire. After the fight was over, Estuary led Flow to a nearby river, saying he'd teach the warrior a new technique as a reward for winning the bout.
We last saw Shei in the middle of a rather abysmal comedy routine, interrupted by a last-minute intervention by Amy. Let's join them now.
Time to bicker like an old married couple!
"Well, my SISTER deserves most of the credit," Mudi says, practically spitting out the word 'sister' as if it were poison. She glances back to see if Vizsla is still around. Seeing that she's gone, Mudi scoffs. "Never, not once, has she ever changed. She's always dragged me along on her little schemes like, 'Oh Mudi dearie, try this, Mudi dearie, tell the demon to do that! Send the demons in your stead!' But when I take the reins, heh. Watch out, am I right?"
Mudi scratches her forehead in confusion. "I'm sorry, I don't think a single word of that made sense. My head hurts. Magic sucks and I want to drink already.">>690672
"You're definitely right, I'm just not used to having a free moment to relax," Zjetya says. "Oh, Vortigern will be playing a song for us, from Ornifex. I'll not only be singing, but using the winds to put on a show with paper puppets. Something light to end the night, you know?"
"I've been looking forward to it all night," River adds.>>690672
"Oh, it's been fun. Arm-wrestled fifty ponies before Flow broke my winning streak.">>690674>>690673
"Next!" Someone shouts from the back. There's an audible "Ooh" from the audience and a wince to go along with it. Yet, as Amy rushes onto the stage, the audience's annoyance is mixed with confusion. "Is this part of the act?" another person asks.
Shei-Sher could jug a thousand wind bottles and have a million heart to hearts with Y'dryth but nothing could dull the pain this god awful display he's putting out there. The worst part is, Shei was giggling in fits the entire time he prepared this material, on his walk back to the city. He thought the stuff was pretty good."
"Okay. I'm done" Shei starts walk out to the side curtain.
[posting this and then will post another in response to what Amy does]
Flaming flattens her ears in pity as Mudi goes on her rant, "Vizsla's like that to you…? I didn't see that coming. She seems nice to me. So that stunt with the windigoes were all her idea?"
She looks up, "I'm sorry, sisters sound complicated. Amy's my only one and I've only had her for a few weeks.">>690677
As she sees Shei give up and start to walk back from the stage, Flaming quickly hops to the side blocking his path, shaking her head and whisper-shouting, "Shei no! Don't give up that easy, you can do it! You're funny!"
As Shei talks, Amy's eyes go wide and ears go down. Flaming's words are drowned out from her mind. Her face starts turning bright red.
"I- He can't- That's not-" Amy stutters as he talks. "They- I- OKAY NO!" she suddenly explodes and then and then storms onto the stage. "There is nothing wrong with hugging ponies!" Amy shouts at Shei in front of the crowd.
I rolled a 9 for comedy gold.
Shei-Sher is stirred by Flaming's words and then for a moment glances from her to Amy.
He can't resist their attempt to save the show
"Please Amy! Please, not in front of everyone. We shall talk about your problem in private" He says with a bit of an unserious tone
shaking all the bad rolls out [1d10] comedy goldRoll #1 3 = 3
"Sounds lovely, a nice song to end the night for everypony to head back home with.">>690676>"Oh wow, you beat fifty ponies in a row?! You msut be crazy strong."
"Yep," Mudi says, folding her arms with a frustrated nod. "You don't even know the half of it. She has a very loose definition of sisterly love. Cherish Amy; I don't think she's as envious of you as Vizsla is of me."
Zjetya turns white, then pulls Flaming aside, leaving behind Pryce. "Flaming! Shit, fuck, son of a bitch, we're in big trouble!" she pants as she drags Flaming toward the back.>>690682
"I get it from my mom's side, she was a demigoddess, which I figure makes me a demidemigodess," Mocha says casually.>>690680>>690677>>690681
Amy's protest recaptures the audience's attention. A few who were in the process of leaving stop and turn, at least more interested in this argument than the earlier disaster.
Pryce looks on as Zjetya runs off, but assumes she's getting her last bits of preparation in.
He turns ot look out towards the stage, then to River.
"I haven't paid attention, how's Shei been doing?">>690683>"Wow really? Who was she?"
"No!" Amy says angrily. "You're calling me a harl… harlit… You're calling me a slut on stage in front of everyone!" Amy says angrily, giving up on figuring out how to say the word Shei uses.
Then, Amy's face turns red again as she realizes she's in front of everyone on stage (in her show outfit, no less). "Hi, everyone," she says more awkwardly, waving to the crowd. "My name's Amy Thest, I'm Shei's girlfriend. And, no I'm not a slut," as she talks, she laughs out of sheer awkwardness.
"Because there's nothing wrong with hugs! They're just a show of affection! And, the world could use more affection!"
[1d10] for agreement, preferably of the amused kindRoll #1 10 = 10
"My lord the entire world Amy!?" Shei says with mock increduility "I knew you had quite the history, but I never thought you planned on going down in history!"
[not even gonna fuck with that roll]
[1d10] COMEDY GOLDRoll #1 1 = 1
Flaming smiles and pushes her hooves out in a 'roll with it' motion, watching as Amy and Shei become a pair act that starts to win over the audience. "That's how you do it! You're funniest when you're a stick in the mud, heheh-" she laughs to herself, smiling as they continue on the show, snorting already as Amy begins her 'angry' rant.>>690683
Flaming sighs, "Seems I lucked out: I was an only child in my family but, I often hear siblings are nothing but trouble. Amy is the only sister I could ask for, she's the best." She says as she looks out at the stage again,
"Though… surely you don't mean to imply that Vizsla does not love you, do you?">>690683
Flaming gasp as Zjetya pulls her aside, making the buffalo shake her head, "Wait, what?! What happened?"
"It's not pretty," River says, unable to bear glancing out at the stage from where she sits at the snack table. "Amy had to go out there and make her case. I guess Shei thought it'd be a good idea to open by bad-mouthing her in front of everyone.">>690684
"Oh, I don't think she'd be anyone you'd know, she and my father kept mostly to themselves," Mocha says. "You're probably more acquainted with my grandpa, Buiwong. What with you being from Accorsia and all that."
She seems troubled by this revelation, but also seems to want to talk about this relationship.>>690685>>690686
The audience murmurs support for Amy's point. The vast majority seem morbidly delighted in having Amy on stage, eager to take her side against Shei's rather slanderous account of her behavior and see her crush him. And yet a few now seem to take perverse pleasure in Shei doubling down on his words, as there's always someone who will root for a villain. Those who were leaving sit back down, taking an interest in how this will play out.>>690689
Mudi sighs heavily, giving it thought. Yet before she can answer, Zjetya drags you aside.
"I COMPLETELY forgot to explain your part!" Zjetya shouts, dragging you back to the prop storage. You see a large team of fairies working on a large array of paper props, styled like hieroglyphics, some heroic, others villainous, many more detailing fantastic landscapes.
"Where's the dragon? The little dragon you got?" Zjetya asks, not noticing the dragon still curled around your horn (keeping it nice and warm).
Amy's face is still very red. Her arrows narrow angrily as she looks at Shei. "What are you saying…?" she asks, almost daring Shei to explain himself.
[1d10] for comedy out of dramaRoll #1 8 = 8
"He did what?!"
Pryce says in shock as he looks back out to the stage.
"That's bad, even for him. At least he went on late, shouldn't ruin the show too much if he finishes quick.">>690690>"You're Buiwong's granddaughter?!"
KP says in surprise, and curiosity.>"Oh, I guess that'd explain your spiderness. So, that means your mom was his kid then, and then somepony normal for you dad and grandma? How does that work, I thought gods stuck to themselves."
Flaming gasps, almost rearing up on your rear-legs, "Oh crap! You're right! I was so busy watching the others' acts I forgot to ask you what you had in mind for me!" She shakes her head lightly, trying to avoid disturbing its tenant. "Sorry sorry! I'm listening now, I swear, you have my complete attention!"
As she asks her where the dragon is, Flaming smiles, "Spark? He's up in here," she says, lowering her head down to show the fiery red dragon curled around her titular short horns and nestled into her messy hair. "I wanted to make sure he got plenty of rest before the show."
Shei-Sher's despair turns into optimism delighting in the crowd's newfound captivation.
"weeeeelll eehhhh It's not really my place to say" Shei says as he doddles is head side to side in mock trepidation
"Naught to worry. If we did not pair, I might have got hitched with our buffalo friend" Shei turns his face to the audience covering a side of his mouth to the stage as if to hide his words
"And let me tell you folks, I dodge quite the bullet! Have you seen how buffalo grow when they are adults! I may already have some brain damage and I'm not good at heavy lifting, so going steady with a buffalo might just be the thing to kill me"
[1d10] comedy gold
Roll #1 6 = 6
"Yeeeeah, I don't know if the details are appropriate for a kid your age, but the gist of it is that there are a few demigods and their descendants here and there, and their children and grandchildren often become such a subject of obsession that everyone 'normal' drives them out of town.">>690694
"You named him that quickly?" Zjetya asks, then shakes her head. "Ah, no, no time for that. Uh, um…" She glances over the paper props. "So first comes this one, and then the next set, uh… fuck!"
She points at a few that are laying on the side, lightly coated with a translucent, near-invisible paste. "See these ones? I'll make it easy: All you have to do is set these ones on fire with Sparky, alright? Not right now though! When it's time, I'll bring them closer to you," she says, not actually explaining anything.
Vortigern sits nearby, tuning her fiddle.>>690695>>690691
At long last, the two of you get some light, murmuring laughs out of the audience. However, there are some buffalo in the crowd. As the jokes turn to them, they develop suspicious looks, and glance at one another with a "Here we go again," vibe.
"Okay you can stay," shouts the one voice in the crowd who demanded the next act come on earlier.
Flaming looks up, confused, "Well, he wouldn't tell me his name, so, I had to call him 'something', right?"
As she points towards the paper props over on the table, Flaming walks over to them and takes a look at them closely, listening carefully to Zjetya as she tells her what to do. "All I have to do is set them on fire? Won't that destroy them, though?" she asks, looking back towards the moth pony. "What sign will you give me when it's time?">>690695
As Flaming hears the show going on, though, her ears perk up, and a flash of tiny flames dance along her inner eye as she turns towards the stage in a show of anger. "What did he…" she says with a minor murmur, looking up to Zjetya, "Forgive me, I'll be right back…"
She quickly prances out to the stage, snorting as she comes in from the sides with a loud shout, "I'm sorry, Shei! Can you repeat that?!" She yells with no small sum of intimidation
[1d10] Intimidation!Roll #1 10 = 10
>>690697>"Who'd want to drive you out of town? You're so cool!">>690695>>690697
Pryce looks on with dread as Shei continues his act.>"It's… sounding like the audience enjoys it. But, this is going to go over well after this is said and done. At least no pony's hurt, right?"
"He's not wrong," Amy says with a laugh looking to the audience. "He's a bit of a wimp. He couldn't handle the buffalo curves."
[1d10] for comedy gold?Roll #1 7 = 7
"I can barely handle you.." Shei says with a flirtatious smolder>>690698
Seeing the angered Flaming trot onto stage Shei reels back a bit in genuine fear. Unsure if this is still a part of the act. Telling from her face it looks like Flaming is bound to rear him at any moment
He plays along
"Ba-a-a-h! Flaming! you heard all that? It was a jest, you are going to grow up to be a very skinny buffalo! Light as a feather!"
[1d10] GOLD. COMEDY.Roll #1 7 = 7
don't know what's up with me today, forgetting to reference the DM post
"Baby, you don't even KNOW yet," Amy says with a wink, not helping her prior argument.
>>690701>It was a jest, you are going to grow up to be a very skinny buffalo! Light as a feather!"
Flaming's eyes open wide, and her teeth start gnashing together as she stares at Shei with a red-hot intensity. "WHAT!?" She says, taking a few steps forwards. "First you say you dodged a bullet not dating me, then you insult my buffalo pride by sayin' I'm NOT going to be the biggest, toughst buffalo there is!? I'm going to be HUGE when I grow up, got it!? It's like you WANT me to butt you into Tartarus right now!">>690703>>690702
She looks at Amy, giving a low grumble as she reaches up towards the dragon in her horns, "Amy, would you mind if I hit Shei really hard just once? And if not, would you hold my dragon real quick?" She says, casting another intimidating glare at Shei to get the audiecne to react more
[1d10] Scary buffalo glareRoll #1 9 = 9
"For a change? Yes," River says, still a bit bitter about Shei's track record.>>690699
"Lots of understandable reasons," Mocha says. "Driders aren't usually friendly. We're usually the product of demons. And even worse, my grandfather ended the world, and part of me wonders if this Tartarus scheme won't run a similar course. When I speak with him, there's a certain… something
running through him– it's in his inflection, in his words, in his obsessions, how he speaks about your older self, and your older self's previous companions, about Shei, about Accorsia and Ecclesia and the Princesses, that make me think he hasn't learned his lesson."
After her ramble, Mocha glances at the sky.>>690698
"See that paste on them? It's a special herbal concoction. It will let them be set on fire without destroying the paper underneath. But for a sign? Well… earlier, I mentioned the song I'd be doing, and how nobody is entirely sure what the words mean. My interpretation might be off, but to me, it's always sounded like some kind of heroic fairy-tale. It's in three movements, and the way the music moves, it's felt like a story in three arcs… er, I'm doing a poor job of explaining it. But, I've always found the song so inexplicably moving, that I suppose a heroic story has formed in my head around it. As for you, you'll have to play along with the flow of it as one of the central heroes. It's fairly straightforward, at least at first. Here, give me a little time, and I'll lay out the things you need to set on fire and when."
You then run out on stage.>>690700>>690701>>690698>>690704
The plot twist of Flaming's arrival and the ensuing drama elicits hoots and hollers from the audience, and hearty cheers for Flaming to kick Shei's ass, followed by demands for Amy to slap him, and a few defiant cheers for Shei to tell it like it is (most notably, LJ is among Shei's supporters). Even the buffalo loosen up.
"Eh, not while he's drunk," Amy says with a shrug.
Shei-Sher is sweating bullets, keeping his show composure he silently accepts his fate to appease the comedy gods
Faint like a whisper Shei says to Flaming and Amy "Hay, do it thusly. All for a good show now.">>690705
"I have a feeling I am about to recieve more physical attention from a girl than I've had my entire life!"
Shei-Sher shields himself with his hooves and arms in anticipation for Flaming to headbutt him off the stage
[1d10] GOLDRoll #1 5 = 5
Flaming mouths a small 'oh' of understand as she explains the paste. AS she goes on to try and explain the song and the music in particular, she gets a little lost, answering, "Yeaaah, kind of…" in response to 'poor job explaining it, "But, I know it SOUNDS pretty awesome! Especially all those parts about it being a heroic tale. I'm sure I'll figure out the cues…">>690706>>690705>>690707
Flaming blushes somewhat when she finds herself at the center of attention on the stage, looking out at the crowd with a small nervous smile. Her eyes linger on LJ though, pleased greatly that he made it out to see the show. When she sees him cheering on Shei to stand his ground, she smirks at him in particular.
After Shei gives his blessings, she takes Spark out of her horns, and passes them to Amy, "Aw, just this once, you know he's earned it! I bet he's not even that drunk, Shei couldn't handle 'that' much firewater without passing out." She says with a wink herself as she runs behind Shei, aiming right for his rear-end to give him the boot he wants as she charges full steam ahead with her patented head bash
[1d10+2] Comedic (and painful) exit!Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Amy smiles and steps back out of the path of where Shei is about to fly. She does a dramatic bow as if to give Flaming permission and gestures with her hooves where Shei is about to go offstage.
"Well, you DO have it coming," she says to Shei.
"I apologize for my boyfriend," Amy says to the audience. "You know… goats…"
[1d10] for comedy goldRoll #1 9 = 9
"Seems to be working out well enough for him."
Pryce comments as the show goes on.
"How are you holding up? Feeling any better from earlier before we went on stage?"
He asks.>>690705>"Oh, well you seem nice though."
KP comments.>"He speaks about us a lot? That's weird. He must not have a lot of hobbies or things going on."
The meditative technique is hypnotically calming, and time seems to fade as Estuary gradually intensifies the practice's movements. At first your sense of self dwindles to a blur, yet as the rhythm sets in, your awareness of the world and your presence within it grows, refined to a finely vivid point.
>Obtained the Parting of Waters function of the Inheritance of the Brother>Automatic Instant; You can make as many Copies of yourself as desired, splitting your current H/W between them as you wish (each Copy must have at least 1/1 H/W). The Copies are considered to have your skills and roll bonuses, but do not share Recharge periods (or items). Returning the Copies to you is an Automatic Instant action and restores the Copy's remaining H/W to you. If a Copy is killed, you regain 1 Hit but no Wounds.
"A'ight, I think that about does it. Go ahead an open your eyes," Estuary says.>>690707>>690709>>690710
As if on cue, a humorous bonk and whistle sound effect punctuate the impact and Shei's tumble backstage, but their source is unseen and unknown. Despite the audience's earlier trepidation, they give you a round of applause and cheers, apparently now convinced that the earlier catastrophe was but a setup to make the payoff all the more enjoyable.
"I'll be damned, you really did it," Mudi says once everyone is backstage. "Nice touch on those sounds too!">>690711
"I'd say I've gotten over my stage fright but it's easy to say that while backstage," River comments.
"On the contrary," Mocha says ominously. "You… haven't been to any Ecclesian territories lately, have you?"
"Ugh, I could use some of whatever Shei's been drinking," Amy groans to Mudi. "Lets go."
"Where's the drinks, Shei?"
She pauses for a moment. "Wait, YOU didn't do those sound effects, Moody?"
As Flaming punts Shei back off stage, she gives a little hop of satisfaction, looking out to the audience with a smile as she sees them taking in the act. She winks, "A-and remember, don't say mean stuff about girls, or buffalo. We uh, hold grudges, heh…" she says nervously before giving a light bow, and prancing off stage after re-collecting her dragon from Amy to put back in her horns.
As they make their way back stage, she smiles widely, "Well, sometimes you just need a little backup… wait, sounds?" She looks around, "I didn't do those sounds, did you?">>690712
After returning from helping finish Shei's act, she quickly finds Zjetya, "Okay I'm back! Sorry sorry for running off like that, how are you and Vortigern doing on the song and the story?"
>>690713>>690712>"Wait, YOU didn't do those sound effects, Moody?"
"Yessh.. I thought it was her as well."
"Glad isst over now! So painful. The show that'sh is. Are you aware of how difficulch'it is to cork your slurring when you az tipped as I am."
>"Where's the drinks, Shei?"
"Your little fly friend confishcated it. Said I had too much"
"but-" Shei giggles as he pulls bottle out from his bag "I am quite the conniving bastard as you all know"
Shei pops the cork, ready for Amy to drink.>>690714
"Ba-a-ah you went easy on me hadn't you?" Shei mews teasingly "Or is that what I'sh should expect come our duel."
Amy stares at the bottle with the same sort of reverence one might look at some sort of holy item. She begins to drool involuntarily. She hadn't even thought about it until this moment, but she hasn't drunk any alcohol since she went off to meditate. She had never realized how much she missed it until just now.
"Shei," Amy says as she wipes her mouth. "I love you so much."
Amy gives Shei a passionate kiss on the lips as she relieves his hoof of the alcohol bottle. Her lips go immediately from Shei's lips to the lip of the bottle. She draws her head back and begins to chug the bottle of whatever it is.
"That's good to hear. I suppose we could start planning what tomorrow will hold while we wait, unless you just want to rest easy.">>690712>"Hmmm… We were in Zha a few days ago, but we haven't been with anything Ecclesia in a while."
Flow slowly opens his eyes, and takes a deep breath.
"I felt like…I was completely aware of my surroundings."
He stands up, and tries focusing, and moving his hooves once more.
Flaming raises an eyebrow, smirking again, "Wooooow, you're BRAVE when you're tipsy. Normally you'd 'never' try and goad me 'this' much into teaching you a lesson." She snickers, leaning up to pump her cloven hoof against his rump (where the impact was delivered)
"You get off easy tonight. If you're still talkin' tough in the morning, 'then' we'll talk about duels."
Shei laughs with amusement as you burst with affection towards him. "Please! Sh'ave some affectations for the Shei that will remember it."
Shei-Sher watches Amy chug the bottle "Er- you really like your wine. I suppose we will have to make a trip to the ship for more if we're to sate Mudi as well."
Amy stops drinking and giggles with devilish delight. "Oh Shei, we're going to need more regardless."
"Ba-a-ah!" Shei yipes as you touch his phanny, not from pain but the sharp surprise of having someone suddenly touch his butt like that "Watch what you touch Shorthorns. They have place for ponies who like touch kid's rumps"
"I will have you whipped tonight! It'll be our second show for when Mudi joins us for a round of drinking."
"No, I figure you or one of the band members did?" Mudi responds. You definitely didn't see any of the band participating in the show, and none of them had any instruments capable of making those sound effects.
Meanwhile, a brief intermission begins, and happy chatter can be heard coming from the audience while the stage helpers and band members get ready for the last few performances of the night.>>690716
"Oh dear," Mudi says, glancing away shyly.>>690717
"Well, we have to wait to see if Mirror Image and the Dragon will get back before we can make any plans," River says.>>690717
"I'm afraid my grandpa's got a lot of things going on with them. It's tough to explain, but… I can just see it, in some of their eyes. He's playing off their hopes and dreams, just like last time," Mocha says with worry. "Do you have anyone who can get into contact with Ecclesian territories?">>690714
"Right, don't worry, don't worry!" Zjetya says, though it's clear she needs to take her own advice. "Vortigern and I figured out how to make you the star on a time crunch!"
Zjetya explains the story of the piece, while Vortigern acts things out as a visual aid.
"Did you get all that?" Zjetya finally asks after her whirlwind rant.>>690718
"Yeah, that tends to happen when you chill like that. I don't know much of the mumbo-jumbo behind any of it. I just do what works," Estuary says. He puts his scabbard over his shoulder and starts to wander away. "Well, I'm off. Catch you later, eh?"
"Yeah, Flaming," Amy says with a smile, but her tone (aside from a slight slur) sounds oddly serious. "Paws off the goods.">>690723
"Oh, come on, Mudi," Amy grins as she puts the small remainder of the bottle up to Mudi's face. "You know you want to join us."
>>690724>I imagine Amy throwing herself around Shei's shoulders. So with that image in mind
Shei-Sher blushes, turning his head and trying to whisper, though unaware of the volume of his voice "I need to drink more."
Flow looks at Estuary as he wanders off.
"You're… off? But I thought you were…" he looks at the Inheritance inside of him, and he refrains from talking.
"Yeah, until next time, son," he says with a determined nod.
>>690725>that IS what I meant to imply
"Just gotta convince Mudi first, hun," Amy responds in a quiet whisper.
Flaming chuckles at Amy, "Sorry! Just wanted to teach him one more lesson, that's all." She looks at Shei, raising an eyebrow, "Oh? Well, I'm not a pony so 'I' would never get sent there, but where is this place for ponies you're talking about?"
She chuckles, "Oh come on, the audience came to have fun, not watch me stomp all over you!">>690723
Flaming looks around, confused as Mudi does not take credit for such sounds. "I… hrm. I don't really know. Had to be somebody, maybe one of the fairies were doing work back stage for us?">>690723
Flaming smiles widely, "Great! I knew you two would pull it off. Okay, lay it on me…" she says as she looks between the two, listening to Zjetya as she tells the story and Vortiger plays as an actress.
After hearing out the whole tail, Flaming takes in a deep breath, unsure of herself in having digested it all but trying her hardest to be confident. "Yeah! Yeah, I definitely got it all. Just leave it to me and Spark."
"They'll be back after the festival, can't really put it off for them.">>690723>"Last time? That doesn't sound good."
As she asks, KP thinks.>"Hmmm…. Oh yea, Zjetya and Rus are part of them, and Flaming and Amy have one of those conches too to talk back."
"If you can procure a clean bottle, I will," Mudi says. "First, let me go back to the snowglobe first so I can check on how the Shades are doing, alright? Don't drink it all without me!">>690726
"I'll be around," he says as a goodbye. Moments later, Sister Renee comes down the side of the river, and trots straight through Estuary as if he were an illusion. As you look past her, Estuary is gone.
"Flow, there you are," Renee says happily. "How have you been enjoying the holiday? Sugar went out for snacks and lost track of you. I thought I might find you here.">>690728
"You better rehearse it a bit," Zjetya says with worry. "The intermission will buy us some time, and then after that it's some acrobatics and juggling, then it's us, alright!? We can do this, we can do this."
>when ready, you may perform.>>690729
"I suppose, but I don't want to use three whole days on this festival. We have but five days, and I think it'd be prudent to optimize our use of time, don't you? What little we have left.">>690729
"Rus and Zjetya huh? I know they've been ingrained in Ecclesia longer than Amy and Flaming… have one of them check in on the territories."
For some reason Shei-Sher can't help but think Amy's insinuation something more than just drinking when she says she has to convince Mudi.
He doesn't say a thing, afraid of the worst. It was a terrible idea to give Amy the wine.>>690728
"Not one stage. Once we return to the ship. Pick a grassy plain. I will fight you" You sense determination in Shei's words
"Ooookey dokey!" Amy says before downing the rest of the wine. "We'll go back to the ship to get some more. Meet us there!">>690731
"Let's go, Shei!" Amy says with determination as she begins to march wobbly back to where she assumes the ship is.
She may need some help remembering.
"We could leave it to the others to run, since everything is all started off now. Let them set up and host the events."
Pryce says, mulling over the words.
"What did you have in mind? Though, we do have more than five days. That won't be the end of everything.">>690730>"I can do that, after the show of course."
KP says wit ha nod of his head.>"Just give them a call, you mean?"
"Eh? Well- if we make hashte we sshould return in time for Flaming's act."
Shei-Sher follows Amy to the ship to get more of the blueberry wine Shei made
"F-Shortyhorns has a show!?" Amy asks with surprise. "Then, let's hurry!">>690730
"Nevermind, Moody, we'll bring it back here," she calls out to her as they leave.
Flaming rolls her eyes, "Ask me again when that firewater works its way through you, and if you still want it, you got it!">>690730
Flaming gives a determined look of her own, nodding her head firmly. "Right! Let's give it a few run throughs while we're waiting for the others to finish up," she says as she reaches up to grab at Spark from her horns, her hooves moving up to caress the dragon curled around her horns out of his comfort zone, remembering the lessons Zjetya taught her about how to get him to shoot out a spark of flame in preparation as she makes ready for the fireworks to go out on stage.
>Ready to start the performance
Flow blinks in confusion as Renee walks right past Estuary. He opens his mouth to ask something, but holds his tongue.
"Oh uh…it's fun. That little rite was interesting. Very uh… eye-opening, yeah."
The two of you return to the ship. Back there, you find that Yes Mare, Box, Deriva and Onion have finished the preparations on a large, heavenly-smelling feast, and are relaxing by reading books, lounging on the couches in the ship. "You're back!" Onion says. "Everything alright? Thought the show wasn't quite over yet.">>690733
"More than five days? I thought we were all entering Tartarus at the end of that time?" River asks.>>690733
"That's probably best. I don't think any of you should get too close to the territories, or if you do, to get out once you're done," Mocha cautions.>>690737
Renee tilts her head with a smile. "Ooh, that good, eh? I'll have to give it a try. You certainly do seem a bit different now… taller? Ah, I'm joking."
She sits next to you. "Well, would you like to go to the show? I think we'd be able to catch the last few performances if we headed back now. Or we could slip away and go drinking, or perhaps wander about and see the sights, or perhaps…"
She trails off, eyes full of thoughts.>>690736>Those who are going back to the ship to drink can assume that they make it back in time to see Flaming, Vortigern and Zjetya perform the finale, if desired
After the intermission, a few more performances, put on by various fairies, buffalo warriors and other new residents of Fantasia occur, and time passes quickly from enjoyment and excitement. As the moon rises in the sky, the last performance is set to begin.
The orchestra has prepared, and Zjetya, Vortigern (equipped with a fiddle) and Flaming take the stage, with Zjetya and Vortigern in the center. Flamign stands in the back, at the center of a ring of twelve figures. The eleven other figures are life-sized origami, painted and colored with ink, stylized like ancient hieroglyphs, giving them a mythological feel. The stage is populated with similar props, all made of paper. The props compose a series of cities amid a subterranean landscape; a country deep below ground, marred with shadow. Above, hanging from the rafters, are paper props comprising a fantastical aboveground world, brightly lit, full of monsters, hills, and castles.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ady--PNMsfI
The music begins, and as Zjetya begins to sing, a wind envelops the stage, bringing the props to life. As the show gets underway (see Flaming's post), various monster-like props come toward her.
"We're here for mora this," Amy says, waving the bottle around in the air. "It's sooooooo good. You gotta try it!"
Amy starts laughing for seemingly no reason. "Shei!" she suddenly shouts. "Hurry and grab it so we can go back to the show!"
>>690739>>690734>>690738>assuming Shei grabs the drink, they do indeed get back in time to watch the finale
Amy watches the show with excited, glazed eyes.
Flow looks back to where Estuary disappeared, and sits with Renee. He closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath.
"Let's go see the show. Maybe slip away while it's going on, to somewhere private," he teases with a smirk, "Maybe have a couple of drinks and see what happens."
"Oh, well, I… wasn't planning on going down there…"
Pryce says sheepishly in response.>>690738>"Ok, thanks for that warning. Can you let us know when it'd be safe?">>690738
As the stage is set for the last performance, Pryce looks on in anticipation for the big finale.>>690738>"Ooo the last show of the night. And it looks big!"
KP says as he watches with awe.
Flaming keeps her head held high as she walks in the middle among the eleven paper origami figurines, looking around the crowd as she swallows what remains of her stage fright. She remembers being on stage 'twice' now for Shei and Amy's acts, and the courage has built up from exposure to the audience. As the music from Vortigern's beautiful fiddle and Zjetya's voice, Flaming takes in a deep breath, and takes a stride forward.
She speaks out in a commanding voice, "For our final show of the evening, we share with you a tale of bravery, a tale of light and darkness clashing, and of the dreams of a better future!" She stomps a hoof, reaching up to begin coaxing Spark and getting ready for action.
She takes a few steps forward, "Our tale begins with the story of twelve young ones, denizens of a land swathed in never ending darkness! This land was cursed to dwell deep, deep beneath the ground, and all who dwelt here dreamed of nothing more than the lands above. To live in the light of the sun and sky." She says with a strong voice, trying her best to make the story sound as epic a tale as she can.
"And so, these twelve young heroes made a pact to travel through the dark lands beneath the earth, and strike out to the lands blessed by the sky! To take back its light to share with their home, and along the way, endured many challenges that put their minds, might, and courage to the test!" She says as she occasionally prods Spark to shoot out fire at any in-coming 'enemy' paper props, which indicate the challenges the twelve heroes must have undergone.Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
Shei-Sher is appalled, they had already cooked everything he's acquired "What did I say! I had said one thing! Before I was off. DO NOT COOK THE FOOD!" Shei-Sher's annoyance is sublime. He is completely frustrated with what they've done. "I cook the feat every year. It was mine to do! Now my ritual is broken. Nine years, dashed away"
Shei trots briskly over to where he kept the other two bottles of wine he made. And takes them.>>690739
Shei has the wine "Let's go. I do not want to miss Flaming's performance."
As they watch the show together, Amy grins deviously as she puts the bottle up to Shei's mouth and tilts his head back for him for a short sip.
"Don't forget to stay hydrated," she giggles.
River's mouth hangs open, and her expression gradually falls from one of dumbfounded silence to one of offense. "Wh– what? I don't… what do you mean?">>690742
"You'll have to see the situation in the territories and judge for yourself.">>690741
"And forget about time itself," Renee says wistfully, standing up with you. You can assume you make it back to the show in time for Flaming's performance.>>690744
"Ah, don't bitch, ya big drama queen," Box says dismissively. "We're hungry people! Just make another batch later!"
"I agree with Box's sentiment," Yes Mare adds.>>690739>>690743>>690744
The first movement proceeds as Flaming dictates; the eleven origami figures move in tandem with her, the wind moving their segmented limbs as they join Flaming in battle against the vividly-colored enemy props, and as the heroes defeat them, the props are lit with flame by Flaming's dragon. As Flaming and the other eleven heroes do battle and act out various other feats of heroism and bravery, the second set of props slowly descends from above, representing the heroes' journey from the underground lands into the realms above.
As the heroes finally reach the lands above, the first movement concludes, and the curtain briefly descends.
Once the curtain finally raises again, the subterranean country is gone, and Flaming and the other heroes are in the land lit by the sun, coveted by the heroes. Yet, monstrous, serpent-like props prowl and curl at the corners of the stage, while various monsters prowl in the valleys below, representing future troubles.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbY6idAepUQ
As the second movement begins, Flaming stands at the center of many ominous-looking "city" props, representing the heroes' arrival in the country they desired so much.
Shei-Sher sits beside Amy, watching Flaming's performance. He tries to bury his frustration in the back of his mind.
He smiles at Amy when passed the bottle. He takes a swig and then kisses Amy on the cheek "I love you.. I really do."
>forgot to specify this earlier, but Vortigern is playing violin accompaniment to Zjetya's singing
Flow leans close to Renee.
"What's happening?" he quietly asks, "How'd those origami figures get there? Where's the booze?"
"Fuck off. You understand nothing" Shei says callously as he leaves the ship.>>690747
Shei-Sher is captured by the performance, moved even. If he was sober he would say it was fantastic, if asked now he would say it was truly beautiful.
"Aw, come on, you're ruininit, kid," Amy responds in a weird tone. It's aggressive, but slurred.
"But, I DO love you to," she adds enigmatically in a more normal, bubbly, Amy-like tone. She wraps her arm back around Shei's shoulders.
She takes another swig of wine. "Man, this tastes sooooo gooood! You-you really made THIS?"
She stares at the bottle for a while. "Hey!" she shouts in sudden excitement. "Thatsa good nickname for you! Kid! Gettit? Cause you're a GOAT!" She giggles at the new nickname.
Amy cheers at the performance with the rest of the crowd. And, sometimes when the crowd is silent as well.
"That's muh sister!" she shouts at one point.
"I.. just can't."
Pryce says with a sigh.
"After everything's that happened lately, I know that if anything happened down there, I… I, I couldn't handle seeing anypony being lost."
He says, turning his head away from River.>>690747>"Hopefully it'll clear up in the next few days before we head back anywhere.">>690747
KP watches on wide-eyed as Flaming and the origami figures fight to the music and adventure on.
Shei feels enraptured in the heat of Amy's embrace, he cuddles closer up to Amy like a cat. Putting an arm around her as well. "These past years I have had a lot practice making wine. I don't usually drink with company though.. It's nice.. and the product, its ingredients are sublime."
Shei just smiles, holding in a laugh at her coined monicker for Shei. He doesn't mention how simple-minded it is. These are one of the things he likes about Amy>>690753
"Shh! Amy, you're ruining it."
Flaming shoots out her hoof at another paper-prop bravely as Spark shoots out a stream of flame to light it up, moving in motion with the other eleven heroes as they fight their way up to the bright light of the skies above. To emphasize this light, Flaming lights her horn with pure white light…>Commandment of Harmony>Actions succeed on DC -2
"And so, after many arduous trials, the twelve managed to break through the barriers of darkness and light, and found themselves in the realms above their home!" She looks around, pointing at all the audience, "It was all they ever dreamed, the light bathing the land in warmth and protection, the fresh air of the sky filling their lungs!" She takes in a smile, trying to make herself look as content as possible.
However, as the props prowl and curl at the corners of the stage, she takes a darker tone. "But, our heroes did not come through this journey unscathed. Such tribu… tribu.." Flaming blanks, forgetting the fancy word for 'trials' she had learned, before shaking her head, "CHALLENGES our heroes faced left their mark on them, and changed them forever. Some for the better… some for the worse…"
Here, Flaming turns around to the background props, tickling Spark's belly to move him closer to them in preparation of lighting a spark. "Their efforts, while noble, spurred the hearts of dark forces that dwelt back in their homeland. These villains saw opportunity in the hope the twelve heroes had fought hoof and horn for, and plotted to turn the heroes AGAINST one another, so that THEY might inherit the beautiful, blessed lands touched by the light and sky!">Spark lights some of the background props on fireRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
"What's the point of a show if you can't cheer," Amy says in her more aggressive tone as she takes another swig of wine.
Amy then suddenly starts to giggle. "If you can use those big words, you can drink more," she says as she hands the bottle to Shei.
You notice that the more Amy drinks, the more her teeth grow sharper and her muzzle grows wolflike.
"Oh, I've seen Zjetya do this before: She's controlling them with her song. I think this is the one in three movements.">>690752
An urgent "Shhh!" comes from the nearby viewers.>>690754
"But… but what if you aren't– what if someone is lost precisely because you weren't there?"
River asks desperately.
Mocha falls silent.>>690756
Though certain stumblings on Flaming's part mar the impact of some of the narration, she saves it, punctuating the heroes' inner turmoil with a flame that engulfs the very object of their desires. Though the heroes are initially unified in fighting back the wicked serpents that followed them from below into the country of the sun, five of the heroes are bitten by the monsters.
Yet, rather than fall, the heroes rise again, tainted by the darkness, and aid the monsters in tearing at the cities of the light. All the while, the coiling black serpents dance at the edge of the screen, the wind whistling through their hollow bodies to create an eerie "laughing" effect. Those remaining heroes are now forced to turn against their former allies, and friend is turned against friend.
At the apex of the cliffhanger, the curtain descends, and Flaming's character is left at a crossroads.
When the curtain rises again, both the subterranean cities and the cities of light, all looking worse for wear, are present on the stage, and the twelve heroes are at odds. Though monsters surround them, the heroes' focus is on one another. Five are allied with the underground chaos, while six stand with the dwindling light from above. Flaming's character, depending on her choice, determines the balance between light and dark.
The third movement begins.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph4f06Q5ItE
>will pause after flaming's reply but you can reply to this post still
"Aaaah, fuggoff," Amy says indignantly to the nearby patrons.
Shei smirks at Amy like how a parent would putting up with a child
He takes the wine bottle and has another swig
"Yeah fuck off!" Shei jeers with Amy
As Flaming sees Amy cheering her on, she gives a light blush and a smile, waving her hoof as the prettied up story-teller continues the tale without missing too much of a beat.>>690758
Flaming moves off to one side with the 'heroic' paper dolls, taking a fierce stomp as she faces down her former friends.
"The twelve heroes were broken in two, those who were led astray by the dark forces below in their home, and the rest who vowed to save the land they had just found at any cost. The battle was joined!" Flaming shouts as she charges at the five 'evil' paper dolls, grunting and pulling slightly harder than she probably should on Spark's tail as she gets wrapped up in the story.
As a flame shoots out at one of the villain props, Flaming continues to narrate as her horns glow brightly, "The city they left behind in the earth and darkness waged war against those above in the land of the sky, the heroes having made their ultimate choices and now found themselves clashing against former friends!" She sighs as she lights one paper doll aflame, "But, through it all, despite what had changed them, the twelve heroes that traveled in kinship never forgot their camaraderie for each other."
"In spite of the brewing chaos between the two lands, the twelve heroes focus was solely on each other as they waged battle against one another, fighting with honor in respect with the lives of both their homes on the line! Words are shared…" Flaming shouts as she ignites another paper doll
"Hopes are shattered…" she says as she lights another
"And though each side tried their hardest to bring the other under their fold…" she says as she lights up the fourth villain.
"There was only one path any of them could take!"
With a brief flurry of movement, Flaming bursts out the fifth and final enemy, a few real tears shedding from her eye and marring her make up as she gets wrapped up in the emotion of the story.
"The light of the land above fought off the cruel plans of those who dwelt below… and though it costed the lives of many great heroes who without this land could never have been reached, their friends would always remember them, and all their deeds…" she says with a brief huff, catching her breath as the light of her horns slowly start to die down, and the buffalo begins catching her breath.Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
Pryce is silent.
"…I know it'll be dangerous, and you all will need me. But I'd rather live in denial then to see any of you die with my own eyes. I know how bad that sounds, but after all the fighting we've been through, I don't think I'd be able to hold up down there either way.">>690758
KP looks on in worry as the heroes fight and the cities are torn apart. He pulls Hopper off his head and holds him tight in baited breath as the show reaches its climax.
Amy waves back with a smile.
Something in the wine seems to change…>>690762
Without a word, River gets up and leaves.>>690761
As the story winds to its end, and the monsters and tainted heroes are driven back belowground, the victorious heroes fall, their bodies worn and cracked with effort, and though their faces are painted-on, the inklings of despair linger around them.
As the end of the epic is reached, the cities and backgrounds recede, and focus is left on the seven remaining heroes. A great wind snuffs out the fires, and as the light fades from the stage, Vortigern switches to the piano, drawing out the last few notes. Zjetya's whispering voice finally fades.
Amy laughs heartily about sharing their sentiment.
"Soooo," she says with a sharp toothed grin. "Speaking of fucking off…"
"Amy.. Your teeth" Shei puts out a hoof to touch tooth showing in her grin.
Amy frowns and touches her muzzle and frowns. "Yeah… This is weird. I mean, ever since I got these tattoos, Ego and Amy have been mixing. It's been nice. It's like we're alone with ourselves."
"But, now that I'm drinking, it's like they're… different. Like we're both here sitting next to each other."
"D-does that make sense?"
"Yeah.. it does." Shei looks into your eyes, and you see in him something like nostalgia "I feel the same when I use my power for control.. when I had it. Sometimes, I felt like my mother was holding me in her wings."
"A connection like that Amy, is very special. It's what makes you beautiful. I don't know who you would be without it."
"I definitely wouldn't call Ego motherly," Amy laughs.
Then, she shudders. "Not that I would ever want to have a kid," she says aggressively. "The process of making one, though…"
>>690769>"Not that I would ever want to have a kid,"
"I will have to change your mind about that" Shei takes the bottle has a drink to the thought
"It's more of an Ego thing anyway," Amy says, grabbing the bottle.
"But let's be honest, could you imagine ME raising… ANYONE?" Amy laughs at the idea.
"Well… maybe not NOW but when we're older. Settled, and still in love. I think I could see you being a mother. You have so much love to give."
Amy blushes a little bit while she contemplates it. "I guess…" she mutters. Then, she laughs. "Neither of us really know how to act like parents, though. It's not like we had great role models. Or… ANY role model in my case."
"You really think all it takes is love?" Amy asks in an incredulous yet hopeful tone.
"Of course, you have to MAKE the baby first," Amy adds with a wink and grin. "I know you're trying to change the subject… but… Any thoughts?"
>>690773>"You really think all it takes is love?"
>"I know you're trying to change the subject… but… Any thoughts?"
Shei-Sher smiles, you can see in his smile something like lust, desire, pent in a elaborate idea
"Soon.. I've not even taken you on a date yet. But we will, before Tartarus. And for when we'll share a bed, let's say after we return. It will give us something to fight for."
Amy groans like a child who isn't being given her toy. But then, she looks to Shei with a smile. "You really know how to make a girl work for it. I respect that," she says in a manner that makes you think that it's more than just Amy saying that.
"Well, at least we can make out," she says as she pushes the wine aside and climbs on top of Shei. She passionately kisses him and doesn't let him stop.
Shei may also feel a stray hoof somewhere it shouldn't be.
"Mm!" Shei is taken for surprise, he resists half-heartedly at first but gives in to the pleasure and lets his hooves explore Amy's body without other thoughts
There in the backstage.
Really hope no one's watching..
As they make out, Amy is enraptured by Shei's touch. However, as his hoof reaches more risque locations, her eyes roll back in her head. It's the same feeling she felt when she ate meat for the first time in so long. Something primal in her is activated. For a moment, she grabs Shei's head with one hoof and her other hoof grabs Shei's hoof to keep it where it is. She feels a dark urge, a NEED. She could consume Shei right now.
Suddenly, she opens her eyes. All of her passion is instantly replaced with terror. She feels sick to her stomach. She falls back onto the ground off of Shei. She stares at him with wide eyes. Then, she looks down at the ground.
"I-I'm sorry…" she mutters awkwardly.
Shei-Sher is odd struck "What happened.. I thought you wanted this. My touch does it.. repulse?" Shei seems hurt
"N-no," Amy said quickly and reassuringly. "You were… perfect…"
Amy puts her hoof to head and starts laughing. "Shei… you have no idea how much danger you were just in…"
She goes back to watching the show to distract herself. "I need to stop drinking… I'm sorry."
Shei smiles with some confusion mixed in there
He puts his arm over Amy's side and watches the show.
Post your sheets.
>All at full H/W
Last time on HQ…
Flaming, Vortigern and Zjetya had put on a performance based on a song from Ornifex, Zjetya's homeland. With its conclusion, the curtain set on the final act of the night, and the first night of St. Prominence's Tutelage had concluded. A night of drinking was in store for our heroes, as well as for Mudi and Vizsla, who had been invited as well. Meanwhile, Observer spent time on the ship with others, and Pryce's nice night with River was threatening to take a poor turn, as a result of conversation about the imminent invasion of Tartarus.
After the curtain sets on the show, the audience is awash with applause. Vortigern and Zjetya come up onto the stage, as do Mudi, Vizsla, and various other performers who contributed to the show. Vortigern gestures to Amy and Shei out in the audience, inviting them to come up for another round of well-deserved praise for their contributions. Flaming and Pryce, still behind the curtain, sees the gesture as well. >>691181
Back at the ship, you settled in with one of the storybooks on a couch in your lab. Off to the side, you see Hafaza attempting to inconspicuously rifle through your bag. Yet as Power Voidlings are wont to do, she makes quite a bit of noise in the process (though you note she's taking care not to ruin anything).
Observer studies the magical book that was translated by Buiwong after swiftly reading through the storybook, attempting to pretend as if he does not notice Hafaza's attempts to let her think she's being sneaky about it. "Hafaza, when we are finished with our business in Tartarus and seal the anomaly damaging our home… What do you suppose the primordials have in store for me? I have never learned what punishment is given to those that break beyond our world without their consent."
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
As Vortigern gestures to call them for the curtain call, Pryce looks around for River. He can't leave her out of his, but she already left and he has no idea where. He's hesitant to go up, but the show must go on as the saying is.
Pryce heads up on stage.
Flaming takes a few deep breaths as the curtains finally close on her performance, listening on outside to the roaring crowd as she reaches up to wipe at her eyes, still fresh with tears from the passion of the tale she was telling. She smears her make-up a little bit, taking in more deep breathes as the adrenaline finally starts to pull off.
She turns to Zjetya, "How… how was tha-" she pauses as she sees Zjetya walk up on to the stage, and then to Vortigern as she offers to have her come out to join them. She takes in one more gulp, looking around for a moment as she considers fleeing for the backstage, but with a resolute stomp she pushes on to join them, giving a look out to the audience as she tries a big, awkward smile to finish her act off strongly.
[1d10] Not looking nervousRoll #1 7 = 7
Amy stumbles onto the stage with the bottle of wine in her hoof. She does a clumsy bow.
"Thank youuuuu!" Amy says as she blows a kiss to the audience then giggles for no apparently reason.
You know what? [1d10] for applause for the lols.Roll #1 1 = 1
"You and I… I imagine we will be taken away in secret, and the sum total of experiences we have accrued will be drained and sifted out of our bodies, and the husks will be tossed aside. There is no way they'd allow us to incite further dreams of escape in the others."
"Ah, here it is," Hafaza says, as if she wasn't just talking about your imminent deaths. She holds up Old Boney. "Why are you carrying around this skull? I swear I felt it speaking to me earlier.">>691187>>691188>>691189>>691190https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPrHla-TPaI
As all the performers of the night come onto the stage, the curtain call turns into a standing ovation, complete with flowers tossed onto the stage. The faces of both the performers and the audience beam with peace and relaxation, the kind known only by those living under constant duress and fear of tomorrow. In the eyes of a faint few, even those missing limbs or bearing immense injuries, you can see the glimmers of a returning hope.
Once the applause comes to an end, the performers start to depart, as do the audience, hoping to enjoy a few last-minute activities in the moonlight.
"So… time for drinking?" Zjetya asks hopefully.
"I am far ahead of you." Shei-Sher replies almost immediately
"I say we stumble into a pub and discover how precocious I truly am"
"You're already behind, Zetabug," Amy slurs playfully as she hobbles over to Zjetya and puts the bottle of wine in her face.
"Try it. It's soooooo goooooood!"
As they stand on stage, Pryce feels a warmth of pride rise in his body. he cheers and happy faces for his first show, and the first of most of the others here. A grand success, one that he wants to keep going.
As they come off stage, Pryce steps over to Zjetya.
"Zjetya, that was amazing! When you said you were using puppets, I didn't expect anything that… spectacular! You were right in deciding to end the night, it was a perfect finale.">>691189
"Flaming, you were great too! You really got a hold on that little dragon fast, and I would've thought you were a veteran actor up there."
Shei-Sher ambles over to Mudi holding a bottle of the wine he made. This one full and untouched "A gift, I hath saved it from Amy'sh ravenouush nature. It is the last of the stuff."
Observer continues to read the book. "Old Boney is his name, he has been a most satisfying traveling companion. He delivers information Buiwong has for me and gives me vague insight about questions I have for him. He's sentient as well, so please do be careful with him." Observer says, before looking up from the book for a brief moment to speak with Old Boney.
"Hello Old Boney. I have a question to see how you or Buiwong think of voidlings this time. If you could describe us collectively with one sentence, how would it go?" Observer asks.
Flaming looks around at the standing crowd, up and down at the flowers the toss at their stage. She goes to pick one up in her mouth, chewing it and swallowing it as she enjoys its taste, and then moves to pick up another one to hold as she smiles at the adoring crowd. But what she enjoys seeing more than anything else in their eyes other than simple satisfaction is 'hope'. A spark of life that had been lost that they were able to help return, even if only temporarily. The joy of seeing that spark of hope brings yet more tears to Flaming's eyes, and she quickly runs off stage with the others as everyone begins to depart, reaching up to rub at her eyes as she looks over at Zjetya, smiling through her smeared make-up
"Mmmhmmm…" she nods weakly with a smile.
Flaming looks up at Pryce once they go backstage, smiling widely as she shifts weight between her hooves. "T-thanks a lot… I-I don't know if I did as well as you did though, I never told a story before. Someone like my Shaman could have done that a lot better, I messed up a few lines."
Zjetya sniffs the bottle, then recoils. "Oh, scales have mercy, what is in there? Smells like a dead rat!"
Volkama's three magical rats glare up at Zjetya.
"Ah, my apologies," Zjetya says. "But seriously, I think someone transmuted your wine into sewage… probably since you were shouting earlier," she adds with a trifle of annoyance.>>691195
"Puppet shows are a highly-favored art among the aristocracy of Daozang. When I brought up the details with the fairies working backstage, I honestly didn't think they'd make such amazing props for me in such a short amount of time. But, I suppose they wouldn't be fairies if they couldn't pull off feats like they did tonight.">>691196
Mudi takes the wine with a grateful bow. "I imagine that wasn't easy. Thank you. Well, let's get out of here before the pubs start cutting off the patrons, eh?"
Vizsla and Mudi lead the way down the road, where the local pub is bustling with those looking to slip in a last-minute drink before closing hours. Good cheer echoes all around, and the workers are scuttling everywhere in the crowded tavern carrying mugs and bottles to and fro. But a few empty spaces remain open at the tables and at the counter, and it seems that drinks are discounted (3 gold pieces each) on account of the holiday.>>691198
"You look you're kind of exhausted," Zjetya says. "I know I'd be if I'd put on half as amazing a performance as you did. Are you sure you haven't acted before?">>691197
"An impenetrably obstinate bunch," Old Boney declares. "Just the kind Our Lord most rightfully adores. And on that note, what on earth was all that you two were discussing, going off by yourselves in Tartarus?"
"It's alcohol, it's SUPPOSED to smell," Amy laughs as she puts her arm around Zjetya's shoulders.
"Now that you mentionch it, I did notice something odd earlier." Shei-Sher takes out Pupil to inspect both bottles of wine.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
"Is someone POISONING us?" Amy asks with a dramatic flare. Then laughs.
"Your story was AWESOME!" Amy gushes to Flaming. "Why didn't you tell me you were going to do that? Where'd you get that story anyway?"
"I feel no desire in using the mortals any further. With Caw now my familiar, he will survive venturing with me. And as you know, I never leave you far away from my belongings I carry with me. However, Hafaza wishes to use the others as meat bags for defense… I believe they will get us consumed in the darkness." Observer replies, peering back down into the book to study it further.
"Besides, I've done fine venturing through the darkness since I was born. Tartarus is still a different plane of existence than we come from, but the similarities in survival allows me to believe that we will be fine using our own capabilities."Roll #1 9 = 9
"Nopony's perfect on stage. The crowd sure enjoyed it, and that's what really matters.">>691200
"You really pulled out all the stops then. And I'm surprised you could move them so precisely with your wind, I can't imagine how long it took to learn that kind of control."
Shorthorns takes a deep breath, shaking her head. "It… it was. PRetty exhausting I mean, I 'thought' I could be pretty loud pretty easy but, doing it for that long, and in front of SO many ponies…" she shakes her head, reaching up to wipe away at her tears of relief. "Heh… I-I just really hope I did a good job out there. Thank you." She looks down at her hoof, noticing the running make-up. "Sorry… I kinda ruined it your war-paint."
"And, that 'was' my first story told too. I… just tried to do what my Shaman always did. Speak loudly, and confidently. Make sure you become the story as much as saying it…" She shivers, then lets out a sigh of relief. "I was really that good? I really, REALLY hope I was, that look in their eyes… did you see it?">>691204
She follows the others down the road towards the local pub in its closing hours, and smiles at Amy as she flatters her. "Well, I didn't know I was gonna do it until after everyone was getting ready, and you were busy watching Pryce's act and then helping Shei's act and doing your act I never got the chance!" She points at Zjetya and Vortigern, "The story comes from the land of Ornifex, and it means a lot to those two.">>691206
Flaming nods, "I… I guess that 'is' what's important. I just hope they took its lesson to heart. What did you think of the story itself?"
"…I mean, if you're into that sort of thing, you don't have to share," Zjetya says, craning her neck to get distance between herself and that bottle, whose contents remain a mystery.>>691202
You find that the bottle you were drinking from earlier has had its contents transmuted into some kind of swamp-water, fetid and rotten, sure to turn anyone's stomach and tongue inside out if consumed, though not necessarily poisonous.>>691206
"Well, that's all part of the singing training, of course," Zjetya says with pride. "If I'm going to be singing for dragons and the dragon knights, I should probably do a good job, shouldn't I?">>691205
You study the art of absolute bodily self-control, a technique normally reserved only for those who have found enlightenment, and who walk at the edges of ascension past the mortal coil. In doing so, you learn the history of several monks of varying orders and nationalities, and of their disparate paths to the knowledge which lies beyond the veil.
"I really must pass this information along to Our Lord… he is sure to have reservations about you leaving before his plans find fruition," Old Boney says.
"I'd rather not leave behind my pig," Hafaza says stubbornly.>>691207
Zjetya takes a soft cloth and dabs gently around your eyes and cheeks, cleaning off the runny makeup. "You get the applause you deserve, I know that for sure. And they wouldn't have cheered the way they were at the end if you hadn't done your best. Thanks Flaming: It wouldn't have been half as good without you."
Vortigern nods and pats your head.
"The plans will continue, however that is if Tartarus wills it. Buiwong proving to be an asset, I will provide help. I simply do not wish to use the other mortals." Observer responds to Old Boney.
"If you wish to bring him and risk your life protecting him, then you can. Who am I to stop you, Hafaza?" He says, the knowledge he's gaining from the book feeding the hunger that has been crying out for more lately. The effect leeching to Caw which gives him a sense of satisfaction when Observer gains knowledge.
"eughk- you're right.">>691208>>691204
"Amy do not drink that. Someone played a prank of us."
Shei-Sher hover's pupil around the bottle and feeds him his aura to detect any charms used to transmute the bottle of wine and their origin.
>it's a bit of a stretch but if you'll allow itRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11
"It was amazing, like something I would hear back in my church days. And I do hope you're right, I experienced what happens when friends turn on each other like in the story, and what can come of it. Maybe it'll help the Fantasians work more with those refugees, and lessen the tense emotions around here.">>691208
"A good job is an understatement I'd say," Pryce praises, "And that was all a part of your singing? Hmm, if I practice a bit more do you think I could do something close to that for my acts?"
Flaming grumbles slightly as her eyes and cheeks are cleaned up, looking up at Zjetya after she's done with wide eyes. As she's thanked, she smiles again, bowing her head, "You're the one I should be thanking: I was just happy to help with the show, but it was your and Vortigern's tale that gave our performance such life. I'll just say we both did our best and call it even at that!"
As Vortigern pats her head, she lightly chuckles smiles up at her co-performers, "Alright… well, now that we've put on a good show, who's ready to drink!">>691211
She nods her head, "I agree. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I were forced to come to blows with 'any' of you… but, at the same time I liked the story of hope that the heroes were able to deliver. Making their way out of the darkness, finding the land of light, and holding onto it at any cost. It's what I'd want for us right now."
"Awww," Amy says sadly. Then, she shrugs and casually throws the bottle over her shoulder.
She then hobbles over to the bar. "Watchya got?"
"I'd say we got a good start on that. I could see new light in everypony's eyes tonight out there in the crowd."
Caw settles into your mane as you read the book. Old Boney snickers, creating a rattling in his skull. "You think of Our Lord as a mere asset? I suppose that is the only perspective a mortal can take. Your kind can see things only as they relate to your hungers. But be warned: All flowers wilt when cut off from the source that nourishes them."
"Assuming I won't be totally busy risking life and limb protecting you," Hafaza counters.>>691210
You cannot identify the spell used to transmute the wine, but you suspect that it wasn't a particularly advanced one, as transmuting one liquid into another is a fairly easy charm known by many prentices of magic as a convenience.>>691211
"Not unless you can learn to speak to the wind itself, as I was taught to do so. Sorry, we can't all be this good," Zjetya brags.>>691212>>691214>>691211>>691210
Though the bar is quite packed, each of you are able to come away with a mug, bottle or glass of whatever kind of alcohol you order. In addition to the standard fare seen at any seedy tavern, there are also several magical brews on the menu, with names like Pixie's Aid, Shrine Sake, Frog's Breath, Whale Ale, Siege Bomb… the list goes on. Vizsla pays for the drinks, allowing you to settle in at one of the tables. As you sit, a barmaid (a small breezie in a beige dress and apron) floats over with several bowls of bread and cheese.
"To tonight's show," Mudi declares, raising her glass in a toast.
"Ooooh, Seige Bomb?" Amy laughs as she reads the choices. "That sounds strong!"
"Yeah!" Amy says as she holds her glass up for the toast. After the clanking has commenced, she throws back half of her Seige Bomb.
"I supposed I'll stick with my stealth song then, and any other scrolls I may find."
"You were taught? I thought your wind speaking was a natural talent."
Flaming gives a light grin, "I saw it too… it was so beautiful."
She gives a slightly sob-like hiccup, before catching herself. "Sorry. I was just really glad to see it.">>691217
Flaming bows and thanks Vizsla for paying for her drink as she tries out a 'Whale Ale' (determined that the 'largest' creature on the menu must surely mean the strongest drink) and takes it over to sit with the others, her eyes lighting up with hunger and desire as the bread and cheese are floated over to join them. She takes a lump of bread and a piece of cheese, mushing them together with her hooves in a messy combination before jamming it in her mouth, her mouth craving food after such a tiring performance. "Ooooooh….!" She moans as she enjoys the taste, chewing quickly to enjoy the flavor before grabbing at another.
As Mudi makes her toast, she turns to the pony with confusion, not really familiar with these sorts of 'toasts' ponies make. However, imitating her behavior, she grabs at her ale, raising it up high as she shouts, "To the first night of the festival!"
"I'm far from a mere mortal. Even if my kind can perish, we have the potential of gods. You cannot make a simile of me to a natural thing you narrow sighted beings see in your world. Soon, Buiwong will see why Knowledge Voidlings should not achieve what I have thus far. He will get what he wants and so will I." Observer speaks to Old Boney, however it sounds almost like he's speaking more directly to Buiwong.
"You are important to me, so I will be doing the same for you." Observer attempts to assure Hafaza, trying to be ambiguous with what he said.
"I will have the girliest, tashtiest soporific you have."
Shei raises his glass for the cheer as well "Cheers!"
While Shei drinks he lets Pupil passively examine the magical fingerprint he evaluated with his aura from the transmuted wine.
"Come oooon," Amy groans. "You're supposed to pick a MANLY drink!">>691221
Amy nods at Flaming in approval for figuring the toast out.
"It really was wonderful. I've never seen anything like it before."
"And for what reason!" the goat demands an answer "When there are drinks that do a much finer job of pretending they aren't poison."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UsvCa0HuHQ>Music for the bar scene>>691220
"The ability was something I was born with, but without the training provided by the attendants of the dragon knights, I wouldn't have known how to master it to the degree I have. As I come into more of my own with the ability, I hope to use it before the dragons themselves.">>691221
Mudi, Vizsla and the others clink their glasses with yours - another bizarre celebratory pony ritual.>>691222
"Ahahaha! Another one who treads the ground and yet dreams of the realms of the gods," Ol' Boney says, his voice melding partway into that of Buiwong. "Though I'm not sure 'potential' is the word I'd associate with godliness. We'll see in time, my friend."
"Important?" Hafaza says, seemingly unfamiliar with the idea in this context.>>691223
Though Pupil examines the wine, it doesn't seem to be the kind of spell to leave a residual trace back to its user, unlike spells which require a constant source of energy to maintain.>>691221>>691218>>691223
The Siege Bomb has quite the kick to it, and results in some rather explosive burps after each gulp. The Whale Ale is a bit salty and harsh on the tongue, but leaves Flaming feeling rather tough and insulated from the cold. Shei is given the Pixie's Aid, a very sweet drink with a savory aftertaste reminiscent of a kiss.
"Yes. We'll see in time." Observer replies shortly to Old Boney.
"It means you're valuable to me. My own personal research and study of you has proven you're vital to my success, survival… even my own well being." Observer explains as he moves his book down to look to Hafaza.
"Right, you mentioned them before. What does it take to perform before those dragons? Your show tonight was amazing already, I don't see how you could go any higher."
"Because you're supposed to be a man! If you're not a man and I'm with you, what does that say about me," Amy says as she laughs and pokes Shei in the chest.>>691227
"Whooooo!" Amy says as she swigs the Seige Bomb. "Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!"
"So, when was the last time you drank like this, Moody?" Amy asks with a goofy smile.
Flaming looks over at Amy with a slight blush, leaning over to whisper, "Did… did I do that right? It's not just supposed to be the one pony right, I've never seen this tradition before.">>691225>>691227
As they clinks their glasses together, Shorthorns scoots back in surprise, looking at Amy with another bizarre look if that's something she was supposed to do.>>691225
Flaming smiles, "Really kind of makes me think everything will turn out alright after all, you know?">>691227
Flaming takes a small swig of the Whale Ale to start: despite her bravado, she recalls the last time she sipped firewater (the wine after the tower of traitors) her fortitude proved wanting, and knocked her out flat after one sip. She's 'hoped' to have come a whiles away in handling her alcohol…
As she takes her first sip, she cringes, still trying to get used to the bitter taste as she swallows, though notably looks elated at the warmer / tougher sensation she suddenly feels. "Woaah… what's in this?"
[1d10] can she hold her sobriety?Roll #1 4 = 4
"One pony does it, then everyone else says something like to agree. Usually, ponies just say 'yeah' or something, but I've definitely seen plenty of ponies repeat what they said. It's not weird at all."
"ba-a-ah a waste of time it is anyway."
Shei-Sher quits his investigation and just turns the wine back to normal
[1d10+3] I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;>>691221
Shei-Sher crams himself onto the vacant spot next to you at the bar table and smashes his cheek unyieldingly against your cheek
"And so what has the Mighty Buff Flaming Shorthorns so convinced I couldn't stand my ground in a fight!"Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10
"Wait, if you can just do that, what's the point of making wine the regular way at all?"
Flaming's ears flatten, "That's weird…. why do they do that?"
"Is this how you speak to everyone who has tried to kill you?" Hafaza asks, leaning back with an expression of confusion and trepidation. "Or is this the phenomenon known as 'flirting'?">>691229
"First and foremost, it requires you to be taken across the bridge of Yongning-si, into the holiest land, that of the dragons. But even that is an impossible thing to earn; it's only if they choose you that you can go. I don't know anything about what lies across the bridge, so… yeah.">>691233
You restore the swamp water back into wine.>>691231>>691233>>691230
"I don't drink that often," Mudi says while sipping a steamy mug of Frog's Breath. "Azawakh was the alcoholic of the family."
"You're too busy studying, researching, always cooped up in those labs of yours to have a drink," Vizsla chides. "You have to have a good time now and again, otherwise you'll go mad."
"You have too many good times, Vizsla," Mudi says. "And you know damn well why I don't drink like Azawakh did."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n08b1ptdnYM>Though you aren't under any pressure to timeskip now, it is available whenever
"It means you're confused sweetheart. Not to worry, this is all too familiar territory for I. Come bear your head under my wing, I will show you the world.">>691234
"shh shhush sh The pixies will hear you" Shei-Sher says inexplicable for whatever he could possibly mean by that. But he's really just fucking with you.
"You mean she wasn't already mad?" Shei says quite mundanely.
"What about it is weird?" Amy cocks her head.>>691237
"No, I'm definitely not into girls," Amy says flatly. Despite her drunkenness, she sounds deadly serious.
"Wait, is it illegal to do that?" she says in a suddenly much more dramatic and hushed tone, referring to the transmuting.>>691236
"Because you don't want to get eaten, right?" Amy asks in response to what Mudi said about drinking.
"I-I'm sorry, too soon?" she says awkwardly after a moment.
Flaming wobbles a bit from her chair already after one swig, shaking her head as the minor feels the over-powering effect of alcohol hitting her. She grits her teeth and tries to tough it out though, eager to keep up drinking with the others. She grabs a few more bites of bread and cheese to stuff in her cheeks, then takes another swig, hoping some of the food will absorb the drink
She turns to the witches, "I'm least familiar with that witch, did she have a really bad habit with getting drunk?">>691240
"I mean, it's like, what if we bumped our food together to celebrate? Or what if the drinks spilled into each other? Just seems like an odd thing to me.">>691240>"No, I'm definitely not into girls,"
Shorthorns looks dejected, "W-what? But 'I'm' a girl."Roll #1 1 = 1
"I know things will turn out right.">>691236
"We've been dealing with a lot of impossible things lately. I'm sure you'll be invited, they can't overlook your talent."
"I'm not familiar with that word. I'm simply stating a truth, seeing that I can't go through Tartarus without you." Observer says, stopping for a moment to think on the word Hafaza said.
"…Am I flirting?" Observer wonders out loud.
"Oh yes the pixies will have you gutted if they catch you making wine without berries, shh shh it's all an illusion, nothing is real." Shei-Sher waves his hooves in front of you in circles as if you should be mesmerized.
Both Mudi and Vizsla cackle at Amy's comment about being eaten. "Oh, good times," Vizsla says.
"Relax, Amy, it takes a lot more than a physical death to set any of us back. Azawakh was a bit unpleasant about what you and those Apostles did, so if you're sorry for anything, be sorry about all the bitching and moaning we had to listen to," Mudi says.
"She's always that whiny, though," Vizsla adds.
Mudi starts to nod, clearly feeling the potency of the Frog's Breath. "I don't drink often because I've a tendency to make mistakes, particularly by acting without thinking things through, and drinking makes it worse. Usually I just embarrass myself, but there are sometimes when I act that it results–"
Mudi suddenly stops speaking, seeming uneasy. She has a bite of bread.>>691241
It's not clear when, but at some point, it seems like the bar started to drift out on the ocean, tossed to and fro by shaky waves. Also it seems like everyone's been cloned– you're seeing two.
"Yes, and it was those spots of drinking that led her to break into villages for snacks of her own," Vizsla adds.>>691242
"…Maybe," Zjetya says wistfully, and with a tinge of trepidation.>>691243
"I don't know. I only learned of the concept in a book recently, and I was frankly appalled by what I learned of it. Though, I suppose it is in fact true that neither of us can leave the other now."
"Then you should take the time to learn this spell with me when you can. I know you are not one for books, but the magic in this last chapter looks very beneficial." He says, before looking back to the book to study it further.
"-in not finishing your sentences?" Shei is immune to drama right now
"I mean it. I was called by the Devas, and I was just a knight then. You have an amazing gift, when we next head by there they'll be flocking to hear you."
Pryce says to cheer her up, hearing the downness in her voice.
"Oh, the drinks spill into each other all the time," Amy laughs.
"Ew, no I'm talking about not being into girls romantically.">>691244
Amy just blinks. She's too drunk for this shit.>>691245
Amy smiles warmly at Mudi. "Don't worry, Moody. If anyone understands acting without thinking, it's me."
Amy then proceeds to chug the rest of her Siege Bomb. She smiles and shows her canine teeth. "I like to think I've hit a good middle ground."
Flaming begins to warble in her chair, the spinning of the room that has clearly been magically displaced by witch magic disorienting her already as she spills a teeny bit of her ale on the floor, before shaking her head, "Oooff… t-this Whale Air isn't so tough… kind of makes me warm." she says resolutely as she grabs another chunk of cheese and shoves it into her mouth… only to miss and have it drop on the floor, necessitating her grab another before taking another swig.
She turns towards Vizsla, "W-what? She.." she hiccups, "She burned down villages?! W-what does this stuff do to you…?">>691249
"Not being in to girls… romantically?" She chuckles, shaking her head, "P-ponies are s-so weird, Amy… *hiccup*" she says as she leans on her pony sister.>>691233
As Shei uninviting-ly pushes his cheek against Shei, her eyes turn to match his, pushing 'her' cheek back into his with force but not removing her face from his, "Because… *hiccup* because you're a little goat, t-that's why. Y-you beats me in… books but, I'm tougher. If I ate meat… I'd eat, uh, 'three' of you for breakfast."
"Flaming, you're scaring me…" Amy says awkwardly.
"In not letting the good mood be ruined by snide kids who think being cynical makes them cool," Mudi answers.
Various glances from Zjetya and Vortigern seem to suggest they're on the same page.>>691248
"Pryce, I get it, thank you, really," Zjetya says. "But even I have my reservations about being called. It's not an invitation when they call you - it's a statement that they've decided your old life is over. Not everyone who is taken there is exceptional, and not everyone is pleased either.">>691249
"Right," Mudi says. "I've tried to think things through better, but not every problem can be dealt with that way, can it? Sometimes, all you can do is act with good faith.">>691246
Hafaza glances over at the book. "Which one are you trying to learn? Wouldn't it be better for me to learn a different one, so that our skillsets complement one another?">>691250
"Oh, no, she didn't burn them, she'd just cannibalize them," Vizsla adds casually. Before you can spill again, Vortigern takes the drink from your grasp, with a disapproving stare.
"Hmn… You have a point. You could learn the purification spell that is in here." Observer waits to see if Hafaza approaches before bringing up the second chapter of the book to show her.
"Well, I've put my faith in you," Amy says with a drunken grin.
"Oh. I, uh… didn't know."
Pryce clears his throat, feeling a little awkward now.
"So it's more of a permanent invitation. That sounds… horrible."
Flaming looks back at Amy with a sickly, uneven grin, "Wuzzah? I'm scary? W-well that's…. that's just natural, I'm a big.. BIG buffalo, right?">>691252
Flaming gives a loud gagging noise as she takes with another swig, much of it dribbling over her muzzle, "T-that's gross… W-why didn't you stops… stops the bad witchie?"
As she's about to take another drink of the Whale Ale, she feels it taken away by Vortigern, whom she looks to with an extremely annoyed look, "H-hey!" She says, reaching up with her hooves aggressively, "G-get your *hiccup* own, Vortiguh!" She says as she tries to take it back
[1d10] attempting to swipe it backRoll #1 10 = 10
Shei-Sher ignores the looks of Zjetya and Vortigern
"Too dramatic and too sensitive for a person with your reputation. If you don't wish to talk about something, don't talk about it. Very easy."
"You sure are," Amy says, rubbing Flaming's head and grinning.
"I think you've had one too many headbutts Flaming, you're starting to talk nonsense. You should know Goat's headbutt too and my horns will grow far greater than yours ever will."
Shei-Sher matches the force of your face pushing with even greater force
[1d10] old fashion pissing contestRoll #1 6 = 6
"I used to know someone who was called up there, a singer too. She seemed thrilled, like any of us would be, and used the last of the time they gave her saying goodbye, celebrating, packing her bags, taking care of everything unfinished in her life. It was very surreal watching her do all of that. She seemed totally at peace, but something about it struck me as so unnatural, that someone could know with exact certainty the moment that her old life would be gone, replaced with something nobody could fathom, apart from hopes and legends.">>691256
You take the cup back from Vortigern, who now appears more concerned for you. Yet, she smiles wickedly, and quickly drops her head toward the cup. She sips the last of the drink, leaving you with a small layer at the very bottom.>>691257
"I agree, there's plenty of talking that shouldn't be had right now," Mudi says with a wink, scribbling the word "silent" with the pink quill onto a sheet of papyrus. She tosses it toward you, and upon contact with your skin, it vanishes. You find yourself incapable of speaking.
"All done!" Mudi laughs. "VERY easy.">>691254
"At least one person has!" Mudi laughs with relief. You sense a genuine gratitude coming from her as she smiles at you.>>691253
Hafaza leans over your shoulder, but finds it awkward to read one chapter of a book while you've also got the page open to another chapter. Eventually she squeezes in next to you on the couch so as to facilitate the multi-person reading. "So all I do is read this book, and I'll learn it? Where'd you get a book like this?"
SPELLBREAKER: recharge 2, spell, ranged; nullify a spell or magic effect
Shei briskly peels the paper right off
Roll #1 9 = 9
+1 because of talent
"HAH! Easy indeed!"
Flaming grunts and pouts, looking at Amy again with a dizzy glare, "A-Amy… why are there two of you? Can Ego come ou… come out?">>691260
Flaming grins widely as she sneaks the cup back from Vortigern, smiling and shouting "Ah-ha! Take that…." at the motherly figure before she sees her swiftly dip her head down and lap up her entire ale. "HEEEEEEY!" She says as she's left with nothing but foam, looking sadly at the bottom, "Where'd… y-you made it all go away… I'm still th-thirsty, damnit." She barks at Vizsla, "Vizsla! B-buy me another drink!" She hiccups. "Puh… ples.">>691259
As Flaming starts feeling Shei pushing back against her cheeks with greater force, she growls and pushes back even harder (or, tries to, in her inebriated state) "O-oh yeah!? Well my horns may be… maybe short but my head's tougher… you… litttle… light-hoofed kid!"
[1d10] Counter push!Roll #1 10 = 10
"From the house of an old man that had a false sense of immortality." Observer replies, floating the book with telekinesis to assist them in being able to read together. Not minding the extra study partner, Observer continues reading his portion of the book. "A fool not worth remembering. I'm more interested in knowing where this book came from originally, if I had the freedom I would take the time to research it's history further."
Pryce is silent after Zjetya tells of the other singer.
"…I couldn't imagine what that must feel like. Leaving everything you know behind, it's almost like knowing when you'll die… but worse somehow. Taken away by some other being's call."
Pryce thinks back to the Rapture, how the angels took away countless ponies in an almost similar, though rougher, way.
"I assume nopony declines or tries to not go?"
"Don't worry, it's more than just me. Even if they haven't said it out loud. They're here, aren't they?">>691265
"You think I'm not already here?" Amy laughs more assertively.
The paper cannot be peeled off, as it had vanished upon contact. Yet, you manage to undo the spell, but just barely; despite the ease with which Mudi tossed it your way, it's an incredibly stubborn spell. Yet Mudi takes no notice of you, having gotten on another conversation topic with the others.>>691265
"I'm only getting you the watered-down stuff they sell to the drunkards. Besides, closing time is coming up; I may as well brew you a hangover cure in advance," Vizsla says, buying you a glass of light, watered-down wine.>>691267
"I don't know of anyone who's tried to not go, but I'm not so naive to think that nobody would try to refuse it," Zjetya says.
Vortigern glances toward the both of you, and sets one of her wings across Zjetya's back and yours in a hug.>>691268
"Yeah, of course," Mudi says, bringing out the snowglobe. "I'm keeping a close eye on all of them, but I think I'll sober up before visiting them later tonight. They're not keen on the smell of alcohol." She sets a protective hoof over the snowglobe. "Let's set this right.">>691266
"I overheard them talking about that pony earlier," Hafaza says with a gesture at Box and Onion. "Calque, they said his name was. He should still be in town, so if you want to know more, we could abduct the information straight from him."
"I suppose we have four days until we must venture into Tartarus… And you could walk your pig in the process." Observer says as he mulls it over, then looking to Hafaza after he does. "Alright, but let us do this now so we can return and continue studying."
Shei-Sher can take a hint, he leaves Mudi be.>>691265
Shei-Sher is thrown off his chair, hitting rump first onto the ground. "ba-a-ah, damn be it all! Okay, it is no contest. You win the brute strength portion of our bout." He says only half conceding the victory.
"Now I hope you don't get invited, hearing what happens…"
Pryce mutters in response.
Pryce looks up as Vortigern wraps them in a wing hug, caught by surprise.
"O-Oh, hello Vortigern."
"I meant all the ponies around us, silly," Amy says, poking Mudi on the nose. "Look around you. They're accepting you. At least, most of them are. We're all fighting alongside you on this, and now we're celebrating with you to. That means a lot."
"I think you've just spent too much time with this one over here," Amy says in a half-playful tone, pointing to Viszla. "Not everyone is so two-faced. For most ponies, when they party with you, it's because they like you. It wasn't even MY idea to invite you."
Flaming turns to look at Amy, turning her head in confusion as her ears flap down, "W-wait… am I talking to… *hiccup* Amy or… other… Amy?">>691269
Flaming looks at Vizsla with a scrunched up muzzle, her head spinning in her chair as she tries and fails to grab at the glass a few times, grunting angrily as she keeps trying and finally succeeds, "Aaahaa!" She gives it a little swig, smiling as she enjoys the extremely watered-down taste. "Ooooh… this is *hiccup* sweeeter but, y-you insult my pride, wi-witch. I can handle the…" she falls over slightly before picking herself up, "The BIG stuff just fine!">>691271
As Shei is sent flying out of his chair by Flaming's cheek, she looks at the defeated goat and throws up her drink, spilling some of it on her fur, "Hahaha! Cl-Clan Climbing Fire … r-reings… reggans…. rans… wins again!" She says with a victory swill, before looking down at Shei, "Wuzza…. 'strength' portion… what else is there?"
"fighting portion" Shei says with rekindled resolve
The piglet gets up and trots to the exit of the ship, apparently always eager for a walk. After asking around the ship, you learn that Calque has signed up for guard duty in Fantasia, apparently ashamed of his actions in Vitral. One of the city's nighttime patrol might know more.>>691273
Mudi is quite surprised. "All of that from a magic show? I didn't think it'd be that much of a big deal."
"Whaaaaat?" Vizsla asks with mock offense. "I helped!"
"Yeah yeah yeah," Mudi says dismissively. Yet, what you say is clearly getting to her. "It's a nice feeling, to say the least. Still, that's all the more reason not to let it get to my head, isn't it? I've been thinking a lot about what I promised Metatron. There's no way I could carry burdens of that magnitude by myself. So, hey, if you catch me acting like I can do it all alone, take a bite of me, alright?"
"The alcohol makes her sentimental, it seems," Zjetya adds.
Mudi laughs and nods.>>691272
"I wouldn't go that far," Zjetya says. "That's a decision I'll need to weigh and face by myself, however afraid I might be."
The look on Vortigern's face tells you she is intimately aware of what Zjetya's talking about.>>691274
"I'm sure you can. Tell me that again in the morning, won't you?">>691272>>691271>>691273
You start to see people leaving the bar, as well as various people cleaning up. Closing time has finally arrived. You'll have to leave as well, though the others seem reluctant to do so.
With the information given to Observer and Hafaza, he heads into the city where he attempts to spot a guard, as he inspects any guard he approaches, he begins his scan for his search.
>Searching for guard [Nighttime patrol]
[1d10+3]>Analyze [Approached guard]
[1d10+1]Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
"It's all just me… but not me," Amy says, clearly confused as well. "These tattoos are fusing us," she says as she points to her face. "I mean, we've always been one. But, now there's… less separation. I think that's why I've been calling you Flaming sometimes."
"I prefer to think of it as sometimes I'm less boring than other times," she suddenly adds with a laugh.>>691276
"That's the great part of fighting together," Amy says with a smile. "We help each other. And, if you can't handle all that power alone, I'll just jump in with you!"
When she sees the workers cleaning up, Amy stands up. She's been in enough bars to know when she's not wanted anymore. "Alright, time to take the party back to our place," she says playfully.
"You don't have to face it yourself. I mean, do you?"
At seeing Vortigern's expression, Pryce wishes she could speak so he could have a little more insight on this to help.
Shei-Sher walks off to the outside of the bar and hangs around the entrance until the rest of everyone else follows out to go back to the ship for a night's rest (Of course though Shei doesn't sleep)
Shei-Sher starts entertaining himself with his own thoughts. I wonders if anyone on the ship beside Flaming, Pryce, LJ, Amy, and Flow actually like his company or are just afraid of the next thing he'll do. He spends some time rationalizing to himself whether or not their opinions of him really matter or not.
He thoughts begin to trail back to the incident with the wine. Shei-Sher curiously lets his aura expand and linger without drawing attention. To see if anyone is watching him.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
"I-I will!" Flaming blurts, taking another sip of her drink, giving a satisfied 'mmmm' to the taste. "Wo-ah.. this is a LOT easier to drink…" she blurts out, but then looks up as everyone starts leaving the bar. "Awwwwww…. I-I was havin' fun…"
She tries to get out of her chair and walk towards the door
[1d10] If fails she falls flat on the floor unable to keep balance>>691278
Flaming turns her head, the intoxicated buffalo clearly having a little bit of hard time understanding the conflicting balance at work inside Amy's psyche.
"Y-yeah…. that's… that's… pr-*hiccup* pretty hard. So, is the Amy I know… just half of the rail Amy?">>691275
Flaming lets a loud laugh bellow out as she leaves the bar, "F-fighting?! C'-c'mon, Shei, who *HICCUP* are ya talkin too? Hahahahaha!"Roll #1 10 = 10
After tracking down one of the guards up on the rampart of the wall surrounding Fantasia, you and Hafaza explain what you're after. Though the guard doesn't know much about Calque himself, he tells you that the knight is set to begin his training tomorrow morning, and advises you to come to the training yard in the western district to catch him.>>691279
"Not entirely, of course. But ultimately, the only person who can make the final decision is me. It's my time left on earth that would be at stake, whether I choose to go along or resist them. There's an expression in Daozang that goes something like, 'Life is like water in your hoof.' You know? It means something like, your time in the world is very finite, and you must accept responsibility for all that you use it on. I don't want to choose one path or another unless I'm aware of that responsibility.">>691280
It seems that there are gazes watching you, but they are ultimately friendly; even Mudi's and Vizsla's presences feel relaxed around you.>>691278>>691279>>691280
You head back to the ship.
Last time on HQ…
The party celebrated a show well done in a tavern packed with merrymakers, and spent time with Mudi, Vizsla, Vortigern and a few other of their fellow performers. At the night's conclusion, the party retired to the ship to sleep off their inebriation. Flow, though by himself, similarly indulged after his battle with the young Estuary. Meanwhile, Hafaza and Observer studied the book belonging to Calque's true form, and started to understand more of the power within.
Each of you slowly wakes (apart from Shei), back in the ship, sprawled across the various rooms. Those of you who decided to drink can already feel the hammering and pulsing of the morning hangover, swelling through your head all the way down to your hooves. You're also quite hungry. Fortunately, the smells of salvation emanate from the kitchen, where Shei is preparing breakfast, as per his yearly custom. >>691572
You awake, a still-tipsy and only half-formed blob, down by the riverbed. Tall, flowering weeds and low hills leave your location ambiguous, and your memory of the last night is quite hazy. Though you seem to remember Renee being with you, she's nowhere to be seen at the moment, and neither is your equipment.
Observer makes his way to the kitchen with his fresh bag of coffee beans and new grinder, having studied the book all night without rest. He prepares Caw a meal prepared from mushed worms and even bits of fruit.
Observer grabs a pot and fill it with water to boil, levitating the small coffee grind holders to put over a cup. While waiting for the water to boil and let Caw eat the newly mixed meal for him, Observer uses his grinder to grind the coffee beans.>>691574
"Shei, have you had time to read over the purification spell in the book yet?" Observer asks as he prepares his coffee.
Flow slowly crawls his way to the river, and starts drinking from it, regenerating himself as he tries piecing together what happened last night.
"Where's my stuff?" he wonders aloud as he looks around his immediate area.
Flaming groans as she lays out her entire body sprawled across a bed. Her head pounds as she moves her legs around a little, moving a blanket slightly to the side as her eyes start to flutter awake. "Hhrrrmg…. ghggg…. guh." She says in protest to the smell of delicious breakfast stirring her from her slumber, but the sleepy, slightly hung-over buffalo feels compelled to push herself out of her bed (or over any of those whom she chose to nap alongside at the end of the night) as her head moves around in a blur, moving mostly on instinct as the calf more or less drags herself to the kitchen.
"Mrrmngg…." (Morning) she says unelegantly as she sniffs around, trying to find the source of the food as she's lead to the kitchen. "Wassat…? I want some."
In a haze of a feverish memory Shei-Sher slowly sobered up through-out the midnight and got to his preparations of all the foods he acquired the day before.
While everyone was asleep the kid busied in the kitchen, though lethargic and unable to discern why he felt so dehydrated. Shei prepared spicy, savory broths to be eaten with vegetables, alchemized sweet and zesty humice from grains, beans, lemons, and blueberries. He made experimented with dressings, deciding on a few concoctions to be poured into mason jars, and tossed stir fried edamame, broccoli, and miscellaneous vegetables and spice roots to be put into a very large bowl that would be placed at the center of the table when ready.
For his pet's Shei-Sher ground together the fish into mush, seaoned with pepper and ginger. And for Amy and Volkama, the fish that was left, He seared them on for a simple dish but exquisite to the senses. pepper, ginger, and onion can be tasted along with the luxurious ichor of lightly cooked blood left onto it.
With a cake left in the oven, Shei-Sher still busies himself through the kitchen, sporadically attending to one thing and then another. The majority of the meal are all prepared, and lay onto the table, filling it's surface area to the brim.
Flaming looks lazily around the kitchen, training to sniff her way to the source of the food as her head bumps into Shei's rear legs as he works. She points her nose up, sniffing the fine spices and fresh aroma of delicious cake on his body. "Hrrrrrmmmmm….! Shei…? Where's food…" she says, missing the clearly laid out display as she rudely asks you for some breakfast.
Amy lays on the ground, sprawled out and dead asleep. She snores loudly.
>>691575>it should all taste good because in canon Shei is a good cook but dammit I wanna throw some dice… so here I go
also this is suppose to have taken up 6 or 8 hours so I'm gonna say along with a cake Shei also has a casserole in the oven as well
Anyways ROLLING FOR COOKING EXPERTISE>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;
[1d10+3]Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7
"Uh-" Shei looks back to you, from the look of his face telling you have a seat isn't one of his many first thoughts "Rats! Rats and Magic! What time is it? Has the ship awaken already?"
"I'unno…" Flaming groans, reaching up to rub at her head. "Head hurts, can think. Gimme food, please." She says, sniffing around as she makes her way towards the table, "Ooooh… smells goooood!" she says as she gets a little more enthusiastic, making her way for the chairs.
"No I-.." Shei pauses as he fixates on stirring and then tasting it "I was mostly interested in the the sections regarding meditative self-control. Could you check the oven timer for me?" He buzzes off into doing some other meticulous cooking related thing.
Restoring and re-solidifying yourself with the river's water, you start to hear a faint singing nearby, as the alcohol leaves your system. You follow it briefly, and find Renee by the shore of a small pond in the midst of the river's path. She has your equipment with her, and sings as she lounges with her hooves in the pond, laying with messy mane pulled back, singing elegantly yet with a certain lightness.>>691576
You prepare coffee for the group.>>691581
You continue to sleep (check name).>>691578>>691579
In time, the group filters into the ship's kitchen. River (who had disappeared last night), Blessings, Box, Onion, Volkama, Deriva, Spitshine, Wireframe, Sugar, Zjetya, LJ, Busta, Tantra and Rus are in attendance, and start lining up to gather their utensils and plates, chatting cheerfully about the morning's business, and complimenting the buffet before them.
Pryce wakes up down in his room, a grander feeling at waking than the past few days. The success of the magic show giving him one of the most peaceful sleeps he's ever had. Though now that the excitement's over, he's starting to feel a few of the burns his last trick left on him. He heads to the bathroom to wash up and treat those spots, and then after ready for the day, he heads ot ht kitchen where that smell is coming from.>>691575
KP wakes up in the barracks, having went back to the ship right after the show as it was late. Picking up Hopper and placing the frog on his head ot let him sleep still, KP heads to the kitchen as he smells the tantalizing aroma of what he assumes is a huge breakfast.>>691580
Seeing Flaming in the kitchen, KP runs up to her, excited.
"Flaming! You were amazing last night, you were all 'whoa', and shooting fire, and acting all over! I never thought you were the acting type!"
He says, having not had a chance to see everypony after the show last night.
How is that even possible? It was right in my sheet post!
Yes, this is my post for this round.
Both Pryces enter the kitchen as well, finding it to be both packed and in good spirits, apart from those still feeling the effects of the hangover.
Observer continues grinding for a bit more and glances over at the kitchen timer, sighing and offering to help as he prepares pouring a cup of dark coffee for everyone, including Shei.>>691586
It's black like the void itself.>>691588>>691587>>691584
Observer brings over a cup of coffee for everyone, the coffee looking very dark. There's also an additional cup of milk (or water if there is no milk on the ship) for the child Pryce.
>>691590>assuming Observer puts the coffee next to Amy where she sleeps
She sniffs as the coffee is placed next to her. Her nose wrinkles up. "Eeeeeeh," she whines as she rolls over. "I haaaaaate coffeeeee!"
Flow sighs with relief, and steps towards Renee.
"I didn't know you sang. Sounds beautiful," he says as he approaches Renee.
He takes another look at her hair, intrigued by how disheveled it looks.
Shei-Sher hurries to finish up. The oven dinging and with gloves he slows down for a moment to take out cake and casserole from their respective trays.
As people file in Shei's mind streamline into serving people little cups of the spicy broth he made as he pours into each with a ladle and handing one to each pony. "That this, it goes splendidly with the stir fry or salad. May be too strong for some, and quite spicy.
erm There's tea it's camomile, ginger, marjoram, and hisbicus, please help yourselves.
Shei sighs to some level of relief as he sees he's nearing completion. Shei-Sher simply tops the cake he made with home made blueberry icing and then gets to preparing a the seat and meal he would offer to y'dryth before serving himself.
Flaming sniffs up at the wide array of food, clumsily trying to find her way over to a plate so she could scoop herself up some grub, before she is assailed by KP, "Gaaah! Pryce…?" She says, leering at Kid Pryce, then smiling, "Oooh, little Pryce! Hey there," she says with a slight grin, becoming a little red in the cheeks as she is complimented on her performance. "Aww… t-thanks, that was my very first act as a storyteller. You really liked it?">>691586>>691593
As all of the others start to pour in, Flaming gasp and greedily leaps towards the front, "W-wait, I was here first, lemme go first i'm starving!" She shouts as she puts herself up towards Shei, grabbing at three bowls as she shouts, "I'd like this many please!"
After obtaining three bowl-fulls of the very spicy broth, she moves over towards the stir-fry and wrangles her up some mixed vegetables and brocoli, not being very picky about her selection as she just attempts to eat all she can.
She looks around for a place to sit, her eyes drifting towards Little Journey as he makes his way into the kitchen. She smiles, then paces up towards him "Morning Journey. I missed you last night after the show. How are you feeling?"
"It was intended to wake you up. Food is being prepared in the kitchen." Observer says after he sets down Amy's cup as the last cup. He gingerly sips at his own and takes a deep sigh of relief when he gets a taste. "Amy, do you wish to learn a spell that could protect everyone?"
Amy makes some sort of vague sound that could be interpreted as interest.
Pryce looks over the huge banquet, surprised at the dishes that have been prepared. Pryce files into line to get his plate and cutlery, and then walks over to River.
"Hey, are you feeling better from last night?">>691590
"Oh, thank you Observer."
Pryce says, grabbing his cup in his telekinesis.
>"Cool, thanks Observer."
KP says, as he grabs his cup of milk inhis own magic.>"So where were you last night, I didn't see you at the show. You could've done some cool… uh, void, that's the stuff, right?"
>>691594>>691595>"Yea it was super cool! I didn't think you'd be doing a huge story, what made you pick that up?"
"Still stiff," LJ says, waving his glass limbs. "Sure can't wait for _____
and Mirror to get back. Not that I'm worried they didn't make it of course…" He seems uncharacteristically worried about those two.>>691593
Now that you've gotten food for yourself, the others begin to eat, and the overlapping conversations continue.>>691590
"Don't forget, we should go speak to Calque after breakfast, and interrogate him about the book," Hafaza says while getting a plate for herself and the pig.>>691588
"Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy. Amy."
It's Box, tugging at your back hoof while nagging you incessantly.>>691592
Even as a gooey mass, Renee's hair is intricately outlined, well-defined and well-cared for. "I was part of the choir. Well, not THE Choir, but a choir nonetheless. Of course, I was the best. How did you sleep? You were half-alcohol at one point. Remember much?">>691598
"Good," River says with a smile that seems a little forced. "Perhaps we could take a walk later?"
>>691598>Presumed to have this conversation before delivering coffee to amy
"I was preparing to learn spells that could help me find my way through Tartarus. If you wish to see me do 'cool' things then you may ask Sir Pryce about things I've done. I'm not quite sure what is considered 'cool' to mortals anyhow.">>691597
"It would require studying a book… for two days.">>691599>Presumed to have this conversation before delivering coffee to Amy.
"Even so, I need to make sure these meat bags can assist in fulfilling my obligation to Buiwong. I must converse with Amy first before we leave…"
As Shei-Sher prepares the plate for Y'dryth's seat and then for himself before he can eat he notices the clatter and chatting turns into the sounds of eating "wait Wait Wait Wait! Just a moment please, everyone." Shei-Sher taps a spoon against his porcelain cup of tea to grab everyone's attention "I realize you've all begun to eat already but it is a special day today, if we could be in silence so I may say grace I would appreciate the kindness."
Amy sits up, her eyes only half open. She leans against Box. "Whaaaat?" she whines to Box.>>691600
She blinks one eye at a time and looks at Observer. "What would it do?"
Flow shakes his head.
"Not a thing. All I remember is the taste of alcohol, then nothing."
He pauses, then lets out a chuckle.
"The choir, eh? What was that like?"
Flaming chuckles, "Well, as for wanting to take it up… honestly, I was just looking for something to do for the play. Everyone was doing their best to put on a great show for the crowd and, I was just helping out on a few things. So I asked Zjetya if she needed any help and, as it turns out, she and Vortigern could use me for 'their' act, which was that story. I really liked doing it too! Got to learn how to work with Spark.">>691599
Flaming sighs as she grabs a chair, saving one besides him as she puts up her three dishes, looking at his limbs "I'm sorry… I hope the show helped at least. Did you have fun?" She asks, before the tired buffalo, now getting her first slurp of soup in her, notices the worried noise he makes. "H-hey… I'm sure they'll be back any time today. They said it wouldn't take them long to make the trip and I believe in them. You do too, right?"
"Let me put it in a way that might catch your interest more… Let's say you were to give it your all to fight and protect both Shei and Flaming. What do you suppose would happen if the demons that hide within the shadows took advantage of you and used what you are to harm the others?"
>>691600>"Ooooh. So what'd you learn then? Must've been a lot since I didn't see you all day.">>691593
"Wow Shei, you're quite active this morning."
Pryce comments as Shei serves out their food.
"Did you do all this up yourself?"
KP takes a sip of his broth as he gets his bowl.>"Ah! Spicy, spicy."
He whines as he quickly chugs some of his milk.>"That was an interesting performance last night Shei. I didn't quite get it, but it sounded like everypony else did. When'd you learn that sort of comedy?"
KP asks, curious on Shei's act while he fetches his food.>>691604>"You picked a good act to help then, you worked really well with their music."
KP compliments.>"Oh yea, I saw you playing with that little dragon. Where'd you find him, you had him working on command like you had him your whole life!">>691599
"That's good to hear," Pryce comments, not catching the smile, "Sure, sounds nice."
Amy glares at Observer, suddenly looking more awake. She stares at him with a surprising amount of contemplation for her.
"What are you saying?"
"I didn't get a chance to tell you yesterday, but the Farm guy was looking for you last night. He said his name was Baoth, and he wanted to thank you before he went back to work for Ecclesia.">>691604
"If we were back in our lands, I would have booted you off the stage for presuming to tell a story as well as a shaman could," LJ says. "But afterward, I thought you were nothing but the finest of the performers."
"I have to second that," Tantra says, plopping down next to you. "Even I was getting a little nostalgic for home.">>691603
Lots of gossip and rivalry, as in any projects undertaken by the Union. But, it was nice as well. A sense of companionship, a routine for my life, an exposure to the arts. We were mostly happy for the money we raised, which went to aiding the poor, the infirm and peasants left without a lot in life after bad harvest seasons."
"Oh, that explains it. We ran quite a riot on that poor town with our drinking. I swear we didn't start that bar fight, but I can say confidently we got some good hits in before the barkeep threw us out." She laughs fondly.>>691601>>691604>>691605>>691606
Though some seem confused by Shei's request, the various guests cut off their conversations and set down their utensils to allow him to say a prayer.
"Seriously!?" Amy suddenly explodes with delight. "Where is he!?">>691605
"Can you come with me to talk about this?"
"I am still in the process of learning it. However, when it is complete I should be able to regain my free will if anything were to take it away.">>691607>>691609
Observer follows along with Amy, continuing to explain. "The spell I am learning and a spell you might find very useful… If your free will and mind are taken away from your control, you can regain it."
>>691610>"What would take your free will away?"
KP asks curiously.>>691601
KP quiets down with all his questions and praise to give Shei his moment of silence.
Pryce does so as well, a little surprised at this coming from Shei.
Flow snickers, and starts laughing.
"So, we went on /that/ kind of night, eh? Reminds me of the good ol days, cept I was usually more…sober. I enjoy the ol fistfight in a bar. How'd we end up here, though?"
"Demons, gods, a career in retail. Any of those are applicable."
Flaming smiles, "I thought so too… the story really touched me and, it was just fun to try and tell a story like that. I saw our Shaman do it a hundred times as a calf and now I got to do the same…" she points at her new tattoos, "Kind of makes me feel I… earned these a little more, I guess."
As you ask about the dragon, she smiles widely, "Oh they're just the coolest! They have half a dozen little, hoof-sized dragons back stage that you can ask to work with you on the show! I gave them lots of little bits of shredded up meat, then Zjetya showed me how to make him spew flame. The red one didn't tell me his name so I just started calling him 'Spark'.">>691608
Flaming gives Little Journey a strong look in the eyes, "Oh is that so? I would have loved to see you 'try'," she says with a smirk, "I felt a little embarrassed telling a story when I never did before, but I just had to give it a try with no Shamans of our own here." She chuckles, "Glad to hear I did pretty good. Think about that next time before doubting me, ya hear?"
As Tantra sits down next to them, Flaming peers up, "Oh! Morning Tantra. And thanks, I was doing it for you two most of all." She sighs, moving her muzzle into her soup to take another gulp. "Did sorta remind me of the plains… we'll make it back there some day though. I know we will.">>691608>>691601
After Shei rings his glass, she looks up from her soup, a mouth-full of vegetables in her mouth as she raises an eyebrow in surprise, but she swallows quickly, giving Shei a small nod of her head to let him know she's ready to listen to what 'grace' he has to say.
Shei-Sher puts his hooves together in prayer
"Y'dryth we are grateful today to be still together, to share tea and conversation and enjoy the time that you allow to pass on our humble earth. We thank you…" Shei-Sher pauses for a moment thinking clearly what would mean most and in the moment again feeling what it was like to prostrate himself before y'dryth on that stage. and be a single candle before a brilliant star. "We thank you for our friends, and the roof over our head.. for giving our horns the strength to bear the loads of each day that you give us. We may forget to say our thanks but we are so grateful we shall never surrender in the face of the many blessings you have in store for us all father. And thank you, personally, for the food we are eating. Amen."
Shei-Sher unclasps his hooves and begins eating, without another word.
"Sounds helpful. Where did you find this? And, why are you telling me?" Amy says with uncharacteristic suspicion.
"Everyone on the ship went ahead and explained things to him, and after that, he went into town to thank Mudi for removing the gem from his head. But, he mentioned he'd be around the medical centers set up for the refugees, lending a hoof with treating injured and sick. You'll probably find him there.">>691612
"I'm afraid that's where my account starts to fragment," Renee says. "I recall we came to the conclusion that, even with all those demons and fighters around, this town was small-time compared to what we were destined for, and so we went for a walk along the riverbank… for some reason, we had a duel at that point, but I think we both stumbled into each other, flailing like madponies. And, well, I suppose you can extrapolate the rest.">>691614
"Don't think that those elder's stripes make you as tall as a mountain," he says, reciting a common phrase used among your tribe for teaching humility. "Otherwise, I'll have to headbutt you back into place."
"You kids are the best," Tantra laughs, giving both of you a brief noogie.>>691615
Many culturally idiosyncratic variants of "Amen," such as Dhyana, Vajra, and Karana, follow your prayer, and conversation and eating resume, though now with a certain level of gravity and gratitude following it.
>When ready to move on, signal so in your post
"Thank you, Box," Amy says as she rushes off the ship. "I'll be back soon. Let everyone know.">>691613
"Come on," Amy waves for Observer to follow.
"Consider it a way voidlings show gratitude to mortals, by teaching you how to survive the most dangerous places. As for where I found it, I am going to speak to Calque about the book's origins… Finding it in an old fool's mansion doesn't tell me or you where it came from." Observer says, taking another sip of his coffee.
"I know our feelings a very different due to my nature, but I know I owe something to you and the others for allowing me to travel and use you all as my personal meat shields." Observer says, probably mentioning the last part more as a joke.>>691618>>691617
"I must see Calque first about the book."
>Ready to leave with Hafaza to see Calque
"That's what friends are for," Amy says with a smile before parting ways.
KP says, before going back into his food.>>691615>>691606>>691613>"Are you worried they're going to take your free will away soon?">>691614>"You should do more stories like that, you're really good at them."
KP looks up at the tattoos as Flaming points them out, eyes widening in awe.>"Whooa, when'd you get those?!"
>"They just have a bunch of little dragons backstage?! This place is the coolest!"
KP exclaims.>"Are you gonna keep Spark around?">>691615
Pryce says after a pause, thinking back to his church days and how long it's been since he's given any official prayer.>>691617
Pryce eats away at his breakfast, curious as to the importance with Shei serving everypony and praying.>Ready to move on
>>691617>ready to move on whenever everyone else is. guess we had enough RP sessions>>691606
"I do not know what you're talking about." Shei-Sher says plainly as he drinks tea inbetween eating.>>691614
"Flaming, do you have plans for today? I need help with something important."
Flow raises an eyebrow.
"So… we had a fight, and then we separated…yeah, no idea where that could've gone."
He shrugs.>ready to go
>>691622>"…Is that another joke?"
"It is not them I fear taking away my will… The only thing I fear are forces even your mind as an adult could not comprehend."
Flaming looks on at Shei-Sher as he says his prayer, sitting quietly and listening intently to what he has to say without interruption as he asks for blessing. She doesn't understand the ritual itself outside of a rare missionary visit she remembers seeing on the plains, but nontheless says 'Amen' in turn with the many others around the table as he finishes.>>691617
Shorthorns looks at Journey as she recites the passage, nodding her head with a sigh as she tries to remember to keep herself humble. "Believe me, I know… i don't think anyone's as nervous about me having these as I am. But I have to do my best to make it look like I'm worthy of 'em." She sticks out her tongue, "You couldn't headbutt Shei back into place, Journey, much less 'me' though. Maybe you should just try asking nicely, maaaaaybe I'd listen if I felt like it."
As Tantra rubs at her head, she grumbles, reaching up her hooves to swat away at his. "H-hey! Cut it out, I'm not a little kid anymore you know.">>691621
Flaming pauses as she points out her stripes, "It's… kind of a long story but, Vir-can gave them to me. After I nearly died getting all those pour civilians out of Vitral and here to the village where they were safe from the glass mist. They're markings of… of an elder."
She smiles widely, "I know right?! They're just the coolest!" As you ask if she is gonna keep Spark, she pauses, "I… I sure would like too but, I don't know. I'd have to ask him if he wants to.">>691622
As Shei asks her if she's busy, she thinks for a moment, "Umm… nothing that I 'know' of yet, anyways. I can help you out, Shei, least I could do for breakfast here. What's up?"
Shei give you a cocked wry face "No? I was not a part of any act last night. I spent the entire time here cooking. I remember there was a show, cannot remember why I decided not go."
Shei-Sher doesn't seem to remember the events of last night.
You head off to Fantasia. After asking around a bit, you find the makeshift medical tents on one of the main streets. Though things seem to have calmed down now since the JOY epidemic, there are still many injured receiving treatment from the medical team, evidently the casualties of skirmishes with demons. You note that there seem to be quite a lot of injured around here.
In the back, wearing an Ecclesian jacket, you see the Farm, or rather, Baoth – a yellow pony with a black mane, a rather unassuming-looking fellow, taking inventory of medical supplies on a series of tables and baskets.>>691619
After heading to the training camp for Fantasian guards, you see Calque, apparently in the middle of a break from training. He's standing by a tall stone obelisk in the corner of the training yard, reading a dedication plaque at the bottom of the statue.>>691623
Renee pokes you in the ribs suggestively. "Have Vice explain things to you. I'm sure he picked up on it."
After a bit of navigation, you figure out you ended up northwest of town, and follow the river back around Fantasia. Soon, you return to the ship, just in time to see Mirror Image and the Dragon enter the ship. "They're back!" Renee exclaims. "Finally, I hope they've come with good news.">>691621>>691622>>691626
In the middle of your conversations, you hear a loud banging on one of the walls. As you get up to investigate, Mirror Image enters the ship, panting, though she is an angel. She is accompanied by the Dragon.
"We made it to the seashore," the Dragon says. "And if Mirror's excited rants are anything to go off, we have cause to think we can undo the damage that Metatron has done to our comrades."
"Absolutely," Mirror says. "Well, come on, I'm going to go gather those who've been turned partially into glass by the ash. We'll return to the shore as soon as we're ready."
"Seriously!?" LJ says, nearly stumbling as he and Busta get up. "That's great news, let's get going!"
"Could you take me to Hearthome, with your dark corridor? I need to see my Master."
Amy runs up to him and gives him a surprise affectionate hug. "I'm so happy you're okay! You have no idea how worried I was! I'm so sorry for what I did to you! It must have all been so awful! I'm so happy you're better!"
Amy continues to rant as she hugs him, not letting go.
Flow does just that, and brings out Vice when they reach the airship.
"I'm sure they found out something that'll raise spirits…we could certainly use some good news about now."
As soon as Vice appears, he immediately goes to whisper in Flow's ear. The more he tells him, the more Flow's purple cheeks lose their blue color.
When Vice is done, he looks right at Renee.
Shei-Sher can't helped but be vexed that Amy is giving someone a hug right now infront of him. But he relents acting unreasonable or anything.>>691628
Shei-Sher brings Mirror Image a cup of tea. "Can angels drink tea?"
Following Flaming where ever she goes.
Observer approaches Calque, taking a glance to quickly read the plaque before looking back to him. "Calque, I wanted to speak to you regarding a book I found in your older self's study. Not only was the book difficult to decipher, but the contents of it are quite useful… even the one that helped him create you. Do you know where he might have retrieved that book from?"
>>691625>"Oh… Well, uh, good luck with your spell.I don't know what those things could be, but I know you can figure it out!"
KP says with added enthusiasm.>>691626>"Y-You almost died?! What happened?!"
KP shouts with worry.>"Wait, you're still here, so it doesn't matter. And… you're an elder now?"
>"Why don't you ask him then?"
KP says simply.>>691627>>691626>"Huh. I swear I saw you there, and Amy and Flaming came out too."
KP turns to Flaming.>"Flaming, Shei was on stage last night, right?">>691628
Pryce looks over as Mirror and the Dragon come in and bring the news.
"Really, you made it that quickly? That's great!"
Pryce says, figuring it would've been days before they reached the shore.
Pryce looks over to River.
"Great timing, isn't it. Just before our walk too."
Shorthorn gulps, "My… Dark Corridor?" she blushes, "I uh… I could try for sure! But I haven't gotten it working just yet. But, second time's the try.">>691628
Flaming is about to take another mouth-full of soup before the banging on the wall takes her attention away. She moves away from the table and moves towards the angel, "Mirror! Thank goodness, you're back!" As they explain the situation, she beams widely, grabbing at LJ's hoof and practically dragging him away from the table, "Well come on then, let's get you fixed up! Thank you so much Mirror, ______
, let's go let's go!">>691632
Shorthorns looks to Shei, "Shei, come with us while we get the glassed healed, then we'll go right away to Hearthome, I promise!">>691634
Flaming looks down, ears flattening. "Like I said, kind of a long story, but, yeah… Vir-can came to me as I felt myself slipping away and, gave me these." She shakes her head as she feels the marks, "No… at least, I don't think so. I don't know, I'm certainly not OLD enough or experienced enough to be an elder but, these marks were given by Vir-can himself.">>691634>>691632
Flaming turns her head, "Huh….? Of course he was. Shei you told jokes, remember?"
>>691635>"Shei, come with us while we get the glassed healed, then we'll go right away to Hearthome, I promise!"
"Certainly, just after I get another cup of tea. I'll right with.">>691635>>691634>"Huh….? Of course he was. Shei you told jokes, remember?"
Shei-Sher looks at the two of you completely puzzled ".. was I good?"
"Ah, that," Calque says with regret. "The book was largely my creation, created with the collaboration of many other mages of my stripe who longed to overcome death, in all her forms. Many of them poured so many years into research and experimentation for it that they were old ponies in no time. Most of my youth was wasted on it, which is what led me to create the spell that produced the 'me' you see now."
"The book is a farce, and a waste. Burn it, or read it and learn from our folly. I want no part of it now.">>691630
Baoth accepts the hug, but when it becomes clear that the hug will last for a while, he gently peels you off of him. "Right. Certainly a low point of my career. I thank you dearly that you did not indulge my feverish requests to die, and thank you even more that you brought me to Mudi. I'm certainly going to commend you to the Choir for this. Speaking of which…" he seems troubled. "Did you see any other Ecclesians in Fantasia? Anyone in the Velvet Vimana? I was on a mission for Doctor Galton before I was captured, looking for a stone tablet."
His mention brings to mind the stone tablet you found back in the Tower of Traitors, along with the Garment of the Founder.>>691635>>691632
"Hey, before you try teleporting anywhere, do you even know where that guy's hanging out?" Tantra asks, stepping in. "Shei, you're looking for the crow guy, right? If you don't know where he is, you could end up way off course.">>691635>>691634
"Just give me a moment to spread the word around Fantasia and get assistance with carrying those who have been turned to glass, and we'll be off," Mirror says.>>691631
"Yes?" Renee asks innocently.
You see Mirror Image exiting the ship. As she passes by you, she turns and grabs you in a hug. "Flow! It's so good to see you again!"
River nods, and looks like she has a lot on her mind.
Amy smiles and gyrates with joy at his thanks. "It's always better to live," Amy says happily. "That way, you can find a reason to live again."
"Stone tablet…" Amy says contemplatively. "Oh!" she says as if something suddenly clicks. "Does it look like this?"
She digs into her saddlebag and after some shuffling finds the stone tablet waaaay in the bottom since no one has needed it. She shuffles the garment of the founder and her own ecclesian jacket out of the way to get to in. Gaoth may notice them.
"Hm… Don't consider your effort a complete waste. The knowledge given to me through it has fed me immensely. Soon, with it, I can save your world from a fate worse than a demon invasion." Observer says, before pulling out a notepad. "Do you know where these other ponies may have once lived? If there were any studies they produced that was an offspring of your collaboration, it may help me in my efforts even further."
Flaming cringes, reaching up to rub at the back of her neck, "Uh… well… not so much 'at first' but, after Amy got in on the act, it improved a LOT, I was laughing too."
She turns her head, "You really don't remember me bucking you off stage?">>691637
Flaming gasps, "Wait, what?! Lost?" She shakes her head, "That's not good, we should try to avoid that… but, where else could he be? Shei thinks he's in Hearthome.">>691637
Flaming jumps excitedly, reaching up to lightly bonk Mirror along the side, "Thank you so much again Mirror, we all you you so much, you're the best Angel I've ever met!" She turns to LJ, and practically throws her hooves around him,
"You're gonna get healed, Journey!"
Shei-Sher surrenders the Tantra's point "I will admit, I am not totally certain of his whereabouts. If I know Crow-ley as well as I believe I do he would be examining the new wave of demons from the epicenter of the tragedy. So he must be in Hearthome, or there will be an agent from the order of Theon there to investigate at least. Etherward would be best for me to search first. Considering the materials and laboratories it would attract any wizard to make sanctuary in from the presiding chaos.
>>691635>"That's something to be proud of, you're the youngest Elder ever!">>691636>"Ehh… I didn't get you, some ponies in the audience did. Seemed half and half.">>691637
"I'm sure everypony will be thrilled. Last night's show already left the min high hopes, and now their cure comes in the morning, it'll be a miracle to them."
Pryce says to Mirror as the angel goes to inform the town.>>691638
"Are you… sure you're alright?"
Pryce asks, now taking note of her mood.
Before Flow can say anything, he's hugged by Mirror.
"Oh, good to see you too, Mirror. Sure has been some time, eh?"
He keeps glancing at Renee.
"hrm.. no." Shei-sher recollects the taste of wine in his mouth and empty bottles during the middle of the night "was I drinking?"
"a moderate success then it was!" Shei-Sher says as if saluting himself, he drinks some more of his tea in victory.