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 No.693608[Last 50 Posts]

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Last time on HQ…

Pryce continued his date with River, while Amy studied with Yes Mare, and Shei settled accounts with the gods of his youth in preparation for the future. Flaming and LJ had a discussion on religion and Buiwong, one that eventually veered into a revelation that LJ had some kind of knowledge about Laciela and Yareakh, though it was side-tracked by a buffalo headbutt smackdown quickly unfolding in the middle of the kitchen.

Disregarding all the obstacles in the way of your contest, you and LJ rush to meet one another, with LJ snorting and moo-ing with mock severity, thoroughly adopting the persona of a warrior on the battlefield. He attempts to butt you toward the doorway.

[1d10+5: 14]

Hopper gives it his all.
[1d10: 7]

"Did you look a bit like him?" River asks, gesturing to KP. "But I know what you mean. I never had time for romantic feelings. I was always more preoccupied with where my next bit of bread and drink was going to come from. Ironic that only after the world ends would I have time for… well, what's arguably the most important part of life."

Observer picks up the skull on his desk. Its eyes glow ominously. "Ol' Boney says he is on a date with River Spring," Observer says.

"I don't know, but I think we can take a break to let your mortal brain digest things," Yes Mare says without any condescension or malice, as if stating the weather.


The food bit manages to fling high up into the air for Hopper to make an impressive mid-air catch. KP taps his hooves on the table in cheer.
>"Way to go buddy!"

"Sort of, yea," Pryce responds, "Funny how things work out like that. Almost sounds like fate for us two."


Flaming throws up her hooves into the air and lets out a loud, warrior-like moo of her own, but can do nothing to hide the wide smile she bears as she clashes heads with LJ, giggling beneath the war cries as she moves about the kitchen, crashing into stuff with reckless abandon before she tries to meet his head-butt head on with her own and avoid getting pushed back with a touch snarl.


Roll #1 4 + 5 = 9



"Okey dokey," Amy says, getting up. "Thanks for all the help. Let me know when you wanna start back up."


Amy trots over to Shei. "Mirror said she wanted me to help you go apologize to Miracle. Wanna go do that?"


>Pryce on a date with River
"By Crow-ley's cropped and coveted member. Is that true? Well.. they always seemed to share a certain" Shei waves his hoof around looking for the word "-air with one another. bah, I suppose maybe it is better like this."

Shei-Sher gathers his bag "I will be outside, playing with my pets."

Shei-Sher goes outside and summons his pets to greet him.
[1d10+1] summoning pheo first, or if you're cool with them both being here to save time that'd be great. Just gonna rp for a bit.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6



Hopper sits comfortably now that he's overcome the challenge.

"I never liked the idea of fate," River says. "Seems a bit too convenient to blame all the wrongdoing in the world on forces beyond any conscious control. Nobody to blame and all."

Shortly, a waiter comes by with a trio of ice cream sundaes, and sets them down before River, KP and Pryce. "Enjoy."

"Oh! Uh, when did we order these?" River asks.

You and LJ skid across the floor back and forth, one pushing the other for a few paces before the other regains the advantage and moves forward, pushing the other back in turn, leaving the poor kitchen a complete mess, with tables and chairs strewn about across the floor - thankfully, the dishes have been put away. Eventually, LJ overtakes you by working his shoulder against your foreleg, which throws you off balance and bowls you onto your back. He lays a hoof on your chest. "Hahaha! I win, I win!"

Shei beckons both of his pets to his side, and Amy shortly joins him outside in the low, lightly breezy grass. Meanwhile, the two Voidlings gather together in the lab, bickering back-and-forth about something or other.


Flow had finished his discussion with Observer on the nature and inhabitants of Tartarus, the narratological layout of the labyrinth, and the role of the group psyche in determining what they would encounter while inside. With this in the air, Observer had suggested that Flow meet with the Ecclesian leaders who would be joining them in order to formulate a plan of action.

Flow now stands in the lab, where Observer and Yes Mare are bickering.
"I don't care. I am not bringing him," Yes Mare says.
"An utter waste of potential," Observer steadily deadpans. "The ritual lasted but an instant, and there is no reason for you to falter now; you will only endanger our mission."


Flaming grunts and moos as she pushes back and forth against LJ in the kitchen, making a complete mess of things in the process, before she lets out a surprised yelp as he throws her off balance and onto her back, pinning her down with a hoof on her chest.

She glares up at him, somehow chuckling and growling at the same time, "L-lucky move! I bet ya couldn't do it twice, Journey!" She shouts in return, silently giggling to herself as she tries to get up, "C-can you move your hoof already?"



Amy stares at Pheos with an adoring smile. "Where'd you get the pretty bird thing anyway?" Amy asks Shei.


Flow crosses his arms, and shakes his head. Vice and Trapper take the initiative, and walk up to the two voidlings.
>>"Oi, whatcha doin, lads?"
>"We overheard your arguing. What's wrong?"


Shei-Sher puts his hooves before his face to convey hesitation "e-e-eh I would prefer doing that later. I have something important to attend to in a short while regardless."

Shei-Sher kneels down and produces a fresbee from the clay in the ground. The Gigginox careens his neck down to see while Pheo stands close in. "So, which of you do think is faster hm?"

He feigns waving the frisbee once, twices while begging them on, the two creature's heads following the item "huh? huh? Fetch"
The disk glides into the air and both Pheo and Giggles take off.

Giggiles [1d10] fetch
Pheo [1d10] fetch

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 1 = 1


LJ lets his hoof linger a moment, seemingly confused by the question. It isn't until he looks down at his hoof that he steps away, face a little red. "I was gonna, it's not like I wouldn't let you get in a best-two-out-of-three."

"No you won't!" Mirror says, and bops the both of you on the head with a small wooden spoon - your poofy hair cushions the impact. "You're going to clean up this mess and stop rocking the ship with your fight! What's got you two destructive like this?"

"She does not wish to undertake the ritual to bind her piglet to herself as a familiar, as I have with Caw," Observer says. "Further, she shows no desire to bring it into Tartarus, making our return to the Void all the more difficult."
"I thought we weren't telling them about that," YM says.
"They can do nothing to stop us from leaving," Observer says. "They have served us well enough."
"You're leaving us?" Renee asks, seeming sad.

Pheo is utterly fooled by the feint tosses, and doesn't even notice when the disc leaves his hoof for real. Giggles, however, captures it handily.


As you (assumedly) bend your knees to gander closer Pheo jumps a quick foot in the air to peck you on the forehead

Shei cackles "nyehaha, he does that to everypony. I think it's affectionate."

"hmm.. about three years ago, I just.. found her." shei scratches his head remembering, the memory seems so long ago "Fighting with my company in a cave - we were already accosted by villains, aswell.By the end of it, I gave her a crystal and she ate it. Since then she has been a loving addition to my party."


"This kind of fate I'm thankful for."


KP shouts as the sundaes come in.
>"Mudi gave me some extra coins for dessert, and I thought to surprise you guys to make this date even more special!"
KP says happily as he starts to dig into his.

"O-Oh, thanks."
Pryce says, a little surprised.



Amy pulls her head back when she is pecked and rubs her forehead with a disgruntled look. "She should try hugging instead," she grumbles.

"Three years ago? So, before the sky exploded? What kind of bad guys were you fighting back THEN?"


Flaming lets out another small snicker as LJ turns a little red in the face, and then moves to stand up on her own, "That's good! I was gonna knock you around the ship 'extra' if you'd play dirty and say it was an all or nothing deal you know." She says as she scraps her hooves against the floor of the ship again, before her head is bonked by a wooden spoon

"Ooof!" She says in dulled pain as she reaches up to rub at her head, looking up at Mirror. "Mess? What-" her eyes open wide and she looks around the destroyed kitchen, suddenly turning very red herself. "Oooooooooooh….. w-whoops." She looks up, "I uh… I'm sorry, we were just playing and well, I didn't… d-do we really gotta clean it up 'right' now?"


>"Why wouldn't you wish to take your piglet with you? I mean, it'd make sense, if you're really attached to it."
>>"Aww, but what're you tossers leaving for?"
Flow walks up behind Trapper.
"I take it you'll have gathered more than enough information?"


"Hah!" Shei lets out a laugh. Pheo pans her quickly side to many times in confusion, telling of her chicken like intellect. And Giggles triumphantly strides back to Shei, he strokes Giggle's scalp and the reptile purrs a giggling coo while brushing it's head against the hoof. "Okay Pheo no more feints, This is thee genuine throw. Ready? On you mark?"

Shei throws the frisbee again

Giggles [1d10]
Pheo [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 6 = 6


"Ba-ah. Buiwong. And each other to a degree. Though, things were far simpler during that time. As though it were an entirely different era."


Shei-Sher watches his pets go for it. His half-lidded eyes remark melancholy, though a modest smile breaches Shei's face.



"I know what you mean…" Amy says sadly. "Before all that happened, I was so… pointless. Even after I finished meditating in the woods, I didn't have anything to do. I wanted to make things up to ponies, but I didn't really have a way to do that."

"Then, the sky exploded and I saw demons doing horrible things," Amy shudders. "I had to stop them. I had something to do. It's like the entire reason I live changed."

Amy laughs. "And now I'm trying to protect them in a sense…" She sighs. "I just want EVERYONE to be happy."


Unable to resist the urge, Amy jumps up and attempts to catch the frisbee with her mouth before the others can.


Roll #1 10 = 10


River laughs and spreads out her wings to pat KP on the head, smiling as she looks at her wing-tips. "What good thinking, and how generous of her and you – Pryce, I had no idea you were this considerate in your youth. Are you really sure you didn't have any earlier romances?"

Mirror taps the spoon with her other robotic arm, wielding it as if it were a club ready for a beating.
LJ rubs his right hoof over his left one, clearly embarrassed as you are. But then he raises his head. "Sorry, Mirror… Flaming was being a real bully. Probably 'cause I'm from Clan Sinking Rain - we'll get right on cleaning it!"
He glances smugly sideways at you, before muscling his way past to start picking up the mess made.

"I don't want him to get hurt," YM says robotically, though there is an undertone of inarticulate, near-mortal frustration.
"As far as we know, for there are no written records or obelisks or repositories of history in the Void, we are the first Voidlings to ever escape the Void," Observer says. "It is forbidden for us to leave our world in search of another – any Voidling that manages it is hunted and summarily erased by the Ancients of Days. I escaped when the opportunity presented itself to me, in the form of the Anomaly that linked our worlds. She was dispatched to kill me, and utterly failed."
"But we are creatures designed to absorb power and knowledge," YM adds. "It is illogical that our kind should not be allowed to fulfill our function, and… well, Observer wants to make his case before our world's caretakers."
"Will you stop us?" Observer asks, looking straight at Flow.

It is a perfect interception – neither of Shei's pets stood a chance, before Amy, growing fur around her neck and wearing a wolflike snout, grabs it, tail wagging involuntarily.


Shei-Sher turns his head to Amy as he's kneeled onto the ground "You sure dwell on your self a lot do you?" Shei pan's his head forward to watch the race "Isn't there something fond about your home and country yo-"
And then Shei saw it. Just an obsequious reminder that he is in love with a dog.

Shei-Sher's smile widens as he Looks at Amy's doggy, dumbfounded eyes. Like a child who caught his best friend doing something he shouldn't.

"Amy I appreciate the enthusiasm but I already have enough pets."

Shei takes the frisbee from her mouth. And resumes the game for some time. It feels like the moments get longer with each race. And maybe about an hour has passed who knows.

"Thaaat will be enough. Better I return to the grind now than later." Shei-Sher paces to Amy and becomes frank in his speech "There is something very personal I have to do now Amy. could you wait for me at the ship?"


KP beams at the wing-pat.
>"These things are great, I'm glad we got a pair."

"None that I was aware of. Back then, I just wanted everypony to be happy."
Pryce says as he scoops up a big spoonful.
"Travelling around a lot didn't help too much either, but it was nice to see the country and all kinds of different ponies."
He says, reminiscing as he pops the spoonful in his mouth, and then quickly rushing a hoof to his temple.
"Ngh, b-brainfreeze…"
He chatters.


>"I…understand," Vice ponders.
Flow shakes his head to Observer's question.
"It wouldn't be right to stop you. If anything, I'd offer to help you two out," the other two goos nod in agreement.
>"I agree, it's extremely illogical that information-collecting beings such as yourself can't collect knowledge, but surely there must be some reason why you're not allowed outside. If they go so far as to send other Voidlings to exterminate any escapees, they must have /some/ reason why."
>>"Yeah, that sounds fookin bonkers, lad. An' if we let ye go, how'll we know if you can even come back? Send us a letter maybe?"


Flaming's eyes pop wide open, and she stops to look over at LJ with her maw opened wide, "WAHT!? I… that isn't… I was just playing! I-I wouldn't… that's… you lying, blubbering, tall-tale telling…"
She points back, "We were JUST playing, he's just trying to get me in trouble." She sticks her muzzle up, looking snidely at Little Journey, "For that, I think 'he' should clean it all up by himself, don't you agree?"



Amy grins as she returns to a more pony form, though her tail continues to wag. "Sorry," she laughs. "It was just so… inviting."

"Do I talk about myself a lot?" she asks, cocking her head in thought. "I guess I do. I never really thought about it. I guess it's because it's the only way I have to… relate things?" she says in a questioning tone as if she's figuring this out.

"I mean, I don't really know where I'm from and I barely ever know where I am. I don't really know how much time has passed usually either. So, the only thing I have to go by is what I've been doing."

Then, Amy gives Shei a stern expression. "No," she says flatly. "I'm not leaving you. I know you think I'm dumb, but I know people. At least, I definitely know you. You're not being yourself right now. Something bad is about to happen. And, I want to be there for you."


"You probably had an admirer from afar at least."

River starts to make short work of her ice cream, eating large chunks at a time without any hesitation or signs of slowing.

"My current hypothesis is that we were not actually the first to have escaped, as I had previously believed while in the Void. It seems logical to me that the Ancients would enact a salted-earth policy should anyone or anything escape: First the escapee, then his assassin, then every Voidling that might have even heard."
"We will not abandon you until we have fulfilled our end of the contract with Buiwong, and defeated the witches," YM says. "And if we can, we shall return. I don't want either of us to abandon a world full of potential, not when it proves a wellspring for us to draw from."

Mirror rubs her head. "And I thought children were a handful – you young adults are all the worse. Both of you get in there, and don't dare lock horns until you're finished!"
"Hmmmph. Angels are no fun," LJ grumbles with mock righteous indignation. "I'll bet this is why Our Lord wanted to liberate us."


Shei-Sher's smile soon deflates "I maybe indicated I thought you a simpleton but never did I say it was my conclusion" Shei-Sher says with a firm hoof "You are daft, definitely. Lacking in education -a given. You do have your moments however. But for equal parts wisedom you share a profoundly capable of jumping to the next stupid action."

And then Shei says with a face less similar to his debate face "You do not want to see the thing I have to do right now. Please, stay here."

And with that Shei-Sher ambles in one direction. Somewhere covered by trees if nearby. Whether Amy follows or not Shei continues with his pets walking alongside him.



Amy silently and dutifully walks alongside Shei.


"Maybe, but the only one that matters is right here."
Pryce says with a smile at River.

>"There were a bunch of ponies who'd call me adorable when I'd get on stage to try out a little trick."

KP chimes in.

Pryce works through his sundae slowly, the cold getting to him far too much.
"How can you eat it that fast?"
He asks in shock and slight envy.

>"We should've had an ice cream eating contest for the festival. We'd take gold for sure!"

KP says, farther through his sundae than Pryce proper.


Flaming lets a small gulp escape her, and with a curt, "Yes ma'am," she quickly trots into the kitchen, going around for the various knocked over chairs to right back up into position as she looks over at LJ.

"Tell me about it, this isn't THAT bad. I've seen way worse messes back in the plains, one time some of the other calves torn down three huts!" she snickers, moving down to pick up the side of a table to tip it back, "Maybe we should have asked Mirror to join us, that'd 'really' loosen her up I bet."

She smiles, "Re-match outside, maybe? I 'think' I figured out how to take you down."


>"Well, the real question is why they'd do that in the first place. I guess we won't know till you ask…"
"Contract with Buiwong? What kind of contract? How'd you get in contact with him?"
>>"Yeah, that bleedin sod ain't been anywhere near 'ere for…like, a while!"


>you share a profoundly capable
profound capability. sorry there folks


A flowered meadow with tall evergreens can be seen upon a nearby hill to the northwest, and the two of you make your way there, followed by your pets. When you reach it, you are a good distance away from the ship; there's no way anyone could see you from there, except as a pair of small dots.

"I'm a remarkably tough cookie, macadamia nut," River says with a straight face.

In short time, River finishes her sundae, and leans back in the booth with deep satisfaction, lazily tossing her hooves beneath the table. "Hmm… I am a bit cold now."

"Yeah, we still haven't concluded our battle," LJ says, setting the chairs right and folding the tablecloth back over the table. It really wasn't a bad mess, in hindsight, though the close quarters and the cool metal floors probably made it seem a bit more dramatic than it was.
"Though, I had a question: How did you meet Laciela and Yareakh? I never saw you in my dream, and the Lord has sent me many prophetic dreams while I was on my way across the wilderness, so I thought I'd see you too at some point."

"He appeared to me in a phenomenon you call 'a dream,'" Observer says. "Mortal mythologies across the world describe them as the means for the gods to speak to them. In exchange for stories of my observations, he opened to me new knowledge of the Beyond, of emotion, of the treasures of mind known only to the gods. It seemed he was in a bind, following the last battle with what he described to me as the 'Holy Devas'. I take it you know of them?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Renee says.



"Shei," Amy says flatly. "I don't know what's about to happen. But, I want to know that it's happening for the right reasons. So, before you do anything, just tell me why."


Flaming moves up on the other side, helping to smooth out the other side of the cloth to assist him, "Well, I met them after Circadia fell. Ecclessia took us in to their base so that we could get familiar with them and recover after the fight, and Ecclessia had already picked them up before then. They both looked fine when I first met them, and that was… about a week or so ago I guess? They were nice enough, though 'one' of them kind of did something I wasn't too happy about with my mind…"

She pauses, then raises an eyebrow, "Waaaait… did you just admit you wanted to see me in your dreams?"


Flow crosses his arms.
"So even he's in a bind…I doubt he didn't have a plan thought out for this mess."
>"Well, it doesn't really matter right now, what matters is preparing for Tartarus…and then, actually pulling off our little plan without a hitch…and not getting discovered, and subsequently vaporized…"
>>"Oh, c'mon laddie, ya make it sound like we're gonna get caught right quick!"
"Speaking of preparing, where'd those two little ones go?" Flow looks around for Spitshine.


>"Macadamina nut cookies are the best. They got a nice, sweet crunch."

Pryce looks up at River's comment. After a moment's pause, he looks to KP, giving him a nudge under the table and gesturing with his head. KP hops out of his seat, Pryce standing up from his and the two of them switch spots. As Pryce sits down next to River, he sits frozen for a second from nervousness. Then, he spreads out a wing around River and scoots close to her.
He asks, looking a tad guilty like he's pushing too far.

KP sits and watches, finishing up his sundae.


Shei response candidly "Because if I do not, a arm will raise from the bowels of hell to take my soul and everyone else's. Because I did something without thinking. Something very stupid."

>I always imagined scenes of everyone else's posts when listening to this song to go along with this scene
They climb the hill, small from far away, two humble beads of a person travel up slowly.

Upon the meadow of flowers Shei-Sher wield's his staff and begins carving into the ground.
Symbols in a circle like always. They don't look much different than ones he's always cast.

The Gigginox and Pheonix play with one another, frolicking in the flowers around them. Chasing one another, irks and squeaks like almost always utter when playing. Somehow resembling laughter. Sometimes pausing to watch Amy and Shei.

While the goat stilling images into the ground ignores the world around him. Despite memories finding their way into his focus for brief seconds.


"Did it involve a word in a language you didn't understand?" LJ asks suddenly as you mention them doing something odd. But then he stomps his hooves, a common buffalo reaction to embarrassment. "N-no, why would I wanna see you in my dreams? I just wanted Buiwong to let me know what my future would be like!"

"You can rest assured that he will not let you fall to Tartarus before you have played your role," Observer says.
"We're telling them about that?" Yes Mare asks.
"I disagree with Buiwong – I see little point in allowing one who has already expressed his agreement with Hope and the leaders of the Light Brigade regarding Mudi's desired control for the world."

"Oh, those two?" Renee says. "I saw them heading toward the stream we woke up at. You can probably still find them there."

"I'm not crunchy anymore, though!" River declares. "Drat, I'll have to be another cookie now."
Unlike Pryce, River shows no trepidation to the sudden closeness, tucking in her hooves to give him room for his wing. "It's a start at least."

A slow breeze passes over the meadow, peaceful, placid, cool. Ego slowly gulps, pulling Amy's attention to the flowers. "Real pretty place," she says.



After Shei answers, Amy looks at Shei with an exasperated expression. "We'll discuss that later," she says ominously.

"For now… I understand," she says in a more somber expression. "I'm here for you."

Then, she follows him up the hill.


As Shei watches them play, Amy starts to realize what is about to happen. Her stomach drops. Tears gush into her eyes. Shei has made many foolish and bad decisions, but he's no monster. At least, not to Amy.

Amy on the other hand… She has to at least offer. She doesn't want Shei to be like her.

"Do-" Amy shakily speaks up. "Do you want me to do it?" she offers as kindly as she can.


>"I figured as much. It's best to have at least some higher power's blessing when we go down there…"
>>"I still don't trust the bloke. Not one bleedin' bit!"
>"Well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Trapper. A simple, but faulty concept. If he wants the witches gone like we do, it's best that we just go along for now."

Flow, confused at first, slowly nods at Renee.
"Ah. I see. Best to leave them be, then, let them enjoy their youth and all that."
Flow idly starts wandering off, leaving his goos behind with the Voidlings.


Flaming chuckles, "Relax, you big baby, I'm just teasing you. Boys are so dumb sometimes…" she says with a sigh, before coming around to the side of the table. "As to the word… yeah, I think there was, not that you mention it. It was so long ago I'm having trouble remembering though." She rubs at her head, "Started with an 'Suh' or 'Zuh' sound… Zanty, maybe…?"


It's too hard for Shei to talk about it.

At the point Shei calls his pets over it becomes obvious what's happening.

Shei-Sher hugs the Gigginox, his head only reaching up to the great beast's neck. It could crush him in a second if it wanted. Giggles wraps his wings around him and Pheo closes in too nudge against Shei as well.

The Vae victus in Shei-Sher's hoof. When Amy asks him if she should do. Shei just shakes his head. Time stands still on the hill top as a kid hugs his pets and a Pony watches forlornly.



KP laughs at River's joke.
>"How about a super chocolate chunk for the gooey center. Or a sugar cookie now that we see how sweet you are!"

Pryce takes another spoonful of his sundae, telling himself it's just the cold dessert giving him the goosebumps. His horn glows lightly, embracing them two in warmth.
"Who needs a blanket, r-right?"



Amy sits down and sobs quietly. Her vision is clouded by her own tears. She puts her hooves up to her mouth to muffle her own crying. But, she doesn't look away. She mustn't. She wants to share however much of the pain as she can with Shei. She can do that much.


"Something like that, right…" LJ says. "I know what you're referring to. They did the same thing once while I was visiting them! A demon tamer had somehow snuck into the camp, and he had this small jeweled box… when he opened it, all these demons came out, and the Ecclesian forces were quickly getting overwhelmed. Then they used that strange power… it was like… like… like the events of the day had undone themselves. They caught the tamer before he could unleash his demons."

"As I have said, it will not be until my debt to Buiwong has been repaid that we shall leave, using Tartarus as our means of returning to the Void… though not before we use it to enter other worlds at will. If Tartarus reaches all worlds, then surely other ones will welcome us just as yours has," Observer says. "For what it is worth, I thank you for the time I have spent with you all. You were… informative."

Renee follows you out of the ship. "You know the both of them are going to want to come with us. Do you think we should allow them to enter Tartarus?"

"As long as I'm anything but a raisin cookie," River says. "I've had enough experience with that."
River glances outside. "You're shivering quite an awful lot. Why don't we get a bit of sunlight?"

The breeze stills, and the rustling of the flowers quiets.


>"All cookies are good cookies."

"Am I? Uh, sure. Let's head out."
Pryce looks down at the remainder of his sundae. He pushes it over to his younger self, who's eyes light up and finishes it off.
Pryce calls over a waiter so he can pay the check and they can depart.


Flaming looks at Journey with surprise, "They messed with YOUR mind too?! What is 'with' those ponies…" she says with a shake of her head, but then continues listening to him as he explains what the princesses did in his dream."

"They just reversed time a whole day?" She pauses, "I don't think I saw them do anything like that, just making me act more friendly even after I got upset. But, maybe they 'can' do both…" she pauses. "I wonder just 'how far' they can turn back time…"


"Is it weakness.." The words tremble off Shei's lips "Or is it strength? I can't tell."

More moments of silence pass by as Shei continues to hunch over in his pet's embrace. But he breaks away suddenly "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!" And he stabs into the ground. "DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT! DAMMIT!" stopping his strikes to kneel again while grasping the Vae Victus by the root, glaring at it. His face an inches away

"I can't blame you. And yet- It's all I think, is to curse you!" He stands up to his hooves again and kicks the dirt out from underneath the flower bed "Because I'm so stupid! AAA-A-A-AH."

And Shei sits back down. His pets can only look confused.


Vice scratches the back of his head.
>"Well, you can never be too sure, Sir Observer. Caution is always a wise policy, I'd always say… B-but don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic you'll be able to absorb so much knowledge, I envy you, in fact."
>>"Yeah, you two egg'eads get along better than two erm… eggs in a basket!"
Trapper cackles, while Vice has confusion written on his face.

"Of course they're going to want to come with us, there's bound to be plenty of knowledge for them down there to absorb and mull over for generations on end. Quite frankly, I think they're smart enough to not jeopardize the mission. Besides, who are we to bar them entry? If they want to come, then let them come. The more the merrier."
Flow draws down his hood, and pulls off his worn scarf as he takes a seat on the ground.
"I just want this mess to be over with so I can get back to hunting demons," he muses as he looks into the skies.
He closes his eyes and focuses on the world around him, trying to replicate what Estuary taught him.



Amy sits down next to Shei and takes the Vae Victus away from his hooves. She puts it down on the ground on the other side of her such that she is between it and Shei.

[1d10] to gently force it if necessary

She puts her hoof around Shei. "Not doing it is definitely the bravest and strongest thing you can do. If you want to go through with not doing it, then we have a lot to do, I'm sure. So, I think it's time you told me what this is about."

Roll #1 10 = 10


You pay off the check, and head outside into the sunlight. As the festival continues, the sense of lightness pervades, and the people, fairies and demons inhabiting Fantasia seem able to, if just for a while, forget the relentlessly dark world around them.

"Where shall we go?" River asks.

"I don't know if it was necessarily that they reversed time… when I came to, I wasn't in the same circumstances that I was in before. When I first came to the camp, I stopped to buy some fruit by a stand near the southern side of camp, and then went clockwise around to scope out the area. But, after they used what they used, I found myself in the center of town, sitting on a peddler's rug, as if I was the merchant! It was like… it was like I was being asked to fulfill a different role… or perhaps the role needed to be fulfilled, and I was the closest substitute for the absent merchant."

Both Yes Mare and Observer stare awkwardly at Trapper.
"Agreed, you should envy us," Observer says.
"Would you like any tea?" YM adds.

"Oh, I wasn't clear…" Renee says. "I was referring to Spitshine and Sugar. Sorry, I've been worrying about them for a while. Sugar, she'll want something to slake that bloodlust I've felt in her voice and eyes. Spitshine, well, he'd follow her anywhere. The poor colt staked his hopes on seeing her again and all she can do is look past him to the weapons."

As you meditate, you feel tremendous energy behind you, circulating around Vice and Trapper – with a simple push, you could turn them into the copies that Estuary conjured, though you suspect that they'd still be their erratic selves.


Pryce's wing wavers over River, shifting between staying around her and wanting to pull back, unsure of which he should do. His stance feels off as well, not knowing how close to stand.
"If only the amusement area wasn't in ruins…"
KP pokes at Pryce's side, then holds out the wrapped present for Shei and gestures to the festival.
"…Would you like to take a stroll through town, maybe play a game or two?"
Pryce asks River.

>"I'll give you two your privacy, gonna go check on Spitshine."

KP says in farewell as he leaves the new couple to their day, heading back to the ship himself with Hopper riding on head.


Flaming turns her head on its side, "I'm… I'm not so sure I really understand." She reaches up to rub at her chin, "So, time wasn't really set 'back', but after they used their ability, you sort of found yourself in a different place then you were supposed to…"

She looks back, "I 'think' something similar happened to me, when they used what they had on me I woke up somewhere different without really knowing 'why'. Maybe it's the same spell they used on both of us, but, what is it? It kind of sounds like they just, re-wrote the world to fit however they liked it to be."


Vice nods.
>>"Aye lass, a good cup o' tea'll soothe the soul an' then some!"

Flow quickly opens his eyes and drops his meditative state.
"Absolutely not. Going hunting for demons is one thing, but going down to their home field is an entirely different matter. And besides, they're still young. Still…impressionable. They have the guts, but they don't have the discipline, nor the training to make it out in one piece. Heck, I doubt /I/ have the training and expertise to make it out alive. Sugar might have the know-how, but it'll be for nothing if she lets her bloodlust get the better of her. And Spitshine…" he sighs, "The boy means well, but it does seem like Sugar is hardly interested in him."
He runs a hoof through his long, messy mane as he lets out another breath.
"But, that's something they're going to have to solve on their own. I'm not really good when it comes to…relationships or whatever. Brutish, I know."


"This is about the pact I made with the God of Tartarus!" Shei says tousling the hair on both sides of his head frantically "That day I went inside Miracle's core. I spoke with a being I met while wandering as a spirit. He was nice and friendly, and he said he was the Arm of Tartarus's God. What kind of neighanderthal believes such a thing. Every demon beyond this plane is posing as one god or another to swindle mortals. But I was wrong! And now I owe him so dearly.."

Shei's head hangs low "There's another way. I humbled myself before Y'dryth the day after, beseeching answers. I can throw this back into Tartarus and he will take care of the rest. I just don't know though. If I have the right to risk everyone's lives pursuing that option. And I don't know what happens after we go into Tartarus to discard the wretched little thing."


oh also directed at >>693668


River sets Pryce's hoof more snugly about her. "I'm still a bit tired from yesterday, but we can take a jaunt about the festival and see how things are holding up."
You stroll about the town, and River's eyes soon settle on a booth with a darts-like game, but with knives, and a spinning board instead of a stationary one.
>Feel free to roll and summarize results

KP returns to the ship, but doesn't find either Sugar or Spitshine, just those who had been there earlier."

"Re-wrote the world… I think that's the most apt description," LJ says. "Because it wasn't just me… it was everyone, from the demon tamer, to Laciela and Yareakh, to Galton and Gegenschein. All of the events had been undone, but we weren't in the same places as before, and there was no sense to where we were. I don't think they had any control over where we were, just that it made some kind of sense. That's why I was on the peddler's mat: Someone had to be playing the role of merchant, because a merchant had been there earlier? Or… this is making my head hurt."

Both V and T get a cuppa tea.

Renee sighs with relief and curls her arms around you. "I'd not have that brutishness any other way. I was hoping you'd say that. No… we'll entrust them to those who are staying behind. And if they object, I'll see it that they remember their place."

She sighs. "Let's get out of here, lest I run over and try to sort out their relationship troubles. You want to hunt? I'm sure Ecclesia may have something for us."



"You know…" Amy grumbles in an annoyed tone. "Remember when we had that whole conversation about telling us everything that's going on? You definitely didn't tell me that! And, I know you've been talking to other… things to. You keep going alone and thinking I don't notice. I notice, Shei! You're not alone! I'm here with you! So, start acting like it!"

"If all we gotta do is throw it back in Tartarus, then that's what we'll do. And, you have the right to risk my life. Because, I'm YOUR girlfriend. I belong to you and you belong to me. Whats mine is also yours. So, my life is yours to risk. And, the same goes for friends. Any real friend would want to help you. And, you have plenty of them. But, you gotta TELL THEM. At least, you have to tell me!"

"This is the last time I'm saying this, Shei," Amy says sternly, looking angrily into Shei's eyes. "You're not alone. Stop acting like it. So, if there's anything else that's happened lately, that I don't know about, tell me. Now."


Vice and Trapper enjoy their tea. Thoroughly. And awkwardly.

Flow nods, and gets up, carrying Renee with him.
"Sure, let's go see what's on the menu for today. I wish Mfaniya was nearby, that guy always has some new tech to try out…"
He uses the Inheritance to call up Vice and Trapper, unfortunately breaking the tea cups they left behind.
"Pack up boys, we're going on a hunting trip."
>"Thank heavens, it was getting awkward, being with those two."
>>"Yeah, usually the egg'eads 'ave somethin' to talk about, but it was deathly quiet!"
Flow pauses for a second.
"Should we scoop up those two youngin's?"


Flaming reaches up at her head, "Ugh, I know me too. I've never been too good at all this complex, weird, super magic stuff… but, I think I get the idea. They couldn't quite 'undo' it but, they sort of, re-arranged it. Like how you could just re-write a story or something."

She sits down, leaning on her hooves, "I don't get it though… if they can do something like 'that', could it… do you think Ecclessia could use it to just, put the demons back where they came from? Or, just keep them all away from our homes?"


As they stroll through and see how well the festival is doing, Pryce grows more at ease as they stay close.
When River's eyes land on the dart game, Pryce walks them over to it. He places a few bits on the counter.
"Pick out a prize, anything you want."
He says, with some confidence.
>Amateur Champion Knife Thrower [1d10]

KP looks around at the lack of the other kids.
>"Anypony know where Spitshine went? Wanted to let him how the talk with Sugar went."

Roll #1 1 = 1


Despite Pryce's best attempts, and practically all of his remaining bits, he fails to nail even a single point on the board.


"That was my question," LJ says. "What are the limits on this ability? Can it bring back the dead? Can it undo the damage of the Rapture? How far back can it go? And if they could do all of that, then why haven't they already? I'd have asked them these things myself, but I never got a chance to speak to them. Galton was all over them like a hen that's just laid an egg."

LJ ponders for a moment. "Would you undo all of this? Rewrite it, if you could?"

"Let's take them, get their minds off of the here and now," Renee says. "In the interest of time, let's get either Tantra or one of Buiwong's little cohort to take us back to Zha, or to Lilane, whichever they've been to. I'd hate to steal away River."

You start heading back to the ship on your way to the creek. "You know… it'd be good to let them kill a demon, each," Renee says. "The kids, I mean."

KP learns from Volkama that Sugar and Spitshine went down to the nearby creek to the west in order to talk in private.

"Pryce, you're putting a bit too much 'oomph' into the toss. Relax a bit, grip it like this, and then you…"

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


"No I did talk about! You weren't listening the first time. Three days ago, when we were in the kitchen schemeing our advance into Tartarus." Shei says with vexation "I'm sorry. I don't like talking about it. How can you expect me to say things like this so easily."

"There is something I am keeping from you however. I can't tell you because I don't know what will happen to you if I do, but I think 'it' started when you accepted that meat from the spider at Grotte Cafe."


Flow chuckles.
"Maternal instincts kicking in? You sound like we're talking about our own," Flow jokes.
"Sure. I don't see the harm in it. They gotta get over that initial hurdle of making the kill."

>"I'd say we try picking up Tantra."

>>"Yeah, the bloke's mighty sociable!"


>"Hmm, well I don't want to disturb them… Looks like we can try training you more Hopper!"
KP says, picking up Hopper off his head.
>"Hey Volkama, you got any stuff I can borrow for animal tricks?"

"So…more like this?"
Pryce says, trying to loosen up and throw like River does.

Roll #1 3 = 3



Amy sighs. "If this is also my fault, then you have to tell me," she says sternly. "If we can handle you problem, I'm sure we can handle mine too."


Flaming snickers, "Well, she 'is' a griffon." She comments on the 'hen to an egg' part. "But, yeah, that's something I could stand to find out more about. I assume Ichimonji must have a reason they haven't used more of it yet if it was all that, I…"
She pauses, "Huh… you know, I just thought of something. You know Mudi's feather-pen thing? That seems to have the same ability… just, 'writing' whatever she wants on something and becomes that. Maybe that's the same power."

As he asks about rewriting the world, she looks up, "If it meant that I'd still have all the experiences and know everyone, yeah, in a heartbeat. I miss my family, my clan, my home… and the demons and angels both have done so much damage across the world it's impossible to keep track of it all. If I could somehow set things back to just the way they were and we could remember everything about it, I definitely would."

She pauses, "If I couldn't though… remember, I mean… I don't know. I-I've gotten so close to everyone I've met along the way. Changed so much myself. I found a sister in Amy, and friends in Flow, Shei, Pryce, River, Rus, Volkama, I-I could go on and on." She looks at Journey, "And you too. Though, I guess if we 'did' go back to the way things were, we'd still be in the same clan. Maybe we'd find each other again." She sighs. "I don't know if I could do without everything I've gained since the Rapture though."


"You would really risk anything for me. Wouldn't you." A smile finds it way onto Shei's face "Alright Amy, everything will be fine. I know it. Discarding the arrow" the vae victus "comes first though. We only have until next morning. Do you have your special -uh cat mew cloak -the one that can conceal us. Just in case things become dangerous."


Renee rolls her eyes with a pursed-lip grin, clearly smug and secretive.

After a brief stop at the ship, you find Tantra and explain your situation to him, to which he eagerly agrees, and reveals that he was indeed at Zha Arlakane once, trading old buffalo tentskins for food. After picking him up, you return to the creek where you awoke that morning.

After listening for voices, you follow them to the lakeside, and find Sugar and Spitshine chatting amicably and skipping stones upon the surface.

Volkama produces his three magic rats, and several boxes full of performing gear and small magical supplies. "But of course. Are you planning to impart the powers of magic upon your frog?"

At least this time, you hit the board, though not near the center – River herself nearly got the bull's-eye. "Nice! Much better, give it another go!"

LJ frowns. "You know… I didn't think of that. Mudi's feather pen is basically just that power, though on a smaller scale. I know she can't use more than seven letters for a word. It's very limited in that sense, but it seems she has much more control over it. Whatever it was that gave Laciela and Yareakh their powers must've also created those of the pen."

LJ thinks on the subject. "I don't think I could do it. For all the damage that has been done to the world, I still see it as the necessary wildfire that restores a forest. The Devas attempted to deadlock the world in a state it couldn't belong in, and this is what has come from it. We can't move on unless we deal with the messes we have caused… and undoing them would just be an insult to how far we've come."

He blinks. "Wait, weren't we supposed to be doing something?"



"Of course," Amy says with a smile. "I love you. I'd risk anything for you and your plans because I know you'd do the same for me. You're already doing it, going along with the whole Mudi thing."

Unintentional guilt jab!

"Right here!" Amy says proudly as she pulls it out of her saddle bag. "Are we gonna dream now?"


>"I can do that?!" KP exclaims, "I just wanted to teach him some tricks, but that'd be super cool!"

Pryce takes a deep breath.
"Alright. One, two, and—"
Pryce tosses his knife, going for the bullseye to win a big prize for River.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Pryce manages to hit the board at least, just barely. Unfortunately it's on the lowest value as well. Pryce gives a defeated sigh.


>"I love you. I'd risk anything for you and your plans because I know you'd do the same for me. You're already doing it, going along with the whole Mudi thing."

Shei purses his lips. That is a conversation meant for another time "indeed!"

>"Are we gonna dream now?"

"Yes, we are." Shei picks up the Vae Victus in both hooves "Hold this with me. Over my hooves. And close your eyes." Shei says with love and newfound optimism.

>astral Projection

[1d10+1]to Sheol

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


"Oi oi, hunt's on, kids. Let's get going!"
Flow grins up at Renee.
"Yer mother decided it's time to hunt yer first demon."


"Maybe, if Mudi's pen has more control, and the Princesses themselves have got more power, maybe there's a way to 'combine' the two of them…" Flaming muses, but as Journey states his answer, she flattens her ears.

"But was it really necessary? I know things weren't exactly perfect but, were they worse than what we have now? I know I was fairly happy back then. Maybe we're better for everything that's happened to us, but, a lot of others are worse off." She sighs, "But, you also got a point. Just 'undoing' it might as equally insulting."

As he asks what they're supposed to be doing, she shoots up, "Oh! Right, we gotta finish cleaning this place up!" She says as she hops back to it, looking around for more knocked over furniture to right. "It's starting to get a little stuffy in here, do you want to go outside and run after this?"



"Okey dokey!" Amy says as she holds the Vae Victus with him and begins to astral project.

>Learning Astral Projection

>Astral Projection [1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"It's a simple task… for me. You, I have little confidence in. Hand me the frog, colt."

After the gamemaster tallies up your total points, you get just enough for a small, potted cactus with a tiny flower at the top as your prize. River shrugs and starts leading you deeper into the carnival, unperturbed. "Ah well, let's try another one!"

Both Sugar and Spitshine look sad upon hearing the word 'mother' but quickly perk up when you talk about demon-hunting. They glance at each other.
"Hey, so with what we talked about… are you gonna be ready?" Spitshine asks Sugar.
Sugar wipes at her cheeks. "Of course. With all of you, I can."
"We had a good talk," Spitshine says, smiling up at you. "Come on, let's go hunting."
Tantra creates the Dark Corridor for all of you.

"It definitely was," LJ says slowly, as if speaking more to himself than you. "… It definitely was. Not just for Buiwong, not just for Cer'rog and Vir-can and Ba'drel. But for all of us who had been trampled under the empire's hooves… there was just no other way for us to reclaim our ancestral home… even if it's going to take a bit longer than we thought it would. Yeah, it had to be."

It seems that you've cleaned up the kitchen. "Oh hey, we're all done! I didn't even notice. Let's go!"

LJ starts to run outside, but then halts, pale, when he sees Mirror peering around the corner, armed with a spoon. He starts to walk instead, demurely.

The smell of dust permeates the air, overtaking you, as you begin to dream; the world slips away into sand,
that of a land of stillness and quietude.



Post sheets


File: 1519787645732.webm (126.6 KB, 538x500, shorthorns rocking out.webm)




File: 1519787839886.png (419.9 KB, 1652x1296, Amy sketch_preview.png)


Last time on HQ…

Pryce's date continued, while Shei and Amy struggled with the possibility of sacrificing his pets to appease the voracious God of Tartarus, and satisfy their deal. LJ and Flaming spoke more about Laciela and Yareakh, building more suspicion around the princesses and their mysterious power to seemingly clumsily undo and rearrange the events of a given period of time.

"It's a simple task… for me. You, I have little confidence in. Hand me the frog, colt."

After the gamemaster tallies up your total points, you get just enough for a small, potted cactus with a tiny flower at the top as your prize. River shrugs and starts leading you deeper into the carnival, unperturbed. "Ah well, let's try another one!"


Both Sugar and Spitshine look sad upon hearing the word 'mother' but quickly perk up when you talk about demon-hunting. They glance at each other.
"Hey, so with what we talked about… are you gonna be ready?" Spitshine asks Sugar.
Sugar wipes at her cheeks. "Of course. With all of you, I can."
"We had a good talk," Spitshine says, smiling up at you. "Come on, let's go hunting."
Tantra creates the Dark Corridor for all of you.

"It definitely was," LJ says slowly, as if speaking more to himself than you. "… It definitely was. Not just for Buiwong, not just for Cer'rog and Vir-can and Ba'drel. But for all of us who had been trampled under the empire's hooves… there was just no other way for us to reclaim our ancestral home… even if it's going to take a bit longer than we thought it would. Yeah, it had to be."

It seems that you've cleaned up the kitchen. "Oh hey, we're all done! I didn't even notice. Let's go!"

LJ starts to run outside, but then halts, pale, when he sees Mirror peering around the corner, armed with a spoon. He starts to walk instead, demurely.

The smell of dust permeates the air, overtaking you, as you begin to dream; the world slips away into sand, that of a land of stillness and quietude.

As the sand clears from your vision, you are in the midst of a sand-blasted valley, with towering mountains in the distance beyond you. Beneath your hooves is cold gray sand, beneath which peek out the ruins of rooftops and the spires of castles. The half-buried faces of monuments look to the sky, a blank expanse, coated by a twisting mass of what appear to be the roots of a tree, coated in vines. It is as though the Tree is covering the world like a dome.


Flaming flattens her ears as Journey delivers what he thinks to her. She grumbles, realizing he had a point and she herself often complained about the suffocation of Hearthome's rule. "Maybe not… maybe they would have kept walking all over us. But now we don't have 'any' home of our own."

After cleaning up the kitchen tidily, she puts the last chair in its place and is just about ready to run outside before pausing at the corner as well, sheepishly staring up at Mirror as she follows Journey's lead and tip-toes down the hall as well.

AS they reach the ramp and Mirror passes out of view, she snickers and bumps into Journey, "Hahahha, should have seen your face when Mirror poked her head in, you were soooo scared!"



"I am not really sure where to go.." Shei-Sher takes Amy's hoof in his and ambles forward through the valley

The spirit of Pupil hovers out from Shei-Sher's coat pocket and floats away as the cornea of its eye darts around the scenery.
[1d10+1]appraising for some clue where to go

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9



"OBVIOUSLY, we go south," Amy says, sure of herself.

Amy then starts tugging on Shei to follow her in the direction she assumes is south.

[1d10] for south

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Ba-a-h Amyyy" Shei complains as you drag him your way.


>"Hmm…. Alright. Just be careful though, I don't want a demonic froggy."
KP says as he picks Hopper off his head to hand to Volkama.

Pryce holds the cactus in his magic to carry, disappointed with the small prize he won.
"Alright, let's try… that one!"
He says, pointing off in a random direction, which points towards a test your strength hammer stand.



"Whaaaat?" Amy complains back.


All lays in ruins, aimless, wasted, burnt, cold. There is no real indication of where to go, but as you wander, the sand is picked and strewn wildly by wind. You see the ruins of civilizations piled atop one another amid piles and piles of garbage and refuse, long since discarded, their purpose and names forgotten, accumulated over eras and across space and time. The corpses of towering monsters become visible as you wander through the valley, now skeletal and dreadful.

"From what I heard from the elders, that's how it used to be way, way, waaaaaaaay back in the day, back when the elders' elders' elders' elders weren't even elders. All of us, every single buffalo, was a nomad. We all roamed around, taking what we liked and headbutting what we didn't! At least that's what I've heard… doesn't that sound cool? It's kind of what we have now!" LJ says, his eyes bright and dreamy.

"You shut it!" LJ moos, the red of embarrassment quickly returning his color. "You shoulda seen yourself when she came in and goosed us the first time!"

As KP hands over Hopper, Volkama sets his rats on the couch, and produces a compact, yet dense spellbook, all full of bookmarks and musty pages, smelling like a library. "You can watch if you wish: There is no need for secrecy, and I understand the trepidation of a fellow who also loves his pet."

He begins drawing a series of runes onto parchment with an ink brush.

River claps. "Confident, are we? Go on, knock the bell off the top!"

You soon reach the front of the line for the game, after the latest participant, a Breezie, floats away sadly without even being able to lift the hammer. "Next up!" the game-master cries. "Ooh, got a lady to impress? I'm sure you'll have no trouble with it, good sir! But if you do, don't feel bad - lots of guys have that problem from time to time!"



"Shouldn't we head to the mountains?" Amy asks, heading to the mountains regardless.


KP take a seat at Volkama's side to peak at the parchment.
>"So what are you gonna teach him?"

"Eheh, y-yea."
Pryce says, not feeling too confident at the strength test.

He steps up to the hammer, picking it up in his hoof. He prepares himself mentally, since it's only been his magic that's been an issue in fights, not his actual combat prowess that he's trained in. He takes a breath, and slams down on the marker with all his might.
>Hammer Slam [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


Shei-Sher's face becomes more disgruntled as they wander through dozens of ruined abodes

"Hmm no, no.. That won't work. If we're wrong we won't have much time to spare." Shei-Sher looks to the ground, his hoof brushing over the roof of some stone structure.

"There has to be a library down there, somewhere, maybe we can find a clue there."

Shei-Sher kneels down and places a hoof on the sand. He captures the plot of sand in a mental image and imagines the grains becoming so small and fine that the bed of sand collapses, sending them in a structure.
"Brace yourself."

>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;


Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7


this is also for dm >>694061



Roll #1 5 = 5


Flaming pauses as she trots down the ramp, pursing her lips as she remembers the shaman's stories of buffalo long before their time roaming the world with all the fields and plains and valleys their home. She nods. "I remember those stories too. I always thought that sounded so cool, just rushing down and stampeding over whatever we want WHEREever we want," she says as she stomps her hooves excitedly on the ground, jumping at the end. "And spreading like a wild fire wherever we roam!" She pauses, blushing herself as she restrains her excitement. "I mean, I 'guess' this is kind of like that. I've been places I NEVER thought I'd even see like the ocean and the desert and castles, but…" she sighs, "I… we've BOTH seen a lot of bad stuff too, right?"

She snickers as he blushes, but gasps as he shoots back at her, "I-I was surprised, that's all! I thought we were the only ones on the ship! And I only got extra surprised cause you tried to pin the whole mess on me, ya know." She puffs out her cheeks, "Wasn't very nice."



Amy frowns as she watches Shei work. "This isn't how you wanted to spend your birthday, is it?"


"Nothing yet: First, I have to circulate the magic potential within him, before he can use it. This won't permanently bestow the ability to use it, but it will acclimate him better to the process."

Volkama finishes his runic drawings and sets them on the couch. "Now, have him hop on."

As you lift the hammer, something feels odd. Having wielded warhammers as part of your paladin training, you get a sense that this hammer might not be weighted properly, possibly to sabotage the player. Perhaps that's why, when you slam the marker, the metal piece on the small tower only goes up to 4. "Aww, too bad! You need a 7 to get a prize… but you get three tries!"

Shei crumbles the ground before them; the sand breaks, and below it, you see a covering of ice beneath the sand, which also breaks with it, crumbling into black mush.
Below that, it is as Shei predicted: Mountains and mountains of buildings, tossed upon one another, lay before you, spiraling what seems to be infinitely downward below the surface, forming a precarious labyrinth of trash and ruined kingdoms. Far below you, in the shell of a bombed-out building, you see the burnt remains of a tree. Black winds swirl around the tree, and each of its many branch-tips alights with a ghostly flame, looking like many candles.

LJ sticks his tongue out and smirks.
"That's what I'd like to see," he then says fondly. "One day, when we have paid our service to Our Lord… for us to roam and conquer, for our home to be the whole earth that we have explored, and for our days to be nothing but the exploration of that which we haven't discovered yet. When that happens, I don't think I'll stick with the name 'Little Journey' anymore. I feel like I'll have earned a change… like… Big Journey! Cause I'll have had a big journey! Does that sound cool?"



"Well that's cool!" Amy exclaims as she looks down at the spiral of buildings. "I wonder if there's a library."

[1d10] to spot a library… without being able to read

Roll #1 5 = 5


>"Alright. Hopper, hop on here. We're gonna start teaching you new tricks!"
KP says to Hopper, the frog hopping on as instructed.

Pryce lifts up the hammer, feeling discouraged as he tests it out to find a decent balance point. Hammers were already iffy enough for inexperienced fighters, but this feels like an accident waiting to happen.
"Just a seven? Alright then."
Pryce changes his grip, not holding it as he should, instead holding to get the best leverage out of this poor hammer as he slams down for a second try.
>Hammer Slam Mark Two [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3


Flaming smiles at Journey's enthusiasm as he gets excited about making out into the world, exploring and conquering as the tribes of old. As he throws out his suggestion for his new name, Flaming chuckles, moving over towards Journey and putting a hoof up on his head, "I think it's pretty good… but you better buff up BIG time before then cause, you're still pretty 'Little' to me," she chuckles, reaching up to cover her muzzle.

She lets out a sigh, reaching up to rub at her leg, "I've been… thinking about changing my name too. Ever since I got these markings. I feel like I'm just not really the same 'Flaming Shorthorns' I was before, you know? I talked to Amy about it and, I definitely wanna keep the 'Shorthorns' but, I'm not sure what's appropriate to replace 'Flaming' with. Any thoughts?"


Shei-Sher falls through the crumbling ground, landing rump first into a file of sand.

"No.. Verily, this is how I imagined the day would be. Having the chance to save my pets is a nice surprise however." Shei smiles at Amy

>"I wonder if there's a library."

"erm- I am more interested in that tree" Shei points ahead
He ambles through the sprawling ruins, making his way down to the strange tree.

Pupil floats by to appraise it
[1d10+1] appraising the tree

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3



Amy follows.

"I… don't really know how birthdays work," Amy says awkwardly. "I've seen a lot of ponies in bars celebrate them. But, I never really got what they were talking about. The parties sure were fun, though!"

"Is there… anything you wanted to do on your birthday?"


To get through the ruins unharmed, the two of you must carefully pick your way over the crumbling ruins, often forced to stop and lower one another across gaps or give each other boosts over the broken and jagged architecture. By the time you reach the bottom, the two of you are dusty, with minor cuts here and there. The black tree stands at the middle of the shattered room. A few scraps of burnt parchment lay at its base, but nothing legible.

As you approach the tree, the flames at its tips unfold in their centers, revealing round circles in their centers, like multitudinous eyes, each one surrounded by lips, as though emerging from a mouth. The tree appears to warp or split, it's hard to tell: There appear now to be more branches than you had previously thought, numbering in the dozens or hundreds, until the eye-flames tower above and around you, so numerous that the tree itself is awash in flame and yet not immolated. An ancient sound, that of a roar from far above and below, male intertwined with female, shatters the silence, as the tree's presence now encompasses all the space before you.


This time, it only goes up to three. "Getting… colder. You're supposed to hit it harder!" the game master taunts.

As Hopper lands on the middle of the parchment, Volkama gently folds up the sheet around him, and whispers an incantation from the book. Through the gaps in the top, KP can see the designs of the runes floating around Hopper, before sinking into him. Volkama unfolds the parchment. "The first step has been completed."

"I am big!" LJ protests, thrashing about to make his hair and fur puff out with characteristic Sinking-Rain poofiness. He stands tall with his chest out. "Huh. I don't think I could imagine you as anything but 'Flaming Shorthorns.' It's just so…" he turns red again. "Uh, it's so good on you. But I guess you could use something more ferocious. Why not something like Volcanic Shorthorns?"


"I would like to.. not slaughter my pets?" Shei says candidly "Today has been nice. I have naught the right to complain. I had the chance to cook for my friends a feast, I saw a miracle performed by Mirror. I saw my Master for a brief time and the same, I saw my God's before bidding them all farewell. And now I am spending time with my special somepony."


Pryce grips the hammer's handle tightly. One try left, and he can't screw this one up. He takes hold with both forehooves and rears up. Using his wings to help stabilize his stance he brings the hammer straight up as he stands on his hind hooves alone. Precariously balancing for a moment, Pryce then swings the hammer down with the forceful smite of the paladin he used to be.
>Shatter that Bell [1d10]

KP looks with some worry as Hopper is wrapped up, then invaded by runes. Once the ritual is finished, KP crouches down low to Hopper.
>"You okay buddy?"
He looks up to Volkama.
>"What're the next steps?"

Roll #1 10 = 10



"You COOKED!?" Amy shouts in horror. "I missed it!?"


"Well…" Amy says, getting creeped out by the bizarre surroundings (though, not as horrified as when she realized she missed out on a meal). "We WERE looking for a scary place, right?"


Flaming lets out a chuckle as he floofs up his hair, noting the classic Sinking-Rain poofiness as she pokes it with her hoof, pushing into it, "No, you're FLUFFY. Maybe you should re-consider 'Fluffy Journey'?"

She lets out another snicker as he suggests the name, reaching up to tap at her chins, "Volcanic Shorthorns… well, I 'DID' fall into a volcano when I acquired the marks, and it 'would' be a good way to pay homage to the Slumbering Dragon. But," she reaches up at Spark in her horns, picking him up with her hooves to get him to wrap his slithery body around that instead. "I actually had a little idea from Spark here… I'm not a volcano. Not yet, anyways, I've still so much to learn about what having these marks means. But, I like to think i'm the beginning of something bigger… an inferno that'll change the world." She smiles reaching up to put Spark back in her horns, "So, 'Sparking' Shorthorns. What do you think?"


"Today was a blessing. Simply said, I have far far worse birthdays. I have told you before."

Shei-Sher lets out a laugh "I felt as though something was missing. Well now my birthday is rend in ruin Amy." He jokes "You would have enjoyed it, I cooked a lot of fish."

Shei stands agog in a sense of fear before the tree. Captured in the moment for some time before looking to the Vae Victus. Noting the root at it's end.

"I think this may be it."
Shei-Sher steps forward with the Vae Victus in hoof. "I'm sorry.. I cannot accept this." Shei-Sher touches the tip of the Vae Victus to the trunk of the tree and tries jamming it in.

Roll #1 5 = 5



"It's no chicken, but fish is good too," Amy comments casually as Shei returns a gift to a god.


You utterly smite the marker, and despite the subtle sabotage of the hammer being improperly weighted, you ring the bell loud and clear with a victorious ring. The gamemaster, shocked and humbled, applauds, and many onlookers fix you with jealous stares. "Well well! We have a winner at last!" he declares, before handing you a large stuffed lion.

River runs up and hugs you, cheek rubbing against yours. "Oh, you didn't have me fooled for a moment - you were going for dramatic tension, weren't you?"

Hopper places his hand onto KP's hoof, as if to reassure him.
"No two casters, even of the same discipline, perform magic quite the same way. He'll have to develop his own personal methods and foci, before moving onto what kind of magic he would like to learn."

"That''s… well, it has strategic value," LJ says. "It'd make any opponent underestimate me so I can clobber 'em, and I'd be a good ambassador for spreading the word of Our Lord. After all, who could hate a guy named Fluffy?"

He thinks over your name. "Hey, that's good! It's humble, it keeps your origins and those around you in mind." He pauses to think. "Now that I think about it, I think you should adopt it before we go into Tartarus. Maybe it's a bit presumptuous, but they say a name change brings good luck… and I'd want you to have all the luck you can get."

At first, the jagged black arrow refuses to enter the tree. Whispering voices convene, male and female, multitudinous, their words dancing at the peripherals of Shei's hearing, yet their weight presses down over the surface of his body. As the pressure bears down, he becomes lightheaded, losing the sense of his body, as the voices convene as a choir.
Woe to the conquered.
With laborious creaks, the arrow sinks into the burning tree, before vanishing. The tree itself shows no reaction, as the eyes gauge you, the lips surrounding them mouthing ancient words.


"…er" Shei steps back a bit weirded out "I think that did it. Let's leave before something horrible transpires"

Shei-Sher holds Amy's hoof again and AP's outta here
[returning to body]



"Sure," Amy says, giving the 'room' one last weirded out glance before going back to her body with Shei.

>returning to body


Pryce's face flushes red as their cheeks rub from the sudden hug.
"O-Of course, a magician has to put on a good showl."
He stammers out.
"Just took a moment to know my tool is all."

When the gamemaster hands Pryce his won lion, he lifts it in his magic and places it on River's back.
"A perfect fit."

KP picks up Hopper as he grabs his hoof.
>"So I just gotta see what he likes and just practice. Sounds just like when the big guy had to do combat training."
KP mulls the thought over.
>"You got some stuff I could hold onto to see what Hopper will like?"


Flaming chuckles, "I was JOKING you big dumbie. Don't go calling yourself Fluffy Journey, you'll have every Climbing Fire laughing their sides out!" She pets the fluff a bit more, letting her laughter subside. "You'll get big enough on your own. And then the fluff will just make you look even BIGGER then."

As he complements her choice of name, this time it's her turn to blush, and she looks away as he comments on it. "W-wow, thanks… I just sort of, thought it up is all, it made sense and, I liked it…" she chuckles, "Then, maybe that's the one to go for. I think it's cool too." As he comments on how it's good luck to change one's name, she grins, "Really then? Alright then, how about we 'both' change our names before we go into Tartarus, huh? Then we'll have TWICE as much good luck."


As you attempt to undo your spell, a sudden weight delays it. For a while, you are frozen there, held in the increasing discomfort of magic energy unthreading about you, caught in a limbo, as the tree stands there, unmoving, all-seeing. A warning unfolds within you, in a slow, blooming voice:
Nothing that has been concealed shall not be revealed. Weigh every chance you get – as if it were your last.
Soon, you are released from the grip, and return to the flowering field. The tree closest to you has wilted, appearing dead and burnt, but small white flowers bloom at its base, each with big petals that make them look like little chalices.

LJ nods and with a smile, bumps his horns against yours, taking care not to disrupt Spark. "Let's do it then, it's a promise."

He then glances around. "Oh yeah… we went outside for a fight, but… well, I kinda don't have much of a drive to fight you right now. Wouldn't want to put you out of commission before the big day. Why don't we go for a run? Or we could go into town and hang out with some of your allies. I feel like I haven't gotten to know them too well."

She smiles at the toy. "Now that we've conquered that, where else shall we go? It's getting a big crowded around town, as the festival gets back into full swing. Shall we go somewhere quieter?"

"You were a performer as a child, weren't you?" Volkama asks. "Why not let him hang out with my rats and see if he takes to it?"



"Nothing that has been concealed shall not be revealed…" Amy repeats the phrase.

"Okay, hold on!" she looks up to the sky as if the universe will respond to her. "That was too many negatives!"

She starts rubbing her head, trying to parse the sentence out. "'Nothing…' okay… 'that has been concealed.' So, Everything hidden… 'shall not be revealed'."

"So wait," she lightens up as she thinks she's figured it out. "Everything hidden will stay hidden? That's pointless!" she shouts up to the universe. "What was the point of that!?"


>Too many negatives
"Oh goodness you caught that as well. I had thought I misheard."

Shei-Sher looks to the tree blooming flowers "Nonetheless, the deed is done. It was easier than I thought. Thanks Amy." Shei gives Amy a hug.

"Now then, you wished for me to put to rest your problem. Are you sure you'd like to do that now?"


"It's a shame all the rides are ruined, those would have been nice."
Pryce thinks.
"Sure, how about a walk around the city? We could see the sights outside."
He suggests.

>"Oh yea, he could learn some circus tricks. He did like hopping and jumping at the restaurant."
KP agrees, but then suddenly springs up in idea.
>"OH! Wait, I got a cool idea!"
KP exclaims, scooping up Hopper as he goes off to find Zjetya.


Flaming chuckles as she bumps her horns back against his, "A promise!" She repeats, smiling widely with the buffalo as she looks around the Qilin village.

She shakes her head, "Nah, after wrecking you in the kitchen," she lies blatantly, "I think I'm good on fightin' for a little bit. I'll go easy on you just this once." She smiles, "Oh, a run sounds good! How about just a little stampede through town? If I find any of the others we can hang out with them too."

Flaming looks out in a random direction, smiling mischievously before reaching out with her horns to bump his sides, "TAG!" She shouts as she suddenly starts stampeding in a random direction through the town, laughing as she flees.



"Nothing concealed shall not be revealed…" Amy continues to repeat the phrase as she is hugged. It seems to be really perplexing her. "Now wait a minute. Maybe it means that there is not a thing that is concealed right now that will stay that way. There is not a thing that is hidden that will be not revealed…? All the things that are hidden will be not not hidden."

Amy shakes her head as if she's trying to remove some sort of great weight. "I think you should just reveal concealed things."


>"I think you should just reveal concealed things."
Shei slides his head onto Amy's lap as a he lays down "I believe that is what he meant."



Amy smiles as Shei lays down. She starts stroking her hoof behind his ear. "Then start talking," she says in a combination of playfulness and forcefulness.


Shei's smile is gone "I told you, bad things would happen." Shei stretches his arms up and gestures spooky things, in a silly manner to break the tension "Strange, horrible things, that would maybe hurt you. You should speak with Buiwong instead."


LJ runs just behind you through the village, keeping up just fine, but making no attempt to tag you back, apparently enjoying the chase and the run more than the actual aim of tagging you back.

As LJ chases Flaming, he suddenly ducks and weaves down some side-streets, before coming out from another one, getting the drop on her, and forcing her to run up toward Fantasia. Around the same time, River and Pryce walk and chat pleasantly, and draw near the city's front gate. Soon, both pairs see each other, and LJ skids to a halt. "Oh! You two! Slow down, Flaming." He runs up to Pryce. "I never got a chance to thank you – it was you who held onto the Ember for so long that saved me, wasn't it?"

After asking around, KP finds that Zjetya has been sitting on the ship's roof for a while, by herself. He heads out of the ship and sees her still sitting there, talking to bugs.


Flaming relaxes as she enjoys their casual stampede through the town, and after a bit even slows her pace so she's more or less running alongside Journey instead of racing ahead of him, enjoying his presence as well as they trample over cobblestone together. She looks around the site as she runs, but as LJ skids to a halt and calls for her to stop, Flaming likewise skids, pressing her hooves to the pavement as she screeches to a stop at the same time.

As she sees Pryce and River approach, she waves, running over to greet them with Journey. "Pryce, River! There you are." She takes a look at River in particular, smiling. "Glad to see you putting those new legs to work, River! Have you ran around a lot on them already?! If you want, Journey and I were taking a run, you two could join us."



"I hate gods…" Amy grumbles. "But, if it will help…"


Pryce stops as Flaming and LJ charge towards them, reflexively holding a wing out in front of River in protection as LJ has to brake.
"Oh, yes. That was me, but you don't need to thank me for it. I'm just glad that everypony was cured, and that holding onto that ember was for something after all."

KP walks up to Zjetya, sitting down next to her while holding Hopper close, instruction him to not eat any of the bugs.
>"Hey Zjetya, are you busy?"


Shei-Sher's face is tired and understanding. He raises his hoof to take Amy's in hold. And begins to nap.

Astral project!
[1d10+1] visitng buiwong with Amy

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


"Haven't seen you all since the beach Pryce! The visit Shei and I took to Hearthome was… interesting, to say the least. What have you been doing since we left?"



[1d10] astral projection

Roll #1 1 = 1


"No thank you, I'm in the middle of a date with Pryce," River says, showing off the small cactus and the stuffed lion that the two have with them. "See? Have a look at our haul."

"Dates are fruit," LJ says.
"That's the wrong kind of date," River explains. "We're spending time together as a pair."
"Oh, so are we!" LJ declares. "Can we join yours?"
"I don't think you quite…" River begins, before turning to Pryce. "Actually, what do you think? I don't think he quite knows the difference, but it seems obvious to me his heart's in the right place."

"Oh, hey," Zjetya says solemnly, floating down to meet KP. "No. What do you need?"

This time, your dream takes you to the smoky mansion halls that Buiwong has made his abode. As you enter the lounge, you do not see anyone there besides a golden minotaur, his body and face heavily scarred. He wears a butler's uniform, twirling a silver coin as he stares at the portraits and pictures adorning the walls, nostalgically.
"The Master is out for now," the minotaur says with a slow, familiar voice, that of Ba'drel, the neurotic god of wealth and cattle who served Buiwong. He glances at you, and as recognition fills his eyes, he appears exhausted. "Ah. You. It's been too long. What may I do for you, while you are here, Master Shei?"



"I have business with Buiwong," Amy says to the minotaur god angrily. "Where is he?"

[1d10] for information

Roll #1 7 = 7


"It is nice to see you as well Ba'drel" Shei just stands around in the lounge, not visibly in a rush or anything, but he does appear nervous "I am under conflicting oaths.. Amy wished to speak with Buiwong. But I understand if he is busy at the moment."


>Master Shei?"
"And please, Shei will do."


"You two went to Hearthome?"
Pryce questions surprised.
"Why, and what did it look like?"

"Oh, I've uh, been spending the day with River."

Pryce stammers, caught a little off guard.
"I've heard double dates are a thing, but on the first one…"
He continues, unsure of what to say.
"If you want to River, since we were going to go for a walk too I guess we could all go together for a little bit."
He says, this already foreign territory going even further into the unknown as he asks River, not wanting to ruin their first date.

>"Volkama was showing me how to teach Hopper magic, and then I had the great idea to see if he could learn some of your cool wind magic!"
Pryce says, holding up Hopper proudly.
>"So what were you doing up here? I heard you were alone for a while."



"Why does he call you 'master'?" Amy asks suspiciously.


"Shei wanted to visit someone important to him for his birthday, a Professor 'Crowley', I think. When we got there though, it… well, it didn't seem like what I'd heard Hearthome was like at all. It was CRAWLING with demon filth, and I mean 'real' filth, it stunk bad!"

Flaming lets out a gasp, "WOAH! You two are on a date?!" She smiles widely, chuckling, "That's so cool! You two always went well together, I bet you're having a great time." As she shows her the cactus and the stuffed line, she looks at them both curiously. "Pryce got you those…? Those are… cool." She says, not entirely grasping the allure behind either one. She looks up, at River, reaching up to whisper (not so quietly) in her ear, "Go easy on 'im, his last date didn't go so good…"

As LJ gets it wrong, she lets out a sigh, "Not THAT kind of date, Journey!" As River explains what it is, Flaming stands and nods, smugly pleased with herself she knew something Journey did not, but as Journey points out 'so are we', Flaming's cheeks turn red, and she shrinks back, "W-wait, I don't know if you entirely get the idea, yeah we're spending time as a pair but…" she pause, looking down at her hooves. "Hrrm… well, I don't know… maybe this is…?" she says nervously, reaching up to scratch behind her neck, looking towards River and Pryce for advice.


"…I expected that, though it's still sad to hear what's become of it."
Pryce responds glumly to the news of Hearthome.

"W-We do?" Pryce says at Flaming's claim, "Amy said the same thing…"


"He is attending to preparations of his own, for when you will descend into Tartarus," Ba'drel says. "This little slice of the world will be rocked as many demonic and mortal forces alike will be drawn to the undoing of the Great Seal which binds all the evils of Tartarus from the world.

"If Fantasia, Zha Arlakane and all the nearby settlements, including the temporary land where Shorthorns' buffalo clans have settled, are not prepared, then my Master worries about their safety. Of course, he would not allow any of you to fall either, if it be within his power."

"However, from what I have heard my Lord discuss of recent days, I can guess at your grievances. You are suspicious of his influence following Amy succumbing to her inner voice's desires in the Griot's Road Cafe… is that a fair assessment?"

River gives Pryce a wink and a nudge, as if to say 'don't worry.'

"Let's go for a walk by the river that runs through the center of town. I don't think anyone will bother us there, and we can play catch-and-release with the fish that swim there," River suggests.
LJ, lost as ever, nods. "Excellent suggestion, I went fishing with Shei not too long ago! I can get us the best ones."


"Tis only a formality. Truly, look! He's dressed in a butler's costume!"
Shei points out exasperatedly



"I want to talk to him," Amy repeats angrily.

"Either bring me to him or bring him to me."


Amy looks from Shei to Ba'drel suspiciously. "I guess that makes sense."


"You want me to teach a frog?" Zjetya says with disdain. "… It'll be hard."
"I was thinking over the past few days that I've been with you all, and how, despite being only with you for a few days, I've been wrapped up in all this crazy stuff that's gone well over my head," Zjetya says. "And now that it's all about to be over, it feels so brief. I'm having a hard time deciding whether to enter Tartarus with everyone else."


"I would say that is right on the money, Ba'drel"

Shei-Sher stands behind Amy, he shrugs his hooves and makes an expression that says he's sorry he has to deal with his girlfriend.


"I'm sorry to deliver the bad news…" she holds her head. "It was my first time ever seeing it but, I had heard it was a grand place. We found Crowley, at any rate. He's… I'm not sure if 'alive' is how I would put it but, he's in good company. There was this beautiful tower among it that persisted among the demons, and there were some nice people there. He and Shei shared a sort of farewell and, I think Shei was happy to have gone."

She chuckles, "Well yeah, duh. Anyone who's been watching you two for a while can see that."

As Flaming hear's the suggestion, she smiles, grateful for a quick change of subject beyond her own date. "OH! That sounds fun, let's go! Let's have a contest to see who can catch the biggest fish, alright Journey?"

"Uh…" she says as she begins to trot, "But first you might have to show me how to do it, I never really learned how to fish."


"That sounds like a great idea."
Pryce agrees.

>"Well not teach, maybe. I wanna see if he'll like it."
KP says, setting Hopper on the ship.

>"I don't think going into Tartarus would be a good idea…"

KP says, trailing off.


"Don't be sorry, I knew what to expect when that was the center of the Rapture. It's good to hear there's one safe bastion there though."

"Th-They could?"
Pryce stutters, feeling a bit exposed at hearing something like that was obvious, and feeling a bit stupid if it's been that long and he only just realized it himself.


"Don't be so modest about your accomplishments and contributions to Lord Buiwong's designs, dear Shei," Ba'drel says, flipping his silver coin casually. "You have earned a place among his favored for… many reasons."

"Wait a moment. I shall see if he is available. He is… mentoring someone."

Ba'drel draws a tome from the mahogany desk, flips it open to a page, and begins reciting the lines under his breath. When he is finished, a dark circle unfolds in the air, ringed with white words. From the hole in space emerge a collection of small spiders, which drop onto the desk and scuttle away. Finally, a single massive eye peers through the hole.

"Yeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssss?" Buiwong asks.

LJ and River, clearly excited, head off toward the center of town, with River's arm hooked around Pryce's. LJ glances at that, then looks at Flaming's arm. "What kind of pony custom are they doing?"

"I'm still not sure what to think. One way or another, someone, or even everyone, is going to be lost," Zjetya says. "And if they are, I wonder if it'll be on me."



"All the same, I just wish I could have brought back better news… if you want to see it for yourself sometime, just to see what I'm talking about, I've gotten pretty good at opening up Dark Corridors."

She laughs, "Well, of course! All you have to do is pay attention, haven't you?"


"You can make those too? A lot has been going on for you guys."

"Uh, n-not really. Th-that is, I haven't been looking for that, er…"
He stammers, not sure how to even word what his feelings have been.


>Flaming and Pryce, post sheets


File: 1520563448476.jpg (290.46 KB, 572x820, comfy shorthorns.jpg)



Last time on HQ…

With only a few days left for most of the party on Earth, the party has devoted much of their time to getting in as many hours of unity and relaxation as they possibly can. When we last saw Flaming and Pryce, they had started a double-date, with Pryce bringing along River and Flaming being led by the clueless and enthusiastic Little Journey. Meanwhile, Zjetya expressed her ambivalence on the Tartarus plan to KP, having not yet fully decided if it would be better to stay on the surface or go with the others into the underworld.

LJ and River, clearly excited, head off toward the center of town, with River's arm hooked around Pryce's. LJ glances at that, then looks at Flaming's arm. "What kind of pony custom are they doing?"

"I'm still not sure what to think. One way or another, someone, or even everyone, is going to be lost," Zjetya says. "And if they are, I wonder if it'll be on me."


Pryce is a little offtook by the arm hook, but as they run through town he warms up more and is joining into the excited mood.

KP sets Hopper down on the ship's hull.
>"I don't think it'd be on you. You're not like our navigator or anything."


Flaming looks back at River and Pryce as Journey calls out their odd ritual, raising her eyebrows as the fore-legs hooked together. "I… I don't know, I've never seen that before. I think it's another pony thing they do to each other on dates." She gives a small laugh, "They do a lot of weird stuff in general."

As she walks in the direction of the river, she looks back, "Seems like you'd stumble over yourself doing that, here-" she says as she grabs at Journey's leg, trying to imitate River's action, "Lemme see how it feels."


"Well, that's the question,isn't it? What am I to the rest of the party?" Zjetya asks. "I'm not particularly strong, but I can talk to the wind, which is a pretty useful ability, all things considered…"

She rubs her forehead, and there's a look of confusion and internal struggle all knotting her brow. "You know I'm a Changeling, right? This skin I'm in, it's not mine."

LJ and Flaming nearly trip all over each other as they imitate the mode of walking that comes far more naturally to River and Pryce. LJ fumbles and tugs and shoves at Flaming as he tries to regain his footing, and ends up awkwardly forcing her to lean on his shoulder. "Pryce, are we doing this right? How are we supposed to walk like this, do you choreograph your steps or anything?"
"It'll come more naturally to you with time," River says.
LJ snorts proudly. "I like our tribe's dances better. Less falling on your face."

The four of you soon find the river that bisects Fantasia, and follow it to the northeast, until you eventually leave the music and chatter of the festival in the distance. The water below is clean and deep blue, and variously colored fish drift downstream amid the grasses and rocks in the water.

"Pryce, you can conjure us some fishing rods, right?" River asks.


Flaming grunts, grumbles, and curses (quietly) to herself as she and LJ stumble over each other, "N-no no, you're doing it wrong… or, maybe *I'M* doing it wrong, lemme move my… urggh…"

As she leans heavily into Journey's shoulder, she pauses, still feeling her hoof tangle up in his as she lets her head rest against his fluffy shoulders, nuzzling against them lightly as they walk arm-in-arm to the river. "Hrrm… I-I guess this isn't so bad, but I don't see what ponies like it so much…" she says as she leans her head more into Journey's shoulder, treating it as pillow in-transit.

As they reach the water's edge, she breaks from the arm-lock, looking out into the deep, crisp colored stream with awe. "Woooow… I haven't seen fish colored like *that* before. What are they, some kind of salmon?"


>"Well you're a great singer so you're great for morale, and you're fun to have around."
KP lists off to answer her question.

KP nods.
>"Uh-huh, we saw that back up on the birdcage, and we had that talk about your disguise too the other day."

Pryce looks back at LJ's call.
"You just sorta, get a feel for it."
He says, unsure how to describe it.

"Of course."
Pryce says once they get to the riverside. He pulls off his bracelet, giving it a spin as he pulls out a few fishing poles.
>Hat Magic [Fishing Poles] [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


>We can do better than that

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10


Zjetya nods. "Right, right. So, you remember that. I'm never too sure how much you know that the other half doesn't. Most Changelings don't stick to one disguise if they're with others who know that they're a Changeling. On the other hand, I've always wanted to stay in this look. I don't really consider it much of a disguise."

In addition to the fishing poles, Pryce conjures a small kit of assorted fishing supplies, like different kinds of hooks, lures and baits, enough for everyone to have a try.

River glances down at the fish. "Those are… mmm… they're googly-eyed waptailers," she says with a straight face.
"Really? I've never caught one of those! Do they have any special properties?" LJ asks.
"But of course! They teach various languages, and know the secrets of poetry and geometry hidden to ordinary mortals."
"We'd better catch a lot, that sounds like it'll be useful!"
River bites her tongue to contain her chortling.

[1d10] [1d10] River
[1d10] [1d10] LJ

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 4 = 4 / Roll #4 4 = 4


Flaming looks out at the waptailers, giving a small 'ooooh' of interest at them. "Wow! I didn't know fish could even 'be' that smart! How do bears manage to catch 'em so easy then?"

She shakes her head, "Well, poetry and gom… geo… hrrrm, the other thing sound boring, but maybe they know other cool stuff like, stories, or fighting, or games!" She says with glee as she picks out one of the poles, looking at them all with a confused look as she tries to figure out the best way to do it.

"Let's see… you just put the bait on the hook right, and then just toss it in there…" she says as she gives her fishing pole a few swings, requiring a couple tries before she finally gets it right and the line goes out. "OH! There it goes!"

[1d10] [1d10] Fishing attempt

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 6 = 6


>"Yea, there was a lot of stories in the church about how you couldn't trust anypony if a changeling was around, since it could be everypony and anypony."
KP recalls.
>"I like this look too, I can't imagine you as something else and all not fluffy. I remember you said it was somepony special."

"These fish can do all of that?"
Pryce questions, amazed.

Pryce lifts up his pole in his magic, looking through the baits, lures, and bobbers. He hasn't fished much, so he's mostly running through what looks well together.
All set up, he tosses out his line to see what takes.
>Fishing [1d10] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 10 = 10


You both catch two fish each, but neither River nor LJ get a bite. River got too excited and reeled in her rod before the fish could take a proper bite of the bait, which spooked the remaining fish and made them swim away before any could take a bite of LJ's.

Both LJ and River look at their hooks with disappointment.
"I lied," River admits, a bit bitter. "I just made up the googly-eyed waptailer. Those are regular fish, which will only teach you disappointment."
"Hmph. I knew it sounded too good to be true," LJ says, trying to staunch his earlier excitement. "But, in your defense, there really are plants, animals and, yes, even fish, that are known to contain hidden knowledge and magic."
"That's true," River says. "And you know, there are probably a lot more out there now that there aren't so many mortals around to hunt them down and then capture and sell them."

"Yeah. It was a friend of mine who was chosen to be a singer for the dragons. Haven't I told you this story before? Well, anyway… it's her face I'm wearing. I haven't disguised myself as anyone else, except when I had to make myself look like a demon when we first arrived in Vitral. I've always thought of this as my way of letting her see the world, and of keeping her with me now that she has been called to a different life, one forever in the dragon-lords' grasp."


Flaming looks up in glee as she manages to land not one, but two fish on some of her very first tries, looking between them as they are held up high. "WOWWWW! Look at 'em, Journey!" She says as she hoists the multi-colored beauties up, smiling as she looks at their gorgeous scales. "I-I never actually held one like this before…" she grunts as they flip and flop and try to kick away, necessitating a careful grip on them. "Graah… slippery lil' guys…"

As River confesses she lied, Flaming blushes, "W-what?! You were lying?! I…" she pauses, "Iiiiiii knew that the entire time, of course. Pfff, come on, g-googly eyed waptailers? Pfff. As if any fish would have a name that dumb." She says with an awkward chuckle, looking back at River as she looks on disappointed at her empty catch with a sad look.

"Uh, h-hey, Journey:" she says, holding up one of her two, "You want one of mine? I got two."


"Nice catch Flaming!"
Pryce congratulates.

"Don't worry, I have your catch covered."
Pryce says to River as he unhooks the two fish with his magic, hovering one in front of each of them before setting the fish free.

"I never thought of things like that. Nature now could be a lot closer to how things were before ponies were around, aside from the demons."
Pryce comments aloud at the discussion, tossing out his line again.
>Fish [1d10] [1d10]

>"Ooooh… So that's why you didn't want to talk about it before."
KP says with realization.
>"I know dragons live up by your home, but I don't recall anything about them picking ponies. Must've told the big guy that."
KP gets up and gives Zjetya a hug.
>"I know how it can be when you won't see somepony close for a long time, I still don't know how my family's doing. But that's a very nice thing you're doing, I knowshe'd love and appreciate it."
He says to console, not letting her go.

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 1 = 1


"Well, thanks Flaming, but I was going to release 'em anyway. Here, I'll show you how."
LJ takes the fish, only to quickly, yet carefully, remove the hook from the fish's mouth, while holding it steady in the water. Once it's free, he lowers it back into the water, before letting it slip free again.

"Yep, there was a pretty bad black market for magical beasts, herbs and rites in the heyday of the Empire, but increased policing on the part of the Union's various departments, particularly the nature conservationists, who had an alliance with the druids in the countryside, really cracked down on the trade," River explains. "There's no excuse for what Buiwong did, but… at least that's gone, as horrible as it is to think about."
"I wouldn't call that a horrible thought," LJ offers. "In good times or bad, people will find a way to do terrible things. It's why we need leaders who will guide us away from those paths."
[1d10] [1d10] River
[1d10] [1d10] LJ

"And it's why I can't go into Tartarus," Zjetya decisively says after a long silence, holding KP in the hug. "She's already been taken to one place from which she'll never return. I can't have it happen to her again."

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 10 = 10 / Roll #4 8 = 8


As Journey takes hold of the fish to let them go, Shorthorns chuckles, "Well, 'duh'. What else were we gonna do with them? We don't exactly eat fish." She smiles as he takes his fish and frees him back into the water, before gently taking hers as well, unhooking it carefully as she had just been shown by Journey, and frees it back into the water. "Theeeere you go, lil' guy. Don't be so quick to take tasty looking bait next time."

She lines up some bait on her hook for another go, looking back at River as they talk about the trade. "Clan Climbing Fire didn't always to the best job of 'preserving' nature: if it was in our way it was likely to get trampled. But we knew it was wrong to go out and mess with it, there are too many stories to count about spirits who quickly take retribution on any mortals who upset the balance." She snorts, "It sounds like this black market got what was coming to it if it was peddling magical beasts and herbs around! What a disgrace." She pauses, "Though, it's not 'all' gone either… back in Vitral I'm pretty sure I saw demons selling things they really shouldn't have either. I don't really know if they'd end up any better than ponies did."

[1d10] [1d10] She tries another go at fishing

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 7 = 7


"The land was all wrecked up when we went to check that outpost for Spitshine, but seeing all animals living so strongly through all that really gave hope. It might be nice to see what other animals and areas have thrived like that."
Pryce thinks with a wistful tone. As they continue fishing and releasing, Pryce sets the pole down. He tries to see if he can fish out a fish gently from the river, enclosed in a bubble of water to not disturb it.
>Magic Fishing [1d10] [1d10]

>"That's good, I don't want you going down in Tartarus either."
KP says, still holding the hug as well, looking up to Zjetya.
>"What was she like?"

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 7 = 7


This time, each of you manage to catch some fish, and are able to quickly unhook and release them into Pryce's magic-held water bubble, enabling you to look at their bright scales without worry for their well-being.

"Yep, especially living in the Highlands, among all the trees, we really had to set ourselves straight with how much we took from the world around us," LJ says.
"It makes me wonder, sometimes," River muses. "Everyone keeps going on and on about how mortals are quickly being driven to extinction by the return of demons to the world. Is it really going to be any different than what we would have become? Perhaps I'm jaded from my upbringing, and what I have seen and done, but… the existence of Tartarus itself makes me think that there's always something darker within us, always ready to come back out to haunt us."

"Thoughtful and quiet," Zjetya says, now seeming a bit reticent. "Except when she was singing. When she sang, she was beautiful. I've attempted to follow that part of her as well, and sometimes I wonder how much of me is me, and how much is her, or my ideas of her."


Pryce looks up at the floating bubble of swarming fish in silent thought.
"… I don't think so. Look at all of us, and those back at the ship. Despite everything, we've all done and spread good without falling to all the terrible things we've seen others do all over. I believe ponykind would've have fell to this."
Pryce states hopefully.

>"How was her singing compared to yours?"
KP asks.
>"You are you, that's all that matters. Kinda like I'm me as my own even though I'm started as kid copy of the big guy."


Flaming gazes in wonder at the fish as they hook them each one by one, helping to put them into Pryce's floating water bowl. She looks at them all as they catch them, the sun reflecting through the water and off their bright scales, and she smiles contently, thinking it a pretty sight.

She looks over at Journey and chuckles, in agreement with his statement on the tribes, before looking up at River as she contemplates whether the world was heading for destruction anyways.
Flaming pauses, not sure how to answer. "I… I don't know for sure. I spent most of my time away from Hearthome and the other big cities so, I can't say what things were like for others. I want to say that, after meeting ponies like you and Pryce and Amy though?" She shakes her head. "No way you would've let that happen."

She chuckles, catching a glance at Journey, "Weeeeeell, maybe PONY civilizations would have eventually crumbled. But the buffalo never would have. We're a lot smarter than ponies, huh Journey?"


Zjetya stops and thinks, then pats KP on the head. "Thanks, Pryce. Let's put this on hold for a little while. Maybe for when I'm drunk. Why'd you come out here in the first place? Something about your frog, right?"

"I don't know," LJ says. "You can't deny that our tribe was at the center of the end of the world. It was our prayers that restored Buiwong's strength, our numbers that populated his armies, our hooves that pushed him back into the heavens where he belonged. In order to undo what evils had been done to all of us, we needed our societies to be destroyed. And it's the only way that we could have gotten back the glory and freedom of our past, while still making a future all for ourselves."
River glowers, but then relents. "I can't argue with that– we certainly made something that's both old and new our of the world, but I'll be damned if I justify the deaths of millions."


Flaming turns to look at Journey harshly, "She's right, Journey… I won't deny I got caught up in Buiwong just like every other buffalo. I prayed to him and gave him all the support I could because I wanted the same thing… but that doesn't erase all the damage he did too. We might not even 'have' a future anymore between the demons running rampant and the angels coming down to destroy everything they touch, so who's to say we're really that better off now than before…"


>"That's no fun, having to wait 'till your drunk."
KP pouts as he's patted.
>"Buuuuut okay."
He says back into a smile.

He hops up from the hug, scooping Hopper back up.
>"Yea! I wanted to see if you could teach Hopper your wind magic stuff, cause that'd be so cool! Like he could ribbit and shoot out a tornado!"

"That's a grim way of looking at it. But all we can do is move forward and not let that repeat itself. Make life better and not lose anymore ponies."


"I don't disagree with any of you," LJ says, kicking his back hooves over the water idly. "We still need to take back control of the world. We've swung so fast back from the tyranny of the Devas that we've lost our sense of how to handle the world without those gods watching out for us. Now that the world's in the grip of chaos, if we aren't able to retake control of it, that's all. We're done."
"You're awfully cavalier about all this."
"I gotta be!" LJ says. "That's how to keep up hope."
Everyone watches the fish swirl about in the water-bubble.
"It sure would be nice to be one of them, wouldn't it? No cares, no suffering," River says.

"Well, is he interested in learning my magic?"


Pryce lays back on the grass, looking up at the bubble.
"That's what the festival is for. Three short days for us to forget about the troubles. A short reprieve to relax from all this stress and worry, and unwind to see what we should've seen a long time ago."

>"Hmm, let's find out. Can you do some cool wind magic stuff right now?"
KP asks as he plops down ready for a show, holding Hopper expectantly for him to watch.
>"OK Hopper pay attention and see if you wanna learn this. It'll be amazing."


As Journey states his goal so resolutely, Flaming's harsh expression pulls back significantly and she looks at the determined buffalo. She lets a little huff of air escape her nostrils, reaching up to put a hoof on his fluffy shoulders. "Well… I guess there's nothing to be done about it now but move forward." She smiles, "I'm glad none of us have to do it alone at least." She says as she lays down next to the river, reaching in to kick her fore-hooves in the water around, leaning down to take a little drink of the crisp water as well.

She looks up at the floating water-sphere full of fish, and she frowns. "I don't really think so… I don't really like the water all that much and fish get eaten ALL the time. By bigger fish, by birds, by bears, by wolves, anything." She looks back, "I'd like to be a 'dragon'." She says, looking up at her horns where Spark loops around her curly hair and horn. "See? He doesn't care about nothin' either, he just sleeps and eats all he wants. That's the life."


River and LJ have a good laugh after that. "Both approaches are quite good."
LJ gets up. "I hope this isn't the only thing we're going to do on this date. Fishing and talking are plenty fun, but couldn't we do that anytime?"
River turns her head at Pryce with a wink, hinting for him to take the reins on the situation.

Zjetya floats before the both of them and performs minor tricks with her magic, commanding it to capture bugs, spin flowers in a small, localized tornado, cool and warm the both of you, and even whip up a small raincloud to pour on the ground.
Hopper gazes dispassionately onward, apparently not impressed.
"Hmm, maybe that's not the best fit for him, especially given his lack of speech," Zjetya says.


Flaming chuckles too, splashing her hooves a bit more along the river before she looks up at LJ. "Well, Journey, Amy told me it's the 'boy' who decides what to do for the date for the girl. So you tell me: what else is on this 'date'?" Flaming says, giggling a little to herself as she uses the term so brashly.


KP gives ooo's and aaa's of amazement as Zjetya does her tricks. But as Hopper is unimpressed, KP thinks.
>"OH! How about that thing you did up in the birdcage where you blasted away all those ponies that had the angel parts? That as sooo cool, Hopper would love it!"

"W-Well, uhh…"
Pryce stammers, as he's on the spot now.
"Well we already ate, so we could go back and try some more of the games in town, or any events going on. There should be one or two more at least happening. Maybe just take in the scenery while we can, or you guys can before you leave."
Pryce says as he thinks of things that they can't do anytime.


River and LJ get up, carrying their fishing equipment with them. "That sounds splendid, let's go get into as much trouble as we can at the festival!" River suggests, while LJ clicks his back hooves in approval.

>pausing next round, feel free to detail all they do

"I could, but I don't think it'd be possible for Hopper to achieve. His body only has a small amount of magical power in it, since he's a frog. You might be better off trying to teach him some easy cantrips and low-level conjuration spells, since I know a lot of casters will do that with their familiars. And then Deriva could sew him a little outfit like she did for Volkama's rats."


Flaming smiles as she gets up along with LJ, sticking close to her fellow buffalo as the two pairs head back up the side of the river in the direction of the festival. Upon arriving back to the sights and sounds, Flaming giddily asks Little Journey for a few matches in the various games set up around the town, asking for Pryce and River to join in with them (teaming up with River for a girls team vs Pryce/LJ for a boys team in appropriate games).

As it goes on, Flaming finds a certain mood strike her fancy among the festival, a tribal beat of drums that while not nearing her home's music, certain brings up pangs of nostalgia, and pushes into others to try dancing to the music until she gets a crowd going, encouraging LJ, Pryce, and River in particular to join her in the dance.

After wards, one final thing crosses Shorthorns' mind before the date could be completed: she challenges Little Journey to one more duel (in the plaza, *NOT* the ship) and insists she'll defeat him in one blow. To which, when he thinks himself prepared, she leans forward and nuzzles his cheek, one of the most affectionate displays a buffalo could offer, in an attempt to completely stun-lock him and send him reeling.


>"Come on, can't we try?"
KP says with the classic child-pleading face.
>"I know Hopper can do something big, or at least a smaller form of it. Please?"

Pryce lower the fish back into the river, letting them swim free as he packs up the rest of the equipment.
"One big night on the town."

Pryce looks around at the games as they pass by, he already won a nice bi prize for River, but at Flaming's request he joins in to help LJ along.

As they go on in the day and Flaming begins to start up a town dance, Pryce is reluctant at first to join in, not having danced himself. But as it continues on, and since it is the classic moment of a date, Pryce takes RIver's hoof to pull her on the dance floor, going for a more waltz style of moving.

As they run down on festivities, Pryce sticks by River's side, but looks a bit unsure. Taking her to sit down near one of the sights in the village, Pryce waves a hoof over the small cactus he won for her. With a little magic, the flower blooms more and becomes more vibrant, and then he waves his hoof over her mane, a copy of the flower appearing in her mane behind her ear.
"This was a wonderful day."


Flow, post sheet



Last time on HQ…

Flow, Renee and Tantra decided to return to Zha Arlakane with Sugar and Spitshine. Renee felt that it was necessary for the two kids to kill a demon each – though they would not allow Sugar and Spitshine to come with them to Tartarus, both would need to develop a killer instinct and learn to take a life if they were to survive in an increasingly brutal world.

Both Sugar and Spitshine look sad upon hearing the word 'mother' but quickly perk up when you talk about demon-hunting. They glance at each other.
"Hey, so with what we talked about… are you gonna be ready?" Spitshine asks Sugar.
Sugar wipes at her cheeks. "Of course. With all of you, I can."
"We had a good talk," Spitshine says, smiling up at you. "Come on, let's go hunting."
Tantra creates the Dark Corridor for all of you.


Flow, somewhat embarrassed by his apparent mistake, cracks a smile when he sees the two in a good mood. His smile cracks as he realize what the crew is gonna go hunting.
When they're through the Corridor, he starts rummaging through his coat for some close marks.


There are three marks that seem to be within Zha Arlakane's general vicinity: The first is named Salamander, a thin, wiry humanoid made of black strips of sinew, with a serpentine head, clothed in tattered wanderer's robes. He's worth 100 Bits. The second picture is blurry, but upon closer inspection, you see that it's a red gem surrounded by a flurry of furious wind currents, sharp enough to slice, mostly forming a jagged sphere. This one, Tailwind, is worth 150. You instantly recognize the third, a bright-green goo pony mare with a raincoat and a yellow headband, nicknamed "Spitter." Her bounty is 2000 Bits.


As you emerge on the other side of the Corridor, Zha Arlakane is in far, far better shape than when you last left it. The rubble from the Bodhidharma's assault has been cleared out, and although a gash remains in the city's central streets from when it penetrated the outer walls, construction is under way, and crews are busy repairing the worst of the damage to the architecture. People of various stripes are around, and most seem to be wearing some form of Ecclesian garb. Speaking of which, the Ecclesians are out in force, distributing food and canteens, giving lectures on staircases and from the second floors of stone buildings, and the like. Though the streets are quite busy, the mood seems to have risen since you last left it.


Flow stuffs the rest of the contracts in his coat when he's finished identifying who's close. He hands the two lesser contracts to Renee.
"Here, we're going to have the little ones take care of these two."
He puts the third one in his pocket.

The three goos marvel at Zha Arlakane's fresher appearance.
>"My oh my…it hasn't even been that long, and they're already looking in better shape."
>>"Yeah, that 'hole business with that giant bloody demon was bonkers!"
Flow crosses his arms as they all marvel at the city.
>>"Oi. No bleedin doubt about it, right? What're you gonna do, lad?"
"The one thing I know I can do," his gaze intensifies, "I'm gonna whip her tail," he says with a cheek-splitting grin.


Renee manages a glance at the third contract. "Who's that last one? She looked rather mortal."

As you marvel at the city, you notice that the posters are glowing rather faintly, suggesting that the three targets are all somewhere within the city, but not anywhere in your immediate vicinity.

"So, where are these three? We got any leads?" Spitshine asks.
"I might know something," Tantra says, before glancing at you. "But I wanna know what Flow thinks before I tell you. You kids can't always rely on getting a hint – you gotta learn to sniff out your target even when there ain't a trace of 'em around."
"Well, whaddya say?" Sugar asks you.


"An old friend," he answers promptly.

"Easy as pie. You go to the taverns and start asking questions. Ask too many questions, and they'll come to you. Usually. Quite frankly, I haven't had to really get down and…track in a while. Hope was always better at that than I was."
He looks again at the two posters he gave Renee.
"Yeah, the first one can easily blend in here in the city…this second one shouldn't be too hard to find."


"Another one?" Renee says with a smile. "Thank goodness. Do you think she'd be amenable to helping us? We'll need all the allies we can pick up before we go."
Sugar and Spitshine nod to your instructions, though you can tell the two are a tad nervous about their first hunt.
"Let's spl–" Spitshine begins, before Sugar puts her hoof on his mouth.
"I know your specialty is in hiding and remaining undetected, but I've got no experience at all in hiding or being subtle," she says. "And the more I learn about our target, the more likely I can make a weapon to fight 'em."
"Agh, fair enough," Spitshine says, before taking Sugar by the arm. "C'mon."
The two weave into the crowd, quickly vanishing.
Tantra snorts proudly. "They're good kids."
"Makes me worry about that other one, Prisca," Renee says. "Transformed into a demon at a young age. What will become of her, I wonder…"


Flow shakes his head.
"I'm not too certain… I think I got off lucky with Hope and Vitty. She's… a lot more gung-ho than the rest of us. More brash, and reckless. I don't think I'll be able to get a word out before she punches my head off or something."

>"Come find us when you've gotten ample information!" Vice calls out as they leave.

>>"An' don' get in trouble, ya wee rascals!"

"Yeah, real good kids. Makes me feel bad that I have to teach some more kids how to do this job…" he winces as he thinks back to Hope and the others.


"I already like her style," Renee says.
"Is she cute?" Tantra asks.

"Oh, on that note," Renee adds. "I don't see any reason to simply wait here for the kids. We could get a bit of shopping done, or check in on the Ecclesians now that they've taken power from the Council that was cowering behind King Lininas. Mocha told me that things were a bit off here; I don't see anything strange going on at the moment, but perhaps we ought to investigate."


Trapper makes sure to be out of Renee's sight as he nods at Tantra's question.

"Sure, beats waiting around. Let's check in with the Ecclesians first…where do we go? I'm not exactly keen to…checking in on people."


Tantra clicks his tongue in preparation, and nods, clearly formulating a plan.

"With the amount of work that the Laity is putting into their affairs here, it's likely they're being coordinated by officers, overseers and the like," Renee reasons. "With all the work we put in to defending and then fixing the city after the Bodhidharma attack, we should be minor celebrities around here."

Renee stops a passing Laity member for information, and said member explains that they're working under the guidance of Junior Officers Laciela and Yareakh who are currently training in civic organization under the guidance of Prince Novelus in the palace. You recall the bizarre twin princesses of vitral from when you met them in Lilane – and Laciela is the one who Hope said that he saw Mudi carrying the severed wing of.


"Piss…we're gonna need to go see them. I just hope they can make time for us."
>"Pardon me, but have you actually seen Laciela? Is she in good health?" Vice asks the Laity member.


The Laity member gives a brief prayer of gratitude and reports that, by the will of the Devas, Laciela was able to shake the case of the sniffles that she had come down with yesterday and resume her duties.

Renee shakes her head with disdain as the member wanders off. "Well, knowing Novelus, he would set aside anything, perhaps besides fashion, to make time for all of us. Also, the King himself was the one who assigned us the mission to scout out Vitral in the first place! I had totally forgotten about that… we better report!"

You make your way north and up the hill upon which the Palace and the homes of the aristocracy are built. Upon reaching the exterior of the Palace, you are halted by a group of four praetorians guarding the entrance.

"I recognize you," one of the praetorians says as you approach. "From when the Bodhidharma attacked! Have you news for the king?"


Vice's gaze falters, and he looks thoroughly disappointed.
"He did? Frankly, I don't recall much of what happened that day…"

The three goos follow behind Renee, and bow before the praetorians.
>>"Oh yeah cobber, we've got plen'ty a news!"
>"Quite so. We'd also like to check in on what's been going on as of late throughout the city. We noticed that this place is looking to be in fantastic shape, all things considered."


The praetorian nods and signals to the others, and they part to allow you inside. "Yes," he begins, chewing the word with wounded pride. "Those zealots from the far east have done a wonderful job of cleaning up the capital proper. And of course in exchange, our King and Council have let them have the run of the place. There is already talk in the streets of them moving their own gods' idols in among our own. Soon we will not be a kingdom but a kritarchy…"

He leads you through the palace, and eventually takes you to a sitting room on the third floor, one that overlooks the whole city. King Lininas, Prince Novelus and the two alicorn princesses sit at a table, with tea and snacks before them. The room is full of books, magical baubles and trinkets, and a few candles for scent.

As you enter, Prince Novelus stands in surprise and glee, though you note he seems far more composed and dignified than when you last saw him, wearing a multicolored robe with a sash and a small crown instead of his preferred disguise. "Flow! Good to see you again, sir, and you too, Renee!"
Renee gives a curtsy. "Your grace."


Both Vice and Trapper stay behind.
>>"The bleedin 'ell is a kritarchy?"
>"It's when judges govern a city. I think. But besides that, I take it your lot has been busy keeping the peace as of late? Have their been any sightings of demons in the cities? If you don't mind me asking, of course."

Flow nods at Novelus, a small smile creeping at the corners of his mouth.
"Long time no see," he says as his smile pulls at his lips.


"We've heard some talk of a ring of underground fights being organized by several demon tamers," the praetorian says. "I don't know where the fights take place precisely, but we've been trying to get in contact with their leaders. A majority of the guard wants to exterminate them, but I would rather lend them the support of the state. If they're killing demons, it makes no difference to me if they profit off it, and the potential for disseminating morale-raising propaganda via their fights is enormous. If you find any more concrete details on it, tell me, but don't let the rest of the guard know."

"I'd hug you if we weren't dressed up in finery and in the middle of a lesson," Novelus says. "But, I think the lesson can be halted for now…" Novelus quickly glances to his aged father, who smiles and raises a hoof in approval.

"We've heard some of what has happened to Vitral from Ecclesia's setgetsiin troops, but tell us, what have you seen on the ground yourself?" Novelus asks.


Vice listens intently to the guard's information.
"I see…I'm sure they can be sniffed out. If they have the gall to operate near the city, it shouldn't be too hard to find some good, unimportant locations to host underground fights… Thank you for the info, I'll be sure to report any findings I get."
He nods at the guard as he and Trapper go inside.
>>"Not gonna do it, eh?"
>"Eh, I've grown lazier," he replies coyly.

Flow rubs the back of his head.
"Well…we were both on the ground, and in the sky."
He begins recounting what happened at Vitral, having Vice fill in any holes in his memories.


Novelus and his father listen sagely, though it is clear that their hopes are dashed as they learn of the fate that befell their former allies. Laciela and Yareakh both try to keep their composure, their eyes not leaving yours even as you report the most vicious details of that which befell the city-state, though by the end, both appear to be broken in spirit.

"Thank you for making that journey for us," Laciela says.
"I suppose the question now is, what do we do now?" Yareakh asks.
"Indeed, there was little question that we are in need of the military might that Mariposa once commanded," Lininas says. "Not even Ecclesia can come close to them, even at their full power. Though, from I have heard of Gegenschein, you can already guess at what I am thinking?"


have heard from Gegenschein*


All three of the goos' ears prick up.
>>"The bleedin' doc?!"
"What've you heard from him? How'd he end up here? H-how? How?"
All three of the goos are lost for words.


"He spoke to us via Caller Conch," Lininas says, raising his hooves for calm. "He and the rest of the Choir have turned poor Laciela and Yareakh into their personal secretaries."
"Yes, it got so bad that we had to assign some of our maids to pick up part of their work," Novelus adds.
"In any case, I have heard what Mudi intends to do with the power that lays in Tartarus… I can already tell that few among my citizens will agree to it," Lininas says. "Nor will the vast majority of Ecclesia, even the Choir. Yet it seems we have little choice. It's by far one of the few possibly viable solutions we may have left, as far-fetched as it is."
"You don't… really intend to instill Mudi on the throne?" Yareakh asks cautiously.


"The Choir, eh?… Lad's movin' up in the world."
>"I assure you, we intend to eliminate her when she's at her weakest. You'll have no problems with us when we're down there…the only problem would be getting to her."
>>"An' we intend on givin' er' the final blow ourselves," Trapper says with a grin.


Lininas and Novelus relax a little, but Yareakh seems ambivalent to the idea.
"The question is, who will replace her?" Yareakh asks. "If she dies, then all of it will have been for nothing: Everyone who dies in the pursuit of her plan will have wasted their lives just to perpetuate this world of chaos."
"Hypothetically, anyone could replace her," Laciela states coldly. "There's nothing inherently special about Mudi that would preclude anyone else from taking her spot. All that she has is the means of transferring power from one source to another, and if she transfers all her ill-gotten power to someone who can be better trusted, she'd be useless after that. At that point, you have carte blanche to assassinate her."
"How… do you know that?" Tantra asks cautiously.
"This was part of Gegenschein's report, wasn't it?" Laciela asks. Both Novelus and Lininas nod identically.


Flow stays quiet as he recalls what he and Gegenschein talked about after their fight with Voir Dire.
"What makes you think she'd willingly transfer her power over all willy-nilly?"


"Did I say she'd do it willingly?" Laciela asks. "Mind control magic exists."
"But the likelihood of activating an effect like that on a mind as powerful as hers is extremely low," Yareakh adds. "She'll be on high alert the entire time you're all in Tartarus. Not only do powerful mages guard their minds, the pressure that Tartarus puts on the mind will make her extra-protective."
"Then she has to be tricked, or pushed into a position where her mental defenses slip."

"In any case, before you enter Tartarus, make sure your party chooses at least three who could take up the throne instead of Mudi," Lininas warns. "Many will assuredly die."


Flow grimaces.
"Damn…I knew this was gonna be way harder than I thought…Hell I can only think of one pony who could take up the throne."
>"Alas, much of our crew is far too inexperienced for such high tasks."

Roll #1 8 = 8


Something occurs to Vice about what Yareakh just said about the pressure that Tartarus puts on the mind. Those words seemed to echo the information on Tartarus contained within the scrolls procured from the Apostles of White – scrolls which took quite a while to get and were read to the goos by Observer.

How did Yareakh know that?

"I understand, and believe me when I say I would thrust the task of kingship on nobody," Lininas says. "I will discuss this matter with those who have already proven to have an open mind about the Tartarus plan. I plan on electing one of my trusted fellows as a possible substitute and ally for the depths of Tartarus, and I will petition Ecclesia to provide a candidate of their own… though I expect Galton and Gegenschein will have no trouble finding me one."


Vice warily eyes Yareakh, as well as the others around the table. He'd have to ask his question in private.

>"The more hands, the easier the load'll be. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated."

"I'd still wager that the lust for power is still something we need to be wary of… don't matter how trustworthy anyone is."


"Indeed… be wary of anyone who sets himself out to be the savior of the world," Lininas warns. "Such people are serpents to their core."
Novelus appears deeply offended. You notice that he has a small, red pet snake around his shoulders, blending in with the regal crimson of his robe.
"Not your serpents," Lininas quickly adds. "Yours are the trustworthy kind."



Post sheets




Last time on HQ…

Amy and Shei, after returning Vae Victus to the entity known as God in the land of Sheol, entered Buiwong's domain to interrogate him. Though he was not in the domain when they entered, they were able to have Ba'drel, the golden god of minotaur, establish a connection to Buiwong… wherever he was.

"Don't be so modest about your accomplishments and contributions to Lord Buiwong's designs, dear Shei," Ba'drel says, flipping his silver coin casually. "You have earned a place among his favored for… many reasons."

"Wait a moment. I shall see if he is available. He is… mentoring someone."

Ba'drel draws a tome from the mahogany desk, flips it open to a page, and begins reciting the lines under his breath. When he is finished, a dark circle unfolds in the air, ringed with white words. From the hole in space emerge a collection of small spiders, which drop onto the desk and scuttle away. Finally, a single massive eye peers through the hole.

"Yeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssss?" Buiwong asks.


Ba'drel PleeeeAAA-A-A-ASE.." Shei paces in a half circle around the room before falling onto the couch, leaning back in it with his head resting. "you talk too much." Shei rises in posture, his head now resting on his hooves while he scans the food and beverages on the table.

Shei turns a glance to Ba'drel and points to the food "Buiwong will not mind if I help myself, will he?"



"Hey," Amy says in a cordial yet methodical tone. "This idiot here," Amy says pointing over his shoulder to Shei, "won't tell me what he's been up to. All he's told me is that I'm probably in trouble too. He said I should talk to you. So, here I am. What has he been doing with you?"


Shei-Sher nearly drops the apple in his hoof as his eyes look up, in a guilty expression, to Amy pointing at him.

He doesn't know what to say.


"How far back do you want me to go?" Buiwong asks, jokingly. You cannot see anything behind the gigantic eyeball, but you can hear a pair of voices faintly talking in the background.

"But hold on, hold on," Buiwong says. "As much as I enjoy to hear my self villainously monologue, I can't let a little relationship trouble bubble into something much uglier. Shei! I'd have thought my servants Gabriele and Punishment – a pair of indomitable ladies! – would have raised you a little better than to not talk to your girl. What's got you so reticent? Why can't you take pride for what you have done?"



Amy smiles and turns to Shei. "That's what *I* want to know!" she says with a nod.


As the conversation starts between the two Shei-Sher is at ease and takes a bite from the apple. But then his name comes up. Shei almost falls off the couch, startled.

Shei-Sher puts the apple down. The kid looks at the Eyeball and Amy as if they were pulling a very cruel trick on him, in this pause he chooses his words very carefully because there's no telling whether Buiwong is goating shei-sher into telling Amy about what happened last they spoke in this chamber and provoke him to hurting Amy.

"I've done nothing but follow you, my lord."



"Why are you STILL hiding things!?" Amy says, getting a combination of annoyed and frustrated.


"Ask the eyeball!" Shei shrugs his hooves up, matching Amy's frustration



Amy opens her mouth, clearly about the yell at Shei some more, but then she leaves it hanging open. She stares at Shei for a moment, as if trying to read him. Then, she glares. It's not a glare intended for Shei so much as it is a glare at the thought she has just had.

Amy turns back to Buiwong. "What did you do to him?" she asks angrily. Her coat gets a little darker.


Buiwong chuckles dryly. "It's disquieting to hear you not want to take credit for all you have done. You walk as one in the shadows, head hanging low and secretive. Make no mistake, Amy: His silence is his own. Very well, if I must."

"He is indeed my good and faithful servant," Buiwong explains to Amy. "It is through the covenant I established with him that I have kept my eight eyes upon you. That is why, as you have probably already surmised, have found spiders following you at all times, doing a bit of tidying-up around your ship. And through a bit of newfound influence, I have also, in small ways, nudged you in the right directions when necessary; not that I wish to imply you were not capable of making your own path of destruction through the world. I applaud how high you have ascended past other mortals of your stripe, even Ecclesia!"

"I have offered my servant Shei a measure of divine protection in Tartarus in exchange for his continued service, and if you were to desire such as well, then I can extend my covenant fully to you, Amy."


I will die soon enough in tartarus so if we die here at least my memory won't be of being a coward Shei-Sher thinks to himself as Buiwong rambles on.

At the moment Buiwong stops, Shei catches the moment to speak first "Tell her about when you projected a little green effigy, of her head in your hoof.. And threatened me with it."



Amy listens to them both and shakes her head. Her coat turns a deeper purple. She takes several long breaths in and out, but it does little to change her color.

"When did you use me to threaten him?" Amy asks Buiwong in a low tone, trying to contain herself.


"Amy, calm down! It isn't him you should be angry with. Buiwong is pulling his end covering for possible trouble." Shei sighs, wearing a more defeated expression. "This is my fault, verily, for ever getting involved with you and everyone else. I said it a thousand times I never meant to stay long and yet I've already worn my welcome. And you're all caught in the same web I'm slung to. I'm sorry."



"SHUT UP," Amy barks loudly at him, not turning to look.


Shei shuts up and stays silent like a good boyfriend



The eye starts to split around its lower half, just below the iris. A thin smirk spreads across the white of the eye.

"Though it is true that I took part of your soul away from your body, I would not say that it was a threat. To feel threatened, one must first allow their ego to inflate beyond what is proper for their place in the world. This may happen when someone forgets who he is, where he has come from, who he has to thank for his continued life… and who it is that he has bargained with for his own hide's protection. To feel threatened is to be reminded of your smallness, your unbearable dependency on others. There is nothing wrong with those things, but there is perhaps nothing more dangerous than to be seduced by a delusion of your own grandeur."

From around the black circle, an array of silhouetted limbs emerges. In two, a pair of soul flames emerges. Both are shaped like wings - one is of a pegasus', and the other of a griffon's. "This is the ability I demonstrated to Shei, the one that he referred to. This is the utmost manifestation of a god's love… the preservation of the soul from the forces that would steal it and destroy it. I can save and protect the souls of those with whom I have established my covenant. In Tartarus, fates far worse than death await all souls that enter. This is my divine protection."



"Shei, what is the the god of?" Amy asks, still staring directly and only at the eye.


Shei-Sher wears his grimace like how old labor ponys of the earth wear the weight of their fur in the summer heat.

Shei-Sher waits for Amy's most likely explosive response to Buiwong's overdramatic simplification of the matter.


"Buiwong is the God of spiders and fables." He puts dryly



"A fable is a story, right? That's what I thought," Amy confirms out loud.

"So, why are you not answering my question?" Amy says in an annoyed but more level tone. "For the god of stories, you don't like to tell them much."


Shei-Sher cracks a grin at Amy's bravado


"Yes, if my dramatic monologues are any indication, Shei is correct!" Buiwong adds.

"Every story requires a degree of exposition, of course. I am setting things up. I believe this was… after his failed battle with Miracle, was it not, Shei? Yes, that sounds about right."


"Yes my lord, you have an amazing talent for rubbing things in."



Amy's coat turns pitch black. Even from Shei's distance, he can feel the heat emanating from her body. Yet, despite her emotional explosion, her body does not tremble. She does not breathe heavily. Her tattoos glow, but her body shows no sign of changing one way or the other.

Amy has found an equilibrium with her fury.

"Thank you," Amy says to Buiwong in a flat tone. "And, I'm sorry for wasting your time. That's all I needed to hear. If you really have a piece of my soul, you can just go ahead and give it back. It's not really going to be of any use to you anymore. I'm guessing you just have it to keep Shei in line. That's probably a good idea. He definitely needs something like that to get him to listen. But, it won't do you any good any more. I'm about to rip his heart out for you."

Amy turns and marches toward Shei. She stares at him for what feels like an eternity. Her expression is disturbingly empty for the blackness of her coat and the heat her anger is generating.

"You don't even get it, do you?" she asks at last. Her tone is more of one of disappointment than fury.


"Hahaha, that I do! But forgive me, I meant no offense! I have learned that there is nothing to be ashamed of in defeat, though it took me countless such losses to learn this. I am confident, from your conversation with Mirror Image, that the next encounter shall not be a repeat of the last."

"My possession of your soul is not complete, not without properly establishing a Covenant," Buiwong says. "Thus, I cannot truly use it in any sense, nor can I fully protect it. But, I get the sense that this is not the time for the full explanation. Any time you like, you are welcome in this domain to speak with me. As for Shei, leave him, at least in some capacity, alive, Miss Amy Thest."



"I'm not going to kill him, he's not worth it. And, I'm definitely not working for you. No offense. Of all the gods, you're definitely the least awful. But, I just can't bring myself to follow a god."


>"You don't even get it, do you?"
Shei crawls up backward on the couch, still faceing Amy. "I -I have an idea!?"



"You went and did what you did with Miracle and it made me worried sick," Amy says in an only mildly angry tone. "I felt awful that there was nothing I could have done. The fact that you went alone without even TELLING me first made me horrified. And hurt. You didn't think I could help. You didn't WANT my help."

"And I told you. I TOLD YOU that's how I feel," she says more loudly. "I told you ALLLLLL of that. And, I like to think I expressed myself pretty clearly. At least, a lot more clearly than I usually do," she says in an almost insane laugh. She continues to laugh uncomfortably for a while like something has snapped.

"And then you went and did it again," she says in a maniacally jovial tone. She laughs some more. "You did IT again. YOU DID IT AGAIN!?" she outright screams in Shei's face. For the first time in her rant, her face shifts to that of a wolf. Her fangs bare in Shei's face.

Then, she takes a step back and stomps her hooves repeatedly in frustration. Her face turns back to normal. She throws her hooves up in defeat. "You obviously don't care about me. I told you that's how I felt when you do that sort of thing, and you go and do it again. What else am I supposed to think? I-I I just don't get it. What am I to you? The answer is obviously not someone you respect!"

"No, wait, I'm sorry I said that wrong. What WAS I to you? Because we're definitely done."


"I understand," Buiwong says. "Then I wish you the best of luck as we descend into the Abyss."

Ba'drel flips the coin and catches it on the back of his hand, nodding at the result. "Interesting." He then leaves the room.


Shei gets off the couch "I did no such thing! Mirror Image pulled me aside for a conversation regarding Miracle's orb and I told her what I thought was the best thing to do! I had not even touched that orb since the last time, it's hulled up in Box's stomach. And you're unfairly jumping to conclusions about me again!"



"I'm not talking about that, you idiot! You really DON'T get it! I'm talking about this," she gestures to the room they are currently in. "Right after I got finished telling you not to go talk to dangerous otherwordly beings anymore without at least telling me first, you went and spoke to Buiwong without telling me!"

"How are you not-" Amy cuts herself off and shakes her hooves in front of her face in frustration. "I'm not talking about this anymore. I can yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell and yell, but you just do not understand! I don't get you and you don't get me. This clearly isn't working out."


With that, Amy returns to her body.


Shei-Sher returns to his body and follows after her.

"And how am I suppose to talk about any of that when Buiwong has my neck and everyone else's put to a knife. Am I just suppose to expose everything with wild abandon. Buiwong threatened me with your life Amy!"

"That isn't it however, you expect me to notify you everytime I'm summoned or need someone's advice. What if I went to Y'dryth to talk to him about gardening. Do I need your permission to talk to God Amy?? Is that what you're saying!"


You awake back in the ship's barracks, in the middle of the ritual site. Nearby, Mirror Image sits on the floor with Mocha and Volkama's three magical rats. They are engrossed in a game of marbles.



"I can't believe I'm still having this conversation," Amy says in exasperation. "But, you're actually managing to be so stupid that I can't not respond to this. Congratulations, Shei! You're dumber than me!"

"He threatened you with my life AFTER you started talking to him. There was nothing stopping you from telling me BEFORE that! If you stopped and said, 'Hey, Amy! I'm going to go talk to this totally untrustworthy god just after I got finished getting mutilated by this angel,' then I'd have been like, 'Hey, maybe you shouldn't do that!'"

"At the very least, I could have gone with you, then maybe things would have ended up better! But, that's the thing, if you just listened to ME, then MY life wouldn't have been threatened! And, if he's really got you THAT threatened, then maybe you should stop talking to him!"

"You keep going to do all these things alone. And, surprise, surprise! They don't go well! But, that's you, I guess. You like to be alone. Well, you're alone now. Congratulations, you got what you wanted!"

"I can't believe…" Amy starts to say as she chokes up and a tear trickles down her cheek. Then, her face gets more stern and she shakes her head. "Don't think I don't know why you're doing all of this behind my back, Shei. I mean, aside from the fact that you obviously don't actually like me for anything but whatever perverted thing this is for you. Obviously, not respecting or caring about me isn't a reason to do something. It's one less reason to NOT do it, but that doesn't motivate a person."

"So, let me make this perfectly clear, Shei," Amy says ferociously as she grabs Shei by the collar of whatever he's wearing. She puts her face in his face, baring her canine teeth at him. "You WILL NOT mess up Moody's plan!"


Amy has Shei in her grip, him seeming completely powerless "You won't even give me a chance. My relations with Buiwong go on far before I met you and are far more personal than you even know. But if I could sever ties with him I would. But it isn't so easy, as every weak person who seeks his bond discovers."


You can both sense the attention and concern of the ship's passengers draw to you, though nobody's looking directly at you.



Amy lets go of Shei and backs away. Her coat slowly fades back to its normal color.

"Well… at least I get you a little more now…" she mutters sadly. "You chose your relationship with a god over your relationship with me. It makes sense, I guess."

"I-I'm going to go… s-somewhere, now," Amy stammers as she leaves the room.


"You idiot! I told everyone I was going to seek out sponsorship from every god in our affair to help us in Tartarus. I've been forthcoming about everything!" Shei yells as Amy walks away.



"I'm tired of listening to excuses, Shei…" Amy responds sternly yet quietly as she leaves.


Amy searches for some ice cream.


There does not appear to be any ice cream anywhere in the ship's kitchen. However, it seems likely that Fantasia would have some, and thus you head into the city on the hill.


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