You stand on a brown rocky beach on the eastern shore of the land of Rin, sinking slightly into the rough sand as you take in the view. The sun is setting on the horizon, bathing the endless expanse of sea behind you in warm orange radiance. Before you lies a sheer cliff face, and a jagged, cracked wound in its side that can only be the entrance to Alcatel Grotto. Nearby, you can see what remains of a rowboat, eaten away by time and neglect.
The smell of the sea is almost overpowering; the tide is low for now, but this is soon to change as night is falling. As you look upon the entrance to the grotto, a chill wind begins to blow, carrying with it an unpleasant smell of rotting fish from within.
Pyrite turns his nose up a little at the smell of rotten fish, but doesn't really mind the cold much thanks to his bulky, fuzzy frame. He readies his shield and looks around at the rest of the group before asking "S-So, we all ready? I got a torch'r two if we need it."
Fortunately, all Blight can smell is the incense in her mask.
"We go. I have brought torches as well. If you wish to carry one, I can investigate the cove more closely."
After sniffing the air, the griffon takes a quick glance at hte plague doctor's mask and announces:
"Well, if you took that headgear beforehand, knowing it'll be like that, you're one resourceful fellow.">>678969>>678970
The feathery fellow grins and attempts to lighten up the mood:
"Awesome. We gonna have something to grill all the fish these creatures probably sacrifice at"
"This is nothing compared to towns infested with the plagues that rodents and squalor brings. I smell nothing now, even with this mask off."
Prancer has her cloak try and block the fish smell, making a slight noise of disgust.
"It…doesn't really smell all that nice. Think we can make this quick?">>678970
"No worries," she replies with a smile, and making her horn shine enough to cast light at things, "I always carry my own."
Pyrite chuckles a little in response, and starts rooting around in his saddlebags for one of his torches. After a little bit of work, he pulls it out and lights it, before nodding at Blight Resistance>>678970
"In that case, I'll go ahead an' take the lead. That ways, you can focus more on gettin' a closer look."
"Well, i sure envy you right now. Might think of something like that for myself, would help with the stench of undead. I tell you, if you haven't seen some, they smell reaaal bad. Like, worse than regular rotting corpses even. Must be something about the magic. Wait a minute…">>678973
The griffin turns to the unicorn and hollers from above:
"Hey, mage? Can the very magic smell? Like, not what it creates or affects, but the very magic itself? Without being a flavour spell in the first place?"
The griffon sure wished he had something to block the stench, like his companions. Something, which wouldn't require both his sets of claws, like his bow..>>678974
"Right after you, fella." - responds the catbird, flying above and behind the earth pony, readying the weapon as they get away from the salty air of the water.
"I am well acquainted to death in all it's form, including undeath."
traveling roll [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"I…uhh…I'm not sure on that one. The magic I study I don't think is the one you're asking about," she says in an unsure way.>>678968
Travelling roll, applying Hornlight +1 to perception in dark areas/caves if applicable.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
The ex-cleric hovers above the team, trying to both stick to the companions and help them navigate, using knowledge gained from afar, if possible.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
You enter Alcatel Grotto, the last rays of sunlight vanishing as you do so. Night has fallen.
As you move through the rocky corridors, one of the first things you notice is that the sand inside is more like mud in texture, clinging to your legs unpleasantly and making it difficult to move forward. Your light reveals little at first, but once Plane Prancer gets her light going, you notice a glossy black substance that coating the walls in some places. In addition, her light serves as a guiding beacon for the party, preventing them from getting separated in the myriad branching paths that make up the interior. The scent of fish becomes more powerful the more you move along, becoming ever more nauseating as you progress. In addition, you can barely hear a faint sound echoing from deep within Alcatel Grotto, almost like sobbing. You are filled with a vague sense of dread as you explore the rocky caves, made even more palpable by the constant thought in the back of your mind that the tide is slowly coming in.
Eventually, you come across a strange sight while exploring the grotto. In a more open cavern, you discover a large cylinder made of black stone, roughly as tall as a pony but covered in indecipherable markings. For some reason, you can't help but find the sight of such an artifact disturbing. The black substance covering the walls is much thicker here, dripping in great glutinous strands and merging with the muddy sandy floor. The faint sobbing too is slightly louder here, echoing from a nearby tunnel; whatever it is, it does not sound like any living being you've ever heard. Nearby, you can see a group of skeletal pony corpses, half-hidden by the sand. There is something odd about the skeletons, but you can't quite tell what it is right now.
Blight investigates the corpses, as it is her job and intrest, especially with oddity cases. She takes the time to light one of her own torches on Pyrite's.
"If the thaumaturge or pilgrim could make sense of the runed stone in the room, that could provide clues. I have premonitions of occult activity, so keep wary of the corpses, and report strange findings to me."
she says, her mask looking behind at the rest of the party.
also if this applies:>The Cure: passive; Blight can identify diseases of both magical and mundane. She can also roll to cure such diseases.Roll #1 7 = 7
Pyrite shivers a little as night falls, but between the lightand the nearby ponies, he manages to push most of the thoughts out of his head.His unease grows as they descend further,less worried about the tide and more about the grotto itself. He tucks a little closer to Plane Prancer as they near the odd cylinder. His ears flick a little as he finally catches the sobbing, before looking around a little and speaking up with "S-Shouldwe go take a look at whatever that is? Doesn't sound very, uhm… familiar, but it could be somepony that needs help."
The combination of the dreadful atmosphere and the intensifying smell has made even the griffon shut up for a while. Too much of the flavour seemed to stay on on his tongue whenever he opened it. Yuck. Meanwhile, having noticed the substance coating the walls, he made an effort not to come in contact with it, if not due to safety, then surely to avoid glueing his feathers with it alltogether.
Having had much experience with undead and how they often took enemies by surprises, he was wary of the corpses, once they appeared - and the change in his demeanor was notable.>>678982>>678978
He motioned for the unicorn casting the light spell to come closer to the cylinric monolith of sorts and took a look at it, scanning it for anything that may have to do with the foul art of necromancy… or anything he may've come in contact with so far, really.
The catbird suddenly shivered mid-air.
Must have been one of the droplets of the strange goo that dipped down on his back.
Anything but pleasant.
Prancer can be seen shrinking back a bit, but her hornlight still remains lit. She doesn't say anything, but the way she looks most likely means she isn't exactly enjoying herself right now.>>678982>>678985
"These…don't look like anything I've seen before…but I can still do the other thing," she comments, shining her light on said rune-covered artifact.>>678984
"I don't know…I'm just kind of regretting coming here now…."
There are no signs of any flesh remaining on any of the skeletons. They seem to have been picked clean by something. Almost too clean. They're definitely not undead, however, remaining inert when interacted with.>>678985
Luckily, the corpses seem to be just that, and not reanimated dead.>>678984>>678986
Further inspection reveals the cylinder is disturbingly oily in look, similar in texture to the slime. Perhaps it is for the best that it is left untouched.
As the party get closer to the monolith, the slime on the walls begins to drip down faster, running and pooling all around you. It begins to bubble and fester with an awful squelching, rising up and forming into a pair of formless spawn that begin to ooze towards you. The slimy things are a terrible sight to behold, forming and frothing endlessly, constantly extending and retracting pseudopods and malformed organs. One moment they have eyes all over, another moment a colossal gaping tooth-filled maw, and yet another a single fleshy limb with boneless fingers that flail madly. Worst of all is the noise they make, a constant high gibbering as if they were trying to put their unspeakable thoughts into words.
The first formless spawn swings a thick tooth-covered tentacle at Pyrite.
The second oozes towards Prancer, sprouting a six-fingered hand with razor sharp claws and raking at her.
[1d10+1] AttackRoll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2
"Quivering oozes! Your mindless attacks shan't plague us for long!"
Blight says, scattering the bones and turning to the armored earth pony.>>678984
"Warrior, let my incense strengthen your strike!">[Emboldening Vapours] [1d3]
she then strikes the ooze attacking said earth pony
>[Disorienting Blast] [1d10+1] ranged, single
(ranged and +1 coming from Arabian Agility)Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3
Pyrite chuffs a little bit, before taking a deep breath to calm himself and gives the mare a soft hug "Ain't much we can do t' change that now. Don't you worry none, we'll come out fine.">>678987
Pyrite lets out a startled yelp as the ooze-spawned monsters take form, letting go of the unicorn and taking a frantic, forceful swing at the first of two abominations with his heavy steel shield "W-What'n th' hay'r these?! We got trouble, y'all!"
[1d10] Slam, Crits on 8+Roll #1 6 = 6
Prancer looks completely surprised by the attack, giving a loud shriek as one even tried to attack her. Her legs get a bit shaky and cowers a bit into her cloak.
"Need to…," she begins to mutter, but then yawns and begins to look more tired than fatigued, "sleep."
She curls up on the ground and seems to instantly go to sleep.
In actuality, her spirit begins to leave her body to hover nearby.
>Astral Projection, talent makes casting automatic
As the sight of the slimy abominations struck the griffon, his expression turned to that of poorly concealed, though still relatively mild disgust. Though he's seen more gross stuff, this was something he definitely didn't want around. As much as blood could come off feathers, such goo was a different thing entirely.
He wasn't one to fuss over such details though, of course. Survival was what mattered. Not without a reason did the villagers rally a battle-capable squad.
Glad that it was not only arrows that he had to work with at such times - given how they were likely to just sink in the gooey mass of what was probably organless enemy flesh - he prepared to unleash the magic both beyond and within.
Veirvar drew back his right forearm, opening up the talons and soon clenched them, as he grasped at the invisible strands of force. Soon, a virulent vortex of energy gathered around them, cackling menacingly. Having summoned it, the griffon cast his limb forward, a white lightning storm searing the foes below:
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
You toss Pyrite a misty blue vial, following up by preparing a grenade filled with green powder and hurling it at the babbling monstrosity. You miss your throw, however, and it shatters violently against the cavern wall, making the floor quake ominously for a moment.>>678989
The tentacle whacks you across the face, stunning you for a moment. You retaliate by ramming your attacker with your shield. To your dismay, the slime seems to simply absorb the impact, dealing no damage to it.>Pyrite takes 3 hits
Out of the corner of your eye, you see Blight toss you a misty blue vial. Instinctively, you catch it midair and huff the gas within. You're not sure what it's made of, but you feel powerful, ready to deliver a pummeling to your assailant.>+1 to all offensive attacks and 1 extra hit of damage for the next 3 turns>>678990
You leave your body, transcending the physical realm for now.>>678992
You conjure a storm of holy lightning on the monsters, justice raining from above. The one that claws at Prancer seems the most affected of the two, shriveling and drying up as it is struck by the lightning, eventually dissipating into the sand. As it is slain, a foul bitter smell fills the room, somehow even worse than the rotten fish. The stench of decay is almost maddening.
The other spawn is stunned by Veirvar's attack, retracting its pseudopods and lying inert for a moment.
Pyrite huffs a little in annoyance as the abberation seems to soak the blow up harmlessly. He blinks a little at the incoming vile, and scrunches up as it bounces off of his snout and lands in one of his hooves. He shakes his head a little and inhales the gas, before letting out a soft whinny as he feels the gas take effect. Renewed by the potion, he snatches his shield back up and slams it into the creature again, hoping for better results this time
[1d10+1] (+1 to Damage)Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"Unnatural beast, I rupture your gelatinous form!"
Blight says, her knife glancing upwards into the stunned slime.
[Incision] [1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
It seemed like the magical goo conducted magical lightning well. That was a fine sign. The griffon relaxed just a tiny bit, focusing on the remaining foe. If only for an experiment - now that they weren't ambushed by the slimes and defeinitely outnumbered the remaining one - he decided to give it a test.
He drew an arrow pointed it at the enemy, looking at it from beyond his stretched bow. He released it, paying attention as to not to strike the ones engaged with it in melee.
>Normal ranged attack
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
The spirit of Prancer floats towards Pyrite, an astral hoof moving towards and into him. She smiles, channeling positive thoughts and using them to heal him up from the inside out.
To Pyrite, all it would seem like is a very warm feeling followed by renewed vigor.
>Heal on Pyrite>+1 from talent, +1 from Master Caster
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
You go for another slam, but the spawn bubbles up and forms a sharp spike, countering you with a sharp jab to the leg that almost knocks you over.>Pyrite takes 5 hits>>678995
You land a decisive blow on the fiend, puncturing it with a powerful stab. It makes a hideous whistling sound, black slime rushing out violently from the puncture wound and spattering your robes.>>678996
You hover above it for a moment, releasing your shot. Unfortunately, you miss your attack, the arrow splintering against the cavern wall.>>678997
You put your magic to good use, healing the battered pony so he can keep on trucking. He is fully recovered, a flame lighting within him as he feels more determined than ever before.>Pyrite is back to 9/6
The slime recovers from the blow, its hideous bubbling intensifying as it stretches itself up to its full height. It seems smaller and weaker than before. It retaliates at Blight, ramming into her at full force.
[1d10] SlamRoll #1 6 = 6
she says, throwing another concoction at the ooze.
[Disorienting Blast] [1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
Pyrite overextends the swing, falling right onto the spike with a startled yelp. He manages to recover, letting out a shaky huff as he staggers back to his hooves. As the astral mare lays a hoof on his back, he lets out a relieved sigh as his bruises and cuts stich shut, and he rises back up to his full height. Fully re-invigorated, he pulls his shield back up off the ground. He hurries after the slime, throwing himself in front of the creature's slam and attempting to wrestle it to the ground
(Protect: Blight Resistance)
[1d10+2] Wrestling the slime to the groundRoll #1 1 + 2 = 3
The griffon squinted his eyes. Must have been one of those blasted sludge eruptions that broke the trajectory, given the relatively short distance.
Making a mental note to recover that arrow - if it miraculously avoids being covered in the vile sludge - he prepared another attack against the animated puddle of it.
>Normal ranged attack
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Smiling at him, she looks back to the ooze. This time, she concentrates negative thoughts and emotions, this time to her horn and fire than at the ooze.
To those unable to see her, it would look like a dark red bolt of magic had just randomly shoot itself from where Pyrite was previously standing.
>Magic Bolt: recharge 2, spell, ranged; Fire a volatile bolt of magic. Roll two dice and use the higher roll for results. If one of the dice is a crit fail, then the spell crit fails regardless of the other roll.>Same bonuses as before apply
[1d10+2]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
The ooze swings at you, but you manage to avoid the brunt of it. Its touch stings, presumably acidic in nature. This would explain the lack of flesh on the skeletons.
As it swings at you, you counter it by shoving a grenade deep into its core and backing off quickly. After a few seconds, the formless spawn explodes violently in a flash of green light, black slime spreading everywhere and coating the cavern once more. A lot of it gets on you and your companions also, but it is a small price to pay for being rid of the monstrosity.>>679001
You rush to her aid, only to have the monster blow up in your face. You are coated from head to toe in foul-smelling black slime.>>679002
You miss again, getting nothing but black slime on your armor for your efforts as Blight blows it up.>>679003
You blast what's left of the black thing into smithereens. Not that there's much left after Blight was done with it.
Blight takes some of the bandages in her satchel and wipes her covered form down, and dips her knife in sterilizing fluid.
"Vile creatures, their riddance is a blessing."
she then takes a vial and scoops some of the ooze into it, allowing for better examination.
Tell me about the ooze [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Smiling, Prancer's spirit floats back to her body and curls up in a similar way as her physical body is. And with a relaxed sigh, the spirit returns and Prancer wakes up.
"*yawns* What happened?"
She looks around, seeing a lack of oozes and everyone looking pretty okay.
"I guess we won?"
Veirvar, not having had enough time to dodge the slimy remains is less than happy to find himself coated, if only partially, in said substance.
The odour of putrefaction was repulsive. Little to do about it though, aside from trying to get off most of it mechanically, which the griffon attempted without delay, as soon as the perimeter has been secured.
He flew a bit lower, nearby Pyrite, addressing him:>>679001
"You alright there, buddy? You seemed pretty roughed up by that thing down there.">>679006
He seems quite shocked to hear the words of the unicorn, given how he was focused on the enemy. Now that he thought about it, he didn't see her in the thick of it…
"Wait a minute… are you telling us you actually slept through the whole thing?"
Pyrite yelps as he jumps /right/ into a blast of foul-smelling slime, letting out an uneasy whinny and falling back on to his haunches. After taking a few moments to clean himself off to the best of his ability, he gets to his hooves and lets out a relieved sigh. He hurries over to the unicorn and helps herto her hooves, before nodding "Yupyup! A-A little icky, but we're all good. A-Are you okay, though? Y-Ya kinda jus' fainted right at th' start." he says with a concerned look>>679008
Pyrite offers a dopey grin, and shrugs "I'm fine, don't ya worry none Got a little winded there for a bit, but guess I managed t' pull through!"
She shakes off what bit of ooze may have flown onto her.
"I mean, there was something attacking me, and now suddenly I wake up and everything is fine again."
"Hrm! Good! We need ponies like you for things to come, for sure.."
The griffon pats the knight on the shoulder, relieved to see he's ok.>>679010
He is suspicious of what the unicorn lady said and is holding himself off from pointing his bow at her right now.
"So you're saying something could have crept inside of you when it attacked you… and then you woke up and things were fine… I'm sorry but i wouldn't like to see you controlled by whatever that was, by any chance. Ponies don't just fall asleep on the spot… doubt you'd go far in the military world with narcolepsy, eh!?"
You can't tell much about the ooze. It's like nothing you've ever seen before; the slime seems to retain some form of life as it reacts to your touch, still bubbling silently in the vial. Perhaps these creatures are a product of the fell sorceries of Sarkomand.>>679005>>679006>>679008>>679009
As you stand about, trying to rid yourselves of the black slime, you hear footsteps coming from a nearby corridor. After a moment, a lost-looking Changeling walks in, wielding a flaming mace. She seems to be an adventurer like yourselves.>>679007
You have traveled far from your home to investigate the rumors surrounding Alcatel Grotto. Having ventured some way into the cave system, you are beginning to wonder if perhaps you made a mistake. The stench of decay, the cramped space of the cave system, and the constant threat of the rising tide make your current conditions less than agreeable, to say the least. Nevertheless, you venture through the caves, using your fire magic to light the way.
Down a nearby corridor, you hear the sounds of a fight occurring, followed by a muffled explosion of some sort. Moving forward to investigate, you find yourself facing a group of fellow adventurers near a strange cylindrical monolith. Looking around, you can see an armored griffon wielding a longbow, a tall mare dressed as a plague doctor, a red unicorn mare in a white cloak, and a large earth pony with a greatshield. All four of the motley group are drenched in foul black slime, but seem good-natured enough.
Pyrite smiles a little in response to the first statement frowns a little bit, and lets out a small huff "H-Hey now, she seems fine. It's a little odd, y-yeah, but that ain't a good reason f'r pullin' a weapon on somepony. We can' jus' check 'r over a little t-" he jumps a little in surprise as he sees the changeling walk out from the corridor. He settles a little as he sees it's not a slime, and cocks his head to the side "U-Uhm… howdy! Ya comin' t' take a look 'round the cave, too?"
"Interesting, this requires further testing."
she says, placing the vial, now capped, in her leather belt. She glances at the changeling, but it is clear he has nothing to do with the happenings in the cove.
"I am pressing forward, I will shout if attacked."
Firebug steps out and looks at him with a smile
"Hi! Did any of you hear an explosion earlier? Also, why are you all covered in… um… black stuff?
She cowers away from the griffon, actually moving herself away from him.
"But…I wasn't controlled? And that's why I'm not in anything military.">>679007>>679012
She gives a loud 'eep' at the changeling. She was already rattled from the ooze, and now the griffon, never mind this place…this was getting too much for her.
"H-hi," she greets the changeling meekly.>>679012>>679014
"Wait, I'll come with you!" She says quickly and just as quickly puts the explosive throwing masked pony between her and the scary-toned griffon.
Pyrite offers a reassuring smile to the meek unicorn as she hurries off after the plague doctor, before looking back to the changeling "Uhm… that'd probably be th' slime monster we smushed. M' name's Pyrite! We're down here investigatin'. Is that why you're down here too?" he asks, motioning to follow after the other two as he starts to walk down the corridor after Blight
The griffon does not relax, but neither does he raise his bow against the unicorn mare yet either:
"I'm sorry - he huffs - "I've had my share of peers standing up after falling and saying it's ok before trying to stab me in the back. So for all the credit you're willing to give her, i'm going to keep mine.">>679016
"Well, you could have not been in military, but you wouldn't have enlisted on this trip knowing the possible danger, without means of defending yourself, would you? I'll be keeping my eye on you, missy.."
Having said that, pointing at the unicorn with a claw for emphasis, he does just what he announced - flying further in the cave, behind her, keeping his distance and having her in his eyesight at all times.>>679007>>679012
Veirvar found himself in a pickle with the introduction of the new, if somewhat menacing figure on the scene. The dilemma of whether to prioritize the Changeling or the unicorn mare with his share of doubts. At least neither seemed hostile so far.
"Greetings! To answer your question, stranger - we've just had a spar with a pair of relatively dangerous monsters, which covered us with this sludge upon ending their lives - which i believe we considerably shortened. Might you be coming from the city as a late-call reinforcement in our quest, perhaps? Either way, it seems it's dangerous ahead. If you do not wish to endanger yourself, i suggest you turn back. If you're in for, perhaps, a share of the prize money… well, feel to risk yourself alongside, i guess?">>679014
"Don't be so hasty, will you? Can't you see we have a vistor?"
"Slime monsters? That sounds fun" she says, slightly disappointed. "Anyway, my name is Firebug. I'm investigating too. I know some healing magic if any of you need it."
"Well, y' can blame me if she turns bad, but we oughta give 'r a chance.">>679019
"Nice t' meet ya Firebug! They're k-kinda creepy, but they don't seem too tough! And magic's always handy, glad t' have ya along!"
"Hold on.." she says
[Distill Life] [1d10]
"Here, take these. They should heal you when you need it. One of you will have to go without one though."
Roll #1 1 = 1
The griffon seems positively surprised by the answer of the mysterious Changeling.
"Oh! That's mighty fine to hear. There's always place for a combat medic on the front lines. They call me Veirvar, umm… 'miss' Firebug, i presume? - he empasized the word, due to not being able to tell the gender of the Changeling for sure - if that's the case, let us follow after the Saddle Arabian, shall we? Seems like she's a hasty one… and we don't want to leave anyone here alone now, do we?">>679020
"Chance? Of course. That's why i'm not shooting yet" - the griffon stated simply and matter-of-factly.
It is difficult to craft potions in the environment. The air seems to have something in it that makes them spoil almost instantly, making them useless for healing.>>679014>>679016>>679017>>679018>>679019
Moving further along, you come across an unexpected sight, stumbling across a unicorn's corpse in one of the myriad small caverns. He does not seem to have been consumed like the hapless bodies from before, but is rather sitting on the remains of a wooden chair, slumped forward with his head in his hooves. He is little more than a skeleton with a few scraps of skin and flesh remaining at this point, clad in tattered, equally rotting robes of indeterminate color. There are pieces of parchment on the floor surrounding the corpse, but it is difficult to see properly. There also seems to be something made of metal on the floor next to the body, glinting slightly in the torchlight. The constant unnatural sobbing and wailing is much louder here, echoing from down a nearby tunnel.
You are suddenly aware that the ground is beginning to get much damper, and you can feel the faintest trickles of water beginning to seep through the cracks. The tide is starting to come in.
Blight uses her knowledge to determine how long it'll be till the tide is of danger to the group. She then searches the body.
[1d10] ocean man, take me by the hand make me understand
[1d10] corpse partyRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
Pyrite catches up with the other two pretty quickly- long legs make for long strides. He frowns a little at the sight of the dead unicorn, before leaning against the wall and blinking "Oh, dang. Guess th' Tide's startin' t' come in. We might wanna move quick then, I ain't th' best swimmer." he says, holding his torch up and taking a look around
[1d10] lookseeRoll #1 6 = 6
Prancer uses her unicorn telekinesis to pick up the metal object and bring it a bit closer to see what it is.
"Well, maybe I can account for the dampness of the environment this time." She says to herself.
[Distill Life] [1d10]
Roll #1 7 = 7
"So, who wants some fresh, slightly damp, healing potions?" she says to the group.
Pyrite cocks his head to the side as he watches the changeling work away, before holding a hand up "I'm more than' willin' t' take one, Miss Firebug."
Veirvan half-suspects the wailing and sobbing to be the work of some unrestful spirits, given the scenery that he beheld now. Like a lich outta the picture. However, he does hope to be proven wrong.
He flies around the room and secures the area, making sure to watch out for the changeling, unicorn mare and the skeleton in the middle. The amount of suspicious characters was dangerously raising by the minute.>>679029
Though not entirely sure about the ordeal, he does hope to show some amount of trust to the newly met changeling, so he accepts one:
"I reckon i could go for one, if you woudln't mind. Though i reckon it's the remaining trio tha could make use of it more… the stallion, bracing himself on the front lines, the unicorn, falling asleep in the thick of the battle and the Saddle Arabian, rushing ahead alone.."
Judging from your admittedly limited knowledge of the tides, it is unlikely that it will be any real threat to you. However, the water is likely to noticeably impede your movement once it reaches its peak.
Examining the body reveals no signs of any trauma, presumably having died of either some sickness, or starvation. Suffocation or simply old age are also possibilities.>>679026
You notice that the scraps of parchment are accompanied by bits and pieces of broken chalk, as if the pony was trying to write something down but gave up in frustration.>>679027
It takes a bit of effort seeing as it has sunken into the mud, but as you pry it loose you find it to be an abandoned, heart-shaped locket. There is a name engraved on it: "Equinox".>>679028
You get it right this time, crafting three flasks of a fiery golden liquid. The formula isn't quite how you'd like it to be, but it'll do in a pinch.>>679031
While there is black slime clinging to the walls still, it remains inert, leaving you and the party be for now.
"Before we move forward, we should take care not to fall under the lull of a siren. I would suggest plugging your ears with fabric or wax before we move onto the wailing noise. If it turns out not to be such, we can easily remove our blockages to our ears."
"If I see one, can I burn it?"
"With extreme prejudice, yes."
"Thank ya kindly!">>679032
Pyrite leans down a little and inspects the parchment a little closer, before humming "Looks like he was tryin' t' write somethin' down. Poor guy…" he frowns a little, before drawing himself back up and mumbling a little prayer before looking up at the Saddle Arabian and nodding. He fiddles around in his pack, before removing his helmet to plug his ears, and places it back on>>679033>>679034
"In that case, I'll stay in front. I'm a pretty sturdy pony, so I should be able t' handle w-whatever's makin' that racket."
Prancer looks at the locket with a bit of a sad face, but hangs onto it in the chance they might come across this 'Equinox' pony…or what is left of them, if everything so far has been anything to go off of.>>679033>>679036
"I…I'll stay somewhere…hopefully away where nothing can find me. Hopefully."
Firebug grabs some cloth and plugs her ears. She raises her mace and moves to the front of the group, preparing for a fight.
"Be wary of the tide, as laying down in the water may prove to be dangerous when it rises.">>679032
Blight says, before reaching her hooves into her hood with bits of bandage, plugging her ears. She then motions forward to the rest of the party, moving with Pyrite ahead of her.
"If ya think you're gonna nod off 'r somethin', y' can always ride on m' back. I'm more than able t' carry a pony 'r two." He says, readying his shield again as they move on
"Sirens? Pray tell, what might they be?" - admittedly, Veirvar was not acquainted with such creatures and was eager to get to know, especially as it sounded dangerous.
He looked out into the corridor leading further inside, as to ensure nothing was coming this way.>>679034
"I think i can see why you're called Firebug" - the griffon remarks half-jokingly.>>679037
"How about you try opening that" - the griffon, having paid attention to the mare all this time, sweeps relatively close by and suggests.
"I'll try not to," she says, looking down at the water uneasily.>>679040
"Oh…no, uhmm, that won't be needed I don't think.">>679041
"You mean the locket? But…it isn't mine. I'll just try and find this…Equinox pony and give it to them. I'm sure its personal to them or something…if it opens."
"Well, that or you may have already found him… her… it" - he points at the corpse - "and if not, it's likely it's lover's in that condition too. Sorry to break it to you, miss. That and it just might give us a clue about the mystery behind this place. Possibly."
You continue onwards down the tunnel towards the eerie crying sound. The tunnel slopes gradually downward, littered with the remains of fish and other baser sea creatures. The black slime is thicker here, like it was in the cylinder chamber. Slowly but surely, the path begins to widen, twisting and turning as it descends into the bowels of the earth. As the tide is coming in, the water around your legs begins to rise steadily, stopping at just above ankle weight. Movement is difficult on this terrain.
The path eventually opens on a vast underwater cavern. Stalactites and stalagmites spiral upwards and downwards like jagged teeth, and the center of the cavern hosts a great waterfall of seawater pouring in from the ceiling, light from the surface far above lending an eerie blue and green glow to the area. The black slime is everywhere, making it near impossible to make out the bluish grey rock of the floor and walls.
The source of the sobbing hunched at the back of the room, however, is what calls your attention the most. It looks like it might have once been a unicorn, but is a huddled, malformed creature beyond any recognition of sentience now. It has its back to you, crouched over something you cannot see. It doesn't seem to have noticed you yet, continuing to sob as it clutches something in its hooves.
"I will excise this tumor!"
Blight shouts to herself, her ears still blocked. She jabs forward with her knife.
[Emboldening Vapours] Self [1d3]
[Incision] [1d10+1]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 3 + 1 = 4
The griffon, Blight's charge unbeknown to him, is actually quite glad to see that the voice of the sobs isn't a ghost. These are troublesome to deal with. If it was a ghoul, it could have at least being dealt it. He flies to the side, still afar, trying to see what it is that it's clutching without provoking it first, as to not endanger a potential hostage.
Nonetheless, seeing how the Saddle Arabian had her blood - and herself - rushing once more, Veirvar took careful aim of the target, gathering arcane resources, ready to zap the creature with divine might in case it proved dangerous and violent. There was too little time to try and talk sense into the charging mare instead - that could get both of them killed even more effectively, in case the deformed being was hostile.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
At seeing the odd creature, Prancer's stance goes a bit unsteady. She tries to lean up against the closest pony/friend-of-pony ally near her.
A long sigh and she seemingly goes dead still.
With her inner spirit free once more, it floats up to the creature to get a better look at it. In this state of free-float, she even tries to get a look at whatever it is hunched over.
You feel powerful from the vapors as you lunge at the creature, stabbing it in the side to little effect. You merely graze its skin.>>679046
You float up, readying yourself for a fight.>>679047
You leave your body next to Pyrite as you transcend once more and get close to the distraught malformed being.
The sobbing stops as the creature turns to face you all. She has withered away over the years, a shriveled and emaciated thing, yet still far larger than any normal unicorn. The flesh has sloughed off her face, the mouth reformed into a sort of squidlike beak. Sprouting from the base of her horn are a series of waving, suckered tentacles, looking almost like a mockery of a mane. All over her body are writhing tendrils of oily black pseudopods that almost look like hair, and the pits of her eye sockets glow with a faint orange ember. In her mangled hoof, she clutches a matching silver locket. She holds it close as it regards you all for a moment. Even through your earplugs, you can hear it as she rears back and lets out a long baying howl that chills you your very core.
>Boss Fight: Equinox, Waif of the Fathomshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ARlJYXoMUU
The party stand facing off against the neglected Equinox, once a unicorn like any other but now transformed into something far more twisted and grotesque. She howls again, her horn lighting up like an anglerfish's lure, glowing bright yellow and strobing in hypnotic rhythms.
>roll to resist
While Prancy's body is passed out next to Pyrite, her spirit ends up seeing the light and tries to resist whatever it is it is trying to do.
>resist that shit!
With her TK, Prancer has the locket levitate off of Prancer's person and have it float in front of the odd mare, wondering if it might trigger something in it.
>plot device powers go (?)Roll #1 1 = 1
The griffon, squinting his eyes at the twisted creature, took quick aim of the target as it raised its shriek. He opted to strike for the throat of the abomination, as to cease its howl. It could have been an important part of what it was employing with sinister intent right now, after all.
Having let the arrow loose, Veirvar averts his gaze from the creature, attempting not to look at the strangely absorbing hornglow. Instead he, gazed in the mirror of the water beneath its hooves.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
"Twisted equine, your lure shall not work on me!"
she says, shielding her mask with her hoof after tossing a green bottle.
[Disorienting Blast] [1d10+1] Ranged, SingleRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10
Pyrite blinks a couple times as the unicorn leans over and nods off again, letting out a chuff before easing her on to his back, not wantig to leave her in the rising water
(I'll assume this counts as an action)
He looks up just in time to catch the creature's hypnotic stare, and tries his best to resist
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
(resist is an instant action)
Meaning you can take another regular, standard one this turn, Pyrite.
<would help to have to you in chat, tbh>
You are unable to avert your gaze in time. You feel yourself being puppeted, your spiritual body not your own momentarily. Instead of showing the locket, you drop it and float to her side, joining her in combat. To your horror, you find yourself conjuring a magical bolt, firing on your own allies.>enchanted for 2 turns: roll DC7 to break free and end the spell early>>679057
You manage to avoid being controlled by the lure, looking away as you blindly fire an arrow at Equinox. Your arrow finds its mark, striking at her throat. She recoils from the blow, turning her attention to you.>>679058
You resist the alluring glow as you ready a green powder bomb, lobbing it at her head. She canters backwards from the impact, looking stunned for a moment.>>679059
You avoid the hypnotic lure as you pick up your companion, keeping her safe.
Equinox shakes her head, recovering from the impact of Blight's grenade. Meanwhile, you see a bolt of dark red magic manifest at her side, firing directly at Veirvar.
Magic Bolt: [1d10+1] [1d10+1]Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11
With her thoughts in total disarray, only feeling them get more chaotic with that attack, Prancer tries to get herself back in order.
>And then I roll a 6
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
>>679062>forgot to add vapor bonus last time
Blight scowls under her mask as her companion bends to the will of the twisted siren, but she does not relent.
"You have blinded my ally, now I blind you!"
[Blinding Gas] [1d10+2] ranged, damage +1Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
(Apologies, one second)
The griffon was nowhere near pleased when he saw the energy manifest at the mutated unicorn's side. That looked like dark magic to him. Something one would definitely not wish to be arouuuuooohgoditwasheadingthisway.
Seeing how fast it was approaching and knowing from experience that impact was imminent, the griffon flapped his wings, but didn't dash to the side. Instead, he flew backwards, giving himself enough time before the magic collided with his body to take one more stray shot…:
>Normal ranged attack:
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
Pyrite huffs a little bit as he shakes off the lure, and paws at the ground a little before readying a strike. He notices the magic bolt form up and fire towards Veirvar, and he gallops over to fling himself in the way of the blase (Protect: Veirvar)
He shrugs the blast off as best he can, before picking his shield up in both forehooves and smashing it into Equinox's side
[1d10] SlamRoll #1 10 = 10
Try as you might, you can't break free of the spell. You continue to help Equinox with your magical abilities, this time channeling her with a healing spell.
You try to prep another grenade, but you mistime it and it goes off in your own face, blinding you momentarily. Equinox takes the opportunity to lunge at you, running you over with her charge.>Blight takes 5 hits, helpless>>679068
You manage to let loose another arrow before getting struck by the magic bolt, sending you spiraling to the muddy ground. As you look up, you see that you shot it right in the eye socket, causing her to flinch and fall to the ground for a moment. She gets right back up.>>679069
Seeing your ally fall, you rush to his side, keeping him guarded as you ram into Equinox with all of your strength. You crack her ribs, causing her to shriek in anger.
Her horn lights up again, this time targeting the black slime on the walls of the cavern. She walks backwards as it begins to coalesce at her side, calling on one of the formless spawn you encountered earlier. It seems to take her a while to do so, and her conjuring could be interrupted.Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
Blight takes a needle and injects into into herself, trying to boost her strength to once again get up.
[1d10]"This needle is for me. Finally."Roll #1 8 = 8
Prancer watches as her spirit form betrays her once more, going to try and heal the creature. With her thoughts in chaos, she simply watches, unsure if this would even work.
>pass since breaking free anyways
>>679072>rolling since you seem to want me get below 7 again
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"You have my thanks!" - the griffon shouted to the earth pony with relief, having been saved from taking the blow by a definitely tougher and better-armoured companion - "Let me show you something in return."
Having said that, he proceeded to muttere under his breth an incantation both arcane and divine while he drew yet another projectile from his quiver. As he positioned himself somewhat behind the knight, his arm flared with white light, coalescing around the arrow this time. As he set it in motion, translucent chains of energy manifested, following it behind.
They were to grow brightly with life force of the damned creature, were they to pierce its hulk alongside the flesh-boring arrow-head.
The chains would then, at the sign of the griffon's claws, be bound to the stallion, granting him a breath of relief in the justice to be served with cold steel.
>Lifelink: Weapon, recharge 3 after effect ends; Shoot a special ammo life-linked to you or someone in your party. For every wound of damage inflicted on the affected target, restore one wound or hit on the linked ally. The link lasts 3 turns.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Pyrite Huffs a little, and gets a running start after the "unicorn". He delivers a hard body-check, before attempting to pin her down
[1d10+1]Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
You take your medicine and get back up. >>679074
You channel your divine magic into the bow, letting loose a decisive shot that hits Equinox in the leg, burying deep into her flesh. She drops the locket she carries instinctively, and the slime bubbling up next to her melds into the mud as her concentration is broken.>>679072>>679073
You manage to throw off the spell, retaliating by reversing the healing magic and dealing a terrible lacerating wound to Equinox. She screams in pain, thrashing about blindly as she tries to right herself. In her blind agony, she steps on her locket, crushing it underhoof.>the spell is broken>>679075
You slam into her again, but she is even larger than you are and does not budge. The pummeling you received while saving Veirvar is beginning to get to you, and you falter and fall.
Equinox stares at the shattered locket blankly for a moment, quivering in rage and stomping her hooves before baying in fury. The slime gathered near her runs up her hooves, melting and reforming into razor sharp claws. It spreads even further up onto her back, sprouting into bony black wings with a hideous cracking and splintering noise. She spreads them out, ascending into the air and regarding you all with newfound rage. Her horn alights once more, now wreathed in black flame.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXBK-vTr0WI
Equinox swoops at the party, swinging her abyssal claws at Veirvar.
She follows up by firing a beam of shadowy fire at Blight.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #3 2 + 3 = 5
Pyrite stumbles a little at the end of his charge, slamming into the ground with a wheeze. He lets out a determined snort, ignoring the magical blast to his side and trying to rise back to his hooves
[1d10] GiddyupRoll #1 4 = 4
"A beast infernal! Perish in the same flame from which you were born, fiend!"
she tosses her another cloud of powder at the siren, blinding it
[Blinding Gas] [1d10+1] RangedRoll #1 5 + 1 = 6
Seeing herself freed, and the locket crushed, the spirit silently sighed and figures might as well do what the others are doing.
She has her horn glow a neutral white, trying to use her TK to grab the creature and slam it against the wall/ground. Or hurt it in similar fashion.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
The griffon's heart skips a beat as it regards the terrriying monstrosity, having a definite moment of doubt whether that party can handle such an adversary.
As he sees it spread its wings and begin to ascend towards him, he realizes that not all of the warriors aboard will be able to reach it in such staate. Hece, seeing its attention is on him, he roared wildly, like the predatory bird he was, tossed the bow on his back and fell down upon the enemy, as if it were his prey, his talons full of divine lightning.
"In the depths of the pit with you, foul creature!"
>Wrath>Climatically using divebomb bonus from griffon's flight
[1d10+3]Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
You're still too winded from the attack to get back up.>>679078
You barely manage to avoid getting scorched by the beam, retaliating with a white powder bomb to her face. She struggles to shake it off, blinded for a while.>+2 to attacks targeting Equinox for 2 turns>>679079
You don't manage to get a hold of her. She is too large and too erratic for you to be able to manipulate. Perhaps the stalactites could be broken off and used against her?>>679080
You charge yourself up, flying into her at full force. The magic surrounding your talons explodes in a dramatic display of gold and white, sending her careening to the cavern floor.
Equinox thrashes about, pulling herself right back up with a snarl.
You charge yourself up, flying into her at full force. The magic surrounding your talons explodes in a dramatic display of gold and white, sending her careening to the cavern floor. She grabs onto you in the process, clawing at you and bringing you down with her. You ache all over and are bleeding profusely, but apart from that you're okay.>Veirvar takes 5 hits, helpless
Blight laughs, pointing to herself,
"Many fall in the face of chaos. But not I! Not today!"
She tosses another bottle of green powder, intent on preventing the creature from ever having a chance to recover
[Disorienting Blast] [1d10+3] Ranged, SingleRoll #1 1 + 3 = 4
Pyrite scowls a little as he slumps back over, and tries to rise back to his hooves again with a loud grunt
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Seeing Veirvar get shot down, Prancer's spirit floats over to the griffon. She just smiles, reaching into him to touch his soul and channel positive thoughts.
>Heal on Veirvar
[1d10+2]Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
It was this odd mix of feelings. As if both pain and triumph roared in one's veins. Was this how the race's legacy screamed to its decendants?
Though aching, having succeeded more than he bargained for, Veirvar attempted at first a rather un-hero like crawl away from the dangerous foe.
>recovering from helplessness>might as well pass it due to the roll above, but let's have one anyway. Maybe i'll critfail…
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You ready another grenade, but are too slow. As Equinox gets up, she charges right at you again, this time lifting you into the air and clawing at you frantically before throwing you down.>Blight takes 5 hits, helpless>>679085>>679086
You pick yourself back up, springing to action.>>679087
You channel positive thoughts of encouragement into Veirvar.>>679089
Feeling your fighting spirit bolstered, you get right back up, ready to deliver a righteous pummeling.
Equinox rages, firing several gouts of black flame at Veirvar as he recovers fully.
She then swoops at Pyrite, raking at him with her bony talons.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 5 = 5
/ Roll #4 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #5 5 + 2 = 7
Blight rises, shakily
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Pyrite gets back to his hooves, and lets out a forceful whinny as he charges at her again, bringing his trusty shield down in a powerful slam as she swoops in to rake at him with her claws
[1d10+2] Slam Jam
Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Looking at Equinox, the red of her negative thoughts rise once again and, from near Veirvar's general area, a red bolt fires out. This time, at the creature.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
Not sure whether to thank his own innate determination for this newly-found resolve or to ponder more deeply about the race's legacy, he casts those thoughts aside, as he springs up from the ground.
>Talent - air-bound threat - take off automatic when recovering from helplessness
Seeing the cascade of the magical fire sent his way, he decides one should give that demonette a sting, as to have her cease the rampage. This place had to be purified of this abomination once and for all.
As he drew his faithful bow once more, he whispered a humble chant, for luck of this one moment, to end the misery in justice:
>Marksman shot - autocrits
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You are weakened from the trampling to get back up just yet.>>679095
You manage to block her onslaught as you slam her, only getting a few scratches as you crack her skull with one mighty shove. She recoils and hisses, flying up into the air again.>Pyrite takes 1 hit>>679096
Your missile lands a singular strike on Equinox, leaving a smoking crater right in her chest. Her tentacles writhe in anger as she wheels to face the direction it came from, looking confused.>>679098
You take a deep breath as you nock your arrow, steadying your claw. As you release it, it finds its mark right in the center of her skull, running straight through it with a terrible splintering noise. She makes a hideous gurgling sound as she flaps about erratically, faltering and falling to her demise down the central waterfall.
For a moment, you think it's over, but then you hear one last echoing shriek of rage as a last ditch black flame beam fires from the center of the waterfall, shooting up and cracking the roof of the cavern. There is an ominous rumbling sound, and one by one the stalactites begin to fall down around you, large chunks of cold slippery stone crashing down in a terrible display.>Run!
"Fools, do not allow this to become your tomb!"
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Prancer does not wake up. However, Pyrite will feel lighter as the sleeping mare is suddenly floating on her own and levitating towards safety.
Prancer's spirit floats close by to her body.
>Telekinesis for faster travel speed
[1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
Pyrite winces from the light scrape across his neck, pushing forward intothe swing as she recoils, and nods approvingly as she crumples to the floor with a loud screech. As he hears the ominous rumbling, he turns and hurries for the exit
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
The griffon thanked the gods… prematurely, perhaps, as after a sigh of relief came the tension of an incoming cave-in. A burial alive in this place now would mean fate no better than the one they have served the beast together.
First, he took a quick glance at his companions though, as to ensur they're fit to escape on their own. Seeing that Blight managed to recover enough as to sprint and that Plane Prancer's body rushed outside with the glow of magic outside, Veirvar felt relief enough as to think of himself now.
He flapped his wings and dived towards the entrance to the cave, keeping an eye on the falling stalactites, ready to intercept them, were they to fall on one of his allies:
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
With the cavern collapsing behind you, you run through the sandy, muddy corridors, passing the corpse as it collapses into a pile of bones. As you run through the chamber with the monolith, you notice that it has cracked in two, a long, jagged wound running down its center.
After what feels like forever, you make it out through the same tunnel you first entered, the path collapsing into rubble as you run out of Alcatel Grotto and onto the sandy beach your adventure started on. As you pause to catch your breath, you look up at the night sky, the myriad stars and the full moon above somehow looking larger than they ever have before.
>The End>feel free to keep talking IC if you want
Blight nods to the party,
"It is finished, we may go our separate ways."
She begins to to walk off,
"I must continue my quest. I will heal this afflicted land."
Pyrite huffs a little as he grinds to a halt outside the grotto, letting out a shaky huff as he checks for the other members of the group. He cocks his head to theside as hesees the floating body, before shrugging a little, figuring it's probably some kind of sleep magic. He takes a seat and waves a little to the plague doctor, before looking to the rest of thegroup "Y-Y'all alright? Got a little nasty there at th' end."
The body finally stops levitating and rests down onto the sand. Prancer's spirit assumes the same laying position as her body, and the mare wakes up.
"Mmmm…nng…hey everyone…feels like we did something good."
She wakes up fully and sees everyone…and they're at the beach.
"You bet we did! We found th' source 'a all that muck and stopped… it." he shivers a little, before getting to his hooves "D'ya feel alright? Thought we lost ya for a bit, but it seems your body jus'… floated itself out."
"Yeah, I feel fine. Pretty great, in fact, like we did something good. Like…it's hard to explain, but it almost feels like we fought something back there."
She laughs a bit.
"Maybe it was just some weird dream, huh?"
"Well, uhm… we did. Maybe ya got some kinda… sleep magic?"
"Maybe…though I think I'd want to find out…not close to the grotto that had weird slimes and stuff in it."
Pyrite chuckles a little, and offers the mare a hoof "Well, we might wanna head on back t' town. I'm not much've a night pony, s-so I think I'm gonna wait till t'morrow to head out. Wanna come with?"
She smile slightly and takes his hoof.
[Last 50 Posts]
Pyrite helps the mare up and makes his way back to town, a little happier to not be going on his own, and to bhe making his way away from the grotto