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/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!
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File: 1544234934002.jpg (396.37 KB, 2000x1001, dci1bs8-e9750ebb-116d-4ed3….jpg)

 No.705968[Last 50 Posts]

A new game by me I guess

 No.705969

Our story begins in the far flung seaside hamlet of Moonhollow. Once a well off cliffside town, Moon Hollow has fallen prey to all manner of disaster; monstrous beasts plague the lands, a gang of cutthroats stalk the roads, and dark wizards have been said to establish themselves nearby, casting a shadow over the unassuming town. The young lord of Moonhollow and the surrounding lands has called on heroes from far and wide to come to the hamlet and fight back against the corruption plaguing his domain, raising an army of sellswords and wanderers to reclaim his fallen land…

Post sheets.

 No.705970

File: 1544235960336.gif (46.17 KB, 250x225, 0dd.gif)

>>705968
https://pastebin.com/FQ49rcHe
this should be it, sorry I had to recycle a character

 No.705971

File: 1544236042001.png (141.38 KB, 900x700, 1544215448877.png)


 No.705972


 No.705973


 No.705974

>>705970
>>705971
>>705972
>>705973
You have answered the call of one Elphias Harroway, lord of Moonhollow. Once a prosperous fishing hamlet, Moonhollow has fallen to dark forces, and Lord Harroway seeks able bodied adventurers to come to his aid and join the campaign against the shadows over his land. Details on the origin of this corruption are scarce, but your contract promised a handsome reward for your services, as well as accommodation during your stay.

It is under these circumstances that you find yourselves riding in a rickety stage coach with no horse at the reins; instead, the coach is led by an elderly little lump of a Diamond Dog called Windemere, who seems to have some magical prowess to be moving the coach on his own. Windemere seems to be Lord Harroway's personal assistant; you find he has an unsavory sort of look, and he doesn't talk much as he whisks you away from civilization and along an old, seldom traveled road that leads to the fallen lands of Lord Harroway. It will be some time yet before you arrive at Moonhollow, so it occurs to you that it would be a good idea to get to know your fellow drifters better.

 No.705975

>>705974
I raise my taloned hand and give a wave hello to no one in particular.

 No.705976

>>705974
"Hey uhh, th' names Jesse. What are your guys' stories?" He asked and tipped his leather hat in greeting. The old faded patch shines in the sunlight

 No.705977

>>705975
"Wait a sec' I know you! We went down that stupid path together for 3 or so months. Once you go through hell with people it's hard to forget a face" He says and waves his hoof at the griffon

 No.705978

>>705977
I give a big smile at the mention. "Ahh, it is a pleasure seeing you again."

 No.705979

>>705974
Having spread her raincoat onto the carriage floor to avoid making a mess, Rainy pools in the center, keeping a mostly pony shape as she offers the assembled group a wave of a hoof.

"Hi there, everypony! It's nice to see so many willing to help the Hamlet. I'm Rainy Springs, and you?" she start in, shifting in turn as the others speak.

>>705977
"Nice to meet you, Jesse." says the bubbly pony. "We had heard there was quite the danger brewing in this area, so i was sent to help how i can."

>>705975
"Oh! You two know each other already?"

 No.705980

>>705978
"Likewise, what brings you all the way out here?" He asks with an uncharacteristic smile

 No.705981

>>705979
"Nice to meet ya Rainy Springs. I hope you know what you're doin' for all our sakes. And yeah I met this guy a while back doing other bounty hunting work" He says to the pony in a colder tone in stark contrast to his previous one.

 No.705982

>>705980
"I am just a lone wanderer. I take pleasure in finding new sites and knick-knacks" I pull out a small potted cactus from my bag.

 No.705983

>>705974
Vanity glances from the diamond dog pulling the coach all around the wagon. A feeling to scoot away prickled through him, but he stayed seated near the front, holding a calm, warm smile. His saddlebags lay at his side, and he casually leaned on them. He ran a hoof below his perfectly coiffed mane to right a stray hair.

>>705976
He let out a haughty chuckle and places a hoof to his chest. "You're a forward one, no? Platinum Vanity. Just Vanity is fine. I suppose I'm here the same reason most would be. Adventure and assistance. The desire to help those in need! And the bits certainly don't hurt either."

>>705977
>>705978
He cocked an eyebrow. "Oh? So the two of you know one another? Quite fortunate. It seems most times I go on these little soirée with others it's always somepony new."

>>705979
Vanity jumped, curled his nose, and visibly shifted away as the goo spoke, more than a bit worried about getting any Rainy on his hooves. In spite of his slight overreaction, he continued to hold his now wavering smile. "Pleased to meet you as well, Ms.Springs." Was it Ms? Did those things even have genders or did it just sound like a mare? "Always happy to lend a hoof when I can!"

 No.705984

>>705982
"Now what in th' world do you got right there?" The stallion inquired and gave the object an utterly puzzled look

 No.705985

>>705984
"It is a cactus, a little plant I bought that can survive with little water, and protects itself with spikes." I exclaim

 No.705986

>>705982
seeing the plant, Rainy leans in, eying the spiny plant with interest.

"Ooh, a cactus! Do you think it needs some water? I can share some if it's been a while. Water is my magical specialty, after all!"

 No.705987

>>705986
"Sure." I hold it out in your direction.

 No.705988

>>705983
"I just like to know who I got watchin' my back. Now you best take your hoof off me son" he says quite annoyed

>>705985
"Well not sure how useful it is but you could probably throw it pretty easily" He says

 No.705989

>>705987
>>705974

"Alright!"

accounting for the packed space of the carriage, i split off a small orb of water, before using a pseudopod to move it over the cactus, the water-like substance shimmering as i focus.

"a little condensation should be enough for the hardy desert plant here.."

[1d10] Elementalist [water] Waterfall

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.705990

>>705989
You reach out and water the cactus lightly. As it's just a plant, it doesn't have much of a reaction, but you somehow sense it appreciates your precipitation.

 No.705991

>>705989
"Thank you kindly!"

 No.705992

>>705988
"Right. That makes sense. Can't waltz off into the heat of battle while knowing nothing of those providing aid, after all! I'm a mage myself. Lighting magic." He rubs his hoof against the chest of his leather armor as if nonchalantly shining it. "And of course creating clones of myself. Quite proud of that one." His brow raises as he awaits admiration.

 No.705993

>>705992
"Eh I prefer ol' steel n lead." He replies and draws his six shooter. Little notches are engraved on the barrel counting 5 total. He examines the metal gun for a long while

 No.705994

>>705990
moving my amorphous head in the approximation of a nod, i retract the pseudopod, settling back into my raincoat seat.

>>705991
"Oh it was nothing, really!" Rainy replies, waving it off with a hoof "Helping with some water magic is all part of the job."

 No.705995

>>705994
I nonethelees nod my head in a show of thanks

 No.705996

>>705975
>>705976
>>705979
>>705983
Your idle chatter is interrupted by a sudden deafening BANG from outside. Your stomachs turn as something upsets the wagon, making it jolt violently and sending it spinning. You are thrown about like pinballs as the carriage careens out of control, slamming against the ground repeatedly as it begins to roll down a hill.
>roll to brace for impact

 No.705997

>>705996
Vanity's whole body lurches forward, and a quite unflattering 'urp' sound passes his lips. "Oh my, oh my, oh my," he screams, shooting his hooves out randomly to try and grab a hold of something.

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.705998

>>705996
With the cart sent rolling, Rainy pulls herself in in an effort to not be sent splattered against the carriage!

[1d10] Brace

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.705999

>>705996
He falls out the back of the carriage, he barrel-rolls down the hill several yards, clipping his wing a large rock. He takes flight and attempts to save anyone else that fell out.

[1d10] Rescue

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.706000

I attempt to save myself by jumping out
[1d10] Brace
>>705996

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.706002

>>705997
In the sudden panic, the closest available thing happens to be the moth-ridden curtains covering the stagecoach windows. You go to grab them blindly, but accidentally rip it straight off of the rods. With nothing to hold on to, you bounce about the cabin painfully, hitting your head several times and getting a faceful of Rainy. When it all calms down, you find yourself feeling rather lightheaded, your ears ringing from the sudden crash, but nothing you can't walk off.
>Vanity takes 3 hits

>>705998
You try to curl up into a ball, but aren't fast enough, and you splatter against the wall of the small cabin, accidentally pinning Vanity in the process. It takes you some time to merge back into your normal form, and you feel rather unstable in the aftermath, but nothing you won't recover from.
>Rainy takes 4 hits

>>705999
You instinctively dive out the window. Seeing Talon do the same, you dive to try and help him, but are knocked off balance by debris from the coach, and slam wing first into a jagged boulder. Your entire body aches dreadfully, and you can barely move your right wing.
>Jesse takes 1 wound

>>706000
You jump out the side door, only to crack your head against a tree trunk, blacking out for a moment. When you come to, you feel extremely dizzy, your head feeling like it's going to burst, and your beak feels numb. You have a nasty nosebleed, and struggle to walk about.
>Talon takes 1 wound

>>705997
>>705998
>>705999
>>706000
You all crawl out of the remains of the stagecoach and observe your surroundings. You are at the bottom of a hill in the middle of the woods somewhere, surrounded by sparse foliage. The trees mostly look dead and twisted, with only a few dried leaves despite it being the start of summer. It is late in the afternoon, and you can see the sun will be going down soon. In the distance, at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, you can see a miserable little huddle of buildings, presumably your destination.

Windemere has completely vanished, and the stagecoach is in no shape to go anywhere, having splintered against a boulder. You can see smoke rising from the road at the top of the hill; looks like the stagecoach went right into a bandit trap, intended to dissuade travelers from reaching or fleeing Moonhollow. It seems you will have to make the rest of the trip on foot, though it's unlikely you'll reach Moonhollow by nightfall at this point.

You can see two immediate options:

You could travel along the road at the top of the cliff to reach Moonhollow. This would probably be the quickest and most direct option, though you would risk running into bandits or any other creatures that might roam the dirt paths late at night.

You could also go deeper into the woods and take the less beaten path to the hamlet, though this might be riskier; there is no marked path, so you would have to rely on your survival skills and sense of direction to reach the hamlet. There is also the risk of running into creatures in the woods.

It occurs to you that you should also try to salvage what you can from the wrecked stagecoach. Whatever supplies you can find would be a boon for the trip you'll have to make.

 No.706003

>>706002
"What happened?" I groaned out.

 No.706004

>>706002
"Ev'ry one alright?" He croaks. His head is bleeding his wing even more so and his hat lies by him covered in dust. He lies back into the rock defeated and exhausted

 No.706005

>>706002
Vanity groans, slowly wobbling out of the stagecoach. As his vision comes into focus, he looks around to check on everyone.

>>706004
>>706001
"Fine," he says, swallowing hard. Lifting his hoof to his mane, he feels it's completely ruined and… damp? His brow knits. "Mostly fine. How is everyone else?"

 No.706006

>>706005
He coughs breathlessly and opens his mouth. A single tooth covered in blood falls out and he shows a painful smile

 No.706007

>>706006
Vanity cringes. "Right. Well, at least you have your… health?" He let out an uncomfortable chuckle and turned toward the road. "Well, it seems there's only really one way to town. May as well continue following it, no?"

 No.706008

>>706007
"Seems like a good idea, help me get the rest of em' up" He instructs and slowly stands upright.

 No.706009

>>706002
sent splattering onto the carriage and the well-dressed Vanity, i pull myself back together, shuffling my core back into my center and flowing off the unicorn into my Raincoat.

"Woah! Sorry Vanity!" I manage to say after reforming, squeezing out of the Carriage and onto the ground outside.

"I'll start treating everypony while we decide what to do!"

>>706004
"Oh, Hold on, Jesse, that looked painful!"

Trotting over to the boulder, i expend some mass to form a water ball, lobbing it into the air before it bursts, sending rain onto the prone Pegasus.

[1d10] Heal [Ele:Water]
>Element (Water): Water's duality of flow and surge weaves itself into your spells, empowering their effects. Healing spells regenerate hits equal to roll-5 next turn. Water spells can be used to draw moisture from the air, as well as soak objects and terrain in the area.

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.706010

>>706009
Vanity gives a dismissive wave of his hoof. "Oh posh. Think nothing of it Ms.Springs. The important part is that you're alright."

>>706008
He nods. "Of course. One moment." He closes his eyes and his horn is surrounded by a bright, silvery aura as he attempts to summon three duplicates of himself.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.706011

>>706009
"Thanks kid" The stallion panted

"Impressive, where'd ya learn it?" He asks somewhat sarcastically

 No.706012

I stumble over to the group, dizzy and dazed from hitting my head.

 No.706013

>>706009
Your healing waters rain down on Jesse, revitalizing him and mending his injuries. Before he knows it, he's feeling as well as ever.
>Jesse is healed for 1 wound

>>706010
You find it hard to focus after what just happened, but you pull yourself together and concentrate, conjuring three identical duplicates to help the party.

 No.706014

>>706011

"My magic?"

"Well, my village specializes in recovery magic, so something like this i've been doing for ages!"

"as long as i can find water, i can heal anypony, with enough time." i reply, puffing out my chest-area with pride.

>>706012
"Careful! You look badly injured, take a seat and i'll heal you in a moment."

"We can take the road from here, nice and clear, so we don't get lost."

 No.706015

>>706012
"You don't look too good son, stick with me" He observes and walks over to the trails giving them a hard look

 No.706016

>>706015
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12

 No.706017

>>706013
Facing the injured Jessee, my eye shift's it's location around, scanning the area.

"what could have halted a carriage at that speed? You don't think we've been followed, right" i ask to the group, following them back to the road.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.706018

>>706014
I lay down against the floor,panting softly.

 No.706019

>>706013
Vanity waggles his eyebrows at the three clones. "Fear not," he says. "It seems three handsome devils are here to provide assistance." He let out a quiet purr. Barely tearing his eyes away from the three handsome, chiseled stallions, he turned to more important matters. "Help the others where needed," he tells them over his shoulder. Looking to everyone else, he nods. "Just tell them what you want and they'll do it."

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.706020

>>706017
"Sabotage? This early?" He placed the back of his foreleg to his forehead as if he felt faint. "Goodness me, this wasn't in the description."

 No.706021

>>706020
"If they didnt wanna pay us then they would've had us done the task first. So that leaves someone with a grudge" He points out and wanders over to his old hat, putting it on his head

 No.706022

>>706021
Vanity deadpanned. "That would have been my first assumption, yes. Someone who didn't want us to make it there to begin with."

 No.706023

>>706019
>>706018

"Ooh, cloning magic! Can you have one of them carry the griffon there?" I ask, pointing a linb at Blue. "We'll need to get moving soon and i can heal him while we're going."

 No.706024

>>706022
>>706023
Ya got a point but we need to get movin' we have plenty of time to talk at camp. Can the griffon walk?" He says

 No.706025

>>706023
I nod and gesture toward- Actually I don't believe I caught his name. The griffon. One of my clones walks up to him, gives him a small bow, and kneels down to allow him onto his back.

 No.706026

>>706024
"Wait, shouldn't we see what we can salvage from the wreckage first?"

 No.706027

>>706023
"Is there anything in the stagecoach we can use?" I ask.

 No.706028

>>706024
"He look real bad, which was why i wanted one of Vanity's clones to carry him. I need some time to recover my water before healing him."

>>706027
>>706026
"Ooh, true, We should have your other copies help search too!

 No.706029

>>706026
"Yeah, I want Rainy with Blue. The rest of ya follow me. We loot the stagecoach, and carry everythin' ya can!" He commands and points toward the wreckage

 No.706030

I start to look around the area for supplies
[1d10]
Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.706031

He walks to the ruined stagecoach and examines it. He looks at it with a forlorn but stern expression and his eyes focus on the torn interior. After sitting there for a couple minutes he rummages around

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.706032

>>706028
Vanity sighed. "If only, dear. As it stands they can only follow orders. No real higher thought or planning, so I doubt they'd even know what to look for."

>>706029
"My, loot is such a barbaric way of putting it. Like we're petty thieves." He cocked an eyebrow. "And I see you've already appointed yourself team leader." In spite of the snark, Vanity followed him to the coach to scavenge supplies.

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.706033

>>706032
"I never said I was team leader, just said what needed to be done and ya did it" He replies slightly annoyed

 No.706034

>>706013
Before heading out, i extend a few feelers through the wreckage using my water, looking for something to drag out.
[1d10] Search

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.706035

>>706030
>>706031
>>706032
>>706034
You begin to scour the area for anything of value. You find some food supplies that managed to survive the crash; not much more than a few loaves of bread and some dried fruit and berries, but enough for a decent meal for the party. In addition, you find a somewhat broken lantern that looks usable enough, a bit of fuel for it if need be, a half empty pack of cigars, a lighter, and a cracked compass that's only just in working condition. Jesse also finds himself a small pouch with 40 bits, while Rainy finds 25.

>>706015
>>706017
>>706019
>>706030
You make your way up the hill back to the road. You soon see what caused your coach to crash: a pothole has been dug in the road, containing the remains of what looks like some sort of explosive. It's essentially a mine. For good measure, the path has been lined with large, mean looking caltrops, painted brown and grey to blend in with the dirt and stone of the path. Vanity narrowly avoids stepping on one. This mix of traps makes the road essentially impassable for a stagecoach. You can't help but wonder what happened to old Windemere. It's like he vanished into thin air as soon as the crash went down.

Rainy and Jesse also notice something else: there is a single grey falcon perched on one of the dead trees, watching you intently It has a single red strap around one of its legs; doubtless it is a trained bird, and belongs to someone nearby. As the falcon sees you looking back at it, it silently takes flight and vanishes amid the canopy. You are being watched.

 No.706036

>>706035
"I don't like the look of that, not one bit. Everyone check your backs, keep an eye out for anything while we walk. Be ready for anything." Jesse instructs and trudges forward

 No.706037

>>706035
I sigh and look over the caltrops. So it was sabotage. "We should search for the dog first. If he was thrown so far as to completely disappear he could be quite injured. If I found we'd just left him behind without even trying I don't think I could live with myself."

 No.706038

>>706037
"Maybe it will have some answers?" I mumble from my position on the floor.

 No.706039

>>706037
"The old dog couldn't have gotten far. And he may not have made the tumble. He ain't exactly a young buck. Tell me if ya see him. If we do then we stop an' help him. But right now we look after our own." He says grimly

 No.706040

>>706038
I do a double take. "Excuse me. It? And I'm more interested in his safety than I am answers, honestly."

 No.706041

>>706035
floating the bits in a bubble within my torso, Take note of the Falcon as it flies off.

"Oh no.. it looks like somepony doesn't want us to make it the Hamlet."

disheartened by the ambush, i recover my mood after seeing the caltrops, angling a pseudopod to try and absorb some of the roadspikes littered around.

[1d10] gathering

>>706037
"Oh, i hope we can find him.. It looks like he might have been sent further away from us, being outside during it all."

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.706042

>>706039
I grit my teeth. "You're no more my own than he is, Mr.Blackbriar." Without further word I take my clones to search for Windemere.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.706043

>>706040
"I am just not having the best day"

 No.706044

>>706042
"You best learn some respect boy, or you'll be dead right where you stand" He growled and continued down the path.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.706045

>>706044
I spin around. "Oh, and now you're threatening me? A terrific start to the adventure. A positively fantastic way to make 'pals' with the party, and doing way more to help than hurt us, I'm sure." I stomp my hoof. "It wasn't disrespect, sir, it was fact. I've known you no longer than I've known Mr.Windemere. That puts you on the same terms as him. That is all."

 No.706046

>>706045
>>706044
"Oh, please don't fight, you two!" i plead, moving my head into a look of concern. "We shouldn't be attacking each other in a place like this!"

 No.706047

>>706045
He first gives Platinum a very stern look, then down at his hoofs and finally letting a long and quiet sigh. He stares once again at the ground and back up, this time with fire in his eyes.

"Come on, we got a long way to go and I don't wanna die tonight." He says

 No.706048

>>706046
My shoulders sag as the ooze begs me not to argue. She's right. It isn't accomplishing anything. "Apologies, Ms.Springs. We're all on edge. I feel I may have gotten a little more heated than I intended."

>>706047
I huff and look away, continuing to follow. It's always terrible when someone orders you to do something you were going to have to do anyway.

 No.706049

>>706046
"You're right we really shouldn't" He murdered unusually somber. He takes another deep sigh and stares to the path ahead.
"It's just been so….long"

 No.706050

>>706041
You prick yourself on one of the caltrops, leaking water a bit.
>Rainy takes 1 hit

>>706042
Despite you and your clones' best efforts, there's not a trace of the strange old Dog. No scraps of clothes, no blood, not even any pawprints. He might as well have turned to dust.

>>706044
>>706043
>>706042
>>706041
You continue on the path as the sun goes down, being forced to light the lantern you scavenged to be able to see the road ahead. You can't help but notice it's unnaturally dark in these parts, more so than any moonless night you've ever known. It's deathly quiet; you can't hear any bugs nearby, or any other wildlife scampering, or even the leaves rustling in the trees. You can't help but get the impression you're walking in the middle of a black void. The cursed reputation these parts have gotten recently is well earned, it seems.

Despite the overpowering darkness, Jesse notices something flitting amidst the trees. It looks like a pegasus, with some sort of bird in tow. He warns you all of this. As you become aware of the figure, you start to notice others moving under cover of the foliage. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The whole thing reeks of an ambush.

 No.706051

>>706050
"How far are we till we reach somewhere for shelter?" He asks the group, something in his eye hints he has an idea

 No.706052

>>706050
My heart races, and a chill creeps down my spine. This could be bad. "Act natural," I try to mumble to the party. "They'll likely try something if they know we realize they're there."

>>706051
"Unfortunately it seems tonight we may be roughing it, so to speak. A shame all of our things were destroyed in the crash." I talk a little louder than natural, but hope my wavering voice isn't too obvious.

 No.706053

>>706052
"I wonder why they just don't rush us when we are hurt?" I ask.

 No.706054

>>706052
"I'm about to do something very stupid. What I want you to do is when I saw run, you run down this path as fast as you can. As for me I'm gonna lead em back to the wreckage and sneak back. When I'm gone you guys govern yourselves." He suggests and has a dangerous smirk on his face

 No.706055

>>706053
"They'll probably try to cut us off first. A casual mugging. I've been in my fair share. It's entirely possible to talk your way around them, though. When the time comes, allow me."

 No.706056

>>706050
Forgoing the caltrops, i slink along behind the others, nursing the limb as we go.

>>706054
"A-are you sure you'll be alright? What if things go wrong?"

 No.706057

>>706054
I press my hoof to my face. "Idiot," I grumble. "Separating yourself from us is possibly the dumbest thing you could do."

 No.706058

>>706056
"I made this choice and I got a backup plan." He says

>>706057
"If you got any other ideas to get us out of an ambush then I'd like to hear em'" He offered calmly

 No.706059

>>706058
"I already told you. If they don't think we have anything, or if they think we aren't worth the trouble, they'll leave us alone."

 No.706060

>>706059
"You got a point, if this goes south we do my plan. Until that point we go with yours."

 No.706061

>>706055
I grunt in response

 No.706062

>>706050
Addendum: By your count, there are five of the figures looking to jump you, but there could be more. It's hard to tell.

 No.706063

>>706051
>>706052
>>706053
>>706056
As you stand about and formulate a plan, you see the bandits begin to spread out, flanking you. Without warning, one of them tosses down a small round metal contraption in your direction, which immediately begins to hiss and emit thick, blinding smoke. If you could see little before, you can see even less now.
>+2 DC to all rolls on this turn

From all around you, you hear repeated thumps and mutterings of orders as the bandits come down from their perches. You can't see them in the sudden smoke, but somehow, they can see you. Luckily, the smoke seems to be dissipating quickly.

A fierce talon suddenly breaks through the smoke, swinging a spiked flail at Platinum!
[1d10]

A crossbow bolt whizzes through the air, aimed at Jesse!
[1d10]

A spear jabs at Rainy out of nowhere!
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 9 = 9

 No.706064

>>706063
With the flail heading towards Platinum, i lob a water ball above him, bursting with more curative rain!

[1d10] Heal [Ele:water]

"Look out!"

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.706065

>>706063
I scream, trying to hop out of the way of the flail. This isn't how it usually goes. Why are they immediately attacking?!

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.706066

>>706063
Jesse fires shots into the bushes and trees. Anything with an outline.
"RUN" He screams
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.706067

>>706063
I fire my crossbow at the one attacking Jesse.
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.706068

>>706064
You yeet an orb of watery healing as you see the flail swing through the sudden smoke. In your attempt to help him though, the spear pierces your membrane, destabilizing you for a moment.
>Rainy takes 4 hits and heals 4 due to talent

>>706065
You try to scamper out of the way of the flail, but aren't fast enough, and get cracked over the head with it. Fortunately, a watery orb from Rainy restores your strength, keeping you on your hooves.
>Vanity is back at 5/5

>>706066
You fan the hammer on your revolver in the general direction of a hulking outline nearby, but every shot goes wide. The crossbow bolt clips your leg, leaving a flesh wound.
>Jesse takes 1 hit

>>706067
Your shot clatters against a nearby stone.

>>706064
>>706065
>>706066
>>706067
The smoke lifts, and in the lantern's light you see the brigands assaulting you. There are five of them: a crossbow-wielding pegasus flying about alongside a falcon, a hulking minotaur with a flail, a scrawny Diamond Dog with a quiver full of throwing spears, an earth pony with double daggers, and a griffon perched up in a tree holding another smoke bomb. They are clad in rough furs and leathers, leering menacingly at you. You notice that all of them have the odd trait of having shining yellow pupils, and prominent black veins showing on their necks and limbs. They look utterly unnatural.

The griffon brigand readies another smoke bomb.

The pegasus reloads.

His falcon starts circling above Jesse, as if to tell him who to aim for.

The minotaur swings his flail again, this time targeting Rainy.
[1d10]

The Dog hurls a spear at Talon.
[1d10]

The dagger pony hangs back, drawing his cloak about himself and blending in with the shadows.
[1d10] Stealthing

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 1 = 1

 No.706069

>>706068
I attempt to counter the dog throw
Reflex Shot: recharge 1, requires ranged weapon; Deals double damage as well as suffers double counterattack damage. Can be used while helpless, but on fail while helpless recharge is set to 3.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.706071

>>706068
I stumble around, dizzy. I'm about to collapse before my head suddenly clears. I shoot Rainy a smile and nod in thanks. Must have been her doing. My smile falls as I see the ghastly creatures menacing us properly. I swallow as my horn lights up, sparks fly from the tip, and my main rises from the static crackling in the air as I aim a lightning bolt at the griffon.

[1d10+1][1d10+1]Magic Bolt:Lightning

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7

 No.706072

>>706068
Dodging the flail by flowing around it, I portion off another ball of water, aiming it with a pseudopod before sending it at high speeds towards the Minotaur!

[1d10] Ranged

"Oh, i don't like this, but you aren't giving me much choice!"

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.706073

>>706069
You don't manage to get a shot off before the spear hits you in the arm, knocking you off balance. You fall to the ground.
>Talon takes 9 hits, helpless

>>706070

You fly up to a vantage point, surveying the sudden battle. You reload your revolver and take careful aim at the minotaur.

>>706071
Your horn crackles and glows. With a burst of energy, a bolt arcs through the air, striking the griffon. He drops the bomb he's readying and plummets to the ground, stunned.

>>706072
Your body moves around the flail with ease, and you counter with a charged orb of high pressure water right to the minotaur's face. It bursts dramatically, and he cries out and stumbles backwards, knocked over by the blow.

>>706069
>>706070
>>706071
>>706072
The minotaur tries to get up.
[1d10]

The griffon is momentarily paralyzed.

The falcon continues to mark Jesse as the pegasus fires a bolt at his target.
[1d10+2]

The Dog jabs at Vanity with a spear.
[1d10]

The dagger pony fails to hide in time, and instead opts to reach to his bandolier and hurl a knife at Rainy.
[1d10]

>pausing


Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #3 7 = 7 / Roll #4 1 = 1

 No.707069

>>706073
I let out what I'm sure is a manly squeal as I backpedal the spear, unsheathing my rapier. "Have at you!" I say, only briefly wondering how dashing I look. Like a tried and true swashbuckler, I'm sure. My eyes slowly survey the rest of the battlefield, and as they fall on Talon my breath catches. No. No, not again. We've barely left town! Instead of actually trying to dodge in make a split second decision to summon three doppelgangers. One to my right, one in front of me, and one near Talon.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.707070

Every time.

 No.707071

File: 1545447018706.jpg (76.41 KB, 786x1017, 8b7ff084621bdae4633078a3e8….jpg)

>>706073
https://youtu.be/Yu3GHeVaLew
>'My fortune for a fence who trades souls for lucre…'
https://pastebin.com/mEidtfKx

 No.707072


 No.707073

>>706073
Leaning my mass away from the oncoming knife, i form another water ball before sending it above the injured Griffon!

"Careful!"
[1d10] Heal[Water]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.707074

>>706073
I attempt to push myself up
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707075

>>706073
Jesse goes in for a divebomb on the dog
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.707076

>>707071
You have been traveling along the old road alone for some time now. You and a group of three other adventurers set out towards Moonhollow, having heard of its many ailments and of the promise of payment. However, the road was treacherous, and one by one, your companions fell. One was kidnapped in a bandit ambush and never seen again. Another stepped in a pitfall and met his grim end. The third lost his nerve, turning tail and fleeing back to civilization.

It is such that you find yourself pressing on, looting where you can and slowly but surely making your way towards Moonhollow. It has been two days since your companion abandoned you. Now, however, it seems like your luck is turning. You are traveling through the wilderness at dusk, having learned by now that bandits like to set traps and ambushes on the road itself, when you hear the sounds of a fight breaking out. They seem to have ambushed a pair of fellow travelers. Sounds like they're not doing too good.

>>707069
You pause for a moment to conjure three reflections. Your moment of focus comes with a cost, however, and you take a blow from the Dog's spear.
>Vanity takes 2 hits

>>707073
>>707074
The healing waters from Rainy revitalize Talon, and he finds the strength to get back up; however, the spear-wielding Dog hurls one at him, and it clips his wing.
>Talon is back up and healed but takes 3 hits, now at 2/5

>>707073
You artfully dodge the knife and counter with a lash of your pseudopod, knocking the pony off balance and falling down a ledge.

>>707075
You swoop him, delivering a powerful uppercut punch that sends him reeling. However, the marksman griffon shoots you with his crossbow right in the side, knocking you to the ground.
>Jesse takes 5 hits, helpless

>>707069
>>707072
>>707073
>>707075
The minotaur gets back up, pawing the ground and charging at the first of Platinum's reflections.
[1d10]

The griffon recovers from his paralysis and readies a smoke bomb.

The crossbow wielding pegasus reloads as his falcon surveys the area, marking Rainy.

The spear Dog and the dagger pony try to recover.
[1d10]
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 5 = 5

 No.707077

>>707076
>>707071
Addendum: in the distance, you all hear the low, mournful wail of a loon. The bandits seem to react to this, starting to act more defensively.

 No.707078

>>707076
Voleruz rubs her hooves together, slinking in the shadows,
'Oy you got yourself either some new travel companions or some bodies to loot Voleurz. Lucky star'sa lining up tonight.'
She thinks to herself, heading over to see the commotion only after she feels she's properly hidden.
[1d10] sneakin, not to be confused with Stealth which she doesn't have

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.707079

>>707076
Jesse looks at his side and feels a searing pain. He lies there for a second surveying the battle and decides he is needed.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707080

>>707076
"Guard him!" I order the double by Talon. I twirl my rapier through the air, have my other two doubles take to my side. "Assist Mr.Blackbriar, I order them. They both nod and dash over to Jessee, moving to help him up.

[1d10]
[1d10]

Before the griffin can toss the smoke bomb again I break off from the dog and lunge at him, pointy end out.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 2 = 2

 No.707081

>>707076
>passive: recovered 1 hit
Having slammed some of my mass into the attacking pony, i sweep in some of the water thrown earlier on the return, sending a spray of it at high speeds towards the
enemy griffon!
[1d10] Ranged

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.707082

>>707076
I take flight and shoot at the pegasus attacking Rainy.
Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.707083

>>707077
My ear twitches and my eyes dart toward the sound. I don't know what it is, but the fact that it bothers the bandits puts me on edge.

 No.707084

>>707078
You stick to the gloom and creep a little closer. You see a goo pony, a griffon, a pegasus and a unicorn all fighting off a group of five bandits. You've seen bandits like this before on your travel; some dark magic compels them to fight and kill without mercy, manifesting in their coursing black veins and yellow pupils. It seems like both groups are injured.

>>707079
You are helped up by one of Platinum's reflections, ready to keep fighting.

>>707080
You thrust your sword at the griffon. He ducks and swipes at you with his talons, raking you painfully across the face.
>Vanity takes 4 hits

>>707081
The griffon dodges out of the way of your attack.

>>707082
The pegasus does a barrel roll as he sees you fly up, avoiding your shot narrowly.

>>707079
>>707080
>>707081
>>707082
It soon dawns on you that the bandits haven't spoken a word this whole time. You watch as they begin to regroup, even though they could be said to have the advantage, slowly moving away from you.

The minotaur misses his charge, taking a moment to recover before helping up the dagger pony.
[1d10]

The latter also tries to get up on his own.
[1d10]

The griffon tosses another smoke bomb, engulfing the area momentarily. You can't see anything right now.
>+2 DC to all rolls next turn, Voleurz excepted

A crossbow bolt flies out towards Rainy through the smoke.
[1d10+2]

A spear is hurled at Platinum.
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #4 7 = 7

 No.707085

>>707084
He takes action against the crossbow wielding pegasus. "Congrats ya got my attention" he says the the bandit and attakcs
>Jesse takes a turn to focus on an enemy, then deals 1d4+5 damage to them the turn after that. Recharge 3. Effect is canceled and put on cooldown if Jesse is knocked helpless before it triggers.
[1d4+5]

Roll #1 4 + 5 = 9

 No.707086

>>707084
All three of my reflections come to my aid as I attempt to stand.
[4d10]

Roll #1 1, 10, 5, 1 = 17

 No.707087

>>707084
>'Hmm… think I could make flashy entrance and get their adoration… if things get worse for the scraps, always can make a getaway…'

Voleurz thinks, before running out to catch the spear for the pretty looking stallion.

>Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 2 Recharge 1, spell , ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.707088

I continue to try to shoot the pegasus down from the air
Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.707089

>>707084
with enough mass returned from the previous attacks, i partition another water ball, launching it above Platinum into a burst of rain!
[1d10] Heal (water)

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707090


 No.707091


 No.707092

>>707085
You can't see in the thick smoke, but you narrow your eyes and focus, taking aim where the bolt came from, firing off a single shot. You hear a soft grunt, and then a thud as you shoot him down. Somewhere, a tumbleweed rolls past.

>>707086
You get back up with the help of your reflections, injured but not mortally so. A spear wings your shoulder, but you shrug it off like the trooper you are.
>Vanity takes 2 hits

>>707087
You are not quite fast enough to catch the thrown spear, unfortunately. You just sort of charge into the smoke rather awkwardly.

>>707088
You fly up and see the pegasus' silhouette moving about, grounded by Jesse's shot. Readying a bolt, you fire in his direction. Your aim is true, and you pierce the bandit's heart with your quarrel. He staggers about for a minute before keeling over, slumping lifeless to the ground.

>>707089
Your orb of water doesn't do much, apart from soaking Platinum to the bone.

>>707085
>>707086
>>707087
>>707088
>>707089
As the smoke dissipates, you find that all the bandits have scattered into the wilderness, called away seemingly by the loon. The only exception is the pegasus, shot down by Jesse and Talon. As life leaves him, cracks begin to appear across his body, spreading out like a cobweb; then, the bandit's body crumbles to dust, leaving nothing behind but a pile of black ash.

>>707085
>>707086
>>707088
>>707089
Along with the dead bandit, there is someone else here with you; a dirty blonde zebra with a pickaxe and a cool brown hat. She looks like an adventurer like yourselves.

 No.707093

>>707092
"Now who in the hell are you?" Jesse asks exhaustively and standing feebly from the arrow in his side

 No.707094

>>707093
I grab Jesse by the haunches. "Great job!" I exclaim.

 No.707095

>>707092
The zebra crouches down by the pile of ash, sifting through it with one of her knives.

"Come'n, leave somethin' for me now. Can't all be ash again."

[1d10+1] loot
[1d10+1] Pilfer
>Pilfer; instant: To those with a keen eye, gold gleams like a dagger's point. Search for an object of value, acting as an additional looting roll. Crits on 9+ when used on a corpse, or 8+ when used to search a grave or a tomb [A corpse in a grave would take the latter crit range reduction]

>>707093
"Likewise!"

the Zebra laughs, not bothering to look up from the pile of ash.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9

 No.707096

>>707095
"The name's Jesse, bounty hunter, I'm guessin' you're in the contract too. Also pleasure to meet ya" He says politely despite all the dirt and tips his worn hat to the zebra

 No.707097

>>707092
I take the spear like a manly man, but as the water soaks me I can't help but squeal, just knowing that I won't have a chance to replace my product for some time. Stand there, frozen in embarrassment, even more so as my eyes fall on my attempted savior. Hello Ms.Tall and Exotic. Swallowing, I push my mane back, hoping I can salvage this with the 'wet and sexy' look. [1d10] Approaching her, I give her the best smile I can manage, bow hold out my hoof to take hers. My reflections poof in a bright flash of silver behind me as I introduce myself. "Many thanks for the aid," I say. "Platinum Vanity, at your beck and call. With whom do I have the pleasure?"

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.707098

>>707092
With the bandits scattering, i pull in as much water as i can from the battlefield, appearing only slightly smaller than before the brawl.

>>707095
"Ooh, a Zebra! and she's not trying to kill us!"

surging towards you, i reform into a vaguely pony shape, having fitted the bright yellow raincoat over my form.

"Greetings! I'm Rainy Springs, what brings you here?" i ask, holding out a vaguely hoof-shaped limb in grteeting.

 No.707099

>>707095
You poke and prod at the pile of ash, sifting through the remains as best you can. Eventually, you find some stray coins, but not much else. Seems these bandits don't really leave much behind on death.
>+35 bits

>>707097
You just look wet and rather miserable.

 No.707100

>>707097
"Calm down loverboy, leave her alone"

 No.707101

>>707100
"Ahem, I'm being polite, thank you." Not that I'd expect a ruffian to understand, I barely keep from saying.

 No.707102

>>707100
"What are they doing?" I ask

 No.707103

>>707102
>>707101
This idiot's tryin' ta seduce her

 No.707104

>>707103
"I am not the most socially aware, but we barely met her?" I state.

 No.707105

>>707103
I clench my jaw. "Seduce?" I say. I harumph, stomp my hoof, and turn back to the zebra. "I'll not even dignify such a barbaric accusation with a response."

 No.707106

>>707096
>>707097

The zebra misses the tip of the hat from Jesse, but her attention is forced away from the ashes as she the unicorn takes her hoof. Her grin goes to her ears, pulling her hat back a bit. She's mildly attractive, a beauty spot above her lip detracting slightly from this. If it wasn't for her clothing, she'd be a catch.

"Allooo lovely, what a charmer you are. The pleasure is mine darling." She kisses his hoof, snickering,

"I wouldn't do the same to my own hooves darling, you don't want to know where they've been. Name's Voleurz love, good luck on spelling it right." She winks.

>>707099
>>707098

Voleurz breaks away from Platinum to snatch up the coin pouch, tucking in her satchel,

"Oh I don't know love, got lost on me nightly stroll?"

 No.707107

>>707104
>>707089
"We got more important problems than the new gal.Hey Rainy, can ya help out blue? I wanna see us in good health" He instructs and turns back to the Zebra

 No.707108

>>707105
>>707104
>>707103
Voleurz grins again, laughing at the three bickering,

"Darlings darlings you've just met me, keep your daggers to yourself."

 No.707109

>>707108
>>707106
"Apologies, Ms.Voleurz. I don't believe my associates intended to crowd you." I drop my hoof, a little unsettled at the 'where they've been' comment, but I don't let it show. "A beautiful name, too. What's worth it that isn't a bit difficult, no?"

 No.707110

>>707108
"I'm makin sure the unicorn doesn't do somethin' stupid. And don't call me darling" he warns somewhat carelessly

 No.707111

>>707092
>>707107

"Oh! don't worry, i can help him."

With the commotion over, i channel magic into another water ball, this time allowing the liquid to flow under Blue's talons into a circular pool below him, the surface shimmering slightly.

[1d10] Heal(Water)

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.707112

>>707111
I set my cactus down as you heal me, with a smile on my face I say. "Thank you kindly."

 No.707113


 No.707114

>>707109
Voleurz raises a hoof to her forehead, making to lean and tip a bit before catching herself,

"Oh darling you'll make me swoon, you come on this strong to every mare you meet?"

She laughs again, raising her eyebrows a couple times briefly.

>>707110
"Darling he certainly doesn't look the simple type. Thank you for watching out for poor old me though."

She winks.

 No.707115

>>707114
I wink and brush my armor off. "Only the ones who seem worth it," I tease. I think I like her already. "So," I say, turning to everyone else. "I suppose we continue on, down the spooky path? Is everyone alright? " I pointedly turn to Jesse. Mr.Blackbriar? I trust my double assisted you fast enough?

 No.707116

>>707115
"Ya did alright and yes we should get goin' I want everyone in formation and ready for an ambush." He commands and continues down the path

 No.707117

>>707115
"Right! I can treat everypony on the move, just lead the way!" i reply, saluting with a hoof before pulling it away from my head, the limb having partially melted into my muzzle.

 No.707118

>>707115
"Oooh I like you. You don't mind if I tag along now do you? Been awfully lonesome out here for a damsel like myself. Ain't often I find handsome stallions out in the wilderness."

She leans Vanity a little, offering him a nudge. She sticks the dagger back in her belt and looks to the others,

"You aren't traveling along the path now are you? Filled with bandit traps the whole way up!"

 No.707119

>>707118
"You got another way to go down this path?" He inquires

 No.707120

>>707118
I just groan hearing such

 No.707121

>>707120
>>707119
"Fooorest darling, bears and wolves are much less worrisome than steel and gunpowder now are they not?"

 No.707122

>>707118
"We are!" I cheerfully reply.

"We probably should be careful, but i'm sure i can keep us safe." i add, offering a semi-solid smile.

 No.707123

>>707121
"I ain't too fond of bears but we do need a place to camp for the night. Here's what we'll do. We trek through the forest next to the path, observe bandit movements and get a lay of the land. Then we decided to do something from there"

 No.707124

>>707122
"Do yourself a favor and get off of them then love. Don't need any bullets floating around in your cute lil' blue marmalade body now."

 No.707125

>>707117
"Sounds brilliant, Ms.Springs," I say, shooting her a small smile.

>>707116
It takes everything I have not to mention to him that he's not the leader again, and that we haven't had a formation.

>>707121
"I'd hate to admit it but I'm with her. We have a couple of talented scouts with us, yes? After that little… ahem… encounter, perhaps braving the wilderness is in our best interest."

 No.707126

>>707125
"Frankly I don't care what ya got to say to me right now but just do as I say cause the situation we were just in ain't looking good" He responds in a durst tone

 No.707127

>>707111
You patch up Talon with your healing waters, cleansing his injuries.
>Talon is at 5/5, maxed out

>>707113
>>707115
>>707116
>>707117
>>707118
You press on, staying slightly off the path but still following parallel to the old road. As darkness falls, it dawns on you that it might be good to try and find a place to shelter until daybreak. It's either that or keep moving all throughout the night, risking fatigue.
>roll for Perception
>Jesse gets +2 due to talent

 No.707128

>>707127
Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.
[1d10+3] roll for for perception

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

 No.707129

>>707127
"Cor I'm tired, let's stop for a while now. Night owes us no favors after all."

[1d10+1] perception

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.707130

>>707127
"I say we set up here, it looks like a good enough spot" He says and checks the darkness around them
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.707131

>>707127
Extending a pseudopod vertically, i shift my core to the end of the limb, acting as a vantage point to see through as we walk.
[1d10] Perception

"It's awfully dark out.. Hope we can find a place to stay soon."

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.707132

>>707127
>>707129
"Yes. It's been quite the day for all of us."

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.707133

>>707132
>>707131
>>707129
>>707128
"Blue, you help me get some firewood. Rainy you get to settin' up the tent. Vanity you and Voleurz get to cookin' I want camp setup relatively soon." He says and takes off towards the trees for fireword

 No.707134

>>707128
>>707129
>>707130
>>707131
>>707132
About 200 metres off the old road, you find an old, musty smelling cave, damp with mold. It looks like someone camped here a long time ago, judging by the bones on the ground and the scraps of cloth. Might be something worth salvaging around here. You also notice more than a few gnawed bones about. Something must have gotten the previous occupant, but it looks like it was a long time ago. Setting up camp here is a quite simple task, you find, and though you don't have much food, at least you have shelter from whatever lurks in these cursed lands.

 No.707135

>>707133
"Or," I say, "I'll assist with cooking and send my reflections to gather firewood while everyone else sets up camp. We have more than a single tent, do we not? And there's more than just the tent to set up, if I recall my previous adventures correctly. That seems the best economy of effort. Besides, what do we have to cook, and what gives you the impression either of us can cook at all?"

My horn flares as I try to summon three doubles ahain.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

 No.707136

>>707134
"If we even have a tent," I add. I crinkle my nose at the cave. "Dank and dreary it may be, this may be our only option."

 No.707137

>>707135
He turns to the stallion "Here's what I'll do. You go do something productive and I wont bring it up again"

 No.707138

>>707137
"Oh, you'd do that?" I ask, bringing a hoof to my chest in feigned surprise. "Just for little ol' me? You flatter me, Mr.Blackbriar."

 No.707139

>>707134
"I will see if I can come across anything nice."
I say to no one in particular as I go out to forage.
Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

 No.707140

>>707138
He gives Vanity I very stern and tired look and continues off toward the cave in search of firewood.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.707141

>>707133
Voleurz cackles,
"Sure darling, I'll see what I can't make from the tree bark or any spare mushrooms I find around here."

>>707134
>>707135
"Ooh you know a lady loves a man who can cook."

Voleurz says, picking around the corpses of the previous occupant.

"I'll see if the old owners had anything they wanted us to have."

[1d10+1] loot
[1d10+1] pilfer

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 3 + 1 = 4

 No.707142

>>707140
He finds several pieces of wood and logs. Waling over to the center of the cave he sets them down and lights fire to them. The cave is illuminated with the cozy orange glow. Jesse leans back against the cave wall and drapes his hat over his face

 No.707143

>>707134
Taking notice of the cave, i prance in place for a moment before poking my head inside the entrance.

"Eee! This place is perfect! Look at all this water, so homey!"

setting my raincoat aside, i drop my form entirely before entering, looking for wayward moisture to recover my mass.

[1d10] Aqueous

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707144

>>707135
You summon your stunt doubles again, ready to take orders.

>>707139
You head out of the cave. Doesn't seem to be anything dangerous around, for now. After a bit of foraging, you manage to find some decent dinner in the form of a single lonely orange tree, with a couple of non poisonous mushrooms at its base. They look ripe for the picking.

>>707140
You look around, eventually finding a good supply of dead branches, leaves and other tinder that would make for a nice fire.

>>707141
You find a couple more rusted old coins, plus a cool exotic dagger in the corner of the cave. It is shaped like a tiger's claw. Looks good for slicing and dicing.
>+15 bits
>Lethal Karambit: +1 weapon, single

>>707143
You absorb some stray water droplets, reforming into your standard, slightly larger mass. Feels good.

 No.707145

>>707144
>>707139
"Ya find anything for us to eat Blue?"

 No.707146

>>707145
"I got lotsa orange balls and fungus hats for everyone." I exclaim.

 No.707147

>>707140
>>707141
My ear flicks as I hear Voleurz and I clear my throat. "As luck would have it, however, you are correct in assuming I have at least some ability preparing cuisine. Assuming I have the ingredients."

>>707144
I nod to my reflections, taking a rather long moment to look them over and resisting the urge to make a kissing motion. "Stand by. I'll likely need your help should I actually need to cook."

 No.707148

>>707147
"Blow me away platinum boy"

 No.707149

>>707145
"Hm. Oranges and mushrooms." I deadpan and turn toward Jesse. "Truly a feast requiring a master chef."

 No.707150

>>707144
"Oooh how thoughtful of them, this looks right wicked."

Voleurz sticks the dagger on her belt, turning back around,

>>707147
"Ooooh how lovely!"
Voleurz grins, seeing the other two return, looking expectantly.

>>707146
"Oh, lovely."
she deflates, sitting herself up against a wall and pulling a bottle of absinthe from her satchel, pouring some into the cap and drinking it.

"Good thing I pack me own meals."

 No.707151

>>707150
I shrug and plop a whole orange into my mouth, peel and all.

 No.707152

>>707150
"Alright missy, what's your story. You seem like quite the wildcard"

 No.707153

>>707150
I sigh and press my hoof to the bridge of my nose. "I'll go see if I can't forrage for some herbs. Perhaps I can roast the mushrooms and create an orange glaze with orange slices to accompany them. It would perhaps be too earthy, and the fruity overtones wouldn't mix well but I belive some aromatics could offset that. Mr.Cowpoke, I don't suppose I'd be so lucky that you'd keep cornmeal on you?"

 No.707155

>>707153
"Fraid not"

 No.707156

>>707155
"Well, let me see what I can manage." I leave with my doubles.

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.707157

>>707156
To my surprise I actually manage to find some sparsely growing herbs a way away from the cave. Returning, I smile. "It won't be much, but I belive I can do something. Does anyone have a knife I can borrow?"

 No.707158

>>707157
"We got a griffon, got claw's don't he? You got teeth don't ya?"

 No.707159

>>707152
"Said to the Rainy lady darling, got lost on my nightly walk. But that's all fine now, I've got you gents keepin' me safe."

>>707153
>>707157

"I anxiously await whatever it is you can make."
Voleurz giggles, holding out the dagger she was using to sift through the ashes earlier.

 No.707160

>>707158
I cringe at the thought. "You expect me to prepare our meal -that I'm going to be freding to everyone, mind you- with bare claws or my teeth ? That's disgusting! "

>>707159
I nod, nose still turned up. "Thank you Ms.Voleurz," I say, taking the dagger in my magic. I get to work stemming the mushrooms, using a rock to mince them and the herbs and mix them. I stuff the caps with the stem/herb mixture and place them near the fire to roast as I quarter each orange.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707161

>>707160
Paying too much attention to the oranges, I severely misjudge the heat of the flames and roast the mushrooms to a blackened mess. Frantically, I move to try and save what I can from complete destruction.
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.707162

>>707161
I manage to save several on the edge, but that only leaves enough for one per pony. The rest are a blackened, calcified ash, and the few I saved are still dry and overcooked. Slowly, I set them on the rock, pick up a few orange slices, and stand. "Split them amongst yourselves," I say. "And the rest of the oranges. It's only fair, as it is my failure." It's only now that I realize I also burned my hoof trying to save them.

 No.707468

You set up for the night as best you can, dining on mediocre mushrooms and sour oranges. The latter prove borderline inedible, as they are black and foul at their core. It is odd that they were growing healthily on the trees despite this. Another example of the dark corruption in the lands surrounding Moonhollow.

Your sleep is uncomfortable, and plagued with bad dreams. You awake feeling extremely poorly rested, but well enough to keep moving. Judging from how far you traveled, you still have about half a day before you reach the town itself. You see the following options:

You could take the low path through the wilds, characterized by thick, overgrown foliage. This would limit your mobility in case of a fight, but also conceal you from any more brigands that may be nearby.

Alternatively, you could take the high path, where you are now. The area is much more open, but also more exposed. You feel like both of these options would leave you vulnerable to the wildlife as well, whatever that may consist of.

Finally, you could stick to the old road itself, risking more traps and ambushes from the corrupted bandits you encountered earlier. There is, however, the possibility of encountering fellow adventurers en route.

 No.707469

>>707468
oozing out of the cave and into the dreary morning light, i reform into my vaguely pony shape, draping my raincoat over myself once again.

"Ah, that cave was nice, but we've got a job to do."

"Which way should we go?"

 No.707470

>>707469
"If we head through the forest we have cover, food, and shelter. Sneaking through would also provide great opportunity for ambush and get a lay of the land."|

 No.707471

>>707468
>>707469
>>707470
"Aw now darling, it's day time proper, not as likely to be ambushed now. While I'm not a fan of being shot, I hear the brambles further in are thick and sharp. Besides, you consider what we had last night food?"

She laughs.

"Better off seeing if any of the bandit folk have any proper meals, I'd kill for tea and biscuits right now."

 No.707472


 No.707473

>>707468
"Morning!" I exclaim standing up scratching my belly.

 No.707474

>>707468
"I don't particularly wish to venture any deeper into the woods than I must. Staying on this path is risking wildlife, but taking the forest is practically inviting it. At least we can see something coming at this rate."

 No.707475

>>707474
"If the woods we have more resources and cover from ambush".

 No.707476

>>707475
"There would be an awful lot more animals ready to make a meal out of us that way.. Are you sure?"

 No.707477

>>707475
>>707476
"Exactly as as the cute puddle gal said darling, I don't plan on catching rabies. Just cause there's a path that'll make you sound more grizzled doesn't mean you gotta take it hun. I'm sure you're plenty manly as it is."

 No.707478

>>707476
"Either way, I feel that I will live with you around."

 No.707479

>>707476
"As much as I think taking the shortcut is a good idea we must put our healthy in front of us fist. I say we stick together in the puddle"

 No.707480

>>707476
>>707478
>>707477
>>707479
"Well, it seems we're decided. We take the high path and avoid the deeper parts of the woods." I point forward and theatrically shout, "Onward, then!"

 No.707481

>>707480
I stretch out my claw and lightly pats platinums head.

 No.707482

>>707481
I flinch and swat his hand away. "What in heaven's name was that about?" I ask, recoiling a little.

 No.707483

>>707478
"Oh, you!" i reply, bashfully waving you off with a hoof. "I'm just doing my best."

>>707480
"Right!"

>>707468
With the group reaching it's conclusion, i follow behind Platinum up the high path, on the search for morning dew as we go.

 No.707484

>>707482
"It just appealed to me in the moment." I shrug.

 No.707485

>>707480
>>707481
>>707483
>>707477
>>707479
You press on, taking the more hilly path through the woodlands. It is eerily quiet; you can't hear any birds or insects right now. The only sound is the crunching of your footsteps against the dry leaves and twigs underfoot. The tall white-barked trees tower over you, creating a rather oppressive atmosphere.

As you progress, you come up to a vantage point, where you can see the rooftops of Moonhollow just ahead. It'll be less than an hour before you're at the town's main gates. From nearby, however, you hear a voice calling. It sounds vaguely familiar to Voleurz. "Uh, hello? Is someone there? I'm, er… stuck…" The voice is coming from down the hill and further into the forest. You can't quite see the source of it, but it seems to be coming from the treetops.

 No.707486

>>707485
"Ah bugger… better not be…"

Voleurz mutters, hoping it isn't remnants of her old adventuring party,

"You hear anything? I didn't hear anything. Let's keep moving."

 No.707487

>>707485
I give a pensive glance toward the rest of the party before stepping forward. "Yes, hello?" My horn lights up as I attempt to summon a double. "I'll be right there to help you."

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.707488

>>707487
I send my double to scout it out.

 No.707489

>>707486
I pause, lifting my hoof to stop my double. "Better not be what?" I ask, cocking an eyebrow.

 No.707490

>>707489
"Nothing, just thinking to myself dear!"

Voleurz answers quickly, in a sing-song voice. She glares in the direction of the forest.

 No.707491

>>707489
"What's the worse it can be?" I state.

 No.707492

>>707485

Pausing in my hunt for dew, i flow past Platinum in an attempt to locate the sound.

"Oh! Somepony is stuck out here? He could be hurt!"

[1d10] Perception

"Helloooo?" i call out, extending a pseudopod upwards to get a better look around.

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.707493

>>707490
"Hmmm." I look back toward the forest and nod for my double to continue on.

 No.707494

>>707492
"Be careful, it could be a trick. Stay on your toes"

 No.707495

>>707486
It certainly sounds like one of them: a young mare called Dalliance, who fancied herself a knight, but lost her nerve and ditched you once the other two, Rickert and Godfrey, were lost to bandits and traps. She seemed very much out of her element.

>>707487
You send out one of your doubles into the woods below. He soon returns, reporting to you mentally that there seems to be a knight tangled in a tree. It's as if the trees themselves have turned against them.

>>707492
You poke your head into the woods and look around. You soon find the source of the calling; there is a unicorn trapped in a tree, ensnared by a smorgasbord of vines, branches, and roots. She is wearing extremely fancy silver armor adorned with gleaming white cloth, with a dove motif on it. The elegance is lessened by the stains and scratches on it from the tree. Her helmet, a sleek armet, has a striking light yellow plume flowing from it. She is struggling vainly, and redoubles her efforts to free herself at the sight of you, unsure whether or not you're some sort of weird monster.

 No.707496

>>707493
"So what did ya find?"

 No.707497

>>707495
Voleurz grimaces, hanging behind and picking her teeth with her newfound dagger,

"Hurry it along now, likely to be ambushed if we linger too long darlings."

 No.707498

>>707496
"A mare. It seems she's trapped within a tree some how."

>>707495
I nod and levitate the rapier to my double. "I'll be right there!" I call, heroically dashing into the woods to help her.

 No.707499

>>707495
"Oh dear, it looks like you've run into some trouble! Let me help."

extending a few pseudopods, i have the limbs flow under the snarl of vines in an effort to pull them away from her.
[1d10]

"You're not hurt, are you?" i ask, squinting at the mass of foliage, tongue out as i focus on the movement.

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.707500

>>707498
I just sit back and twiddle my thumbs

 No.707501

>>707495
Jesse walks over to Rainy with gun in hand and bullets draw. He sprints over to the pony. "I heard you need some help. Anything I can do" He asks

 No.707502

>>707498
"Fear not," i say. "For the dashing, gallant, and modest Platinum Vanity has arrived to provide assistance, fair lady." I try to fry the roots further away from her while my double makes an attempt to tear away the vines.

[1d10+1][1d10+1]magic bolt roots
[1d10] fighting vines

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #3 4 = 4

 No.707503

>>707502
"Calm down Romeo. Keep your head on straight." He says

 No.707504

>>707501
looking over at your gun being drawn i shake my head, traces of water splashing onto the ground at the motion.

"A gun might be too dangerous with this.. What if you shot her?"

>>707502
the lightshow from the magic raises even more concern.

"Oh, what are you doing? It's not safe to just blast the vines willy nilly!"

 No.707505

>>707504
"You got a point. Just yell if ya need me." Jesse says and lays against a stump laving his hat over his face.

 No.707506

>>707497
You play with the dagger a little. It has a ring on the pommel for spinning around and doing fancy tricks, and is designed to be held with the claw-like blade facing outwards, either in a normal or reverse grip. It's a mean weapon to be sure, and easily concealable.

>>707499
She breathes a sigh of relief when she realizes you're not a monster. "Oh, I don't think so. Just a little winded. And tired. And hungry…"

You manage to pry away some of the vines, but there's still plenty left to get rid of. They seem extremely resistant, and you swear the remaining ones get tighter as you pull some away.

>>707498
>>707502
>>707501
>>707500
See >>707495 for a description of the mare. She looks relieved at the sight of a friendly face. "Oh, thank goodness, someone's here. I'd, er, appreciate a helping hoof…"

>>707501
She seems a little alarmed as you pull out the gun, but makes no comment.

>>707502
Your double tears away some of the foliage binding her. Your magic bolt bursts midair in a rather impressive lightshow, but doesn't do much else to help her. As Rainy tears away some of the vines, the mare's bindings loosen, and she starts kicking away at the branches surrounding her. "I don't know what I did to anger a tree, but…"

>>707497
>>707498
>>707502
>>707501
>>707500
As you start trying to free her, the other trees around you start coming to life, viny tendrils slithering towards you like snakes, trying to wrap around you. "Gods, it's happening again," the mare says fearfully, still struggling against her shackles.
>roll to dodge as an instant action

 No.707507

>>707506
I attempt to dodge the encroaching tendrils

[1d10] Dodge

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707508

>>707506
"Woah!"

with the oncoming vines fast approaching, i focus my form into a more liquid state, making an effort to flow around the grasping branches!

[1d10] Dodge!

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.707509

>>707503
I pointedly ignore him.

>>707506
"Of course," I say, continuing to tear at the foliage with my double. [2d10] "I would be in remiss were I not to help a mare in-" I yip as the vines shift and try to backpedal them.

Roll #1 9, 10 = 19

 No.707510

>>707509
[1d10] dodge

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.707511

>>707506
Jesse tries to dodge away from the trees.
[1d10] Dodge

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.707512

>>707506
>>707506
Seeing as the group hasn't returned yet, Voleurz makes her way to the scene, quickly trying to swap spaces with with Soft Talon before they get hit.

>Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 1, ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.707513

>>707512
As she does so, she fades into the forest, hiding from sight.
>Shadow Fade; passive: Ethereal Jaunt loses the spell tag. After a successful Ethereal Jaunt, become Stealthed. Attacks that'd be taken from swapping locations with an ally still apply.

 No.707514

>>707508
You turn completely liquid, and the vines pass through you harmlessly, coiling around pure water. You flow away from them and reform.

>>707509
You pull away the worst of it, allowing the mare to kick off the last of it. She falls from the tree and to the ground with a soft 'oof', hurriedly dusting herself off and getting her bearings.

>>707510
You fail to dodge the grasping roots. They wrap around your leg and curl around a high up tree branch, leaving you hanging like a slab of raw meat.

>>707511
You try to fly out of the way, but aren't quite fast enough. Roots burst from the ground and ensnare you, covering you up to the neck and leaving you immobilized.

>>707507
>>707512
Talon almost gets grabbed, but Voleurz gives him a dainty shove out of the way, and the vines grasp nothing but thin air. She dashes into the nearby foliage, away from the scene. As she does so, she feels the crunch of bones underhoof, from previous victims of the corrupted trees.

>>707507
>>707508
>>707509
>>707511
>>707512
>Vanity and Jesse are grappled, roll to break free

The knight shakes off the initial impact of falling from the tree, doing a double take when she sees the rest of the group trussed up just like her. "Oh no… H-here, let me try!" She reaches out with telekinesis, struggling to pull away the roots binding Jesse.
[1d10+2]

More roots appear at Rainy's feet, jabbing at her like spears.
[1d10]

A vine coils around a heavy rock and swings at Talon like a wrecking ball.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 6 = 6

 No.707515

>>707514
Jesse struggles and shifts in the tree in his best attempt to break free.
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.707516

>>707514
I thrash around, trying to free myself before things get too bad.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.707517

>>707514
hopping from hoof to hoof as i avoid the spearing roots, i split off a water ball, aiming at the nearest attacking tree!
[1d10] Ranged

"This place is wild! How much of the land is like this?"

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707518

>>707514
Seeing the encroaching boulder I move to dodge and I look quickly around for anything to help in the fight

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10] dodge
[1d10+3] perception

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7

 No.707519

>>707514
Voleurz flips out her karambit and goes to slash at a vine. However, hearing bones crunch under her hooves, she stops in her tracks, looking down.

>Plutomania trigger

"Is that the sparkle of coin I see?"

Hidden from sight, she takes a quick break to sift through the bones.

[1d10+1] loot
[1d10+1] pilfer, crits on 9

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6

 No.707520

>>707519
Jesse hears the crunch whips his head do the sound of the noise and starts breathing heavy.

 No.707521

>>707515
Between your struggling and the knight pulling with her telekinese, the roots around you weaken a little, but not quite enough to break out.

>>707516
You feel the vine straining. Looking up at it, you see it fraying a little bit. If you keep stressing it, it should eventually snap.

>>707517
You turn to liquid again and flow away from the circle of snapping roots, firing off an orb at one of the trees. Not much happens. You now have a wet tree.

>>707518
You duck and avoid the worst of the impact, but it clips your head, leaving a glancing blow.
>Talon takes 1 hit

You look around in a panic. Seeing Voleurz start to scrabble about for loot, you join in, looking for anything that could be of use. Among the bones of previous adventurers, you find a small, rusted metal box, within which are a sharp edged rock and a curved piece of steel. You recognize them as being intended for fire starting.

>>707519
Much to your allies' dismay, you start scrabbling among the bones. You don't find much, save for a rusted mace and [1d10] bits.

>>707515
>>707516
>>707517
>>707518
>>707519
The mare keeps struggling to free Jesse.
[1d10+2]

The vine swings back to clobber Talon again.
[1d10]

A heavy branch lowers from a tree, swatting at Rainy like a fly.
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #3 3 = 3 / Roll #4 7 = 7

 No.707522

>>707521
with the branch fast approaching, i try to duck under, flowing under the strike!
[1d10] Dodge

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707523

>>707521
I order my double to help me as I take a deep breath and strain against the vines.

[2d10]

Roll #1 9, 10 = 19

 No.707524

>>707521
I move to dodge with the tools in hand and then attempt to start the fire anywhere.

[1d10] dodge
[1d10] start fire

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 1 = 1

 No.707525

>>707521
Jesse starts squirming in a fit of panic. This behavior is very unusual for the normally calm and collected cowboy.
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.707526

>>707521
Grabbing at the ten bits greedily, Voleurz shakes off the sudden greed and reminds herself of the task at hand, taking out the Karambit again and throwing it at the vine attacking Talon. A magical double of the lethal blade flies towards the vine, the original blade remaining in hand.

>Blink Strike: weapon, ranged; Disperse a weapon into magical energy, shooting it off at an enemy or target location, stabbing and sticking into it. If used from Stealth or on an enemy that doesn’t know you’re there, they can’t retaliate after getting hit. The thrown weapon counts as a minion for Ethereal Jaunt.

[1d10+1] Single Weapon

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.707527

>>707522
You're not quite fast enough, and bits of you splatter as you take a treebranch smackdown to the face. You pull yourself together - quite literally - and shrug it off, but you feel a bit unstable.
>Rainy takes 2 hits

>>707523
You free yourself with the help of your double, catching yourself with telekinesis before you hit the ground.

>>707524
You are forced to dodge the incoming rock to the head, not giving you enough time to get a good fire going just yet.

>>707525
With the help of the mare, you manage to strain and break the roots, freeing yourself from the wooden prison.

>>707526
The karambit spins through the air, cutting the vine in two with one swift stroke and embedding in a tree trunk. Sap oozes from the tree where it lands, but sap isn't meant to be black…

>>707522
>>707523
>>707524
>>707525
>>707526
With everyone freed, the knight starts retreating to the outskirts of the forest, motioning for you to follow as she fires off a large, slow moving orb of magic at one of the roots.
>Magic Bolt: [1d10] [1d10]

Seeing their prey getting away, the roots and vines hurl towards you all with everything they've got, swinging wildly at you in a chaotic jumble of sticks and leaves.
>roll to dodge, instant action

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

 No.707528

As a reasonable response to the frenzy, I hightail it out of there attempting to dodge on the way.

[1d10] dodge

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707529

>>707527
Voleurz rushes to grab her fancy blade back, sneaking through the brush.

>Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 1, ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707530

>>707529
>>707527
seeing as she cannot be stealthy about it, however, she elects to escape the ire of the roots and vines by dodging instead.
[1d10] dodge

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.707531

>>707527
with everypony freed, i make my escape, following the party at a gallop, making an attempt to flow around the branches!
[1d10] Dodge, instant
[1d10] Escape

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

 No.707533

>>707527
I huff, following the mare. Turning my head, I attempt to fire a magical bolt of my own.

[1d10+1][1d10+1]

As the vines creep closer I pick up speed, hoping to outrun them long enough to fight them off.

[1d10]dodge

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #3 7 = 7

 No.707534

>>707527
Jesse breaks into a sprint in order to outrun the vines
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.707535

>>707531
The corrupted foliage is no match for your liquid form. You go completely flat and trickle away out of the forest, reforming once you are out of its reach.

>>707529
You take a blow from the jumble of greenery, knocking you to the ground momentarily. You scamper back up and dash out of the forest.
>Voleurz takes 2 hits

>>707528
The tangle of vines trip you over, but you manage to clamber back up and run out of the forest with the rest of the group.
>Talon takes 3 hits

>>707534
One of the branches rakes you across the face, leaving a superficial scratch, but nothing permanent. You avoid the worst of it and escape the forest.
>Jesse takes 1 hit

>>707533
Your bolt hits a tangle of roots, leaving a sizzling hole in them. They shrink away, deterred by the damage. Seeing the branches groping and grasping, you scamper to the side, and they are left swinging at thin air as you gallop out of the forest.

>>707528
>>707529
>>707531
>>707533
>>707534
You scamper back up the hill to the high road, where it is relatively safer. The mare takes a moment to catch her breath, taking off her helmet. She is young, with brown fur, bright green eyes and a silver mane held in a ponytail. A long, slender thrusting sword with a crossguard is sheathed at her side. "Th-thanks," she breathes eventually. "I thought I was done for. This place is a LOT rougher than I expected…" She rubs the back of her head with one steel gloved hoof. "…Oh, we haven't properly met, have we. I'm Dalliance." She gives a friendly smile, which fades somewhat awkwardly as she recognizes Voleurz, trying not to make eye contact.

 No.707536

>>707535
"Hey Dalliance. You can call me Jesse. What brings you here?" He inquires and tips his hat in greeting

 No.707537

>>707535
I drop to one knee, hyperventilating as we finally make it away from the vines. "Don't-" I wheeze. "Mention it." When she introduces herself, I force myself to my hooves and approach her. My breathing slows somewhat, but it's still rather heavy. I must look a fright. "Platinum Vanity," I say, holding my hoof out. "A pleasure, Ms.Dalliance. Are you quite alright?"

 No.707538

>>707535
"Hello Dalliance, I am Soft." I fall over.

 No.707539

>>707535
>>707538

seeing the others scramble out of the brush, i form a water orb, lobbing it above Soft Talon.

[1d10] Heal (water)

"Oh dear, you've been really roughed up back there, Softy! Let me heal you."

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.707540

>>707535
>>707537


Voleurz grins maliciously at Dalliance, butting Platinum aside to come up to hug the mare,

"Dalliance love, it's so nice to see you again! When you fled and Godfrey and Rick' took an early end, I thought I might never see you again!"

She pats Dalliance on the back a little forcefully, breaking the hug and allowing Platinum to continue his introduction,

"Though I bet that was just you making a tactical decision to fall back and bring reinforcements, right? Are they somewhere nearby?"

She turns to Platinum,

"I'm sorry darling, me and Dalliance are good friends, we were in an adventuring party much like yourselves, before it was disbanded by double dismemberment."

She winks, smirking at her own alliteration.

 No.707541

>>707537
"Calm down take a deep breath. Take as long as you need." Jesse says and turns back to the mare

 No.707542

>>707535
"Oh, and uh, Greetings, Dalliance! I'm Rainy Springs, it's nice to meet you!" i call out to the unicorn, shifting my mass into the equivalent of a bow.

 No.707543

>>707540
"Woah." I wobble on my shaky legs as she pushes me to the side, nearly giving her a piece of my mind, a lecture on manners, and a thorough spanking for the interruption. Instead, I think better of it and brush my armor off. "Of course," I say. "Were I to be reunited with a former party member I'd thought dead, I'm sure I'd do the same."

 No.707544

>>707536
She curtsies back. "I'm… well, I imagine I'm here for much the same reason as you. At least, I assume you're traveling to Moonhollow, like me. I heard about the troubles in these lands, and as the newly anointed Knight of the Dove" - she briefly smooths out her tarnished white armor in attempt to look more presentable - "I felt it would be my duty to come and help where I can. That's what knights are meant to do, right?"

>>707537
"Oh, I'm fine now. Just took a bit of a fall coming down from the tree. My journal is the only real casualty here." She smiles optimistically. "Oh well. What about yourself? You look a little winded."

>>707538
"Pleasure to m- Oh goodness. Are you alright?" She rushes over, offering you a helping hoof.

>>707539
You just soak him with water, resulting in a very wet bird.

>>707542
"Nice to meet you too!" She curtsies. "I'm… sorry if I offended you before. I wasn't expecting you to show up like that."

>>707540
She looks uncomfortable, turning her head to the side, rather like a cat that doesn't like being picked up. "Er… Uh… G-good to see you too, Voleurz! It is unfortunate about Rickert and Godfrey. They were brave soldiers both. I only hope Rickert might be alive somewhere, but… I don't think those corrupted knaves take prisoners for good. I… thought it best to scout ahead a little, see if I could find anyone else, but I got a little lost along the way. Good that you succeeded where I couldn't." She smiles awkwardly.

>>707536
>>707537
>>707538
>>707539
>>707540
Dalliance starts looking about, doing a double take when she sees Moonhollow in sight. "Oh! Not too much longer until we reach the town, I see. Shall we? It doesn't do to linger in these parts. Who knows what may jump out at us next." She looks to you for approval.

 No.707545

>>707544
"Everyone get to move out I want us here to town by at least nightfall. Tell me if you see anything suspicious. Got it?"

 No.707546

>>707544
The wet bird grumbles and starts getting up to get ready to move with the group.

 No.707547

>>707544
As she moves to help Blue I take a moment to catch my breath before pulling out my brush and mirror, attempting to fix my mane. I think I can feel sticks and leaves stuck in it. "Yes. We should make haste. Best not to await danger longer than we must."

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.707548

>>707544
kicking a hoof as i see the spell had no effect, i follow along with the others.

"It's no problem, most ponies i run into are hesitant to see me!" i reply, waving her off with a liquid hoof.

>>707546
"Oh! sorry about that! I should have charged that spell more."

Blushing a deeper shade of blue, i follow along.

"I'm sure the next time i'll have it under control, and we'll have you feeling better in no time!" i cheerfully add.

 No.707549

>>707548
The wet bird gives a thumbs up in appreciation

 No.707550

>>707544
"Ah riiiight, scouting ahead."

Voleurz nudges Dalliance a few times, wrapping a hoof around her shoulder,

"Well now that we're reunited, I don't believe anything could separate us now. That's what being an adventuring party's all about, innit?"

She continues to grin. After an uncomfortable amount of time, she takes her hoof off Dalliance's shoulder.

"Right right, shouldn't linger, wouldn't want to be ambushed and split up again."

 No.707551

>>707545
She blinks in surprise at your sudden snappy tone. "Er… Yes, of course. Shouldn't be too much longer until we're there."

>>707547
You feel something large stuck in the brush. Pulling it away, you see the biggest cockroach you've ever seen impaled on its teeth. Lovely. Dalliance looks a little disgusted, but doesn't judge.

>>707550
She just nods glumly. You sense she feels quite guilty for having run away.

>>707545
>>707546
>>707547
>>707548
>>707550
You move onwards, following the high path through the eerily quiet woods towards the distant town. As you approach, you start heading downhill, eventually merging with the main road you would have followed otherwise. It leads you over an old stone bridge, crossing a small stream, and past an abandoned watchtower.

Moonhollow is built on the edge of a cliff, below which laps the western sea, crashing angrily against the sheer stone face. It seems a rather run down village, with many buildings in need of repair. The few townsfolk you see on the road leading to it look glum, and don't spare you much more than a passing glance.

You approach the main town gate, a moldy wooden construct with a little slot for the guard to talk through. He proceeds to do just that, a pair of narrow eyes with slit pupils peering out at you. "State your business," a voice rasps from behind the gate.

 No.707552

>>707551
"Dont worry we're just passin' through. We would like some shallow for the night in this town if ya don't mind" Jesse states

 No.707553

>>707551
I squeal, furiously shaking the cockroach off of my brush before returning it and my mirror to my saddlebags. Horrid. This whole trip has been absolutely horrid.

I swallow as I look around at the run-down town. It's a wonder a place like this could even afford to hire adventures. When I see the eyes I step forward and clear my throat. "We were summoned," I say. "Adventurers who have come to assist in fighting the corruption."

 No.707554

>>707551
>>707553

"Yes, we're here to help!" i aggree, nodding quickly. "Do you know if the town has injured?"

 No.707555

>>707551
Voleurz slinks to the back of the group, not making herself too noticeable as the others introduce themselves.

 No.707556

>>707551
I stand in the back glacing around at the surrounding village for anything interesting.

 No.707557

>>707554
"When does it not," the guard grunts. "Got plenty of sick and wounded in the infirmary. Usually drifters like yourselves. Most of 'em don't last long…" Dalliance looks a little disturbed.

>>707556
You're not in the village proper yet, only at the gate allowing entrance to it. Looking behind at the surrounding lands, it seems to mostly be farmland in the immediate area, including a large and elaborate grain mill. The surrounding landscape includes the woods you just came from, the opening of a grotto in the side of the cliff near the base (you note that there is also a path connecting Moonhollow to a tiny hamlet at the base of the cliffs), a swamp adjacent to the forest which seems to stretch on forever, and what looks like an abandoned railway station connecting to Moonhollow. Presumably no one comes this way anymore.

>>707552
>>707553
>>707554
>>707555
>>707556
He grunts. "You must be the ones old Windemere went to fetch, then. Were scheduled to arrive yesterday. What happened?"

Regardless of your answer, the eyes disappear, and you hear indistinct grumbling and the jangling of several locks. Eventually, the gate creaks open, allowing you to enter the town proper. The guard reveals himself as a tall bipedal reptilian creature called a saurian. This particular one resembles a crocodile, clad in plate mail and wearing a tiny askew metal skull cap helmet. "Welcome to Moonhollow, drifters," the guard says ominously, leaning on a hefty wooden spear. "What's left of it, leastways. Hehehehehe…"

Dalliance looks wary of him, but enters the town proper. It's as run down as it looks, the buildings slowly falling apart at their foundations, and the citizens slowly shambling about their daily routine. An air of malaise hangs over the town, and you feel most unwelcome. A few landmarks immediately stand out to you:

A squat little two story building with a thatched roof seems to be the local inn. An old, faded wooden sign swinging above the door identifies it as "Henke's Familiar". A bristling black cat is painted above the doorway.

Further on in the town, you can hear the hissing of a bellows and the banging of steel on steel, indicating the presence of a blacksmith's forge. You see that the forge is owned by a muscular minotaur; his establishment is right next to a general goods store.

Further along is a church with a busted roof, which also seems to double as the infirmary the guard mentioned. Seems fairly quiet, but a bell tolls ominously as you walk along, echoing through the streets of Moonhollow.

Opposite the church, across from the main town square is a large building shaped kind of like an upside down Viking longboat. It seems to be in quite good shape compared to the rest of the town. Presumably it was built recently. While it isn't marked as such, it seems to be a guild hall, a gathering hub for adventurers like yourselves.

Finally, up on a hill is a large green area with a crumbling old house at its peak, all protected by a rusty spiked fence. This appears to be the dwelling of the lord of these lands, Elphias Harroway. His manor is strictly off limits to commoners, unless on official business.

Dalliance looks around at the town, trying to remain optimistic despite the bleakness of it. "Well. Might as well get comfortable! Might be here a while. Where should we go first? The guild hall seems like a good starting point, although we could get our bearings by asking around at the inn as well. Or maybe talk to the smith back there? So many options…"

 No.707558

>>707557
>pausing

 No.708084

>>707557
>inventory updated
https://pastebin.com/mEidtfKx

"Well I don't know about you lovelies, but that last meal we had was rubbish. I fancy we make to the inn and put real food in our stomachs."

Voleurz says, making her way to Henke's Familiar.

 No.708085

>>707557
I yawn and stretch my back as we step into town, cringing a little when it audibly popa. "It was quite the journey. Perhaps we should check in at the hall, but aftet I'd like to wash up, get changed out of this uncomfortable armor, and rest." My nose curls as I look around the town a little more. Hopefully washing up is actually an option. Little of this place seems particularly clean.

 No.708086

>>707557
"Either way somethin's up and I don't like it. I say keep an eye out for anything strange n report it. As for where we'll head I say to the guild hall. The outsiders always seem to know what's goin' on" Jesse observes and gives the town a good scouting. His eyes squint to adjust to the morning light"

 No.708087

>>708085
"I think we'd be lucky to get drinkin' water, baths don't sound very available"

 No.708088

>>707557
https://pastebin.com/QNpEKXey

Flowing past the guard, most likely soaking his boots in the motion, i gaze wide-eyed at the crumbling town around us, seemingly oblivious to the horrid state of things.

"Ohh, we should grab a drink! I could use something to refresh myself, the ground around here is so porous!"

>>708087
"Aha, don't forget about my magic!" i mention, drawing a ball of water from my mass. "We can have a shower with a little water magic, but you'll have to bring the soap." i add, a laugh bubbling up from my core.

 No.708089

>>708088
"I'm not too sure how I feel 'bout the shower part but I would love to get a drink"

 No.708090

>>707557
https://pastebin.com/UtJCKZgu
"Whatever is here, there are lots of interesting curiosities to be found." I state to no one in particular.

 No.708091

>>708088
"Say darling, you goo folk go boozing as well? Aces."

Voleurz grins,

"I'll pay to see get you liquored up till your a jello shot, that'd be brilliant."

 No.708092

>>708091
"I think we should reserve the drinkin' to a later hour. Keep our heads on straight while there's still light out"

 No.708093

>>708092
"Pah, don't be naff darling, nothing wrong with a little booze in the morning. Takes the edge off."

She winks,

"Rather see the bottom of a cup than miserable faces anyhow."

 No.708094


 No.708095

>>708093
"Take the edge off? I prefer to have it, keeps me on my toes"

 No.708096

>>708091
"Oh, That sounds fun! I usually just order a water pitcher, but i'll try some liquor." i reply, shaking some water onto the ground with a nod.

 No.708097

>>708095
"Horses for courses"

Voleurz shrugs.

 No.708098

>>708095
I pet Jesse's head. "I will be here then to keep you standing then." I give a big smile.

 No.708099

>>708095
"Aw, it's not healthy to be stressed and on alert all the time, Jesse! We're safe and sound in this lovely village, what can go wrong?" i ask, offering a smile as i lay a semi-solid hoof on your shoulder.

 No.708100

>>708099
"That guy at the gate looked awfully shifty. So if ya don't mind I'm gonna keep my wits about me" He replies in a durst tone

 No.708101

>>708084
>>708088
>>708090
You head to the inn. The interior is sparsely decorated, being quite minimalistic in design; it only has the bare minimum of what's necessary for an inn, that being seating arrangements, a bar near the entrance, kegs and rows of bottles behind said bar, a fireplace, and an upstairs area leading to the rooms. At the far end, a curtained off area seems to lead to a gambling den. The decorations in the inn consist of a few faded old nature paintings, along with what is perhaps the room's most striking feature: a griffon skull sits in its own little alcove above the fireplace, leering out at the clientele. There's a rusty old nameplate under it, but you can't make it out.

Henke's Familiar is quite silent at this time of day, and there's only one person in sight, a lightly snoring, scruffy-looking griffon slumped over one of the tables. There is also a fat black cat curled up fast asleep on top of the bar, occasionally swishing its tail pensively. Its ears twitch as you enter, but it makes no other effort to acknowledge your existence. Doesn't look like anyone else is around right now, not even a bartender.

>>708085
>>708086
"Hey, good idea!" says Dalliance. "I'll come with you, if you don't mind."

You head to the guild hall. The big double doors to it are quite heavy, and refuse to budge. "Door's busted!" a gruff voice barks from the side of the building. "Gotta go around! Over 'ere!"

Looking over, you see a huge Diamond Dog with a pointy snout and a black and rufous coloring. He is poking his head through a smaller side door, and eventually steps out into view. He has a thin scar on his jaw, and is dressed in brown leather armor. A very large zweihander is sheathed on his back. Dalliance looks a little intimidated, but keeps her mouth shut. "Yeah, sorry," the mean looking Dog grunts, folding his arms. "Door doesn't work anymore. Broke. Dunno how. Anywho. You're new here, right? Don't recognize your faces, and I'm normally pretty good with 'em."

 No.708102

>>708101
"Yeah we're new here, and I've noticed something. It seems there's somethin' up in this town and I wanna know. Care to explain?" He says assertively

 No.708103

>>708101
I look around for any new faces to see, left with no one after a quick search my eyes land upon the griffon skull. "Aint that a pretty site." I chuckle.

 No.708104

>>708101
"Given how dreary the populace looked, I'd thought this place would be in use all hours."

She pokes the cat with a hoof as she approaches the bar,

"Go fetch you owner, puss, or I'm likely to hop over the bar and start serving myself."

>>708103
"Oh sure, prefer 'em bleached. Awful stench when they still got flesh on them"

Voleurz says offhandedly.

 No.708105

>>708091
"I do enjoy a nice bubbly from time to time," I say. "I may take you up on that."

>>708101
I smile. "T'would be a crime ti refuse your company, Ms.Dalliance. Of course I don't mind." I glance around to the side and tilt my head. I suppose someone like him was what I'd expected. Giving the other two a pensive glance, I follow him. "Yes," I say. "A group of galliant adventuters arrived to rid your home of the blight!"

 No.708106

>>708102
I freeze and turn my head. "Mr.Blackbriar. Manners. I believe the problem with the town is obvious, considering our perilois journey."

 No.708107

>>708106
"I wanna hear a confession before I believe in anythin'" He says to the stallion

 No.708108

>>708107
"A confession? Of what? That their home has fallen to misfortune and they need help to quell it? That's hardly something to 'confess'."

 No.708109

>>708108
"I believe there's more than meets the eye and I either want my suspicion confirmed or denied"

 No.708110

>>708101
peeking my head over the doorframe to check the flooring, i confidently slip through the door and move towards the bar, looking around for the barkeep.

"Hello? Is anypony here?"

 No.708111

>>708109
I roll my eyes. "Very well. Accost those who brought us here in the first place."

 No.708112

>>708110
I follow behind Rainy looking around the place with them to satisfy my own curiosity.

 No.708113

>>708102
"Well that's the thing. No one really knows what's going on. Lord Harroway's being real tight-lipped about the whole business. Won't even tell me, his second cousin." He sounds bitter about it. "All we know is, there's all sorts of ugly business going on around the town. Bandits are being more aggressive, corrupted by dark magic, monsters we haven't seen before are coming out of the woodworks, crops going black, roads and stations closing down… It's like the end of days, really. Still. Harroway's paying to get out there and fight, so I guess that's what we're doing."

>>708103
You examine the skull a little closer, reading the nameplate on it. "Grizelda Letitia Henke, 3A006-3A214". Seems like he led an unnaturally long life. The date suggests he passed away some 40-odd years ago now.

>>708104
>>708103
>>708110
The cat twitches as Voleurz pokes him. "Eh? Alright, alright, I'm going, I'm going. Rude." To your surprise, the cat talks, lazily opening one brilliant green eye and looking at you with the sort of disdain only cats can have. He yawns and stretches, making a whole show of it before turning its head over to the sleeping griffon. "GORD!!!"

The griffon jolts awake, looking thoroughly hung over. He is stoutly built, with dark eyes and dull brown and white plumage. He mumbles something indistinctly and half drags himself over to the counter as the cat hops off and starts going on patrol. "Welcome to Henke's Familiar, home of Henke's familiar," he mumbles, as if he's said it a million times before. "What can I do for you tonight? …Er, today."

>>708105
"You certainly look the part. Can never hurt to have a few more drifters about, I suppose. Welcome to Moonhollow, stranger. Not much to it, but it's home."

>>708102
>>708105
The Dog extends one massive hand in greeting. "Name's Ezekiel, but you can call me Zeke. I'm kind of the one in charge around here, I suppose, now that old Windemere's gone. Come on in, I'll show you around the hall. It's kind of a gathering place Harroway had installed for us sellswords."

 No.708114

>>708113
"Nice to meet ya Zeke, the name's Jesse. If I need anythin' I'll come find ya." He says to the dog

"This is one mighty fine place, Harroway certainly knows how to treat sellswords" Jesse says with a smile. He seems genuinely happy at everything in the hall.

 No.708115

>>708113
From behind Rainy I give a big wave to the griffon. "Goodmorning Sir."

 No.708116

>>708113
"Cold porridge or a couple green apples or anything, 'Gord. My mates carrying the rations were done in on the way here, so I'll pay for whatever could shut my innards up for a minute."

Voleurz says, sitting at the counter and pulling out her coin pouches to count out the bits she picked up along the way,

"Yeah, it'll pay for a meal at least."

 No.708117

>>708113
I hold my hoof out to shake his hand. "Pleased to meet you mister Zeke. Platinum Vanity." I tilt my head to the side. "I'm sorry, did you say Windmere was gone?"

 No.708118

>>708113
"Greetings, Gord! can i have a pitcher of water?" i ask casually, waving a hoof at the hungover bird.

 No.708119

>>708117
He has a firm grip and an even firmer handshake, accidentally crushing your hoof a little. "Mhm. Assuming you're the ones he went to fetch? Guessing he didn't make it. Shame. I liked that old man. Imagine Harroway'll be looking for a new chamberlain now."

>>708114
>>708117
Dalliance introduces herself meekly to Zeke and enters the hall behind you. You find that the interior is quite minimal, but also lavish; a dormant firepit sits nestled in the middle of the room, with a spit for roasting meat built over it. The support beams are decorated with banners in disparate condition, most of them depicting an elaborate family crest, presumably the symbol of Lord Harroway's family. In one corner is a rack full of generic weapons, while a set of double doors at the far end seem to lead to a practice yard. One wall is dedicated to a large billboard with an orderly list of what are presumably available jobs, while above this is a chalkboard with a list of names, many of which have been crossed out. The words "ADVENTURER DEAD POOL" are written at the top.

The hall has a very high ceiling, making for great acoustics. The others present in the room seem to be adventurers like you. These include a saurian like the gate guard from earlier, although this one is much smaller and resembles a gecko. She is deep in conversation with a dark red changeling. Outside, in the training yard, you can hear two more adventurers sparring. "Good thing you made it," Zeke comments. "Our ranks are kind of thin right now, truth be told. With you three, that makes, let's see… twelve. Ouch. Not much of a fighting force, is it. Ah well. Campaign's just getting started. By the way, is it just you three or are there more?"

>>708116
"Mm." He doesn't seem to want anything to do with anyone. "Come on Gord, be good to the customers," the black cat snaps as it violently rubs its face against a chair leg. "Step to. You're making us look bad."

>>708116
"Green apples it is," he mutters, taking your bits without counting them. He goes through a door behind him and comes back with a wooden bowl stacked with about a dozen fresh green apples, although they look disappointingly small, and a few of them are a little shrivelled. "Take as many as you want."
>-20 bits

>>708118
"Yessum." He brings out a ceramic jug filled to the brim with water. It looks a little stale, but still drinkable. "No charge. 'S just water."

 No.708120

>>708119
"Yeah there's more of us, and what's this campaign about?"

 No.708121

>>708119
"Who is "Grizelda Letitia Henke, 3A006-3A214". I read out out the nameplate posing it as a question

 No.708122

>>708121
"Last part's the year they were alive darling, not part of their name."

Voleurz snickers.
>>708119

"Beats the oranges."

Voleurz shrugs, cutting one open with a dagger and eating it provided they're not spoiled inside. She eats a good four or five, emptying the bowl into her satchel.

"Anything left of what you were drinking last night hun? I'll finish it off."

 No.708123

>>708119
"Ooh, thank you!"

eying the jug, i extend a pseudopod into the liquid, the thin stream of goo pulsing in size as it pulls the water up.

>>708122
"How are the apples?" i ask, leaning over to look, a few stray drops of goo landing on the fruit from the motion.

 No.708124

>>708119
When I feel his grip I let out a small squeak and my voice cracks a little as I speak. "That's unfortunate. When I couldn't find him I'd hoped he'd made his way back somehow." I rub my foreleg when I manage to get it back.

"There are a few more." I say. "Happy to be of assistance." I stop when I see the list of names. "Praytell, what is this, Mr.Zeke?"

 No.708125

>>708124
"I got a feelin' it's a hit list"

 No.708126

>>708123
"It's not cucumber sandwiches and tea, but nor I been a proper Lady for a meal like that for a good time either."

Voleurz says, not giving enough care to scrape the goo off as she eats slices of the goated apples,

"Was once, anyhow. Little more than a burglar now."

 No.708127

>>708126
*coated. No goats here

 No.708128

>>708126
"Maybe the saying we are what we eat translates very very well then to our situations." I lean back and tap my laws against the wood.

 No.708129

>>708128
"Aw shucks, you callin me apples darling?"

She says, before taking a bite out of a particularly sour one,

"Awf, perhaps I'm sourred then."

 No.708130

>>708120
"Well, the campaign against all the horrible… stuff, for lack of a better word." Zeke rubs the back of his head. "Way it works is, Harroway gathers reports and complaints from around town, and gets Windemere to come down here and pin them over there. " He jots a thumb over at the notice board. "Then, when it's done, you report back here and Windemere sorts out your reward. …Dunno who's going to be doing all that now Windemere's not around though. Probably me."

"Anyhoo, we're not really a proper guild or anything. No one's the boss of you 'xcept yourself. If you want to take a job and earn some money, go check it out. Otherwise, what some adventurers do is just go out on expeditions of their own, roam around looking for trouble, and reap the bounties from it. Your call."

>>708124
Zeke looks at the chalkboard disapprovingly. "Some of the boys thought it'd be funny to start taking bets on who lives or dies," he answers grimly. "Morbid business, really. Not much I can do about it though."

>>708121
"She-"

"I'll take this one." The cat hops onto the counter and loafs pensively. Gord looks irritated, but doesn't complain. "Miss Henke was the old owner of this place. She dabbled in all sorts of odd magic. She gave me my voice, too! When she finally decided to pass on, I couldn't bear to let her go, so we had her remains put up so she can watch over us even now. The state of this place probably has her turning in her grave…"

>>708122
Gord nods towards a half empty bottle of rum. Seems to be a fancy imported brand. "Can recommend that one. It's the real good stuff. Expensive though. Otherwise, there's our house mead. Not half bad either. And cheaper."

 No.708131

>>708129
"Well, is there such a thing as an apple pony?" I tilt my head up in thought trying to picture it.

 No.708132

>>708126
"Sounds like quite the story, if you wanted to share some time." says the goo, retreating to continue her drink.

>>708128

"We should meet with the guild first, but maybe we all can chat later, when we have the time!" i add, shifting around to include Softy. "If we're going to work together, we might as well get to know each other."

 No.708133

>>708130
I wince at the explanation of this 'dead pool' business. "Well. That seems in rather poor taste."

"The job, however, seems simple enough. I was afraid I wouldn't have time to rest, but it seems I can take the rest of the day! I appreciate your assistance, Mr.Zeke, and look forward to speaking with you again."

 No.708134

>>708130
I tip my head forward. "You have my condolences, I hope she does rest well."

 No.708135

>>708130
"How many complaints would ya say come in a day?" Jesse asks and meanders over to the board with Vanity

 No.708136

>>708130
"Roight, well if the apples were twenty bits, then I suppose that booze's worth more to you than it is to me. Queer practice for an tavern."

Voleurz smirks.
>>708131
"Don't go thinking too hard darling, don't wanna hurt yourself."

She ruffles the griffon's feathers, before turning to Rainy,
>>708132
"Quiet the story? Crocheting and table manners don't pay an estate's taxes once daddy kicks the bucket. Me late mum's jewelry though…"

her smirk turns to a rather dark grin.

"She weren't needing it no longer. A lady must do what she has to do to survive, especially on one's lonesome."

 No.708137

>>708136
My hand reaches out and pats the zebras head in idle thought. "Yeah Yeah."

 No.708138

>>708133
Jesse leans next to the stallion and says in a hushed tone "Platinum, I think it's best we keep our heads down before we end up on that list."

 No.708139

>>708136
"Ah, well, you have us at least! Not so lonely with me and the others, right?"

>>708130
Offering a smile to the Zebra, i pull away from my drink, slightly bigger than before, and move towards the tavern door, poking my head through.

"Hmm.. Should we head to the guild hall? Jesse and Platinum should have made it there by now.."

 No.708140

>>708138
"It isn't some list of ponies to kill, Mr.Blackbriar. They're betting on who dies first. Barbaric, but not exactly malicious."

 No.708141

>>708140
"If someone starts bettin' on us then some may try and come lookin' for us and lower our odds. personally I ain't too fond of that"

 No.708142

>>708139
"Just like I had Dalliance and the other two folk who bled out on the way ehre."

Voleurz cackles, sticking the knife back in her belt.

"Suppose we ought to though, looks like I'll remain sober till I can find more coin."

 No.708143

>>708135
"They're updated weekly," he answers. "Usually have about, oh, five or six jobs available. Usually a couple of 'em go unanswered, so they linger for a bit before getting picked up."

>>708133
"It's horrible!" Dalliance exclaims, nodding in agreement. "Gambling on someone's death like that. Shame on them!"

"No problem," says Zeke. "I'll be around if any of you need anything." He nods goodbye and meanders over to the changeling and the gecko saurian, joining their conversation.

>>708134
The cat nods and blinks slowly. "She had a long life. As have I, really. She could have lived longer, but decided 200 years is more than enough. I'm sure she's resting in peace, wherever she is." He yawns and curls up again, pushing Gord away from the counter.

>>708136
He seems too hung over to comprehend what you just said. "40 bits for the rest of the bottle" is what you think he says, but he mumbles and slurs his speech, looking about ready to fall asleep on the spot.

>>708133
>>708135
You go over to inspect the list of available jobs. There are only three right now:

Lord Harroway himself is searching for adventurers to go on a scouting mission. On the other side of the woods you came from are the ruins of the old Harroway family castle. The mission is simple: investigate the ruins and make note of whatever is left, but do not stir up any more trouble than you have to. It is merely for 'gathering information', in Harroway's words, and not for fighting whatever lies within. Reward: 800 bits, and (presumably) favor gained with Lord Harroway

There is a wanted poster for a pair of runaway outlaws that are hiding out somewhere in the area. Their names are Broken Sword and Falling Snow, a notorious couple of bush rangers responsible for robberies and assaults along the road leading out of Moonhollow, and even single handedly derailed a train on the tracks out of the town, responsible for the station being closed down. Oddly, they do not seem to be affiliated with the corrupted highwaymen you have already ran into. They appear to be hiding out somewhere in what's left of the Crannog, a structure somewhere in the swamps west of here. Reward: 700 bits for each of them

The local smith, Wilfried, has had his only daughter Anna go missing in the night. The only trace left behind was a black stain. He suspects she was taken by some of the corrupted bandits in the night, though for what purpose he cannot fathom. He implores adventurers to go searching for her, described as a young minotaur with beige fur. She apparently wears a distinctive blue flower brooch. Wilfried suggests tracking some of the bandits that haunt the old road you arrived on. Reward: 300 bits, and weapon upgrades (permanent +1 to any two non-catalyst weapons in the party's inventory)

 No.708144

>>708143
>>708140
Jesse points his hoof at the first job "It ain't our place to go killin' stuff as of now. I saw we start of small and do some recon"

 No.708145

>>708143
"So do we just speak with the pony giving us the quest? If so, I don't suppose you know where I'd find this 'Wilfred'?"

 No.708146

>>708143
With the owners taking rest in the building I take my leave to the guild to regroup with the companions I have made on the journey here.

 No.708147

>>708144
"I already have my eye on the last one. Apologies, but I won't allow someone to remain captive to a group of regular bandits any longer than need be, let alone the corrupted sort.
"

 No.708148

>>708143
>>708146
Voleurz heads out as well, not bothering to try and bother the gryphon's stupor anymore.

 No.708149

>>708143
Having finished my drink, i follow Voleruz out of the Inn, waving my goodbyes to the Cat and bar bird.

 No.708150

>>708147
He lets out a sigh looking down. He raises his head to the other stallion and smirks with fire in his eyes. "Well if we're gonna save someone lets get too it"

 No.708151

>>708150
"Yes. I'd hoped to rest, but this particular job feels time sensitive. Just… just give me a moment to fix my mane, please? I'm still pulling twigs out of my once splended coiffure."

 No.708152

>>708145
A passing adventurer, an older earth pony with a crooked snout, overhears you wondering out loud. "Normally we just go and do it," he grunts, "and bring the results back to whoever asked for it. Wilfried runs the forge out in the center of town, near the supplies store. You can't miss it."

>>708144
>>708147
"I'm inclined to agree with Mr Vanity," Dalliance chimes in. "Saving a little girl from bandits… isn't it the most knightly thing we could do? We should start as soon as we can! …Then again, a scouting mission does sound quite simple…"

>>708151
"Perhaps we ought to make preparations first?" Dalliance suggests. "It would be rather reckless to just leave at the drop of a hat. Maybe we should stock up on supplies, stay overnight and take a moment to think about this. Although, time does seem to be of the essence. Still, it's all up to you! I'm just following!"

>>708146
>>708148
>>708149
"Don't be a stranger!" the cat says cheerily as you leave.

You make your way to the guild hall, only to find the door won't open. "Door's busted!" a voice hollers. "You gotta go around!"

Taking the side entrance, you find yourselves in a large, fancy looking hall (see >>708119). A giant of a Diamond Dog (see >>708101) approaches you, presumably the voice that yelled just now, comes up to greet you. "Guessing you're with them three?" He gestures at Vanity, Dalliance and Jesse. "They said you'd be comin' soon. The name's Zeke. I'm in charge around here. If you have any questions, just ask."

 No.708153

>>708152
"Yes. That does make sense. A shame we go into battle unprepared and suffer the consequences." I let out a little huff. "But thinking of what those… those creatures could be doing to the poor girl right now." I shudder. "Perhaps leave at first light tomorrow."

 No.708154

>>708153
"Lets go head to the blacksmith and ask around town. See if we can use anything." With that he walks out the door and onto the street

 No.708155

>>708153
>>708152
"And do we have the coin to buy the supplies needed to head out? Reckon we won't have enough until we start doing missions darlings."

Voleurz says as she enters, looking to Platinum,

"They certainly don't have anything close to champaign darling, dreadfully sorry."

 No.708156

>>708152
"Greetings, I'm Rainy Springs, it's nice to meet you, Zeke!" i reply, holding out a hoof in greeting. "We'll do what we can to help the town, not to worry!"

>>708153
>>708154
"Oh! We've already found work?"

 No.708157

>>708152
I wave a little behind everyone. "Howdy." I say.

 No.708158

>>708156
"Blacksmith's daughter was kidnapped. We're findin' her. Right now we need to look for some clues or somethin'"

>>708157
"Howdy, you find anythin' useful?"

 No.708159

>>708155
"I suppose that's a fair point. Then no reason to dawdle!" I frown at the mention of no champaign. "Unfortunate but unsurprising."

 No.708160

>>708158
"There was a nice cat and griffon at the inn, they seem to be having some hard times, nothing else than that." I state.

 No.708161

>>708158
"Oh my! We'll have to move quickly then. Will the Blacksmith know more?"

 No.708162

>>708159
>>708155
"You two go out and buy things or somethin' ask the shopkeeps if they know anythin'"

>>708156
>>708157
"Both of you help me look for anything suspicious. I'll go talk to the blacksmith. Fan out and report back here by nightfall"

 No.708163

>>708162
"No, Darling."

Voleurz, says simply.

 No.708164

>>708162
"Ms.Voleurze had a good point. Buy something with what bits? Though asking around would make sense. The board reccomends following some of the bandits. That may not prove that difficult."

 No.708165

>>708164
"I suspected you had some money on ya' you look like the type of stallion to have some" He then turns to Voluerz and gives a disappointed look

 No.708166

>>708162
I shrug and leave to take a quick look around the village/hamlet

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12

 No.708167

>>708165
"Darling you look the like the type have a lovely firearm, yet I'm not asking you for it. Nobody loves a beggar, even I don't sloop that low."

 No.708168

>>708167
"I'm just sayin' the party is gonna need stuff and someone's gotta pay. I don't got nothin' and nobody else has offered. This guy over here looks like he's got somethin'. So here's my question. You got another idea of how to get supplies?" Jesse says with a slight scowl

 No.708169

>>708165
I place my hoof on my chest and gasp. "And you just assumed if I did I'd like to spend it right away?"

 No.708170

>>708168
Voleurz twitches a little, taking a deep breath,

"You bloody work for it, you twit."

 No.708171

>>708170
"I'd love to get to work but 1. We cant go anywhere until we got clues, 2. We may need supplies and we cant buy supplies with money we don't got, 3. It's in our best interest that we have stuff to keep us alive and nobody's decided to come up and say anything" Jesse growls but stands firmly

 No.708172

>>708162
>>708152
"Right!"

waving to Zeke, i step out into the town, wandering the street, 'keeping an eye out' while humming a tune.

[1d10] perception

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.708173

>>708168
I clench my jaw. "Mr.Blackbriar… if we are to continue this relationship with any degree of professionalism, I'd appreciate you speaking to me as little as you can manage from this point on. Otherwise I cannot be held responsible for anything you may lead me to say or do."

 No.708174

>>708171
"Hah, you'd love to get to work, but you're too busy telling off others to do the work for you. Belt up and bugger off."

Voleurz sneers, going to look at the job chart herself. >>708152

 No.708175

>>708156
He slightly awkwardly shakes your hoof, unsure of how to approach a goo pony. "That's what we like to hear," he answers genially. "Every single drifter counts around these parts."

>>708162
"Oh! What should I do, sir?" Dalliance chirps, eager to lend a hoof.

>>708154
>>708166
>>708172
The streets of Moonhollow are a little busier now. There's a little bit of a market going; the town's denizens have emerged as the day goes on, and are peddling a variety of wares, mostly decorative trinkets and the like. There are also food merchants, grocers and fishmongers come from the outskirts of town to try and make a living. Along with all these come the hawkers and beggars, and other, shadier characters besides. Overall, it's a grim little town, but still thriving.

>>708166
You head towards the general goods store, which seems to cater more towards the recent trend of adventurers coming to Moonhollow. You see that they stock items that are perfect for going out into danger. You find the following for sale:

>Torches: 5 bits each

>Tents: 30 bits each (includes a hammer and pegs)
>Bedrolls: 10 bits each
>Fire starting kit: 15 bits
>Rope: 3 bits/foot
>Waterskins: 10 bits
>Rations: 15 bits (one serving=one day's worth of food)
>Backpack: 10 bits
>Antivenoms: 20 bits each
>Healing potions: 20 bits each (automatic action, heal full hits and 1 wound)

A little bell rings over the door as you enter, and a white earth pony with a salt and pepper mane and a brown bucket hat looks up from reading the newspaper. "Hello hello," he says. "Looking to buy, sell or trade?"

>>708173
>>708171
>>708170
Seeing discord sowed among the group so early on, Dalliance starts to fret. "Er… I have some money saved," she offers. "I-if it'd help, I could pay for supplies first? Just… I don't have much, but we should be able to buy enough for everyone… Can we please not fight? We're all here for the same reason, aren't we?… I can leave if you don't need me around too…"

 No.708176

>>708175
He leaves the group and sits in the ruins of an abandoned house, his hat lying defeated in front of him. He stares intently at it

 No.708177

>>708175
Forgot to add:
>Frypan: 15 bits
>Shovel: 10 bits

 No.708178

>>708175
I puff out my chest and take a couple of steps toward Jesse, getting in his face. "No. You earned that money yourself. If this… this scoundrel wants something he can very well take his little pea shooter, the clothes on his back, and a bit of hard work spent not trying to give us all orders and go do a job himself like an adult."

 No.708179

>>708176
I huff and turn away. "I don't suppose you'd like to accompany me on this little adventure, Ms.Volaeurze? Ms.Dalliance?"

 No.708180

>>708175
Voleurz hears Dalliance speak and turns, sneer already on her face from talking with Jesse,

"Oh and you'd like to leave again wouldn't you, muppet. You're wearing the armor, but there's no knight inside it. Left me for dead as soon as things looked tough!"

Voleurz says, spittal hitting the ground. She slumps back against a wall, opening her satchel and looking at her near empty bottle of absinthe.

"Bloody hell, 'I'd rather keep my edge'. I'd kill for laudanum right about now.."

>>708179
Voleurz looks up, hair disheveled and hat hanging low.

"Sure, darling, just a bit distraught at the moment."

 No.708181

>>708175
"One second if you don't mind." I step out the store "Jesse, Rainy, Guys!" I yell outloud.

 No.708182

>>708181
"Yeah?" He asks in a grim tone

 No.708183

>>708182
"I found a shop."

 No.708184

>>708183
"Alright go do what ya need to. I need some time to think." He sighs

 No.708185

>>708184
"I don't know what to buy and I only have so many bits."

 No.708186

>>708176
You sulk in a nearby alley with your hat in front of you. As you sit there for a while, eventually someone walks past and drops a few bits in your hat, taking you for a common vagrant.
>+10 bits

"First time?" a nearby beggar snickers. He's a mangy looking Dog in a tatty jacket. You'd taken him for a pile of rags at first.

>>708178
"W-well, okay. I'm only trying to help."

>>708180
"Wha?" Dalliance takes a step away from you, looking hurt. "I… I… …Y-You're right," she says heavily, looking down at the ground. "Who… who am I trying to fool anyway. What am I doing here. …I'll be around, I guess. …I'm sorry." She starts shuffling off towards the inn, head hanging low in shame.

>>708181
"I'm here all day. All day every day." The shopkeeper goes back to his newspaper and hums idly.

 No.708188

>>708186
"Uh yeah I guess, why do you care?"

 No.708189

>>708180
I tense up a little as she starts yelling at Dilance. Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and try to relax a little. "We're all on edge. Perhaps we should take some time to calm down before heading out, no? Pehaps head back to the inn and wind down a little. The last thing we need is something clouding our judgement in combat. That would only get both us and anyone we're attempting to rescue hurt. Or worse."

 No.708190

>>708185
"Take these, I won't be needing them" He tosses Blue the 10 bits

 No.708191

>>708190
"Okey dokey." I nod my head slipping back inside the shop.

 No.708192

>>708186
"And all I can do is thank you. But don't let anyone make you believe you're under any obligation to assist us."

 No.708193

>>708188
"At this point I have no idea where I'll end up. Hope it's somethin' good but that's wishful thinking." He says with a sigh

 No.708194

>>708189
"Darling I tried, but I didn't come here to spend the last of my bits away. I'm to be sober and miserable."

She watches as Dalliance leaves, rubbing her head,

"The poor thing's just a girl, never seen real bloodshed, nor can handle it. Cor, I was hard on her. But what was I supposed to do, be happy she left to let the bloody brigands kill me?"

 No.708195

>>708186
I go back up to the shopkeeper money in claw.
Afer looking at the items on display tapping my claws. "I Would like a watersking, two rations and a healing potion please." Cringing a bit as I drop all my money to purchase the items.

 No.708196

>>708193
"Hell I'll be lucky if I don't end up dead by the next year. Y'know sometimes I wonder what would've happened on that pass. If I hadn't run, where would I be? Probably lying in the dirt covered in blood. At least I would've died with honor and I'd be with the rest of my squad."

 No.708197

>>708196
"I completely forgot who I used to be. Jesse Blackbriar died a while back, now I just use his name. Heh, imagine if she saw me now. Sitting in a ditch feeling sorry for myself. Far from home, cold, lost, I don't know what else. Ehh why would you ever care about an old stallion like me?"

 No.708198

>>708194
"I understand that you're frustrated, but she does seem to be trying. Upon thinking about it once more, I realize that I am too tired and too wound up to be anything but a liability, so champagne or no, I believe I'm going to go grab a drink, relax, and head out in the morning. Presumptuous as he was, Jesse was correct in assuming I have a few bits on me. Would you care to join me? My treat."

 No.708199

>>708188
>>708193
>>708196
>>708197
"…'Kay then. I don't really care, just… try and keep the mopin' down would ya. Honest folks are tryin' to sleep. Hehehehe…" The beggar gets up and slinks further away from you before curling up on the stone floor.

>>708192
She turns back briefly. "…I owe you my life," is all she can bring herself to say. She chokes up a little and walks off.

>>708195
"Right you are." He stirs from his chair and fetches them off the shelf, laying them out in a neat little row for you as he counts out your coin. "Perfick," he grins. "Thank you very much."

 No.708200

>>708199
>pausing

 No.708201

>>708198
Voleurz lets out huff.

"I've sworn myself never to stoop to begging…"

Voleurz says, pushing herself up from her position against the wall,

"…But I'm not one to refuse a drink with a proper gentlecolt. I'll try not to be so blinkered and apologize to the lass."

>>708199

She follows Platinum back to the bar.

 No.708202

>>708201
>>708199
I smile and nod. "Not begging if I'm making the offer." I poke my lip out in a feigned pout. "Had you refused I may have been the one in a position to stoop to begging." I clop my hoof against the ground. "Splendid! Perhaps she can join us and we can get this whole thing sorted."

>>708199
I walk out and back toward the bar.

 No.708203

>>708199
Jesse takes out his trick ammo and undoes the cap exposing the liquid inside. He stares at the bullet and smiles slightly "Well bottoms up" He brings it up to his lips and drinks from it. Within seconds he falls unconscious

 No.709383

>>708201
>>708202
You head to Henke's Familiar (see >>708101 for a description) and are immediately greeted by the black cat that owns the place; he perks up with a short trilling sound and hops on top of one of the tables. Gord the bartender looks up briefly as you enter, but merely nods before bowing his head again, sitting behind the bar contemplating his existence. "Hello again miss!" the cat says cheerfully to Voleurz, before turning his attention to Dalliance and Platinum. "Welcome, welcome! Good to see some new faces around town! What can we get you this fine morning?"

Dalliance just gets a glass of milk and some cookies, munching on them idly and sitting in an alcove, well away from either of you.

>>708203
Your head feels light, and before you know it, you've blacked out. After an unknown amount of time, you recover, your head pounding against the walls of your skull. Checking yourself, you find someone's stolen your hat, but mercifully, everything else is still intact as far as you can tell.

 No.709384

>>709383
I tilt my head at the cat, noting to myself to not get too close. Cat fur is terribly difficult to get off clothing, and I fear I haven't brought a lint roller of any sort. The bar itself is- H'm. Quaint? "Minimalist chic," I say. "Quite a respectable choice." I walk up to the bar, but stumble as the cat speaks. Clearing my throat, I politely nod. "Good morning. Platinum Vanity." I reach my hoof out to shake its paw on reflex. Slowly, I lower it again. "I don't suppose you have any wines? Perhaps a nice, aromatic Pink Moscato? Something with fruit notes." I glance to Voleurz and gesture toward her. "And whatever my charming companion, with whom I suppose you've already met, chooses to order."

 No.709385


 No.709386

>>709383
>>709384

Voleurz stifles a giggle as Platinum orders, knowing the variety the bar actually holds.

"What the gentlecolt is asking for, I suppose, but I suppose that bottle I inquired about earlier will do if you must."

 No.709387

>>709383
Despite his condition he attempts to look around the immediate area for his hat. Each step causes a slight stumble but he manages to walk

 No.709388

Later that day, the five of you, with Dalliance in tow, set out on your first mission: tracking down Anna, the blacksmith's daughter, who was kidnapped by some of the corrupted bandits stalking the surrounding land.

With new equipment courtesy of Talon, you head off into the surrounding woods, sticking close to the old road you arrived on; bandit activity is most common in these parts, after all. Dalliance still seems rather quiet, but in better spirits than before, looking quite knightly in her fancy white and silver armor. "Well now," she says, trying to remain optimistic, "maybe we should start by searching for the bandits themselves? I mean, from what I understand these parts are crawling with them, right? Perhaps we could find a few and follow them to whatever lair they have. They don't seem very… talkative, but we could try capturing one as well, maybe?" She seems eager to help where she can, looking around for bandit tracks.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.709389

>>709388
"I say we find the bandits n follow em. We're bound to get somewhere" He says and wanders looking for tracks
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.709390

>>709388
"A fine idea, Ms.Dalliance." From what I'd gleaned from the board that was the recommended course of action. Using my finely honed attention to detail, I look around for any sign of where the bandits may be or may have headed.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.709391

>>709388
"What interrogation methods would you suggest? Waterboarding, good ol beating, or something else?" I say with a smile above everyone looking ahead.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10+4]

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5

 No.709392

>>709388
"Oh, that sounds like it could work."

extending my core above my body with a pseudopod , i use the stone as a periscope, trying to peer through the overgrown woods around us.
[1d10] Perception

"Hmm, now where would bandits hide around here?"

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.709393

>>709388
Voleurz lurks near the back of the party, constantly looking over her back [1d10].

"That's fine by me darling, maybe we can ambush some for once."

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.709394

>>709391
"If we do find anything, and catch it that is" Jesse remarks to the griffon offhandedly

 No.709395

>>709389
>>709391
>>709393
You find several sets of heavy trodden hoofprints and a trail of broken, trampled foliage, suggesting a group of ponies came through here. The prints are still fresh; they can't be more than a day old. Looking up at the nearby trees, you can see some broken branches and what looks like a bloodstain on one of the tree trunks. Closer examination reveals even more prints leading towards a nearby stream. Either option seems equally viable right now.

>>709390
You stumble and nearly trip as you step in some sort of burrow near the base of an old willow. You feel something small and hairy wriggling near your hoof, followed by sharp pain as whatever it is bites you hard.

>>709391
Dalliance takes a step backward involuntarily, blinking as she looks at you wide eyed. "That's barbaric! Surely there must be a less violent solution?…"

>>709392
You don't see much right now, just trees, vines, and bushes as far as you can tell.

>>709393
Amidst the trees, you think you spot a shadow flitting about in the canopy. A bandit scout, perhaps, or merely a bird. Whatever it is, it gives you a bad feeling.

 No.709396

>>709395
"I don't know about yall but I got a real uneasy feeling about this place. Get ready for anything, mostly an ambush" He says as he draws his gun follows the tracks leading down to the stream

 No.709397

>>709395
"What solution could there be Dalliance? Face to face with these creatures seems cut and dry to me. I wouldn't talk if captured without some encouragement." I shrug my shoulders as I fly.

 No.709398

>>709395
"Hold!"

Voleurz says, tossing one of her daggers out at the figure in the trees.
>Blink Strike: weapon, ranged; Disperse a weapon into magical energy, shooting it off at an enemy or target location, stabbing and sticking into it. If used from Stealth or on an enemy that doesn’t know you’re there, they can’t retaliate after getting hit. The thrown weapon counts as a minion for Ethereal Jaunt.
[1d10] DC-1 (using Reliable Pickaxe and Knives; Single Weapon)

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.709399

>>709398
Jesse turns on the spot and aims toward the noise of her dagger "Well now, looks like we got somethin'"

 No.709400

>>709395
"Mm, nothing so far.."

>>709398
"Oh! Did you see something, Miss Voleurz?" i ask, bending the periscoped core to see where you're looking.

 No.709401

>>709395
I yelp as I feel something wriggle around my leg, and scream as it bites into me. Hopping away, I rub my foreleg on instinct before checking to see if it broke skin.

>>709398
I freeze before stumbling to unsheathe my rapier. We're fighting already? Lighting up my horn, I attempt to summon three doubles. [1d10+2] "What is it?"

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.709402

>>709399
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.709403

>>709400
>>709401

"I don't know, darlings!"

 No.709404

>>709396
>>709402
The peaceful bubbling of the stream belies a violent scene. The nearby foliage and vegetation have been violently trampled, and many of the shrubs and saplings are coated in black dust, mixed with flecks of drying blood. Sifting through the dust, you even find what looks like a bloody tooth. It seems there was quite a skirmish here, and the fight continued through the stream. The parties involved, almost certainly the corrupted bandits, chased their quarry even deeper into the undergrowth. The flattened bushes on the other side suggest someone fell here, and headed deeper into the woods. Dalliance blinks in surprise. "My. It seems whoever did this was quite the fighter! Shall we follow? The other trail seemed to lead somewhere too…"

>>709397
She nods, but still seems apprehensive. "We shall simply have to see, I suppose. I certainly hope we don't have to resort to such brutish methods."

>>709398
Your dagger goes wide, getting lost among the thick tree branches. You see the silhouette of a pegasus take flight, flitting among the treetops as they realize they've been spotted. Dalliance frowns, her horn glowing as she fires off a blast of magic at them. "Bandits? Already? How do they know so fast?!"
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] Magic Bolt

>>709400
You see the shadow of a pegasus flying away as Voleurz initiates combat. Seems you're being watched.

>>709401
You see an old, angry looking badger poke its head out from the burrow aggressively. It didn't draw blood, but it was more of a warning than a proper attack.

You summon three doubles to your side, each a perfect replica, ready to obey.

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9

 No.709405

>>709404
"I bet it was someone lookin after the girl like us. Judgin' by all this mess I'd say we got our work cut out for us. But personally I'm eager for a little bloodshed so lets not waste any time"

 No.709406

>>709404
I levitate my rapier over to one of the doubles, preparing for a fight. As it stands I'm not really sure what I should be attacking, so I decide biding my time is likely the best course of action for now.

>>709405
I can't help but curl my nose and look away. "Heavens, going into a battle hoping
for bloodshed? Sure one must expect it, but craving it is simply- simply barbaric!"

 No.709407

>>709404
Voleurz grimaces, looking at her karambit, "Not exactly aerodynamic, but you'll have to do."

She tosses her other knife at the flying pegasus, trying to catch them as they leave.

>Blink Strike

[1d10+1] DC-1

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.709408

>>709406
"Who ever said being barbaric was a bad thing?" He jokes

 No.709409

>>709407
I shrug and follow suite aiming my crossbow and taking a shot.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.709410

>>709404
Seeing the destruction leading further in, i nod, drawing my core back into the main mass.

"Might as well! If they've already spotted us, following the trail is better than staying here."

 No.709412

>>709407
The karambit just sails into the bushes like a $2 boomerang.

>>709409
You fly up and take a shot, clipping the pegasus in the wing. They start to spiral out of control, corkscrewing downwards through the branches.

>>709410
Dalliance nods with a pensive frown. "It's all so soon too. As soon as we arrive it's like they already know we're here…"

>>709405
>>709406
>>709407
>>709409
>>709410
Talon's shot, coupled with the blast from Dalliance, causes the pegasus to crash land a few feet away. Dalliance looks surprised. "I… I did it!" she says cheerily, clearly proud of herself. "I mean… WE did it, of course. Er, forget I said anything."

The pegasus is one of the corrupted bandits, a greyish blue pegasus with a lilac mane. As with all the others, black spidery lines cover his body, and his eyes have glowing yellow pupils. He glares at you all silently, struggling away. Dalliance looks hesitant. "Well, what do we do now? Just finish him?" She seems out of her element right now, looking about nervously in case more show up.

 No.709413

>>709412
"If we have rope, tie them up dearie."

Voleurz goes to retrieve her weapons.

 No.709414

>>709412
>>709413
"I'd say that's our best bet. We don't know they can't be cured yet, and as it stands I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable killing someone who can't control themselves."

 No.709415

>>709412
"Right, you may be corrupted or hopped up on somethin' but you're gonna tell us all ya know. Mostly where's the blacksmith's girl? Secondly where do we find em. Now ya best tell us what you got or we'll pry it outta ya" He glares at the pegasus angrily

 No.709416

>>709412
I come down and give Dalliance a pat on the head.

 No.709417

>>709412
"Oh! Nice shot, Dalliance!"

slinking over to the injured Pegasus, i eye him in concern as the others look for a rope.

"My, whatever's effecting these bandits is some dangerous magic! I wonder if i can purge it with a recovery spell.."

 No.709418

>>709412
I smile. "A knight and a powerful mage? Nicely done indeed, Ms.Dalliance. In my eyes there is nothing wrong with congratulating yourself when congratulations are earned."

 No.709419

>>709417
"If we get nowhere cast the spell, I wanna talk to him"

 No.709420

>>709413
"I don't have any rope, but I think I might know a spell…" She faces the pegasus, closes her eyes and concentrates, her horn sparking a bit.
[1d10]

>>709414
"I'd… rather avoid killing anyone at all, if possible," Dalliance mumbles.

>>709415
The pegasus offers no response, and instead lashes out at you without warning.
[1d10]

>>709416
There's not much to pat properly considering she's wearing a fancy helmet, but she seems to appreciate it nonetheless.

>>709416
>>709417
>>709418
"Oh! Well, thank you!" She puffs herself up a bit. "I know I'm not very good yet, but I'm glad to help how I can!"

>>709417
Dalliance nods eagerly, her armor clanking in approval. "We're here to clear the shadow over Moonhollow, aren't we? If you know any purging magic, it'd be better not to kill them and instead focus on cleansing these…" She looks at the corrupted pegasus, thinking of what to actually call them. "These Blights," she finishes. "Don't you think? They may have been twisted, but they're still ponies like you and me."

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.709422

>>709420
The pegasus manages to deck Jesse in the face. He staggers back for a second and lunges at the injured bandit. Driving a punch aimed squarely at his eye. He then tries to restraint the Blight in a headlock
[1d10]
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 9 = 9

 No.709423

>>709422
"You alright down there?" I tilt my head.

 No.709424

>>709423
"Oh I'm alright. He does got some nice pepper sauce in him" He laughs with blood trickling out the side of his mouth from the initial punch

 No.709425

>>709420
"Wonder if there's a way to turn them back.."

She muses, rifling through the pockets of the bandit.
[1d10+1]
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11

 No.709426

>>709420
>>709422
"Careful! He might dissipate if we're too rough."

Focusing, i split my mass to draw a ring of water around the struggling Pegasus, bringing the liquid in to the middle, forming a thin pool under him and Jesse.

Beginning my channeling, the pool shimmers slightly as the magic begins to flow in.
[1d10] Mend

"Hold steady.."

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709427

>>709420
I nod. "I think most of us feel that way."

>>709425
"Goodness, I hope so. I'd assume if there was a way to stop this dreadful corruption as a whole, there's a way to cure it in the afflicted."

 No.709428

>>709422
You take a punch right to the jaw, stunning you momentarily. You roll with it and lurch to the side, wrapping your hoof around his neck. He kicks and squirms as he tries to free himself, all without making a single sound. It seems like the blight takes their voices.

>>709422
>>709423
>>709424
>>709425
>>709426
Dalliance strains as she concentrates on casting the spell, but it seems to work; a rainbow colored shimmer surrounds the pegasus, binding him in place for the meantime. He struggles vainly against it, unable to move. "Hey, it worked!" she says cheerily. "It won't hold for long though, so let's make this quick."

>>709425
You search him. He isn't carrying much, save for an arming sword, a hooded cloak and 60 bits.

>>709426
Dalliance watches with bated breath as your cleansing magic begins to flow through the Blight. It seems to hurt him, as his struggling increases tenfold, mouth opening in a silent scream. Slowly but surely, the black cracks on his surface begin to grow lighter, and eventually, fade altogether. The pupils lose their glow, darkening to their normal black. The pegasus goes limp for a moment, then gasps, as if being pulled out of a body of water. He panics and starts to struggle again, looking around madly, completely disoriented.

 No.709429

>>709428
"Wow, it worked." I state somewhere in the background.

 No.709430

>>709428
He continues to restrain the pegasus in his grip
"Talk to me, I just wanna talk. You're alright" He tries to reassure but knows the situation is not very settling

 No.709431

>>709428
Opening an eye to see the now healed Pegasus, i pull the water back, looking in shock.

"I-it worked? It worked! He's okay!"

Though seeing his panic, i try to assuage his concern, keeping my distance for the moment.

"Please calm down, you're going to break something if you struggle like that! We're not here to hurt you!"
[1d10] Persuade

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.709432

>>709428
>>709429
Voleurz quickly stashes the gold before the pegasus fully comes to, hoping it didn't see her pocket it.

"Oh my, it seems all they need is a glass of water, perhaps this quest is easier than we thought. Seems like they've all had a nasty hangover."

She takes the sword as well, making sure nothing drastic happens.

 No.709433

>>709431
"What now?" I stare flatly.

 No.709434

>>709428
I blink. "It worked?" I chuckle. "It worked! Now that it hasn't blown up in our faces I must admit, I wasn't confident it wouldn't take more than some ancient magic."

 No.709435

>>709433
"My magic cured him but he's in a panic, poor thing!"

 No.709436

>>709434
Name. Again.

 No.709437

>>709433
"I don't know, try not to look like you're here to hurt him or something. Im just trying to not get hit again"

 No.709438

>>709430
>>709431
>>709432
>>709434
>>709429
Dalliance releases the holding spell, watching concernedly from the sidelines. "It's okay," she says reassuringly. "You're safe now. Just breathe."

Eventually, the pegasus calms down, his chest rising and falling as he takes deep breaths, looking around at all of you. He has deep blue eyes and a white streak through his lilac mane. "So dark," he mumbles. "So dark… Where am I?" He struggles to get up, his legs trembling a little as he clutches his head. "Where's Lady Moonlight?"

 No.709439

>>709438
"Tell us everything you know up the point you blacked out. It's very important" He says and looks at the stallion. A spark of familiarity is in his eyes despite never seeing him before.

 No.709440

>>709438
"You come to from a horrible curse and the first thing you ask is for a lady of the night? Oh my~"

Voleurz grins, looking down at the pegasus and picking her teeth with a knife. She checks over her back, making sure there isn't any other bandits on the way. [1d10+1]

>>709439
"Give the lad some space daarling, no one likes being questioned after a hangover now do they?"

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

 No.709441

>>709438
"Amnesia, how troubling." I say slipping down and sitting down on the ground to watch how the situation goes.

 No.709443

>>709440
"I suppose he's good now" Jesse admits and moves towards the group, wiping some blood from the his mouth

 No.709444

>>709438
"It's okay," I assure him. "You're safe now, but we're going to need you to slow down so we can understand you. Who's Lady Moonlight?"

[1d10+1] calm words

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.709445

>>709438
"Lady Moonlight?" i ask, head tilted in thought.

"We just arrived here, sorry. Was she in your group?"

 No.709446

>>709441
"I really don't think a blackout while under some kind of mind control constitutes amnesia, Mr.Talon."

 No.709447

>>709446
I give a light shrug in response. "Semantics."

 No.709450

>>709439
The pegasus' head is still spinning. He clutches it as he tries to focus, stumbling slightly. "We were on the road… She was coming to the village… We were attacked… The bandits… Their eyes… I… I can't remember… Why can't I remember?…"

"Give him some time," Dalliance agrees calmly as she flips up her visor. "He's clearly not in his right mind yet. Who knows how long he was under for."

>>709440
"Wh… what?" He stares at you dizzily, eyes glazed over. Dalliance gives you a disapproving glare. "Really!"

Coast seems clear for now. No more Blights that you can see.

>>709441
"Amnesia?" Dalliance parrots. "Hardly. This seems like something else altogether…"

>>709444
>>709445
The pegasus pats the sides of his head in an effort to get rid of his dizziness, but it doesn't seem to help. "We… we were hired to protect her," he manages to say. "Five of us and her, to escort her to… to the hamlet… Moonhollow… Then those bandits jumped us, and… And then what?… I'm sorry. My head's roiling right now. Those yellow eyed blackguards, they must've gotten me…"

"You're back now," Dalliance says reassuringly. "We'll help you however we can, good sir. Do you remember your name?"

"Solar," he answers. "…Solar Flare. That's me. I think."

"Well I'm Dalliance," she answers with a big encouraging smile. "We're here to help!" She glances at Rainy. "Do… do you know any spells to heal an addled mind?He's not doing so well, is he…"

 No.709451

>>709450
Flair*

 No.709453

>>709450
"What!" Voleurz says to Dalliance, looking hurt, "That's what the stallion said, didn't he?"

She perks up when Dalliance mentions a spell to heal an addled mind,

"Oh, oh! I know one, I practice it all the time!"

 No.709454

>>709453
"Y'know I ain't exactly surprised"

 No.709455

>>709450
"Greetings, Solar, I'm Rainy Springs! We were sent to rescue her, so it looks like things didn't go so well.."

Looking to Dalliance, i scratch my muzzle, the hoof fusing to my gooey head with the motion.

"Hmm, i can try my Mending springs spell again, it did purge his curse before, it might help clear his head too!"

Forming another ring of water beneath him, i make the necessary effort to charge the water with magic.

[1d10] Mend mind

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.709456

>>709450
"Well, I suppose we know what they do with those they carry away. Seems horrific, but this means we can save them all, does it not?"

 No.709457

>>709450
I give him a warm smile. "Pleased to meet you, Mr.Flare. I'm Platinum Vanity."

 No.709458

>>709450
"Howdy." I wave to Solar Flair

 No.709459

>>709456
"Yeah that logic seems sound except we got one problem. I don't think we got enough time to do the spell over n over again. After all we got a job to do"

 No.709460

>>709450
"You can call me Jesse and it looks like we're in the same boat. Someone got kidnapped. Question is why are they both female?"

 No.709462

>>709456
"Mending springs takes a lot of mass to cast, but i'll help how i can." i mention, noticeably smaller than earlier.

"I'm surprised it worked at all, his condition looked serious.."

 No.709464

>>709453
Dalliance blinks in surprise. "You do? What is it?"

>>709455
You cast another mending spell, but you lose your concentration, and it doesn't seem to help much, if at all. Dalliance looks a little disappointed.

>>709456
Dalliance nods vigorously. Her fancy plume comically flapping about. "This is good. It's progress. And on the first day too! We might just be able to save the town after all!"

>>709457
>>709458
>>709460
Flair nods and grunts. "My name's Solar Flair," he says again. Dalliance looks a little concerned.

>>709460
Dalliance touches her chin. "It might just be coincidence, but you could be on to something. Hmm…"

>>709452

>>709453
>>709455
>>709456
>>709458
"Mr Flair?" Dalliance asks. "Can you walk?" Flair nods and starts following behind you without a word, still getting his bearings. "Huzzah!" she grins. "One more for the team! …Or not, if you'd rather split up, that's okay as well…"

"Anyway. Where to next? Should we follow those tracks we found leading that way?" She points uphill into the woods, where you saw the tracks denoting a group of ponies. "Or should we cross the stream and tail whoever got hurt?" She looks to the bubbling stream, then to the lot of you for further instructions, flipping down her visor.

 No.709465

>>709464
"As much as I like the idea of saving someone else I assume they're dead we also got bandits to track. I say we follow the tracks on the other side of the river" Jesse motions and plants his hoof in the ice cold stream water.

 No.709466

>>709464
"Two quick slaps on the cheek, it rightens up any barmy stallion who's not acting themself. Want to see?"

She grins, raising a hoof.

 No.709467

>>709464
"Hmm.. I bet if she was kidnapped, she'd be trapped with the group! No way they'd let her escape into the brush without following though, hmm.."

 No.709468

>>709464
"How were you infected, or turned into, as Dalliance would say. A blight." I ask.

 No.709469

>>709464
"Right. Perhaps someone should accompany him back to town? I'm not positive it's safe for him in his condition."

>>709465
"That's quite a lofty assumption, Mr.Blackbriar. Better to assume they're alive and be wrong trying to save them than assume they're dead when they aren't."

 No.709470

>>709466
I flash her a smile. "Perhaps I may be interested some time, myself."

 No.709471

>>709469
"What I'm seein is broken trees, tons of blood, and signs of quite the fight. I've seen these types of scraps and I know they ain't the ones you walk away from"

 No.709473

>>709464
While deliberating, i flow over to the stream, dipping a gooey hoof into the water to refresh myself.

[1d10] Absorption

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.709474

>>709470
Voleurz raises an eyebrow, "You'd fancy that? Cor, you're certainly on the pull, aren't'cha?"

 No.709475

>>709466
Dalliance's face falls as she realizes you're joking, and she just rolls her eyes at you.

>>709467
"Well, we might as well follow the trail, right? Might be we'll find her! Or some trace of her…" Her expression darkens a little as she considers the possibility.

>>709468
"He… He grabbed me… The eyes… Something in the eyes… I saw it… Dead things in the water…" He grabs his head again and groans.

>>709469
"I'd be happy to help Mr Flair back to town," Dalliance offers. "Unless someone else would rather do so?"

"I'm fine," Flair grunts. "Put a sword in my hoof and I'll be right."

>>709473
The water is turbid and green, but it's better than nothing. You reconstitute as best you can, feeling quite refreshed.

>>709465
>>709466
>>709467
>>709468
>>709473
"The hunt is afoot!" Dalliance declares dramatically, following Jesse across the stream to further adventure.

>pausing

 No.709477

>>709474
I gasp and bring a hoof to my chest in feigned indignation. "Heavens. Me? 'On the pull'? I wouldn't be so crass, m'am. I am a gentlecolt, and I'd thank you to keep that in mind." My mouth curls into a small smirk. "Though were a nice night with a pretty mare to lead in such a direction I wouldn't be averse. I am, of course, only mortal."

 No.709478

>>709475
I clear my throat, realizing I may have gotten a little carried away. "Right. Back to the issue at hand. Are you sure you'll be fine, Mr.Flair? You were just cured of a magical, mind-controlling, corrupting disease, after all."

 No.709480

>>709477
"I think we got more pressing matters than flirtin' with the nearest mare"

 No.709481

>>709384
The cat seems to sense your thoughts, and rubs its face against your leg before trotting haughtily back to its spot on the table.

"Don't have it," the drowsy bartender mumbles without checking. The cat's ears flick in annoyance. "Really, Gord. You could at least check. This is a CUSTOMER. Treat him as such! Chop chop!" Mumbling incoherently, the griffon shuffles over to the racks and gives them a once over before looking to you and shaking his head. "We got wine, ale, mead, rum, beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, and, uh… That's about it. Nothing big either, all local brews. Moonhollow's finest." You get the feeling that doesn't mean much.

>>709386
"Mhm." He brings out the already opened rum bottle and two glasses of wine. "How much is it, boss?" he asks Henke's familiar. "30 bits for you, my good lady!" the cat chirps from its spot on the table, blinking its eyes slowly. "Special discount for new drifters!"

>>709387
Alas, your hat is nowhere to be found. Someone almost definitely stole it while you slept. Perhaps you could find the culprit by searching the town; they couldn't have gone far, after all.

 No.709482

>>709481
Jesse stomps into the middle of town. For an odd reason his hat is the biggest worry of his.

 No.709483

>>709482
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.709484

>>709481
My smile falters. "Well, I'll have the wine, then. I don't suppose you know what kind?" I count out the bits, set them on the table, and levitate the glass to my nose, gently spinning it as I take in its scent.

 No.709487

>>709484
"Should I… you know.."

Voleurz looks up at Dalliance from her position next to Platinum, an uncomfortable look on her face,

"I don't know if it'll be as genuine if I've had a drink before it."

 No.709490

>>709487
I nod. "That makes sense." I gesture toward her. "Now's as good a time as any. Should I come with you, or would you prefer if you didn't feel you were put on the spot, as it were?"

 No.709491

>>709483
>>709482
You go back to the main market square, where you see a dingy looking clothes stall being run by a squat little pug-faced Diamond Dog with a tiny fez. He's loudly advertising his selection of fine clothing to anyone that'll hear. On a rack, you see your very own hat being sold for a mere 15 bits. "Everything you see here's for sale!" the Dog announces to no one in particular. "Absolutely everything! Premium, exclusively imported goods at the very finest prices!" He spots you, seemingly not recognizing you. "What can I interest you in today, my good man?"

>>709484
"Local brew," he repeats. "Quality Brand Wine," he reads off the label. "15 bits a glass."

The wine smells about as cheap and crappy as you'd expect it to. "It's VERY exclusive," the cat says encouragingly.

>>709487
You catch Dalliance staring back at you glumly, suddenly becoming very interested in the wooden table.

 No.709492

>>709491
"Im lookin' for a cowboy hat. Mountain patch on the front. And if I find you have it then you'll end up on the ground. So ya care to tell me if you've seen it?" Jesse says exasperated and gives the dog an angered stare

 No.709494

>>709490
"I-" Voleurz bites her lip, most of her cockiness drained. "Hold my wine, I think this is just a conversation for the fairer sex."

>>709491
Voleurz gets up, sitting at Dalliance's table and shuffling awkwardly into her seat. She tries to think of something to say, but ends up being silently way too long for it to be anywhere near smooth. She coughs, looking at the table with the same interest.

 No.709496

>>709494
I nod and levitate her wine opposite mine. "I understand. I'll stand back here for now. Just wave me over."

>>709491
"Right. Well, thank you nonetheless." I silently curse the cat, but maintain my smile. I really hope that fur isn't as difficult to clean off as I expect. While I wait for Voleurz, I take a seat at the bar proper. "So, Mr.Gord, was it?" I ask, trying to drum up a little pleasant conversation. "Have you worked here long?"

 No.709499

>>709492
He blinks nervously. "Nope, sorry chum! Haven't seen it! Don't got i! Hehehe!" He's lying right to your face; you can see the hat right there on the rack, AND it's on sale.

>>709494
There is a very long and awkward silence as neither of you know what to say. Dalliance breaks it eventually. "I… You're right. I'm sorry for everything. I'm not the Dove Knight. I'm not a knight at all, am I. I don't belong here, I've never even swung a sword properly before." She sighs heavily, running her hooves through her silver mane. Her eyes are a bit teary, but she brushes it away. "They sent me here to die, didn't they?" she asks bitterly, though she doesn't seem to expect an answer.

>>709496
Gord opens his mouth to speak, but the cat interrupts, trotting in front of both of you and sitting there comfortably. "Yes he has! He's been working here for going on eight years! Haven't you, Gord? It's a good little business arrangement we have!" Gord just leaves and descends into the cellar, where you hear a vague but unmistakable scream of frustration. The cat pretends nothing happened, and loafs comfortably on the bar.

 No.709501

>>709499
Oh. So that's the kind of dynamic they have. No wonder Gord seems so annoyed. I smile. "Right. What about you? How did you come to frequent this fine establishment?"

 No.709502

>>709499
He gives a slight chuckle "You're lyin through your teeth and I got evidence you are. So either give me that hat or I'm gonna take it. I cannot guarantee you will leave unscathed if you choose option two." He says with a devious smile and draws his gun. This is now a robbery with one simple goal. A single, faded, leather hat

 No.709504

>>709502
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709505

>>709499
Voleurz winces, hearing the mare let out her woes,

"Darling… Dalliance, even." She looks up, taking off her capotain and resting it on the table, brushing her mane back so she can look her in the eyes, "That's bollocks you know. I was being a knobhead and let my emotions get the better of me." She rubs the back of her neck. She chuckles, looking at Dalliance thoroughly for the first time, "Bloody hell, you're young… When I was your age I was sitting at tea parties and talking gossip, it's gotta be tough for you."

She frowns, putting a hoof across the table, "Still, they can't of sent you out here to die. You've got a good heart, way better than my withered thing. Place like this needs someone who wants to make a difference."

 No.709506

>>709502
>>709504
The Diamond Pug gives a high pitched, nervous laugh. "Alright, alright, alright. You can have it. Sheesh." He waddles over to the hat rack, rips the price tag off and tosses it to you. "'S just a damn hat anyway. What's the big deal?"

>>709501
"I thought you'd never ask!" He flops over. "My name's Stolas. I've been here… oh, FAR too long. Longer than you've been around, at least! My mistress adopted me as her familiar, you see" - he nudges with his head towards the griffon skull over the fireplace - "and I've been running this place ever since! It's what she would have wanted, I think. Although, the inn isn't as well off as it used to be, but hey! At least it's still standing!"

"So what about you, my good man? What brings you to the middle of nowhere? You could be anywhere else in the Dominion but you came here, to Moonhollow. Why? Is the call to adventure really that strong in this town?"

>>709505
She nods and sniffs a little. "Well… thanks. I still think it was pretty monstrous of me to up and abandon you like that. I just… I just panicked, you know? I didn't think about it, I just… I just did it." She stares at the ground again. "B-but we're both in one piece, right? That's what matters! We'll pull through if we stick together!" She gives her best encouraging smile, wiping her face again.

 No.709507

>>709506
"Thank you" Jesse says jokingly and puts on his hat. He then takes a minute really look around and heads to the tavern. It seems like a good enough place to start. He opens the door to the old bar.

 No.709508

>>709506
"Oh, a familiar! That makes a good deal more sense. I somehow hadn't even considered the possibility." I sip my wine and lean a little. "Well, it's a long story. To sum it up, adventuring seems to be all I'm really cut out for, I need to make a living, and I want to help out wherever I can. I found out about the job here, and, well-" I gesture around the bar with my hoof. "Here I am, braving danger to thwart some manner of magical blight, like the daring heroes of old!" And quite a dashing subject for the storybooks if I do say so myself. Practically made for illustration and bardic tales.

 No.709509

>>709508
Done it again.

 No.709510

>>709506
"You said it yourself, you don't have any experience. It was probably the safest thing you could do at the time." Voleurz smirks, "Listen, I had to learn everything I know by myself, on my own. Stick with me, and you could learn a thing or two. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned, so ponies better watch themselves if they want to cross ol' Voleurz and Dalliance."

She leans back into the chair and puts up two hooves, mock-boxing into the air and narating little 'pows' as she does so.

 No.709511

>>709506
He walks up to the bar and orders a black coffee. Looking around he notices some familiar faces but decides to remain quiet.

 No.709513

>>709508
Jesse takes a deep breath and turns to the unicorn. "Uh hey, you doin' alright?"

 No.709514

>>709507
You head over to the bar (see >>708101), finding Voleurz, Dalliance and Vanity already inside. The black cat looks over to you with a flick of his long tail. "Hello hello!" he chirps. "What brings you to our humble establishment? What can we do for you today?"

>>709508
"That's the spirit!" says Stolas cheerily. "Things have been pretty ugly around here lately. Not even outside, in the town as well. Old Harroway's going to need all the help he can get, I reckon!"

>>709510
"Well… if you'll let me, I'd be happy to stick by your side!" she says cheerily, brightening up a bit. "I won't let you down again, Miss Voleurz! That's a knight's promise!"

>>709511
The coffee is served for about 5 bits. It's not particularly good.

 No.709515

>>709513
At first I'm tempted to be snarky, but think better of it. You're a better man than that, Vanity. I sigh. "I'm well. And yourself? You seem as if you've seen better days."

 No.709516

>>709514
"Well, for as long as I remain I'm happy to be of service." I shoot a quick glance to Voleurz and Dalliance to hopefully see how it's going, smiling if it seems to be going well.

 No.709517

>>709515
"You'd be correct in that regard. But aside from myself I came here to apologize I guess. Look we may not get along but as a team we need to at least cooperate. So if sayin' sorry is what it means to work together then I'm fine with that" He says and offers a hoof out to Vanity

 No.709518

>>709517
I tense up a bit as he holds his hoof out, and look down at it for a moment. I give him a single nod and shake his hoof. Finally he says something that makes sense. "Right. I don't like you. That much is plain for anyone to see, but we still have to have each other's behinds out there, no? Grudges left at the door and what. I've been at this longer than you seem to believe, Mr.Blackbriar. I'll do whatever it takes to support you, but I don't need you trying to order me around." I smile and chuckle. "If I wanted that I'd be married, no?"

 No.709519

>>709514
"On one condition!" Voleurz says, eyes glinting as she puts her hat back on. "You don't take heart any of the shite that might spill out of my mouth along the way unless the hat is off. Can't trust me to not be an arse otherwise."

 No.709520

>>709518
Jesse chuckles at the comment. Despite his demeanor he seems to laugh at himself.

 No.709521

>>709516
They seem to be making amends. Both look a great deal happier than they did before. When you look back Stolas is gone, having curled up in a corner and snoozing idly.

>>709519
She laughs, though she seems a little confused at what you mean by that. "I… sure, why not. I'll go with it. I guess we're, uh, making this official, then?" She stands up. "Er, if you don't mind. It's a thing among my order. Swearing an oath to protect and all. Would… would you let me do that?" She looks unsure of what she's getting herself into.

 No.709523

>>709520
>>709521
I give him a half shrug. "Anyway," I say. "Just try not to make too big of an ass of yourself in the future, please? You don't know how frustrating it is to be ordered to do someting you were already planning to do anyway. If you did you'd cut it out."

 No.709524

>>709521
"Suppose my grandmother was a duchess after all, there must be enough royalty for me to ordain this properly…" She mutters, before her eyes glimmer with an even more fiendish plan. "Wait, before you do, Dalliance, let me use your sword for the briefest of moments. Be a dear and trust me with this."

 No.709525

>>709523
"Got it now if you excuse me"

>>709524
"What are you doin with that sword?" He asks turning to the zebra

 No.709526

>>709524
She blinks and passes you her estoc hesitantly. The blade is as elegant as the rest of her kit, the crossguard shaped like doves' wings, and the blade itself having swirling patterns forged into the steel. It's probably worth quite a lot. "Where… where are you going with this? I, er, I need that for the oath…"

 No.709527

>>709526
>>709525
I turn toward them with Jesse and quietly watch. Seems they've made up at least.

 No.709528

>>709526
"Shushshushshushshushshush dear."

She takes the sword, carefully holding it out and motioning for Dalliance to look down,

"I, Madainna Ghrain, heiress to the great Ghrain Estate of East Andraxis, ordain this Hedge Knight Dalliance as my own knight, who might take oath and protect me and all that posh stuff." She adlibs, tapping the swords on each of her shoulders, She turns the blade around, holding it for Dalliance to take the hilt. "You can do your oath thing now, chivvy along."

 No.709530

>>709528
I let out a rather unbecoming snort, but otherwise continue to quetly watch. She just knighted her? Interesting.

 No.709531

>>709528
Her breath catches in her throat as she realizes what you're doing, and she starts to tear up again, but she wipes it away. When you finish, she takes the sword, kneels down and bows her head, holding the estoc by the hilt like a cross.

"I, Dalliance, daughter of Lady Dauntless, Knight of the Dove, do hereby solemnly pledge myself to thee as thine faithful knight. Wherever and whenever I am needed, and even if all should turn against thee, my loyalty shall never waver, even in the face of annihilation. I am thine knight, forever and true. In the name of the Dove, the Owl, and the Crow, I am thine sword, forever and true."

She stands up, sniffling a little. She clears her throat. "Th… thank youIt will be an honor to fight by your side, Lady Ghrain. Er, do you want me to call you Voleurz still? I won't tell if you don't want me to. I'm at your command, after all!"

 No.709532

>>709531
"Cor, don't call me Lady Ghrain. Besides myself the only Ghrain left is my aunt and she's a cunt. Only wanted it do be proper-like is all. This name is much more fun. Voleuuuurz."

She holds the name out in a comical, haughty voice, laughing and reclining again, tipping back in her chair, "One thing I wasn't expecting from this adventuer, but stranger things have happened. Your first duty as my knight is to finish those biscuits, otherwise I'm liable to take one myself."

 No.709533

>>709532
*That's one thing I wasn't expecting from this adventure

 No.709534

>>709532
She blinks and blushes as you drop a C-bomb, but doesn't dare correct you.

"Yes, ma'am! Er… are you sure you don't want any? They're quite good. Besides, it can't be good for my figure having so many." The biscuits seem to be made with oats and coconut, from the looks of them.

 No.709535

>>709534
Voleurz looks Dalliance up and down again, grinning, "Please, stallions love a mare who's a little plump. One plate of cookies won't do you any harm love. Now my Auntie Mun? Eat an entire bakery if could manage to waddle to one without tipping over. Bloody minger." She steals one, munching on it.

 No.709536

>>709535
"Gee, really? Well, if you say so!" She keeps daintily munching on the biscuits with a happy smile, chuckling a little at your anecdote. The biscuits are tough, chewy, but quite delicious. They're very rich, and difficult to chew apart. It takes you a while to just finish one.

 No.709744

You move across the stream, following the trail left by whoever was involved in the fight you came across before. Whoever it was seems to have managed to elude the Blights, with a trail of trampled bushes leading into a circular clearing. The trees are unnaturally dense here, making it slightly harder to see. The trail becomes slightly harder to follow; indeed, on first glance, it seems to simply end, with no obvious clues as to where they went next. The only hint you can see on first glance is a bloody handprint - not a hoofprint - on one of the trees near the clearing.

Dalliance looks curious at the sight of the handprint. "Hmm. Could it be our minotaur?" she speculates, looking about for clues. "Or a Diamond Dog, perhaps?"
[1d10] Perception

Solar is still rather dazed, mumbling to himself, eyes darting about the area in suspicion. Noticing Voleurz carrying his cloak and sword, he taps her on the shoulder and wordlessly asks for them back, extending his hoof expectantly with an annoyed frown.

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709745

https://pastebin.com/mEidtfKx
>>709477
"Blimey, no different from the posh suitors back home. That being said, it's smashing to be eyed by a real gentlecolt again, s'been penniless prats ever since the manor foreclosed."

She lifts her hat, brushing back her mane and winking at the unicorn, "Let's get this whole brigands and dark wizards ordeal sorted, then you can take me somewhere less dreadful."

>>709744

Voleurz hands the cloak, put keeps the sword on her belt.

"Budge up darling, you're in no case to fight right now. You're still dodgy to me, you can hang back if we run into any more highwaymen. Come to your senses and you can have 'er back, alright?"

 No.709746

>>709744
"Ohh i hope they're okay.. That's a lot of blood."

looking at the handprint in worry, i focus my mass into several sensory arms of blue slime, slowly shifting their position to try and see more of a path.

[1d10] Perception

"If we're quick, we can still help them!"

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.709747

>>709744
"A hand eh? We might be in more trouble than I thought"

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.709748

>>709747
"Wazza matter with hands? If you're worried about minotaurs, them being big don't matter none. Prodigious size alone does not dissuade the sharpened blade."

She winks, flashing the daggers under her jacket.

 No.709749

(Cinder is hot to trot!) https://pastebin.com/fWLLhVDq

 No.709750

>>709748
"I prefer to keep my distance"

 No.709751

>>709745
I nod and turn my attention back to the job. "Of course. Priorities and what. Can't have a proper date on old bread and rotgut at any rate, no?"

>>709744
I uneasily glance back and forth from the path, to Flair, to the path again. It seems the poor stallion has had some kind of trauma. Not that that's surprising. Perhaps someone should have returned to town with him after all, but we've come too far to easily regroup now.

I step up beside Dalliance and look the print over. "H'm. What I'm wondering is, is whoever made it injured, or is that from the ghastly slaughter we saw further back?

 No.709752

>>709751
"From what I'm seein' there was a skirmish back there. The group separated and ran. A diamond dog or Minotaur ran over here hoping to take cover in the trees. But I got a feelin' something caught up with him. Question is what is it" Jesse observes and examines the bloody print further

 No.709753

>>709744
"Maybe there are some more living trees around trying to snatch up more people." I ask no one in particular.

 No.709754

>>709753
"Livin' trees don't go out in the open like that."

 No.709755


 No.709756

>>709745
His eyes narrow. "And if I get attacked, how am I meant to defend myself? Give it back. I can fight," he insists.

>>709746
>>709747
You notice heavy hoofprints half hidden in the undergrowth, leading deeper into the woods. They seem to have an odd limping gait to them. Whoever you're tracking must be quite wounded.

>>709751
>>709752
"I think Mr Blackbriar is right," Dalliance says with a nod. "Seems they fought off the Blights and just… ran this way?"

>>709745
>>709746
>>709747
>>709751
>>709753
Dalliance notices the hoofprints. "Must be a minotaur, if they have hands and hooves," she remarks. "We must be on the right track!"

You follow the prints deeper into the woods. It becomes harder to move, the woods gradually becoming more stifling, and the canopy denser. It's difficult to see with the trees blocking out the sunlight. Eventually, it's borderline impossible to rely on the hoofprints any longer, as they are too difficult to make out amidst the wild greenery. Dalliance frets a little. "Oh no, how are we going to follow the trail now? And… are we sure we can get back to where we were? I feel like we might be getting lost…" She shifts in place uncomfortably. "I'm not dying here," Flair growls. "It'd be better to turn back before we get real lost."

>>709749
It's been almost two days since you were split up from the rest of your adventuring group. You remember only fragments of what happened; you were in the wagon, then there was someone standing in its path, then more of those corrupted highwaymen came seemingly out of nowhere, then there was an explosion. The next thing you knew, you had come to in the middle of the woods, and the rest of your companions were nowhere to be seen. You've been wandering aimlessly trying to find civilization ever since, but to no avail. Food and water are limited to whatever you can find in the wilderness. Overall, you're in a pretty miserable situation right now.

However, perhaps things are about to change for the better. You are in the middle of a dense, overgrown thicket, most of the sunlight blocked by the tightly clustered trees. Far off in the distance, you can hear voices. It seems there are fellow adventurers nearby. Perhaps they can help you get your bearings.

 No.709757

>>709756
Voleurz looks Flare up and town, chuckling.

"If you want to head back so badly, darling, go right ahead. You can keep your sword with you in that case. Otherwise, long as you're traveling with us I think you're safe enough. Calm your nerve."

 No.709758


 No.709759

>>709756
"Returning to town without even trying would be cowardly. If it's true and this Minotaur is a survivor of the massacre, then now we have not only the blacksmith's daughter, but them to save as well." I shoot Flair an annoyed look. "I said you should probably head back to town. If you want to leave then I won't fault you. In fact I almost encourage it, but mind you if that was our thinking when we found you you'd still be enthralled by this forest's corruption." I take a deep breath and force my emotions to mellow. They're right to be scared. I am too. Even moreso as I look around at the denser and denser forest. I swallow. "Though, if anyone has a light now would be the time to come forward."

[1d10]Navigation

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.709760

>>709756
"As much as I like the idea of not gettin' lost we've gone pretty far in. But the good thing about being this lost means we're bound to come out the other side. I'm gonna go fly above the trees and scout ahead. One of ya make a signal fire so I know where to land" He says this and takes flight. Soaring up and through the canopy

 No.709761

>>709756
Cinder can't remember or even guess how long she's been picking her way through the thick growth of this wretched forest. Feels like days, but probably more like hours, she guesses. It's hard work and every one of her muscles ache. She's hungry, thirsty, and to be honest, pretty pissed off.
"If only I hadn't lost my h*cking bag. All my cool cr*p was in there…." She licks her lips. "My canteen was in there." Her tummy rumbles for about the hundredth time. "My food was in there!"

Suddenly she stops, her bright blue eyes turning pitch black. Her hair turns to flames, slowly spreading across her whole body as she becomes visibly anguished. "MY BOOZE WAS IN THERE!!" she screeches.

"F*******DGE!!!"

 No.709762

>>709760
[1d10] Navigation
[1d10+2] Perception

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12

 No.709763

>>709760
"I'm not sure that's how that works. When you're lost just 'moving forwards' isn't really much of an option in a normal forest, let alone one such as this."

 No.709764

>>709759
"I don't mind also keep an eye out if you all just asked. I have always felt safer knowing more about where I am at and someone to watch my back."

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10+4]

Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7

 No.709765

>>709756
"Hmm.. we really need to help them, but any further and we'll be the ones in need of help.. What to do.."

Still concerned, i stick close to Platinum as he leads the way further in.

>>709759
"Sorry, i can put out fire but i can't make it. We'll just have to watch our steps, wouldn't want to sprain a hoof in a root!" i cheerfully reply.

 No.709766

>>709756
The kirin quickly collects herself, extinguishing nearby fires her outburst had caused in the brush before they can escape and cause more harm. She sighs, supposing that she will be able to get more cool junk in the future. And booze. Definitely need a drink after all that had happened to her. Where were the others? Dead, supposedly, along with Lady Moonlight. At the present, she could only hope to not join them herself.

Suddenly she hears voices in the distance. She starts picking her way through the thickets doubletime, although not shouting out. You can never be too careful, although at the pace she's tearing through the brush, she's hardly being careful.

 No.709767

>>709757
"I…" He grunts. "Fine. Have it your way."

>>709759
"I… don't know the way back," he mumbles. "Or… maybe I do. I just can't remember… Feels like a million flies in my head…"

>>709760
>>709762
"Er… I don't think it's a good idea to start a fire in the woods," Dalliance comments. "And, I don't think I have anything to start one with…"

You find it difficult to get through the canopy. It's almost as if the trees are trying to prevent you from leaving. However, you make it through eventually, taking a look around the surrounding area. It's all just woodland as far as you can see, although far off in the distance you can see a tiny hut in the middle of the forest. Looking in the opposite direction, you can see the stream, and then the old road which leads back to Moonhollow. Should be easy enough to make your way back when the time comes.

>>709759
>>709764
Taking a bit of time to look around, you take note of a few key landmarks that would lead you back to the clearing you were just in; namely, a distinctively shaped tree stump near it. It's not a very good waypoint, but it's better than nothing.

>>709766
You start making your way towards the voices. To your relief, one of them sounds familiar to you; it's Solar Flair, along with a bunch of others. At least someone made it. You can't see them quite yet, through all the overgrown branches and vines.

>>709757
>>709759
>>709760
>>709764
>>709765
Your wayfaring is interrupted by the sudden sound of someone yelling in anger in the distance. Solar perks up. "I know that voice," he muses. Dalliance looks a bit trepidatious. "Should… should we help? They don't seem very friendly…"

 No.709768

>>709767
Jesse does a quick divebomb to the group and lands with a thud. Covered in leaves and such from the thick canopy. He gets up and dusts himself off; looking in the direction of the yell

 No.709769

>>709765
I flinch a little as she approaches, but almost instantly relax. Perhaps goo ponies aren't so bad. And I suppose she isn't entirely disgusting. Almost cute, in a 'formless blob puppy' sort of way. "Well, I suppose if worst comes to worst I can try to keep my horn lit, but it's not something I'm used to doing so I'm not sure how well it would work."

>>709767
"Well, I can probably at least find our way back from here." I sigh. Of course he wouldn't know the way back. Even if you can fly, you'd still have to know which direction to go. I glance to Dalliance. "We can do what we did with you and send one of my reflections to investigate. If he's attacked and destroyed we know it's a hostile. If not then we can give whoever it is the benefit of the doubt and approach."

 No.709770

>>709767
"You know that voice darling? Well you got eviled earlier, perhaps it's one of the dark wizards I've heard about." Voleurz muses, "That'd make things easier, get rid of one so early on."

 No.709771

>>709768
"Where are you going Jesse?" I tilt my head.

 No.709772

>>709767
Having been picking her way through the brush, Cinder stops and perks her ears. She recognizes, or thinks she recognizes, a welcome voice. Solar Flair? Well alright then! She lets out a loud "HALLOO!" She's so grateful to see any living soul that a dance of small flames ripples across her whole body.

 No.709773

>>709771
"A quick but painful landing" He admits

>>709772
"D'ya guys hear that. It's awfully chipper"

 No.709774

>>709773
I walk to Jesse and pat him on the head.

 No.709775

>>709767
"Oh, somepony else out here? Most certainly we should help! being lost out here must be terrible."

flowing forward, i call out towards the voice.

"Hello? we're over here, this way!"

 No.709776

>>709774
"I'm gonna have to ask ya to never do that again" He warns sarcastically and fixes his hat

 No.709777

>>709776
"Will do!" I salute in place.

 No.709778

>>709775
Cinder starts bearing down on the voice excitedly. "Hello! Hello I'm over here!" she exclaims, running toward the first sign of a connection with civilization. She starts pushing through the underbrush, letting the fire of her excitement burn through any bushes that try and put up a fight. A fair few of them are stubborn little bastards and she leaves more than one smoldering behind her in her haste.

"Hey! Solar! Anybody!"

 No.709779

>>709778
Jesse hears this and treks in the direction of the calls
"Don't worry, follow my voice!"

 No.709780

>>709770
He shakes his head. "No, she's not a dark wizard, she's… a friend. We've met."

>>709769
She nods. "Or wait and see if they come to us? It's only one person, and there's seven of us."

>>709772
As they call out to you, you keep moving towards the voices and eventually stumbling into a slightly less dense patch of woods, where you see a large assortment of adventurers. Solar Flair is in the company of: a shifty looking zebra in a hat, two posh looking unicorns, one in armor, a red griffon, an earth pony gunslinger, and a friendly looking goo pony. Solar does a double take, rubbing his eyes as you come into view. He looks kind of dazed as you enter the scene. "C-Cinder? I thought you were dead… What happened?"

>>709768
>>709769
>>709770
>>709775
>>709771
Soon enough, a bright red, energetic looking kirin comes into view. She doesn't seem hostile, but looks like she's seen better days.

 No.709781

>>709780
"Who and what in the hell are you? Sorry, and how d you know Cinder here?" He asks utterly bewildered as he's never seen a kirin before.

 No.709782

>>709780
Cinder is just tickled pink to see some friendly faces. Or, one friendly and several to-be-decided, although the fact that their reaction is not immediately hostile seems promising.

"Solar! You're alive!" She rushes to him. "I thought everyone died. What the h*ck happened back there?? Last thing I remember we were on the road and then we started slowing for some reason, then it's all a blur!"

She looks around at the other creatures present. "Well hi there! I'm Cinder and I'm very lost."

 No.709783

>>709780
"I suppose that's also an option, however one cannot count on one's enemy's numbers through observation alone." I relax a little when Flair seems to recognize her. I step forward and offer her a warm smile, twitching slightly as I hear Jesse behind me. >>709781

"Are you quite alright?" I ask, offering my hoof to help her. "You seem as if you've seen better days. I suppose you were separated from your companion here in the attack?"

>>709782
I hold out my hoof. "Vanity," I say, giving a short bow. "Platinum Vanity. We're actually headed somewhere a bit-" I clear my throat. "Well, a bit perilous right now. If you would accompany us I can assure you we'll do our best to provide protection? If you're not confident I suppose I could accompany you and Mr.Flair back to town." I'm sure one of my reflections could accomplish that much as long as I know the way back myself.

 No.709784

>>709782
"Greetings! I'm Rainy Springs, nice to meet you!" I reply, waving a hoof in greeting, a few drops of goo trailing off.

"Are you injured? We saw a lot of blood following the path, somepony was particularly hurt bad, a lot of blood.."

 No.709785

>>709782
>>709780
Voleurz raises an eyebrow, at Solar, looking to Cinder,

"Oh? Is this that lady of the night you were asking for?"

 No.709786

>>709785
"I feel like I am the only person who doesn't know about this one." I scratch my head looking at cinder.

 No.709787

She takes in the variety of creatures. An odd assortment, to be sure, but she is no stranger to strange bedfellows. Mercenary work lends itself to the phrase, in more ways than one.

It is this thought which is interrupted by the polite greeting of one of the fancy unicorns. >>709783

She grounds herself, takes his hoof and shakes it, aware that might not have been his original intention. "I'm tired, and hungry, and all scratched up from these nasty old thickets! But I'm alive. I wouldn't think to say the same for my companions, except the sight of Solar here" she proudly punches his shoulder "leads me to think the rest of those scrappers could have made it too!"

>>709780 She turns to Solar now, suddenly somber. "What about Lady Moonlight? She had to have made it, right?"

>>709784

She's taken aback by the sight of a creature she's never seen before. It seems alive somehow, and beyond that, quite friendly. Cinder hides her slight revulsion and politely greets the oozing monstrosity with a goofy grin.

"Well met, Rainy Springs! My name is Cinder Fabrie." She speaks slow, not sure how capable Rainy is of speech.

 No.709788

>>709787
"I must be dull I never told ya my name. It's Jesse. Pleased to meet ya" He says extending a hoof to the kirin

 No.709789

>>709786
"You and me both, featherhead." Voleurz pats the griffon on the head.

 No.709790

>>709785
Lady of the- I hold in my laughter as best I can.

>>709787
I shake her hoof and give her a small nod. Not quite what I'd expected, but perhaps I'd do best to reign it in while already laying it on a bit too heavy with one. A kirin, though? Goodness, I've never even seen one, let alone- I shake my mind out of the gutter. "Well, I can't speak for the rest of us but I'll do what I can." My smile falls as she mentions Flair. "Though saying he 'made it out' is a bit inaccurate. It's more we managed to cure the blight, courtesy of our gooey compatriot." I nod toward Rainy.

 No.709791

>>709788

Cinder shakes the proffered hoof politely. "Cinder. Likewise, I'm sure."

>>709786
>>709789

Cinder meets eyes with the zebra and the griffon and steps on over to introduce herself.

 No.709792

>>709791
"Howdy"

 No.709793

>>709781
"We were in a caravan together," Solar answers. "Lady Moonlight's caravan. There was an attack… then…" He trails off.

>>709782
"An ambush, I think," says Solar, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm… not sure who else made it, if anyone… I don't know exactly what happened… Sorry, my head's all abuzz… Last I remember there was an explosion, then next thing I knew these guys were crowding around me. I think I was… enslaved, or poisoned, or… something. Seems I know about as much as you do," he shrugs. "At least someone else made it. Good to see you again." He gives you a dry smile.

"Pleased to meet you," says the unicorn mare in fancy armor. You notice her getup has a white and silver feathery sort of motif. She looks a little out of place in the wilderness. "I'm Lady Dalliance, Knight of the Dove, and I'm… marginally less lost. Hehe. You're welcome to accompany us, if you like. We'll do our best to protect you!"

>>709785
"Cinder here was part of the escort group, but she's not Lady Moonlight. You'd know her if you saw her. We were traveling together to come and help in the campaign, but…" He trails off.

>>709787
Solar shakes his head. "I… don't know. Everything after the attack is just blank in my mind, up until Rainy here cured me."

"Say, Miss Fabrie." Dalliance speaks up. "You wouldn't have happened to have seen a minotaur girl around here, by chance? We're meant to be tracking her. She's the local smith's daughter, you see, and she went missing overnight."

 No.709794

>>709793
"Right, well, if she's injured then we shouldn't dawdle. A second too late could spell disaster, after all." I step ahead of the party and try to find the lead we had, and if not that then some indication of which way she might have gone.

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.709795

>>709792
Cinder smiles warmly at the quiet griffon in an unassuming manner. "Hey."

She turns to the zebra. "Well met, Zebra. My name is Cinder Fabrie." She offers a hoof in greeting.

>>709793

She turns to the last member of the group, the armored unicorn. She does not betray any hint of how utterly ridiculous that getup is in the forest. It's hard enough to get around in this thicket without lugging a hundred pounds of metal, slowing your every movement, making you so much more bulky. Works for travel on a road, not so much in the wilderness.

"Well met, Lady Dalliance," she demurely offers. She does not respond to the offer to accompany just yet.

Hearing a smith's daughter is missing strikes a chord in Cinder's breast. Her own father was a smith. "I apologize… I haven't seen any living soul except your party."

>>709793

She looks Solar up and down. He seems worse for the wear, even worse than her. Enslaved? Poisoned? She doesn't understand what he means. She does understand the dry smile, and returns it knowingly. "It never goes off without a hitch, eh?"

 No.709796

>>709794
"You got a point and I ain't a fan of wastin' daylight. Everyone we head back the way we came because it seems the trail ends here"

 No.709797

>>709795
-I reach out and shake your hoof-

 No.709799

>>709796
I grit my teeth and slowly glance over my shoulder. "That isn't at all what I said. Head back if you want. I'm continuing."

 No.709800

>>709793
"Aha, an escort! Same meaning you know." Voleurz grins.

>>709795
"Allo darling, the pleasure is all mine." Voleurz mocks a curtsy, "No living souls then? Any dead ones?"

 No.709801

Cinder realizes that she doesn't have a choice but to accompany this group. Besides, Solar is here, and she should probably stick with him until the two of them find a way to get back to Lady Moonlight and on to Moonhollow. She finishes up her hellos and falls in with the group.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.709802

>>709799
"Well I ain't leavin a man behind. So it looks like we continue. Lead the way" He says with a smile

 No.709804

>>709799
>>709793

"Certainly we should keep moving, i'm sure we've almost caught up!"

 No.709805

>>709800
Cinder isn't sure whether the zebra is mocking her or simply being friendly. Her face does not change, but a small flicker of fire dances around her snoot for a split second. "Not that I saw, anyway. Could be I'm haunted by the spirit of bad decisions."

 No.709806

>>709800
I can't help it anymore and actually let myself let out a most unbecoming snort that turns into a chuckle. "Let's hope not. Undead on top of everything else wouldn't bode well for our rescue mission. I'm not even sure I'm prepared to fight ghosts." I pause. Unless she meant corpses. That's probably something we're more likely to run into, unfortunate as it may be.

>>709802
I ease some. "That's almost noble of you, Mr.Blackbriar. I commend you."

>>709804
"Exactly my thinking, Ms.Springs."

 No.709807

>>709805
Voleurz frowns, muttering under her breath "Bollocks, I'd kill for a corpse about now."

>>709806
"Oh right, exactly what I meant darling. I'd welcome some spirits, but cor do I hate when a cadaver isn't fully cadaved."

 No.709808

>>709794
You eventually spot a scrap of cloth hooked to a tree branch. She must have brushed against it without noticing. It's not much to go on, but at least it's leading somewhere.

>>709795
"Oh…" Dalliance deflates a little. "Well, we might as well keep looking! Right? We were on the right path before!"

He chuckles. "Everywhere's got a gimmick," he answers.

>>709800
Solar frowns. He doesn't seem to find it very funny. "How uncouth!" Dalliance comments.

>>709801
You walk face first into a spiderweb as you fall in line with the rest of the company. No sign of the spider, but you get the god awful feeling it's going to come back to haunt you.

>>709799
>>709801
>>709802
>>709804
>>709800
>>709797
You continue onwards, following Platinum's instincts after finding a scrap of cloth on a tree. Eventually, you come to a metaphorical crossroads: there is a misshapen cave half overgrown by vines that your quarry may have slunk into, but there is also signs of something having attempted to climb a particularly large tree nearby, although whether they were successful or not isn't clear. Alternatively, you could move on; straight ahead leads further downhill, where the forest grows yet darker. "I'll see what there is up ahead," Solar declares, moving onwards downhill for a bit. Dalliance looks to Voleurz for instructions on how to proceed.

 No.709809

>>709808
"That's what I'm saying! What's an escort doing out here, it's dangerous!" Voleurz nods in agreement with Dalliance.

"Dark or darker. Ooh, decisions decisions. I'm rather a fan of the cave myself, reckon I won't get pricked by thorns in there."

 No.709810

>>709808
"Well, one thing is certain. Someone should accompany him. Perhaps we should split up for the moment. I'll take someone -perhaps two someones- and one of my reflections to the cave-" My horn lights up as I attempt to summon three doubles.

[1d10+2]

"And I'll send two with the rest of the group. Would anyone care to join me?"

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.709811

>>709808
Cinder lets out a yelp as she walks into an icky spiderweb. Doing a sort of shuddering dance, she is momentarily engulfed in flames as she tries to shake off the nasty feeling of clingy crawlers all over her body.

She watches the others deciding where to search. "I'll take the cave," she pipes. Her hair bursts into controlled flame, offering a decent torchlight. "I brought my own light!" she adds helpfully.

 No.709812

>>709808
"Either settle down early or continue on down the road. I say we head to the cave until we get a sense of direction or something"

>>709810
"Ya mind if I join you?"

 No.709813

>>709809
I suppose you and Ms.Dalliance will join me in checking the cave, then?"

 No.709814

>>709812
>>709811
I let out a haughty little laugh. "Or I guess we all check the cave."

 No.709815

>>709814
"Nah you guys go ahead. I'll head into the woods. I want some time alone"

 No.709816

>>709810
>>709811
>>709813

Voleurz rubs her her chin, "Well with Cindy here that'd make four, we've got every wheel to a carriage then. Feathers, Cowboy, Sunny, and one of your twins can go the other way."

 No.709817

>>709815
"I don't think being alone is a good idea."
I state.

 No.709818

>>709817
"You just stay with the others. I'll be fine"

 No.709819

>>709815
>>709817
"Unless he's suicidal, no. You'd best not venture out alone. Go with the group, Mr.Blackbriar. You can get some 'alone time' when the job is done and we've returned to town."

 No.709820


 No.709821

>>709812
>>709814
>>709809

"You guys ever go SPELUNKING?" Cinder asks, obviously impressed with her own vocabulary. She repeats herself when no one seems to react.

"SPELUNKING?"

 No.709822


 No.709823

>>709821
"I- Ms.Fabrie, I don't believe our intention was to actually delve into the lower parts of the cave, were there any. We're just going to do a surface sweep unless any evidence points us deeper below ground."

 No.709824

>>709821
>>709819
Voleurz looks at Cinder, before whispering to Platinum,

"I'm not sure either of the new two are playing with a full deck."

 No.709825

>>709810
"Ooh, i'll come! Caves are usually full of water, i could use a drink!" i chime in, grinning as i prance in place, hooves audibly squishing against the ground.

 No.709826

>>709820
"I feel like you wanna tell me something. If ya do spit it out"

 No.709827

>>709824
I lean close to her, nod, and whisper back, "I would be inclined to agree. Perhaps we should keep a close eye."

 No.709828

>>709826
"I just wanna make sure you are not alone." I tilt my head.

 No.709829

>>709827
Voleurz snickers, "Need to take them off me then."

 No.709830

>>709828
"Care to join me then?" He offers and lowers his hat over his face

 No.709831

>>709825
At the mention that there might be water, Cinder seems suddenly less sure of the cave idea. It's a bit too late to change her mind now, though.

>>709823
She is somewhat relieved then, to reply to Vanity, "Of course not. There's probably dripping moisture down there. Mold, bugs…" she shudders, "..underground rivers…" She shakes her head, as if clearing her mind and dismissing the thought at the same time.

>>709827
>>709829
Cinder notices that the post unicorn and the shifty zebra have a rapport. She does not overhear their conversation.

 No.709832

>>709829
I cock an eyebrow and swish my tail, lightly brushing her with it. "Would that I could, Ms.Voleurz. Would that I could.

 No.709833

>>709832
Voleurz snorts, clearing her throat, "Then perhaps I should go and keep an eye on the pegasus then."

 No.709834

>>709830
"Will do" I sit next to you.

 No.709835

>>709834
"No time for sittin'. If you're gonna join me in my wanderings then ya best do so." He says and walks in a straight line among the trees

 No.709836

>>709835
I quietly follow behind.

 No.709837

>>709833
I freeze and my smile falters a little. That wasn't what I expected. "Though perhaps," I say, relaxing a little. "Given the case at hand I can manage."

 No.709838

>>709837
>>709808

"I'm sorry dear, I just seem to be too distracting."

Voleurz motions for Dalliance to follow her after Solar,

"Come dear knight, the forest expedition requires the fairer sex as well."

 No.709840

>>709839
My footfalls make little to no noise as we travel.

 No.709841

>>709838
I deflate a little but don't try to fight it. That would seem desperate, and, not only is that far from the case, but it would be quite unbecoming of a gentlecolt. I nod. "Then I suppose I'll bring two of my reflections with my group instead."

 No.709842

>>709840
"Tell me, how'd you end up traveling like this"

 No.709843

>>709810
You summon three dashing replicas of yourself to help with the search.

>>709809
"I… That's not…" Dalliance realizes there's no winning this one and falls silent.

>>709838
"Yes, ma'am!" Dalliance steps to and follows behind you dutifully.

>>709810
>>709825
>>709811
>>709838
You enter the cave, using Cinder's natural flames as a light source. It is cramped, the ceiling being uncomfortably low. You feel the crunching of what appear to be bones beneath your hooves as you walk, though mercifully, they seem to be from small animals. Nothing to worry about, yet.

After a bit, the cave seems to slope downwards sharply, and you struggle to maintain your footing due to the moss growing here. Dalliance catches her breath and nearly falls, letting out an involuntary yelp.

The cave goes on further than it looks from the entrance. Before long, you find yourselves in a much larger antechamber, big enough to stand up straight without fear of bumping your head. Dalliance freezes in place, her armor clanking to a halt. "Do you… hear something?"
>roll Perception

>>709835
>>709836
You quickly catch up with Solar as he scouts ahead. He is perched up on a tree branch, much like some overgrown bird, peering out into the forest. He looks back as you approach, motioning for you to be quiet. "There's something out here," he whispers, pointing out into the gloom. It's so dark here that it might as well be nighttime. There's little sound of wildlife nearby, no rustling of small creatures or calling of birds, nor the buzzing of insects. Something is amiss in the woods.
>roll Perception

 No.709844

>>709842
"The occasional want to wander and no place to settle down." I shrug.

 No.709845

>>709844
"But there's gotta be more than that"

 No.709846

>>709843
Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+4]

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12

 No.709847

>>709845
I shake my head

 No.709848

>>709843
Correction:

Those who are in the cave think they hear something shifting about in the gloom, like some large animal sticking to the shadows.

Dalliance, who has moved onwards following Voleurz into the forest, freezes in place as Solar calls for them to halt, her hoof moving to her estoc instinctively.

 No.709849

>>709843
I flinch as I feel the bones under my hooves, gingerly stepping around them to the best of my abilities. Animal or no, it's still disgusting. A feeling needles at the back of my neck. "If there are bones," I say. "Then there's likely something to have made the bones. A bit unnerving." Stopping at the noise, I flick my ear.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.709850

>>709843
Finally reaching solar he asks "What do ya see?"

>>709847
He lets out a long and drawn out sigh. Seeing something in Talon

 No.709851

>>709843
Having been following the group in search of cave water, i pause in the hunt to tilt a gooey ear around the cave.

[1d10] perception

"Huh? you hear something?"

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.709852

>>709843
>>709848
"I'd be surprised if there wasn't anything out here."

Voleurz muses, squinting out at the forest ahead.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.709853

>>709843
Cinder plods along, leaving a hoofprint trail of small flames among the bones on the cave floor. Once the ground becomes too damp to ignite, she still leaves a steaming blackened hole in the cave growth wherever her hoofs touch the ground.

When they reach an opening, she pauses and flares her flames higher to try to illuminate what she can.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.709854

>>709843
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.709855

>>709853
As you continue forward, the occasional sizzle from behind can be heard as the fires are snuffed out by goo.

"Ooh, you use fire magic! I've heard of it, but i've never seen it radiate out of a pony like that!"

"If i cast my water recover spells on you, would it make healing steam?"

 No.709856

>>709850
He shushes you, motioning for you to keep it down. "Something big," he whispers. "Got all the animals spooked."

>>709852
You see something long and black moving in the bushes.

>>709846
>>709854
You see something moving amidst the bushes and dead leaves, catching a glimpse of it in the forest gloom. Whatever it is, it's very long, it has a glossy outer shell, and it has way too many legs.

>>709852
>>709846
>>709854
Solar points out the moving thing to everyone that didn't see it. It's almost like a gigantic centipede, from what little you can see. The creature seems to be moving around the area in circles like a wolf, sizing you up, waiting for a good moment to try its luck.

>>709849
>>709851
>>709853
You can hear footsteps. Whatever it is, it's sticking to the darkness. You see a faint shadow flit away as Cinder flares up.

"RAAAAHHH!!" A sudden battle cry rings out and something swings at Platinum!
[1d10] Autocrit

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.709857

>>709856
"Think it can be scared off?"

 No.709858

>>709856
"Right, you guys stay back. Im gonna try luring the thing out in the open. If it attacks me that's your que to help." He says and walks towards the thing. Giving it a good and long stare

 No.709859

>>709855
The speaking goo addresses Cinder from behind.
"Y-yes, it's fire magic…" She clears her throat and tries again. "It's not really REAL magic, though. I just kind of… have it. I didn't really study magic or anything like that."

Upon mention of having water poured on her, Cinder suppresses a shudder. She does not know how to respond, and so doesn't.

 No.709860

>>709856
"Crikey, that bug is beastly."
Voleurz whispers, letting Jesse do his thing.

 No.709861

>>709855
"That sounds like it could be convenient. And relaxing. Like a nice sauna."

>>709859
"Well, whatever it is I have to admit, it's quite lovely. Though I suppose flames usually are when under control. I imagine coming from a lovely mare only multiplies their beau-"

>>709856
I yelp and stumble backwards, lighting my horn to cast a spell as I unsheathe my rapier.

 No.709862

>>709860
>>709858
Drawing his weapon he yells "Hey over here big fat n ugly!" and fires in the direction of the beast
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709863

>>709856
"Look out!"

forming a ball of water with some of my mass, i hurl it at the sound in the dark!
[1d10] Ranged

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709864

>>709856
Cinder is already engulfed in flame. She reacts immediately to the sound of a battle cry, turning toward Vanity and quickly moving toward him. She uses her momentum to throw herself, fiery front hooves first, at the unknown assailant.

[1d10] Unarmed, fire

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.709865

>>709857
Solar shrugs.

>>709858
Solar nods at you, giving you a gesture approximating a thumbs up.

>>709862
You fire at it, seeing the creature pause before poking its head out, rearing up like a cobra. It's a centipede, but unlike any you've ever seen, with a broad, leaf-like, armored body, mottled brown and black to blend in with the undergrowth. You seem to have shot it in the body, as it is oozing clear fluid. Surveying the situation, the predatory creature lunges at you with surprising speed.
[1d10+1]

>>709858
You manage to dodge out of the way instinctively, seeing a big iron shape swing at thin air.

>>709863
You hit the source dead on, sending whatever, or whoever, it is stumbling backwards into the stony wall.

>>709864
You miss your swing in the dark, but illuminate the attacker clearly now.

>>709861
>>709863
>>709864
The attacker is a tall, muscular minotaur with long brown fur that covers her eyes like bangs. She is wielding ablack iron hammer, and is heavily injured. Taking a moment to recover from Rainy's blast, she grits her teeth and brings the hammer down on Cinder.
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.709866

>>709865
"Alright time to dance!" He fires at the creature again running around and confusing it
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.709867

>>709865
"Alright Dalliance, for Princesses and Country."

Voleurz says with bravado, leaping into the fray and looking to swap places with Jesse.

Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 1, ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.
[1d10]
>enters stealth if successful

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.709868

>>709865
Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

Attempting to cover Jesse, I take a shot at the centipede.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

 No.709869

>>709865
Cinder yelps and tumbles out of the way. As she is rolling, the world slows down as a snippet of memory replays in her mind.

>"Say, Miss Fabrie." Dalliance speaks up. "You wouldn't have happened to have seen a minotaur girl around here, by chance? We're meant to be tracking her. She's the local smith's daughter, you see, and she went missing


Tumble to dodge [1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.709870

>>709865
A minotaur? She's a bit older than I'd anticipated. I take a couple of steps back. "One moment!" I shout. "We're not here to harm you! Actually, perhaps you're who we've been sent to find."

 No.709871

>>709870
[1d10+1]Diplomacy

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.709872

>>709866
Your bullet pings off its hard carapace, chipping it slightly. The centipede wheels around and grabs you in its chittering jaws, sinking its pincers into your leg in a vice grip, drawing blood. Your leg suddenly feels like it's on fire as the centipede administers venom.
>Jesse is grappled; roll to break free

>>709867
You aren't fast enough to jump in front of its lunge.

>>709868
As it rears up, you manage to hit it with a crossbow bolt in the underbelly. It chitters and flops down to the ground to protect itself.

>>709866
>>709867
>>709868
Dalliance draws her estoc. "For the Three!" she shouts valiantly, and stabs at the hideous thing.
[1d10]

Solar flies down to Voleurz's side. "Sword!" he demands, watching anxiously as it bites at Jesse.

With Jesse in tow, the centipede starts to retreat into the undergrowth.

>>709869
You dart out of the way of the attack. The minotaur's swings are clumsy due to her injuries, and she isn't really much of a threat.

>>709870
As you call out to her, the minotaur stops attacking, but doesn't lower her weapon. "You're… not with them?"

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.709873

>>709872
Jesse lets out a bloodcurdling cry for help and thrashes wildly amidst the injury he has sustained.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.709874

>>709872
Voleurz grabs at her belt for a weapon to throw at the centipede, almost throwing Solar's sword before turning around and harumphing.

"Fine, make yourself useful!"

She tosses her daggers instead, aiming for the bug.

> Blink Strike: weapon, ranged; Disperse a weapon into magical energy, shooting it off at an enemy or target location, stabbing and sticking into it. If used from Stealth or on an enemy that doesn’t know you’re there, they can’t retaliate after getting hit. The thrown weapon counts as a minion for Ethereal Jaunt.


[1d10] DC-1

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.709875

>>709872
Also: Jesse takes 3 hits

 No.709876

>>709872
"No!" I assure her, raising my voice more than I mean to. "No. We're actually here to rescue you. To guide you out of the forest. We were actually quite afraid you'd been abducted and taken to wherever those corrupted by the forest go."

 No.709878

>>709872
I wince and relax as I see her injuries. "Here. Let us help you. Ms.Springs, would you mind?"

 No.709879


 No.709880

>>709872
Cinder completes her roll, knowing as she lands on all 4 that this minotaur is not their enemy. She hears Vanity open discussion, and the doubt in the minotaur's voice gives the tell that this fight is over.
She lowers her flame to comfortable levels, trying to ease the tension with less threatening pyroclasm and more comfortable lighting.

She watches Vanity work his charismatic magic.

 No.709881

>>709872
I once more aim and take shot at the insect.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.709882

>>709873
You manage to kick it in the eye. It flinches momentarily and tosses you aside, coiling about almost snake-like to face the rest of the group.

>>709874
Your dagger pings off of it harmlessly.

>>709881
You take keen aim and shoot it right in the eye. It makes a high pitched trilling sound and thrashes mindlessly.

>>709873
>>709874
>>709881
Dalliance finds a weak spot in its exoskeleton and jabs at it. She jerks the sword out and squeals frightenedly as it flails at her with its little feet, backing off.

Solar grits his teeth and flies at it, aiming to skewer its other eye.
[1d10]

The centipede rears up to meet him, trying to snatch him in its venomous jaws.
[1d10+1]

>>709876
She continues to breathe heavily, eventually lowering the war hammer. "Thought you were more of those yellow eyed bastards," she growls. "Well, I won't turn down a helping hand. Let's get out of here. Do… do you know the way out? I got pretty lost…"

>>709876
>>709880
"I'm Anna, by the way," the minotaur says, clutching her side. "But you already knew that, I'm guessing."

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8

 No.709883

>>709882
Jesse flops to the ground painfully but still raises his weapon in order to help the others

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.709884

>>709882
"Can you lay down and die already please?" I take another shot at the centipede.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.709885

>>709882
I nod. "Indeed I do. I believe I can find my way out of the forest. First we must regroup with our companions, though. Pleased to make your acquaintence, Ms.Anna. My name is Platinum Vanity."

 No.709886

>>709882
Cinder is quick to come to the minotaur's aide as soon as the weapon is lowered. She rushes over and offers a hoof, open for a shake or a hug, whichever is offered.

"Anna, we're so glad you're okay. I'm Cinder. We're gonna make sure you get home safe, okay?"

 No.709887

>>709882
Voleurz scowls, down with throwing the weapons and electing to rush at the centipede with her karambit.

[1d10+1] DC-1 basic attack

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.709888

>>709882
Not entirely sure what else to do, the double makes an attempt to reer back and buck the big bug.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.709889

>>709883
You can't hold your aim for too long, and you miss your shot.

>>709884
Your bolt clatters to the ground, plinking off of its exoskeleton.

>>709887
You leap on top of it like it's a rodeo bull, stabbing at the cracks in its carapace repeatedly. It writhes violently as it tries to knock you off.
[1d10]

>>709888
The centipede lashes out with one of its legs, knocking the double into a tree.
>Double C takes 5 hits, helpless

>>709883
>>709884
>>709887
>>709888
Solar cuts into its head, but it grabs him and thrashes him about like a chew toy before beginning to retreat with him in tow. He cries out in pain and kicks and rails against the monstrous arthropod.
[1d10]

Dalliance hisses in alarm as it begins to take Solar, charging up her horn before firing a blue bolt at it.
[1d10] [1d10] Magic Bolt

>>709885
>>709886
Anna shakes Cinder's hoof. She has an extremely strong grip, inadvertently almost crushing the poor kirin's leg in her vice grip. "Let's get out of here then," she nods. "Lead the way, fancypants," she says to Platinum.

>pausing


Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 10 = 10 / Roll #3 5 = 5 / Roll #4 8 = 8

 No.710211

>>709889

Cinder rubs her hoof, giving the minotaur a long respectful look. She thanks her lucky stars that would be the extent of the injuries sustained in this fight, and limps toward the exit to the cave. Her flames light up the hallway they arrived through as they begin the journey back to the surface.

 No.710213

>>709889
Flowing over to the injured Minotaur, i assess her wounds before tossing a water orb above her, the sphere bursting at it's height.

[1d10] Heal(Water)

"Oh, how terrible! You must have been in a real struggle before taking shelter here. Let me try and heal you.."

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.710215

>>709889
"Oh, did that sting?" Voleurz grins sadistically, stabbing under the insect's carapace numerous times as she rides it, "Just one piece at a time, sweet-thing!"
[1d10+1] Dc-1 basic attack

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.710227

>>709889

I grunt shooting agaim.


Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.710232

>>709889
Jesse takes aim for a final time and fires at the creature cursing it's name

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.710233

>>710213
You just drench Anna from head to toe. She flinches, shaking herself off like a dog, shivering from the cold. "What the hell?! What was that for!"

>>710211
>>710213
You start heading back out of the cave, making your way up and to the surface. Back in the woods, you can hear the rest of the group engaged in a fight with… something. You're not sure what. Anna's ear flicks, pulling out her hammer, ready for another fight. You notice that the hammer she's using is just an ordinary blacksmith's hammer modified to have a longer handle.

>>710215
You cling on for dear life, stabbing it numerous times in the back, sinking your blade into its flesh again and again. It makes a horrible shrill squealing noise and thrashes about.

>>710227
You shoot it in the fleshy underside. Clear fluid starts leaking from the wound.

>>710232
You shoot it right in the eye, blinding it for good. It snaps blindly at its surroundings, completely disoriented.

>>710215
>>710227
Dalliance's magic bolt hits the centipede right in the face, giving Solar time to escape, slashing at its underbelly as he does so. Clacking its jaws, the heavily wounded centipede retreats, laying low and scurrying into the undergrowth. Dalliance lets out a sigh of relief, sheathing her estoc. "We did it. We… we actually did it! Great work, team! Are you alright, Mr Flair?" she asks with concern. Solar looks up and nods with a grimace. "I'm… fine. Damn thing got me in the leg…"

Dalliance looks about. "Well, it doesn't look like the blacksmith's daughter is here. Maybe we should keep looking? Though, we might not want to leave the others behind…"

 No.710235

>>710233
"Take that you damn centipede." Jesse says and lays his head down exhaustively.

 No.710236

>>710233
I pat flair on the head. "Do you need to be carried" I tilt my head.

 No.710238

>>710233
Seeing the goo pony produce a surprising amount of water from within her and direct it at Anna, Cinder jumps in alarm. Just then she hears the sounds of combat, and the adrenaline from her surprise fluidly transforms into a gallop down the hill and towards the others. Her mane flares up wildly, betraying her fear.

 No.710242

>>710233
Voleurz lands on her rump, kicked off the bug.

"Bugger all, could've killed the beast if it hadn't bucked me off. All well, least it never bit me. Let's hope it isn't poisonous eh?"

She winks.

 No.710245

>>710233
With no telltale shimmer of magic, i stomp a hoof wetly onto the stone floor.

"Oh, no, that's no good. I could have sworn that was enough power!"

flattening out to reabsorb the water from the botched spell, i follow behind the others.

"That was recovery magic, but there wasn't enough charge to make it work.. Still learning how to focus my spells, so forgive me if you end up soaked!" i add, offering a gooey smile.

 No.710246

>>710242
"No it's definitely venomous." He winces and clutches his wounded leg

 No.710249

>>710235
Your leg feels like it's on fire, but you get the feeling it'll pass, eventually.

>>710236
He shakes his head, leaning on his sword like a crutch. "I can… walk it off…"

>>710238
You reunite deeper into the forest, where you find the rest of the group recovering after a battle with some sort of monster.

>>710245
She scowls and keeps shaking herself off, grumbling indistinctly.

>>710235
>>710236
>>710238
>>710242
>>710245
You are all reunited in the woods, the cave exploration group bringing with them a young female minotaur with bangs, presumably the blacksmith's daughter. She introduces herself to the rest of the group as Anna. Dalliance and Solar introduce themselves to her in turn, the former looking excited at having accomplished what they set out to do.

"Hurray!" says Dalliance. "Mission success! Now we just need to get back home. …Er…" she looks around the dark, seemingly endless woods. "Which way IS home, exactly?" She looks nervous. "Beats me," Anna shrugs. "I'm just following you guys." "Whole place looks the same," Solar comments. "Could be any which way."

 No.710252

>>710249
"Did anyone happen to notice landmarks or a position?" He asks and looks up at the sky

 No.710253

>>710249
Cinder rushes to Solar, worried that he is alright and guilty about leaving him alone. She stops a short distance away, still flickering flames all through her mane. "Are you alright?? What happened??" She does a sort of trotting nervous dance in place.

At the mention of not knowing the way back, she begins to worry. She knows which basic direction her original rendezvous with the party was, but before that she was wandering aimlessly and has no idea which way is which.

 No.710254

>>710249
I tilt my head and look around.

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+4]

Roll #1 9 + 4 = 13

 No.710256

Cinder squints reeeeeeal hard through the blackness surrounding her in every direction.

Navigation [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.710257


 No.710258

>>710249
With newfound determination, i lob another water ball above her, the contents busting into a small shower.

"You'll feel much better, this time for sure!"
[1d10] Heal(water)

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.710259

>>710249
"This is why I prefer traveling along the roads." Voleurz mutters, looking around for the way back.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.710261

>>710259
"But where's the fun in that?"

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.710264

>>710253
"We were out looking for Miss Anna here, and we got attacked by a horrible beetle creature," Dalliance explains. "We only just managed to fend it off!"

>>710252
"This whole damn place is just trees," Solar growls, but does his best to try and find something that looks familiar.

>>710256
You find that Solar's right, and the whole place all looks the same no matter where you go.

>>710258
"Would you STOP that?!" she barks angrily as you splash her again.

>>710259
You find a familiar looking tree stump, which leads you into a brighter, more open part of the forest.

>>710254
>>710261
After Voleurz leads the group into a more open area, you spot a fallen tree nearby, which in turn leads you to the stream you crossed earlier. You're on the right track to get back home.

>>710252
>>710253
>>710254
>>710258
>>710259
Jesse and Talon lead the way, bringing you to a familiar stream, and beyond it, the old road leading back to Moonhollow. Dalliance perks up. "Let's get going! Your father will be happy to see you, won't he, miss Anna?" She just grumbles and adjusts her grip on her sledgehammer. "Should keep an eye on the paths," Solar muses. "Those bandits might try and jump us again…"
>roll Perception

 No.710267

>>710264
Jesse looks around through the trees and appears to see something. Despite this he keeps walking

 No.710269

>>710264
My reflections have since dissipated, and I lag a little behind the group, watching the rear while the others lead the way. "It would be most unfortunate to get this far only to fall into an ambush," I say. "And that sounds simply dreadful, Ms.Dalliance. I'm quite glad you managed to fend it off. Perhaps we shouldn't have split up, but I fear we'd have missed poor Ms.Anna here had we not."

 No.710270

>>710267
Roll pls

 No.710271

>>710269
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.710272

>>710270
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.710273

>>710264
My eyes are kept open as we travel.

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4

 No.710274

Seeing Rainy's repeated dousing of Anna, Cinder is a bit shocked. Without context it seems a bit like she's just splashing water on another creature on purpose. A cold shiver runs down her spine. Cinder does not like getting wet. Cinder is increasingly afraid that this … gooey monstrosity with supposed "healing powers," with the goofy grin and bubbling attitude, is going to Get. Her. Wet.

She leaves a trail of smoldering hoofprints behind her as slightly more flame than is necessary for light hovers around her mane.


Cinder plods along with the group, glancing nervously around her. There are sometimes worse things than a dousing.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.710275

>>710264
"Sorry! It looks like i put too much into it that time, next try will patch you up.. hopefully."

looking concerned, i reabsorb some of the water and move on, keeping an eye out for ambushes.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.710277

>>710264
"Well given now we have a proper party with us, I certainly hope so. Gods know my pockets need a bit more lining."

Voleurz muses, keeping an eye out.
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.710278

>>710274
"Ya look awfully scared, what for?"

 No.710279

>>710278
Cinder glances sidelong at the cowpony as he walks with her.

"Being scared isn't a bad thing. Being unprepared, that's the problem."

Besides, she isn't scared. Is she?

 No.710281

>>710279
"What makes ya think we're unprepared? In my experience just about anything can be used to make you prepared"

 No.710282

>>710281
She crinkles her brow and raises her eyebrow, stifling a smile at Jesse's cryptic words. She has been in the business long enough to know that tough words aren't what makes the difference in the moment. "I just happen to run a little hot in tense situations, is all. You'll be happy I do when cr*p hits the fan."

 No.710283

>>710271
>>710272
>>710273
>>710274
>>710275
>>710277
Voleurz and Jesse hear a faint scream from nearby, and motion for the rest of the group to be quiet. For a moment, you can't hear anything, but then the voice rings out again.

"HELP ME!"

It seems to be coming from off the road, somewhere in between all the trees. Dalliance perks up. "Someone in trouble! We should go help them!" Solar looks uncomfortable. "Smells like a trap to me. I say we keep moving." Anna just follows behind quietly, clutching her side.

 No.710285

>>710283
"Well it probably is but I'm willin' to take a chance. So; anyone feelin' brave?" He asks with a slight smile

 No.710286

>>710283
"Does anyone recognize that voice?" I ask no one in particular.

 No.710287

>>710283
"I agree with the minotaur, let's head out there and find the damsel in distress."

Voleurz winks to Dalliance,

"Should it be an ambush, that's just more reason to prevent the next travelers from being tricked by dispatching these brigands."

 No.710288

>>710283
Using a pair of pseudopods, i gently maneuver a water orb above Anna's head while she's distracted, focusing my magic before bursting the sphere onto her.

[1d10] Heal(water)

"Ohh, we should help, if we can! I can keep us safe if things get worse, promise!"

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.710289

Cinder's first instinct is to run to the sound of someone in trouble, but perks her ears toward Solar as he speaks. She walks cautiously toward the sound, trying to find an opening she might be able to see. She is unwilling to rush off alone, leaving hurt party members behind.

She flares her mane into a tall, bright flame to try and see, or illuminate for others to see.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.710290

>>710289
"Looks like we got a volunteer" He jokes and runs after the Kirin. Although keeps his distance from the blaze

 No.710294

>>710283
>>710285
>>710286
>>710287
>>710288
>>710289
>>710290
I nod and follow toward the plea for help. "Seems we're all in agreement, then. Most of us, at least. Delightful."

 No.710295

>>710287
*agree with the pegasus

 No.710302

>>710285
"Not really," says Anna. Solar looks wary. "I got a bad feeling about this."

>>710286
Anna shrugs, while Solar shakes his head. "It's no one I know," says Dalliance, blinking.

>>710287
Solar sighs a little in resignation. "Alright. Let's go die." He follows behind you, still limping a little from the centipede attack.

>>710288
Anna cries out in protest, but then settles down as she realizes it's actually working. The big gash on her side heals, as do her scrapes and bruises. "Huh. …Thanks."

>>710289
In your haste, you get tangled in a cluster of vines, and have to hang back a bit to burn them off and free yourself.

>>710294
>>710289
>>710288
>>710287
>>710286
>>710285
You keep moving towards the sound of the voice. It sounds like a woman in distress.

"HELP MEEEEEEEEE!!"

"Don't worry madam! We'll save you!" says Dalliance valiantly, leading the detour into the woods. As you move, you come across the source of the screaming, a young dark-furred mare, seemingly having collapsed in the middle of a thicket. She doesn't move as you approach, face down in the middle of all the undergrowth. "Are… are you alright?" Dalliance calls out. "Are you injured?"

"HEEEEELP MEEEE!"

Solar shakes his head, backing away. "What the hell is this?…" Anna looks frightened, clutching her hammer with bone-white knuckles, eyes darting around the area.

 No.710304

>>710302
"Don't worry I got ya." He says calmly and attempts to pull the mare out of the thicket

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.710306

>>710302
Unsure what to do in this situation I look around past the thicket surrounding us.

Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10

 No.710307

>>710302
Cinder faux-curses to herself under her breath as she deals with the d*rn underbrush for what feels like the thousandth time today. She loses patience and burns her way through a bush or two, careful to not leave anything but a dull smolder behind her as she goes. It wouldn't do to start a forest fire, after all.

As she catches up with the group, she eyes with mistrust as some of the group move in closer than she would like. Something stinks, and bad. She keeps her signal fire burning to light the surrounding area, well aware that makes her a target. She eyes the surroundings as best she can with the light she produces from her body.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.710309

>>710302
"Ah, there we go! I knew it would work."

nodding in satisfaction, i focus my attention on the wounded mare.

"Goodness me, are you alright?"
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.710311

>>710307
"Can ya help by burning away a couple of these thickets?"

 No.710320

>>710302
"Dalliance..? My orders, stay away from mare. Something isn't right here. Not the trap sort not right.."

Voleurz says, hairs staying up on the back of her neck.

 No.710325

>>710306
You notice something very wrong. It's hard to notice at first glance, but instead of a lower half, the mare has a solid, pitch black rope-like body like a snake, leading off into the bushes. There's something hiding there.

>>710320
Dalliance looks like she's about to go help, but as you command her, she hangs back, albeit reluctantly. "Y-yes ma'am!"

>>710304
>>710309
>>710307
>>710306
>>710320
"HEEEEEELP MEEEEE…"

As Rainy and Jesse approach, the mare rears up. You see that it's not just her fur that's dark: her entire body is pitch black, her eyes a solid, gleaming yellow. She rears up limply, almost like a rag doll, and her eyes begin to glow and strobe violently, her bedraggled mane flowing about wildly, almost like a ghost. They find their minds overwhelmed as they look into them.
>both of you roll to resist hypnosis

The bushes begin to stir, and an enormous, terrible creature appears. It looks like some sort of hooded cobra, but its entire body is covered in a pitch black substance, enveloping it almost like a coat. From the cobra "hood", a pale yellow glow can be seen, and it has several spindly appendages running along its belly. The mare is attached to its tail, almost like the lure of an anglerfish.

"mmmmmMEEEEEEEEE…."

At the sight of it, Solar goes wide eyed, standing slack-jawed in place despite not being near the Blighted mare. Anna cries out in fear and readies her hammer, while Dalliance loses her nerve a little and backs away, hoof trembling as she unsheathes her estoc.

The creature reaches out with one of its many appendages, black strings shooting out and beginning to ensnare Solar, who just stands there helplessly. It's almost like a spider enveloping its prey, passing him daintily from limb to limb, enveloping him in a black cocoon. It pays little attention to the rest of you as it works.

 No.710331

>>710325
With the creature invading what could count as a mind for a goo, i try to force myself to look away from the spell!
[1d10] Resist

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.710335

>>710325
"One thing after another, I wonder what you will taste like." I aim and take shot at the head of the beast.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

Reflex Shot: recharge 1, requires ranged weapon; Deals double damage as well as suffers double counterattack damage. Can be used while helpless, but on fail while helpless recharge is set to 3.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.710339

>>710325
Cinder sees Solar getting enveloped by the black mass of a disgusting creature. She stares slackjawed for a moment, unable to move for terror. But quickly she recovers, channeling her flame into a devastating pyre.
"Don't touch Solar FLAAARE!" Her eyes glow as she erupts into flame.

Three bright fireballs fly from her towards the creature.

Storm Bolt (crit fail 3-) [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.710341

>>710325
"Here we go again. Come at me big, slimy, n ugly!" He yells and attempts to fight it

[1d10] Resist
[1d10] Attack

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

 No.710346

>>710325
"Not but once have I stood in fear as nakedly as this…"

Voleurz shudders as her instincts prove true, flinching and throwing a dagger at the anglercobra without much aim.

[1d10] Blink Strike, DC-1

"D-Dalliance, shield your eyes. I shan't be losing you again. See if you cannot work your way around the beast while it has it's attention on us!"

She commands, shakily holding a combat position.

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.710355

>>710331
You feel yourself losing all sensation for a moment, but you manage to force yourself to look away, resisting the hypnotic strobe from the mare lure's eyes.

>>710335
You fire at it. Your bolt sinks into the blackness enveloping it. The creature, whatever it is, doesn't even seem to notice.

>>710339
You burst into flame, turning into your Nirik form as you conjure three orbs of fire, hurling them all at the snake-like creature in rapid succession like snowballs. This seems to get the beast's attention, and it it flinches as they burst on its surface. A horrific acrid smell fills the air. The monster swings its tail around, shoving the mare in your face. Her eyes light up again, strobing hypnotically
>roll to resist, instant action

>>710341
You shield your eyes from the hypnotic glare, spinning around your revolver and unloading bullets into its body. It wields the blighted corpse like a club, bludgeoning you in retaliation.
[1d10]

>>710346
Your dagger goes into the bushes. Dalliance swallows and nods. "I'll try and hold it with a magic spell!" she says, galloping around to flank it.

>>710331
>>710335
>>710339
>>710341
>>710346
"hhHHHHHEEEeeeeLLLLlllLLppPPpppp…"
The black strands enveloping Solar begin to retreat into the creature's body, pulling him into it. The torso opens up like a maw, revealing a blinding yellow light within as it envelops him. Anna finds her nerve and lurches towards the creature, swinging her sledgehammer at the lure.
[1d10]

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

 No.710360

>>710355
"Solar!" He screams and runs at the creature after getting hit with the blighted.
[1d10]
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.710361

>>710355
I snort irritated, and change up my plan.

Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns.

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.710364

>>710355
Cinder lurches in disgust as the doppelganger shoves itself before her, wresting her eyes away from its hideous, pulsating gaze.

resist [1d10]

She launches two more quick balls of fire into the mare's face.

Storm Bolt (crit 2-)[1d10]

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

 No.710366

>>710355
Shaking away the hypnotic attack, i form a water ball, launching it towards the creature's mass!
[1d10] Ranged

"Ohh, Solar! Somepony grab him, quick!"

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.710368

>>710355
"If that bloody thing starts speaking with Solar's voice as soon as it takes him in, I refuse to stick around. This place suffers not folk as fair as myself."

She shudders, watching the new kirin fall victim to the hypnotic gaze.

"Oh no you don't love, get away from that horrific slag!"

She runs over and butts into the kirin, making sure the beast is no longer gazing at her.
>Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 2 Recharge 1, spell , ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.710372

>>710360
You fire at it, drawing its full attention this time. Two razor sharp appendages lash out at you.
[1d10+1]
[1d10+1]

>>710361
You fly up and bring down some vines, ensuring it'll get tangled if it moves any closer.

>>710364
Your shots go wide as you become overwhelmed by the hypnotic glow. You find yourself unable to move, staring into its eyes blankly.
>roll to snap out of it

>>710366
It flinches as the watery orb slams into it, letting out a low, guttural rattle.

>>710368
You're too late; Cinder has already fallen prey to the hypnosis.

>>710360
>>710361
>>710364
>>710366
>>710368
The corpse-lure is slammed into the ground by Anna, flopping about horribly. The creature doesn't seem to mind, and focuses on ensnaring Cinder this time, sending out more black strands.

Anna continues her attacks.
[1d10]

Dalliance tries to conjure a barrier around Jesse.
[1d10] Protective Bubble

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #3 6 = 6 / Roll #4 2 = 2

 No.710375

>>710372
Cinder finds herself encompassed by a glowing light, centered at first around the eyes of the mannequin pony but quickly spreading to completely surround her in a dirty yellow glowing darkness.

Snap out of it [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.710378

>>710372
Shifting around the fight to avoid the rush of attacks, i form an orb with a watery limb, before sending it over Jesse!
[1d10] Heal(water), Jesse

"Cinder, Look out!"

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.710379

>>710372
Unsure where to shoot to hurt the creature, I aim from the air for its arms.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

 No.710380

>>710372
Now having it's attention Jesse soars into the air and unleashes his hail of bullets

Trained Talent: Jesse takes a turn to focus on an enemy, then deals 1d4+5 damage to them the turn after that. Recharge 3. Effect is canceled and put on cooldown if Jesse is knocked helpless before it triggers.

[1d4+5]

Roll #1 3 + 5 = 8

 No.710381

>>710372
>>710375
She jams her brightly glowing eyes shut, temporarily dropping the surrounding forest into darkness. The nirik violently shakes her head, spreading flames as if oily particles off her mane as she does so.

Her headlights-for-eyes open, fully illuminating the beast for all to see. She tries to take a good look at it, knowing that everything she sees is lit up brightly.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.710383

>>710372
My stomach sinks as I see the thing and I feel my knees grow weak. Was that some poor mare? Swallowing, I steel myself. You've seen worse, Platinum. You're an adventurer. Better to run into something like this than to leave someone in need because of caution. My horn lights up as I fire a magical bolt at the creature.

[1d10+1][1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11

 No.710384

>>710372
"Bugger all, well there goes Mr. Sunshine."

Voleurz groans, throwing her karambit at the beast's hood.

>Rhythm and Rhyme: Blink, Jaunt

[1d10+2] Blink Strike, DC-1

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.710388

File: 1548919981563.png (2.7 KB, 500x250, Oekaki.png)

>>710375
You manage to come to, only just avoiding the grasping tendrils shooting out of the thing.

>>710378
Your orb gets swatted by the flailing lure, bursting ineffectively.

>>710379
You hit one of the arms swiping at Jesse, and it… disintegrates? Perhaps that's not the right word. It's more like it just vanishes as soon as you hit it, not into dust like killing a Blight but more like one minute it's there, and the next it's not. Like it just pops out of existence. Either way, the creature seems wounded by this, swinging the corpse upwards and trying to hypnotize you.
>roll to resist, instant action

>>710380
You fly up out of its reach and focus for a moment, taking careful aim.

>>710381
You take a moment to size up the monstrous thing. It seems that the black oily coating it has is protecting the yellow glow within, where Solar is being held. What this creature was before becoming Blighted is beyond you.

>>710383
A huge missile of blue and white energy bursts forth, impacting on its surface.

>>710384
The karambit hurtles through the air, tearing through the hood like paper. The beast flinches, lurching towards you all of a sudden, jabbing at you with a single powerful blade-like appendage.
[1d10+2]

>>710375
>>710378
>>710379
>>710380
>>710383
>>710384
As it lurches towards Voleurz, the beast become ensnared by Talon's trap, restraining it momentarily. It rips and tears at its bindings as best it can.
[1d10]

Anna takes the opportunity to keep pummeling its tail.
[1d10]

Dalliance screws up her face as she focuses, trying to restrain the monster with telekinesis.
[1d10+2]

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

 No.710390

>>710388
I shake my head seeing the creature hypnotic gaze, and attempt to take aim once again on the limbs.

Surveyor: passive; You have keen eyes when flying on high. While flying you can give either an ally or yourself +1 to ranged attacks and skills.

[1d10] resist
[1d10+1]

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

 No.710392

>>710384
"Perhaps he's not totally gone?" I say. My voice conveys even less confidence than my words, and my body quakes.


>>710388
I draw my rapier and charge, lunging at its face.

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.710393

File: 1548920578938.png (172.04 KB, 288x340, da27d541c4ec792f837d2fa3f3….png)

>>710388
"Oh crikey, not having that."

Voleurz ducks under the blade, sliding under it to get herself closer to the creature.

>Ethereal Jaunt: Recharge 1, ranged; Latch yourself or an ally to a friendly minion within sight, swapping their places. If used in combat, attacks that were targeted on either of the swappers change to the other.

[1d10+1]

>Enter stealth if successful


Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.710394

>>710388
Jesse goes in for a divebomb directly on the thing's facial region. Getting close he unloads every bullet and flies out of reach to reload

 No.710395

>>710388
Cinder has seen pictures of the Blighted. They were part of her orientation for taking this mission. Mostly she was goofing off and trying to make Solar Flair laugh while this information was presented to her. She is utterly unprepared for this nightmare visage. A part of her wishes she had paid better attention, or took the job more seriously. It just all seemed less serious when it wasn't shoving a poorly mimicked pony in distress with hypnotic abilities in your face.

She takes aim at the base of the beast, where it holds its weight. She doesn't know about this monster, but she knows about fire, and she knows that things burn best from the foundation up. Throwing herself into a tumble, she becomes a burning fireball headed straight into the thicket, leaving open flame in her path.

Tumble [1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.710400

>>710390
Your shot goes wide as you find yourself unable to move, subdued by the strobing lights. You fall out of the sky and onto the ground, unable to look away.
>roll to break free

>>710392
You stab where its head should be, piercing the arching hood and tearing upwards, leaving a long, fluttering gash in it. It flails at you, but is unable to free itself of the vines trapping it.

>>710393
You dash forward and slide right under it, getting right up in its oily, glossy outer coating. The limb slams into the ground behind you, the ground quaking slightly from the sheer force of it.

>>710394
With a full chamber, you take aim and fan the hammer point blank, unloading all six shots into it and tearing the hood region to ribbons. It flails and squirms horribly as you turn it into Swiss cheese.

>>710395
You hurtle forward and leap at the beast, your body bursting into flame as you tuck yourself into a cannonball, slamming into the tail. You seize the momentum and propel yourself off of it into the thicket, doing a tactical combat roll forward to get back on your hooves. The thicket is set ablaze, and you pose dramatically as you admire your handiwork.

>>710390
>>710392
>>710393
>>710394
>>710395
Between Cinder's spin dash and Jesse's point blank shredding of the creature, it is severely weakened. Freeing itself from the vines, it begins to retreat with Solar still captive.

The results of Cinder's powerful attack are that the tip of its tail is burnt through, the Blighted mare, flopping lifelessly to the ground. At first nothing happens, but then she pulls herself up, silently launching herself on all fours and pouncing animalistically at the closest living thing; in this case, Cinder. "HELP ME…"
[1d10]

Dalliance doesn't miss a beat in chasing after the creature, rearing up on her hind legs dramatically and firing off a magic bolt.
[1d10] [1d10]

Anna, exhausted both from her existing injuries and the fight, takes a knee for a moment to catch her breath.

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 7 = 7

 No.710401

>>710400
Paralyzed in the light I attempt to snap out of it to get back into combat.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.710403

>>710401
And if I do, I take a shot at the fleeting creature.

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.710404

>>710400
Voleurz laughs defiantly as she lands the dodge, grabbing her karambit and grinning devilishly.

"Enough lolly-gagging. Now I aim for the heart!"

She fetches the karambit and tosses it again, her eyes glinting with power.

[1d10+2] DC-1 Blink Strike. Autocrits due to Stealth

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.710405

>>710400
Cinder lands on all fours in the thicket on the other side of the beast from her friends, huffing steaming breath after breath. The tail/mare bit of the monster jumps at her, but the firey pony is ready. She dodges nimbly, causing more fire as she circles the perimeter of what she sees as just out of the monster's range. She dances to stay close even as it attempts retreat.

Her eyes alight on the silhouette of Solar Flair, trapped inside the beast's shadow. Her eyes darken to pinpoint laser-beams, lighting on whatever bulk lies beneath the murk. A loud BANG is heard as three blinding bursts emerge from her pupils and travel into the heart of the beast.

Storm Bolt (critfail 3-)[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.710410

>>710401
>>710403
After a moment, you come to, patting the sides of your head lightly to get back into it. Pulling out your crossbow, you fire a bolt at it, but it goes wide, as you're still a little dizzy.

>>710404
You hurl the karambit almost like a boomerang. It spins through the air, glinting dramatically before hooking into the creature's back, sinking deep into the oily coat. It writhes and falters.

>>710405
Crackling with flame, you focus on the beast and fire bolt after bolt of flame at it. It flinches, staggers, and eventually, collapses, succumbing to its injuries.

>>710401
>>710404
>>710405
As the terrible beast falls, spidery cracks begin to appear over its body, and it crumbles to black dust, just like the other Blights the party have seen so far. The mare too turns to dust, throwing herself at Cinder but bursting as she hits the ground. As the dust settles, you find something strange; a spherical, pale yellow orb, radiating the yellow light you saw, but strangely cold to the touch. You cannot look at it for too long, as the light seems to hypnotize you.

Dalliance breathes a sigh of relief as the creature collapses, running over to the released Solar. He seems to be in a catatonic state, pupils wide and glazed, but alive. It's like he was put into a coma. Anna slumps against a tree log, eyes wide in disbelief at all she just witnessed.

>pausing

 No.710748

>>710410
https://pastebin.com/QNpEKXey

with the creature dissolving into nothing, i quickly surge over to Solar, spreading out a pool of water around him as i channel magic into the circle.

"H-hold on, Solar! Let me try to help!"

[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.710750

https://pastebin.com/fWLLhVDq

>>710410
Cinder's flames recede immediately as she senses that the beast is beat. She tries to catch the pony at the tip of the tail, hoping to save another blighted, but gasps as the puppet dissolves into fine powder.

The kirin turns to the others, still huffing and puffing. They seem to be intact, if a bit winded from the fight. She turns back to the cinders of the defeated Blight, a halfway cocooned Solar Flair struggling in the midst of the carnage. She goes to him.

"Solar?? SOLAR??" She is keeping desparation out of her voice while communicating urgency. Trying to tear off the bits of sticky carapace that have not fully dissolved takes her full attention, before she can stop herself to really look and see if he is okay.

 No.710755

>>710410
"Smashing, one less terrifying creature in the world and everyone's fine and dandy with not worse than a scratch."

Voleurz dusts herself, looking at Solar before amending her sentence,

"Eh, almost everyone, but he was hardly fit to begin with. Been acting mad since we rescued him, so could even be considered an improvement."

She muses to herself, smirking as she goes and snatches up the orb before anyone else, sticking it under her hat.

"Bit like an oversized pearl, innit? Draws the eyes. Couple dozen more of these and we'll have enough to string around me sow of an aunt's neck! Always did love her pearls."

 No.710759

>>710755
Cinder notes the shifty zebra from earlier pocketing (hatting?) the strange treasure and rationalizing it out loud to nobody in particular. She rolls her eyes. In her experience, greed tends to balance itself out. It's a zero sum game; you lose when you win, you win when you lose. So she doesn't worry about where this probably radioactive orb ends up; she trusts that the fate it faces now will end up being for the better one way or another.

>>710748
A splash of water lands on Solar as she turns her attention momentarily away. Cinder turns to the goo pony, standing there looking silly after having repeatedly doused her companions.

"What the h*ck is your problem, anyway?"

 No.710763

>>710759

"Ohh i'm trying to heal them, but i can't control my spells! I don't have the training the others have, my focus isn't there.." i reply, sinking into a bigger pool of water underhoof.

 No.710765

>>710410
I slowly walk over to the dust from the creature, curious. I kneel down and scoop some up and eat it.

 No.710766

>>710410
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.710767

>>710763
Cinder stares for a long moment. She is trying to decide whether or not to take this gooey creature at face value. First of all, it's too cute to be mean, so putting water on people was probably not an act of malice. Secondly, the other persons in her group seem to accept her and let her keep trying her magic, which points to the fact that it probably does work…. sometimes. Lastly, and most importantly, she has the self awareness to realize that *getting wet* was probably not as terrible for other ponies as herself. She HATES it whereas other ponies seem to merely feel inconvenienced and uncomforted by the same dousing. She sighs and responds.

"Sorry if I was harsh." She thinks to add, "I don't like getting wet. Please don't put water on me."

>>710410
She turns back to the ruined Blighted creature and Solar.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.710768

https://pastebin.com/fY6usYJq
>>710410
I take a step back as the thing crumbles, wrinkling my nose at the sight. Steeling my resolve, I rush over with Dalliance, but stand back a little as everyone else seems to approach too. Don't want to crowd the poor fellow. "How is he?" I ask.

>>710755
I glance over at Voleurz, but don't say anything. A pony was almost killed and digested before our eyes. Slaying monsters and fighting blighted is one thing, but she's being so casual about a preventable casualty. I clear my throat and turn my attention back to Solar. "Well, once we get him back to town we can figure out what to do. I don't wish to linger any longer than necessary and risk another attack from such a foul creature. It remains to be seen if that's a magical or psychological catotonia. "

 No.710769

>>710768
"Think it laid eggs in him?"

Voleurz ask, her attention is turned when Platinum clears his throat.

 No.710770

>>710767
"Hmm.. my magic is in the water, which will probably get you wet, but i'll try!" The goo cheerfully replies.

"Maybe i could pool it under you, or poke you with a stream of it.. no no, that would still count.." she adds, muttering to herself as she continues to channel around Solar.

 No.710771

>>710768
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.710773

>>710748
You try to cast a spell to bring him out of it, but no luck. It's like he's still hypnotized, or in some sort of coma.

>>710750
>>710768
No response from him. He's alive, but limp as a boned fish and staring blankly out at nothing, slack jawed. He must still be under the effects of the hypnosis.

>>710755
The orb is cold as ice, and you have to force yourself to close your eyes as you tuck it away.

>>710765
It tastes bitter and foul, like rotten fruit. It has an unpleasant powdery texture to it. Not edible at all. Anna looks over to you with a perplexed expression. "What… what are you doing?"

>>710766
>>710767
>>710771
You notice that there are tiny pinpoints of light in Solar's eyes, the same yellowish hue as the glowing orb the creature left behind.

>>710748
>>710750
>>710755
>>710765
>>710768
The adrenaline from the fight seems to be wearing off on Dalliance, and she takes a moment to catch her breath, seeming oddly pensive, staring blankly at the rapidly fading remains of the monster. "…Well," says Anna after a while, "that was horrific. Can we go now? I'll carry whatshisname if I have to, but I don't fancy sticking around here much longer. It's getting dark."

 No.710775

>>710773
"Ehh, not the worst I have tried." I shrug and drop the rest onto the ground.

 No.710777

>>710773

Without so much as a shimmer from the pool, i draw back what water i could and sigh.

"Alright. We can heal him on the way home!"careful to flow around Cinder, i follow the others as we continue, soaking the ground behind me as i trot.

 No.710778

>>710773
Cinder stares at Solar's limp body, her own pulse loud in her ears. The shining yellow light in his eyes brings to mind the orb, and she launches a side glance towards the zebra who doesn't seem to be completely covering up, but very much trying to pull off, the bright glow seeping from the edges of her hat.

Looking Dalliance up and down at the selfless knight, already iron-clad and burdened as she is, Cinder offers to help carry Solar, and without another word, moves to his side to gently try to lift him onto her back. She doesn't have a pack anymore and is unburdened and strong, able and willing to carry her friend.
It doesn't hurt that her friend is her only link to the mission at hand in her mind, namely to meet up with Lady Guiding Moonlight at some point, perhaps in Moonhollow itself.

 No.710779

>>710775
Voleurz raises an eyebrow,

"Darling, just because it was going to eat you doesn't mean you have to eat it back. I mean turnabout's fair play but.."

She shrugs,

"Well to each their own. I've never shouted at the folks I've caught pants down in the crypt before."

>>710773
"And I'm glad you ended up safe, miss knight errant. I must teach you how to get a feel for when something like this feels wrong. Years of learning which cadaver is a lurking undead isn't exactly teachable, but I'll try my best. It's paramount to your survival, you know."
Voleurz pats Dalliance on the back, nodding to Anna,

"Yes, brilliant idea. I thoroughly wish to scrub my memory of the events of today at the bottom of a mug."

 No.710780

>>710765
>>710775
My face contorts into a disgusted scowl. "That's- That's absolutely repulsive. Do you make it a habit of consuming the remains of creatures infected with corrupting sickness?"

>>710773
"H'm. That's probably not a good sign. Did you notice his eyes?" I shake my head. "Anyway, Ms.Anna is right. We should get moving.

>>710779
Without looking away from Talon, I nod. "I couldn't agree more, Ms.Voleurz. I couldn't agree more." I turn to Dalliance and knit my brow in concern. "And you? Are you alright?"

 No.710781

>>710777
I get a feeling and just absentmindedly pat rainy on the head as we all walk.

>>710779
I just shrug.

>>710780
"Yes."

 No.710783

>>710781
Your talon sinks to the back of your claw inside of Rainy's head, the cool liquid soaking it throughly.

Understanding the gesture, i lean my head into the motion, putting the claw up to the wrist in goo.

"Aw, thank you! I needed something to cheer me up." i reply with a smile.

 No.710784

>>710783
"No problem." I nod my head down as a small gesture.

 No.710787

>>710778
Looking Anna, wounded as she is, up and down, Cinder offers to help carry Solar, etc etc.

>>710783
>>710784

She notices this interaction and suppresses a wince.
Moisture.

 No.710789

>>710775
"Th-that doesn't answer my question!" Anna says frustratedly.

>>710778
Anna just folds her arms. "Fine by me," she comments. Solar is lighter than you'd expect, and you hoist him up easily.

>>710779
Dalliance blinks as you address her, coming out of her reverie. "O-oh. Thank you, my l- er, Voleurz. I'd like that, very much." She pulls herself up, flipping down her helmet visor and getting ready to move.

>>710780
Dalliance just nods with a distant expression.

>>710777
>>710778
>>710781
>>710780
>>710779
With Solar in tow, the nine of you continue onwards, retracing your steps back towards Moonhollow. It is dusk by the time you reach the fading town, and it is lit up by the glow of candles in what houses are left in one piece. As you approach the main gate, you find it well and truly locked. You hear the clanking of plate armor as the gate guard stirs from behind it. "Who goes there?" an older voice demands.

>>710778
Moonhollow is a small, unassuming little village built on the edge of a seaside cliff. It has a sturdy stone wall surrounding it, protecting it from outside forces, and the surrounding area consists of naught but the occasional farm. Even without getting a good view of the town interior, you can tell that it's seen better days. The whole place has an air of lassitude to it.

 No.710791

>>710789
"I was just eating. Taking some of the spoils."

 No.710795

>>710789
They finally come to a stop. Cinder takes in the village. It looks like a pile of cr*p to her. She feels rather numb, tired from carrying Solar, the only connection she has to her job, and a pony she has come to admire. She is determined to save him if at all possible.

She turns to the goo pony. "Can you try to heal him again?" She makes sure to place Solar gently in a bed of tall grass outside the city and retreat several steps before asking Rainy for help.

 No.710796

>>710789
Voleurz once again hangs in the back of the party as they approach the gates, fidgeting as she keeps adjusting her hat.

"Bloody hell, shoulda put this thing in my satchel after all. Head's all cold now." She mutters to herself.

 No.710800

>>710789
I bite my bottom lip and nod back. Right. Well, I make a mental note to speak with her later. She's just starting out, the poor girl. It isn't easy.

As we return tho the gate, I look up at the guard and clear my throat. "A group of adventurers returning from a quest!" I say. "We have in tow the smith's daughter, returned unharmed."

 No.710802

>>710789
With Cinder holding the unconscious Solar, i extend the bulk of my mass into several pseudopods, wrapping away and around her to form a lattice around Solar, which fills in with water (save a hole to breath through).

Intensely focused, i pump as much energy as i can into the net around him!
[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.710814

>>710791
Anna just blinks, looking thoroughly weirded out. "You… do realize how dangerous that is, right? Or do you like getting yourself poisoned or something?"

>>710800
"Yeah, that's me." Anna shifts her grip on her hammer.

There's a moment of silence before the gate opens for you, revealing a short, middle aged earth pony in armor. "Sorry. Can't be too careful after dark. Odd happenings in town these days and all."

>>710802
You form an impressive net of water around him, focusing your healing magics. Unfortunately, however, while it would normally cure an ailment like this, he remains comatose as ever.

>>710795
As Rainy gets to work, you keep your distance from all the water, ensuring you don't get splashed while she does her thing. You remain dry and safe, for now.

>>710791
>>710795
>>710796
>>710800
>>710802
The gate guard stands by to allow you entry. "Come on in, drifters. Make yourselves at home."

Moonhollow isn't much to look at, even at this time of night. Where most places would be lively around dusk, the hamlet is practically a ghost town. If it weren't for the lights in the windows, an outsider would think it was abandoned. The only other sign of life is the creaking of a rocking chair somewhere, and the hissing of the bellows coming from the old forge. Anna perks up at the sound, half running eagerly towards it and disappearing around a corner. Dalliance smiles happily at the sight. "Seems like we accomplished our mission!" she comments, a bit more life breathed back into her now that you're back in town. "Huzzah!"

 No.710818

>>710814
I nudge her and smile. "You've completed a quest. Seems you're a proper knight after all, Ms.Dalliance." I glance back at Anna. "I suppose we are to accompany you to your father?"

 No.710820

>>710814
"Well that's finally done. We got some earnin's to collect" he looks around a bit for a tavern "I'm also pretty thirsty"

 No.710821

>>710814

Reduced to a third of my size from the effort, my water lattice bursts unceremoniously as i collapse into a small pool of goo.

"Oh no.. i-it failed again.." i mutter hopelessly. Exhausted, i slowly crawl along the ground behind the others, lagging behind from the effort the effort.

"W-what are we going to do with Solar?"

 No.710822

>>710814
"Not only successful, but with twice the rescued individuals than we set out to."

Dalliance grins,

"Now collect our coin, drink to forget, and take a new quest. Easy enough cycle eh?"

 No.710825

>>710822
"Exactly" He says cheerfully and flashes a slight grin at the zebra

 No.710826

>>710802

Cinder tries not to roll her eyes at the failure. She maintains her poise, even, as she picks up the still-comatose (and now soaking wet) Solar Flair. "Thanks for trying." She tries to think of something encouraging to say. "Next time you'll get it!" She's extremely worried that it came off condescending, but is too embarrassed to try and continue the conversation. She has to admit, despite her distaste for Rainy's rather …moist… nature, the positivity of the goo pony is infectious. It's hard not to like her.

>>710814
Cinder is drawn to the familiar sound of bellows and furnace almost as immediately as Anna. She feels a strong sense of nostalgia which is quickly swept away by the dire nature of the forge in Moonhollow. This is nothing like her dad's place. She swallows a sudden upwelling of homesickness.

Cinder follows Anna to the forge, presumably to meet her father the smith.

 No.710831

>>710826
"Y-..you really think so?" i ask, perking up slightly.

"I need some water.. but i think i can save him!"

Despite the energy spent, i recover enough of my strength to now keep up with the others, albeit needing to take larger strides to do so.

 No.710836

>>710814
"I might get sick, might not. But I nevertheless I will be able to carry out my job." -I reach out to give a headpat-

 No.710845

>>710836
She flinches and scowls, shying away from headpats.

>>710818
She puffs up a little. "I'm doing my best!" she says eagerly.

>>710820
You look around, spotting Henke's Familiar nearby. Seems to be the only tavern in the whole town. You can hear chatter coming from inside, showing it's open and at least somewhat busy.

>>710822
Dalliance looks back at the still limp Solar worriedly. "Yes, well… to an extent. At least Miss Fabrie is safe though! And I'm sure Mr Flair will come to soon!"

>>710826
You head to a tiny, humble looking forge down the road, where you find Anna hugging a towering shaggy brown minotaur, presumably her father. He looks overwhelmed, holding his daughter close as if afraid to let go. "I thought… I thought…" "I'm fine, dad. Really. Showed those monsters who's boss."

Eventually he breaks away, looking at his daughter with concern. "You… Don't you ever run away from me again like that. I was so worried, I…" Anna looks like she's about to argue, but doesn't press it, swallowing and nodding. Eventually, the blacksmith notices you there. "Hullo. Are you one of the ones who rescued her?"

 No.710847

>>710845
"I wonder if we will be heading back there any time soon?" I idly tap my chin talking to myself.

 No.710850

>>710845
Jesse watches the daughter and father reunite for a few moments. He shakes his head and swallows hard, draping his hat over his scar and dirt stained face. Moving towards the bar he leans against the outer wall and watches the streets

 No.710851

>>710845
I smile as I watch her father meet back up with her. Tears fill my eyes at the sight, and I levitate a kerchief from my bag and dab it at the corners of my eyes. I take a couple of steps forward. "You have a very capable daughter, Mr.Wilfred," I say. "We assisted, but she almost didn't even need us."

 No.710852

>>710845
Seeing the others disperse, i head towards the bar at a trot, on the hunt for water!

"ohh.. i hope they have water.."

 No.710854

>>710845
Cinder watches the embrace between smith and daughter. She seems to have some moisture in her eye… perhaps the goo-pony got her after all? She sniffles and wipes it away. As the smith addresses her, she straightens up.

"Yes sir, well sort of, sir." She shuffles a bit, uncomfortable to be the spokespony of a loose group she only just joined. "Well, the truth is, sir, I was sorta rescued myself, by the same group that found your daughter. I mean, I was there, but I didn't really do none of the rescuing." The kirin paws at the ground shyly. She finds a bit of her accent coming back unintentionally.

"Well the truth is, my daddy worked iron too, and… it always felt like home in his workshop, y'know?" She looks up into the minotaur's eyes. "So there's just, I dunno, something like coming home about it." She gestures towards the warm glow coming from the smithy door. "The smithy, I mean. Mind if I take a look?"

 No.710856

>>710845
"Ah come now, he would've still been a corrupted knobhead if it weren't for us, and he certainly isn't going anywhere, I reckon. I'm sure another glass of Rainy will cure what ails him."

She grins, following Platinum and Cinder,
>>710851

"Almost indeed Platinum." Voleurz nods, adjusting her now chilly hat, "Still, likely best she didn't have to encounter giant venomous beasts and mesmerizing abominations alone, eh?"

 No.710861

>>710856
I sniff and chuckle, wiping my eye again. "Quite," I say.

>>710854
"I understand that quite well. Though general stores are few and far between these days, as everypony seems specialized, every time I enter one I can't help but feel a wave of nostalgia wash over me. Almost like I'm a young colt again."

 No.710863

>>710851
Cinder is thankful that the fancy unicorn with the pretty words is here. He was the one that talked Anna into not bashing her head open with that strange hammer, after all. She shoots him a warm smile.

>>710856
She is less pleased to see the shifty zebra stroll up behind them, the light of the strange orb still peeking out on occasion from under her hat.

She greets them both. "Ahem!" A burst of flame escapes as she clears her throat louder than she had anticipated.

"Well met, and thank you for allowing us to accompany you. I have to say, however, that this is probably the end of our acquaintanceship, as my friend Solar and I," she readjusts his weight on her shoulders, "have to meet up with, or perhaps rescue, or in any other way accompany, one Lady Guiding Moonlight, who, we expect, must be around here somewhere." She nods as if to affirm the importance of her little speech.

 No.710867

>>710863
"Alright dearie, you were never hired anyways. Certainly hope won't be asking for pay after we saved you from the wilds there."

Voleurz gives a wry smile,

"Oh but not the matter, you wouldn't ask that of these two after such a heartfelt reunion. No, you're the heroic type that doesn't require any of that. Best of luck looking for your Lady of the N- err.. Moonlight."

 No.710869

>>710863
I replace my kerchief in my saddlebag and knit my brow. "Come now," I say. "It was a pleasure having your assistance. Are you sure you won't join us on another quest? Perhaps I can convince my companions to assist in finding your patron." I glance away and hum. "Though I suppose you'd still have prior engagements elsewhere." I nod. "Well, nonetheless it was a pleasure working with you, Ms.Fabrie. Perhaps we'll still see one another around."

I wave my hoof. "And you don't believe you deserve a reward? Pish-posh. You provided just as much aid as I, myself did. You're just as fit as any of us, weather it was your intention or not."

 No.710871

>>710847
"Oh, you mean the bar?" Dalliance asks. "I… certainly wouldn't mind. I'm not entirely sure about that cat, but there don't seem to be many other bars in town, do there…"

>>710850
There's not really much to watch. Moonhollow is as quiet as ever. Occasionally, you'll see a bum shuffle past in an alley, or a lamplighter on his nightly duties illuminating the town, or a couple of guards on patrol, but overall, there doesn't seem to be much happening in town tonight. Much like every night, most likely.

>>710851
>>710856
"That's my girl," he grins proudly. Anna slips inside, sparing you all a grateful nod. "Didn't train her to swing a hammer for nothing! Haha!"

"Listen, I, er…" He goes into the house for a moment and comes back with a coinpurse. "It's not much, since times are hard these days, but please, take this. Least I can do for what you've done. And, er, if you ever need some smithing done, come see me. I can hammer out the kinks in those weapons if yours if you need me to. Can even make 'em better. First job's free!"
>+300 bits

>>710854
He frowns a little as he sees Solar on your back, but shrugs it off. "A friend of Anna's a friend of mine!" he answers genially. "Especially if they know a thing or three about smithing. Knock yourself out!"

You find that his smithy is a very small, cramped affair, with only the bare essentials such a forge, a bellows, an anvil, a grindstone, etcetera. On the wall hang examples of his carftsmanship in the form of a disparity of steel arms and armor. They all look to be of quite good quality to you. The workbench has smithing tools laid out in a neat little row, as well as a "#1 Dad" coffee mug.

>>710852
You enter the bar. It's a lot more lively now the sun's going down, with several grim looking clients sitting around the bar or in alcoves. Stolas the cat is chatting away with some off duty guards, while Gord is wearily serving up some mugs of beer to a table. After he drops them off, he makes his way over to you. "Welcome to Henke's Familiar, home of Henke's Familiar," he drones. "What can we do for you this evening?"

 No.710872

>>710871
Seeing this he heads inside and immediately strides toward the bartender taking a seat at the bar

"Get me a cup of ale" he asks with a shaky voice

 No.710874

>>710871
"I was thinking of when we might have to be in that forest again, but the bar sounds good." I nod my head.

 No.710876

>>710871
"A drink definitely sounds nice. I suppose that rotgut they serve will have to do. I wonder if I can't find a nicer, smoother drink around. Perhaps one of the other local stores." I turn to Wilfred. "I don't suppose you know of any shops around town? I'm afraid I'm still quite new and haven't gotten the 'lay of the land', as 'twer."

 No.710877

>>710871

Seeing the familiar Jesse, i take a seat near him, throwing my raincoat over the seat to keep from soaking into the barstool.

"Water, please, a pitcher would be great!" i happily reply, despite the fatigue.

 No.710879

>>710869
"I admit, it's been nice to have company. And you all seem to be very nice company at that." She ignores mentioning, or even trying to think about, any and all exceptions to this rule.
"As far as a reward goes, I wouldn't want to spread it too thin! I'm just thankful you could show me the way back to civilization. Not to mention reconnect me with Solar. But especially now that I know he's alive, we simply must continue on our mission. I have to get paid for the work I complete, too." She chuckles.
"Perhaps our paths will cross again."

>>710871
Cinder steps inside the cramped room. It might not be her dad's joint, but it appears fairly well outfitted. She checks the weaponry lying about and finds it quite satisfactory. She gives the huge smith an admiring gaze as he somehow fits himself into the room like a hand in a glove, his practiced motions those of a master.

She smiles at the mug. "I got my dad one of those too!"

After a quick perusal of the quality of the steel, she turns to him, suddenly serious.
"Firstly, what do you know of the jactivities going on around here?"
"Secondly. Do you know of a healer in town that would be able to take a look at my friend here?" She is aware that she could probably try to reconnect with Rainy, but still isn't completely convinced that would be better than getting Solar to a REAL doctor.

 No.710881

>>710869
"Well I suppose she does look like the destitute type. I thought she'd be above taking coin for joining the venture only part way into our escapade, but I suppose it can't be help. I tried not to stoop to begging even when short on coin, but I certainly won't stop her in her time of need."

Voleurz brushes back her mane, looking at the kirin in pity.
>>710879
>>710867

"Ah see, nobler hearts prevail. Best of luck on your quest again, Miss Cindy."

>>710871
"Ah, thank you dearie, once again I'm just glad you too are back together again." Voleurs says, taking the bits and stuffing it in her bag hastily.

>>710876
"I will second that endeavour for a smoother drink. Had quite enough roughness for one day."

 No.710883

>>710872
"Mhm." Gord steps away for a moment and comes back with a frothing steel tankard. "That'll be 15 bits."

>>710874
"O-Oh. Sorry. Well… maybe we could take a job somewhere else next time? I don't fancy going into the woods again. Not after today, at least."

>>710876
"Well, if you're looking to head out on adventures and what have you, there's a place right down the road." He points at an unassuming looking goods store opposite the main plaza. "Scot Free runs it. Got everything you could need. Think he's closin' soon though, so if you want to get something today you'd better hurry."

>>710877
"Mkay." Gord shuffles off and comes back with a big pitcher of water for you. "No fee. 'S just water."

>>710879
He taps his chin. "I try not to get involved in all the goings on recently. I just do arms and armor. That's all. I think the guild hall over the way would be able to help you if you're looking for work." He points out a large building that looks kind of like an upside down longboat.

"And if you're after healing for your friend there, they've revamped the old church to serve as a haven. Someone there'd be able to help for sure."

"Sorry I can't be of more help. I try to keep my head down, you know?"

>>710881
"I really can't thank you enough," he says with a grateful smile. "I thought I'd never see her again… Say. Those daggers of yours. When was the last time you had 'em sharpened? I could give them a good once over for you if you like, free of charge."

 No.710886

>>710883
"Put it on my bill" He replies and grips the mug of ale. Downing as much as he can. The mug slams down on the hard wood with a loud clunk

 No.710889

>>710883
"Understandable." I state.

 No.710890

>>710881
Cinder tries not to bristle at the banter, but somehow small things in her vicinity keep bursting into spontaneous combustion. She holds her tongue with some effort, but when she is addressed as Miss Cindy, she cannot help but retort.

"Why thank you, Miss Voleres." She makes eye contact as she says almost-voleurz, but makes it subtle enough that it might be mistaken as a slip. "Best of luck on your," eyes flick to Platinum, "quest, as well." She smiles sweetly, but a close eye might realize that her normally bright blue eyes are several shades darker than normal.


>>710883
Cinder thanks him for the information, offering a warm smile as she departs the building. She heads for the old church, Solar still straddled on her shoulders.

 No.710893

>>710883
without wasting time, i pour myself up to the front hooves into the pitcher, shifting my mass around as the water is absorbed to avoid shattering the pottery.

>>710886
with my top half still inside the pitcher, a muzzle and eyes briefly form on my side, watching you chug the drink.

"Oh! Were you thirsty too, Jesse?"

 No.710895

>>710883
I nod. "I'll likely return for your services at a later date. For now I'd like to check out the shop. Thank you. And you've been plenty of help."

>>710881
Not entirely sure what to make of her sharp tongue, and trying my best to ignore the fact that such a sharp tongue has my heart stirring for some reason I can't quite put my hoof on, I nod. "Unless you will attend me to the store, I'll meet up with you later."

>>710890
I smile back. "And you as well, Ms.Fabrie."

 No.710896

>>710893
He lets out a long and shaky sigh
"Afraid not"
Jesse takes off his old hat exposing his mane. A single tear runs down his weathered face. He stares at the old leather hat, shaking his head

 No.710899

>>710883
'These things?"

Voleurz looks over her collection of knives on her belt,

"Well this one here's a letter opener, a couple are cuterly from the manor.. only these three are proper throwing knives, bought them cheap from a traveling circus after an accident." She rubs her chin, "I suppose never, 'sides the letter opener. That was my first though. You can try your luck at them, I reckon."

She takes them off her belt, holding them by the blades,

"Would you work a pickaxe too? Thing needs balancing."

>>710890
>>710895

Voleurz wraps a hoof around Platinum's, staring at Cinder the whole time as she grins, "Oh darling, I'd be happy to attend you throughout the town."

She winks to Cinder, unphased, "And I hope your quest makes a quick recovery. Not much there for you to journey with otherwise."

 No.710903

>>710899
She happens to eyeball Velourz's sad collection of steel as she exits. Can't resist a tiny "tut" of amusement.

 No.710905

>>710896
"Mm, you seem to have something on your mind.. did you want to.. share?" i hesitantly ask, back to my full size and having extracted myself from the pitcher.

 No.710906

>>710899
>>710890
>>710903
I give Cinder an apologetic smile, but take Voleurz's hoof. Goodness. Is it getting warm? It's been some time since I've been close to a mare willing to take charge. "Of course. I suppose we'll be off, then. Good evening, Ms.Fabrie."

 No.710909

>>710886
Gord mumbles something indistinctly and leaves you to it.

The ale isn't exactly quality, but it's not the worst you've had either. Perfectly mediocre, really.

>>710889
There's a bit of an awkward silence between you, as Dalliance doesn't really know what to say. "H-hey! Why don't we join the rest of them in the bar?" she suggests out of nowhere, trying to look a bit more comfortable with your odd demeanor.

>>710890
You enter the old church, a wooden two story building with a hole in the roof. Inside you see the typical interior of a church; several rows of neat little pews facing a lectern, and religious iconography serving as decoration, depicting the Alicorn Empress Twilight and many lesser known saints. It is deathly quiet, and your footsteps echo loudly around the church. You get the attention of the only other person in view, a young pegasus mare in humble vestments sweeping the floor. She looks up at you as you enter, looking a little offput. "Oh! H-hello! …Er, after healing, I presume?…"

>>710893
You feel completely refreshed as you absorb the water. A few clients give you odd looks, but decide not to question it.

>>710895
"Thank YOU, sir." He gives you a grateful smile as you leave.

A little bell rings as you enter the dusty old shop. The interior is fairly unremarkable, consisting primarily of shelves lined with various types of equipment for traveling. You are greeted by a white earth pony with a salt and pepper mane and a beard to match, presumably the owner, Scot Free. "We're normally closed right now, you know," he says, "but I can stay open a while longer. What can I do ya for?"

>Torches: 5 bits each

>Tents: 30 bits each (includes hammer and pegs)
>Bedrolls: 10 bits
>Frypan: 10 bits
>Shovel: 10 bits
>Fire starting kit: 15 bits
>Rope: 3 bits/foot
>Waterskins: 10 bits
>Rations: 15 bits (1 ration=1 days worth of food for one pony)
>Backpack: 10 bits
>Antivenom: 15 bits
>Healing potion: 25 bits (automatic heal for full hits and 1 wound)

>>710899
Wilfried gives a cheeky grin. "I can fix anything!" he says confidently. "Except a broken heart. Just leave your gear with me, ma'am. I'll have it right as rain by tomorrow."

 No.710910

>>710906
She smiles at the lovely couple and begs her leave. Her hoofprints leave smoldering rings as she goes.

 No.710911

>>710905
"Seeing that blacksmith and his daughter reminded me of someone. Back when I was in the war there was a friend of mine. He was the youngest of my friends and always had a childlike innocence to him. Stayed out of trouble and did the right thing. One day we were exploring a place for the infantry. We came across a ravine, he…he didn't see it. Fell right in, I grabbed his hand." The stallion pauses for a long while "H-his hoof got caught in some boulders and I-I couldn't get him out. H-he told me to tell his parents that he loved em. I never got a c-chance to tell them what happened to their little boy. It also reminded me how I can never go home, my family is left behind" Tears are now streaming down his face a somber look plagues him

 No.710916

File: 1549523282934.png (13.07 KB, 72x144, Eqp_weapon_0gr_(2).png)

>>710903
Voleurz hands the weapons over, tipping her hat to the minotaur before gracefully returning to Platinum's side.

>>710906
>>710903
Voleurz presses close to Platinum, waving goodbye to the kirin,

"Ta ta~. Come now Platinum, no more dilly dallying."

 No.710918

>>710916
"Ms.Voleurz," I purr, pressing closer to her. My eyes half-lid, and I waggle my eyebrows. "I suppose waiting extended only to returning to town? Not that I can blame you. But please, allow me to make myself at least a bit more presentable first." I smooth back my mane with my free hoof and jut out my bottom lip. "I must look a fright."

[1d10] How bad did the quest ruin my mane and coat?

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.710920

>>710911
Nodding along as i listen, i wait for you to finish before speaking.

"Sounds like you should tell them! If you don't, that guilt will eat you alive." i reply, rocking my barstool as i speak.

"Are they still around to talk to?"

 No.710921

>>710920
"Course not, at least not for me. I can never go back, I'll be shot on sight"

 No.710922

>>710921
"Oh? What did you do?"

 No.710924

>>710922
"Charged with treason, command thought I killed my entire group"

 No.710926

>>710918
The zebra snorts, stopping the unicorn to fix his mane herself.

"Platinum darling, the night's still young. Plus I've hardly heard anything about your lineage. I would love to share a glass of wine while you tell me of what must be a long line of handsome and valorous noblemen you descend from. Mayhaps after we go shopping?"

 No.710929

>>710924
"Oh dear.."

"Well.. if you can't go back and you've done everything you could to set it right.. Why not let it pass?"

"Oh, wait! Why not write a letter, but not mark it as from you! have somepony deliver it to them, and they can read it!" i excitedly add, hopping the barstool closer to your seat.

 No.710930

>>710926
I give her a warm smile and nod. "No, I don't suppose you have. Nor I yours. That sounds lovely." I roll my eyes. "And if we fail to acquire any better drinks, I suppose I can stomach the -ahem- 'house brand' for another night."

 No.710932

>>710929
"I don't think I can ever pass that time in my life. And not to mention I don't even know where to go, I wandered for days to get into Equestria. I got no way of returning

 No.710935

>>710932
"Oh."

"Well, what if you make it up to him, by keeping us alive! You honor him by making sure your friends don't share his fate!" i reply, nodding sagely.

 No.710936

>>710935
"That's what I've been doin, simple fact is you can't protect everyone"

 No.710937

>>710936
"That's where i come in!" i reply, leaning in towards you

"You protect us from what you can, and i can patch us up after! We can keep his memory together."

"We share his memory now, so don't let it burden you alone, okay?"

 No.710938

>>710930
"I find many things here easier to stomach with you around darling." She grins, brushing a hoof through Platinum's mane. "I suppose again we should save the proper affairs till back when we're among civilized folk. We're not animals after all, are we?"

 No.710941

>>710938
My heart skips a beat as she runs a hoof through my mane. You do have a habit of improving things, don't you, Platinum? "If you're after my heart then I must say, you're making quite the lasting impression. Flattery, my dear Voleurz, however blatant it may be, will get you everywhere." I chuckle. "Of course not. I must admit, I delight in your company itself."

 No.710942

>>710941
Voleurz bats her eyes,

"I can't help it, I seem to have fallen back on the practices I was taught back at the family manor. If it came off as flattery, I assure you it's only second nature."

Voleurz sighs, placing a hoof on her forehead, "How I yearn for things to be as easy as it was back then. I've not returned to the manor for all those years since I left, I can't bear to see it stripped and abandoned."

 No.710943

>>710942
I place a hoof to my chest. It's unfortunate when the location of one's most prominent memories is permanently irreclaimable. "Of course not. Though it's not quite the same, I, too, know the pain of being unable to return to one's husk of a home. I never had much of a way with bits, so when Papa passed a few months ago and left me his shop-"

I shake my head. "Well, rather than run it into the ground, I sold it off. Unfortunately 'Mr.Sesquipedalian Weird's Curious Curios' is nothing like The Tipped Scales once was." I sigh and turn my eyes to the ground. I'm sure he's rolling over in his grave knowing that's exactly what I did, but bits are just so hard to work with. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the frequent discounts I handed out to -purely incidentally- pretty mares. Word of mouth is what drives business, after all!

"Listen to me, rambling on," I say, looking back up at her with a slightly less enthusiastic smile. "It must be most unbecoming. At any rate, I'd like to get to that drink sooner rather than later. Then perhaps we can pick this back up."

 No.710944

>>710943
"Of course, if misery loves company, then it must also frequently have an affair with alcohol as well."

Voleurz chuckles, "It seems everyone's parents opt to pass at the most inopportune times. What a pity. But yes, let's purchase whatever it is we've come here to purchase and make our way back to the tavern."

 No.710946

>>710909
>>710909
Entering the old abandoned church, Solar draped over her back, Cinder shivers ever so slightly. She always thought these Gothic numbers were kinda spooky. She looks up at the hole in the roof. Disrepair? Things must be bad in Moonhollow if even the trappings of religion, often the last resort of a people in need, are falling apart.

Seeing the vestal mare, Cinder lets out a relieved sigh and begins to smile. Things are going to be alright, after all.

"Yes, healing is what we need. Do you know anything about this… corruption which has been spreading across the land?" She gently sets Solar's limp body on the ground in front of the first row of pews and turns to the young pony expectantly.

 No.710947

>>710946
She looks a little disturbed at the sight of Solar, taking a step backwards instinctively. "Very little, I'm afraid. The campaign to fight it's only just begun, really. But, we're doing what we can. The church doesn't see much use nowadays, sadly, so we've turned it more into a place of general healing for drifters such as yourself."

"O-oh, but where are my manners. I'm Clear Waters. If you'd follow me, I'll show you to our healing chambers. This way, please!" She beckons for you to follow, looking back after opening a trapdoor leading to an area below the main nave.

 No.710949

>>710947
Taking in the information, Cinder nods. She isn't sure whether it's a good thing that the infection is a recent affliction. Seems promising that the church is still a place of healing, though. She examines Solar before picking him up again. His condition doesn't appear to have changed. All this shifting can't be good for him but there doesn't seem to be much choice.

She follows Clear Waters down the trapdoor carefully. It's a sight to see a pony traverse a trapdoor; a spectacle to see one do so with an injured limp Pegasus on her back.

This seems impossible. How'd she do?
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.710950

>>710949
You struggle to carry Solar down the flight of stairs, your knees buckling a little, but you manage all the same. You find yourself in a very large underground area with a distinctly somber tone to it; they seem to have repurposed the church's crypt as an infirmary of sorts. You can see several beds with other drifters laying on them, many with severe injuries. There are a handful of ponies in similar garbs to Clear's tending to them. Clear tells you to wait a moment before disappearing behind a corner, returning with a slightly ominous looking donkey in a pure white hooded robe, surgical gloves and a beak-shaped mask like a plague doctor. He walks over to you and greets you with a formal bow, looking over Solar idly.

"Another victim of the Blight, I see. My name is Doctor Caldwell. I was brought in as a physician to help fight this spreading curse. Magical ailments are my speciality. Leave your friend with us and the priests and I will tend to him. Rest assured, he is in good hands here. If these miracle workers and I can't cure him, no one can."

 No.710952

>>710950

Cinder, barely managing to struggle down the stairs, is grateful to find an empty bed to lay Solar into. Putting him down, she breaths a sigh of relief, just as the ominous Doctor Caldwell approaches. His strange visage does little to distress Cinder, who has long ago had her strangeness limit tested. She tries to meet his eyes as he says his piece, which is difficult due to the mask.

Without missing a beat, or reacting to the strangeness of the donkey's garb, she replies. "How long do you foresee keeping him?" She looks about at the other beds, filled as they are with the sick and inured. "We have a bit of a timeline, you see." She is spitballing, not knowing how long they actually have. By the count of the sick and blighted already in beds, however, it doesn't seem like it will be long before this chapel is unable to care for the victims. She cannot help but think of the few blighted she has seen already.

 No.710953

>>710952
"As long as is necessary," he replies distractedly, poking and prodding at Solar with all manner of odd tools. "No more, no less. In this fellow's case, it will take a while. This is a peculiar case. We've seen Blighted before, and it is a curable affliction, but I've never had someone get paralyzed like this. What happened to him?"

 No.710955

>>710953
Cinder taps her chin with a hoof. "Well, I wasn't there for much of it, but from what understand, he has been cured already from being one of the weirdoes. He came back to consciousness for several hours, as a matter of fact. Didn't seem 100% but was definitely his own pony."

She continues. "Things got weird when he interacted with another one of the… corrupted creatures. It seemed to immediately lock on him and managed to hypnotize and start cocooning him in some strange casing. I…" She thinks of the rest of the party again, suddenly feeling very alone. "…I mean we, were able to destroy the creature before it could totally envelop him. Ever since, though, he has been like this." To illustrate, she picks up one of Solar's hooves and lets it drop with a thud.

 No.710957

>>710955
Caldwell nods, whipping out a notepad and writing down everything you're saying. "Fascinating," he answers. "This is a first. I've never heard of anything like this before. You should be proud. Your friend here is making history. Heh heh." He injects Solar with some sort of serum, but it doesn't seem to do anything at first; or at least, nothing you can see. Caldwell seems satisfied, however, and takes more notes. "I'll send word out to you once his condition improves," he says to you a bit dismissively. "I have seen similar cases, but not here under these conditions. I have several methods in mind. Whether they work or not, this casualty should prove very, very interesting." He rubs his chin and gets back to work on him.

 No.710958

>>710957
Cinder is not sure if she's completely satisfied, or completely trusts this self assured donkey doctor. She looks to Clear Water for assurance. The pony gives her a thumbs up from where ahe is pretending to busy herself.

She nods. "Please take good care of him. If you need anything else, I'll be in town." She looks down at Solar's face. "I'm not leaving without him."

She asks whether or not she might remain in contact, and establishes Clear Water as her contact.

She spends one more moment with Solar before she leaves. Touching the side of his face with her hoof, she says nothing out loud, but her face says it all.

She steels herself to leave him behind, and departs the church through the way she came.

 No.710961

>>710958
"I'll try and send word out to you as soon as there's a development, miss!" says Clear. "You have my word!"

"We'll do what we can," says Caldwell simply. "Like I said, this is unprecedented, so it might take a little while." He continues to loom over Solar as he works, giving the uncomfortable impression of some bird of prey.

You exit the church and start making your way upwards through Moonhollow, passing a large open square that's empty save for a lone guard goose stepping up and down self assuredly. You see the guild hall, a very long, oddly shaped building like an upside down Viking longboat. It seems more active than most of Moonhollow, with a soft yellow glow in the windows and the smell of roasting meat coming from within. Your attention is also drawn to a fenced off path leading to a manor on the edge of the cliff where Moonhollow is built, at the very end of which sits a fancy looking mansion, its opulence a stark contrast to the rest of the ailing town. Doubtless this is where the local lord lives; you've heard that he inherited lordship over Moonhollow and the surrounding lands quite recently.

 No.710962

>>710961

She leaves Solar in the seemingly capable hands of Doctor Caldwell, for better or for worse.

The manor looms above her, intimidating. She shudders. Gothic again. This whole town is pretty creepy, overall.

Cinder has a few options ahead of her. One ear perks up. Sounds like a good portion of the town's livelihood, including likely her erstwhile team members, are carrying on at the bar. It's a dull roar from inside. Cinder licks her lips. A drink would be very nice. Her tummy growls, too. The inn looks very inviting.

Cursing her own name, Cinder turns in the opposite direction from the very-inviting seeming tavern and heads toward the guildhouse, which seems shaped from some sort of upside down boat. This is the only other sight in town that seems alive with activity. If there's any news of the quest at hand, these adventurers are sure to have it.

As she approaches, the smell of roasting meat meets her nose, and she doubles her pace. Perhaps meeting the adventurers would be rewarding in its own way? She wonders what kind of ale they have even as she tries to keep her mind on track.

 No.710964

>>710962
The more you look at it, the more it really does seem to be an upside down boat repurposed as a building. You go for the big double doors at the hall's entrance, only to find them jammed, rattling loudly. "Door's broken!" a voice booms. "Gotta go around from the side!" A smaller door opens nearby, and an enormous hairy paw the size of your head beckons you in. "Over here friend!"

 No.710966

>>710964

The Kirin tries the door. Twice. She is eager to join the group of adventurers inside, but even more eager to join the meat roasting on the fire. She becomes frustrated, fire smoldering around her mane.

Hearing a friendly voice, she follows it around to the "side entrance". A huge paw beckons her. She is too hungry to question this.

Cinder enters the strange building, trying to appear noble.

 No.710969

>>710966
The huge paw belongs to an even huger Diamond Dog with a pointed snout and black and brown fur. "Yeah, we've been trying to get it fixed for a while now," he says in a low, thundering voice. "But no luck. Come on in!"

The guild hall interior has a high ceiling, and is filled with adventurers in a variety of shapes and sizes, many of them crowded around a large firepit in the center, where a huge boar is currently being roasted on a spit by a hungry looking griffon. The decor consists of banners with what is presumably the local lord's crest, ceremonial weapons, and the occasional bit of fancy ornament such as a golden goblet. A duo of zebras are toasting, drinking tankards of ale from a tapped cask, while a bipedal reptile creature called a saurian (in this case resembling a gecko) seems to be chatting happily with a maroon changeling.

Looking about, you can also see a large wooden board with several notes pinned to it, seemingly denoting available jobs, while above is a chalkboard mounted to the wall with the words "ADVENTURER DEAD POOL" scrawled on it, with a list of names, several crossed out.

"The name's Zeke, by the way," says the large Dog. "I'm kind of like the leader in here. Keep things flowing and organized. Come to join the good fight, I'm assuming?"

 No.710972

>>710969

Cinder steps into the hall. It seems even larger inside than out. She takes a glance at the firepit, manned by the capable-looking grillmaster griffon. Her eyes wander from groups of adventurers to the decor, and back to the firepit. She notes that the flames look lazy and well-fed. content to burn hot and not bright. The roasting boar looks huge. Rendered fat glistens. Her mouth begins to glisten as well.

She notes the job board, a common sight in places like this. Above it, there is a macabre gambling pool. She takes a closer look to see if there are any names she recognizes, either crossed or otherwise.

"Zeke," she repeats, somewhat numbly. It's been a long day of introductions for her, and she is just praying she can remember his name. "I'm Cinder."

She takes a sidelong glance at the boar being prepared, and another long look at the tapped cask from which unknown adventurers are toasting. She licks her lips. The kirin's belly gives a long audible groan.

She turns back to the welcoming Diamond Dog. Her wits are still about her. She has many questions, but only a few pressing enough to bring up currently.

"I'm looking for a Paladin by the name of Lady Guiding Moonlight."

 No.710973

>>710972
Looking over the roster, you recognize your fellow adventurers added to the list fairly recently; Platinum, Voleurz, Jesse, etcetera. However, no sign of Guiding Moonlight on it.

"Cinder," he parrots. "Good to meet you!" He puts on a pair of reading glasses and pulls up a scroll and pen, adding your name to the slightly short list of signed up adventurers. The glasses look a bit out of place on a big guy like him.

He chuckles a little as he hears your belly rumbling. "Hungry? Help yourself, if meat's your thing. Tobias here hunted the boar himself earlier today, so you know it's fresh." He grins.

"Guiding Moonlight…" He looks over the scroll, checking it twice. "Nope. No such name here. Never heard of 'em. Sorry."

 No.710975

>>710973
Cinder checks the list twice. She is amused to see the bets placed on these character's lives. She makes a mental note to put a couple bets up herself.

"No Lady Guiding Moonlight? Are you sure?" Her face falls a bit as she wonders whether this quest is even possible.

When Zeke comments on her rumbling tummy, she almost jumps at the chance to fill it. "Really??" She tries to gather her composure, but a bit of drool drips from the side of her mouth. Aware of this, embarrassed, the kirin asks "Are you sure it's okay?" She mentally notes the few people standing around the boar expectantly as they begin to cut it into steaks. Without really waiting for confirmation, she sidles over into the group waiting for food.

 No.710977

>>710975
"See for yourself." He passes you the scroll; indeed, Guiding Moonlight is nowhere to be seen. Seems she didn't make it here.

"Hey, we're all in this together, aren't we? You're here now, so why not grab yourself some boar? You must be starved."

You line up and wait your turn as the roast boar begins to be served. As the hunter and chef, Tobias the griffon gets first serve, doing a chef kiss gesture after tasting the fruits of his labors. Everyone gets into a neat little queue, grabbing plates from nearby to get their portion of boar. You get lucky and are near the front of the queue, getting a sizable portion of boar with optional gravy.

 No.710982

>>710977
She does not wait for a repeat of the invitation before helping herself.

Cinder has already eaten a sizable chunk of her boar before she realizes she can get gravy. Her eyes are saucers as it is heaped on in front of her.
Cinder makes sure to stop by the tapped cask of booze. Got to have something to drink with your meal, right? She pours and immediately drains the first glass, filling it again with foam on her lips.

After she has gone back for seconds and eaten enough boar for two ponies her size, she releases a very unladylike belch. "Excuse me," she bashfully mentions to the 3-4 strangers in her vicinity. Seeing the looks they give her, she giggles. She's among her type of people again.

Happily sighing, she turns back to the matter at hand. No lady Moonlight? It's possible she is still out in the woods. Cinder feels a pang of guilt at enjoying herself while the person she is supposed to be protecting might be in danger. She sets about asking any adventurers she can any any knowledge of missing ponies in the woods. Sometimes you can find information from this type of thing, sometimes you can't. She thinks it's worth a shot.

 No.710983

>>710982
You join in the feast with the other drifters, feasting on the wild boar with the other half a dozen or so present. It is delicious, better than any pork you've had before. Or maybe that's just your hunger talking. The booze isn't half bad either. Overall, the meal is incredibly satisfying, and leaves you in much better spirits.

During the meal, you introduce yourself to some of the others and ask around about Lady Moonlight. Neither Amandla or Awethu, a brother and sister zebra duo, know anything about her. Tobias, a confident brown griffon and apparently a skilled hunter and tracker in his own right, mentions having found the site of an attack, and the ruins of a carriage, but no sign of any survivors. "Left Hand" Leonhard, a large, muscular crocodile-like saurian with a wooden prosthetic left hand, says he and the rest of his team fended off a group of Blights, some of them matching your recollection of your former traveling companions, but Moonlight doesn't match the description of any of them. With no trace of her, you can only assume she's either dead, lost, or corrupted. Either way, it seems less and less likely you'll see her again any time soon.

 No.710984

>>710983

As she speaks to Tobias, she warmly congratulates him on probably the best meal of her life. She asks him the general direction and distance to the carriage crash, storing the info for later.

Disappointed at the bitter news (and the even more bitter lack thereof), Cinder thinks for a moment, then grabs one of the discarded strips of paper from the job board and scrawls on it in large, looping writing. She affixes it to an appropriate-seeming corner of the job board and steps back to admire her work.

"Missing! Any and all information related to the missing Paladin Lady Guiding Moonlight and her entourage. Please entrust any related correspondence with Clear Water at the church."

Seems good enough. She peruses the rest of the board for anything she can glean about the mounting corruption crisis. She expects them to lead her back to Lord whats-his-butt in the big house, but looks for anything else that seems pertinent as well.

Before she goes, she checks the deadpool list one more time. If she hadn't lost everything when her bag disappeared, she might make a bet or two. When she is satisfied, she thanks her new friends, making sure to pay special attention to Tobias and Zeke, promising she will return.

Since it appears she is going to be staying in this backwater hole for the conceivable future while Solar is on the mend, she figures she might as well find a room at the inn. She wanders to Henke's and enters.

 No.711421

>>710944
I smile and nod. "Sounds wonderful."

>>710909
I give the earth pony a polite nod. "We shan't be long. Just getting the lay of the land, so to speak." I take a little bit to look around at the various wares, scant though they be. After a couple minutes, I turn back to the earth pony. "Alright. I think I have an idea. I'll not keep you further and shall return at a later date to make some purchases. For now I must sort some things. Good evening, Mr.Free."

I turn to Voleurz. "Now. Back to the Familiar." I leave the shop and do just that.

 No.711422

>>710984
You get directions to it; it's about half a day along the main road leading out of Moonhollow. Tobias informs you that there's not much left at this point, just the remains of the crash.

The notice board has several jobs available, many of them from E. Pendleton Harroway, the current lord of Moonhollow. The largest of these concerns a bounty on a pair of notorious brigands operating in the area, Fallen Snow and Broken Sword, responsible for the shutdown of the old railway system connecting Moonhollow to the rest of the land. As long as they are around to conduct their train raids, Moonhollow will remain isolated. There are other jobs, such as a request for the exploration and mapping of a nearby ruined castle, or a report of a beast in the area terrorizing local farms, but none of them seem feasible to take on by yourself.

You head to Henke's, a small, sleepy little inn offering food, drinks and accomodation. It is sparsely decorated and has a smattering of clientele. The griffon at the counter seems exhausted and half asleep.

As you enter, you are greeted by a black cat with soulful yellow eyes, who trots up to you. "Hey there, new face!" the cat says cheerily. "What can we get you?"

>>710889 (Talon)
There's a bit of an awkward silence between you and Dalliance. She looks a bit uncomfortable with your odd demeanor. "H-hey!" she says out of nowhere. "Why don't we… er… join the rest of them in the bar?" she suggests, clearly trying to be a bit more friendly.

>>711421
>>710984
>>710937
>>710936
>>710944
You are all reunited this evening inside Henke's, save for Talon and Dalliance. Cinder is the latest to enter, spotting some familiar faces in the form of the rest of the group.

 No.711423

>>711422
Cinder steps cautiously into Henke's Familiar. She takes the room in one sweep of her glance, noting the presence of her erstwhile teammates as she does. A cat approaches and speaks, unexpectedly. Cinder tries not to appear taken aback by the warm welcome from a household pet.

"Hello! I'm a…" She struggles to avoid the words mercenary, hired hand, goon, thug, etc. "..traveler. I'm looking for lodging for a few days, perhaps longer, depending." An awkward pause leads her to proffer additional explanation. "I'm here to help Lord Harroway," she ad-libs. "The blight, you know." Tries to look heroic. Almost manages, in fact, despite the fact that she is worn to the bone and soaked with the filth of many miles traveled.



She looks to the "travelers" she has already fought alongside, feeling again the pang of loneliness. Perhaps she could find some parallel goals among these particular mercenaries.

 No.711424