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/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!
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File: 1550108024078.jpg (822.54 KB, 1280x1272, 1547415590689.jpg)

 No.711191[Last 50 Posts]

Last time on HolyQuest…

Dawn rose on the fourth day before the Tartarus mission was set to begin. The party has all of today and tomorrow before their expedition begins, leaving them with precious little time to spend with one another, and on their preparations. Power, allies, weapons, spells, potions, scrolls, armor – just forty-eight hours to obtain all they would need before they would descend into Tartarus itself to determine who would rule the new, demon-infested world.

After breakfast, the party returned to Lilane in order to attend Pryce's award ceremony. Pryce had earned the honor of the Star-Blessed Watch in recognition of his twelve years of service as an honorable knight of the Union Church.

Upon returning to Lilane, they were met with a most massive change of scenery. As Chorazin had alluded to yesterday, Metatron had visited Lilane in the night, sending his angels to guard and fortify the city which Ecclesia had claimed as its fortress. They had also apparently healed the injuries of many Ecclesians, who had been scarred, deformed, and had even lost limbs as a result of their battles with demons. Though the Ecclesians were overjoyed at this, the party was more than unnerved because of their previous encounters with Metatron.

Shei remained behind with Mocha, partly in order to take care of various tasks during the morning, and because he was shunned in Lilane for his outburst the previous day (although he was not officially exiled).

 No.711192

>Amy (before leaving for Lilane)
Deriva hugs you back, coming out your mane a little to straighten it out and make it presentable before the hug breaks off.


>Flaming

"No, I'm much better off than I was early yesterday morning," LJ says. "I was prepared, and I had an inkling of what I'd be getting into last night. This time, rather than fight against the memories, I observed, and I tried to figure out what the people whose lives I was living out were doing and thinking and feeling and why."


>Amy

Busta taps his elbow against you, clearly also nervous himself. "Don't worry, I won't let 'em harass you. They didn't say anything to me yesterday when I was here… but admittedly there also weren't angels around yesterday."


>Pryce, Amy, Flaming, Flow

"Chorazin told me this was going to happen," Mirror Image says. "Last night, at midnight, Metatron sent his angels to administer this city, to fortify and keep watch upon it. He's also worked his wonders upon those whose battles with demons have rendered them crippled and scarred. These people have been equipped with the remnants of dead angels, themselves, giving them the use of their lost limbs once more. But I just don't understand why he would do that, after all the trouble he's gone to in order to wreak havoc upon the world and its inhabitants, mortal and demon alike. Why watch after this city-state, after Ecclesia himself, when his ultimate goal is to let the world be razed by demons, and then dissolved by the Anomalies?"

As she speaks, you head up through the newly-fortified and blessed Lilane, seeing many angels assisting the Ecclesians with various tasks, namely martial training and the securement of the walls and fortifications, including several new pieces of anti-siege technology, such as catapaults and systems for pouring hot oil from the ramparts.

At the crest of the hill, you see an impressive setup. Many chairs are arrayed in a semicircle before a raised podium, upon which Gegeinschein stands, wearing a new robe, a black one that is trimmed with white letters from the Enochian script. He carries his crucifix with him, and surrounding the podium on all sides is a swarm of religious icons, statues, relics and murals, arrayed in such a way as to be reminiscent of a cathedral's interior. Pryce knows that this is the standard setup for this ceremony, but coupled with the presence of the angels, there is an undeniable presence emanating from the whole display. Gegenschein extends his hand as Pryce approaches. "Welcome, good Sir Pryce. Are you prepared for what is about to happen?"

>Shei

Chorazin shakes her head as you bring up your reasons for attempting to speak with Metatron. "You don't know the half of it. I've heard of your history from the others, so I know I can't stop you from attempting this communion. Just be careful."

>Shei (from Mocha)

Mocha looks to Gadds and Chorazin, who nod in affirmation of your testimony. "That's quite a few more than I asked for, so alright, I'll hold up my end of the bargain. Let's go somewhere we can sit and concentrate. Transmitting this power will take silence and focus from the both of us."

 No.711194

https://pastebin.com/RaZG8KLM

>>711192
"Could he have heard of our plan? Do you think Metatron will try to interject in some way?"
Pryce worries at Mirror's announcement, not trusting the work of the angels here.

Pryce tries to not let this affect him, his spirits lighting up a bit when he sees the set up area for his ceremony. He looks over to Gegenschein, holding out a hoof to shake his hand.
"Ever since you told me yesterday."
Pryce says, the excitement starting to come back afterthe shock of hte angels.

 No.711196

>>711192
Flaming lets out a sigh of relief as Journey explains how his dreams last night were far less stressful. "I'm so glad to hear that… I guess that makes sense. Now that you knew what you were in for, it'd be a lot easier to understand what was going on. So, now you experienced all those followers… what did you find out?"

>>711192
Flaming walks through the city, marveling at its newfound grandeur and beauty as she admires the ceremony site just ahead, but her thoughts are disrupted as Mirror Image mentions Metatron's involvement.

"The angel that destroyed Vitral?! He's here?" Flaming growls, looking around at the various angels helping out. "Then… Mirror, do you think what might have happened in Vitral, with all the ponies who got turned into angels… might just happen here too? We saw what a mess that turned out to be, is Ichimonji and the princesses in danger?"

 No.711197

>>711196
"I'm still trying to piece that together too," LJ says. "This time, the memories dwelled on the cultists' everyday experiences. These were old memories, far older than you or I. Buiwong was trapped in our world for hundreds of years, biding his time, regaining his power slowly through the help of Ba'drel and Cer'rog, by gathering cultists to worship him. These cultists made sacrifices and prayers and offerings and shrines to him, but they were still people like us. They built homes and villages, had families, and had to provide for them, and I saw those episodes from their lives… which is what confuses me. All my life I've wanted to be a champion for Buiwong, but none of what I saw looked like 'champion' stuff to me. It was so mundane. Why show me that when this world needs heroes and warriors more than ever?"

>>711196
"I can't say," Mirror says. "All I know is that I can't sense him around anywhere. If he were here, I'd definitely be able to feel his presence – frankly, anyone would. His power is so great that even those with little magical or spiritual senses would be disturbed by the power of his soul as it radiated through the air."

>>711194
"I don't know, nor can I try to guess, as this has gone against all that I've come to know about him and his goals. At first, he willed the destruction of the world via the Anomalies, and now he's guarding the very people his gods abandoned when they left during the Rapture?" Mirror Image asks.

As you go up to Gegenschein, the others wait before the podium, allowing you to be the center of focus. Seeing you here, many Ecclesians begin to gather from across all corners of the town, and start to find seating in the area before the ceremony begins. Gegenschein wears a serious expression, but there is a tint of genuine gratitude in his eyes. "Then we shall begin in short. Choose two among your allies to be your witnesses."

 No.711199

>>711197
Flaming listens to Journey's interpretations of his dreams, furrowing her brow in thought as she tries to consider the meaning behind it on her own as well. "That… does sound pretty plain and ordinary. Just a lot of regular living? But we *don't* live in a time where we can just do that, how can anyone expect to build a home or have a family when some demon horde could stampede through and destroy it all the very next day? The world DOES need champions right now or else we'll never be able to build anything ever again. Are you sure you didn't see any sort of sign or clue?"

>>711197
"And then there's the other thing you said. I agree… if the angels' wish is to see this world destroyed by the anomalies, why bother protecting anything? At least with Vitral, it was still early on and they thought they all still had a hope of getting things back to the way they were. Now, what could they think is the point?"

 No.711203

>>711199
LJ hums, giving it some thought. "There has to be some kind of message to it all. This dream felt like it lasted for weeks, there'd be no reason to send me such a dream if there was no point to it. But given the times we live in, the content of these dreams was very unusual. Most of my dreams til now have been about fighting or fleeing from demons, or being killed by them. So this was a very welcome change. I suppose until now I'd never thought – really thought in any depth – about what I'd do if we really succeeded. I know I'd like to go back to my clan… but what do I do with my day when there's no fighting to be had?"

>>711199
"I don't know, but be on your guard. Such a complete reversal of his plans can't be for any good reason."

 No.711204

>>711199
>>711197

"But, how are we supposed to live normal lives again if we never treat our lives as normal?" Amy asks in response to Flaming.

 No.711205

>>711192
"Right, I will go get my mat" Shei-Sher gets his cheap psychedelia floor mat, and isn't even a twinge embarrassed he thinks it looks cool.

 No.711206

>>711197
"Either way, it's discomforting. Maybe we shouldn't stick around too long after."


Pryce looks across the seats, feeling like he's on stage. On;y this time he feels some genuine nervousness at the high honor of it all. As Gegenschein mentions the witnesses, Pryce is caught off guard, having forgotten all about that part.
"Oh, of course. River, obviously will be one. And, uh…."
Seeing this moment, KP quickly runs up to Pryce's side.
>"Ooo, ooo, ooo! Can I pick one?"
"I'm not—"
>"It'll give you time to get ready. And I'm you too, remember?"
Pryce stops.
"Well, when you put it like that. Alright, but you should probably hurry up. Come on River."
Pryce says, heading with River over to the podium. Meanwhile, KP runs over to Zjetya, looking up at her.
>("I just found a great spot for you!")
KP whispers excitedly to her.

 No.711207


 No.711209

>>711203
Flaming chuckles, bumping her head against Journey's. "What are you talking about? We're Clan Climbing Fire, there will 'always' be more fighting to be had, you silly!" She chuckles, before letting herself sigh. "Though, I know what you mean. I've been running and fighting for so long too, I'm not sure what to do after."

"Maybe… maybe the point of those visions is to remind you of what you're fighting FOR. What we can stand to get back… and what we'll lose if we fail. Telling you what to keep an eye out for after the war is over."

>>711204
"I… uh…" Flaming stammers, a little stumped by the question. "Well… we had normal lives BEFORE the Firmament broke, so we know what normal feels like. And so we shouldn't treat the times we live in right now as normal, because they're not. Does… does that make sense?"

 No.711210

>>711192
https://pastebin.com/R0AXr1UU

Flow’s instincts tell him that he probably shouldn’t be here long, and does not wander too far off from the others. Ever antsy, he warily eyes all of the inhabitants of the city, as well as the angels that inhabit the area as well.
>”Sir, do you think?” Vice pipes up from behind.
“Aye lad, I’m sure of it.”

 No.711211

>>711209

"But, I don't really think we'll be able to get back to that again," Amy says pensively.

 No.711213

>>711211
"…maybe not. Even if our plan works, the demons are here to stay. I know there is no going back to the way things were exactly… but, you know what I mean though, not having to worry about death and war coming for your home almost every day. These last few days have been the closest to 'normal' we've been in a long time."

 No.711214

>Platform, not podium, chose the wrong word there

>>711206
River smiles as you ask her to join you, and walks up to the platform, joining you as the Ecclesians have assembled, forming an audience of over well over a hundred in number. In attendance, you see the Princesses, many members of the Choir, and scores of warriors and mages from the Congregation, and the elderly and young from among the Laity. Briefly, a chill grips your stomach as you see, far in the back, two unmistakable figures: Mudi the Young and Vizsla the Kind, which brings to mind the vision you saw of Mudi during the purification ceremony yesterday. Accompanying them are Mudi's Shades: wispy, ethereal ghosts without clear form or detail, vaguely taking demonic, wendigo-like shapes. The Ecclesians give a wide berth about them, but do not actively interact with them – or even look at them for that manner.

As KP goes back to talk to Zjetya, she immediately makes the connection, and looks up at River and Pryce with hesitation. River looks back at her and KP with a raised eyebrow.
"Are you sure the both of you are…" Zjetya struggles, being at a very rare loss for words. "I mean, isn't she going to take that honor herself? This is her big moment just as it is Pryce's; she's…" she whispers to KP.

>>711209
>>711204
LJ's face alights as Flaming makes the connection for him. "That– yeah, you took the words right out of my mouth. I mean, really, I was gonna say that. Don't be a thought-copycat, Flaming!" With a look over at Amy, he adds, "Yeah, what are you saying? Who finds this kind of horrific life normal except demons?"

>>711210
Gjenganger waves to you from the seating area, having found a few seats for your group. Renee looks over as you talk to Vice. "I concur."
"Indeed," Zophie adds.
Gjenganger just looks lost. "I… agree?"

>>711205
Mocha snorts at the sight of it but says nothing more. She looks around, then picks a secluded garden in the nearby Kirin village, now overgrown and in disrepair, but placid and quiet all the same. Directing you to lay down the mat upon a little clearing upon the garden's cobblestones. "Now then, in order for me to transfer this power to you, you must understand why Buiwong is the god of stories. You obviously know by now why gods are worshipped. People need things to believe in, and these beings, called gods, were assigned stewardship over an aspect of reality that people would want a little divine help for. People pray to gods, and gods answer. They have a symbiotic relationship: Prayer and belief strengthen and shape the god, and the god tends to their followers' needs in the scope of their domain and power, shaping their faithful worshippers in kind.

"But… why stories? Why would something so basic, so universal, something any mortal can tell, need a god? There are gods of harvest and war and good fortune and favorable weather, things that are outside of mortalkind's control. But anyone can tell a story, even if it's no good or boring or dry. Give me an answer."

 No.711217

>>711214
Flaming snickers as LJ berates her for taking the words out of his mouth. "Oooooh? Did I come to the right answer before Smarty-pants Journey? Guess I'm a little more wise than I thought!"

She laughs loudly, shaking her head. "Well… I think that dream was a really good thing then. It must have been nice, getting a reminder of how things used to be, and what they can be again. I wonder… do you think we would have ever met back in the clan, before things went bad?"

 No.711218

>>711214
Pryce stands up tall on the platform as they walk up, looking over the large crowd gathered for him. His smile is undeniable, the gathering maybe going to his head a little bit but this kind of situation only comes around once. His eyes stop on Mudi and Vizsla, a brief moment of panic, but he dismisses it. With no one else noticing, it must just be a hallucination, just worry set in from the angels. He takes his spot with River at his side.

>("There has to be two witnesses, and the only other one Pryce would likely consider on his own would be Shei since they traveled for so long together. But since he's to here, this is perfect for you! Come on, I know he won't deny it. And you're dressed perfectly for it too!")

KP says, holding out a hoof so he can walk her up to the platform.

 No.711219

>>711214
"The first thing that comes to my mind is Easy Doesit, a fairy, by her account and corroborated with some other accounts in my ventures. A convincing story in multitude can make things, people, effects -tangible -real. Is fate written along a script -wherein holy scribes of angelic property write the world's great work." Shei waves his head, pupils floating thoughts "Perhaps the script is written with thoughts, everyone's thoughts, weaving together and mending the pathologies in Y'dryth's dream whom we are all a part of.. Or maybe Buiwong does not hold such an awesome power, maybe I'm over thinking things and the God of fables simply shelter's liars and aristocrats from their own venoms. If it were true however, it would explain Buiwong's ill-kept relationship with the Angels and stewards of the cosmos. Suddenly his banishment to our humble earth is made clear. Because in the end dominion over stories for your interest and not in conspiration with the great work would not be much different than telling a lie or living on. Only a spider could stew in it's venoms."
Shei-Sher lands his head sideways as he finishes his thoughts and looks to Mocha wondering if he got it right.

 No.711233

>>711214

Amy frowns at LJ's response. "I mean, obviously we can make things better. But, things just aren't going to just 'go back to normal'. No matter what we do. The world is too changed. This IS normal now. Or… hopefully something like this but better is."

>>711213

"So, that means we're doing the right things," Amy says with a determined nod.

 No.711234

>>711217
"Maybe… I was out on the battlefield for Buiwong when the Rapture happened, so it took me a long time to ever link up with the rest of the clan. Most of my days were spent exploring, or fighting against the Union Church, whenever they tried to destroy a hidden shrine to Buiwong, or to persecute any of his faithful. I was a busy guy. Still, I'd have liked to meet you whatever the circumstances were."

He flushes a little red. "You're a skilled adversary and I'd have liked to spar with you, I mean."

That doesn't help his blush any, but rather than be embarrassed, he seems authentic and unashamed, and smiles.

>>711218
>>711217
Zjetya rubs the back of her head, then comes up to the platform with KP, and takes her place next to Pryce, upon his left side. River gives no reaction, and instead looks ahead to Gegenschein. A bell rings in a distant tower, sounding out that it is now seven in the morning. Gegenschein raises his hand for silence, and the crowd, in time, simmers down, halting their conversations. He stands before all who are gathered.

"My beloved brothers and sisters of Ecclesia, I have called you here to bear witness to the awarding of a great honor upon a faithful member of the Union Church – destroyed briefly by the machinations of fallen gods, and raised again in glory by the will of our eternal protectors, the Seven Holy Devas, and their countless true faithful servants, the lesser gods, the angels, and of course all of you. Though Sir Pryce is no longer a knight of our new Church, he has demonstrated himself a person of rare character and virtue, exercising restraint in the face of provocation, prudence in the face of trial and charity in the face of great evil. And, he demonstrates another welcome quality: good humor in the face of the grim reality of our world, if his actions in the springs last night were any indication."

Gegenschein turns and smirks at Pryce as River turns red and the crowd laughs. "Thus, as one of the Twelve Judges of the Choir, I have called him here to bestow the honor of the Star-Blessed Watch upon him."

 No.711235

>>711233
LJ pauses, thinking over your words. "That does make sense. Many places are too far gone, and there's no way to replace all those who have been lost and displaced. One way or another, there's no putting things back to how they were before. But I must hold out some hope that we can restore things. Not everything has been lost. My clan, more or less, is still alive and out there. So are our traditions and ways and gods."

>>711219
Mocha pauses, taking it all in. "Then you understand even better than I had thought," she says slowly, thoughtfully. "People craft stories, remember them, tell them, write them down, obsessively, wherever you go. Nowhere in the world are there people that do not have a story of who and what they are. If a story should be forgotten, should be destroyed, then the people that were sustained by it are lost as well. If you take someone and brainwash them, torture out the story of who and what they are, and where they came from, then you have nothing but an empty shell. Everywhere around the world, people unconsciously worshipped something, anything that could keep their story alive.

"In time, that is what made Buiwong who and what he is. From a speck no bigger than the tiniest spider, into a god. A god now split 13.8 billion ways, broken but not undone by the cowardly Devas who fled this world with their followers. As he assembles his pieces, so to does he bring together all the stories of those who have prayed, not necessarily to him, but to someone, to preserve them, or if nothing else, to preserve the story of who they were. He is the god of the hope that someone out there will remember you.

"All of this has changed him in ways I cannot even understand… but you clearly get it."

She reaches forward and taps your forehead, and a surge of trembing energy, a rapturous focusing of thought and word, springs into your mind, the same sensation one feels when apprehending one's favorite tale.

You have obtained the power of the Dark Corridor.

 No.711246

>>711235

"Well, of course," Amy says with a smile. "Fight for the things you want. That's always been true. In that way, the world hasn't changed at all."

>>711234

"Wait, are Pryce and River a thing?" Amy asks obliviously to anyone nearby during the speech.

 No.711247

>>711234
Pryce looks to his side as KP brings Zjetya on stage. He's slightly surprised KP picked somepony out so fast, but he smiles as she joins him. KP meanwhile heads off the platform to take a seat and watch.

Pryce beams as Gegenschein begins, standing in the pace of the grand sights of his youth. His head holds high through the speech, but when the springs are brought up, his face goes red as well. While the proud knight is flustered, he gives a awkward chuckle as the crowd laughs.

KP in the crowd watches on, eyes wide in awe as Pryce receives acknowledgement of his duty and service. When the audience laughs at the springs, KP claps along.

 No.711249

>>711235
At the end there, Shei's head rattles a bit as he recieves scincillating feelings travel up and down his spinal chord.

The rattling dissapates. Shei stands up "A person can know who Grandfather is if they're honest with themselves. Simply taking a good view of your presonage or just a talk with Y'dryth will put two and two together. And it is the reason I wish to leave Buiwong. After we are done in Tartarus. I would like my soul set free and I am happy to return any powers he has deigned me with. Now do not take it wrongly, I do not harbor any animosity towards Buiwong, not any more at least. I've come.. to like him, admire him in fact in a way. He is cool.." After looking away for a moment Shei looks to Mocha and says straight faced "I have never had a more collaborative effort in worship with any other god than I did with Buiwong. Verily, Buiwong is actually quite generous in a way -when you understand how the business works."

"Will you take me to your cabin? I want to submit my terms to Buiwong." Into the mailbox that takes prayers.

 No.711250

>>711234
Flow sits in silence near the back, still wary of his surroundings.
>”Sir, just because we’re in the presence of angels doesn’t mean we should take so much caution.”
“Aye lad, I get it. But I aven’t a bit of remorse for their kind.”
He simmers in silence while Vice and Trapper go along with the crowds’ reactions.

 No.711251

>>711234
Flaming laughs off Journey's bashfulness, looking at him with a cocked eyebrow as though to question whether sparring is really all he'd like to do. "Hehehe, yeah, I'm sure. Though I would have steam-rolled you even back then, just for your information."

She blushes herself, unable to look Journey in the eye as she says, "I would have liked to meet you too. You're really brave, and strong." She snickers, "You look silly when your face is all red like that, by the way."

>>711233
"Heh… I guess it does. Let's try and keep that up."

As the ceremony begins and you ask if River and Pryce are a thing, Flaming's jaw drops. "You mean you hadn't heard?"

>>711234
After the distant bell rings, Flaming turns her attention towards Gegenschein, giving him all her due attention as he begins the speech, honoring Pryce for his duty and spirit.

As he says 'bestow the honor of the Star-Blessed Watch upon him', Flaming starts stomping her hooves, letting out a loud 'moooo' of praise in celebration (perhaps a bit prematurely).

 No.711252

>>711249
>can know who your grandfather is

 No.711258

>>711246
"At least half a dozen people have told Pryce it was obvious she liked him," Wireframe says.
"Such a thing was no secret to myself," Observer adds. "Or anyone else with eyes."

>>711251
"You're talking pretty tough for someone red as a tomato too!" LJ exclaims, knocking his horn against yours. "We should train tonight just so I can show you who's boss!"

>>711250
Renee casts cautious glances to the angels, securing herself by wrapping her arm about yours.

>>711247
>>711246
>>711250
>>711251
Gegenschein turns to Pryce, and looks at him with stern, scrutinizing eyes, tough and judgmental. "Sir Pryce, do you vow to deny temptation when it is before you, evil when it calls your name, and vice when it offers itself to you? Do you pledge to uphold truth and honor, and the good of your country, your kin and your peers, even if you could profit by selling them out? And do you swear to be a sword for what is right, a shield for the weak, and a light to those who are lost?"

>>711249
Mocha nods. "Let's be off, then," she says, and opens a Dark Corridor to the cabin. "But from now on, don't ask me to take you to a place you've been before. You need to exercise this power in order to be able to call upon it reliably."

You enter the spacious cabin, a many-roomed place that is well-furnished, with rugs, couches, and trophies of monsters' heads and claws upon the walls and bookshelves, which are packed with old books. There are windows about, revealing a dark, nighttime wood all about the cabin, although it is daytime.

 No.711260

>>711258
Shei-Sher's eyes immediately dart to the bookshelf. Note to self, check that out later.

"I have actually never been here before." Shei notes the odd time of day. "Is this in the backstage?" Shei says as he ambles room to room until he finds the mailbox he was told of

 No.711262

>>711251

"No!" Amy exclaims quietly. "Don't tell Shei, but I'm kinda jealous. I had a big crush on him. That's actually why I wanted you to be with him. I was scared of what I would do if I started getting romantic so I thought I'd want to be with him less if he was with someone else."

"It's so dumb sounding to me now," Amy laughs. "Maybe that's just the merge talking. I thought being with Shei was a dumb idea. I didn't get why I did it at first. But… I get it now."

Amy furrows her brow in confusion. "This is weird."

>>711258

"Well it was to me!" Amy says defensively. "I'm the one who suggest River come with us in the first place! Pryce should be thanking me!"

 No.711265

>>711258
Pryce clears his flustered emotion, looking on at Gegenschein.
"I vow to deny all temptation, ignore all evils, and refute all vices. I pledge on my life to uphold truth and honor, my country, my peers, and my kin. And I swear myself as a sword for justice, a shield for the weak, and a light for all who are lost."
Pryce responds in a strong voice, swearing to every word with his life and being.

 No.711268

>>711258
Flow keeps himself from jumping when Renee clings to him. He can’t help but smile, and turns to her.
“Don’t worry lass, I can wipe the floor with these blokes,” he whispers to her with a smirk and wink.
Vice and Trapper breathe a sigh of relief as Flow lightens up.

 No.711270

>>711258
>>711258
Flaming pushes back against the horns as he locks his with hers, snickering, "Any time, any place, fluffy. I love putting you in your place. I still have my 'secret technique' I used on you last time."

>>711262
"You had a crush on Pryce?!" Flaming says almost too loudly, covering her hooves at the last second to prevent it from getting out. "Ooooh. I guess that sort of makes sense. I don't think Pryce and I would have worked out though looking back on it, he went on such a guilt trip when he thought he was responsible for Shei getting me hurt on the date."

"Though, I got to say, if I had to pick, I probably would go for Pryce over Shei."

>>711258
>>711265
Flaming looks up on stage as Pryce gives his vow to refute all temptation and evil, looking on intently and proudly as she keeps her head held high observing the ceremony.

 No.711274

>>711260
"Yes, he placed it here to be a safe realm for myself and our allies. Unfortunately, like all the hideouts and pocket dimensions and hidden realms that are placed in the space between worlds, it cannot sustain many people, so the lay cultists can't come here."

You head down a hallway, reaching the last door at the end, which opens into a congested, claustrophobic storage room, full of dust and sealed boxes and chests, as well as dozens of spiders that seem to simply be waiting there. At the end of it is a small box with a stack of papyrus slips and a quill pen and ink before it. The box is ornate and ancient-looking, seeming like something that would be found in an old pagan temple, and has a slit at the top for inserting prayers.

>>711262
"You're one heck of a wingpony then!" Tantra exclaims. "Keep an eye out for me, will you?"

>>711270
LJ snorts. "Of course you'd have to rely on dirty tricks like that to subdue a true warrior like me." He clears his throat awkwardly. "…But if you use it, don't use it in front of the others. It'd be a bit… improper, don't you think?"

>>711268
"I've no doubt of it, that's why I'm sticking close to you," Renee says. She casts a suspicious gaze over at the far end of the audience, where you see Mudi, Vizsla, and the Shades in attendance, watching the ceremony with only vague disinterest. They seem far more interested in you and your allies, as they are observering all of you from afar.

>>711270
>>711268
>>711265
>>711262
"Then it is my great pleasure to dub thee Sir Pryce the Just, in recognition of your twelve honorable years of knightly service, steadfast resolve, and your continual upholding of the Old World's virtues. Your kind is a rare one indeed, Sir Pryce, and though I respect your decision to remain independent of Ecclesia, it would please me and all Ecclesians to see you remain our ally and an inspiration and example of good and moral character to all, especially to the generation that shall inherit the New World."

Gegenschein affixes the medal to Pryce's robe, its radiant beauty standing out against the white of his cloak. Gegenschein then raises his hand in a sign of blessing, and the Ecclesians in attendance do so as well. "Go in peace, good Sir Pryce, and the blessings of our gods and Church be upon you."

The audience then applauds, and River and Zjetya step back a little, putting Pryce again in the center before them.

 No.711281

>>711270

"Yeah, I would have said the same thing until recently. Pryce is too… straight for me, though."

>>711274

Amy lets out an excited squeal. "We should TOTALLY go to a bar and I can help you pick up the sexiest mare there! Let's do it right after this!"

Amy then applauds for Pryce with everyone else.

 No.711282

>>711281
"It's hardly seven in the morning!" Tantra exclaims. "A little early even for me! Er, besides… I prefer to stick with my own kind, if you know. I doubt you know of any buffalo, but I'm open to pleasant surprises."

 No.711283

"If you know what I mean,"*

 No.711284

>>711282

"It's 8 am somewhere!" Amy says in response to the first complaint.

"Oh… I didn't mean- what do they call female buffalo?"

 No.711285

>>711274
Pryce bows his head in thanks as Gegenschein applies the medal to his robe.
"I will always be an ally. While we have our own paths, we both seek the same goals for this world and I will aid as best I can."
Pryce says, both to Gegenschein and the group as a while.

Pryce turns to the audience as Gegenschein blesses him off, look out at the crowd. He doesn't know what to say, overwhelmed with joy. A tear of happiness and gratitude comes to his eye, bowing his head again to the crowd.
"Thank you all."

KP cheers as Pryce gets the medal, stomping his hooves as loud as his little body can.

 No.711287

>>711284
"Cows, unfortunately. We share the same demonyms as minotaurs and actual bovines do, which tends to make for some disappointing and dramatic misunderstandings when people try to set up their buffalo friends with dates."

 No.711288

>>711274
His smirk quickly dissapates when he follows where Renee is looking.
His lips curl into a small scowl, but he holds his tongue.
>”You two haven’t a thing to worry about, just pay them no heed,” the clone speaks in a hushed tone.
>>”Aye lads, they’ll get their fair share later.”

 No.711291

>>711287

"Pffff," Amy does her best to hold in a tirade of laughter. And fails miserably.

 No.711293

>>711274
>>711274
"Dirty tricks? Really, Journey, whining is just not for you. In a real fight, it's just a matter of what you can do and what you can't do, and obviously you 'can't' do anything against my super secret buffalo paralyzing maneuver."

As you mention not doing it in public, Flaming cocks her head. "Huh? Why, too embarrassed to lose in front of an audience?"

>>711281
"Straight…? You mean, too proper and stuff? Yeah, I can kind of see that. He's been good at loosening up lately though."

As you ask what female buffalo are called, Flaming states proudly, "Cows!"

>>711285
>>711274
As the crowd erupts into their cheers, and Pryce takes his bows with the medal proudly pinned to his robe, Flaming takes this as her cue to go wild, stomping her hooves and letting out a loud roar of approval for the newly appointed 'Sir Pryce the Just'

[1d10] Being loud, proud, all around
"WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

>>711281
>>711285
>>711287
"I could go for a drink! But after that, Tantra: you know anything about tattoos?"

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.711297

>>711291
Tantra folds his arms and rolls his eyes. "Yeah, laugh it up, but I know it all to well from my own experience! This is why I preferred fighting gods and angels when I was a young bull."

>>711293
Tantra raises his eyebrow. "Yes. Part of my training, as I got older, was learning of their meaning, and how to apply them, and the proper ceremonies for doing so. Though, be warned, I was chosen by Buiwong and sent out to gather others for his cause before I could complete my lessons. Why do you ask?"

>>711293
LJ squints in annoyance as you keep up the taunting, and then without warning, tries the secret technique upon you, nuzzling his cheek against yours!
[1d10]

>>711288
"Indeed, all in good time, but not now, on this day of good cheer," Renee says, rising from her chair to go greet Pryce. "Come now."

>>711288
>>711291
>>711288
>>711285
>>711293
Box is the first to rush up, and Busta tries to stop him out of fear of propriety about the ceremony, but Gegenschein merely smiles and gestures for Box to come forward, and so Busta, Wireframe, Tantra and the rest of your allies soon come up to surround Pryce, offering their various words of praise and congratulations, forming a chorus of overlapping affirmation and good cheer in his honor. Meanwhile, Zjetya slips away, vanishing among the crowd, while River, taking the chance, slips into the gap that Zjetya left behind, and kisses Pryce.

"What should we do now?" Box asks. "We've only got two more peaceful days together, we have to squeeze the most out of this time!"

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.711300

>>711274
>>711297
>It is the backstage
"Hm. It's nice to be here physically for a change." shei scratches his face.

Seeing the small crowds of spiders Shei waves his hoof "Hi." He then appraises the mailbox with Pupil.

[1d10+1]
>appraise

"I suspected as such, I have seen something of such a nature before among Colleagues within the Order of Theon. Writing a letter takes some energy, equivalent to that released during ejaculation. The fatigue incured is also similar. The act of writing letters I believe is to allude inserting footnotes into the script. It is an actualy commitment instigated by the user and the editor, conveyed through the mailbox… I think."

"Not very many people know you can insert far beyond the compiler's limits for qi dispersal, by using a lot of papers for the same prayer."

Shei-Sher grabs a small stack of the papyrus and begins writing every single word in his prayer large enough to take the entire page of Papyrus.

He writes
>BUIWONG, GOD OF SPIDERS AND FABLES - IT IS WITH REMORSE I INFORM YOU TODAY OF MY RESIGNATION PENDING TERMS OF AGREEMENT. THESE 4 YEARS UNDER YOUR TUTELAGE AND 2 YEARS PRIOR CHASING YOUR SHADOW HAVE BEEN THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE. I WISH TO PURSUE MY OWN VENTURE AND INDEED WANT FOR NOTHING BUT FRIENDSHIP AND MUTUAL COMPLIANCE IN THE PROCESSING OF MY TERMINATION UNDER SERVITUDE.
>TERMS WHEREIN BY, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I SHEI-SHER BASTARD TO GOATS, KID OF Y'DRYTH, SON OF CROW-LEY AM BOUND TO FULFILL MY GREAT WORK IN DEFEATING MUDI IN TARTARUS. FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT AND ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE TERMS ABOVE TO BE NULL AND VOID, COMPLETE SEIZURE OF DATA AND SOUL, AND PERMISSIONS GRANTED BY OWNER OF SOUL FOR ALL STIPULATIONS WHICH MAY INCUR. MAY WE NOW SEAL OUR CONTRACT.

On the last page which is titled Contract. Shei writes his signature and underneath it in fine print he writes 93 93/93. A cut is made an he prints a small dab of his blood beside his name.
After tieing all the pages together in a nice bundle Shei crams it down the mailbox slit.

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.711304

>>711293

"Bwahahahahah!" Amy continues to laugh. "You're a cow!" she points her hoof-paw in Flaming's face.

>>711297

Amy doesn't come up on stage. Instead, she follows Zjetya. Not because she wants to know what Zjetya is doing, but because she assumes Zjetya will know the best place to hide from all of this.

 No.711305

>>711297
Flaming smiles, "Do you think you can give Pryce one? You and I both know that when warriors advance in their training and get stronger, they get new tattoos as proof of their hard work! Pryce needs one now that he's officially been knighted, so could you make one for him?"

>>711297
Flaming is caught completely and totally off guard as LJ tries her technique against her, her eyes and mouth opening in shock as she feels their cheeks nuzzle. The red grows all over her face as she starts to get a feeling for 'why' he didn't want it done in public. As her embarrassment grows, the shock and paralysis wears off, and Shorthorns gives LJ a brief, stunned look before she responds with the only thing she can right now
"You… I…. uh… that… um…"

Proceeded by an impromptu, unprovoked BONK in the face with her horns, Flaming acting on pure instinct as she doesn't know how to reciprocate the gesture properly so she just goes with what she knows.
>Fluffing his 1 critfail as scoring a direct hit against him

 No.711306

>>711300
It is nearly impossible to get all the papers into the slot at once, but through some space-distorting brief miracle, you enter the prayer into the box. After a brief time, there is a voice in your head.
I have accepted your terms, Buiwong says to you. But have a little consideration for the rest of my followers, and save some papyrus for the rest of them, will you?

The mailbox, Pupil reveals, is a manifestation of the process of prayer, constructed according to the purpose and thought process that you just laid out clearly, and as an aid to the faithful. It also seems to have sentimental purpose for Buiwong himself, as he has his spiders collect prayers from his followers across the world, and record them on the papyrus, giving him a physical copy of the prayer rather than just the spoken and thought words.

 No.711307

>>711304
Flaming doesn't seem embarrassed at all, puffing her chest out and keeping her chin held high. "Yep! I sure am a cow!"

 No.711310

>>711297
>>711293
>>711281
>>711288
KP runs up on stage with everypony else.
>"Congrats big guy! This is amazing,do you know how many ponies have this honor! Not many!"

Pryce looks around as everypony comes up on stage to congratulate him.
"Thanks guys. I'm thankful I can share this moment with all of you."
Pryce says as he's crowded and swarmed, and then a little embarrassed as River kisses him in front of the others. Not that he minds, though.

"I promised you we'd go treasure hunting, didn't I Box? We just need to find a place that'd be worthwhile."


Pryce pauses, looking around the group.
"Did anypony see where Zjetya went?"

>>711293
"Oh, right. I almost forgot about that…"
Pryce says as Flaming brings up the tattoos.

 No.711312

>>711306
Shei-Sher stands back. Relief washes over him the moment Buiwong speaks. Shei looks out to all the little spiders before him and bows before turning out the door.

He stands idle for a moment and scratches the back of his head. "Thanks Mocha." In that moment, he sounded like a child.
Shei-Sher conjures a dark corridor back to the ship and leaves.

>Dark Corridor

[1d10+1] to the ship

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

 No.711314

>>711305
"…He's not really 'one of us', Flaming," Tantra says sternly. "I know you consider him part of your clan, but our tattoos are for our people. Buffalo, not for ponies. They can't just be given out to anyone, no matter how close they are to us or even if we really love them."

>>711305
LJ flops over backward, stunned and dazed as you knock him flat onto his back. With a groan, he lays there, rubbing his head, then slowly rolls to his hooves. He shakes out his head, and looks at you awkwardly, unsure of what to say. Still, there is a look of regret in his face over this. Tantra is speechless, but pretends to be focusing on Pryce, so as to let you two work it out.

>>711304
Zjetya takes a moment and stops in the shade of a garden-house, away from the crowds. An angel, perching atop a nearby guardtower, glances down at the two of you like a gargoyle, but Zjetya merely gives it a single, haunted look, and the angel turns around again. Then, Zjetya leans against the garden-house, giving out a frustrated sigh. She looks off to the side and touches briefly at her eyes.

>>711310
"Alright! Just pick a place and I'm there!" Box declares enthusiastically. As you ask about Zjetya, your crowd of friends and allies looks around briefly, but it seems for a moment that nobody really knows where she went. Then, Volkama nods at a garden-house a little distance down the hill from where the ceremony took place. "I recall seeing her little buggy body bug off that way."
Deriva puts a hoof on your chest. "Distant," she says, one of the first words you've heard her say since she was brought on to the ship.

>>711312
As the Corridor opens, all of the papyrus sheets that you stuffed into the box fly out at you in a burst, knocking you back onto a nearby cushion, and then the Corridor closes once again. Buiwong lets out a cruel cackle as it does. Practice, practice, kid!

Mocha rolls her eyes. "Get used to that. He often let me have one of those whenever I slacked on chores or practice when I was a filly. But in my case he usually sent monsters out of the Corridor."

 No.711318

>>711297
Flow nods.
“Aye, I suppose we should be merry and well,” he says with a small smile.
While he does congradulate Pryce, he continues to look around at all of the angel sentinels.


Vice shakes his head.
>”I understand, but I feel like he’s taking this too far…”
>>”Aye, but remember, both these and demons are our new prey. Not like we’d be hunting these blokes any time soon.”

 No.711319

>>711314
Shei-sher turns his head toward the ceiling whilst on the floor as Buiwong cackles, his embarrassment not fainting even after Mocha's offer of solidarity.

Shei stands straight and stammers "I-I'm tired! It was a lot of letters! Y-You saw!" He cries out to the ceiling double taking to Mocha "Y-You both saw!"

Shei shakes his head in utter disaproval and tries again.

[1d10+1] Dark corridor to the ship

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.711320

>>711314
Pryce looks off in the direction Volkama points.
"Thank you. Alright, you guys can all decide how we can celebrate, and then we can pick a place to go after that. But right now I promised her something so I'll just be a bit."
Pryce is about to leave, but stops as Deriva puts a hoof on his chest. He stares at her, shocked (in the good way) that she spoke, but stunned at the single word. He can't tell if she's answering his question on where Zjetya went, or saying something deeper. He isn't sure what to say, and his face does read confusion, but he can't sit and worry about that now. He's got a promise to keep.
Pryce squeezes his way out of the friend cluster and follows after Zjetya.

 No.711322

>>711314
Flaming blushes in response to Tantra's admonishment, "I-I know… but, you still now how to make tattoos at least? Can you make a new one just for Pryce? He's my clanmate, and when warriors in my clan advance, they receive tattoos to celebrate. It doesn't have to be a Climbing Fire one, but can you make him one in general?"

>>711314
After LJ flops over and looks at her, Flaming seems stunned, little tears forming at the corner of her eyes as she looks down at him. "J-journey! I'm sorry, I …" she leans down, offering a hoof to help him up. "It was an accident, I didn't… I don't know what came over me, I just… I…" she says, blushing beat red as she tries to find the words but fails. "I-I don't know why I did that… a-are you okay, I didn't hurt you did I?"

>>711310
"Congratulations again, Pryce!" She says, still stomping her hooves on the ground in celebration. "Oh, sorry… Sir Pryce the Just!" she says, giving a low bow of her head.

"Hehehe… that's going to be fun to say."

 No.711323

>>711319
It takes much more concentration and focus, but this time, you manage to open a small Corridor, but you find yourself winded even by the end of that. It's turning out to be a far more difficult technique than the others' demonstrations would have implied. However, in time, you are back at the ship, finding it empty, even of the pets, which had been taken to the ceremony.

Mocha nearly plops down on the couch that you found Yes Mare and Observer on, but then thinks better of it, and sits down on a clear spot on the floor instead.

>>711318
The angels seem to take no heed of you, instead scanning the horizon obsessively for demonic presences. Even with the magatsuhi surrounding you and your allies who have not been purified, they seem to be undisturbed. Moreover, they also seem to take no notice of Amy, Busta, Volkama or Deriva, all of whom are demons themselves.

 No.711325

>>711322
Pryce chuckles.
"You can just call me Pryce, we don't need to be so formal."
Pryce says before he leaves.
"…But it is nice to hear again."

 No.711326

>>711323
Shei-Sher nods at Mochas expert decision not to sit on the couch.

Shei-sher leaves the room to the cupboard they place all they're extremely volative and ancient trinkets and grabs the moon and sun discus.

Shei-Sher sits down next to Mocha with the discs in his lap "Care to ask the seer stones questions with me?" Shei asks as if he was inviting her to play a game with him.

Shei-Sher holds the sun discus in his hooves and asks it to show him who he is in all honesty.
[gibs powerz plox]

 No.711329

>>711314

"I hate being here," Amy comments in a combination of distaste and fear as she glances at the angel.

 No.711330

>>711322
Tantra screws up his mouth, seeming reluctant. "I don't know how the Elders would look upon that. Even if I make him his own tattoo, that'd still be made using Climbing-Fire techniques. There's just some things we can't share with outsiders, otherwise they're no longer our Clan's specific traditions, you understand."

>>711322
LJ leans his head back, then headbutts you back, pushing his forehead against yours with a slightly pained, but triumphant grin. "Guess I was right, you couldn't handle the secret technique so you had to nearly knock me out to resist its charms. Ow. Ow…" he groans. "But you didn't have to hit that hard."

>>711320
>>711329
"You and me both," Zjetya says a little vindictively, not turning to look at Amy as she speaks. When Pryce comes over, Zjetya dabs away at her eyes, then straightens out her dress. "Pryce. Hey. Uh, great job. Really lookin'… somethin' else with that new medal. Oh, or is it 'Sir Pryce the Just' every time someone refers to you now?"

She laughs awkwardly, but her eyes are plainly red.

 No.711331

>>711330
Pryce is about to call out to Zjetya, but as he sees her eyes, he stops.
"Zjetya, are you alright?"
He asks with concern, not even noticing Amy there right away.

 No.711332

>>711326
Mocha's eyes widen at the sight of the two discs. "So these are the ones, then? I was wondering what'd happen to me if I used them. Suppose I'll just…"

As the both of you touch the Sun Diskos, you find your consciousness transported, just as it was by the Moon Diskos. You stand upon a hill overlooking a valley, facing east as the sun rises, and birds sing, ringing in a new day over the valley as life blooms all about it around you. You look around, but…

There's nobody else here.

At least, for a time. After a few moments of solitude, a faint and golden glow of an adult goat, robed in sage's attire, appears, looking sternly out above the valley, clasping a scepter topped with Pupil's eye, and a bound old spellbook. He takes no notice of you.

 No.711334

>>711330

Amy frowns as she looks from Pryce to Zjetya. "Hey, Zeta," she says in a softer tone. "We were talking about going to a bar later so I can be everyone's wing-pony. Wanna join us?"

 No.711335

>>711334
>>711331

"You should… probably go," Amy says in a sort of stern, sad tone.

 No.711336

>>711332
Shei-Sher looks out toward the other end of the hill at the Adult goat is sage's attire. Shei can't help but think how cool he looks. And shei waves at him, he waves hoping the adult goat will take notice.

 No.711337

>>711334
>>711331
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXE5dA8iFOI
Zjetya sniffs and gives a small, sad smile. "No, I'm alright. In fact, I've got something I probably ought to say sooner than later. I… I'll be spending the last two days with Ecclesia. I just think… I'm not a good fit for your party. You're all fighting at a much higher level than me, and I'm more fit for the Laity than the Congregation anyway. I talked with Rus, and she – she agrees. So, when you all go back to the ship, I'll say my goodbyes here."

She lets out a sound like a laugh, but there's something else inside it, something faint but unmistakable.

 No.711340

>>711336
The sage, after a time, looks at you, his gaze stern and judgmental, discerning and wise. Unlike in the vision of the Moon Diskos, this representation of your possible future is distant, faint and hard to see, even as he radiates the awesome presence of some god-king. In fact, he hardly looks like you, and though great power pulses from the spellbook and staff he carries, he makes no signs that he wants to bestow them. Your attention is caught by some goats in the valleys below, leading their children to a river that runs through this paradisiacal vision, and you understand immediately that this valley is but one small part of Kingdom Capra, yet you are barred from entering it, not by any physical or magical barrier, but by the sheer gaze of this strange goat before you. He has no words to offer you, only his piercing gaze.

 No.711341

>>711337
"Is… that what you wanted to talk about last night? That you're leaving?"
Pryce asks, shocked at what she's saying.

>>711335
"I'm not going anywhere."
Pryce says flatly.

 No.711342

>>711337
>>711341

Amy's jaw drops. She stares at Zjetya for a moment, at a loss for words. However, her mouth closes into a scowl as tears well up in her eyes. Her coat turns a dark purple.

"That's not what this is about!" Amy says angrily. "There's plenty of ways you can still help us. If you want to leave, fine! But, don't lie to us! Don't lie to him!" Amy points to Pryce. "I think we deserve better than that!"

 No.711344

>>711341
"I decided on it yesterday, yeah," Zjetya says. "I just didn't want to make a big deal of it, is all. I knew if I said it in front of everyone, they'd… some of them would try to stop me."

>>711342
"What part of it is a lie?" Zjetya asks, her calm slowly breaking as she glares at you. "You know every word I said is true… what I did say is true. I'm just trying to make this as easy as I can on every–"

She has to stop speaking at this point, and swallows hard, but is unable to say more or even look at you.

 No.711347

>>711325
"Alright, but I reserve the right to throw in your title every now and again. You JUST got it, we have to use it, right?"

>>711330
Flaming sighs to Tantra, recognizing he has a point in preserving their kind's traditions with outsiders. "I see… I get it, you're right: we can't just offer our sacred traditions with anyone, even those we love and consider family."

"Then… what if we got him a tattoo from someone who wasn't of Climbing Fire? Even if it's not our clan's markings, I think it'd make Pryce feel even more like the part of my clan that he is."

>>711330
As LJ shoots out back to head-butt her, Flaming lets out a small grunt as she falls back, shaking herself free of her shock as he stands up again, triumphant. She smiles, rubbing at her forehead as she snickers under her breath. "Heheh… I knew you could take it. You're almost as thick-headed as I am." She frowns, "But, I really am sorry about that. I deserved that bump you gave me back."

 No.711348

>>711340
Shei looks over the valley, pride, remorse, awe, and glee. It fills him as his gaze wanders until his eyes meet the Goat some many feet beside him and it is unmistakeable what he is saying.

Shei-Sher calls out from his place on the other side of the hill "It was never mine!" his voice travels "The goats, our dream, they aren't mine to have! I am not a goat! And if I am then I'm the only goat in the entire world! I don't want to be something that won't or have power for it's own sake! I just want to be what I'm being! For now on and forever!"

 No.711351

>>711344

"You're not dumb," Amy says angrily. "You know you don't have to fight on the front lines to help us. You know we like you how you are. You know we don't want you to leave."

The angry tears stream down Amy's cheeks. "It's not fair! Not to us, and DEFINITELY not to you! Everything you said may have been not a lie, but it's still not what you WANTED to say!"

 No.711352

>>711347
>Before Pryce left
"Alright, you got me there. Though, I think all of you reserve that right."

>>711344
"Of course we'd try to stop you, you're our friend! We can't just say goodbye like that, especially now."
Pryce says.
"And you want to stay here? I know they're good ponies, but I think staying here isn't the greatest idea either."

 No.711354

>>711348
"At last you begin to understand," the old sage goat says, gazing out with fatherly, ancient love for the goats who graze and play in the valley, and for the valley itself. "This shall be the seed of your own greatness, if it be spoken not in vain. Take care that your words now are not mere empty air, but ones that are true, and bound with Love. For that…"

He holds out his staff, and Pupil appears in your grasp, first breaking down into the orange goop from which you first crafted it, and then re-forms itself into a long, silver staff, with Pupil's eye at the top, identical to the one the old goat bears. An inscription is visible upon the staff, stylized like runes and resembling Crowley's writing. It reads, "The Whole of the Law."

>Choose one Aspect from the Sphere of Light, and one Level One skill and one Level Two skill from that Aspect.

 No.711361

>>711354
A ball forms in Shei-Sher's throat as the Old Sage speak. A glowing warmth bears unto his heart. Upon looking at the inscription of the staff Shei nearly tears up, I finally know. I finally know..


[CHOOSING]

>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3; Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.


and

>What If: Automatic; Once per Day; You may switch out your talent for a different one. This effect lasts 24 hours, and can be manually disabled prior to the time limit.

 No.711362

>>711347
Tantra snorts. "Boy, you're not just hard-headed in the literal sense, are you? Fine, I'll see if I can find someone who can hook him up. But I still think he looks good as he is."

>>711347
"Then we're even," LJ says, then laughs. "We've got a pretty good system worked out. Whenever one of us does something bad, the other can just give 'em a headbutt! Really make a good pair, huh? But now that I know it works on you too, you better watch yourself or I'll use it!"

>>711351
>>711352
Zjetya takes in a slow and deep breath, but anyone can tell she is beginning to come apart at the seams. "I can't stay around your ship. It would be too much of a pain on my heart. That's… about as simple as it gets, doesn't it? It's better that I leave. I don't get hurt, nor will I get in the way of what you have already. I just can't bear it to be another way."

>>711361
And with that, the vision ends, engulfed in so great and terrible a light that it is nearly blinding to look upon, but as the truth solidifies in your heart and mind, you find that you can bear the light and its power. You find yourself back in the ship once more, but Mocha is still in her own vision, her eyes locked on a distant sight as she holds the Sun Diskos.

>Paused

 No.711363

>>711323
Flow sighs and turns away from the angels once he sees that they’re merely guarding the city, however he still remains alert.
>”You know, I can scarcely recall encounters with angels where we’ve come out victorious.”
>>”Aye, these buggers are tough. At least these lads seem docile,” he says as he waves at one of the angels.

“…do you think, you would’ve had the same fate?”
He indirectly asks Renee as he looks at one of the sentinals. His gaze isn’t of malace, but almost of pity.
He catches himself staring and shakes his head.
“U-uh, never mind, forget I said anything!” he says in a rush.

 No.711364

>>711363
"Becoming an angel if I had been killed?" Renee asks. "The old me would've loved that, for sure. She'd have done anything her gods said, even to the point of death, embracing her faith in full. But now, I'd scorn the thought. I wish to live and die as nothing but a mortal. Angels, demons… I've had more than enough of it all for one lifetime, in honesty. After all, I'd have not had you if I'd have gone down that path."

She pecks your cheek.

 No.711580

>>711362
Flaming grins, shaking her head enthusiastically towrads Tantra. "What kind of Climbing Fire just gives up easily, Tantra? If I say Pryce is getting a tattoo to commemorate his promotion, he is GETTING one." She bows her head. "I'm sorry I didn't think of what it'd mean to our own traditions when I suggested giving him a Climbing Fire one, I wasn't thinking at all… but something that's unique to him, that we have to do."

>>711362
Flaming blushes red, chuckling as she reaches up to rub at her horns, "Heheh… Y-yeah, I guess that IS a pretty good system. Specially if it means I get to knock some sense into you to keep you tough."

"B-but it's a LOT more effective on you though! You get all stiff and fall over like a scared goat, I just get nervous and bump whatever I see! So you better watch out when you do that next time, okay?" She pauses. "Uh.. *if* you do that next time I mean, you don't HAVE to if you don't WANT to…"

>With that, Shorthorns tries to pull her Buffalo brethren around Lilane, looking for a suitable artist that can give Pryce the perfect tattoo as a gift for his service.

 No.711581

>>711580
"He'd better make sure his marefriend is okay with it," Tantra says. "And if she isn't, you'll find that a mare who isn't getting her way can give even the hardest-headed buffalo a run for her money, in terms of stubbornness."

>>711580
LJ smirks and fixes his fluffy, puffy head of hair that your headbutt indented. "Oh yeah, 'cause there's such a big distinction between the two of us when it's used. We're probably better off not using it… at least not when we're out where others can see us."

Tantra leers at the two of you, but in a brotherly fashion, and you feel his care. "And that's all you two need to do at this point," he says sternly. Then, you depart into Lilane to seek out someone who can give Pryce a good-looking tattoo to commemorate his big day.

 No.711582

Last time on HolyQuest…

Sir Pryce was given his award for 12 years of dutiful service to the Union Church, in the form of a medal called the Honor of the Star-Blessed Watch. He was honored by Gegenschein, Ecclesia, and the party, given a blessing from all in attendance, and was officially dubbed Sir Pryce the Just in recognition of his virtuous struggle through the trials of the so-called "New World," or the demon-infested world that came into being after the Rapture.

Now that the ceremony was over, the party was free to decide how they'd spend the rest of their day. They only had the rest of today and tomorrow to train, gather resources and powers, and prepare themselves for the Tartarus Expedition.

Shei remained behind with Mocha, doing precisely that – he was given the power of the Dark Corridor from Mocha, as well as the power of primordial Light that was contained in the Sun Diskos. With both discs at their disposal, the party could finally obtain the powers of primordial Light and Dark, rounding out the powers of Life and Death which they had received elsewhere on their long journey so far.

 No.711583

>Flaming will be off-camera this session due to player absence

>Pryce, Amy

Zjetya takes in a slow and deep breath, but anyone can tell she is beginning to come apart at the seams. "I can't stay around your ship. It would be too much of a pain on my heart. That's… about as simple as it gets, doesn't it? It's better that I leave. I don't get hurt, nor will I get in the way of what you have already. I just can't bear it to be another way."

>Flow

"Becoming an angel if I had been killed?" Renee asks. "The old me would've loved that, for sure. She'd have done anything her gods said, even to the point of death, embracing her faith in full. But now, I'd scorn the thought. I wish to live and die as nothing but a mortal. Angels, demons… I've had more than enough of it all for one lifetime, in honesty. After all, I'd have not had you if I'd have gone down that path."

She pecks your cheek.

>Shei

And with that, the vision ends, engulfed in so great and terrible a light that it is nearly blinding to look upon, but as the truth solidifies in your heart and mind, you find that you can bear the light and its power. You find yourself back in the ship once more, but Mocha is still in her own vision, her eyes locked on a distant sight as she holds the Sun Diskos.

 No.711584

https://pastebin.com/RaZG8KLM

>>711583
"What do you—"
Pryce begins to question, until realization comes in. Hearing her reason, the elation of the celebration drains from him completely. Just as soon as he made his vows, he has broken them.

He takes a step towards Zjetya.
"Zjetya… I should've realized that night in the forest… You know the last thing I would ever want to do is hurt you in any way."

 No.711585

>>711583
Flow’s face flushes red, and he stammers before replying.
“Y-yeah…we all were a little different then,” he mumbles.

He looks around at the restored city with a dejected sigh.
“Perhaps it’s best to leave the past where it is,” he says, offering an arm to guide Renee.

 No.711586

>>711585
"Agreed," Renee says as she takes your arm. "That is why, for all I've come to respect Ecclesia, I shall never find myself among them. These people are carrying the past with them, but it's long dead. Though, I understand why they do it: the past, however far gone, is preferable to every hell we have seen so far on our journey here."

You walk through town together, finding that the people are in good cheer following the ceremony. The morning sun colors a few clouds in the sky, and the world seems bright and safe, if only within the confines of the metal walls and under the watch of the haunting angels up on the ramparts. "Now, we've not much time to spare," Renee says. "Where shall we go today?"

 No.711587

>>711586
“Aye love, I felt the same for a long time…”
He takes a deep breath of fresh air to clear his mind, and removes his hood, letting his unkempt mane flow out.
“Well, we have some time before we can go to Ecclesia…why not see what lies outside the city?… Is there anything outside the city?” he scratches his head.

 No.711588

>>711583
>>711584

https://pastebin.com/2wfghDHP

"B-but," Amy stammers, tears streaming down her face. "They don't like you like we like you. They don't like changelings. You won't be happy here!"

"Just because Pryce is stupid doesn't mean you should leave," Amy pleads.

 No.711589

>>711588
>>711584
Zjetya offers a grim half-smile, defeat plain in her face. "It's certainly not you that's hurting me, that's for sure. Don't worry. Without a doubt, it's the situation we're all in now, not you."

Zjetya looks to Amy as she offers her own protests, and shakes her head. "They don't know who I am here; all they've ever known is Zjetya the mothpony. Rus and I made sure of that. I'll be able to blend back in with the notoriety we've all gotten as the so-called 'Saviors' of Mariposa."

"If you'll pardon the interruption," Blessings says, coming forward. "I want to reiterate what the others have said. You and I haven't spoken often, but I'd hate to see you go for ANY reason, and without a doubt, the rest of the party feels the same. We can't force you to stay, least of all with a broken heart, but you are part of our family. We can't help but feel this way."

"Family?" Zjetya asks, looking away and playing with her mane awkwardly. "…I don't like to get tied down."

 No.711590

>>711587
Flow scratches the back of his head.
“Wait…no, Vice ordered them here, I think.”
His eyes light up as he remembers what Vice did while he was away.
“If you’d like, you can accompany me to…pick up some new armaments,” he says with renewed vigor.

 No.711591

>>711588
>>711589
"No, Zjetya. Amy's right, I was stupid. I am stupid. I should've realized how you felt, and I let this situation happen."

He takes another step closer, the defeat in her face breaking his heart.
"Zjetya, I care about you. I don't want you to go."

 No.711592

>>711590
>>711587
Renee nods. "Jolly good, let's be off, then."

The two of you return to the smithy where Vice placed the order for the set of swords, modeled on the demonic katana that he and Trapper received as an exchange for the skateboards in the badlands just outside Zha Arlakane. When you reach the smithy, you see the donkey and goat team from before, hard at work on other projects – armor, bullets, and bombs, by the looks of things. Piles of metal wait outside their forge, taken haphazardly from many sources, such as railings, old broken weapons and even infrastructure from destroyed houses. Even with the angels' help, they look despaerate to build up as much as they can before the final battle begins.

The lead smith looks to you, and raises an eyebrow. "Are you…? Ah, pardon me, a chap came by just yesterday looking remarkably like you. Have I got you confused?"

 No.711593

>>711592
Flow looks around and marvels at the shop’s many ongoing projects and random bits of equipment he can peek at.
“My oh my. It looks better up close,” he says with a wide grin.

“Nay good sir, he was a familiar of mine. Name’s Flow, pleasure to meet you,” he extends a gooey hoof to the donkey in greeting.

 No.711594

>>711589
>>711591

"Yeah, family!" Amy says desperately. "We accept you for you! Like a family! I used to have to hide who I was inside around everyone. I was afraid if people knew what I had done, they'd be scared of me or hate me or attack me. But, now that I have this family, I can be myself because I know they accept me and they'll have my back."

"I couldn't imagine having to go back to hiding myself. You shouldn't have to do that to yourself!"

Amy looks at Zjetya with puppy-dog eyes.

 No.711595

>>711593
"A familiar? Ah, magic," the donkey says with a little disdain. "Never cared much for anything I can't wrangle with my hooves or tongs. Name's Ingot. You here to pick up the swords? Worked all through the night to make these nice and perfect, but had to leave 'em plain, with no enchantments, sadly."

He whistles to an assistant, who nods and opens one of the cabinets off to the side. He withdraws a long bundle wrapped in a velvet blanket, and then places it on a nearby work table. Ingot unravels it, and you see a set of three swords there – a katana, a wakizashi and a tanto, each with their own accompanying scabbard and belt.

"Give 'em a look, give 'em a test," Ingot says. "They to your satisfaction?"

 No.711596

>>711594
>>711591
After Pryce speaks, Zjetya's face hardens somewhat, engulfed in internal conflict, and she opens her mouth to respond, but pauses as Amy begins to speak. As she hears of Amy's background, the tumult in her heart, plain to see by the frown she wears, begins to unwind. She shuts her eyes, then spends a long while on a single breath.

"…Alright. I'll stay," she admits, and has to pause to gather herself. "Sorry for making a scene," she finally says.

Blessings subtly relaxes, looking to the two of you with gratitude. "I am happy to hear that, as will the others be," she says.

Zjetya nods slightly. "…So what's the plan, then?" she asks, clearly embarrassed from saying what she did, only to back down.

 No.711597

>>711596
Pryce feels some relief as Zjetya changes her mind to stay, but that she felt so pained to consider still worries him.
"We can just…talk a moment."
Pryce offers, wanting to give her a moment to collect herself so the others don't see the embarrassment or dishevelment from this scene.

"…Is there anything I can do to help?"
He asks, unsure of what to really say.

 No.711598

>>711595
Flow smirks.
“Eh, close enough to magic,” he muses, glancing at the Inheritance in his chest.

“It’s fine, just having some extra swords is worth it alone.”
He first inspects the measuring how much the blade curves, then gently brushes a gooey hoof along the edge to test its sharpness. He then moves to the wakizashi, once again, inspecting its curve and sharpness.
He sets the swords aside, and inspects the tanto with much interest, an idea forming in his head that he might try later.
“Quite exceptional, I’m impressed, Sir Ingot,” he says with a smirk.
He mounts the two swords on his hip, and secures the tanto discreetly under his coat, or at least as discreet as he can fit it.
“Now…I need to find a good tree to test these on…”

Once Flow has adjusted his gear to accommodate his new aquirements, he turns to Ingot and bows.
“I must thank you for the rush order, I’m sure you must be very busy as of late…” he mentions, glancing at all the upcoming projects and gear being prepared.

 No.711599

>>711596

Amys squeals with delight, tears still rolling down her face. But, now they are tears of happiness. She grabs Zjetya and hugs her, crying into her shoulder with little bursts of giddy giggling thrown in. Amy doesn't let go.

 No.711600

>>711597
Zjetya turns, dabbing at her face briefly with a handkerchief, and clears her throat. "Well, after all THAT, I want to get my mind clear. Go somewhere, fight monsters, be anywhere that isn't here. Though, it'd be awkward now for obvious reasons."

Zjetya glances up at the hill, and you see River standing near where the others are, still in the seating area from the ceremony. River looks down at Zjetya, makes a small frown, then turns as Sugar tries to get her attention with Pucchini atop her head.

>>711599
"Ack!" Zjetya exclaims, not expecting the hug as she's squeezed tightly. But, the sudden change seems to break her bad mood, as does the hug. She returns it, and doesn't let go until you do. "Thanks, Amy. I'll… figure things out. I just need time. Maybe time with just Pryce today. But I promise I won't leave our family… I would never want to. I'm sorry I didn't tell the whole truth earlier. You all deserve nothing but honesty from me, and everyone else in our crew."

>>711598
Ingot groans and rubs his head. "You're telling me. Ordinarily I'd set aside a week for a project like this. Custom-order weapons should be treated as works of art. They're not to be rushed, or else you disrespect the weapon, the customer, and most of all, your craft. Still, I'm quite pleased with the work the colts here put in. It was a welcome break after what we've been putting in for the war. Caltrops, incindiary and shrapnel explosives, spikes for pitfall traps, armor, catapults, cauldrons for hot oil, and all manner of arms, armor and bullets. Grisly stuff. I used to think the conventional orders we'd get for border skirmishes were bloodthirsty, but Ecclesia's made cruelty against demons into an art form. Can't deny they deserve it though."

He pats your arm and holds out a hoof for shaking. "Eh, enough of me prattling on. Long as the customer's satisfied."

 No.711601

>>711600
"Sure, anywhere you'd like. I was planning to do some treasure hunting for Box, if you'd like to join for that?"
Pryce offers.

Pryce turns his head back as Zjetya looks past him. He looks up at River, his feelings now growing into a confusing mess.

 No.711602

>>711600
A tired smile cracks Flow’s face, and he shakes his head.
“Aye Sir, I’ll bet this lot have nothing but distain for demons. And I doubt they’ll run out of ideas any time soon.”

“Well, I’m glad I got some weapons from you lot then. You seem to know what tools a demon killer should need.”
He bows to Ingot and takes his leave, once again offering a hoof to Renee.

 No.711603

>>711600

"Hey, if you need someone to complain to, we can complain together alone some time," Amy says with a smile that belies what she is saying. She lets go of Zjetya. "I have sooooo many negative things to say about sooooo many people!"

 No.711604

>>711601
Box looks at Zjetya, Blessings, you and Amy as you share a close moment, then snickers, trying to hold in a laugh, but he cannot. "I wanted to go on a treasure hunt, but I can see now that the real treasure was our frie–"

Blessings closes Box's lid and shuts the clasp, shutting him up before he can ruin the moment. "No. There will be none of that."

Box sighs, then nods, none too bothered by the incident. Zjetya can't help but laugh anyway. "Sure, I'd love to come along. Get some training in, and fresh air too. But, uh… who exactly is coming with us?" Zjetya says, with a meaningful glance at River.

>>711603
Zjetya snorts, then breaks into a loud and high giggle. "Wooooooow. You always did remind me of myself, but that takes the cake. Alright, I'll take you up on it sometime. But not right now. Now I'm in a good mood again. Let's go get something done while the day's still young, shall we?"

>>711602
"Anytime," Ingot says as you turn to go. "Gods be with ye."

You and Renee head down the hillside, and in time you see your group of allies, who have dispersed somewhat and split into groups. You see that they appear to be pursuing leads, speaking with various members of Ecclesia. Snippets of conversations waft by as you approach, and you hear them mostly talking about the war situation, about Tartarus, and anything else they can do to earn money, items, weapons or power before the deadline.

"So much to do, and only two days left," Renee says, a light tremble of anticipation in her throat. "Let's get started, shall we? We ought to regroup and then decide how we'll split our forces, like we did yesterday, to maximize our efficiency."

 No.711605

>>711604
"I'm not sure. I only passingly mentioned it to the others, so we'll need to find out where we're going first. Not entirely sure ho easy a treasure hunt spot can be picked on short notice…"

"We can keep it small, if you prefer."
Pryce says as he notices her looking back up the hill.

 No.711606

>>711604

Amy laughs at Box's terrible joke. Then, she laughs with Zjetya. "That's why I don't want you to leave! You're one of the only people here who really gets me! I mean… as much as a non-demon can."

"Anyway, if we're hunting treasure, maybe my nose can help!" Amy says, understanding absolutely none of the context of the situation or the physics of smelling. She then tries to sniff out treasure.

[1d10] to find treasure with her nose!

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.711607

>>711604
Flow puts a hoof on his chin as they pass by some of the others. Several ideas quickly come to his head, and snaps out of his thinking when Renee speaks.
"Aye, we haven't much time left…"
He remembers what Zophie and he talked about yesterday. He opens his mouth to ask Renee something, but shakes his head.
"Y-yeah, sounds like a good idea."

 No.711608

>>711605
"Amy, Rus and Flaming and I are still Ecclesians, so we can see if Gegenschein or anyone else in the Choir has a lead they want followed up. I'm sure they will, given what's going to come," Zjetya offers.

She then raises her eyebrow. "You're sure River won't mind this? Something tells me she's already picked up what went down over here."

>>711606
You sniff about, but are only drawn to a young Ecclesian colt walking a little distance behind his father and mother, as the trio carry some pieces of fried and sugar-coated pastries away from a nearby shop. The colt turns as you approach. "Hail, Savior!" he says by way of greeting, and tears off a strip of his pastry to offer you.

You notice your group of allies standing a little distance up the hillside, doing as Zjetya had suggested – speaking with the Ecclesians, mostly the nearby Choir members, for leads, while the rest of the Ecclesian soldiers begin to pack up the chairs and other ceremonial fixtures now that the ceremony is done. You could try askign them.

>>711607
Renee pauses, clearly picking up on your hesitance. "What's on your mind, my dear?" she asks.

 No.711609

>>711608
"Right. I don't think Gegenschein has gotten far, let's go catch up with him before he gets busy."
Pryce says, standing ready ot walk with her.

Pryce looks back up the hill, then to Zjetya.
"She'll understand. Trust me."

 No.711610

>>711608
Flow thinks long and hard about his next words, and nervously taps the ground.
"Erm…I've just been doing a lot of thinking lately. Nothing major, just, little things. I think," he keeps stumbling over his words for a good minute.
"Do you, maybe want to just do our own thing today? Just you n' me, doing whatever odd jobs we can find? And stuff? If you wanted to, that is," he finally manages to say clearly.

 No.711611

>>711608

"I'm a what!?" Amy says, taking offense to Zjetya's comment that she is Ecclesian. "Oh… right… I guess I technically am…" she says with some dissatisfaction evident in her tone.

 No.711612

>>711608

Amy wags her tail happily and eats the treat right out of the colt's hoof.

 No.711613

>>711610
"Erm…" Renee begins, pondering the request. "It's not that I don't want to, but I too have been thining about what's been awaiting us. I'd be remiss to miss out on even a single thing that our allies and friends are doing. Even with the dangers in our present lives, I want to be with them, to spend as much time as we possibly can, whether we are fighting monsters and demons or just passing the time about town. Still, you know that I love you. If you'd like to spend this day with just us two, then I can oblige."

>>711609
"You'd be surprised with some girls," Zjetya comments dryly.

>>711611
"Couldn't pass up on that free medical care, eh?" Box quips after Blessings finally opens his clasp.

>>711612
The colt's parents see you, then smile, offer their greetings and blessings, and then depart.

>>711612
>>711609
You head up the hill, where you spy Gegenschein standing near the entrance of the workshop. He appears to be comforting a young stallion, sharing a whispered conversation with him. Soon, the stallion nods, smiles sadly and bows to Gegenschein, who reciprocates it with a fatherly smile, but an exhausted look in his eyes. The stallion leaves, and Gegenschein then turns, and notices you. "Hail, everyone. Back so soon? I'm afraid I don't have a second medal in my pocket for you, good Sir Pryce."

 No.711614

I too have been thinking*

 No.711615

>>711613
Pryce doesn't respond at first, picking his words carefully.
"Trust me, things will be fine."

>>711613
"One was far more than enough, thank you."
Pryce greets with a chuckle.
"We were wondering if you had any leads on places, or perhaps areas that Ecclesia can't get to in these next few days."

 No.711616

>>711613
Flow's eyes light up, and his head perks up as well.
"Ehehe…well, I've been meaning to talk to you for a while now. I figure n-now rather than later, y'know?"
Feeling more confident, he smirks.
"That said, we should probably think of what to do…"
He puts a hoof on his chin, and looks around the city.
"After all, I doubt any marks would be hiding in a place like this…worthwhile ones, anyways."

 No.711617

>>711613
>>711615

Amy trots happily along to rejoin the rest of the group on the hill.

"So, those refugees with their minds all messed up… Is there anything I can do to help you guys with them? It seems like the angels have really helped fix a lot of people. They can fix them, right?"

 No.711618

>>711615
"If only you'd asked me sooner!" Gegenschein cries, throwing up his hands in a show of mock exasperation. "We've been dispatching Ecclesians all across the unclaimed territories, trying to break into fallen cities and villages. Some expeditions have gone well, others have had more trouble, but strangely enough, there have been few casualties. Demons seem to be departing from places they had previously made into their strongholds, which has been the ascribed cause for why we have had fewer casualties in recent time.

"The rest of the Choir is happy enough with the sheer fact that fewer are dying, but I am still concerned about what the demons' movements imply. My hypothesis is that these demons are gathering under the banner of the Treibheanna with the relics and treasures that they have looted from the places they have attacked and plundered. One such place comes to mind: A great city by the name of 'Threecoins', northwest of Fantasia. I'd offer a great reward for those who can go there, find out what's happening, and then report to me. As for any objects you find there, I would ask that you present them to Ecclesia before claiming them yourselves. We will not greedily plunder what you rightfully take from the demons, but if something proves to be of greater value for Ecclesia, we will purchase it off you."

>>711617
"That is what I was hoping," Gegenschein says, looking up at the angels that guard Lilane's new fortifications. "They have come here so recently, we have had little time to commune with them, but some members of the Choir – Tenochtitlan and Einmal ist Keinmal, to be precise – are in the process of trying to communicate with them. If the refugees that the Treibheanna have left at Fantasia can be cured by the angels, then we will gladly bring them all over by the hour. For you specifically, however, your help is most suited to exploring Threecoins, as I said. Though, if you wish to help us handle the refugees, you are welcome to."

>>711616
Renee nods. "Very well, I would be happy to go with you, wherever we end up." She then gets a playful smile. "What is it that you've had on your mind so long?"

 No.711619

>>711613
>>711583
https://pastebin.com/YJFusUgn

Shei-Sher waits for Mocha to come back to reality and then asks her "How did it go?"

 No.711620

>>711619
Shortly after her vision ends, Mocha sits back, rubbing her head. "So…" she sighs. "There must be something wrong with this. Everything I saw was far too good to be true. Everyone returned alive. The war was able to end in a truce after only a few months of fighting. I saw an armistice signed, creating a peaceful and lawful apartheid state, jointly ruled by Mudi and dignitaries from the Treibheanna. It seemed so wonderful, I couldn't believe a second of it."

 No.711621

>>711618
"This Treibheanna is worriesome. Hopefully it can be dealt with easy enough, but that'll be a worry for the next few days. Threecoins, what do you know about it so far? Is there anything we should be on the lookout for?"
Pryce asks for the lead.
"That'll be fine, all treasures for now all go to the same cause so it matters not who holds what. As long as we can keep something good for Box to hoard."

 No.711622

>>711618
Flow's face flushes red, and his scratches the back of his head.
"Well, lots of things. First of all, Tartarus itself, but…what to do afterwards, I haven't the slightest clue. Granted, we succeed in the first place."

 No.711623

>>711620
"I suspected as much from the sun discus. The moon discus is all the same misleading in opposite terms. Which is why I punctuate all my queries with the words 'in all honesty' -Speaking of."

Shei-Sher leans over to grab the moon discus. "It is apparently very productive to ask these things who you are buu-ut, ask whatever you wish."
While holding the moon discus, Shei thinks upon the words. 'What will happen if I ask Metatron for my data back, in all honesty.'

 No.711624

>>711621
>>711618

"If we're looking for treasure, shouldn't we look for more than just three coins?"

 No.711625

>>711624
Pryce chuckles.
"It's just the name of the town Amy, not what we're looking for."

 No.711626

>>711621
"A bit of an odd story, and I don't have all the details. The people were scattered or dead by the time that the first Ecclesian scouts braved its streets. Supposedly, it was a city founded several hundred years ago by missionaries from a religion practiced by the Camels and Yagi tribe, the peoples residing in the desert far to the south. It was intended to be an ecumenical effort to bring together sects of their religion that had been in schism from one another due to the rise of several new prophcies that were accepted in the north but rejected in the south. The name 'Threecoins' is said to derive from a trio of blessed coins that the tribunal of prietesses who administered their religion gave them as a source of divine protection. The city's efforts, though initially successful, couldn't bring the disparate religious sects into agreement, and the city itself split into several smaller districts based on religious affiliation, all of which mutually persecuted one another and fought for supremacy through forced conversions and excommunications and raving denouncements of the supposed heresies of the other sects.

"You could probably find out more upon scouring libraries there. The first scouts we sent there couldn't get far before they were driven back by the demons that had taken up residence in the city, but there may by a chance the demons have left now."

>>711624
"I agree!" Gegenschein laughs, clapping you on the back. The impact nearly drives the wind out of you, and you feel strength, as well as a kind of holy energy emanating from his hand. "Try bringing back all the coins you can find. Gems, weapons, magic words, and anything else you can find."

>>711622
"Oh, that sort of thing!" Renee says. "Yes, we'll have to plan ahead, won't we? I've been putting off that kind of thought, just because I dread the idea of making those plans… only for one of us not to come back from Tartarus. I fear the heartbreak it would bring." She steels herself a moment, then smiles. "I suppose I'd like to plant my roots in Fantasia and help rebuild there, as a start. Plenty of people I've come to love there."

>>711623
As you consult the Moon Diskos, there is a brief scene, murky and shrouded with shadows as you behold it. Metatron appears to give back your Data, restoring your strength to what it once was, but plants a nefarious metal seed into the midst of it, one nearly undetectable. The scene leaps forward to the confrontation with Mudi in Tartarus. The seed begins to sprout as the battle rages on, and it annihilates your party by spreading a disease to them, one which turns their bodies into glass and metal. The seed then infects Mudi, burrowing into her brain, possessing her. She returns from Tartarus, having harnessed the power from her Shades, and the waters of immortality from the Momentary Lake, but is Metatron's thrall, and leads mortalkind and demonkind into a kind of passive servitude, waiting out the eventual Dissolution of the world from the spread of the Anomalies.

 No.711627

>>711626
"An unfortunate fate for the city. I wonder if they could've held themselves if they were united before the demons came. Alright, we'll check out Threecoins and bring back whatever we can find. Thank you for the tip Gegenschein."
Pryce says, turning to go inform the others of their new lead.

 No.711628

>>711626
Flow simply smiles.
"Thinking of settling down, then… It's a start, I suppose," he doesn't elaborate, however, and he's reminded, once again, of what he and Zophie talked about.

"Well, what say we go find Gegen? I'm sure he's got some work for us!"
He marches onwards to find Gegenschein, taking Renee by the hoof to guide her.

Meanwhile, Vice and Trapper follow behind the two.
>"You hear that?"
>>"Aye lad, the bloke's gotta come clean sooner er later…"
The two goos make sure not to be spotted, and observe Flow and Renee while they wander around.

 No.711629

>>711626
Once Shei's mind releases from the discus, he is aroused in a fit of laughter "pffAhaha! Damnations! What a complete bastard. Wow- that would be quite clever actually.. I think I will fashion a jar of holding to keep my data in.."

Shei-Sher stands up, hoof to chin, thinking upon the discs. "Alright then. Let's try something dangerous."
Shei-Sher touches moon discus and from his touch something like a dark purple spider, impossible to see unless focused on appears from where he touched and he touches the Sun discus connecting the thread.

>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3; Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.

[1d10+1] connecting the disks

Both hooves on both disks Shei asks "Who is Metatron.. in all honesty."

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.711630

>>711626
>>711625

Amy looks to Pryce after Gegenschein gets finished with his long-winded story full of big words and confusing concepts. Maybe it's just the slap to the back, but she feels dizzy just listening to him.

"That's a sad name," Amy declares definitely.

 No.711631

>>711629
Unfortunately, nothing appears in your mind as you attempt to ask them. It seems that the Discs are not omniscient sources of all information, and are only capable of prognostication. You will probably have to ask about an action or situation that would reveal Metatron's character to learn more.

 No.711632

>>711630
>>711627
You meet up with the rest of your very large group, who have regrouped at the crest of the hill, chattering in a chorus of overlapping voices. It occurs to you how big your family has gotten in the time that you've known one another, and how much they have come to trust in and cooperate with one another in spite of myriad differences.
"Oh hey, what'd Gegenschein say?" Busta asks.
"Yes, I'm sure you must've heard a lot of things," River deadpans.
"We'll have our hooves full today," Volkama agrees.

>>711628
You pass by the others, on your way to meet with Gegenschein, just as he's about to turn to enter the longhouse. As he sees you approach, he throws up a hand in greeting. "Ah, it never ends, and thank the gods for it. What can I do for you, Flow?" he asks. "Ah, don't tell me: you need something to do for today."
"Are you a prophet?" Renee asks with a hint of good natured sarcasm.
"What can I say? I am a blessed griffon indeed," Gegenschein says with total sincerity.

 No.711633

>>711632
Flow grins when Gegenschein makes his prediction.
"Aye, we lot need a job. Them included," he says, pointing to where Vice and Trapper are obviously trying to hide.
The foul-mouthed clone curses, and Vice smacks him across the head.

"If'n y' got a demon that needs to be knocked down a peg, we're yer crew."
>>"Aye, it's our favorite past-time!"
Vice rolls his eyes.

 No.711634

>>711632

"Are you okay River?" Amy asks, cocking her head.

 No.711635

>>711632
Pryce walks up, surprised at how large their group has gotten. Even though they all eat together, he's never really seen everypony grouped together outside of that like this.
"There's a city called Threecoins out northwest of Fantasia. Gegenschein said they haven't been able to scout it much because it used to be a demon stronghold, but with them moving out it can be a good opportunity to search through."
Pryce says to the group.

 No.711636

>>711633
Gegenschein rubs his chin, and withdraws a weathered, leather-bound journal from one of his robe's pockets, flipping through its contents. "There are few jobs I can give to only a pair of fighters, such as yourself… though you are certainly no ordinary fighter, Flow, and Renee herself is not helpless."
Renee flexes one of her forelegs with a smirk.
"Ah… perhaps this one will do," Gegenschein finally says. "Are you sure you will not seek to take one of your allies – Zophie or Gjenganger, I mean?"

 No.711637

>>711630
>Black threads
again just in case autumn ruled them not connecting
[1d10+1]

"Hm.. okay.. If Metatron lived in his favorite city as a mortal what would he do with his life?"

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.711638

>>711634
River is giving Zjetya a suspicious, yet concerned look, and she ignores you, but it is clear that the earlier conversation has stirred up some kind of tension between them. Zjetya meets River's gaze, and simply raises her eyebrow in challenge.

>>711635
>>711634
"That's a pretty big lead," Onion says. "You'll need a good vanguard to go with you."
"Over on our end, we found tips on some roaming monsters that need to be taken down, plants that the medical teams want gathered, bandits attacking refugee groups, missing persons, and reports of thieves attacking Ecclesian supply lines," Chorazin adds.
"Doesn't look like there'll be much room for us to sit around today, then," Zjetya says. "So… how do we all wanna handle these jobs?" she asks.
"Goes without saying that lead Pryce picked up will need the most firepower," Spitshine says.

>At this time, you can choose your party members, split the party or assign NPCs to tasks that the PCs won't be on


"Oh, that reminds me," Volkama says, pulling several bags of money from one of his saddlebags. "We earned a spot of money from our work yesterday. Here, take your cut."

>You have each receieved 200 Bits

 No.711639

>>711631
>>711637
"…. I Think I am doing this wrong." Shei mulls it over again.

"What would Metatron do if the firmament was raised again??"

 No.711640

>>711636
"Nay Sir, I figure we four can handle any task… if we have enough time for it."
Vice looks confused, and Trapper is nodding in agreement.

 No.711641

>>711639
In consulting both Discs, you are overcome by a clear sight, one that is not murky, as the Moon's visions are, nor bright, as the Sun's are. Upon the hypothetical restoration of the Firmament, you see Metatron overseeing a surgical extermination of demon populations. It is cold and passionless, one in which Metatron takes no pleasure and from which he derives no joy. A dull depression sits within him as he scours the world, seeking to protect the mortal population that he has no love for, and yet protects nonetheless. He has cut them off from their gods with the raising of the Firmament, making their prayers unheard and unfulfilled, their gods weak and distant from lack of prayer. In time, this world Dissolves as well under the strain of the Anomalies.

 No.711642

>>711638
"Sounds like a packed day. Though I can't expect otherwise nowadays."
Pryce comments to the list of further jobs Chorazin gives.
"We should definitely help the medics and dealing with the bandits and thieves, but our big priority will be Threecoin. How are those who went to the temple yesterday feeling?"
Pryce asks the group, gauging everyone's condition.

"Oh, thank you Volkama. Looks like you guys were busy yesterday."
Pryce comments at the bits he hands out.


Pryce looks to Zjetya.
"Wait just a moment."
He says, before walking over to River.
"River, can we talk in private for a second?"
He says, wanting to take a few steps from the others to discuss.

Meanwhile, KP who's been playing with Hopper and Lockjaw with Spitshine and Sugar, looks over as the oters come back. He quickly runs over to Zjetya after Pryce walks away.
>"Sooo? How'd it go?"
He asks, having noticed Pryce run off after the ceremony for her.

 No.711643

>>711640
"There are unconfirmed reports of a certain band of dark knights roving the countryside of the Starchart Plains, possessed by a malevolent spirit, calling upon magic that summons monsters from the outer realms into our world. However, they aren't your target, per se. For a time, there has been another knight, of unknown name and national affiliation, who has been ambushing these brigands whenever they have attacked towns and travelers. We believe he or she is fully mortal, and a powerful asset to Ecclesia. Track them down and recruit this knight, or at least inform them of the bounty that will be put on their head if they don't comply and join us. In the meantime, help them to kill or free the brigands that this rogue knight has tried to defeat.

"Is that acceptable?" Gegenschein asks.

 No.711644

>>711638

"Hmmm well I'd probably be more useful killing monsters or stopping bandits than I would be hunting for treasure…" Amy thinks out loud.

"But, that place with three coins sounds dangerous too… What do other people want to do?"

 No.711645

>>711641
Shei asks another question
"What would Metatron do if all of mortal and demonkind submitted dully to the will of the angels but the activity of the gods still remained." Shei asks a question his aware may be contradicting in content.

 No.711646

>>711643
The three goos ponder the foes they're going to be faced with. While Flow and Trapper both seem eager, Vice is inquisitive.
"Sounds like a formidable opponent. And those dark knights sound like they could be a challenge as well."
>"Yes, a lone knight ambushing other knights of that caliber? Either they're a fool, or quite the talented fighter."
>>"I'll kick 'is rear quarters if he doesn't 'elp us out!"

Flow turns to Renee.
"You up for a challenge, dear?"
>>"You aven't a thing t' worry about! We can handle this, no sweat!"

 No.711647

>>711644
>>711642
"To be honest, I'm worn out from yesterday," Blessings says.
"As am I, Zophie adds as Amy asks her question. "I was never suited for temple raiding or jobs out in the wilderness. Perhaps those who went on the expedition yeseterday will be better off taking on the local jobs."
Spitshine nods with a yawn. "Yeah, I could do with something more local and laid-back. The people who're in the best condition – the people who stayed behind yesterday – should get in their share of lumps."

Volkama stretches, puffing out his chest. "I am happy to do so!"

>>711642
River comes away with you a little distance, out of earshot of the others. "What happened with Zjetya earlier?" she asks, getting right to the point. Her expression is one of little patience.

>>711642
Zjetya leans down and hugs KP. "It really hurt to see him so in love with River, but he and I have resolved it. I'm going to try to get him alone today so we can talk it out… just like he, Amy and Blessings talked me out of leaving your party behind. Do me a favor and keep River Spring busy today, will you?"
Hopper sits atop KP's head, eyeing Lockjaw with annoyance. So far, they have the synergy of a stereotypical cat and dog. Lockjaw wants to play with Hopper, who isn't interested. Someone will have to teach Lockjaw to leave Hopper be.

>>711646
Renee looks at their group. "Truly, with just the four of us? I am nervous, indeed."
"I wouldn't have offered the job were I anything but confident that you four could handle it," Gegenschein says.
"Then I shall accept," Renee says.
Gegenschein smiles, then makes a note in his journal. "Excellent. I'll go and tell the logistics team and have the job officially assigned to you. Speak with Sir Freischutz, she knows more about these bandits from her scouting team's missions."

>>711645
In this vision too, the Dissolution appears to be Metatron's ultimate ambition. Yet, in this one, demons are not slain or persecuted, nor even targeted by the angels. Instead, if any god or mortal attempts to stop the Dissolution by sealing the Anomalies, as they surely would in the interest of their self-preservation, Metatron appears each time to halt or confuse or otherwise sabotage their plans. You get the feeling that he wishes to carry this out no matter what, even though it comes with his own demise, along with the world's.

 No.711648

>>711647
"A good idea. Give everyone from yesterday a break. I can't imagine what you went through at the temple, but I heard it was quite an adventure."
Pryce responds at the trio's comments before stepping aside.

>>711647
"Zjetya… she wanted to leave. And it was my fault, she… I hurt her. I was stupid again, and I hated to see her like that. I have to make this up to her, so you won't mind waiting back here with the others today, will you?"
Pryce says earnestly.

>>711647
KP beams up at Zjetya, reciprocating the hug excitedly.
>"See! I told you putting you up on stage would work! Wait, leaving us behind?"
KP says, his excitement quickly cutting into confusion at her last part.

>"Sure! That'll be easy, this little guy alone is enough for anypony's hooves."

KP says as he gives Lockjaw a pet, making sure to keep Hopper a safe distance away.

 No.711649

>>711647

"Well then, that sounds like a good plan," Amy says with a nod. "You guys who came with us yesterday can get a rest and help around here. Personally, I have energy to spare," she says proudly. "I couldn't bare to miss out on any of the fun."

"We'll definitely need our Box if we're going treasure hunting, by the way," Amy says, patting Box on the head.

 No.711650

>>711647
Shei-Sher mulls this over again, but decides he's seen enough. "Alright then. That is about all I can stomach with that. Erm, have fun with the discs I will be in Observer's lab."

And so Shei does go into Observer's lab and with the tools available he fabricates a jar from a piece of Vipaka's metal he keeps around. Fabricating the inside to have an antenna and two chambers. Shei portions the dark matter inside like he making a battery. A lid is then made and screwed onto the top,

>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant;

[1d10+3] making a jar that in theory could hold his data. He also makes another for Amy.

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

 No.711651

>>711647
"Got it," Flow looks around, "Er…where is she?

Trapper pats Renee on the back.
>>"Ah, don't worry lass, we're 'ere to pick up if Flow's slacking."
>"Yes, we have our ways of pulling through just about any situation," Vice grins and crosses his front hooves.

 No.711652

>>711648
"More like a very, very bery long day and a coplicated set of feelings," Zjetya says.

>>711648
River looks a little confused, but ultimately understanding as you make the case. "I can understand this dilemma, but will you be with her the whole day?" she asks. "I don't want to lose a whole day from you, or from the others who will go with you. I care for Zjetya, I truly do, but I can't help my own feelings."

>>711651
Thrilled by the thought of going on a separate mission, and by Gegenschein's words of praise, Renee smiles and hooks her arm around Flow's as they head out.
"She was here for the ceremony, and she is gone from the hill, head for the smiths' forge; she has often spent time there between missions," Gegenschein answers.

>>711650
Mocha nods, lifting up the discs carefully with a blanket.

>>711650
You make two such jars out of the metal, ensuring they can safely store them without fear of losing them or having them broken. "So, what did you see?" Mocha asks, making idle conversation as you work.

>>711649
>>711648
With that settled, the party members nod. Onion raises his paw. "Let's all take five to get ourselves ready and ask about what jobs will need the most people. Everyone who was out yesterday gets the easy pickings today, and everyone who was on their bums yesterday–"
"Like you?" Sugar asks.
"Most definitely like me," Onion laughs. "We gotta pull our weight out there."
"Right!" the party declares, and begins to prepare for the day's missions.

>Paused

 No.712076

>Flaming

As you, Tantra and LJ begin to look around Lilane for a tattoo artist, your initial results are poor. Most Ecclesians don't know any tattoo artists. Pony culture in most of the former empire's territories greatly frowned upon tattoos, regarding them as the primitive markings of savage animists and "forest-dwellers," which was a friendly term for the subject peoples of Accorsia that still clung to their old culture and religion in spite of their official loyalty to the empire.

Partway through your search, you end up coming down to the lakeside, where you see Mudi the Young sitting upon a rock. Near her are five Shades, spirits with gray, smoky bodies, with golden eyes, in the shape of wendigoes. The spirits trot about in the grass, chasing after butterflies and inspecting ladybugs in the grass and sparkles in the water. Such innocence, of course, contrasts with their origin – you recall Blessings' story of her first encounter with Mudi. These Shades, like the ones Blessings fought and slayed, are the souls of children she has made into her thralls. Both LJ and Tantra tense at the sight. "Don't suppose she would know, would she?" Tantra asks.
"Maybe. Demon tamers do tend to have lots of connections," LJ says. "Besides, with all the cutie marks on her body, she might know a thing or two about tattoos herself."

 No.712079

>>712076
After sharing a few very choice words with those who regarded tattoos as 'primitive markings of savage animists', Flaming continues to press onwards in their search for an artist that could give Pryce his tattoo, grumbling all the way as frustrations in their search build.

As they come across Mudi down by the lake-side, Flaming perks her head up in her direction, looking thankfully for a distraction from her issues. Though she still eyes Mudi with a bit of wariness, especially when presented with these shades.

She looks up to Tantra and LJ as she lets out a sigh. "I don't know. Amy trusts Mudi and she hasn't really been all that bad at all since we've known her, but I still remember all of Blessings' stories. Still, we've tried literally everywhere else so I guess we have nothing to lose." She begins heading in her direction

 No.712082

>>712079
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guoOn-z008c
As you approach Mudi, she seems to be lost in soft talks with the Shades, using a soft tone with them as if they were really still children. She and the Shades play about with some beetles that run about in the grass, until the beetles fly away. Though Mudi wears a smile and attends to her Shades dutifully, there's a flatness in her gaze, a colorlessness and dullness. She often reaches out to touch them, only for her hoof to pass right through their bodies.

When you get closer, she turns to you. "Oh, Flaming. I hope you'll extend my congratulations to Pryce on his award. I felt it was inappropriate for me to intrude upon his ceremony, given our relative positions in our arrangement. What can I do for you?"
Both LJ and Tantra uncharacteristically clam up, regarding her with suspicion.

 No.712085

>>712082
Flaming looks back at Tantra and LJ, puffing out her cheeks with disappointment at their clamming up, and then turns to face Mudi. "Good morning, Mudi. And yeah, of course I will, it's a very special day for him and I'm sure he'll take any congrats you have to offer. I hope I'm not intruding on you and your…. uh, friends." She says awkwardly, trying not to say anything offensive. "You look like you're all having fun."

"Well, it's kind of a weird request, but, do you know anything about tattoos?"

 No.712086

>>711652
>>712082
https://pastebin.com/YJFusUgn

As shei gets to work on the fabrication he responds to Mocha. "I asked the sun disc who I was in all honesty and it showed me the kingdom I dreamed to make with my once to be tribe of goats. There was an older clone of myself -he was a certain possibility of what I could be and he looked at with a stern fatherly glare. Telling me that I could not enter the glorious kingdom and I told him he was right. I cried to him on the other side of the hill 'I was not a goat, the dream was never mine' and I resolved to be only what I'm being to him and in my heart. And that monolithic magus of a goat smiled on me and opened a channel inside myself, somewhere in my soul I could feel. He brushed away the debris so it's power could flow in a way it always should have."

Shei finishes the jars, stowing them away in his armstrap bag. "I also used the discs to make some observations of Metatron. And I deduced that he is a jerk. Who passionately craves for our extinction."

Shei feels a subtle warping of his being.
>What If: Automatic; Once per Day; You may switch out your talent for a different one. This effect lasts 24 hours, and can be manually disabled prior to the time limit.

[selecting]
>Body Without Organs: The spirit and body are now one. Astral projection is instant automatic and does not leave behind an unconscious body. The Spirit is unfettered and can travel any distance now.

 No.712087

>>712085
"We are," Mudi says with a wistful look at the Shades. "It's not often we've had opportunities to go out and be in the sun and grass. We've been in Vitral for so long that I was accustomed to keeping them in my crystal ball almost every day. It's good to let them play and act like children. They have a tendency to forget who they were… who they 'are' otherwise."
Her tone is surgical, and detached. Even when a Shade runs up and hops into her lap for attention, Mudi seems to stare beyond it, even when she looks it in the eye.

She then looks at you as you ask. "Not right now, anyway. Give me a moment."

She pulls back her cloak partway, revealing her torso. Below her neck, her skin is a grotesque mosaic of stolen cutie marks, all grafted onto her body and shrunk down to size. Mudi raises a hoof, and it glows, causing the marks to shift and crawl across her skin.

"For a tattoo, one needs artistry, patience, stability, a sense of color and design, foresight, and a delicate touch," she says. "I think I have something for each of those."

LJ and Tantra look on in barely masked disgust as several marks come together. You see marks that represent each of the qualities she mentioned, and they combine, morphing into a picture: Sharp brass needles, all in a row, and pools of dark ink in containers before them. The new, hybrid cutie mark moves down along her body, displacing others as it heads for her flanks.

"What a handy power," Tantra says stiffly.
"And a collection to boot," LJ adds.

"This power is my natural talent," Mudi says with a dull voice. "But it's not something I'd look upon with envy or admiration."

 No.712090

>>712086
"That's quite the vision," Mocha says. "I haven't asked about who I was just yet. I'm preparing myself, in case I don't exactly like the answer. Especially if my relationship with my grandfather comes into play… or any of you do."

As you bring up Metatron, she frowns. "I could've told you that much… wait, you're not planning on doing anything about that, are you?"

 No.712091

>>712090
[EDITED!]
>>Body Without Organs: The spirit and body are now one. Astral projection is instant/automatic and does not leave behind an unconscious body. The Spirit is unfettered and can travel any distance now. The spirit is visible and susceptible to regular combat. Traveling speed is similar to flying.

>you're not planning on doing anything about that, are you?"

Shei-Sher stops in his tracks a foot before reaching the lab exit door. "Ummm… Yes."
She jabs Mudi's ice key into the lab door and leaves out it, shutting it closed so he cannot be followed.

 No.712092

>>712087
"That's good, I'm glad they found a chance to get out. Foals need to play more than anything else. Not giving you any trouble?"
Flaming looks at the Shade as it happily leaps up onto Mudi's lap, looking at it with a mixture of adoration and sadness knowing what a sad fate it truly has. She waves at it, trying to get its attention, before watching as Mudi shows off her collection of stolen cutie marks, causing Flaming to look at it with a sour expression.

"That is pretty incredible… you can just mix and match them all like that to get a specific talent you want? I know only so much about pony cutie marks, we don't have anything like that in our clan, but those are really important to ponies, aren't they? Can you… tell me again how you got so many?"

 No.712093

>>712091
Mocha groans as you take out the ice key. "My grandfather was right. If you don't come back, you better not get anyone killed trying to rescue you."

As you shut the door behind you, find yourself once more in Vizsla's frozen wasteland. Great pillars and blocks of ice jut out of the landscape, bearing murky, frozen demons inside them. Others contain the ruins of great temples and buildings, relics from a bygone era, the bones of now-dead empires. Light snow falls upon the icy scene, and many doors appear out in the wastes, in various styles and conditions. Many are caked with ice.

 No.712094

>>712093
"One day, I will find out what in the hell this place really is." Shei comments to himself. He ambles out in one direction spreading his aura out to feel from which door Metatron's presence is strongest.

>PHASE AURA: Your body sheds light in a small radius of 5 meters, in a color you choose when you learn this skill. All creatures in this range cannot turn invisible or become hidden, creatures already hidden or invisible are made clear, and incorporeal beings and lingering magical effects and wards manifest a visible shape. Effect persists roll minus five turns (six lasts one, seven lasts two, etc.)

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.712095

>>712092
"No. They're perfectly obedient. Very loyal children," Mudi comments, stroking at the space above the Shade's mane, unable to touch it herself.

"This is my talent, and the main spell I have devoted my life to mastering," Mudi explains. "Unlike most spells, which can be committed to memory and then have a set limit on their potential and their applications, this talent has an infinite capacity for flexibility. "I can take any talent from someone else, and then break it down into its constituent parts. For example, if I take a talent about knitting, what does that consist of? Precision, artistic vision, patience, dexterity, and so on. The same is true for any talent, even ones that on their surface only appear to apply to mundane skills. People often overlook mundanity. A skill as apparently mundane as cobbling is in fact a combination of many incredible qualities and knowledge, and if they can be broken down and applied elsewhere, that can make for an unbeatable power."

As you ask about where the got the talents, Mudi frowns. "In my youth, in the country of Red Thunder, where I was born and raised. There was a time when my sisters and I went on a rampage through the country. We'd just become witches, partaking in the Brew of Gehenna, the Goblet of the Whore… and we sought to take what we saw as our just revenge."

Her gaze becomes lost and murky.

"Revenge?" Tantra asks, looking down at the Shades. His hoof barely trembles, and his anger is plain as he looks at the two.
"I don't want to make Pryce's big day about myself," Mudi says dismissively. "Besides, you wanted to have a tattoo done or something?"

>>712094
Your light illuminates a collection of doors far off in the snowy hills beyond. Many of them are badly damaged, and have residue of the ash that fell from the sky in Vitral five days ago, the one that turned those who inhaled it into glass.

 No.712096

>>712095
Flaming looks at the Shades with sorrow again, trying to think of what it must be like for them to want to be held like foals do but could never be touched. She looks again to Mudi after she explains her ability and the collection of cutie-marks she's obtained, broken down, and re-pieced back together again to form countless other abilities.

"That really is a crazy power… if you can break down your marks into components like that you could make almost any ability just with a handful of them. Like…. having green and purple as colors, and by breaking them down into the red, blue, and yellow that make them you can suddenly make almost any color. That's how I see it, anyhow."

As she gets off topic, Flaming shakes her head, "R-right! Sorry, I just, got curious about it, looking at it… so, with these talents switched around, could you give a tattoo? We're looking to find someone who can make one for Pryce as a reward for his advancement but literally no one in this whole town seems to know how to do it!"

 No.712097

>>712096
"It's not something to be praised, nor is it something I enjoy using. All of these talents are reminders of my sins. Every one of them represents another Shade I have created, another life that… at least for right now… I'll never be able to restore. Something else I'll have to atone for. This is a talent I developed in the anger of my youth. This is what malice, brewing for the course of years, can do, if it isn't channeled right. I hate this power. It is nothing but a curse – something I need to atone for creating."

Mudi has a small start as some of the Shades playing by the water run up to her. With magic, they float up some brightly-colored pebbles they found in the water. Though Mudi's face had fallen, showing deep remorse, during the discussion of her talent, she smiles at the Shades, taking the pebbles as they're offered. "Yes, I can make this tattoo for Pryce, but… are you sure he wants it? He never struck me as a 'tattoo' kind of person. Isn't he from Accorsia? I've heard the empire was a very segregated and caste-divided society. Wouldn't Ecclesia look down on him for getting one?"

"That's what I thought, but then I considered that he'd look cool," LJ says. "So, I don't care one whit about what Ecclesia would say."

 No.712098

>>712095
Shei inspects the doors as he approaches the far off hills. Waving Pupil at them Shei soon chooses one and enters through

>Astral body toggled

 No.712099

>>712098
As you enter the door, a great wave of static immediately washes over you, and you are only protected by your astral form. A powerful wind emanates from behind you, as if the frozen wasteland was attempting to throw you out. You're soon pushed out into the static and the door slams shut behind you.

You hardly recognize the landscape you've been put in, but it looks to be one of the poorest districts in Vitral, a slum for the slave caste somewhere in the ironically named Cozy Vimana. Static fills the sky and the air, making distinguishing shapes a difficult task. The world is completely frozen all about you, dull and gray and lifeless. Debris hangs, mid-fall, in the sky, from buildings destroyed by the explosions Metatron lossed in the sky, deliberately targeting the first responders to the initial attacks on Vitral. Smoke hangs frozen in mid-air, coming up from the other annihilated districts of the Vimanas. However, you see nobody else around, not even the glass statues that were left behind when people inhaled the ash that fell from the sky.

 No.712100

>>712097
Flaming lowers her head, feeling the regret Mudi has for her power and the previous owners of the marks who had to suffer for her to obtain it. Though the ability itself is disturbing, and how it was used in the past more so, Flaming does feel more at ease with the sense that Mudi, like Amy, holds genuine regret for what has been done.

Looking over towards the Shades playing in the stream, bringing their 'mother' the floating pebbles, Flaming shakes her head, "It is… in the past. All there is left to do is to make up for it NOW, like Amy does. You'll do okay, Mudi." She makes a mental note to ask later about what she meant by 'for now' when regarding the ability to restore lives.

"As to Pryce… well," Flaming blushes, "I admit, he didn't seem immediately taken with the idea, but he said he'd consider it if I found someone who can do it. He's part of my clan, and in my clan, warriors receive markings as proof of their strength. I think it'd make him look really great, and whatever the rules were back in Hearthome, things are different now, aren't they?"

 No.712101

>>712099
>not even the glass statues that were left behind when people inhaled the ash that fell from the sky.

"I see she has '''saved''' more people." Shei says sarcastically as he seeks out Metatron's presence with his aura. Ambleing down the ghetto road in this white static.

[1d10] seeking with aura

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.712106

>>712100
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMOWCMcovzo

Mudi opens her mouth to continue, her gloomy expression telling you that she's got some other negative thing to say or a reason to dismiss your idea, when several of the Shades swarm her from behind, which nearly knocks her off the rock with surprise. Each of them makes strange noises that sound like meaningless babble, but Mudi seems to understand it. Her mouth twists into a longing smile, and you see both regret and hope in her eyes, in equal measure. "I guess it's time for snacks already," she says, getting up. "Then, I'll go ahead and do that tattoo for Pryce if he really wants it. Do you have a picture I can go by?"

 No.712110

>>712106
As the Shades swarm her from behind, Flaming takes a surprised yelp back, looking at them gather around Mudi playfully. After she calms down, she snickers a bit, looking at them. "I didn't know you could feed them. What do they like to eat?" Flaming asks, holding a hoof upwards to one of the Shades.

As she asks what sort of tattoo Pryce would like, Flaming pauses, "Well… I'm still working on that part too. I was originally thinking about one of my tribe's but, I was made aware that was a very poor choice. So I want to do something original instead, but I don't know what. Maybe his medal? His medal has a pretty nice design for a tattoo."

 No.712114

>>712110
"I… can't, actually," Mudi says. "The Shades' bodies are ephemeral, intangible, without a body in which to inhabit. They can only interact with something that has a magical component. So, if they want to eat something, I have to reduce it to a pure substance with alchemy. Anything else is just play-acting."

You recall when you saw the Shades in the cartoon world, and how they were able to wear clothes and touch objects there. But out here, in the material world, the Shades have only been able to use their magic to hold onto physical objects, like the bugs and pebbles they've been playing with.

Mudi pats her chin. "His medal? Isn't that a bit pointless? He's already got the medal if people want to look at it."
"Why not a moth?" Tantra jokes, snorting to himself. "Or perhaps a pegasus."
LJ tilts his head. "…I don't get it."

 No.712121

>>712114
>>712114
Flaming thinks back to the time in the cartoonish world they first met Mudi in, and tries to wrap her head around what Mudi is explaining. "I… think I get it. You need to turn something in this world into pure magic, and that's the only thing they can eat… is that hard?"

As Mudi makes her point about the medal, Flaming blushes, "I guess that's a good point, but maybe if it were simplified? Just the phoenix and sword, and maybe some fanning flames? Pryce really is an expert in flame magic and it could serve as a reminder of the Ember he was carrying as well. I think some flames around one of his legs would look pretty sweet, don't you?"

As Tantra brings up the moth / pegasus, Flaming looks to LJ. "I don't think I get it either, does Pryce like moths?"

 No.712124

>>712121
"Out here, it's only a little effort," Mudi says. She digs up some nearby grass, and with a small glow of her hoof, the grass dissipates, becoming a vague, green substance, like floating starlight, ethereal and without form. "In my crystal ball, I don't even have to think about it. My magic signature is so deeply embedded into the world I've built in there, I may as well be a goddess."

"Flames, perhaps," she muses. "It could be a good contrast with his coat. Or, an ember would perhaps be more original. Though I'd rather not put it on his leg. It might give off the wrong impression about the kind of person he is."
Tantra shakes his head. "Don't worry about it. I shouldn't even be joking about that."
"If being an adult means being vague about stuff, I don't wanna grow up after all," LJ snarks. "You guys are always hinting and winking and nudging about stuff we're not allowed to know about!"

 No.712129

>>712124
As the grass is changed into magic before her very eyes, Flaming looks at the floating bit of light in front of her. "That's pretty amazing. Can it also be done backwards? Turning that little light back into grass or, whatever else you want?"

As Mudi muses about the flames or ember, Flaming smiles, "Then I think either of those would look good on Pryce. Particularly the ember, I think the magic in it really opened up a good change in him. But, if not on his arm, where would you think? His neck? His shoulder?"

Flaming looks up at Tantra with a peculiar look, before looking over at LJ. "Yeah, I'm with you, I HATE being kept out of the loop just because we're young. What's the big secret, anyways?"

 No.712131

>>712129
"That takes much more time and concentration, unless I make a talent for it," Mudi says. "Alchemy was not my magical focus growing up; another problem of my special talent. I put so much focus into it, believing I could skimp on other magic disciplines, since I could simply cobble together a new talent to give me prowess in those other disciplines."

"The shoulder seems like a good place for a tattoo. A classic spot, and one that gives him a reason to flex for his special somepony," she says with a forced-looking smile.

"There's… something up with him and Zjetya," Tantra whispers. "But you need to keep this away from River Spring, alright?"
LJ quiets down, growing serious. "Oh dear… is this the dreaded love geometry I've heard about?"
"It's a love tri–" Tantra begins, then snorts. "Love geometry sounds funnier. Let's go with that."

 No.712138

>>712131
"Well, to be fair… can't you? From how I understand how your ability works, it sounds like you really don't need to worry about studying these spells that much if you can just make a new talent instead to help you."

Flaming smiles, "Then I think the shoulder is the place to put it! That way everyone will be able to recognize his advancement, and it'll look good while flexing too." Flaming chuckles, "I bet River will appreciate that…"

As Tantra mentions something is up with Zjetya and Pryce, Flaming's ears flatten, not entirely understanding. "Something's up? Like what, are they fighting? They seemed to be getting along earlier-"
As LJ brings up 'love geometry', Flaming's eyes pop out. "Love? What does love have to do with… this…" Flaming's eyes droop, as though suddenly in realization. "Oooooh…. oh no."

 No.712142

>>712138
"I have no intention to abuse this talent of mine any longer to gain prowess without working for it," Mudi says. "It's a part of me I don't want to carry any longer, but one that I can't set down until my work in Tartarus is done. Besides, my ultimate aim, after all is done in Tartarus, can't be achieved with that power."

>>712138
Tantra rubs his forehead in exasperation. "Yeah, it's… getting weird. I pulled you two away when I could tell it was going to get ugly over there, just to spare them some embarrassment."
"I never learned geometry," LJ says with dismay. "How many sides are we talking here?"
"Oh, just three," Tantra says. "But I'm afraid that's more complex than any of us can disentangle. Guy's on his own."

 No.712148

>>712142
"I see… that's very noble. You don't want to just be handed the power, you want to earn it for yourself. You'd make a decent Climbing Fire. What's that though, the thing you can't achieve with your cutie-mark power?"

>>712142
Flaming looks down, "I… I didn't even pick up on it. And I was doing a big show with her and everything. I got River pretty quick but Zjetya… I feel really bad for her. She really liked Pryce that much?"

Flaming's eyes open wide. "Wait, wait, wait! This isn't a problem at all!" She looks up at Tantra, "Aren't we forgetting we have TWO Pryces now?"

 No.712152

>>712148
"Flaming, for the love of the gods!" Tantra exclaims. "We're not going down that route."
"This is romantic love we're talking about," LJ says. "That's not going to work."

>>712148
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s5u_825g-A

Mudi sighs and walks away from the rock a little distance. "How do I even begin to explain it? My current plan, to absorb enormous amounts of magical and spiritual energy with the aid of the Momentary Lake, seems more and more obviously insufficient the more I think about it. The sheer increase of raw power will get demons far and wide to either submit to me, or fight me, in which case I can easily subdue them.

"But the range I will be able to influence won't be infinite. When there is evil in the west, I will go there, but then the east will be free of my power. When I go to the north, the south will be free of my rule. Demons are mercurial, rebellious by nature. Who is to say that, even if I set up loyal demons to govern in my stead in regions I can't reach, they will not eventually turn upon me? This world is so very vast. If I am gone for months, or years at a time, in order to bring peace to the far-off corners of the world, which are controlled by demons far beyond any mortal's power, who is to say that the kingdom I establish won't fall in my absence? I am just one person, but the kingdom I establish will, by its design, be too dependent on my power to keep it safe. Power… that's all that mortals and demons respect. Authority? Right of rule? Law, faith, justice, liberty, happiness? These abstractions don't exist in a vacuum. They exist because they are backed up by the power to enforce them. And if I were to ever lose my power, or if I were to leave for too long, then my kingdom, absent of my power, would be reduced to chaos once more, just as all the empires of the world have.

"So… then what? How can I achieve the peace I've sought…? Would I have to discard my humanity, becoming an angel or a demon myself? Even, perhaps, a god?"

 No.712156

>>712152
"Why wouldn't it work? The younger Pryce isn't that much younger than me and *I* was going out with Pryce, why not the little Pryce and Zjetya?"

>>712152
Flaming follows behind Mudi, listening to her woes and concerns of the upcoming issue with controlling the demon hordes. "I see… so even if you do get put into Tartarus and take control like we planned, the influence of your abilities can only go so far and those outside of it would plot against you… it's tricky."

"But… I don't think that's right. That all mortals, demons, and even angels respect is power. I know that seems like the only way to force them all to listen, and a few months ago I would have agreed it was. But, I think I'm starting to see them all in a new light than I have before, and I think if you win them over without only using power, you won't need to worry about them working against you."

"Maybe you will need to become a god. But you will get to choose what sort of god you'll be. You don't need to be like the Devas or Metatron. You can be better."

 No.712157

>>712156
Tantra rubs his temple. "Apart from ALL THE OTHER PROBLEMS… envy. River and Zjetya won't be happy if they know the other one's got a Pryce of her own. Love means you won't settle for having anything less than all of the other person for yourself and yourself alone."
"I can attest to that," LJ adds.

>>712156
"You don't know the people I've known. You haven't seen the societies I've seen. And you haven't experienced the evils I've witnessed, and the evils I've done," Mudi intones. "I've seen tribes, united by history and kinship for centuries, fall into warfare over a shared natural resource that one day began to dry up. Neighboring countries, with almost identical cultures and languages and lifestyles and races, creating discrimination and sectarian conflicts that, bit by bit, lead to mass murders and exiles, over differences in what gods they worship. And I've seen ordinary people, who spend every day in the same rut, day in and day out, grow into monsters, all because they suddenly came into possession of some magical power, and were then able to exercise that power on others. If you peel back enough layers, what lay at the center of these conflicts? Power. Plain and simple. Power over resources, power over worship, the right to say what gods were true and which gods were false, and the power to hurt others, the power to decide who lives and dies. Surely you know what I mean. Did not Hearthome exercise power over your tribes, casting them into the wilderness at the corner of the empire, all because they would not submit in full to Accorsian rule?"

She pauses and turns away. "But that's just it. Even as a god, I'd have my own problems. A god requires worship in order to maintain themselves. Gods aren't self-sustaining. Just as mortals must do everything they can to get bread and water, gods must get worship, and that puts them at the mercy of their followers. The masses would have more power over me than I would over them. If they stopped believing in me, or worshipped other gods over me, my power would falter, and I would vanish.

"No… I have to do something else… it's…" she groans. "It's hard to explain. Even I don't have it fully mapped out yet, but… it's an idea nonetheless."

>Pause

 No.712434

Last time on HQ…

After Pryce's ceremony concluded, the party resolved to make the most of the last two days they had before entering Tartarus. Splitting up, they uncovered several leads they could investigate. Pryce learned from Gegenschein of a city in the wilderness by the name of Threecoins, which in recent time was a stronghold of demons. Intelligence reports have found that said demons have largely left the city behind, possibly due to the influence of the Treibheanna, who have been recruiting demons to their cause. With the city now empty, Ecclesia wants someone to investigate and recover any survivors or items that may be of use.

Flow, deciding to spend the day with Renee so they could discuss some things, found another lead, relating to a group of dark-knights-turned-brigands, who had been raiding supply lines and stealing goods from travelers. There was, however, a report of another knight, separate from the brigand group, who seemed to be actively hunting the bandits to try to stop them, but was unsuccessful so far. Ecclesia wanted Flow to recruit that knight to their cause, or else they would put a bounty on them.

Flaming had a long discussion with Mudi about Pryce's tattoo, one which turned into a broader discussion about Tartarus, Mudi's past, and what she intended to do about the Shades if her plan proved successful.

Shei returned to Vitral in order to speak with Metatron, finding the city to be encased in static, with debris and ash frozen, mid-fall, in the sky, as if time in the city had drawn to a halt. No living things, not even glass statues, were around.

 No.712435

>KP
"More like a very, very bery long day and a coplicated set of feelings," Zjetya says.

>Pryce

River looks a little confused, but ultimately understanding as you make the case. "I can understand this dilemma, but will you be with her the whole day?" she asks. "I don't want to lose a whole day from you, or from the others who will go with you. I care for Zjetya, I truly do, but I can't help my own feelings."

>Flow

Thrilled by the thought of going on a separate mission, and by Gegenschein's words of praise, Renee smiles and hooks her arm around Flow's as they head out.
"She [Sir Freischutz] was here for the ceremony, and she is gone from the hill, head for the smiths' forge; she has often spent time there between missions," Gegenschein answers.

>Pryce, Amy

With that settled, the party members nod. Onion raises his paw. "Let's all take five to get ourselves ready and ask about what jobs will need the most people. Everyone who was out yesterday gets the easy pickings today, and everyone who was on their bums yesterday–"
"Like you?" Sugar asks.
"Most definitely like me," Onion laughs. "We gotta pull our weight out there."
"Right!" the party declares, and begins to prepare for the day's missions.

>Flaming (Buffs)

Tantra rubs his temple. "Apart from ALL THE OTHER PROBLEMS… envy. River and Zjetya won't be happy if they know the other one's got a Pryce of her own. Love means you won't settle for having anything less than all of the other person for yourself and yourself alone."
"I can attest to that," LJ adds.

>Flaming (Mudi)

"You don't know the people I've known. You haven't seen the societies I've seen. And you haven't experienced the evils I've witnessed, and the evils I've done," Mudi intones. "I've seen tribes, united by history and kinship for centuries, fall into warfare over a shared natural resource that one day began to dry up. Neighboring countries, with almost identical cultures and languages and lifestyles and races, creating discrimination and sectarian conflicts that, bit by bit, lead to mass murders and exiles, over differences in what gods they worship. And I've seen ordinary people, who spend every day in the same rut, day in and day out, grow into monsters, all because they suddenly came into possession of some magical power, and were then able to exercise that power on others. If you peel back enough layers, what lay at the center of these conflicts? Power. Plain and simple. Power over resources, power over worship, the right to say what gods were true and which gods were false, and the power to hurt others, the power to decide who lives and dies. Surely you know what I mean. Did not Hearthome exercise power over your tribes, casting them into the wilderness at the corner of the empire, all because they would not submit in full to Accorsian rule?"

She pauses and turns away. "But that's just it. Even as a god, I'd have my own problems. A god requires worship in order to maintain themselves. Gods aren't self-sustaining. Just as mortals must do everything they can to get bread and water, gods must get worship, and that puts them at the mercy of their followers. The masses would have more power over me than I would over them. If they stopped believing in me, or worshipped other gods over me, my power would falter, and I would vanish.

"No… I have to do something else… it's…" she groans. "It's hard to explain. Even I don't have it fully mapped out yet, but… it's an idea nonetheless."

 No.712436

https://pastebin.com/RaZG8KLM

>>712435
>"Wow, and today just started… Don't worry, things will work out, I just know it!"
KP says optimistically.


>>712435
"I don't think this expedition will take all day. We'll be back before you know it."
Pryce says to help ease River's feelings.
"I know. On the upside at least, this'll be a great time to help the kids with their new pets."

 No.712437

>Shei
The heavy static weighs down upon you, clouding your senses, but even so, you plainly feel a terrible spiritual essence radiating from the northwest. The presence presses upon you and everything else around you, making your movements feel dull and slow, even at this great distance.

 No.712438

>>712435
>>712436

"Hey, we haven't gone adventuring together in DAYS!" Amy says excitedly. "That'll be a nice change of pace!"

 No.712439

Fix.

 No.712440

>>712435
"I… I guess I can see how that might be a problem." Flaming relents, looking down at the ground with innocent eyes as she mourns her perfect plan. "In which case… is there anything else we can do for Zjetya? Is there any other stallions she might like that you know of?"

>>712435
Flaming listens to Mudi as she explains the system of the world, and how power is situated at the center of all, and scrunches her muzzle as she finishes her explanation. "No, maybe I haven't seen as much as you have. But I've seen enough to know power doesn't HAVE to be the answer to everything, either. When I fight with my new clan, it's not just because I respect their strength, or that they respect mine: I'd be with them even if we were all weak. You don't need to focus only on power to get the world to follow you, Mudi."

As she lists off the problems regarding worship, Flaming nods her head in understanding, "I can understand that. I imagine great Vir-can might lose his might if he lost our faith… something tells me he's already weakened from it. But, what sort of idea do you have in mind? Even if it's hard to explain, I can try to understand."

 No.712441

>>712438
>>712439
"Huh, yea. We haven't since… Circadia I think."

 No.712442

>>712435
Flow nods and heads for the forge.
“Thanks, we won’t let you down.”
He holds out an arm to Renee.

The two goo clones follow close behind, and converse amongst themselves.

 No.712444

>>712441

"Yeah," Amy says with perky conversational tone. "What've you been up to?"

 No.712445

>>712444
"…Aside the whole ceremony I had just a little bit ago?"
Pryce questions, genuinely unsure if Amy forgot.

 No.712446

>Like yesterday, the party will be able to divide the group's NPC companions among them. Names marked with an asterisk are those who went to the Temple of Slipper yesterday. You can take the same NPCs as before, but it is recommended to bring along those who haven't gotten as much focus. Any NPCs who don't get taken can be assigned to other tasks.

Gjenganger
Zophie*
Volkama
Deriva
Vortigern
The Dragon
Mocha
Little Journey*
Tantra*
Blessings*
Spitshine*
Sugar*
Zjetya*
River Spring
Busta
Box
Chorazin
Mirror Image
Onion
Wireframe
Observer
Yes Mare/Hafaza
>Pets: Hopper (Frog), Lockjaw (Miniature Deviljho), Catcher (Miniature Kecha-Wacha) and Pucchini (Miniature Pukei-Pukei)

>>712436
Zjetya chuckles, rubbing at her eyes once more. "I know, what an awful start to the morning, huh? Guess I really put a sour end to Pryce's big moment, didn't I?"

>>712436
"As long as we've the afternoon all to ourselves," River says, puffing up her cheeks in a mock pout. "You ought to be back before midnight or I'll have drank all the wine myself, and then you'll be to blame for my hangover the next morning!"

>>712438
"Since when was Pryce so popular with all the girls?" Spitshine jokes.
"You always struck me as a more reserved type, Pryce," Busta adds, cracking a rare joke. "Save some for the rest of us, will you?"

>>712440
"No, from the looks she's been giving Pryce, and some of what I overheard with her and KP, she seems pretty determined," LJ says with a groan. "I will never be with a mare; they are far too complex. Buffalo, now them I can understand."

>>712440
"Perhaps that's worked for you and your clan because of a mutual respect," Mudi says. "And I'm happy for it. But a kingdom is far different from a group of adventurers. It's not enough for there to just be respect. It needs infrastructure, laws, courts, offices, governing structures. It needs a center to ground it, or else it will fall apart. And what holds up the center, but power? What reinforces it, what ensures the people that their way of life will be preserved each day? The power that the ruler wields to keep the people safe, and the center intact."

>>712440
"Let me try to explain by asking you a question," Mudi says. "What would happen if, today, you stopped drinking altogether? No water, no tea, no wine, no coffee, no liquid at all, for the rest of your life."

>>712442
Arm in arm with Renee, you head back to the forge manned by Ingot and his team. There, you see a new figure, one whom you recognize: Freischutz. A grey pegasus, with a dirty blonde mane, wearing a heavily scarred Ecclesian jacket and glasses. From her lower jaw, all the way to the top of her chest, there is no skin, but a magitech prosthesis held in place with leather straps, partly covered by heavy bandages: a grisly war wound. She and Ingot are looking over her flintlock rifle, and having a discussion about it. As you approach, she turns and grunts in a raspy voice. "It's been var too long, slayer of demons. How goes the hunt?"

 No.712447

>Add Rus Tea to that list, no asterisk

 No.712448

>>712437
Shei-Sher flies upward and attempts sailing through the pressure to the northwest. Although his wings are not taxed of energy due to his astral state Shei may feel other expenditures in effort as he makes his way towards metatron.

If needed
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.712449

>>712445

Amy looks at Pryce with a bemused expression. "Duh…"

>>712446

"Wha- I- I'm just talking to him!" Amy objects, blushing.

 No.712450

>>712448
You find that the source of the pressure comes from the Birdcage, which has risen even higher in the sky than before. From your aerial view of Vitral, you can see that the massive shards of metal that fell into the city during Metatron's descent have been excavated, and gathered to the Birdcage. They appear to have been re-fashioned, fusing with the Birdcage and the Mind Vimana that it held, and have formed an elaborate structure of metal, somewhere between a castle and a city, like a vast and floating fortress in the sky. Angels teem all about on its walls and in the houses, and all of the buildings therein have been rebuilt.

You spy Metatron, a lone, blurry figure, standing atop one of the highest ramparts of the castle. Like before, his form is simple, being only a smoky silhouette of a pony, his body ringed and running with lines of golden text, with two golden pits for eyes. He stands before a crowd of people on the outside of the castle walls, approaching him in earnest reverence, as he surveys them in silence.

 No.712451

>>712446
KP gives Zjetya a hug to help cheer her up when she rubs her eyes.
>"Not at all, it was a great ceremony. It just had an unexpected twist at the end that'll be the start to a happy end."


>>712446
Pryce chuckles as River pouts.
"We won't be having a repeat of this morning, I promise."

>>712449
"Well, yesterday when we went to Zha Arlakane, River and I sparred with Busta in an arena fight, and then hung around here for a bit before putting on a show for a merchant to help his business and to pick up those pets."
Pryce gestures over to Spitshine and Sugar with their new pets, and Lockjaw over by KP.

 No.712452

>>712446
Flaming lets out a sigh, "I'm right there with you, Journey. Ponies are too complicated. Buffalo, we don't mess around, we just get right to the point, huh?"

"And, regarding Zjetya… I don't think River is going to let Pryce go, either. So unless Pryce changes his mind, I think she'll have to move on and find another mate…"

>>712446
"I guess you have a point… it's not the same for a country as it is for a small tribe. You can know everyone and be friends in our clan, but an entire country? I don't know if even Amy could make THAT many friends… but, what if you used both power and respect? Could you do with less power?"

>>712446
Flaming blinks. "What kind of silly question is that? I'd DIE of course, no one can go more than a few days without water or any sort of liquid."

 No.712453

>>712450
As Shei spots the crowd of people he mouths the word "What? Couldn't be." Having scaled some distance into the sky Shei lets his wings glide him down to a balcony that looks most like an entrance to the BirdCage.

Shei does not hide his presence, and if angels come to approach he stays at his spot to greet them.

To clarify I am not flying directly to Metatron at the top. I intend on entering the birdcage and walking up its ramparts to the top where Metatron is.

 No.712454

>>712446
Flow grins.
“Going up the ladder, lass, just the usual,” he says confidently, since Renee is next to him.
“I take it you’re doing some modifications?” He gestures to her rifle.

The two goo clones continue to bicker and discuss impractical topics on their own.

 No.712455

>>712451

"Wow…" Amy says with a blink. "Your day sounds WAY easier than the one we had. Lame."

 No.712456

>>712455
"I heard a little bit of it from my younger self. You all went through quite a trial. But it must've been worth it I imagine."

 No.712457

>>712449
"Careful, that's how he gets you!" Spitshine continues.
"So many innocent mares corrupted by his greed," Busta adds, clicking his tongue.
"Stop that, I've heard more than enough," River snaps, grumpily.

>>712451
"One can only hope," Zjetya says, patting KP's head, then goes over to stand with Pryce.
River gives her a slight side-eyed look, then nods. "Then, off you go. I'll see you tonight."

>>712452
"It would be wise for them to resolve all this before the Tartarus expedition," Tantra says. "In fact, any unresolved baggage you all have needs to be aired out. We can't have any disunity or lingering resentment between us; Tartarus will be far too dangerous, and we need to be able to fight as a single unit in order to make it through."

>>712453
You land, and though some angels take notice of you, they do not approach, but instead motion to you for silence.

Metatron gestures into the crowd, beckoning for a young stallion to come forward. The stallion looks terribly bruised and beaten, and he has a gem in his head, indicating he was a slave and a Farm for a demon. He comes forward, and instinctually kneels before Metatron. Metatron conjures in his hoof a long metal spike, and gestures to the stallion with his other hoof. The stallion levitates, under Metatron's control, and as he rises to his eye level, Metatron beholds him in a lingering gaze, then launches the spike forward, jamming it into the stallion's chest. The stallion begins to spasm, and his body is engulfed in a bright white light, glowing for a long time.

 No.712458


>>712454
"Ja, trying to see if I can modify the curse upon it," she says. "In addition to its normal rounds, my rifle's curse gives it seven special bullets, which I can manipulate upon a whim. Zhey are devestatingly powerful, and have saved my life more than once against foes I should not have been able to defeat. However… each time I fire, there is a chance that the special bullet I have chosen is a cursed bullet. It might slay my foe, but it will unpredictably loose itself from my control, and come after me. I'd like to remove zhis curse, and put all seven bullets under my control forever, but it's hard to break curses. Anyway, what brings you here?"

>>712452
"That's my goal," Mudi says. "I don't want to be a tyrant if I can help it. I want to use my power only to keep demons at bay, not to oppress my own people."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5yLqkO4Cp4

"Setting that aside, that's exactly right. You would die. There are all kinds of scientific explanations as to why this would happen. But, we know that this world was designed by a trio of elder gods, worshipped in the Accorsian pantheon as the mischevious brothers, Br'veldus and Ezren, and their father, Y'idryth. If they had wanted, they could have designed our bodies to not have any need of food or drink. Fundamentally, our bodies need nutrition because that's how these gods designed our bodies. In other words, that's just how the world works.

"Why is it that way? Why does the world operate according to how the creator gods designed it? Because – and you may not like this answer – they had the Intellect, the Will, and the Power to shape not just the physical world, but the laws and logic – the rules that govern all the natural and supernatural phenomena. Theirs is the ultimate, most fundamental power: the power to call the shots, to design the world, and if they so desired, to redesign it. But I know that that power's not exclusive to them."

She holds out her crystal ball. "Inside this crystal ball, the Shades can touch things, eat food, wear clothes, feel the wind on their faces. Outside, they cannot. But inside, I can change things as I see fit. I can't change basic cause and effect, I can't change certain laws of magic and physics, but I can change some of them, because of my great magical power, which I've stored inside them for safekeeping."

Looking into the ball, a small spark comes to her eyes, one that has a certain obsessive gleam. "For now, my influence is limited to this crystal ball. But perhaps, one day, I could change more."

LJ and Tantra start to tense up, eyeing Mudi with newly kindled suspicion.

 No.712462

>>712457
Shei-Sher steps down and approaches the crowd, as he watches this stallion rise to Metatron's beckon and is engulfed in light.

With Pupil Shei-Sher analyzes just what is being done
[1d10] Appraise Stallion being engulfed by light

Shei-Sher stands among the crowd, waiting to be selected by Metatron.

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.712465

[been rolling absolute shit the past couple sessions, just gonna check if the dice are doing okay]

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

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 1 = 1 / Roll #4 3 = 3 / Roll #5 5 = 5 / Roll #6 6 = 6 /

 No.712466

>>712465
[1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 5 = 5 / Roll #4 6 = 6 / Roll #5 2 = 2 / Roll #6 9 = 9 /

 No.712468

>>712457
"I'll see you later."
Pryce says to River. He pauses, deciding against his better judgement on a farewell gesture of affection, not wanting to hurt Zjetya further as she walks over.

KP follows Zjetya along.
>"So where are you guys going?"
"We're going to a city called Threecoins to salvage anything the demons left behind."
>"Ooo, sounds fun. bring us back something cool!"
"We'll try. And maybe this little guy can help."
Pryce says, picking up Lockjaw in his telekinesis as he tries to get up at Hopper, placing him on his back.
"He still needs a little training it looks like."

 No.712470

>>712457
>>712468
"So who's coming along to Threecoins then?"
Pryce asks the group as he finishes his chat with River and rejoins the others.

 No.712475

>>712462
The light dwindles, and a figure begins to rise from it as it fades: A new angel, its form insectlike, winged and beaming a serene glow. From its forelegs protrude myriad sharp claws, and its jaw unhinges, displaying rows and rows of teeth. As the angel rises, the crowd is rapt with awe and fear. Though they look miserable, many of them look upon the new angel with envy. Several raise their voices, shouting praise and adoration for Metatron and gratitude for what they see as a salvatory act.

Metatron scans the crowd again, his expression dispassionate. His eyes settle on you, and he nods to the space before him. "It's you. Come closer and tell me what you want," he says in a dead, cold voice.

>>712468
Lockjaw looks around with excitement as you pick him up, and he tries to climb up onto your head for a better look, sniffing at the air for meat. Nearby, on your shoulder, Hopper makes a displeased ribbit.

 No.712477

>>712457
Flaming nods her head to Tantra. "I completely agree, but I don't think this sounds like something that'll be quick or easy to deal with. I don't know what a broken heart feels like, but, it can't be good…"

>>712458
Flaming listens and contemplates Mudi's teaching, explaining how the creators of the world made this world the way they did and the reasons they did it. And as she compares the situation the fore-fathers of creation had to the prospect of her crystal ball, and the infinite power she wields within it, Flaming looks at it questioningly.

"It… it almost sounds like you would like to just put the whole world in your crystal ball." Flaming puts her hoof on her chin, "…that kind of reminds me of how the Devas did with our world before, trapping it underneath the Firmament. I don't know… I think I see what you're saying, with this plan you could remove all our pain, all our hunger, all our thirst. But… does that really count as being alive?"

 No.712481

>>712475
KP picks up Hopper and gives him a calming pet.
>"Don't worry, the big guy has him under control."

Pryce chuckles as Hopper is displeased.
"Did you want to come along instead?"
He asks his little froggy friend.
"Maybe next time, I wouldn't want any demons getting their claws on you."

Pryce has a little discomfort as Lockjaw climbs up his head, the weight difference from Hopper quite a change to get used too. He pulls a scrap of meat out of the snack bag, levitating it up for Lockjaw to snack on.

 No.712482

>>712458
Flow scratches his head.
“So…the gun is cursed, but the bullets arent? Can’t you use regular bullets instead?”
Flow scratches his head.
“Hmmm…I apologize, I’m not learned in the nuances of firearms.”

 No.712489

>>712475
Shei nods and approaches Metatron. His legs grow nostalgically stiff and wobbly as Shei gains closer. Once he is before Metatron Shei very consciously fights the instinct to kneel and instead sits cross legged as he speaks to Metatron.

Shei lets out a trembling breath "Do as thou Wilt." The words come heavy from his mouth, not having greeted anyone as such in a very long time. "I came to ask for mine and my love's data be returned. The data belonging to Shei-Sher and Amy Thest. I made these jars to stow them inside, until we can make the proper rituals for reconstitution."

 No.712493

>>712477
"Oh, I don't want to put any limits on things like that. Completely changing the world would require far too much power," Mudi says, beginning to pace about. "I don't need, or want, to create a paradise on Earth. There's only one thing I'd need to change… and that's how this world, its gods, its kingdoms and institutions, let evil go unpunished.

"Think about all the wretchedness and misery that this world's been subjected to. I'm not just talking about what demons have done. For as long as there have been people in the world, there has been evil. Kings, blinded by the comfort of their rich and luxurious lives, allow peasants and beggars to starve on their streets. Charismatic preachers establish cults, luring in vulnerable victims into their service, and then abuse and rob the people they've duped. Bandits steal, burn and kill, leaving corpses in their wake, and judges accept bribes to hand out unjust sentences, letting the wicked go free, and the falsely accused be condemned for crimes they don't commit. There are many good and courageous heroes in the world, and they've attempted to right the many evil deeds that unjust people commit.

"But in the end, so many evildoers get away with their wickedness. And at the end of their lives, both evil and good people go to the same afterlife, mingling together in the Ocean of Souls, rewarded with eternal dreams. What justice is that? That evildoers can go free all their lives, and be rewarded with eternal peace at the end? That good people suffer, and do not see their abusers punished? This is a problem that the Sons of God were acutely aware of. They threw the wicked – demon and mortal alike – into Tartarus to receive their eternal punishment, rightly deserved.

"But I won't always be around Tartarus. I won't always have that punishment available to me. But, if I were to gather enough power, the power of a god – no, of an elder god – perhaps even beyond that, to be some kind of Demiurge or great Architect of the universe, I could change just one thing about how the world worked. I could change the rules. I could establish a system – as universal and unavoidable, as air, or the need to eat and drink: Anyone who commits evil, no matter how small, no matter how minute, would be punished immediately. I wouldn't need to be around, I wouldn't even need to be alive. As long as that rule held true, then anyone who harbored evil in his heart, would know the true terror of justice, and abstain from his actions!"

 No.712494

>>712456

"Yeah, and I became more of a demon!" Amy says excitedly as if that's a good thing.

 No.712496

>>712494
"That's… uh, I didn't know the temple was demonic…"
Pryce says with a slight bit of worry.

 No.712497

>>712489
"No, now go away," Metatron answers without a care, gesturing to someone else in the crowd. "Next person, come forward."

 No.712501

>>712496

"It wasn't, but Princess Wineberry helped make my tattoos stronger," Amy says, pointing to her face.

"That's why I have these," she says pointing to her wolf ears, then gesturing with her hoof-paws.

 No.712502

>>712482
"In most cases, I do, but in many situations, my foe is just too powerful to deal with zhrough regular means. Many demons of higher rank can't be harmed by conventional weapons. Only highly powerful weapons, blessed or cursed, are even capable of scratching zhem. Sometimes, I just can't get around using it.
"Er… did you need something else?" she asks. "I dislike making myself the center of attention.

>>712481
Lockjaw chows down on the food. Hopper reaches out toward Pryce, but relents when KP pulls him away, accepting that they must be apart.

>>712477
>>712481
>>712494
>>712482
>Once everyone is ready, just say so. Current NPC companion lineup is:
Pryce, Flaming, Amy: Vortigern, Zjetya, Rus Tea, Wireframe, Volkama, Box, Journey and Chorazin
Shei: Gadds (at ship)
Flow: Renee

Your allies start to discuss the day's work among themselves, and it sounds like Rus Tea and Volkama are quite eager to get going. Wireframe begins having a side conversation with Zjetya, and Box jitters in place excitedly.

"Once you're all ready to go, I'll lend you the airship," Observer says, holding out a key with a sapphire in its ring. "I've spent a good portion of yesterday modifying it. It shall make short work of your trip there."

 No.712503

>>712501
Pryce blinks, noticing the new ears and paws.
"How did I not notice those? Maybe we id celebrate too hard lst night."
Pryce mutters.

"So what do your tattoos do now?"

 No.712504

>>712493
As Mudi raises her voice at the end, shouting about her desire to see that all evil in this world is punished the moment it occurs, Flaming shrinks back, huddled down somewhat as she's caught off-guard by the witch's zealousness. After a few brief moments, she raises up, pausing as she tries to find the right words.

"…you're, not wrong. There is a LOT of bad people in this world who get away with things they shouldn't. And while I like to think that regret sticks with them all the way to the next life, it's true that some of them still get off easy. I want to get rid of evil too. But," Flaming shakes her head, "If you were to make the world this way, who would be the judge? Who decides what is good and what is evil? How do we know whoever this judge will be, will be any better than the corrupt ones in the mortal world?"

"And then, even if we found one who was trustworthy, is it really right to punish every little sin? Some creatures make mistakes."

 No.712505

>>712502
Pryce gives Hopper a pet.
"Don't worry, I won't be long. Keep the little guy out of trouble for me, kay?"
Pryce says to him.

KP sets Hopper on his head.
>"Have fun!"


>>712502
With everypony gathered, Pryce changes back into his classic white robe, not wanting to get his new garb ruined with whatever they might come across. And putting his new medal on as well, that he'l carry on him always.

Pryce takes the key from Observer as they get ready to leave.
"Thank you Observer. But are you sure? I haven't really seen you not tend to your ship during downtime. What are you going to do meanwhile?"

KP hangs with River, Spitshine, and Sugar while the others get ready to head off.

 No.712507

>>712497
Shei-Sher pales to a moment of immense dread. He finds the courage to stand and say "It belongs to me." he says resolute "Not because of any achievement or goodness on my part but simply because I was made that way, with that data. Y'dryth's dreamed sowed it for me to be like that and you have taken it away. You have pathologized Y'dryth's dream."

 No.712508

>>712502
Flow nods.
“Aye, I understand. Supernatural enemies means we need supernatural tools. O-oh! I didn’t mean to bother you for long, I was going to ask about those dark knights, and our lone knight comrade-to-be. Gegen set us on a mission to sort all that mess out.”

 No.712512

>>712504
"Me!" Mudi says, spinning about. "Who else would it be? The gods have handed down morals from above, etching them into the hearts and minds of every living being, in the form of a conscience. But people don't listen to their conscience one bit. I would need to remind them of what is right and what is wrong, what they already know to be right and wrong. I have seen great evil, I have committed great evil, I have survived great evil. I know the darkness and the light that lie in the souls of every person, and they do to, no matter how much they beat down that inner voice that tells them what they must and must not do. But if I have the power, then I get to make the rules.

"I wouldn't be doing anything that isn't already attempted in our world. Didn't the courts try to hand out justice fairly? Don't guards and bounty hunters exist to deter criminals? How would this be any different?"

Just as Tantra and LJ start to puff up, alarmed by Mudi's growing zeal, Vortigern approaches from behind. She starts to tug on your arm, signaling to the top of the hill. Meanwhile, Mudi starts to calm down, panting slightly. "…Forgive me. I got a little worked up there."

>>712505
Hopper settles down into KP's hair, disappointed to be separated, but happy to be with KP.

"I've heard tell that the Ecclesians intend to examine the incapacitated ponies that this Treibheanna have left in Fantasia, and then evacuate them into a safer territory," Observer explains. "I wish to examine them before the Ecclesans take them, to see if there is anything useful to be learned in the ponies' broken minds, before Ecclesia carries them off and dumps them elsewhere."

>>712507
"You don't understand even the slightest thing about mercy, do you?" Metatron asks. "I took that from you to satisfy my outrage, and to spare you from the fullest extent of my wrath. I gave you a second chance at life, when I could have taken every last bit of your life instead. Chorazin did the same thing when she spared you from Miracle's blind thirst for vengeance. Again and again you have been given second chance after second chance, blessing after blessing, no matter how many times you have risked your own life, and those of others, like a fool. Will you at least understand what mercy is?"

>>712508
Freischutz nods. "Ah, yes. We've tracked their movement patterns and they seem to be mostly operating in the region north of Lilane, between Circadia and the Accappella City, alongside routes that search-and-rescue teams and refugees from the fallen kingdoms have been using to escape to Ecclesian bases. They prefer groups, rather than isolated targets, and they tend to attack from places that have lots of cover, like rocky areas and forests. The last few attacks were reported along the road northeast from here, a merchant road used by travellers between Accappela and Lilane. It's the one with the great bridge over the river that separates the two territories. Follow that road, and it should take you through some areas that the bandits would likely use for attacks. Kill them or incapacitate them, Ecclesia doesn't care either way. But if you can, find that knight who's been pursuing them and give him an offer to fight for us. We offer pay, a place to sleep, food, anything else he needs."

 No.712513

>>712503

"You mean aside from meld our minds?" Amy asks, scratching her head in thought. "Well, I started remembering more stuff from my other life. So, now I feel like I'm stronger when I'm in wolf form."

"It's hard to explain…"

"But, hey, if you haven't noticed that means it looks totally normal," Amy says, wagging her tail.

>>712502
>ready until someone does something to change that

 No.712515

and they do too*

 No.712518

>>712512
Flow nods.
“Aye lass…I figure we should probably set up a decoy to lure them out… I’ll leave Vice to that task.”
The clone groans in the background.
“Thanks, we’ll ‘ave it done by the end of the day.”
The goo posse takes their leave, and begin discussing what to do.

>”Between Circadia and Accappella…and to have to lure them out…I’d prefer to search the accompanying area instead, but a decoy would be more efficient.”

>>”An how’re you gonna get the money to hire a fake caravan, lad?”
>”…do you think we should call in some favors?”
“I have none here.” Flow says very bluntly.

 No.712519

>>712512

"I've already been in their heads," Amy says to Observer. "There's nothing in there. Except a demon. Who I told not to come back. So, he SHOULD be gone."

 No.712520

>>712518
Vice puts a hoof on his head.
>”Well, I suppose it never hurts to ask.”
The goo leads the others back to the airship to see if anyone is left.

 No.712522

>>712512
"Good luck Observer. And if you can find anything about how to cure them, or anything about the Treibheanna or how they turned the ponies that way, let us know."
>Good to leave when everyone's ready


>>712513
"You and your demon are closer now? That sounds good. What have you remembered?"
Pryce asks.

"Right, yea…"
He responds.

 No.712523

>>712512
Flaming looks at Mudi with thinly veiled concern and fear, shaking her head as she tries to think of a proper argument against Mudi's assertions that she should be allowed to make that choice. "But it isn't just your power…" Flaming looks up, "If we do this, if we helped you accomplish what we want to do in Tartarus? You got there with our help, not just on your own strength alone. So why shouldn't everyone who helped put you on top be offered an opinion too? Maybe we disagree on what is and isn't evil, so how would it be fair that you're the only one who gets to choose if you didn't get there on your own?"

As she feels Vortigern tug on her arm, Flaming is pulled out of her stupor, looking up at the top of the hill as she sees the others begin to gather. "Oh! I'm sorry, I thought we had more time, Vortigern. I-I'm coming right now."

She turns to Mudi, coughing to clear her throat. "I-it's fine, Mudi. I got a little worked up too. We uh… we should talk more later. Oh! Uh, back to an earlier topic, if I get Pryce to agree you are okay to put that tattoo on him?"

 No.712527

>>712512
Shei-Sher stands there, head cast down, unable to meet Metatron's eyes. Shei ruminates for a while trying to find the words he really means "I suppose.. if you can see my entire life. Then you see that I have lived my entire life at someone else's mercy. I am- trying not to be this way anymore. I convinced myself of self-sacrifice for something greater and I came to think sacrifice was the only answer. I am indeed a fool.. I still am. When I came to Chorazin the second time I was ready to give her my life, let her judgement be final. By good graces I was instead able to earn her forgiveness. So here I am doing the same asking for your final judgement -but if your answer is still no then. I guess I will have to leave. Thank you."

 No.712534

>>712518
Freischutz nods, then turns back to her conversation with Ingot.
"Why not scout that road Freischutz mentioned?" Renee asks. "Perhaps where the road interescts with areas that the bandits would be likely to use, we could look for tracks. The last few attacks were all along that road. It's likely they're still using it."

>>712519
>>712522
Observer pauses, then clicks his tongue in annoyance. "At least that is one dead end of research I won't waste time exploring."
He takes out Caw from his pocket and pets him. "Perhaps I shall assist with some other task that our allies have rounded up. It might be… educational… to join them once again, rather than idle away time in the lab with Yes Mare."
"Was that a necessary detail?" Yes Mare asks. "It is my understanding that those acts are meant to be done with secrecy."

>>712523
From the look in her eyes, Mudi doesn't seem terribly concerned with the thought of anyone else getting a say. She refrains from responding on that point, and instead gathers the Shades to herself. "I've a few tasks to tend to today. I'll get to that tattoo of his this evening. Goodbye, Flaming. Make sure you come back prepared for the expedition."

>>712527
"It is not meet for me to retain a grudge forever," Metatron says. "Nor would it be meet to declare it to be an act of mercy either."

He gestures with his hoof, and a glowing curl of numbers and characters appears before you, with an icon of a wolf's head in its center. "I will honor your desire to restore Amy. You could have simply come here asking for you own, and prioritized yourself over her. In fact, that is what I expected, and you surprised me. So take Amy's and be gone."

>>712523
>>712522
>>712520
>>712519
>>712513
As the party reconvenes at the top of the hill, Flow and Renee come back from the forge, and Vortigern brings Flaming from the lake to where the party is gathered. "If that's everything and everyone, let's be off!" Box says with excitement.
>Last call for any dialogue between PCs, once that's done we'll skip to airship travel

 No.712535

>>712522

"I don't really like talking about it that way anymore," Amy says awkwardly. "It's just me, now. I think if I really look deep down, we're still separate. But, it's hard to feel anymore. And, that separation will be gone entirely by the time I upgrade my tattoos again."

"I remembered… escaping from Tartarus. Princess Wineberry was there. She was terrifying. She was killing hundreds of demons with each swing of her sword like it was nothing. Her and Kerberus together. But, Kerberus let me go… I don't know why."

"Maybe he thought I was pretty," Amy laughs. "I AM a very good looking dog," she says with a wink.

 No.712542

>>712534
“Aye love, that’s a good idea… bandits, dumb ones at least, stick to their roads and that’s that… but we’ll have to stay off the road.”
Vice rolls his eyes.
>”You don’t expect us to wade through all the local flora and fauna do you?”
Flow nods his head, and his clones both clasp their heads in their hooves.

 No.712543

>>712534
Shei-Sher looks to Metatron happy, he pans the data into the jar with the jar lid. "I do not understand the mercy Angels give us. But it was mercy. Thank you."

after putting the jars away in his bag Shei ambles off the stage and tries to erect a dark corridor back to the ship
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.712547

>>712534
Pryce is a little upset that Observer dismisses the ponies so quickly, but if there's nothing to be done then there's nothing to push.
"There were plenty of other jobs needed to be done, I'm sure some of our friends could use your help."
Pryce says. He looks in confusion at Yes Mare's comment, not sure of what she's talking about but he doesn't question it.

>>712535
"My apologies," Pryce responds to Amy's correction, "You remember escaping from Tartarus? But I thought that was inescapable."

At her comment and wink, Pryce feels uncomfortable.
"I wouldn't know, I'm a pony."
He says a little awkwardly.

>>712534
"Right. Let's go get some treasure!"
Pryce says in agreement with Box, ready to head out.

 No.712549

>>712534
Flaming bows her head to Mudi as she heads off, "I will, Mudi… and thanks. I'll see you later this evening then."

As she moves over towards the top of the hill where the others are gathered, she looks over towards Tantra and LJ. "I'm not the only one who was a little bit scared just now, right?"

>>712534
As Flaming arrives with the others, she waves her hoof and approaches. "Hey everyone, sorry to keep you waiting. I was just uh, having a conversation with Mudi. I think I finally found someone who can get that tattoo done for Pryce!"

 No.712552

>>712549
Pryce turns as Flaming comes back, announcing she found an artist.
"O-Oh, really? Who did you find?"
He asks, a little shocked she managed to find one.

 No.712554

>>712542
Renee smiles at the goos, then takes them into a big hug. "Do it for me, and I'll make you an excellent meal. And I'll find you all the treasure and weapons we can take off these thugs."

>>712543
"I have shown you my mercy twice over now," Metatron says. "And others, theirs. Beware: If I should learn that you withheld mercy from someone else, without good reason, then no corner of the Earth will be far enough away to hide you from me."

>>712549
"I was about to run in and pull you away from her," LJ says. "I've only once seen an obsession like that, and it was from Buiwong, several months ago.
"She's… she's not right. I've heard of people going mad with power, but… I'm not sure what that was," Tantra says. "Something about what she said though – it clicked with me."
Vortigern keeps her wing on you silently, for support.

>>712549
>>712547
>>712543
>>712535
>>712542
After regrouping, your various group members briefly finalize their plans for the day, and begin to exchange their goodbyes with one another. As discussed, Vortigern, Zjetya, Rus Tea, Wireframe, Box and Volkama will be joining you. Volkama briefly stops to kiss Deriva goodbye, and Deriva then goes over to where Sugar and Spitshine and River are, admiring the new pets, who look up and sniff at her.

Tantra raises his hoof to provide a Dark Corridor for everyone, then turns and looks at Flaming. "Care to do the honors?"

*******************

Meanwhile, Shei returns to the airship via his own Dark Corridor.

>You can all RP yourselves arriving at the ship and have conversations accordingly. Also pick someone to pilot the airship.

 No.712557

>>712554
With goodbyes made and Lockjaw in tow, Pryce joins back with Zjetya as the corridor is made.
"Ready for today?"

When they arrive back at the ship, Pryce looks down at the key Observer gave him, then over to Volkama.
"The ship used to be yours, I think you'd be the best to fly us there."
He says, holding they key out for him.

 No.712558

>>712554
>>712535
Shei-Sher steps off his dark corridor into the ship, seeing everyone gathering about again "I arrived at a good time it seems. Amy!" Shei-Sher ambles over to Amy Thest with a jar in his hooves.

"You will love me for this! Try and guess what I have in this jar."

 No.712560

>>712547

Amy laughs at Pryce's awkwardness. "You're no fun."

"But yeah, the only time you can escape is when someone opens the door. It used to happen a lot. Not anymore, though. Ponies got too scared. I think that time might have been the last time."

>>712534

"You gotta be proud when you do the deed!" Amy says, slapping Yes Mare on the back.

>>712534
>>712554

"Yeah, let's get going!"

>>712543

Amy looks to Shei. "What are you doing today? More backstabbing plots? Going to make a deal with some demon lord?"

 No.712564

>>712557
Shei double takes to his surroundings "What's happening? Is everyone leaving?"

>>712560
"You know I do good things once in a while. Like this." Shei-Sher the jar lid revealing the strange aura trapped inside, displaying golden text and the icon of a wolve's head "I spoke with Metatron and he returned your data to me."

"As for what I am doing today. I wanted to ask you if would like to see the griffon who raised me? I will also sort of need you to see him as well."

 No.712569

>>712560
"That's not fun you should have when you're in a relationship with somepony else."
Pryce defends.

"Was it bad?" Pryce asks about the escape, "Because if demons try to escape when the door opens, the expedition might have a rough start."


>>712564
"We're heading out to some jobs and prepare. We're going out to Threecoin, a stronghold demons have abandoned recently to salvage what we can."
Pryce says, gesturing to Amy, Flaming, Zjetya, Volkama, Rus Tea, Wireframe, Box, Vortigern, and himself.

"Also, my ceremony went of well."
Pryce says, showing off his medal, the Honor of the Star-Blessed Watch, depicting a phoenix holding a sword surrounding a map of Accorsia.

 No.712570

>>712552
"Mudi! She says she should be able to do one for you, and I even came up with a few good ideas that I think would fit you perfectly, 'and' look good with your new medal at the same time. How do you feel about fire?" Flaming asks.

>>712554
Flaming shivers underneath Vortigern's supportive wing, looking up at her with a grateful nod as she turns towards Journey and Tantra. "I don't know either. She had a few points but, giving Mudi that much power… giving ANYONE that much power doesn't sit right with me. I was just talking with you Journey about how we just got free of the Deva's cage, now Mudi wants to put us in another one? And she seems so sure of herself. Not a bad trait, but, what if she's biting off more than she thinks she can chew?"

>>712542
As Flow prepares to leave on his bounty hunt, Flaming waves him a hoof as she prepares to take off with Pryce and the others on a treasure hunt of their own. "Good luck out there, Sir Flow! Make sure you avoid any bodies of water and come back in one gooey piece."

>>712554
As the group all gathers, Flaming looks over at Tantra, smiling widely as he offers for her to open the Dark Corridor. "I'd love to! Let's do it…" She says, sticking her tongue out of the side of her mouth as she concentrates hard on the spot in front of the party, opening up a Dark Corridor for the party to traverse to Zha

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.712572

>>712569

"You're so adorable," Amy laughs. "It's not like we're actually DOING anything."

>>712564

"Metatron! That's probably the worst possible person to talk to!" Amy laughs. "But, thanks, you're so sweet."

Amy takes her data and hugs Shei. And also kisses him. But, the hug is her favorite.

"Wait, Alister is still alive?" Amy cocks her head. "You always talk about him as if he's gone."

 No.712576

>>712570
"M-M-Mudi?"
Pryce stammers out of complete shock at the pony Flaming found.
"So that wasn't just me seeing things then on stage… Are you sure you didn't find anypony else?"
He asks.
"Fire? Well, that is fitting enough with my magic and everything else I do. Anything else?"

>>712572
"But you still don't just toss those kinds of words around!"
Pryce continues to defend in a fluster.

 No.712578

>>712569
>"Also, my ceremony went of well."
"I intended on asking you that next. Verily I was!" He steps forward to look at the pendant "It is a very nice pendant. They must have given you a title too. Oooooh I know they did, tradition commands it. Go on come out with it! I must hear what your newly dubbed name is before you leave." Shei says as though the title was an object of humor.

 No.712579

>>712576

"And that's the part where you're unfun!" Amy laughs. "You're like even more of a prude than Shei."

"Or, more of a prude than Shei WAS," she says with a sly grin. "I already fixed that problem."

 No.712580

>>712578
"Gegenschein titled me as Sir Pryce Etac the Just."
Pryce says, pausing after he says his full title for the first time.
"I really like the sound of it."

>>712579
"There's some respect you have to show about these things Amy! And I'm not a prude…"
Pryce pauses.
"Wait, you and him?"

 No.712581

>>712572
"Aa-tatatata!" Shei stammers as he pans the data back from your hoof into the jar. "There is a very high chance that Metatron has planted a malevolent seed inside the data. Which could kill you and all of us at some designated time. As I have seen via the moon seer disc. So it is better we take a good look at it and decide what can be done before you absorb your data back."

>"You always talk about him as if he's gone."

"Well he technically is. Deceased" Shei shrugs one shoulder "And transcended. Aliester Crow-ley is a god now and because of that we can see him but I will need your help. When we do visit him we can ask him what can be done with your data."

 No.712584

>>712557
Zjetya visibly relaxes once she is separated from River. At first she looks a little guilty, but when she sees you, she can't help but smile. "More than ready."

Volkama takes the key, then claps you on the shoulder. "Come, I'm going to show you how to fly this. Wireframe! Come with me, I want to refresh your memory on the ins and outs of the ship while I teach Pryce the basics."
"If we crash, I'm blaming it on Pryce," Wireframe says.

>>712560
Yes Mare pauses, wearing her usual deadpan expression for a moment, then wiggles her eyebrows in a very knowing and suggestive gesture.

>>712570
"Is such a thing even possible?" LJ asks. "I mean, we know that Tartarus holds wonders beyond our imaginations. A lake with waters that can make anything last forever… that's just one story of the relics and mysteries that Tartarus holds. But even her ability to drain power from others, could she really become so powerful as to change reality like that?"
"She sounded sure of herself, so we should at least prepare for the possibility that she's not just completely insane," Tantra says.

>>712558
>>712560
>>712570
>>712557
Shei finds that Mocha has already left the airship, having left a note that Yes Mare left her pig behind on the airship, and that she asked Mocha to take him for a walk, so she'll be doing that until you're back. The Sun Diskos is still there, as is the Moon Diskos, ready to have the party take their power.

Volkama ushers Pryce and Wireframe to the control room, and begins to explain the controls, the buttons, the levers, the gizmos and the lights, all the complicated steps that involve the operation of an airship. After his explanation, he hangs a set of wooden dice (d10s) from a magitech scrying-screen that shows a view of the area behind the ship (a rear-view mirror). "…And that about covers it. You won't need to remember most of that. Magic is on the right, brake is on the left, and remember to clutch when shifting gears."

>When ready, Pryce roll some piloting, with a DC 4 because of Wireframe and Volkama being there to help

 No.712585

>>712580

"Ooooh yeah," Amy says with supreme satisfaction in her voice. "Last night. It was awesome."

"Were you not at breakfast? We were making jokes about it like the whole time."

>>712581

"He's a- How did-" Amy stammers in loud confusion. Then, she shakes her head. "Forget it. You sciency types are too confusing. Just lead me to him."

 No.712591

>>712585
>>712584
>>712580
Shei follows them in the control room (becuase that seems like where this conversation is happening)

While watching along with Pryce being instructed on how to Pilot Shei takes one crucial of something.
>"Were you not at breakfast? We were making jokes about it like the whole time."
"I-is she talking about I and her or Observer and Yes Mare." shei points his hooves in several directions.

>>712585
>Just lead me to him."
"We should wait until the ship lands again. Also-" Shei stretches out a note "Mocha apparently wants me to walk Yes Mare's pig."

 No.712594

>>712585
Pryce looks uncomfortable again as Amy speaks satisfyingly, regretting asking.
"I was but I was busy with my own things."

>>712588

>>712591
>>712585
"Observer and Yes— Wait, is that what she was talking about a few moments ago?

>>712584
"I'm glad to hear that."
Pryce says with a smile, glad to see Zjetya looking better.

"Wait, I thought you were going to?"
Pryce responds, caught off guard as Volkama turns this into a driving lesson.

>>712584
"Uh, mind watching Lockjaw for a moment?"
Pryce asks Zjetya, handing his deviljho over to her as Volkama pushes him off towards the control room (or just for Zjetya to hold if she follows too).

Pryce sits down in the seat, looking over the levers and buttons and all the controls as Volkama describes what each one does. It's not too difficult, Pryce used to extended orders and complex designs from his knight and magician life, but it is a bit overwhelming.
"Ok, sounds simple enough…"
He says with semi-confidence, putting the key in and ready for takeoff.
>Pilot [DC4] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.712595

>>712576
Flaming chuckles, "You didn't know she followed us back from Vitral? Well… yeah, that was her. And she said she could definitely do a tattoo for you as your reward for your promotion!"

Flaming puffs out her cheeks, stomping the ground. "And believe me, I looked around! No one in this town knew how to do one! They all said stupid stuff about it being for 'backwards' tribals or something dumb like that. I don't get why ponies in this town are so hung up over it, but Mudi was the only one I could find that said she'd do it. And, yeah, the fire and flames were a few ideas we went through. I thought it'd look good around your shoulder, and Tantra said you could flex with it and show it off to River."

>>712584
"I agree with Tantra… I've seen enough in my time away from Accorsia not to doubt ANYTHING anymore. If Mudi thinks she can do it, we should assume she can. Which is to say, we should worry like she can. I really don't know if giving someone like that that much power is a good idea."

>>712584
Flaming climbs on to the air-ship's control room with Pryce and the group, look around its various mechanisms as Volkama offers Pryce an explanation in how to operate the floating behemoth. As Volkama finishes his explanation, Flaming raises her right hoof. "I want to try flying it, can I do it on the way back?"

 No.712599

>>712594

"Yeah, isn't that crazy?" Amy says, referring to Observer and Yes Mare. "Definitely didn't see that coming."

"Hehe… coming…"

>>712591

"Don't act like you're not proud, Shei," Amy says with a grin and pat on Shei's shoulder.

 No.712600

>>712594
"Don't sit on the couch Pryce. They defiled our one good couch." there is so much remorse in the words.

 No.712601

>>712599
>>712594
"Of course I am not ashamed. Love and passion are natural ahem." Shei's voice cracks "But there are some things you simply do not discuss with a knight."

 No.712605

>>712595
"I didn't. It was quite the surprise, I thought I was imagining things from all the angels around. But I didn't know she was a tattoo artist as well."
Pryce says, still shocked.

Pryce sighs with a nod.
"That sounds about right. The Church wasn't keen on that stuff, and Eccelsia is mostly the Church of old. A few ideas? What were the others?"
He asks with curiosity.
"Around the shoulder, hmm…" He trails off, looking at his shoulder to imagine, before considering the rest of Flaming's sentence, "I forgot to even think of how River would feel it."

>>712599
>>712600
Pryce goes from confused at Observer in a relationship, to understanding since Yes Mare is another of his kind, to disgusted at Shei's comment.
"I'm glad I took a separate room on this ship."

>>712601
"There are some things you just don't discuss with others period!"

 No.712606

>>712601

Amy bursts out into laughter. "I guess he IS a knight."

>>712605
>>712600

"A-am I really the only one interested in… otherworldly love juices?"

 No.712608

>>712595
"If what they say about Tartarus is accurate – that it draws forth horrors based on your mind, your personality, your fears, your ambitions… we should keep a wide berth about her," LJ says. "I don't want to fathom what Tartarus will bring forth from its depths for her."
"I wouldn't be so sure," Tantra says. "Maybe there'll be something there that might help us beat her, if it comes down to a battle between us and her after all."

>>712595
"Sure!" Volkama says.
LJ snorts, blushing lightly, as if bothered by the notion of you driving on his behalf. "You'd better let a fella do the driving, like me. We're better coordinated and better with directions."
Vortigern silently laughs at the display.

>>712594
>>712595
>>712599
>>712601
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjgwVSDAmP4
Pryce manages to get the ship started easily, raising it into the sky, and accelerating forward. Motion is jerky and sudden at first, but as he gets a feel for the proper speeds and pressures to apply to the pedals and levers, the motion smooths out in short order. Wireframe and Volkama periodically offer words of encouragement as they do, and Lockjaw runs around in the control room, having a grand old time.

The rest of the party settles in as they wait to arrive at their destination. Rus Tea, looking contemplatively out one of the main windows, frowns with concern. "This is one of the last times we'll all be together like this, isn't it?"

>Pryce make another flying roll

 No.712611

>>712605
>>712606
"You see what I mean Amy. It's out in the open now who cares. What was once a ship is not a pleasure pin for voluptuous beasts and we've made our bed in it. Even the Knights. It is okay Sir Etac, I've made my peace with it, so will you. And maybe then I can discuss with the supposedly '''spiritual''' benefits of sex that is mentioned in the occult."

>>712606
>"A-am I really the only one interested"
"Yes."

 No.712614

>>712606
>>712605
>>712611
"Did I say mention? More like Explored. EXPLORED in Depth. Observer was good to remind me of this one truth in the occult, when by chance his sudden display robbed myself and Gadriel of our innocence before Amy could have her try the very same night."

 No.712615

>>712606
>>712611
Pryce puts his hooves to his ears to block out any further words from Amy's mouth, though quickly puts them back to the wheel to not let the ship get out of control.
"Amy, please! I'm trying to fly here I can't be hearing… that! Can somepony change the subject please?"

>>712611
"That's not a great change of pace…"
Pryce groans, very clearly flustered.


>>712608
Pryce feels better as he starts to get a hang of the ship, despite the distractions. He watches the screen, keeping them on a straight path to Threecoin.
>Piloting [DC4] [1d10]

"Not at all. We still have tommorrow, and then after Tartarus is done we'll all be together and also not have anything heavy hanging over our heads."
Pryce says, though his optimistic tone has a somber underline to it.

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.712618

>>712611

"Awww, you called me voluptuous," Amy says with pride and affection.

"Th-that's good, right?"

>>712615

"I'm part dog!" Amy says defensively. "I can't help it! I like… new smells… and tastes…"

 No.712620

>>712614
"Shei aren't you a little young to be talking about, let alone researching, this stuff?"

>>712618
"Please don't describe yourself that way, that just makes it worse."

 No.712624

>>712620

"Describe myself what way?" Amy asks, cocking her head.

 No.712625

>>712624
"Calling yourself part dog when talking about this kind of subject!"
Pryce says, embarrassed he has to say it out loud.
"That's just not a good thing."

 No.712626

>>712605
"Well, it's complicated… she technically *isn't*, but her magic with cutie marks lets her mix and match talents until she is… but, long story short yeah, she is the only one in this whole town I could find that would and/or could do it."

As Pryce mentions the Church not being keen on it, Flaming's ears droop, realizing she may not have considered Pryce's traditions as much as her own. "Are… will they be mad at you if you do get a tattoo? Will River mind?"

>>712608
Flaming shudders as LJ brings up how Tartarus brings out the fears/ambitions manifested of its occupants in relation to Mudi. "I didn't even consider that part… who is going to be able to travel with her down there if we should stick by those who share our interests? I don't think anyone is going to share quite the same interests as Mudi, but I don't want her to be alone in there where we can't keep an eye on her."

>>712608
Flaming blushes hotly as LJ says he should do the driving on the way back. "Excuse me?! Girls can fly anything boys can, if not better! What makes you think YOU can pilot this ship better than me?"

>>712608
Shorthorns looks out the window as Pryce sets the machine in motion, looking out at the quickly moving land-scape below as she settles into a seat, enjoying watching the swift scenery.

As Rus Tea brings up this being the last times they'll all be together, Flaming frowns, but then as Pryce says 'not at all' Flaming tries to smile. "Pryce is right. We'll definitely all get a chance to do this again one day."

 No.712629

>>712618
"It means you are big but in a- in a-" Shei rolls his hooves in place "In a sexy way."

>>712620
"I am well read! Though my eyes trained to the word it was not my hoof that opened those tomes. It was that damn wizard Aliester Crow-ley! Who made certain I was acutely aware of the entire process from a young earth. From earth to heaven these serpents mingle in us. Pillaring oblisks that wish to pierce the skys and mingle them with the earth. twix coiled kundalini is not our own but everyones! And so the great feast begins Lilinum Va-sutra.

 No.712630

>>712629
>from a young earth
from a young age

[my typing is extra shirt tonight]

 No.712637

>>712626
>>712615
"Perhaps I'm just getting ahead of myself, looking too far off at what's to come," Rus Tea says. "It's just hard not to dwell on the inevitable. Going out with the party, exploring some new and exciting location, fighting alongside you all…"

She grumbles, tossing her hand. "I don't want to ruin the mood. It weighs too heavily on my mind."

>>712626
"Right, but consider this," Tantra says. "What if a group of people went with Mudi who could serve as a psychological balance against her? There could be some risks to that, but if enough people of strong will surround Mudi, then Tartarus would throw things at them based more on the majority's psychology, than on hers. I can't understate what I just said. We ought to prepare ourselves to battle her if she does go off the deep end and starts trying to reshape the world, with her as the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong."

>>712618
>>712620
>>712614
>>712626
Pryce continues to fly along, now feeling greater control over the ship. Eventually, Volkama and Wireframe step back, allowing him full control over the steering and operating of the ship without their little reminders of when to push a button or turn a crank.
"Bit of a natural at this, aren't you?" Volkama asks.
Vortigern reaches over and gives him a pat on the back.

As you fly, the landscape zooms underneath you. Observer wasn't kidding when he said that he'd modified the ship, as the pace it takes is quite an improvement over previous flights you've been on. A few hours pass with this pace. Forests and crags fly below you, but so too do the ruins of various minor villages and traveler's roads, once thriving, now annihilated by demons. Yet, many of them are now teeming with plant life, having been abandoned several weeks ago. Clouds build up in the sky as you travel.

In time, about midmorning, you see the silhouettes of many grand structures on the horizon: Tall, well-constructed buildings, close together. Tucked snugly within a forest that grows densely nearby on all sides, these buildings are hedged in by an old stone wall. A vast city sprawls through the area, seeming to be centered around the tallest buildings. There are dense clouds overhead, with only a few places where the sunlight pokes through.

 No.712639

>>712608
Shei doesn't respond to Rus tea's forlorn comment. It is too sad and right now they should be having fun. So he continues disturbing Pryce.

 No.712640

>>712626
"I guess that means he talented enough to do it, I can't argue that."
Pryce says as Flaming describes it.

"Even though they've knight me, again, I'm not strict on those old traditions anymore. Like I said to you, if you found somepony to do it I would do it."
Pryce explains when he sees Flaming's ears droop, not wanting her to feel bad.
"For River… I'm honestly not sure. I didn't bring it up with her, so we'll have to see when we get back."

>>712629
"Who makes a child read and research that topic at a young age?"

>>712618
>>712629
Pryce grows a little red in the face as they begin to openly flirt around him. He leans his head down, trying to keep his head straight on flying.

 No.712642

>>712625

Amy frowns and squints at Pryce. "I… don't… understand," she says slowly.

>>712629

"Oooh," Amy says, looking back at her flank with a proud smile. "Thank you for noticing," she says with a wink.

>>712637

"Yeah, wait. Why IS Pryce flying the ship? What happened to Observer?"

 No.712644

>>712642
"Ahem. Your welcome." Shei scratches the back of his head, bit bashful.

"I need to see if Onion is present or still in fantasia, I'll just be checking around the ship."

>>712637
Shei-Sher steps out of the cockpit to look around the ship's rooms for Onion.

 No.712649

>>712642
"B-Because—"
Pryce start, stopping before he blurts out so he can lean it to whisper the reasoning to Amy.
("It makes it sounds like you're an animal!")

>>712637
"It's a valid concern. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried as well, but with all we've been through I don't see anything stopping us from having travels like this again in the future."
Pryce says to keep hopes up.
"For now, let's focus on my paying you back for last night."
Pryce says with a light laugh to try and help lighten the weight on Rus' mind.

>>712637
"I was a quick learned back in training. I guess fighting and ship flying aren't too far apart."
Pryce response to the praise and back pat.

Pryce looks on at the landscape, frowning over the destruction, but the plant-life gives hope that life will bloom back where demons trampled. He looks out at the tall buildings in the distance.
"Looks like we're almost there. Should only be a few more minutes everypony!"
Pryce announces, flying towards the city and searching for a clear spot they can land outside it, or perhaps a spot on the wall to give the ship a little separation from anything that'd be walking around.

 No.712657

>>712640
As Pryce insists that he'll still do it, Flaming's ears immediately stop drooping and she looks up excitedly towards the recently knighted hero, smiling widely as she feels her vigor restored. "Really? That's great! I told Mudi I could bring you by later this evening."

As River is brought up again, Flaming winces, "Though… yeah, maybe we should make sure River is okay with it too, so you don't make her mad. But if she is, you're still okay with it? I really, REALLY do think it'd look great!"

>>712637
Flaming moves over from her position on a seat looking out the window, and gives the lightest of bumps from her forehead to the imposing minotaur. "I know what you mean, Rus. I really like it too. Sometimes, I kind of wish it could be like this forever. You're all my clan now, you know?"

>>712637
Flaming blinks, "That's… that's not a bad idea, Tantra. If we have her mixed in with a number of those who oppose her ideology, it could even the scales for us in case we do need to do something about her. Still…" Flaming sighs. "We'd need another idea for what to do about the demons, and we still haven't come up with a better plan than Mudi. She's the whole reason we're going down there, if we turn against her, what else will we have?"

>>712637
Flaming chuckles at Volkama. "Of COURSE he's a natural. You noticed the wings, didn't you?"

Shorthorns looks down upon the myriad of destroyed villages now over-flowing with plant life below, feeling a sense of remorse for all the devastation the demons have left in their wake tempered by hope for being able to rebuild when she sees so much life still teeming below. As they approach the city ahead, Flaming looks out the window towards their destination, looking over towards the others. "I don't think I've heard of this place before, what was it called again?"

 No.712658

>>712649

"Aren't… we all… animals?" Amy responds, still in a slow, confused tone.

 No.712662

>>712657
"Oh, you got it all set up too. You work quick."
Pryce mutters.
"If she's fine, then I'm fine."
Pryce says with a nod.

>>712657
"Threecoins," Pryce answers, "It as a big city of different tribes Gegenschein said. Demons took it over and used it as a base for a bit, and left it only recently so nopony knows what's in there now."

>>712658
>>712644
"There's a difference between ponies and dogs Amy."
Pryce looks over to Shei.
"Shei you can help her figure it out, right?"

 No.712665

>>712642
>>712639
"Observer didn't come with us," Box says a bit sadly. "I guess he's more interested in his research than having fun and finding treasure!"
"You know, speaking of which, it'd be handy if we got some more of those Caller Conches," Zjetya says. "With a party as big as ours, taking care of as many things as we are, we could use some communication devices."
"Oh! Would those work in Tartarus?" Tantra asks. "Because if they can, that could be a lifesaver if any of us end up separated."
"I hope so, but now that's got me thinking… that dark corridor power you're all fond of using, will that work there too?" Rus Tea asks. "Would we have any way of testing?"

>>712657
"That much is true," Rus says sadly. "…But these adventures we've gotten into call us into a fate I wish we could all avoid. But we'll all come back one day, and set off on another adventure together. I know it."

>>712657
"I'm sure she's not the only one with a vision for the future," Tantra says. "Ecclesia and Buiwong have theirs… it's just a matter of determining whose champion is the best for the New World."

>>712649
Rus looks over at Zjetya, as if preparing for the worst.
"Last night?" Zjetya asks.

>>712649
>>712657
>>712658
>>712644
Finding that most of the outer wall has been defaced until now, Pryce finds that there aren't a lot of suitable places to land on the wall or just outside the city, owing to the aforementioned dense forest. However, he does notice a vast lot, some distance to the west of town, near the southern wall, where there appears to be very large docking spots for airships and smaller vehicles. Finding it empty apart from the ruined heaps of some nearby ships, he lands there smoothly.
"Well done, Pryce," Volkama says. "Quite impressive for your first run."

 No.712666

>>712662
Inconveniently, you see that Shei's presence is missing. He had left the cockpit earlier.

 No.712670

>>712665
"Rus brought us to a bar last night after I got the news of my ceremony, and covered the bill since I spent the last of my bits on those pets."
Pryce explains, realizing only after how saying 'last night' could cause implications.
"Nothing happened! It was just a night out for a few drinks."

>>712665
With the ship landed, Pryce powers it down, proud at a successful flight.
"Thank you Volkama. Observer really did a great job on his upkeep. Didn't have an issue at all."

 No.712672

>>712662

Amy's jaw drops. "Woah!" she shouts, genuinely taken off guard by the casual racism. "What the heck, Pryce!?"

>>712665

"I don't remember anyone in Tartarus ever using any dark corridors," Amy chimes in. I gotta imagine there's a lot of stuff in Tartarus strong and smart enough to figure out how to use it. Sooo… yeah."

 No.712676

>>712672
"What?"
Pryce says, genuinely unsure what Amy is shocked about.

 No.712677

>>712662
Flaming nods her head, "Of course I work quick! When one of my clan-mates needs a tattoo, I don't stop until I've found one for him, darn it. No need to thank me, I was happy to do it!" she says happily, not entirely
catching on that Pryce may have reservations.

>>712662
"I see… you said 'tribes'? What sort of creatures lived here, ponies? Sheep?"

>>712665
Flaming smiles up at Rus Tea, nodding her head as she gives another bump. "Of course, I do too. N-now come on, I thought you were tougher than me. You're going to make something get in my eyes if you keep that up, you know."

>>712665
"You know, on that subject, I'm not entirely sure I understand Buiwong's. I know Ecclessia's, the only issue with their's is it's fighting a losing battle. But I still don't get what Buiwong's next move is."

>>712665
Flaming watches the wall of the city as they go around to the west of the town, finding their docking space as she looks on ahead at the demon-taken city. "Do we know anything about the demons who run this place now? How many there are, if they have a leader and how powerful he might be?"

 No.712678

>>712676

"You're basically calling me not a person, Pryce!" Amy shouts, sounding more than a little hurt.

>>712673


"Wuh-wait, what?" Amy says, doing a double-take at the pig.

 No.712681

>>712677
"You don't see determination like that often nowadays."

>>712677
"He didn't say, but I'd imagine ponies, or a general mix."

>>712678
"I didn't mean it like that!"
Pryce exclaims, starting to feel worn at how many ponies he's hurting now. With the ship landed, he steps close to Amy for a private whisper.
("I meant it in the… you see… You're part demon, not dog. You just look like one. You should refer to yourself as a dog when talking about… you know, cause you aren't supposed to do that stuff with animals. Okay?")
He asks, very uncomfortable at his explanation but wanting to make sure they're on the same page.

 No.712684

>>712670
Zjetya relaxes again, letting out a small sigh. "Drinks, huh? Sounds pretty nice. Been a good long while since I got to barhop seriously. How many drinks did you put back?"

>>712677
Rus Tea pats your head.

>>712677
LJ pauses, and it looks like something's weighing upon his mind, but he eeps it to himself.

>>712670
>>712672
>>712673
>>712677
After the ship touches down, the party makes ready to disemabark. "I don't know," Box says, answering Flaming about the demons who might still be in control. "I guess Ecclesia hasn't been able to get their scouts and intelligence teams too far into Threecoins, due to all the demons. They believe that most demons have already left to go join the Treibheanna, but I'd say it's a good chance that some demons are still in the city."
"True. Demons are too independent to all join up with a leader, even if they are powerful," Volkama adds. "Surely at least a few would have lingered here, if for no other reason than to steal what the others left behind."

>In honor of HQ reaching 200 sessions, I want to personally thank each of you for joining us on this adventure and making it what it is. Here's to many more sessions and an unforgettable odyssey.

>You all get 1 skill point, 1 BP and 1 EP
>Paused

 No.712687

>>712665
"A good idea Tantra, I will be heading to fantasia after the Treasure hunt. Would be a good time to pick up more caller conches."


>>712678
[sorry about ignore, the post, reconned it]

 No.712688

>>712681

"I AM a dog-demon," Amy responds defensively.

"Or, I… was? *I* was?"

Amy shakes her head. "Okay, I think I see where some of this confusion is coming from. There's too many me's. Let me try and… separate myself for a second."

"I - as in, Ego - am a dog. Or, I was before I fused with the other me - as in, the pony known as Amy. But, I - as in the new me, which we are also calling Amy - still think of me as a dog because the time I've spent as me - as in, Ego."

"To both Ego and the new Amy, a dog is just another kind of person like a pony or a donkey or a goat or a griffon. Really, that shouldn't be so hard to understand. Diamond dogs are a thing too, right?"

Amy rubs her temple. "That actually hurt my head. "Thinking of me as more than one person doesn't mesh with my brain anymore."

>>712682


"Oh, so we're not sacrificing the pig?"

 No.712691

>>712688
"I—"
Pryce sighs, realizing this topic is getting to confusing.
"I think it'll be easier if I just leave the room whenever bedroom talk comes up again."
He says in defeat.

 No.712693

>>712691

"Or just acknowledge that it's about the sentience, not the species," Amy says in a moment of uncharacteristic intelligence.

 No.712694

>>712693
"But, but… That's what I meant when I said there's a difference between us and animals!"
Pryce exclaims as she suddenly turns around in intelligence.

 No.712696

>>712694

"In that case, I guess what I'm saying is that even though I'm a dog, I'm not an animal."

 No.712697

>>712696
"…"
Pryce is silent, slumping in the pilot's chair.
"Ok. Could you then please just not refer to yourself as a dog when you talk about that stuff around me then. Please?"

 No.712701

>>712697

"I think that's not in the spirit of what I just said, but I gueeeeeess I can see how that would bother you."

"It definitely doesn't bother Shei," Amy says with a sly wink.

 No.712703

>>712701
"Alright. We're landed, so I can do what I said earlier and not listen."
Pryce says standing up and walking out, as he makes sure to cover his ears for any followups she tries.

 No.713100

Last time on HolyQuest…

The party split into groups once again in order to tackle a myriad of challenges within their last two days before the Tartarus expedition began. Pryce, Amy, Shei and Flaming took the airship to Threecoins, bringing with them Rus Tea, Wireframe, LJ, Tantra, Vortigern, Volkama, Zjetya and Box. Their mission, given by Ecclesia, was to explore what remained of the city, which was a former demon stronghold, one so secure that Ecclesian scouts couldn't infiltrate it. Now that the demons inhabiting the city had left, presumably to join the Treibheanna, Ecclesia wanted the city explored. Not much was known about the city, except that it was founded as part of an ecumenical effort by a religious order, in order to bring together several sects that had splintered off from the original faith.

Flow, setting off with only Renee and his goo minions to help him, was on his own today. Gegenschein offered him a mission to track down a group of dark knights who attacked Ecclesian supply lines and refugees on their way to Ecclesian territories. In addition, Ecclesia wanted him to find a separate knight, a lone warrior who had been hunting for these dark knights. Flow was to assist him in defeating these dark knights and persuade him to join Ecclesia.

 No.713101

>Zjetya
Zjetya relaxes again, letting out a small sigh. "Drinks, huh? Sounds pretty nice. Been a good long while since I got to barhop seriously. How many drinks did you put back?"

>Flaming

Rus Tea pats your head.

>Flaming

LJ pauses, and it looks like something's weighing upon his mind, but he keeps it to himself.

>Flow

Renee smiles at the goos, then takes them into a big hug. "Do it for me, and I'll make you an excellent meal. And I'll find you all the treasure and weapons we can take off these thugs."

>Shei, Pryce, Amy, Flaming

After the ship touches down, the party makes ready to disemabark. "I don't know," Box says, answering Flaming about the demons who might still be in control. "I guess Ecclesia hasn't been able to get their scouts and intelligence teams too far into Threecoins, due to all the demons. They believe that most demons have already left to go join the Treibheanna, but I'd say it's a good chance that some demons are still in the city."
"True. Demons are too independent to all join up with a leader, even if they are powerful," Volkama adds. "Surely at least a few would have lingered here, if for no other reason than to steal what the others left behind."

>Don't forget to mark down the extra BP, EP and skill point you received, if you have not done so already.

 No.713104

https://pastebin.com/RaZG8KLM

>>713101
"I think it was only three until Rus cut me off for the night."
Pryce says, a little unsure himself.


>>713101
Pryce gestures forLockjaw to follow once they land, getting up out of hte pilot's chair and getting ready.
"Right. This was a demon stronghold, so not only will we have to worry about strays or returning demons, we'll need to watch out for any traps or magic that may reside from them. Everypony should be on guard."
He says in agreement with the others. And taking his own advice, his horn glows, slipping off his bracelet as he attempts to form two bladed rings around it.
>Conjure Weapon [Chakram] [Flare Dual Ranged] [DC 5] [1d10+1]
His horn glows further, attempting to conjure a cluster of spears to float beside him.
>Homing Magic [Flare Spears] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.713105

>>713104
"Just three, huh? Lightweight," Zjetya scoffs, rolling her eyes. "I'm joking, I'm joking. Back when I first got my start, sneaking out of the Queen's private reserve, I couldn't put back one without seeing stars and funny spots. Though, Changeling wine's got all kinds of mushrooms and mosses in it, not what you'd find in your average vineyard."

>>713104
You conjure your chakram successfully, and in a flash of white and red, a small armory of floating spears emerge behind you, making you a formidable sight. Obediently, Lockjaw sticks close by, alert and calm, sniffing the air for danger.

 No.713107

>>713105
"Well it has been a while since for me as well, and Rus ordered their hardest hitter to celebrate," Pryce chuckles. "Really? Huh, I didn't think changelings kept food around…"

 No.713109

>>713107
"You'd be surprised by a lot of things about Hive life," Zjetya says. "Food production and storage dictates so much of how societies form and sustain themselves. Every culture's got their way of sustaining themselves, but since Changelings feed on others' emotions, we're… more along the lines of parasites," she says bluntly, after some hesitation. "We can still eat the food that you ponies make, but it doesn't provide nutrition for us. It's just for flavor, but even that, our bodies aren't used to absorbing. Back when I first joined Ecclesia, I overheard some conversations between new recruits and older ones, after their first encounters with demons. The senior member said that demons don't have to eat or drink to sustain themselves, they just do it for the pleasure, 'just like those parasitic Changeling freaks'."

She scoffs, though it seems to bother her slightly. "That's mild stuff compared to what I used to hear."

 No.713110

>Am thinking over the last EP, BP, and skill point acquired from 200 sessions, will mark final decision on next posting cycle
>>713101
As her head is patted by Rus Tea, Shorthorns looks up at her and smiles widely at her, trying to hide away her own concerns of how many more times they'll all get to do this.

>>713101
Flaming picks up on LJ's hesitation, a frown appearing on her face as she nudges his shoulder. "Everything alright?"

>>713101
"No one's been able to get that far into the city, huh? Well… I hate to jinx it, but it doesn't look THAT chaotic out there. May not be as swarming with them as I was afraid. Only one way to find out though, and that's to get out there."

 No.713111

>>713110
LJ girds himself as you nudge him. "I'm fine. Just pre-mission jitters. Besides, I'm not used to flying in an airship. With bodies like ours, buffalo are meant to stay firmly on the ground!"

 No.713112

>>713111
Flaming laughs, "I know what you mean! It took me a long time to get used to it too, flying around in this giant tin-can just didn't feel natural at all. I found a trick to getting comfortable around it though."

"Every morning, at the crack of dawn, I stampede through the decks. It gets my blood pumping in the morning and it sort of makes the air-ship feel like my stomping grounds. I got used to it really quick after that, it just… started feeling like a home."

 No.713113

>>713107
Pryce feels a bit of guilt, hearing and believing the same things back in his church days, and realizing those are all he has to know about changelings aside from what he's seen of Zjetya and Wireframe to disprove those.
"I don't think you're a parasite."
He says, though seeing that she's bothered by the subject, he quickly tries to change it.
"So, uh, sneaking some of the Queen's reserve. Sounds like you were pretty daring. What did it taste like? I know some mosses can be good nutrition if needed, but I never heard of wine being made from it."

 No.713115

>>713112
"Oh, is that where all those muddy hoof-tracks came from?" LJ quips. "Though now that you mention it, I really do feel like having a good run! I might stay a night and see if that trot might do me some good."

He lightly flushes when he considers the implications of what he just suggested, but the color fades, and he doesn't seem embarrassed.

>>713113
Zjetya shrugs off the comment about parasites. "We drain love from others, and most Changelings don't have the decency to give something back. They're not even symbiotic parasites. Me, though, I at least tried to leave something for those whose emotions I stole. Cleaning up trash or chasing off weak demons from their property, things like that."

She then thinks back on the wine. "It was very pungent, very strong. Like a shot of concentrated, dried pineapple. But, that may have just been the hallucinations talking. It wasn't brewed like normal wine, so all the brewing went into making it flavorful. Supposedly, if the mushrooms were prepared just right, they'd give a boost to your body's magic veins, giving you a better aptitude with magic. I never saw any benefits, honestly."

 No.713116

>>713101
Flow and the clones return Renee’s embrace.
“Aye love, we’ll be sure to get out of this, no sweat!”
Vice and Trapper nod in agreement.
>”Yes, and we should make haste! I can’t wait to see if we can enlist the help of this mysterious knight…”

 No.713117

>>713116
With Flow at the helm, the goos set out on foot towards the trails they’ve been directed to.
The goo clones discuss what they’d ask the knight, and how they should defend against ambushes.
>navigating
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.713118

>>713101
>>713113
>>713112
https://pastebin.com/YJFusUgn
"Having taken a second look at my itinerary, I believe I can squeeze in some time for a dungeon exploration. It will be nice to have one more excursion with everyone before Tartarus."

 No.713119

>>713115
Flaming blushes, and reaches back to rub at her head, "Uh, yeah… the others sorta get mad when I track mud on the floor, but, sometimes I just forget, heh… but it really does help. I got Shei to go on one with me once and he seemed to enjoy it." She coughs, "If… you want to stay the night so you can try it too, that'd be okay I guess. But, I'm afraid you can't use my bunk… NO ONE can use my bunk ever again after what Amy did to it."

 No.713120

>>713115
Pryce smiles as Zjetya distinguishes herself from the other changelings, deciding not to push the topic further for now.

"Sounds fruity," He comments to the taste. "Interesting, all the focus goes to the taste since that's all you'd get. I'm curious to what changeling food would taste like."

>>713118
"You've planned that much in these few days?"

 No.713121

>>713120
"Well I always have a few more new errands to add after a day's pass but I have my schedule figured out until the morning we embark on Tartarus."

 No.713122

>>713120
"I did not account for how long Onion might take assembling a crew of musicians for my ritual, so while I have that on hold I thought why not enjoy a stroll down Three Coins dungeon with my best friends."

 No.713123

>>713121
"I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Everypony's been busy these last few days."

>>713122
"I'm glad you decided to come along. …What ritual?"

 No.713124

>>713119
>I got Shei to go on one with me once and he seemed to enjoy it."
"We still do the morning runs too." Shei chimes in from the periphery.

>NO ONE can use my bunk ever again after what Amy did to it."

"Sorry." He chimes in again from the periphery of the room.

 No.713125

>>713116
>>713117
After gathering your supplies, you head out from Lilane's northeastern gate, the guards offering you a brief nod of respect as you leave the town. Renee sticks close as the two of you set off over the countryside. The wilds beyond Lilane are vast, mostly consisting of scorched hills, dotted with lifeless trees, and patches of gravemarkers, the signifiers of past battles. Renee frowns, looking at the markers with a conflicted expression, then mutters prayers for the dead.

You continue on in this way for a few hours as the path winds on through the dead hills, making careful notes of the turns you take for later. In time, you reach more green areas, ones that have regrown since past damages. Your path takes you toward a valley, flanked by hills dense with trees. Here too, however, are the markings of past battles: gashes and breaks in the area around, and long-dried bloodstains.

Renee directs you to take cover behind a tree, scanning the area carefully. "This is about where Freischutz and Gegenschein said they'd been operating," she whispers. "They're likely still around… how do you want to draw them out?"

>>713119
"Great!" LJ says. "Don't worry, I've got my own bed. I'll just bring it over tonight… and some incense to freshen up the air in here."

>>713120
"For you? It'd probably be pretty overwhelming. Changelings make their tangible food extra potent to compensate for our weaker sense of taste when we're not disguised." She chuckles. "I'd better keep you away from the Queen's wine, that'd knock you out in a gulp."

>>713118
>>713119
>>713120
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya8Bewvfrv8

As you set out from the airship into the streets of Threecoins, you are struck by the vastness of the city and its tall architecture. Myriad streets lay out before you, interconnected by narrow cobblestone roads. Unnervingly lifelike gargoyles perch on rooftops, bearing scornful grimaces. You note an odd disparity in the town's level of damage. Several buildings have been leveled or at least greatly damaged, but a good deal more, in fact the majority, seem to be well-kept and intact. From these intact buildings hang myriad religious icons and symbols, mostly consisting of illustration of reproachful goddesses, and triangles within squares. Most buildings have some form of iconography upon them, as well as papers containing magic wards, salt pillars, and silver implements.

Your party pauses to take in the city's relative splendor, a bit overwhelmed by the sight of such little damage. "Did demons really live here?" Volkama asks with genuine curiosity.
"You wouldn't know it by the look, would you?" Box adds.

>roll navigation and percption, 2 separate rolls

 No.713126


 No.713129

>>713123
"We are going to attempt contacting my former Master Aliester Crow-ley. He had ascended to godhood some time ago. I'm a little excited, I cannot imgaine what sort of abode he's made in the cosmos but I am certain it will be quite the sight."

 No.713130

>>713125

"What, demons can't live in nice places?" Amy asks, offended.

Amy sniffs around to find.. anything. [1d10] navigation [1d10] perception

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

 No.713131

>>713130
Your wolfish sense of smell picks up a sweet scent on the air, as well as the smell of burnt cobblestone. Distant blasts ring out, so faint that only you are able to hear it.

As you look about, you also find a small box sitting by a doorstop. Inside, is a set of robes that look like they'd fit you nicely. They don't seem to be enchanted, they just look comfortable and are light blue.

 No.713132

>>713130
>forgot to add, the scents and sounds are coming from the eastern road

 No.713133

>>713125
Flow and the gang immediately take notice of the old signs of battle, and immediately raise their guard.
As soon as Renee gives the order, they all hop behind the tree, and raise arms.
“Easy. We can use bait.”
Trapper nods, and heads down the valley, alone.

>”No doubt, they’re going to be wary of a lone goo walking down thr valley…”

“Aye, but they’ll have no choice but to at least pay him some heed…”

 No.713135

>>713129
"He ascended?"
Pryce repeats in confusion.
"Well, I wish you luck in that."


>>713125
"Come on, I'm a knight. If a little wine would knock me out I wouldn't be here."
Pryce says with some bravado.
"We'll just have to see if we ever come across some then."

>>713105
Pryce floats his chakram to his sides, one on each, while the spears float above his back, pointed forward ready to thrust. With Lockjaw following at his side, Pryce sets out with the group.

>>713125
Pryce gazes at the vast and web-like city that sprawls before them, thinking back to when they first entered Mariposa.
"Perhaps the symbols kept the demons back?"
Pryce suggests as they see the odd selection in damage.

He walks forward, his eyes and ears looking for any mortal survivors or stragglers that were left behind first and foremost over the prospect of treasure, though he still keeps notice for any gleams for Box.
>Navigation [1d10]
>Perception [1d10]

"Zjetya, I want you to stay at my side while we're here."
Pryce says to her as they enter the city.

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

 No.713136

>>713124
As Shei comments on still doing the morning runs, Flaming smiles, "It's great, right?! Really gets you moving!"

As he apologizes for the 'mess', she leers. "NOT forgiven for that yet. I liked that bunk."

>>713125
"Just bring over your bed…? I guess that'd be okay. Is it just a little cot that's easy to move?"

>>713125
Flaming moves out with the others into the streets of Threecoin, looking around the abandoned, gothic looking streets. The perched gargoyles put Flaming on edge as she walks the cobblestone roads, looking around anxiously for the first sign of any sort of demon to come their way (that isn't made of stone). "If you ask me, Threecoin was a bad omen waiting to happen, all these monstrous statues all over the place… I have to say though, besides their choice in statues, the place doesn't seem that bad. Well put together compared to other places we've been like Circadia."

Flaming looks around the city with the others, keeping a sharp eye out for any sign of trouble
[1d10] Perception [1d10] Navigation

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.713138

>>713131

Being a nudist, Amy has no interest in the clothes. She follows the sweet scent to its source. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713140

>>713133
As Trapper heads into the narrow, hill-flanked road, the forest seems peaceful enough to him at first glance. A short time later, however, he sees a hungry-looking refugee, thin and worn, standing beside a covered wagon, which has a broken wheel. The refugee attempts to fix the wheel, but it looks to be busted pretty badly. He glances your way with suspicion, then flags you down. "E-er, hullo? I don't suppose you're handy with this sort of thing, are you? There's coin for you in it, if you are."

>>713135
Zjetya sticks close. "If only there was enough time to go to Ornifex, I could see about stealing a bottle for you. Oh, but you probably wouldn't go for that. Knight's honor codes and all, right?"

As you walk, you note a nearby barrel with some bundles sticking out of the askew lid. A brief inspection shows that they contain a compass, some rope, some tools for navigation, and charcoal and papyrus for making maps.

>>713136
"Hello? The Dark Corridor?" LJ asks. "You would not believe how handy it is for moving house. It's one of those powers that's as useful for day-to-day work as it is for times of battle and hardship."

As you look around, you find a broken clothier's shop, with various clothes sitting on the windowsill that haven't yet been pilfered. Among them, you spy a deep red tunic, one that, with a little hemming work, would fit you quite nicely.

>>713136
>>713135
>>713133
>>713138
Following Amy's lead through the streets, the rest of you start to pick up on the smell of sugar, scorched cobblestone, and the sounds of magic blasts and fizzles, as well as quite a frenzy of female voices arguing and bickering. In a little while, you reach an intersection of streets, where two groups of witches, clothed in robes and big hats, are engaged in a fierce battle.

The witches closest to you (three in number) are sticking close together, charging spells, while the witches on the other side of the intersection (six in number) stand confidently, glaring down at their adversaries. Elementals, of the four classical elements, stand before these witches, leaving the first group of witches vastly outnumbered.

While the Elementals stand as their guard, the witches on the eastern side loose spells at the western witches, which they easily dodge. Where the spells impacted, cobblestones turn into puffs of cotton, and bricks in the city walls sprout wings and fly away. The witches exchange a barrage of insults and curses in various languages.

LJ slows as he approaches the scene. "Sorceresses! Wait… should we even bother helping them? Perhaps they know Mudi?"

 No.713144

>>713140

Amy cocks her head at the bizarre battle. She giggles at the absurdity of it.

Bounding up to the sidelines, she asks, "Whatchya doin'?"

 No.713146

>>713135
"Indeed! Crow-ley has become a true blue god, whatever any of that tomfoolery is worth these days."

>>713136
>"It's great, right?! Really gets you moving!"
"My asthma cleared up."

>"NOT forgiven for that yet. I liked that bunk."

"That's fair.."

Again Shei chimes in from the periphery of the room. It really doesn't need any response.

 No.713147

>>713140
"Wow! I… I have to admit, I didn't know you could use the Dark Corridor like that. I always thought it was something you had to walk through, but you can just move objects through it too? Do you still have to manually push it through or is it like, poofing it through the darkness to wherever you want?"

As Flaming looks through the broken clothier shop, spotting the deep red tunic within. Somehow, it stops her, catching her attention as she gazes into the crimson red of the cloak. She approaches it, eying it with suspicion. "Hey… is it just me or, does that tunic look like it'd fit me?"

>>713140
Flaming's nose twitches at the scent of burnt cobblestone and the sounds of battle, getting excited as she starts trotting faster down the streets. "Hey, you all here that? It sounds like a fight!"

When she happens upon the scene, she ducks and takes cover behind something so she can't be seen, choosing to survey the situation. "Witches…? I thought there were only three witches: the one Amy uh… 'ate', Mudi, and Vizsla. Where did all these ones come from? And why are they fighting, no one said ANYTHING about witches here."

 No.713149

>>713140
The clone scratches his head.
>>”Well sure mate, but ‘ow did you get in this rut in the first place?”

Meanwhile, Flow and Trapper try scanning the area, and inch forwards.
>obseving
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.713153

>>713146

"You have asthma?" Amy asks, laughing slightly.

 No.713154

>>713140
"Yee-e-eesss!" Shei bleats with excitement "Wizard fight!" He raises a fist into the air.

>should we even bother helping them? Perhaps they know Mudi?"

"Noooo -why would interrupt something so personal. No worse than butting into a couple's quarrel! What you do is take appreciation of the fact you've stumbled into a contest of the arts."

Shei walks off to the side to not directly behind the other party of whiches. "I'll be finding a seat." A nice stump on the side lines, shei plops his rump down.

 No.713155

>>713147
"Of course you can bring objects through it. We're able to bring our possessions and clothes, just fine. And, it's sort of like pulling something against a soft carpet. The Dark Corridor has friction, of course, but it's this very muted, soft sort of deal."

Rus Tea looks at the tunic. "Hmm, it's a bit big, but nothing a little sewing work won't fix. Shall we take it?"

>>713144
>>713146
>>713147
As you approach the witches, they pause their strange battle, turning to look at you. The witches' appearance strikes you as odd. Their bodies are outlined in a very subtle swirling of magic energy, like a dark liquid being stirred. This gives their bodies a faint outline, as if they were drawings made with a dark pen. Although they are ponies, they don't look like the Accorsian or even Mariposan variety. They are taller, though not as tall as Mariposan mares, more slim and with curved horns and slightly smaller eyes, giving them a more 'mythological' feel.
"Turf war!" the first western witch says as if that should be obvious.
"And you're on our streets, punks!" an eastern witch says.
"Your streets!? You're the ones who came over onto our side of the river, puta!" a second western witch says.
"三八!" an eastern witch shouts.
"!" cries the third western witch.
The second eastern witch narrows her eyes and launches another spell at the western witches. It hits the first western witch, and turns her into a horned beetle, much to the horror of the second and third western witch.

>>713149
"Bandits out on the road," the refugee says, gesturing to the road behind him. "They jumped out just as I got past the fork, and tried to jam up the wheel, but I booked it before they could get me. They managed to graze it with an arrow, and as I ran up the road, the damage got worse and the wheel broke like that."

As you scoot forward, you sense a bit of rustling in the forest to the side of the road, up above Trapper.

 No.713156

>>713155
The third western witch's insult was supposed to be in arabic, but for whatever reason, mlpg deleted it.

Test: !

 No.713157

>>713156
Just imagine the third western witch saying "Bitch" in Arabic.

 No.713162

>>713155

"Why do you have to fight each other?" Amy asks frowning.

[1d10] with compassion to get them talking about their problems

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713163

>>713155
With some cursory alchemy Shei has made a cup of herb tea from a clay teapot on a hobostove.

Shei takes sips while enamored with the display of passion. "worms crawl, mud blisters, a beetle cries revenge brood sisters." the goat sings for the fallen witch.

 No.713166

>>713140
"I'm sure I could ask for one. Knight's usually have a good standing with royalty. …Though I'm not entirely sure how receptive a changeling Queen would be. We could use the song you helped me learn if needed."
Pryce says in thought.
"And there's always after all this Tartarus business is done."
He says as she mentions time.

Pryce peers into the barrel, seeing the tools. He takes the charcoal and papyrus, noting it'd be the best to map as they go since no scouts have been through here. It might pay off to Gegenschein if they return with a full one. He packs along the compass and rope as well.

>>713140
Pryce draws along as they follow Amy's nose, marking their path until he starts to hear the shouts and blasts. He looks up when they come across the quarreling witches.

>>713155
"Please, lower your spells for a moment!"
Pryce says as they start to shout and continue to fling spells. His horn is about to light to cure the beetled witch, but he holds a moment to not spur the ire of the other group.
"Is there any reason to fight over location? This street is big enough for all of you."
Pryce says, trying to voice some reason into the mix.
>Persuasion [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713169

>>713155
Trapper nods.
>>”Aye, I’ve ‘eard of these bastards before… I take it they were all dressed up in armor?”

Flow taps Vice on the shoulder and points towards the shuffled leaves. The clone nods and brandishes The End of the Hunt as a bow, and aims an arrow where Flow directed.
>loosing arrow
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.713173

>>713155
"Well, I knew about being able to bring on clothing and stuff, but something heavy like a bed I didn't think of trying to push through a dark corridor before. If it works, it works though."

Flaming looks up at Rus-Tea as she offers to take the tunic for her, and Flaming gives a frown. "I… I really like it but, isn't that stealing?"

>>713155
Flaming stairs at the odd, 'outlined' witches doing battle in the street, turning her head as she tries to wrap her head around their bizarre, irregular appearance. "They look kind of funny… something to do with magic, maybe?"

As Amy bounds up and asks them what they're up to, and announces 'Turf War', Flaming looks more excited. "A Turf War?! So they're fighting for territory? They must be rival clans, vying over the same land…!"

She looks up at them again, not wanting to get involved just yet as it is their battle to fight. "So many weird words though I haven't heard before. Must be some pretty strange clans."

>>713166
>>713162
"Should we get involved if they don't want to listen to us?"

 No.713175

>>713173
"We're on a treasure hunt," Rus explains, scooping up the tunic. "And we're just discovering treasure. I don't see anyone else willing to claim it, do you?"
"Nope!" LJ cheerily says.

>>713166
Zjetya rubs her chin. "With everything that's befallen Ornifex before I left, I'd say a friendly face might actually be welcome in the Hive. You'd just have to drag your forehead along the ground to show your obedience first."

>>713166
>>713163
>>713162
>>713173
The second western witch scoops up the beetle and places it inside her hat.
"With the demon lords gone, there's a power vaccuum here in Threecoins at last," she explains. "Regina, the Witch of Thorns, has been sending her crones here to beat the rest of us into serving her, like these lapdogs."
"I like these newcomers," one of the eastern witches says. "They know that talking out our problems is the best solution. Specifically, about how we're going to talk about you getting on your knees and serving Regina for the rest of your days!"
"For the last time, we refuse to submit!"
"Oh, sorry if I wasn't clear, that's a statement of fact, not a request. The rest of you can join in too!" the eastern witch says, gesturing to the party.

>>713169
The refugee opens his mouth just as the The End of the Hunt conjures a spectral arrow from its nock, giving Vice a free arrow to shoot. The arrow flies true, zipping through the foliage, and clangs against something metal. An metal helmet falls out of the foliage, landing in the path between Vice and the refugee. He looks down at it in shock and surprise. "Yeah… just like that."

After a moment of looking at Vice, the refugee backs up. "Perhaps I ought to fix this myself. You go on your merry way," he says with newfound coldness.

 No.713176

>>713173
("We can't just let them fight like this, there's no reason to when the town is in this condition.")
Pryce whispers back to Flaming.

 No.713179

>>713175
All three of the goos look down at the helmet that falls down.
>>"Nay lad, I 'ave a feeling we 'ave a bigger problem than a busted wheel."
He tackles the refugee to the ground.
>>"Take cover!"
>grappling, DC-1
[1d10]

Flow takes out the Bow of the Stormking, and readies a Frostbullet Arrow, aiming it right where Vice struck.
[1d10]
Vice readies another spectral arrow and aims it at one of the trees near where his first one struck.
[1d10]

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

 No.713180

>>713175
"…Actually drag, or is that just a metaphor?"
Pryce asks, looking unsure with how different their customs could be.

>>713175
"We're just passing through, thank you for the offer though."
Pryce says politely to dismiss the offer.
"This city used to live in unity between different tribes, wouldn't it be better to return to the roots of this place now that the demons have let you be? It'd be far better off to be united in groups rather than fight and be weak if they ever came back, wouldn't it?"
Pryce says, trying to quell this squabble at least.
>Diplomacy [1d10]

When the second witch scoops up her friend, Pryce steps over, gesturing with his horn.
"May I?"
He asks, offering his magic to try and help.
>Mantra of Purity [Beetled Witch] [1d10]

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

 No.713182

>>713173

"I've never thought of that before," Amy says thoughtfully.

>>713175

"Hey!" Amy says excitedly with her tail wagging. "We work with Moody! How about you all join her if you wanna follow a strong witch? You'd all get lotsa respect and friends that way!"

[1d10] with compassion

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.713188

>>713175
As Rus reminds her that she's on a treasure hunt, Flaming's eyes open wide with realization. "Oooooooooh… Right! And, I think such a cool looking tunic certainly qualifies as a treasure!" Flaming coughs, looking up at the tunic as Rus-Tea picks it up. "Can I…?"

>>713176
>>713182
Flaming turns to Pryce, "But we don't know anything about these clans. Maybe they have very good reasons for fighting each other over land, and we'd be walking in blind not knowing anything about either side."

>>713175
As the eastern witch says 'the rest of you can join in too', Flaming's ear twitches, and she turns to look at the eastern witch with a hard look on her face.

"If by 'join in', you mean you want us to get on our knees for this Regina witch lady too, then I'm sorry but we have to say no to that. We're already dealing with enough witches for the time being without adding another one in. Ever hear of 'Vizsla' and 'Mudi'?"

 No.713190

>>713188
Rus Tea rolls her eyes and tosses the tunic onto you. When worn atop your normal clothes, it fits fine, but will still need to be hemmed.

>>713180
"Depends on what kind of mood the Queen is in," Zjetya says ambiguously.

>>713180
>>713182
>>713188
The second western witch retrieves the beetle from her hat, and hands it out to Pryce. His spell quickly undoes her transformation, and in a swirl of light and smoke, she's returned to normal.

At that point, Amy and Flaming bring up Mudi the Young and Vizsla the Kind. Every witch in the vicinity, including the western witches, freezes, glowering at you all, as though Amy just threatened to kill you instead of making a reasonable proposal. They shrink back, and the swirling energy on their bodies trembles, betraying their apprehension.
"They're not here, are they?" the first western witch says.
"There's no way, we'd have sensed some of Mudi's magic energy if she were," an eastern witch says. "Or Vizsla'd have frozen us by now."
"Mudi's a rotten sort," the third eastern witch explains. "Her and her sister both. I don't know if you people are aware of that, but those names are anathema among even witches like Regina. You'd better not go around dropping them lightly."

There's a pause, as the two witch groups look at one another.

"Well, my mood's killed," the first eastern witch says. "Shall we call this one a draw?"
The rest of the eastern witches grumble, and with a glow of their horns, the elementals slowly vanish. The witches remove their hats, drawing forth broomsticks, and make preparations to leave.

>>713179
The refugee easily falls under Vice's grasp, grumbling and snarling. "Damn it, this vessel's useless with its disguise on!" he says, his voice subtly distorting.

As the arrows fly into the foliage, they only make dull thuds, hitting trees. As frost spreads through the treeline, three knights in sleek armor jump out, one without a helmet. You see that it is a stallion, but his head and eyes are murky with malicious magical energy, and shadows swarm about his head like a noxious gas. Tremendous magical energy resides behind them, in the carriage, and you sense a dreadful presence within.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R5lkM5EBjo

Two of the knights charge forward, brandishing maces and small shields.

[1d10+2] vs Vice
[1d10+2] vs Flow

The refugee stirs under Trapper, trying to break free. [1d10]

Renee prepares her wakizashi, but remains behind the tree, looking to you for orders.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #3 8 = 8

 No.713193

>>713190
as though Amy just threatened to kill both you and them instead…*

 No.713197

>>713188
"I know. I'm not expecting to stop entire clans from feuding, just these ones right here."

>>713190
"I'll make sure to put on a show when we visit then. Can't be in a bad mood after one of those."
Pryce says with a worried tone.

>>713190
Pryce is surprised as the witches suddenly stop in fright, wondering if the others mentioning Mudi and Vizsla will help or draw more fighting. When they all stop and prepare to leave, Pryce calms as they don't have to fight.
"Wait, before you go. Could you tell us what the city is like now that the demons left? Is there anything we need to worry about?"
He asks to get some information from the locals.

 No.713199

>>713196
>>713190

"What he said," Amy says, pointing to Shei. "Also, Moody is nicer now. Viszla is… still Viszla. But, like Shei said, you at least know what to expect with her. And, I'll be honest," Amy laughs. "We're probably gonna kill her by the end of the week."

 No.713200

>>713190
Flaming pulls the red tunic on top of her, looking down at its unique yet simple design as she admires the bold color adorning her now. "Thanks!"

>>713190
>>713197
As the very mention of Mudi and Vizsla's names cause the fighting to disperse, Flaming can't help but allow herself a small, smug grin. She says to her compatriots, "Somehow, I figured dropping their names would get their attention: Mudi and Vizsla are a big deal even to demons, if other witches heard they were with us? I think this 'Regina' would suddenly change her tune. Remember that if anyone else gives us trouble."

As they get ready to disperse, Flaming trots down, now feeling a lot more confident interacting with the witches now that she can throw her other witch-friends' around as weight. "Hey, before you all take off… can you tell us a little about what's going on here? We came here cause we heard demons were in this town, but instead we find a bunch of witches having a turf war. How long has this 'Regina' been in Threecoin?"

 No.713206

>>713190
Shei observes the mention of Mudi.
"Indeed, there's always a greater tyrant to bend the knee. I have a question, for the witches that follow the witch of thorns, what good does subjugation do you. Whether friend or foe a knife stabs just as well in the back as it does the front. I would be more worried about those who submitted to you the easiest, as they have everything planned out already. And for the ones that have fought you the hardest, by virtue! You have found the most honest witches among you. A rare quality amongst the sort I hear. They should be your generals as they would never betray you without making it known."

 No.713207

>>713199
>>713190

Forgot to roll with compassion. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713209

>>713200
>>713197
"Not all the demons have left, actually," the first of the eastern witches says. "If you're demon tamers looking for new demons, then you'll want to head for the center of town and the southeastern quadrant. There's a narrow road between those two areas that's relatively demon-free. Everything west of the river supposedly belongs to these toadies," she says, gesturing to the western witches. "And everything on the eastern side belongs to us."

>>713200
>>713206
"Regina's been here for four months – she got here soon after the Rapture happened and demons invaded the world," the first eastern witch continues. "Oh, and as for why we're trying to 'subjugate' these witches? You've got it all wrong. Back when the demons were fully in control of the city, under the leadership of Supper of Crows, it was Regina who kept us safe and kept us happy and fed. Now these ingrates–" she gestures fo the western witches once more. "They think they can turn away the second that things are looking up for them. A bunch of opportunists who don't know what's good for them or what the pecking order is around here. Regina took them in and saved them, and they really think they can get away with abandoning her? Not likely!"

>>713199
>>713200
>>713207
"Now I know you're insane," the first eastern witch scoffs when Amy claims that she'll have killed Mudi. "Buh-byeeeee!" she declares, voice greasy with sarcasm. She and the other eastern witches begin to lift off, gaining altitutde upon their broomsticks. In a last petty exchange, the western and eastern witches launch volleys of transformative party magic at each other, turning low-hanging clouds into party streamers and glass windows into dinner plates and lamp-posts into shoes.

After the barrage is done and the eastern witches gone, the western witches sigh, slumping to the ground. "I guess we should thank you for your help, travelers," the first western witch says. "Though I'm more surprised you're here in the first place. What brought you to Threecoins? I didn't think there was really anyone else out there these days."

 No.713210

>>713209
"Looks like you were right Volkama. And now we know where to steer clear of."
Pryce says as they're told demons still remain."

"We came at the aid of Ecclessia to help scout the area now that the demons have cleared out, and to aid any captives or others that were left behind since we've already seen what happens to those the Treibehana capture."
Pryce answers to the witches.
"And, we're also here for anything else the demons may have left behind to help in our fight against them, and for our friend here," Pryce says, gesturing to Box.

 No.713211

>>713190
Trapper looks down at the refugee and gives him a quick sock.
[1d10]

Flow and Vice prepare for battle. Flow brandishes Sclangenschwert and gives each of them a quick slash.
[1d10+4]
[1d10+4]
Vice grabs the End, and tries to catch both of them with the ethereal end of the blade.
>Cleave
>crit on 1
[1d10]
"Oi oi! Cover our backs!" Flow suggests to Renee.

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 1 + 4 = 5 / Roll #3 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #4 6 = 6

 No.713212

>>713199
"That's not what I was saying, and you shouldn't lie like that. I'm well aware of just how taken you are with the idea of Queen Mudi."

>>713209
Shei observes the exchange with the party for the moment, he doesn't really care at all about these witches and is disappointed more things didn't get turned into house shoes.

 No.713213

>>713209

"Ew, demon taming?" Amy says like a belligerent teenage girl disgusted by some pastime.

Amy looks to the western witches. "You guys should probably just leave. Your presence is just going to keep upsetting them. I think you'd have fun if you joined up with us!"

[1d10] with compassion

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.713216

>>713211
The refugee takes the hit well, but staggers back after you punch him, and starts to tear at his face. As he does, you see a bag, previously invisible, appear his head. As he pulls off the magic disguise, his body starts to transform, filling out and gaining definition, until he too takes on the appearance of a dark knight.

Vice catches them both with the blade, doing no damage but cutting deeply into the shadows that surround them. Both knights stagger, clutching at their heads, but regain focus. DK 1 smashes Vice into bits with his mace, and DK 2 trades hits with Flow, knocking him back before getting launched himself into a nearby rock face.

>Flow loses 5 Hits


DK 1 stumbles about in a haze for a moment, then regains focus and tries to attack Flow.
[1d10+2]
DK 2 gradually gets up, but Renee is quick and lauches herself toward him and he has to contend with her.
[1d10+2] Renee
[1d10+2] DK 2

DK 3 and 4 try to grab Trapper.
[2d10]

Meanwhile, the magic presence in the caravan grows stronger. "What was that…? I'm losing my grip on them!" a distorted voice says.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #3 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #4 9, 8 = 17

 No.713219

>>713209
Flaming nods to the eastern witch as she gives them directions around town, regarding where the demons themselves dwell and how the town is split into the two sides independent. "Thank you. We're not actually here looking to 'tame' demons, but we did come here expecting them all the same so it's good to know where they're at."

>>713209
As the eastern witches explain how Regina came in and kept the witches safe while the Demons ruled the town, Flaming frowns. "I see… then, you can't think of any reason at all why they wouldn't want to be under Regina's protection anymore? Are they trying to kick Regina out of here?"

>>713209
Flaming watches the other witches take off to the sky on their broomsticks after finishing her questions, ducking her head as the two trade one last volley of magic at each other, avoiding the transformation magic as it tears apart the town a little bit more.

"Those witches are going to get each other turned into party goods if they don't come to some sort of agreement soon… but, I still really don't think it's our place to tell them how to settle their differences."

As the western witches thank them, she turns to the witches, shaking her head. "No need to thank us, we were just passing through. Though I have to say, if this is all your side has to offer, I don't think you can keep up this gang war much longer. They had you all totally out-numbered."

 No.713220

>>713219
Before leaving, one of the eastern witches pauses to address your questions. "Do as you like with the demons. They're not with us or them, so it doesn't make any difference to us whether you befriend or kill the lot."

To your second question, the eastern witches gaze at the western witches. "If you ask me, they're probably trying to look for redemption, now that they're no longer with Mudi or Vizsla. Just ask them about those captives they've got."

>>713213
>>713212
>>713210
As Pryce explains their reasons for being here, the witches calm down, but the earlier comments about Vizsla and Mudi clearly weigh heavily on them. "You, out of all of them, at least seem like you're on the up and up," the first witch says to Pryce.

"By the way, I'm Frise," the first witch says.
"Xiasi," the second witch says.
"Canaan," the third witch says.

Once the witches finish their introductions, your companions give theirs briefly.

Frise then turns to Amy. "We can't do that until we've cleaned up the messes we've caused," she begins. "First off, we have a fair amount of wounded and glassed here from the attack that happened in Vitral a few days ago, from what the angel did."
"And Regina, for all that we'd like to be rid of her once and for all, is a problem partly of our own creation," Canaan says. "If we leave, she's not going to stay here. She's going to start absorbing all the territory in this region, until she's got what she's looking for to take out Vizsla and Mudi and make herself the top dog."

>>713219
Xiasi sighs. "You're right," she says. "But we really don't know what else to do about Regina. We want to keep her from starting any more stupid fights with Mudi and Vizsla, but talking didn't help and we certainly can't even keep them off our turf anymore. Still, she's our responsibility to stop, not yours, so if you don't want to get involved, it's not your problem."

 No.713221

>>713216
Flow grunts as he's struck back, and gets his sword up to slice up DK1.
[1d10+4]
[1d10+4]
He also grabs the Inheritance, and one clone phases into existence next to him.

UberVice 2/2

Before Trapper fades into goo, he gives a salute to Dk3 and 4.

Roll #1 2 + 4 = 6 / Roll #2 5 + 4 = 9

 No.713222

>>713212

"What!?" Amy says, horribly offended by the accusation. "I did not lie!"

>>713220
>>713212

"Ew, Shei," Amy says like she's seen a gross bug. "They have glassed ponies. You can do something about that, right?"

 No.713223

>>713220
As the three witches introduce themselves, Flaming bows her head. "I am Flaming Shorthorns. It's an honor."

As the three witches explain their reasoning for wanting to stick around and deal with Regina before she tries to absorb more territories, and strike out against Mudi and Vizsla, Flaming purses her lips, thinking over the situation. "What those other witches said about 'captives'… would these 'captives' be the refugees you just mentioned? We've been dealing with a lot of refugees from Vitral lately as well, we were even there when the Metatron struck. Are you taking care of them because Regina wouldn't?"

 No.713224

>>713221
Renee and DK 2 clash several times, unable to get the advantage over the other, when the both, deciding to get aggressive, trade hits, which injures the both of them.

DK 3 and 4 laugh in triumph as they capture Trapper, only for him to vanish into goo a moment later. "What!? No fair!" both knights say aloud in the same distorted voice.

You score several hits on DK 1's armor, but he shoves you back and uppercuts you with his mace, still with a lot of fight left in him.

>You lose 2 Hits.


The four knights regroup, starting to circle around you, Renee and Vice, when there's a sudden thundering and a shaking of the ground, accompanied by the horrid CRUNCH of dozens of trees breaking under a rapid force. Renee ducks for cover instinctively, as do the knights. "Bastard! Every time!" they swear with one voice, scattering to find cover.

>Roll dodge, instant


[4d10] Knights 1-4

Roll #1 4, 5, 6, 6 = 21

 No.713225

>>713220
"Oh, thank you."
Pryce says to the first witch's comment.

"Nice to meet you three. I am Sir Pryce Etac."
Pryce says, beaming a bit as he says his title, still carrying a bit of elation from his ceremony.
"There's glassed ponies here? Where are they, we can cure them if they're still intact."
He says with urgency.

Pryce listens along as they describe the city, mood dropping at hearing the news.
"So she want to rule as well… We can't let her grow her power freely like that."
Pryce mutters, not expecting this kind of turnout from their trip.
"What can we do to help? She can't be that strong yet if you've been having to deal with the demons until now."

 No.713226

>>713213
>>713220
>>713222
>"I did not lie!"
"Really now, so when did you decide not to play along with Mudi?"

"There isn't a thing I can do about the glassed, Chorazin could restore them with our ember of jahalandra but we better not exhaust it further. It is our only barrier of protection against the magatsuhi demons produce. That said, verily I do not think we should be meddling in the affairs of witches. It looks like these weyward sisters were just given their eviction notice."

 No.713227

>>713226

"I'm still going with Moody's plan! I'm talking about Viszla. I'm sure she's going to mess things up in some way. Then we'll have to kill her."

 No.713228

>>713227
Shei shakes his head "Indubitably, Vizsla would like to see her sister succeed. They are sisters afterall."

 No.713229

>>713228

"And people call ME naive…"

 No.713230

>>713224
Flow takes this opportunity, and slashes all four of the knights with the End before he goes to dodge out of the way of any debris.
>Cleave
>crit DC 1
[1d10+1]
>dodge
[1d10]

UberVice concentrates on himself and Flow as he dodges too.
>VoG
[1d10]
>dodge
[1d10]

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

 No.713231

>>713223
>>713222
Canaan nods. "That they are," she says. "From what we heard from the survivors still lucid enough to talk to us, the angel – this Metatron, I suppose – unleashed a kind of chemical or particle weapon against them, turning many people into glass statues and unleashing all hell into the surrouning area. Everyone who could escaped did, so there was a mass exodus of demons and mortals alike into the countryside. That led to even worse casualties when fights broke out between the survivors of both species. We got a few groups here. Those who haven't been turned to glass are diseased, wounded, starving or some combination of all that."

>>713223
"It isn't that Regina wouldn't, it's that if she did, she'd only do it to have more pawns to use against Mudi and Vizsla, more vessels to use with her magic."

>>713225
"Rule probably isn't the right way of looking at it. She wants to be top of the witching world, but she couldn't give a rat's ass about the rest. She would still subjugate the country to her will, but she'd view them in the same way a collector views their collection of bits and bobs. Nice things to look at, but nothing more than things to collect, in the end. She'd take them over just to say that she did and just to keep someone else from owning it."

>>713225
>>713226
>>713222
>>713223
The witches look desperate as Shei confirms that they can cure the afflicted, but when he denies it, their desperation turns to resigned frustration. "Fine! Keep it to yourself!" Frise snaps impatiently, but Xiasi stops her.
"If you don't want to get involved, you can just walk away. The city's yours to explore and exploit – that's the rule of things now, I suppose."
"We could pay you for it! Trade for it!" Frise continues, undeterred. "Just give us something so we can help these people! We aren't leaving until we've set things right."

 No.713232

>>713231
>>713226

Amy looks from the witches to Shei with a sad expression. She gives Shei big puppydog eyes. "C'mon Shei, I think we should help them," she pleads with pouty lips.

 No.713233

>>713230
With no time to slice the knights before the impact, you, Renee and the knights dive for cover, narrowly avoiding several trees crashing from the impact of a wall of steel launching itself through the forest, but you can't avoid being showered with branches, splinters and leaves as the force comes to a halt in the midst of the battlefield.

As the debris and dust from the impact settle down, you behold in the clearing a veritable wall of steel, a hulking figure in a terribly heavy shell of armor. The figure stands several feet taller than you or the knights, and its helmet is shaped like a skull. With no weapon to speak of, the monster simply has a shield hooked onto its arm, curved to aid in charges just like the one you saw. The figure looks to the knights, and then to you. Its gaze lingers upon you for a moment, sizing you up. The knights, grimacing and cursing as one, clamber to their hooves, and the magic energy around them starts to grow, except around the ones that Vice sliced with The End of the Hunt.

 No.713234

>>713231
>>713232
Shei's face scrunches as he becomes vexed by Amy's puppydog eyes. Not the first girl to pull that on Shei.

"It's not entirely up to me, but Chorazin and I do share one pact." Shei-Sher remembers how he pleaded with Metatron and steps forward to the witch "We will give you mercy, but then you must bring mercy to them, yourselves and this abode. You all of your kith will submit to the Queen of Thorns or decide to leave this place with your comrades and never return. Those are my terms."

Shei-Sher looks over to Chorazin to ask "What do you think?"

 No.713235

>>713231
"Still, that's not a pony you can let go freely. Even if she does nothing, that kind of power grab will only end in disaster on the way."
Pryce responds.

>>713226
>>713231
"Shei, that's a terrible thing to say. We can't let the fallout of that attack go unheeded."
Pryce scolds as Shei offers and then turns down help within a few words of each other.

Pryce looks to the witches. He pulls out the obsidian box holding the Ember of Jalandhara, looking at it's small size.
"We were able to cure those who turned to glass back in Vitral, myself included, with this," Pryce says, showing it to them, though closing the case and placing it back in his robe after a glimpse. "It doesn't have much energy, but it should be able to cure those here. However we will need to bring them to the ocean for the ritual. We have an airship and ways of helping that so they won't be at risk."
Pryce offers.
"You don't need to pay us. We came here for information and to save those that remained and needed it. And it sounds like you need help with Regina."

 No.713236

>>713231
>>713225
>>713226
Flaming's ears drop to the side as she's informed of the glassed's condition in the western witches' camp, and shakes her head. "I'm sorry to hear all that… I don't entirely understand how the cure works myself, but Shei is probably right in saying that we shouldn't try to stress its power too much all at once. But,"

Flaming steps forward, "What if we took your refugees off your hooves? And bring them to Fantasia? We can heal the wounded as quickly as we can without stressing the Ember, and in the meanwhile we DO have plenty of herbs that will help the afflicted, it did wonders for my friend Journey and Tantra. And they'll be far away from Regina, safe with others from Vitral. They might even recognize others that got separated. And best of all, you wouldn't need to worry about them anymore here."

>>713227
As Amy mentions she's still on board with Mudi's plan, Flaming noticeably twitches, stealing a glance towards Amy. "Hey uh… now might not be the best time for it, but, I wanted to talk with all of you about that later. Mudi I mean."

 No.713237

>>713235
"Even priests amongst the Union knew not to cast pearls among swine. If we give them the numbers to hold their territory we will be creating a war from what was just skirmishes. A war of witches and demons. The region will become contaminated with magic and inhospitable, and the lives we will have saved will have been swallowed up in the chaos. This is the mercy we give them, they must agree to some term of peace before we offer any help."

 No.713238

>>713233
Flow dusts his raincoat off and takes a swig from his waterskin as he focuses on himself and UVice.
>healing
[1d10]
>VoG
[1d10]

UVice grabs the Spinsaw and starts revving it up as he focuses on Flow
>"Sir Knight! We wish to enlist your assistance!" he announces.
>This is How a Drill Works
[1d10]
>IDoS on Flow
[1d10]

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

 No.713239

>>713236

"I don't know what there is to talk about," Amy says in a moody tone. "But, alright."

>>713234
>>713231

Amy looks with a hopeful expression from the witches to Shei.

 No.713240

>>713236
Shei-sher leans into Flaming's ear and whispers "Whatever you saw we should talk about it when Mudi isn't watching us."

 No.713241

>>713239
>>713236
>>713234
>>713232
>>713235
"I think those are awful terms," Chorazin deadpans with a judgmental look to Shei. "I won't impose such demands on them. If they think they have an obligation to fight Regina, let them. This Witch of Thorns sounds like another Mudi, another Treibheanna, another Ecclesia, another Metatron: Another power-hungry fool that this world allows to come to power. It would be in our interests to knock her down a peg, even as we go on our treasure hunt, if nothing more than to keep Regina from interfering with the already complex network of schemes and plans that are going on. We don't need someone else trying to rule the world."
"And if she really wants to take out Vizsla and Mudi, then she could be instrumental in helping us defeat them," Volkama adds. "Even just some information on their past and their weaknesses would do."

As Pryce and Flaming make their offers, Chorazin takes the Ember. "I'll do it."

The three witches sigh with relief when they hear this. "Thank you!" they say in unison.

Rus Tea nods in affirmation of Flaming's plan. "We could put them on our airship, but I think we should prioritize our scan of this city before we go back to heal them. We don't have much time to scour Threecoins, so that has to come first. If we do that, we need someone to guard them aboard the ship, however."

"Honestly we should assign a guard to the ship anyway," Wireframe suggests. "Amy, Shei, can't you conjure up some monsters to put on the ship? I'll conjure some myself."

 No.713242

>>713239
"I… I was just talking to her before we left. About Pryce's tattoo. And, in the middle of the conversation she said some things I thought were kind of scary."
>>713240
Flaming tenses up. "Wait, what? How do you know she's watching us?" She whispers back.

 No.713243

>>713238
One of the knights flings a knife at the skin, slicing it before you can take a good swig to heal yourself. The knight surveys you, not reacting to the knife, but nods with a glacial speed. Turning around, his body becomes awash in light, which spreads to you, as solid and stone but fiercely energizing.

[1d10+3] Inspire
>??? Activates protect on Flow!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcYz91OyplA

With a snarl in unison, the knights charge, unleashing a barrage of attacks on the mysterious tank.

[3d10+2] DK 1, 3 and 4

DK 2 resumes his duel with Renee, and the two speed at one another again.

[1d10+2] DK 2
[1d10+2] Renee

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #2 2, 9, 9 + 2 = 22 / Roll #3 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #4 4 + 2 = 6

 No.713244

>>713243
"Tch…you'll regret that, son," Flow grimaces.
He charges forwards to support the knight. brandishing the spear he received from the beggar, aiming to pierce the knight that stuck his waterskin.
[1d10+3]
[1d10+3]

UVice revs up the spinsaw once more, and goes to slam the rotating saw on DK 2.
[1d10+3]
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #3 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #4 8 + 3 = 11

 No.713245

>>713241
>>713241
Flaming looks up towards Chorazin as she makes her decree, and gives a concerned look. "Should we really get involved with Regina right now? I mean, I don't think you're wrong, she DOES sound like trouble, but nothing Regina does will matter to us anyways if we don't do everything we can to make sure Tartarus goes well, which is why we're really here in the first place."

She nods, "But I agree entirely on doing everything we can for these refugees. You sure the Ember will be okay healing another big group this soon?"

She looks to Rus-Tea, "That sounds like a plan. I'm guessing you three don't have a problem with that then? Just how many refugees do you have? Does Regina have anymore we should try to take away from her?"

 No.713246

>>713241

"Sure!" Amy says jovially as she howls to the sky. A little portal appears above her and a Nail Beast falls out and lands in front of her.

"Go protect the ship, buddy," Amy says in a cutesy tone as she scratches the Nail Beast under the chin.

>>713242

Amy shrugs. "Like what?"

 No.713247

>>713241
"Using your power over others, to make the world the way you think it should be is just the way people like Metatron, and Mudi, and This Regina person thinks." Shei shoots back at Chorazin. "We have only just arrived here Chorazin, we can't possibly have the full story available to us and we're already deciding how things should be. I suggested a way to make peace so after we save their lives they won't be thrown away in a turf war."

>>713241
"Right, I will call giggles to watch the Ship."
>A Vision of Thralls: Twice per combat; Instant; Summon either 1 monster from the “Medium” tier, or 2 from the “Small” tier of the Compendium of Monsters. If “I Dream of Monsters” has already been chosen, this skill’s rolls get +1. Grants one Pet Mastery point. All summoning weakens the Firmament.
[1d10] summon gigganox

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.713248

>>713242
"She is always watching us. Like Buiwong, her eyes travel far,"

 No.713249

>>713237
"We're not giving them numbers. We're helping their hurt and dealing with this Regina ourselves."

>>713241
>>713237
Pryce nods in agreement with Chorazin.
"We can't walk in and tell them how they should act. We can only assist."

>>713241
"Be careful with that, please."
Pryce says as Chorazin takes the Ember.

"We can transport the injured after we calm things. Those other witches said they're sending ponies out to convert and take back the others, we'd be an open target trying to move them. The airship itself might draw attention too."
Pryce says, not wanting to risk the ones who were glassed any further.

He turns to the three witches.
"Can you gives us a layout of the city? We only can only afford today for help, so knowing what we're dealing with help immensely."

 No.713250

>>713247
>>713246
Giggles and the nail beast scamper off in the direction of the ship to go protect it as commanded.

>>713247
"Healing the afflicted is now trying to control the world?" Chorazin asks. "Come now, you don't believe that. You're smart enough to know that's rubbish."

>>713245
>>713246
"Out of the group of ten who made it to Threecoins, only two have been turned to glass. The rest only need basic medical help," Xiasi says. As for whether there are more in Regina's grasp, she shakes her head. "She has several witches under her, just like the ones you saw us fighting, but they can take care of themselves."

>>713249
>>713247
>>713246
>>713245
Upon hearing the rest of the party's concerns about getting involved with Regina, Chorazin seems to reconsider. "Fair points. Perhaps I'm a little stuck in my ways. During my military days, direct approaches were my go-to. And my personal favorite. It would certainly explain why I dived in head first to face Mirror Image when she landed in Vitral!"

She laughs, and the rest of the party looks at her awkwardly. "Maybe we don't have to fight Regina directly, like these witches wanted," Wireframe suggests. "It sounds like they've been stuck here a while. Maybe we could just make a treaty with her?"
"Such as if we tell her that we're taking care of Mudi and Vizsla and that she won't have a reason to get in our hair or stir up trouble," Volkama suggests.
"The fact that they weren't fighting to kill makes me think they're a reasonable lot!" Tantra says. "These people don't seem like murderers. They'll give peace a chance, I'll bet."

"The fact that you're helping us at all puts us in your debt," Canaan says. "Whatever you decide, we accept your decision."

 No.713251

>>713246
>>713248
Flaming is about to say something before Shei whispers in her ear again, causing the buffalo to clam up instead of telling Amy what she wants to tell her. "Just… stuff, like what she'd do after she got what she wanted in Tartarus. Is there anywhere we can go we can be 'alone', Shei?"

 No.713252

>>713244
As you attack the knight, a bright spark and shockwave rings out from the spear, and the impact launches the knight into a tree trunk. The magic surrounding his body dissipates, sparking with white light, and he doesn't get up. "Blast! One of my puppets has broke!" the other three knights say in unison.

Attacking with the energy shared by the mysterious newcomer proves difficult, as you're not used to this frequency of magic energy. Your moves are too quick, too forceful, all of which throws off your balance.

As UVice slashes into DK 2, he and Renee launch him away, and he skids to a halt.

"Perhaps I'll try…" the three knights say, trailing off before they finish the throught.

Suddenly, with the sound of breaking glass, the dark magic surrounding the knights vanishes, and they stumble to the ground, looking about in confusion at the scene around them. With words of confusion, they survey the damage, and see their injured allies. Quickly, DK 3 and 4 rush to aid 1 and 2. "What happened?" one of them shouts to his ally.

 No.713253

>>713250
"Only ten?" Flaming grins, "Then, no worries! We'll be happy to take them back to Fantasia on our air-ship and get them fixed up. And you're sure there's no more refugees that Regina has? I was more worried about more Mariposans than Regina's witches, I think I've seen for myself they can take care of themselves."

She looks at the trio, "Also… that offer's open to you too, if you three want. I have to be honest: I admire your bravery in fighting against such numbers, and I promise we'll do something to help you against Regina here before we leave," Flaming looks up at Chorazin, nodding at her. "But if we can't do anything to help, I don't know if it's wise to stick around with just the three of you. You could do even more good back where we come from if you didn't want to fall in with Regina."

>>713250
Flaming nods to Chorazin, "I understand ENTIRELY. The direct approach is my approach as well, usually. Were I in your hooves, I would have done the exact same thing as you did and charged out first. I'm just… been worked up by my nerves a bit by Tartarus and am wanting to keep mind of our limits."

"But, you're right… we should at least do SOMETHING to help these witches before we go. I don't know if telling her we'll 'take care' of Mudi and Vizsla will work though, she sounds like the sort of witch who might keep doing what she's doing even if she didn't have rivals. Maybe there's something else she'd want…" She turns to the trio again. "Can anyone just go up to see Regina? Will us being involved with Mudi and Vizsla make her turn us into… party supplies?"

 No.713254

>>713250
Shei-Sher smiles amid the reconsiderations the party is making about fighting Regina. He is put at ease when Canaan gives her answer.

"Then we should start preparing the cleansing ceremony." Shei looks to Chorazin "Does it have to be the ocean or any pool of water?"

 No.713255

>>713250

"Yeah," Amy nods in agreement with Tantra. "I don't really care about their arguments. It seemed like they were enjoying themselves in their own weird way. I just wanted to make sure everyone is happy."

"Which is why we gotta help the sick ones. Plus, that glass stuff is bad news. Gotta get rid of it before it spreads."

>>713251

Amy shrugs. "Whatever."

 No.713256

>>713251
"There is but lets save this for our last day, when we can all huddle together and come to agreement on our positions."

 No.713257

>>713250
"I haven't considered talking to her… though sending witches out to force others to join her or be transformed by those spells, she might not be quite so reasonable."
Pryce says in thought as the others bring it up. He looks to the three witches.
"Where is Regina? We'll face her sooner or later while we're here whether we decide to fight or talk. …Would we have to worry about more of her witches coming after us if we enter their territory?"

Though after he speaks, Pryce turns to Zjetya.
"You don't mind this little detour, do you?"
He asks, a bit of worry passing his mind at this treasure hunt turning into a possible battle.

 No.713258

>>713252
Flow holds close to the spear, and spins it as he walks up to the knights.
"Seems like you lads got possessed by some sort of…dark magic."
The goo's eyes dart around to see if there's any sign of either the controller, or the dark magic itself.
[1d10]

UVice checks up on Renee before joining Flow, and turns to the hulking knight.
>"We were sent to investigate these dark knights, and we heard that you've been doing the same thing around these parts. Will you assist us in figuring out the cause of these attacks?"

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713259

>>713253
>>713254
>>713255
"It has to be in the ocean," Chorazin says. "Considering the amount of time we have to work with, it would be best to wait until we are done here before we try to purify them."
As Flaming brings up her question, Canaan gives it some more thought. "Well… Regina was the one who dealt with the demons most often, and she's the one who brought in the people and demons who came here. I'd say there's a reasonable chance that Regina or her underlings still have some refugees in their possession, so we ought to check with her before we dismiss the possibility."

>>713253
As you offer a place on your side, the witches consider it briefly. "…I'm really not sure," Frise admits. "We need time to think about it first. Let's sort out all this stuff with Regina before we decide on that."

>>713253
>>713254
>>713255
>>713257
The Witches nod. "Regina's holed herself up at the Library of the Sancrosanct on the other side of town. We'll have to cross through demon-held territory to get there, but as the other witches said, there's a road we can take that should be fairly safe."

When asked about the dangers, the witches shake their head. "In the grand scheme of things, the demons are more dangerous than the witches. These ones are more likely to pull dumb pranks on you than actually fight you. Like Amy said, they really were having fun. After all, you saw what we were fighting against: transformation spells, not battle spells. They were only fighting with parlor tricks. Plus if you have any single fellas with you, they wouldn't dream of hurting them."

"Just to check, we're here on a treasure hunt," Box says. "That's what brought us here. Are we gonna have to put that on hold?"

Frise shakes her head. "Take whatever you want that isn't nailed to the floor. We'll be walking through town a lot, so you're welcome to whatever you see."

Zjetya smiles. "That's a relief."

>>713258
You and the knights hardly have a chance to catch your breath or talk when another dreadful pulse of malevolent energy comes from the covered wagon, beating and swirling in a steady, slowly-accelerating rhythem. Renee's eyes widen in fright, and she tosses a stream of water your way as the malignant energy grows more heavy.

>free heal from waters of life


>paused

 No.713550

>Flow 11/4

Last time on HolyQuest…

After arriving in Threecoins, the party quickly met a group of witches engaged in a magical battle. Threecoins, they learned, was divided between two factions of witches, split down the middle on either side of the city's massive river. On the eastern side were the witches loyal to Regina, a master witch who had led them to Threecoins and managed to negotiate a deal with the demons who would later invade Threecoins and capture it for themselves. On the western side were witches who did not want to follow Regina any longer, but also did not have the ability to leave for someplace else due to the sick and diseased refugees of Vitral who were in their care. Threecoins was thus divided into a turf war between the two groups of witches who had now made the city of religious fanaticism their haven from demonkind and the elements.

Flow, going his own way with Renee and his minions, picked up the trail of the four knights who had been attacking caravans and refugees fleeing the demons' attacks on their cities. A fight quickly broke out when the knights took the bait and tried to kidnap Trapper. In the midst of the fight, a towering knight, wearing a wall of armor with a skull-shaped helmet, charged into the scene to aid Flow. After another exchange of blows, the knights became dazed and confused, apparently not knowing what was going on. Flow surmised that they had been brainwashed or possessed, but the lull in battle quickly ended when a powerful magic presence began to exude from the covered wagon that the knights had tried to use to kidnap Trapper.

 No.713551

>Shei
>Flaming
>Amy
"It has to be in the ocean," Chorazin says. "Considering the amount of time we have to work with, it would be best to wait until we are done here before we try to purify them."
As Flaming brings up her question, Canaan gives it some more thought. "Well… Regina was the one who dealt with the demons most often, and she's the one who brought in the people and demons who came here. I'd say there's a reasonable chance that Regina or her underlings still have some refugees in their possession, so we ought to check with her before we dismiss the possibility."

>Flaming

As you offer a place on your side, the witches consider it briefly. "…I'm really not sure," Frise admits. "We need time to think about it first. Let's sort out all this stuff with Regina before we decide on that."

>Shei

>Amy
>Flaming
>Pryce
The Witches nod. "Regina's holed herself up at the Library of the Sancrosanct on the other side of town. We'll have to cross through demon-held territory to get there, but as the other witches said, there's a road we can take that should be fairly safe."

When asked about the dangers, the witches shake their head. "In the grand scheme of things, the demons are more dangerous than the witches. These ones are more likely to pull dumb pranks on you than actually fight you. Like Amy said, they really were having fun. After all, you saw what we were fighting against: transformation spells, not battle spells. They were only fighting with parlor tricks. Plus if you have any single fellas with you, they wouldn't dream of hurting them."

"Just to check, we're here on a treasure hunt," Box says. "That's what brought us here. Are we gonna have to put that on hold?"

Frise shakes her head. "Take whatever you want that isn't nailed to the floor. We'll be walking through town a lot, so you're welcome to whatever you see."

Zjetya smiles. "That's a relief."

>Flow

You and the knights hardly have a chance to catch your breath or talk when another dreadful pulse of malevolent energy comes from the covered wagon, beating and swirling in a steady, slowly-accelerating rhythem. Renee's eyes widen in fright, and she tosses a stream of water your way as the malignant energy grows more heavy.

>free heal from waters of life

 No.713552

>>713551
"Do all witches fight with parlor tricks?"
Pryce questions.
"I've never thought of fighting like that. This trip is looking to turn out better than I thought."
Pryce has a momentary pause as they mention the witches wouldn't hurt any single stallions, taken off guard by the odd comment.

 No.713553

>>713552
"Most of the time they will, and always if they get into a dispute with another witch," Xiasi explains. "When you've spent your whole life to pursuing magic power, all that stuff about fireballs and moonlit rituals and lightning bolts gets a little boring."

"Besides," Canaan adds, "It turns out a lot of monsters are resistant to getting fried or blown away or boiled. Why bother going to all the effort of figuring out what it's weak to when you could just shapeshift it into a shrew?"

 No.713554

>>713553
"And they're fully susceptible to that? I'm surprised that would get through when they're resistant most normal magics."
Pryce says in thought.
"None of their spells are permanent, are they?"

 No.713555

>>713554
Canaan rolls her eyes. "Not all of them, obviously. The perk of fighting as a coven is that you can have a lot of different magic types on hand if you don't have something to stop a certain monster."

"A lot of the weaker ones aren't, no. They can be made permanent with rituals, but that's a lot of extra trouble to go to," Frise says. "You have to get out the chalk, the candles, the incense, the blood and ink and so on and so forth. You can't just make a spell permanent on a whim. There has to be a certain… mood, or atmosphere to it."

 No.713556

>>713551
Flow catches the stream with a hoof.
“Thanks love. We avent’ the time for explaning lads, there’s a big bugger comin…”
He draws out his new katana set, with the longsword on his right, and shortsword on his left. He grits his teeth as he focuses on himself
>IDoS
[1d10]
Ü-Vice takes hold of Schlangenschwert, and focuses on Flow.
>IDoS
[1d10]

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

 No.713557

>>713555
"I can't imagine how much easier some of our fights could have gone if we had that type of magic. Coven or not, you witches sound quite skilled."

"Alright, so we won't need to worry about that at least. This magic has a lot of intricacies to it. My conjuration is simple that I just need to picture what I want, but it's sounding like that might not be enough here."

 No.713558

>>713556
As you attempt to empower yourself, the incredible pulsing coming from the covered wagon enlarges, sending out a shockwave that causes everyone in the vicinity to shake and stumble. Even the colossal knight must take a knee under its incredible weight, and you and Uber-Vice, caught off guard, are knocked to the ground (not helpless, just fluff).

The four knights groan and stumble about, shaking and spasming as the dark energy engulfs them. They lift into the air, their bodies twitching and turning in unnatural ways, as cracking and twisting sounds come from within their armor. The four knights turn and fling themselves at you, but the skull-helmed knight steps in the way to block the attacks.

[4d10+2] Knights' attacks (covered by protect, not counting the lull in combat to its turn count)
[1d10+2] Skull Knight attempts Inspire

Renee braces herself, and dives behind a tree to take refuge against the onslaught of dark magic.

Roll #1 4, 2, 3, 7 + 2 = 18 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10

 No.713559

>>713551
https://pastebin.com/p1dtY3qj
As Canaan confirms that Regina may have some refugees of her own, Flaming snorts, "Then we'll definitely be speaking with her before we go too! If there are any glassed victims from Vitral here, we have to at least make the offer to have them purified, or possibly reunited with other Mariposans in Fantasia.

As the witches consider the offer, Flaming nods her head. "Take all the time you need to think it over, but if we can get the refugees you're looking after someplace safe, I think you could do a lot of good in Fantasia. Has to be a better chance than here, right?"

>>713551
As the witches state that the ones they were fighting were more pulling pranks than trying to kill, Flaming turns her head, "But, that was a real gang war, wasn't it? Are you saying Regina and her witches wouldn't try to kill you?"

She looks towards the others, "Well, if the demons are a bigger threat, I'd say we could get a lot of favor with the witches if we took out a few of them first. Let's see if we can find the treasure we're looking for in the demons' territory."

 No.713560

>>713557
"Mudi did always say that the only reason that Wacachan didn't rule the world was there was so few of us," Xiasi says, but the mention of Mudi's name causes her to tense up and become visibly uncomfortable.

 No.713561

>>713559
>>713551
>"Plus if you have any single fellas with you, they wouldn't dream of hurting them."
Flaming turns her head. "Huh? Why's so special about 'single' boys?"

 No.713562

>>713558
Flow, rather than stay idle, quickly drops his longsword and draws out The End, aiming to hit the four bodies away from the knight.
>Cleave
>Critfail DC 1
[1d10+1]

Ü-Vice charges forwards, taking the Tsurugi out of Flow’s scabbard, and aims to slice open the wagon with it.
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10 / Roll #2 5 + 3 = 8

 No.713563

>>713559
"No, the gang war was for real," Frise says. "We witches just have a different way of fighting than trying to kill each other. For witches, physical death is just an inconvenience. Sure, we might've been trying to turn each other into newts and whatnot, but if a witch has you in her grasp and she's restricted your powers, you're as good as done."

>>713561
The three witches look deadpan at you. "At our old coven, only about 10 percent of the people there were guys. The rest was nothing but ladies. That's how it goes for witches. It's a good thing we live so long, otherwise we'd never live long enough to get dates."

 No.713564

>>713560
"Wacachan? What's that?"

 No.713565

>>713563
"Oooooh… huh… well, yeah, when you put it that way, being turned into a party streamer or something awful like that which a witch could do whichever she wanted with you? That does sound pretty bad. And, more reason to get the heck out of here."

>>713563
Flaming blushes as she suddenly gets the picture. "Ooooooooh…. oh.. Uh… well, thankfully, I don't think we have any single boys, with us…" Flaming states, trying not to look in Journey's direction as she says so but failing.

 No.713566

>>713564
"You haven't heard of it?" Frise asks with surprise.
"They're Accorsians, by their look and accent," Canaan says. "It's no surprise."

"It's the coven we're from," Frise explains. "A principality hidden within the Country of Red Thunder, up in the Ice-Breath Mountains. The coven would take in children who were born under the Mark of the Crone, an astrological sign that, supposedly, meant you were given a terrible fortune. The legends hold that children born while the Mark of the Crone was in the sky would be fated to walk the path of witches, no matter what the parents did to protect them. They said that those children were cursed: ravens would follow them and obey their commands, wells would turn to poison if they drew from them, trees would yield rotten fruit, and other children would even become sick and die without explanation if they played with the so-called 'witch children'… it doesn't help that, for one reason or another, a lot of those things did happen, and the children would often exhibit signs of innate magic prowess, even if they were earth ponies or goats or griffons."

"Villages would react with vitriol and fear against the child, chasing them out of town, forcing them to wear heavy charms that would ward off the forces of evil, or even making them do acts of penance all day to drive out the devils in their heart. Sometimes, children would even be abandoned in the wilderness.

"That's where Wacachan stepped in. They would take in these children and raise them in peace, away from the judging eyes of the villagers who scorned them, and taught them to control their magic power. It is our home… was, anyway."

>>713565
"We don't?" LJ asks, eyes widening with a faint glimmer of interest, directed your way.
Vortigern looks about at your group, tapping her chin, then points at Box.
Box is playing with a daffodil that grows between the street's cobblestones, and takes no notice.

>>713562
>Inspire succeeds, +1 this round

The skull knight holds firm under the onslaught, but eventually collapses under the weight of their assault, until you drive them off with a wide swing.

As Uber-Vice charges forth, he rips the caravan's cover open, and a shadow darts out just as the sword passes through the canvas. The shadow rises, and you see that it is a lich: a three-headed abomination, each head a mutated skull, sprouting antler-like horns. The skulls appear to be grinning, and are warped, resembling the heads of babies. A grotesque mosaic of bone hangs from beneath the skulls, partly shrouded by a flowing cloak on its back. The bones that make up its body appear to have been taken from multiple bodies, even from different species. Tremendous evil energy flows forth from an array of occultic inscriptions written into the bones with red ink, blasphemies against all that is good and right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBgfxpds8OU

"Took you long enough to find me!" the Lich taunts, as it produces a long gnarled staff from its cloak. His words are echoed through all the knights, creating a haunting choir of voices.

[2d10+2] Dark Knight (DK) 1 and 2 attack you
[2d10+2] DK 3 and 4 attack Uber Vice

The skull knight pauses to catch his breath after the assault.

Renee chants a spell, using Prayer for Deliverance on the skull knight.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 5, 8 + 2 = 15 / Roll #2 5, 6 + 2 = 13 / Roll #3 3 + 2 = 5

 No.713567

>>713566
As Frise explains the Mark of the Crone, and the horribly curse that follows children born under it that forces them into the life of witches, Flaming gives a very audible gulp in fear.

"N-no way… that sounds terrible. And you say most of these horrible things came TRUE? I can't imagine forcing your child away just because of an unlucky birth, much less with such a horrible fate following them.

>>713566
Flaming's hair stands up on end, her worst fear realized as Journey's attention is grabbed. "Uh… well, I don't know, JOURNEY, do we?!" Flaming says defensively, hoping Journey isn't going to force her to say something stupid right then and there. "I-I don't know any."

As Vortigern points at Box, Flaming nods, "Oooh…. accept for Box. But, I don't know if he's interested…"

 No.713568

>>713567
"At least in my case, they were," Xiasi says. "I can't speak for anyone else. The witches don't like to talk about where they came from. For most, they consider Wacachan the first, and only home they ever knew. Many tried to figure out why the Mark of the Crone caused those things to happen, but the Rapture has all but ensured that that astrological research is all but gone."

>>713567
"Box is one… I think," LJ says, darting around the issue.
Box walks back toward the group, having eaten the daffodil. "I'm always interested!" he says. You get the feeling he's oblivious.

 No.713569

>>713566
"That sounds horrible. Those poor children…"
Pryce says, looking grim at the tale they tell of their coven.
"I'm glad your coven was around to help care for them. But what do you mean by was? Did… others find out, or was it demons?"

 No.713570

>>713569
"Oh, the villages knew of the coven for a long while," Canaan says. "They all tried braving many sieges on its walls to drive us out, but you can't exactly storm a castle when you've been trapped in a bubble or shrunken down or turned into bats and frogs, can you? Eventually they got it through their heads that we weren't planning on coming out, and their ire was better left for the swamp-beasts and sky-plagues and all the other monsters that filled the countryside."

"In the end, it took the invasion of demonkind to finally break Wacachan. When the witches finally left their coven, the years of persecution and the horror faced by the children they took in made the witches hard-hearted. We didn't help a single soul on our way here," Frise adds, and she looks remorseful as she says it.

 No.713571

>>713568
"That's awful… I couldn't imagine that many horrible things happening to me so young. Do you… you know, do you still only draw poison from wells and pick rotten fruit or does it get better when you're around other witches?" She looks up at the sky, "Ooooh, good point… does that mean no one else may be born under the Mark of the CRone given… you know, the Crone is gone?"

>>713568
"RIGHT! Box is one, but, there aren't ANY others I don't think." She says, really hoping he isn't going to make her spell it out as her blush intensifies.

As Box shows up, showing interest, Flaming glares at him, "Uh… well, maybe you are and maybe you aren't. Did you hear anything about what we just said?"

 No.713572

>>713570
"I'm sorry you had to endure all of that. I don't understand why they would continue to attack your village when you kept to yourselves it sounds like."
As Frise looks at their travel with regret, Pryce smiles, trying to lift the mood.
"But you didn't leave Threecoin because you wanted to help those you took in. It doesn't matter what you did before, as long as you're trying to make right now."

 No.713574

>>713571
>does that mean no one else may be born under the Mark of the CRone given… you know, the Crone is gone?"
Omit this line, replace with
"Do you have any other ways of researching it?"

 No.713575

>>713566
>”Tch…this’ll be fun.”
Before he’s eliminated, Vice tries to give the lich two slashes with Schlangenschwert.
[1d10+4]
[1d10+4]

“Hmph…this should be easy.”
Flow uses The End to fire a spectral arrow at the lich as well. He also focuses on himself and his new knight ally.
>arrow
[1d10]
>VoG
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14 / Roll #2 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #3 2 = 2 / Roll #4 7 = 7

 No.713578

File: 1552532302820.jpg (1.08 MB, 1024x768, Threecoins Map.jpg)

>>713571
LJ clears his throat very loudly, and Volkama sets his hoof on him supportively. Vortigern silently laughs at the dilemma.

"I heard we're on a treasure hunt," Box says.
"There's apparently a particular treasure here that only you can get," Chorazin says.
"Well what're we standing around for? Let's get it!" Box says eagerly.

On that note, Xiasi reaches into her pack and pulls forth a map. "Here's the city's layout. The areas marked in orange are those still occupied by demons, and the green belongs to the witches across the river. The white's all that belongs to us."
"Not a whole lot by the look of it," Zjetya comments.
"It's really not," Canaan says. "We're vastly outnumbered by demons and witches alike."

>>713574
"We'll have to wait until the Mark appears in the sky again, but it won't for a while: It only appears at the end of the year, around the exact moment that one year ends and the new year begins."

>>713572
"We're cut from the same cloth as the Witches of Gehenna," Canaan says with a downtrodden expression. "And we've done far more than just turn a blind eye to the suffering while we escaped to Threecoins. It'll take more than a few good deeds now to atone for that."

>>713575
The skull knight gets up once more as you charge him with power of your own.

Uber-Vice carves into the Lich, but he's driven back by the four knights, and crushed into a puddle. You regain some of his energy, but as the knights pummel you, you're quickly knocked back, your form unstable.
>Flow 3/3

The Lich knocks away the arrow, charging a bolt of spectral energy.
[1d10+3] Energy Orb vs Flow, Renee

The skull knight stands up again, sharing power with you once more.
[1d10+2] Inspire
[2d10+2] DK 1 and 2 attack Flow
[2d10+2] DK 3 and 4 attack the skull knight

[1d10+2] Renee attacks DK 1

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #3 1, 3 + 2 = 6 / Roll #4 5, 3 + 2 = 10 / Roll #5 3 + 2 = 5

 No.713580

>>713578

"WHAT'S HAPPENING!?" Amy suddenly bursts out. "Oh man… did I blank out again?"

 No.713581


 No.713582

>>713580
"They were just giving us their introductions," Rus Tea says as she gestures to the witches. "And now we get to pick our route about the city. Have a preference?"

 No.713583

>>713578
"You're making a start, and that's the most important thing."
Pryce says in words of encouragement.
"That alone is putting you on a separate level from those others."

>>713578
Pryce looks over the map, noting the territories.
"It looks like heading towards to the Temple of Elkijoph would be our safest bet to avoid demons, but we might be walking right into a fortified area of the other witches. We could head to that northern-most bridge if we wanted to get to the library quickly without running into many witches, but we'd have to deal with a lot of demons."
He says in thought.
"I feel we should head to the temple."

 No.713585

>>713578
Flow takes hold of The End, and gives DK1 and 2 a swift cut with the ethereal blade.
[1d10+3]
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #2 6 + 3 = 9

 No.713586

>>713582

"Oh…" Amy says, staring at the map. "Let's go to that clock tower! That sounds fun!"

 No.713587

>>713583
The witches' distant expressions show they don't share your positive outlook.

>>713585
With a pair of mighty swings, you and Renee smash the first two knights away, launching them into the nearby rocks, where they lay limp. A moment later, however, the Lich blasts you both with the bolt, knocking you to the ground.
>Flow 0/2

Renee struggles to her hooves, though she's badly hurt by the bolt.

The remaining dark knights try to attack, but the skull knight gets in their way.
>Protect on Flow
[1d10+2] Inspire
[2d10+2] DK 3 and 4 attack skull knight

The Lich's hand extends toward Renee, and he chants a skin-crawling incantation in a gutteral tongue.

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 1, 5 + 2 = 8 / Roll #3 6 + 3 = 9

 No.713589

>>713586
"The clock tower? How are you sure that's fun?"
Pryce questions.

 No.713590

>>713578
Flaming looks at Journey nervously, curious what it is he's thinking right now, but tries to fight through the awkward tension in the air and focus on the task ahead of them. "Ri-right! What Box said! Come on everyone, we have a trasure to go find."

As Xiasi reaches into her pack and pulls out a map, Flaming looks over it, nodding as she looks over the various territories. "Woah, the demons sure do still own a lot… I guess we should start with the closest part…."

>>713586
As Amy suggests the clock tower, Flaming looks at the map one more time. "I was gonna say the Temple, but sure, the Clock Tower sounds like a good place to start! Let's get going!" She looks to the witches one more time, and bows her head. "You three stay safe out here, okay?"

 No.713591

>>713589

"Because! There's a bunch of moving gears and stuff, right?"

>>713590

"Yeah, I've had enough of temples. They're not fun anymore."

 No.713593

>>713591
"There are, yes."
Pryce answers, thinking about the internals of a clock tower.
"…I suppose that can be fun. Just be careful around the gears."

 No.713594

>>713587
“C’mon lass, get up!”
The goo forms himself back up.
>Escape Artist

 No.713595

>>713590
>>713583
>>713591
The three witches nod. "We're scheduled to patrol the area and make sure Regina's witches stay on their side of the river. By the way, don't bother trying to make deals or reason with any of the demons around here," Frise says. "The demons still left in the city, as far as we've been able to tell, are classified as 'feral' demons. They used to be wild animals and monsters until they were forcibly turned into demons with demon parasites. You'd need something that lets you speak with beasts in order to talk to them. Otherwise, talking won't do you any good."

>>713590
You spy Rus Tea and LJ sharing a quiet conversation, with occasional looks tossed your way. Vortigern raises a wing between you and them, giving them some privacy.

>When you're ready to go, specify your destination and roll perception. One person roll 1d6, and another person roll 1d2.

 No.713597

>>713593

"The danger is why it's fun!" Amy says with a happy bounce.

 No.713598

>>713594
Renee struggles to her hooves, but as she does so, the Lich's chanting reaches a crescendo, and all of his six eyes glow with power. Renee shrieks aloud, convulsing and spasming, and her body starts to boil. Vapor is drawn from her body, which makes its way into the Lich's hand, restoring some of the damage done to its bony body. With a smug cackle, the Lich drops Renee, or what's left of her, in a half-formed puddle on the ground.

The Lich then turns to its two remaining knights and beckons to them. The knights shuffle toward it like feral beasts called to their master, and they and the Lich retreat into the forest. The skull knight starts after them for a moment, but then turns to Renee, rushing toward the both of you protectively.

 No.713599

>>713583
>>713587
"I like dealing with demons" Shei says with a warm smile as he ganders the map.
>following Pryce to the temple

[1d6]
[1d2]

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

 No.713600

>>713595
"They're just wild animals or monsters? Well, that makes things a LITTLE easier for us… we've met a few friendly demons in our travels too, but we'll just try and focus on our own survival while we're out there. Just as you three should, we'll be back soon to make sure you guys haven't gotten turned into balloons while we're gone."

>>713595
She takes a look at Journey and Rus Tea, feeling awfully curious about what they could be talking about, but as Vortigern raises a wing between them, Flaming huffs, putting a hoof on her wing. "What? Am I not important enough to be on their conversation?"

>>713595
Flaming looks at the map, then aims her head north in the direction of the Clock Tower. "Alright, clan! Let's move out!"
>Perception roll [1d10]
>[1d6]

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

 No.713601

>>713597
"…Please be careful."

>>713595
"Feral demons? I didn't think they could do that to animals. Thank you for the warning, and stay safe out there yourselves. Try not to get outnumbered."
Pryce says in parting as the group all settles on heading towards the Clock Tower.

As they walk into demon territory, Pryce keeps his conjured spears at the ready overhead, with his twin chakram on his wings, ready to be thrown at a moments noticed. While he scans the environment, he also keeps an eye on Zjetya as well.
>Perception [1d10]
>[1d2]

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

 No.713603

>>713595
>>713599
REDO
[1d10] perception roll

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713604

>>713598
“Damnit, no!”
He too chases after them, but gives up when he remembers Renee. He summons his clones out to give a helping hoof.

He starts scooping what’s left of Renee inside of a waterskin.
“So we ‘ave a Lich problem…and the bastard took my bird.”
He turns towards the towering knight.
“I need your help.”

 No.713605

>>713595
"Happy trails." Shei waves back with Pryce to the witches. "And good luck with dispatching your witchery inclined rivals, I sincerely wish you will not have to leave home a second time."

 No.713607

>>713603
>>713601

"Shei! Pryce is being mean to me!" Amy whines like a child telling on a classmate.

 No.713608

>>713607
"H-How am I being mean?!"
Pryce exclaims, taken aback but Amy's whine.

 No.713609

>>713595

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713610

>>713607
>>713601
Shei is thrown for a loop, he turns head to Pryce "Pryce you're inhibiting Amy's whimsical spirit."

 No.713611

>>713605
The witches thank you for your well wishes and reciprocate them as you take your separate ways.

>>713600
Vortigern rolls her eyes, then looks back at the two of them as they share their secret conversation. She cracks a grin like a child who's about to share a secret they've been told to keep, then brings her wings together. With the tips of her wings she makes the shape of a heart, then gestures to your chest, and then to LJ's.

>>713601
You note that Zjetya has a bit of a spring in her step as she walks alongside you. Her expression is severe as she keeps an eye on her surroundings, but her demeanor is one of fun.

>>713600
>>713601
>>713603
Together you head north through the city streets, resolving to visit the clock tower as your first destination. Despite the city's well-kept architecture, a good many other buildings have been shattered, filling the narrow streets with rubble and forcing you to take side routes to get around them. Plenty of the buildings have been picked clean, but along the way you find wayward bits of money here and there, as well as bits of jewels and gemstones that look like they could sell for a good profit.

>Pryce, Shei and Flaming each obtain 100 Bits.


Eventually, you reach a small plaza, one with three major roads branching off from it, one due north, and the other two lead to the northwest and northeast. There don't seem to be any demons about, but you hear the sounds of monsters prowling about to the north.

The rest of your party stop and inspect the area, as there are a good amount of shops around that appear to have been abandoned.
>>713604
"Ah! No! Excuse me! Still here!" Renee says from within the waterskin. She pokes her head out of the nozzle before you can put the cap back on. "He didn't kill me, but he did steal a good portion of my vitality. Would you mind pouring me out?"

The skull-helmed knight slowly nods, but gestures to your body, and to its many injuries. Your form is unstable and aqueous, and you are in bad need of water.

 No.713612

>>713610
>>713608
>>713607
Flaming turns and, with a snicker on her face as though she is just doing it for fun, also turns on Pryce. "Yeah, Pryce, why aren't you being any fun? The little you wasn't mean to Amy when we adventured with him."

 No.713616

>>713612
>>713608
"It's because she's a dog isn't it." Shei says plain faced

 No.713617

>>713610
>>713612
>>713608

Amy smiles proudly.

"Yeah! You gotta be more whimsical, Pryce!"

 No.713618

>>713611
Shei plucks another coin from the ground "Amazing how much loose change can litter a deserted metropolitan. Do witches not have any need for the same currencies?"

>>713611
>>713612
>>713617
>>713608
When preesnted with the triple fork of the roads Shei listens for the howls of demons coming north. "Let's go north."
The goat suggests with fascination resonating from him.

 No.713619

>>713611
Flaming looks at Vortigern as she forms her wings into the shape of a heart, tilting her head as she looks at it. "Um… what's that supposed to-"
As it's pointed to her chest, and then to LJ's, Flaming's face re-ignites red, and she quickly pulls Vortigern aside, grabbing her wing by a hoof as she asks in a panicked tone, "S-stop that! Someone's going to see you doing that! I don't want to mess anything up, okay?"

>>713616
>>713617
Flaming gasps, "Oh no, it absolutely is because she's a dog, isn't it? PRyce how could you?"

>>713611
Flaming looks over every nook and cranny she can force her muzzle into over the trek from the shipyard to the clock-tower, feeling melancholy about taking some of the city's lost possessions for her own but, as she looks down and admires her new, bright, shiny red tunic, can't help but be wrapped up in the spirit of a treasure hunt as she gleefully shouts out to the others with every bit and jewel she can find.

As they reach the plaza, Flaming's ears perk up, hearing the sounds of monsters to the north. "That's the direction of the Clock Tower, and I hear a lot of noise coming from there…. let's look around the shops here first, just to be sure we didn't miss anything, then we'll head that way."
[1d10] Checking the shops

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.713620

>>713611
Pryce smiles as he sees Zjetya looking far happier than this morning, and the fun demeanor lightens up his own mood as well.

Pryce walks carefully as they navigate the side roads and rubble. When they spot the collection of gems and jewels, Pryce looks over his, then to Rus.
"How much would you say I owe you?"


When they stop in the plaza, Pryce readies his weapons as they hear monsters about to the north.
"It looks like our path is obvious. What does everypony else think?"
While they stop to rest, Pryce looks about the shops. They are here for Box, so Pryce decides to opt to chec kthe stores for anything nice for him.
>Search [1d10]

>>713610
"I'm not inhibiting anything. I just don't want her to get stuck in a gear because she thinks its 'fun'."
Pryce defends.

>>713612
"The child me doesn't have the same precautions I do. I don't know everything that you faced in that temple, but you don't actively go out for trouble!"

>>713617
"I'm plenty whimsical!"

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.713622

>>713611
“Aye love, but judging by how them knights an’ that other bloke were controlled…I expect he’ll do the same to you.”
He looks down at himself and sighs before taking a swig from one of his other waterskins.

 No.713623

>>713620
"Say the last time you acted whimsical. Stage shows do not count."

 No.713624

>>713611
>>713612
>>713616
>>713620

"Shoplifting?" Amy suggests as she looks around at all the abandoned shops.

Amy starts sniffing around the shops. [1d10]

>>713620
>>713619
>>713618

Amy gasps in horror as if she's just realized some terrible truth.

"That's it! Pryce must be a cat person! It all makes sense now!"

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713625

>>713616
"It is not because of that at all! Why would that even matter?"
Pryce says, appalled at the accusation.

 No.713627

>>713625

"Yeah, Pryce! What DOES it matter to you!" Amy says, getting her face closer to Pryce's as she looks at him accusingly. She harkens back to their previous conversation.

 No.713628

>>713624
Flaming winces, "I-it's not shoplifting! Rus Tea explained it to me earlier, what we're doing isn't stealing, it's TREASURE HUNTING. It's not taboo to take these."

>>713624
>>713620
Flaming snickers as Amy accuses Pryce of being a cat person. "At last, everything's coming together. What did dogs ever do to you, Pryce?"

>>713620
She laughs, "We aren't! Trouble just sort of finds us instead, is all."

 No.713629

>>713627

*WHY does it matter to you?

 No.713630

>>713628

"Stealing is taboo?" Amy asks genuinely.

 No.713631

>>713625
>>713627
Shei looks at them go at it, lips pinched trying not to let out a giggle.

 No.713632

>>713623
"Stage shows absolutely count. They're the lifeblood of joy!"
Pryce says, thinking back to other times he could say to play around Shei's simple mindgame, but decides not to say those times.

>>713624
"Pet preference has nothing to do with any of this."
Pryce states seriously.
"Besides, if anything I prefer reptiles," He says, gesturing to Lockjaw as he lets his little pet wander the square freely, "So that wouldn't have any affect on this either."

>>713628
"Dogs didn't do anything to me, I don't hate dogs!"

"That much is true, but because it always finds us doesn't mean we need to seek it out either."

>>713627
>>713629
Pryce takes a step back as Amy gets up in his face. As she tries to tie it back to their previous conversatio, he starts to feel more uncomfortable at this space invasion.
"It doesn't matter! And you don't need to bring that up either!"
He says,

 No.713636

>>713630
Flaming looks at Amy, "Yeah, of course it is. You wouldn't want me to just walk up and take something of yours, would you?"

>>713632
Flaming chuckles, "Pryce, you know we're just teasing, right?"

"Of course we'll be careful. But don't worry, we know how to stay out of TOO much trouble."

 No.713637

>>713618
"This city is vast, and the witches are few in number," Chorazin says. "They've probably looted all they might need from the little area they occupy."

>>713619
Vortigern pulls her wing from your grasp, but then sets it on your back in a calming embrace. She pantomimes the act of taking calm breaths, then gestures to LJ. She mouths a single sentence: Talk to him.

>>713619
As you poke about in one of the shops, you find a set of three potions in tall, narrow flasks. There's a blue one, a red one and a green one, each full of a thick, gelatinous substance.
>Slime Jars (3):
>When activated, summon a minion in the image of another character, whom you can see and know the name of. The slime minion has the standard 5/5 Hits, the Escape Artist Skill, and one skill that belongs to the character it's based on, chosen at the time of summoning. Some skills may not be obtainable based on DM discrestion.

>>713620
Rus looks over the coins, takes fifteen, and leaves you the rest. "I'd charge you more, but that was a fun night, whatever else happened. Consider that as part of your payment."

Inside an abandoned plant shop, you find a flower pot, one of the few that isn't broken. The pot is intricately decorated with a mosaic of paint, depicting mythological plants.
>Miracle Grow Pot: Allows the use of the Miracle Grow skill, but only within this pot.

>>713624
"Shoplifting is distantly related to treasure hunting!" Tantra says in agreement with Flaming. "They're like second cousins, once removed."

You peek about in a small magic item bazaar, which has mostly been annihilated and looted, but you come across a small box. Inside are a set of coins, each with clear, polished centers.
>Divination Coins: Activate by exchanging a coin with someone else. When you look at the coin in your possession, you will see things that are happening around the other coin depending on the side you look through.
>Heads: You see everything through the other coin's Heads size, as if you were looking through a spyglass.
>Tails: You see everything in a bird's eye view around the person holding that coin, in a radius of ten meters around them.

>>713622
You restore some of your injuries by drinking from the waterskin, but you're a bit low on water now between that and that which Renee drank from beng poured into the first one.

>Flow at full H/W once more


The skull knight watches you drink and heal yourself, and you feel like you catch a bit of an amused snort from behind the helmet. The knight looks toward the forest, scanning the area for the Lich's trail.
Renee nods. "He must not have been able to use that spell on me, otherwise I bet he would have."

She looks at the two knights who have been left behind as they lay unconscious nearby. "Should we help them?"

 No.713638

>>713636

Amy blinks.

"What does… 'taboo' mean?"

>>713632
>>713631

Amy smiles fiendishly. "Afraid to have your personal space stolen by a dog?" she asks impishly as she gives Pryce a sideways hug with her cheek against his cheek.

 No.713640

>>713637
>>713631

"I don't really know what shoplifting is now that I think about it," Amy says, putting her hoof to her lips in thought. "It's just something ponies shouted at me a lot when I took things from their stores. I don't get it! I saw all sorts of ponies take things out of their stores! But, when I do it, they yell and throw things at me!"

Amy looks at the coins and gives one to Shei. "For you," Amy says with a smile and a tail wag.

 No.713641

>>713632
>>713638
Zjetya clears her throat loudly as this happens and tugs Pryce just an inch away from Amy with her tail.

 No.713644

>>713637
[excuse me for a moment, I gotta take care of something. Count this as my response for the turn.]

 No.713646

>>713637
"If you insist."
Pryce says as Rus takes only fifteen.
"Part of?"
He questions after.

Looking through the shop and finding the well decorated pot, Pryce picks it up. A very nice decoration, looking also too good to take. Stepping out of the flower store, Pryce calls over to Box.
"So what kind of treasure do you like Box?"


>>713636
>>713638
>>713641
"It's hard to tell with her at times. But it's good to hear at least."
Pryce comments to Flaming, pointing at Amy.

But as Amy goes and hugs Pryce and brushes against his cheek, he quickly gives Amy a push back and steps away himself, visibly flustered.
"THAT is not teasing!"
He accuses.

He looks back at Zjetya as she tugs him back as well.
"I didn't want that to happen, to be clear."
Pryce says in advance, not wanting to upset her again before looking back towards Amy.
"Amy, I know you like hugs but please respect some ponies boundaries."
He says sternly.

 No.713649

>>713637
The buffalo starts hyperventilating, not sure how to handle the emotions going through her right now, before she feels Vortigern's comforting wing on her back, causing her to take pause and look at the pony. She follows her advice, taking deep calming breaths to get back to normal, before she looks up at her with diluted eyes, "I… I can't. It's… I don't know what to say if I tried."

>>713637
Flaming looks at the various slime jars she pulls from the crumbling ruins of the shops, inspecting them as she guages the contents. "Instant allies…? That should be pretty useful! Hopefully I can wait to use them in Tartarus, but you never know here."

>>713638
"Oh, you don't know that word? Taboo is just a word to mean 'something you shouldn't do', but shorter."

>>713646
Flaming laughs out loud as Pryce is hugged by Amy invading his personal space, the little buffalo chuckling up a storm. "It looks like teasing from here! Maybe if you rub her belly she'll let you go?"

 No.713650

>>713638
>>713646
Shei pulls Amy off Pryce by the collar "Come now Amy, I believe you've had a little too much personal space for one day." emitting some jealousy.

 No.713651

>>713649
"Don't joke about that kind of stuff!"
Pryce stammers defensively.
"She's with Shei and I'm with somepony myself! That's not the kind of stuff that should be done especially now!"

 No.713652

>>713640
Shei smiles in response, the gesture alone is very cute. But he can see these coins are meant for divination. Shei pats Amy on the head "Good dog."

 No.713654

>>713646

Amy pouts. "That just makes me want more hugs…" she says sadly.

>>713650

"That's better," Amy says as she elects to hug Shei instead with a contented smile on her face. She affectionately rubs her face against Shei's.

>>713652

Amy wags her tail more.

>>713649

"Oh… that makes more sense now…"

 No.713655

>>713646
"Yes, you paid me in a good evening of camraderie and drinking," Rus says. "My heart has been in turmoil these past few days, and a night like that, brief as it was, was enough to put me at brief ease, for which I thank you."

>>713646
"I let you guys store anything you come across in me, but it's every mimic's dream to be filled with gold, jewels, gems, and the corpses of greedy adventurers, just like our ancestors did in the good old days, during the Dungeon Era."

Zjetya turns away. "Just don't let River see what's going on here," she remarks.
Wireframe winces, sensing the obvious tension.

>>713649
Vortigern's expression is one of steady compassion as she watches your inner turmoil. She holds you tight in a brief hug. Practice on me? she mouths, wiggling her ears in an indication of her willingness to help.

>>713649
Judging by the instructions on the jar, it looks like you can use them multiple times, as long as you call the minion back into the jar before it's killed.

Lockjaw, Pryce's pet deviljho, comes your way, sniffing at the jar and the apothecary's shop you found it in as he looks about for food.

>When ready to move on, same routine as last round: Do individual perception rolls, then someone roll 1d5 and another person roll 1d2.

 No.713656

>>713637
Flow sighs.
“I suppose so…”
He lets Renee go from the waterskin, and collects his weapons from the area.
Vice rubs his chin.
>”We should be able to deal with any ramifications that may occur.”
>>”Ne’er mind that, we need to find this bastard and kick his arse!”

The three goos go up to the two knights.
“Oi, what’re your names?”

 No.713659

>>713656
Unfortunately, it looks like the knights are unconscious. Renee removes sections of their armor to treat their injuries, and they appear to be badly injured, both from your own attacks, and from various magical burn marks along their bodies. They're both rather thin, and it's clear the Lich hasn't been taking care of them in the slightest. Renee snarls and quickly applies salves, poultices and bandages to their injuries. "A right rotten basatrd, that Lich. I shudder to think what the other two will look like when we've gotten there."

After about ten minutes of treating them, Renee steps back, shaking herself out. "That's the best I can do for them. Now let's find that coward Lich and drag him out into the light."

 No.713660

>>713655
"I am certain we will find many corpses, for you to fill until your heart's content." Shei says as he bends his knees down to put a hoof on box's back.

>>713654
"This is.. sort of nice" Shei enjoys what every it is Amy is down "But also a twinge embarassing." and then pries her off him

 No.713661

>>713655
Pryce has a momentary frown at hearing what Rus has felt, but smiles as he helped her put those aside for a time.
"Let us hope we can make these next couple of days the same as that night."
He says earnestly.

>>713655
"Maybe we can skip on the corpses today." Pryce responds with a wince at the mental image, "But let me get you a little closer to that dream."
Pryce says, taking the remaining 85 bits in gems he found so far, tossing them into Box.
"Those you can keep."

>>713655
"That's not what I meant…"
Pryce starts, but relents in a sigh, being at a loss for words how to fix this.


>>713655
Once everypony is rested and readied, Pryce moves on with the group, letting them pick the path they choose.
>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713662

>>713651
>>713654
Flaming chuckles, "I don't know, I don't think a belly rub is something River would mind you giving Amy, is it?"

>>713655
The young buffalo looks up towards Vortigern as she envelops her in a hug, Flaming shivering as she does so, before returning the embrace, nuzzling into Vortigern's chest. As she makes the offer, Flaming looks up, still seeming confused. "I… I would but, I really don't know WHAT to say. The last time I 'tried' I wound up just head-butting him because it's all I KNOW. I've never… felt like this before. I'm…" she pauses, unable to admit a feeling of fear.

>>713655
Flaming pockets the slime-bottles away in her sack, taking notice of Spark inside as he dozes upon her possessions. "Hey Spark, keep these safe for me alright? I might need them later."

She turns her attention towards Lockjaw as he comes into the shop, Flaming approaching the little lizard. "Hey little guy, what are you looking for? If you're hungry I can't say I found much to eat around here. Least, nothing that would still be good. Don't go too far, we don't want you getting lost all by yourself."

>Ready to head north towards the Clock Tower, rolls in perperation

[1d10] Perception
[1d2]

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

 No.713664

>>713659
Flow’s eyes narrow.
“Aye lass, this lad is dead meat…”

The two clones scout out the area for a trace of where the lich went.
>lookin
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713665

>>713662
>>713661
>>713660

Upon the mention of belly rubs, Amy's tail starts wagging. She looks from Pryce to Shei expectantly.

>>713655

perception 1d10

also 1d5

 No.713668

>>713665

I can type!

[1d10]

[1d5]

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

 No.713670

>>713655
oof forgot this
[1d10] perception roll

>>713665
"Stop, stop that right now." Shei points. There will be no belly rubs today.

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713671

>>713662
("She would mind!")
Pryce whispers to Flaming, not wanting to mention River with Zjetya around.
("And somepony else is going tomind too!")

>>713665
When Amy looks at Pryce, Pryce takes a good number of steps away to distance that thought in every way.

 No.713675

>>713665
>>713671
Flaming blinks as he brings up Zjetya, and having just remembered her prior conversation with Tantra and Journey, her eyes shrink.
"Oooooooooh… uh, SHEI then! Shei should be the one to give Amy a belly-rub. And if he won't, I will."

 No.713676

>>713660
>>713661
"Thank you for your patronage!" Box says, eagerly taking the Bits.

Rus smiles at this, and you feel her visibly relax. She puts an arm around you both, patting you on the shoulders with her muscular arms.

>>713662
Vortigern doesn't let go, but allows you enough space to catch your breath. She takes a small locket out of a secure pocket in the tunic beneath her armor, and opens it up for you. Inside is a portrait of a much younger vortigern, from when she was a young mare. The young Vortigern sits beside a unicorn stallion, adorned in tribal war paint, and the two look overjoyed to be beside one another.

Vortigern points to her temple. I can help, she mouths, but looks like she's asking you if you want said help.

>>713662
Spark snorts out a little fire, while Lockjaw looks up at him the way that one dog looks at another dog across the street: Interest and a bit of suspicion. Spark growls and retreats inside your fuzzy hair for safekeeping.

>>713668
>>713670
>>713665
>>713662
>>713661
You proceed onward, heading down the northern road. There isn't much in terms of pickings this way, but inside of a smashed delivery cart along the wayside, Amy and Shei both find some shredded money bags, likely a delivery to a bank that never made it.
>Amy and Shei both find 100 Bits each

The road becomes steep, heading upward, and you see the clock tower in the distance, looming over the city with an ancient majesty, in spite of a great amount of damage it has sustained, which exposes much of its interior workings to the open air.

https://youtu.be/5eJbE0hFmQo

As you come to the end of the road, the tranquil nature of your journey comes to a shuddering halt with the sounds of terrible violence. The road ends in an open circular plaza surrounding the base of the clock tower, and a big swarm of demons – brown hybrids of lobsters and mosquitoes, each about three feet long – surrounds a smaller pair of demons standing at the base of the clock tower. The two demons standing at the clock tower are a pair of dark-skinned tigers, with quills like those of a nail beast instead of fur. One of them is badly injured, and is surrounded by the corpses of some of the mosquito demons. The other tiger demon stands in front of the injured tiger demon protectively, roaring at the swarm of bugs.

 No.713678

>>713664
Through a break in the woods, you pick up on a faint trail of magic energy, your senses made sharp and bestial by the high presence of magatsuhi you've been exposed to recently. It leads further into the woods, and you've got a good grip on it. The only issue now, however, is getting the drop on the guy.

>If you want to pursue the trail, you may do so. If you want to try to sneak, make an additional roll.


The skull knight creeps into the woods, barely making a sound in spite of his size as he softly walks, in spite of his great size.

 No.713679

>>713670
>>713671

Amy's ears go back and her eyes begin to water up. "W-what?" she stammers in complete horror.

>>713675

Then Amy immediately perks up and bounds over to Flaming and flops on her back, ready for belly rubs!

>>713676

Amy stares at the upside-down display while on her back with idle curiosity.

 No.713680

>>713678
Vice furrows his brow, the new senses disturbing him somewhat. He shakes it off his mind, and goes back to following the others.

The three goos both glance at the skull knight’s quiet movements, and focus on concealing themselves in the shrubbery.
>”So, shall we try and ambush this guy outright?”
“First we have to find him. We have no idea if he has a campsite or some sort of resting place…we’ll have to find and track him.”
>hiding
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.713682

>>713676
"Enjoy those, there'll be more to come."
Pryce says to Box as he takes the bits.

Pryce smiles as Rus relaxes an gives him a joyful pat on the back, making a note to hold onto some money from this is they do try to keep merriment up again.


Again Pryce stays on guard as they move, keeping his eye on any alleys or opening buildings them pass, and on Zjetya again.
When they come to the large gathering of demons before the clock tower, Pryce readies his chakram, the weapons glowing brightly and prepared to be thrown at a moment's notice. He calls Lockjaw in close to him to not let his deviljho run off in the hunt for meat from these animals, and stands close to Zjetya protectively.
"We have a crowd to get through. Looks like they're occupied with themselves, if we sneak around we might be able to avoid them entirely."

 No.713684

>>713680
Like the skull knight, you creep along silently through the undergrowth, and Renee follows after you, evaporating herself into a low mist to dampen the noise she makes. As you follow the trail, you are led upward through a rocky path in the hills, until you reach the mouth of a cave. The knight remains in the treeline, scanning the area for tracks.

 No.713685

>>713676
Flaming takes another deep breath as she's held by Vortigern, but a small sniffle escapes her, the young calf struggling with these emotions. "Stupid Journey… why's he have to make things complicated?"
As she pulls out the locket and looks at it, Flaming lets out a sigh of admiration, "Is… that you and your mate? You both look really happy…"

She looks up to Vortigern one more time as she mouths she can help, and Flaming closes her eyes, only able to silently nod her head 'yes' in affirmation that she would like some help, afraid saying anything else may cost more of her pride.

>>713676
As Spark shoots out fire, Flaming looks down in surprise as he spots Lockjaw from across the way. "Uh oh…." she says, knowing full well the look of a creature who is defending its territory. As the dragon recedes into her hair for safety, Flaming chuckles, looking up at the ferocious spark and the curious Lockjaw. "Hey now, we're all friends here. Spark, I promise I won't let Lockjaw anywhere near your bag, so try and get along with him, okay?" She pauses, "I wonder if I brought some jerky with me, they'd both calm down…"

>>713679
>>713671
>>713670
As Shei tries and declare there will be no belly rubs today, Flaming laughs, "You cannot stop the belly rub, Shei, you can only embrace it!" She shouts as she leans down, and starts rubbing Amy's belly intensively

>>713676
Flaming keeps searching very intensively on the way north to the Clock Tower, but is disappointed with her lack of new treasures found along the way. As it comes into view, Flaming doubles her pace, eagerly looking forward to exploring the old antique building.

Flaming looks on in shock at the massive crowd of demons that greets them upon their arrival though, with the buffalo unsure of how to move through such a massive gathering. She takes a look at the tiger-demons up ahead, noting how one of them is badly injured as they try and fight off the mosquito-like ones.
"It looks like a bunch of them are fighting each other. Maybe we can use that to our advantage to clear the whole swarm out at once."

 No.713689

>>713679
"Practice a little more restraint Amy. A lady can't be asking for belly rubs in broad daylight. It is not done."

>>713682
"I am surprised you can say such a thing, being a cat person. I for one have lived my life by the side of cat birds and simply cannot stand by."

>>713676
Shei-Sher steps forward and from his palms sends out hot winds that cover three of the mosquitos is vampiric foilage.
>Phantasmagoria of Conquest: 3 times per Combat; Automatic; Sacrifice X hits to deal 4X damage and inflict a status condition on up to 3 targets.
[4X2h]

>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3; Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.

[1d10] stealing an action from one of the mosquitos

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713691

>>713685
>Tikkun Olam
>Effect: Passive: Allows one to speak with plants, rocks, animals, and all manner of people and demons, regardless of language barrier. Provides +1 to negotiation rolls and a single re-roll for a failed negotiation roll, the higher result of which is always taken.

 No.713692

>>713689
"I'm not a cat person."
Pryce says shortly.

 No.713694

>>713685
Vortigern smiles, and passes you a handkerchief for your sniffles. She squeezes you once more and puts her head on top of yours in comfort, then lets you go.

>>713682
>>713685
>>713689
>>713679
Lockjaw sticks close to Pryce for safety, intimidated by the size of the demons involved. As you discuss what to do, Shei takes the first strike, casting a spell against the mosquito demons. As he does, Flaming hears a stream of curses and vitriol from the mosquito demons, able to understand their voices due to the brooch, Tikkun Olam, she wears. These beasts are full of hatred and viciousness, beings of sheer malice and greed, and they express that in no uncertain terms that only she can hear.
"BASTARD! SCUM! ROTTEN LITTLE WRETCH! SHITSTAIN! KILL! KILL!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5jHVehUi6A

The swarm of mosquitos turns to attack the party, and you see that there is enough for a small legion!

Mosquito Demons 1-5 attack Flaming, Amy, Pryce, Shei
[1d10+2] Flaming
[1d10+2] Amy
[1d10+2] Pryce
[1d10+2] Shei
[1d10+2] Shei

With no time to get a word in, the rest of your allies form up around you, forming a protective permiter so that you can't be flanked or surrounded.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #3 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #5 4 + 2 = 6

 No.713695

>>713685
retroactively, Shei simply observes the degeneracy, wise enough to realize it can't be stopped.

 No.713697

>H/W: 10/6

>>713694
As Shei attacks the demons, Pryce's horn glows in defense as they start to rush towards the party. He stands in front of Lockjaw and Zjetya to keep a barrier between them and the demons.
He looks to the mosquito charging directly for himself, throwing his twin Chakrams at the bug to swat it down early.
>Dual Wield [Flare, Ranged] [1d10+1] [1d10+1]

After tossing his weapons, he quickly sings a verse of the song he purchases from Camelzotz, shielding himself from the bug so he can stand against the swarm.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Self] [1d10]

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

 No.713698

>H/W =8/5

>>713694
Shei sends another wind of hot seeds to burrow into mosquitos #4 #5 and #6
>Phantasmagoria of Conquest: 3 times per Combat; Automatic; Sacrifice X hits to deal 4X damage and inflict a status condition on up to 3 targets.
[4x1H] elevating to 2DC

Shei-Sher spreads his wings and with a heavy thrust sends himself into aerial position on the field, spending an instant action.

He then dives downward, the hammer of his staff held high and slams Mosquito#4 into the pavement.
>(RACIAL)Highlander: passive; You naturally adapted to the conditions of mountainous areas. Cold damage is reduced by 1 (minimum of 1 damage). Rolls affected by Goatcraft are automatically successful in mountainous terrain. Your attacks made from high ground receive a +1 bonus.
>(RACIAL)Griffon Flight: Griffons can fly, and have a +1 bonus to divebomb attacks from high altitude. This is about as taxing as running at full speed.
[1d10+2] Splat

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.713699

>>713694
Flaming is too prideful for a few moments to take the handkerchief, but before long takes it readily, blowing into it to clear her of her sniffles and tears. She nods as Vortigern squeezes her one more time, and whispers ("Thank you.")

>>713694
Flaming's ears perk up as she hears the voices of the mosquitoes shouting angrily, with nothing but hate and vitriol emanating from their very being. Not yet realizing that her brooch has activated, Flaming growls,
"Well, they definitely don't have a big vocab going for them, do they?! If you bunch don't have anything nice to say, you should just SHUT UP!" Flaming shouts, angrily leaping at the nearest one to deliver a punishing headbutt

>Oorzof's Circlet of Routing (Relic)

>>Effect: Activating Wild Hunt no longer gives a free Automatic action, but instead knocks back all nearby enemies and applies a debuff of -1 to all their rolls for 5 turns (or until debuff is broken). The debuff does not stack and wears off if this relic is removed.
[1d10+3] Attacking the mosquito attacking Flaming first, hopefully taking it down to blast the rest of them away using her circlet

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10

 No.713700

>>713699
*attacking with All or Nothing btw

 No.713704

>>713694

Upon everyone being attacked, Amy immediately springs into action, growling. She stands defensively in front of Shei.

>Pragma on Shei


>Mystic Animal Totem


Amy howls, opening a portal to summon a Nail Beast.

>Animal Mastery [1d10+4]


She then barks at all the bugs, blasting them with holy fire.

>Wrath [1d10+4]


Roll #1 9 + 4 = 13 / Roll #2 5 + 4 = 9

 No.713707


 No.713708

>>713697
You cut down one of the Mosquito Demons, but another quickly takes its place, grabbing you by an arm with a long pincher and thrashing you about against the street's cobblestones until you're dazed and shaken.

>Pryce 0/5


>>713698
At the last moment, the Mosquito Demons get out of the way, and you hit the cobblestones at an awkward angle, sending pain ripping up all through your body. They swarm about you, biting and pinching you with their claws, drawing a good deal of blood as they do.

>Shei 0/4


>>713699
"Who are you talking to?" Rus Tea asks as she punts away one of the Mosquito Demons. You headbutt the one trying to take a piece out of you, but it takes a good chunk of skin out of you as it does, ripping up your flesh and tearing away chunks of your fur too.

>Flaming 0/6


>>713704
>>713699
>>713698
>>713697
Amy is beset by one of the demons, but she shoves it away quickly before it can d omuch damage.

>Amy

Amy's fire blast annihilates the current swarm of mosquito demons, but several more arise to take their place, tirelessly treading over the burnt corpses as if they were nothing but cobblestones, all the while streaming venemous words and a nasty green ichor from their probosci.

>Nail Beast summoned


Mosquito Demons 6-10 arrive, ready to pick up the fight once more.
[1d10+2] Flaming
[1d10+2] Flaming
[1d10+2] Pryce
[1d10+2] Shei
[1d10+2] Shei

Volkama casts a protective spell around Flaming. [1d10+4] Bubble

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #3 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #4 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #5 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #6 2 + 4 = 6

 No.713710

>>713708
Pryce grunts as he's thrashed against the cobblestone, clutching his foreleg where he was grabbed. With the world spinning around him, he tries to find the solid ground below his hooves to lift himself back to standing.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713712

>>713708
A sharp "Drkk!" Is heard as Shei crashes into the pavement, alhough his forehead pounds with pain he takes the moment to contemplate practicing flying more.

Get up from helpless
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713713

>>713712
redid H/W

 No.713715

[1d10] Huge

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713718

>>713708

With worry on her doggy face, Amy quickly pops a potion in Shei's mouth.

>[1d10+3] Natural Remedy


She then barks at the new swarm of mosquitos.

>[1d10+4] Wrath


"Go help Shortyhorns," Amy commands the Nail Beast quickly. It follows directions.

>helping Flaming up [1d10]


Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #2 6 + 4 = 10 / Roll #3 1 = 1

 No.713721

>>713708
Flaming looks back towards Rus Tea as she slams her head down into the nearest mosquito, breaking it apart, "What do you mean 'who am I talking to'? To the demons of course, they're all screaming at the top of their lungs!"

As her head splits open one on contact, she lets out a cry of pain as her flesh is simultaneously torn by their opponents, growling as she tries to roll away from a few others who come racing at her to pick off more skin. "No you don't!"
[1d10] Getting up

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713725

>>713710
You manage to get back up, but are beset by a myriad of pinching, vicious mosquito demons that make the most horrendous, vicious skittering noises. They manage to take some bites out of you before Zjetya and Wireframe knock them away, freeing you once more.

>Pryce 7/5


>>713718
>>713712
The mosquito demons draw a dreadful amount of blood as they rip and tear at Shei's skin, trying to pull him apart in a horrid display, but Amy is able to heal him, bringing him back up.

>Shei 8/4


>>713721
>>713718
As Flaming tries to get up, one of the mosquito demons knocks the nail beast into her, filling her side with spines.
>Flaming 6/6

Once she's up though, Volkama's barrier surrounds her, insulating her with a protective layer of magic.
"They are?" Rus Tea asks, breaking another mosquito demon over her knee. She holds it up to her ear to listen, then tosses it aside with a shrug. "Not this one."
You hear the dying mosquito demon call Rus a horrific racial epithet that cannot be repeated here.

>>713718
>>713710
>>713712
>>713715
As Amy annihilates this next wave of mosquito demons, it's made apparent even to bestial, unthinking demons like them that this isn't a winning strategy. They part, and a group of four larger bug demons, these ones appearing to be a grotesque chimera of beetles, worms and centipedes, step forward. Each of these larger demons has a hulking carapace, and in the gaps between their chitinous armor plates, bits of bugs and nasty creepy-crawlies poke forth. The beasts' mandles split open, dripping acidig goop that melts the ground beneath them where it falls.

>rolls to come next week

>Paused

 No.713726

>>713684
“Hmph…a cave, eh? Never liked caves…”
Flow rubs his chin in thought, while Vice and Trapper peer into the cave.
“You two wanna go in first? Perhaps we can lure the bloke out here, n get the drop on ‘im.”
>>Aye, but ‘owre we gonna make it convincin enough?”
Flow takes off his raincoat and drapes it over Vice.
“Get in there and get that bastard out here. An’ please, don’t lose the coat.”

The two clones arm themselves with one piece of the katana set, and venture into the cave, making sure that they remain unseen and unheard.
>navigating the cave
[1d10]

Meanwhile, Flow turns to Renee.
“So, anything you’re feeling right now?”

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.714274

>Pryce 7/5
>Shei 8/4
>Flaming 6/6, protected by Bubble, 5 Hits
>All else at full

Last time on HolyQuest…

Setting off from the shipyard, the party began their exploration of Threecoins. Rather than head east along the known safe route, the party opted to head north, entering demon-held territory that the western witches didn't have the power to take back. They found a good bit of "treasure," in the form of appropriated wares taken from the destroyed and burnt-out shells of old shops. With that recovered, the party moved onward. After a few hours of travel through the winding and close-packed streets, they entered the courtyard surrounding the clock tower. At its base, they saw a pair of tiger demons, one badly wounded, encircled by a swarm of giant mosquito-like demons, which openly, as Flaming could hear, called for the blood of the tiger demons. The party wasted no time rushing to the tiger demons' aid, making battle with the small army.

Flow and Renee continued their battle with the Lich and his enthralled knights, knocking two of them unconscious with bad injuries. After these setbacks, the Lich severely damaged Renee with a vitality-draining spell, and fled with his remaining knights. Flow and his companions took a moment to address their injuries before moving on, following the trail of the Lich's magic to a cave north of their position.

 No.714275

>Pryce
You manage to get back up, but are beset by a myriad of pinching, vicious mosquito demons that make the most horrendous, vicious skittering noises. They manage to take some bites out of you before Zjetya and Wireframe knock them away, freeing you once more.

>Shei, Amy

The mosquito demons draw a dreadful amount of blood as they rip and tear at Shei's skin, trying to pull him apart in a horrid display, but Amy is able to heal him, bringing him back up.

>Flaming, Amy

As Flaming tries to get up, one of the mosquito demons knocks the nail beast into her, filling her side with spines.

Once she's up though, Volkama's barrier surrounds her, insulating her with a protective layer of magic.
"They are?" Rus Tea asks, breaking another mosquito demon over her knee. She holds it up to her ear to listen, then tosses it aside with a shrug. "Not this one."
You hear the dying mosquito demon call Rus a horrific racial epithet that cannot be repeated here.

>Flaming, Amy, Pryce, Shei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5jHVehUi6A
As Amy annihilates this next wave of mosquito demons, it's made apparent even to bestial, unthinking demons like them that this isn't a winning strategy. They part, and a group of four larger bug demons, these ones appearing to be a grotesque chimera of beetles, worms and centipedes, step forward. Each of these larger demons has a hulking carapace, and in the gaps between their chitinous armor plates, bits of bugs and nasty creepy-crawlies poke forth. The beasts' mandles split open, dripping acidig goop that melts the ground beneath them where it falls.

Chimera Demon 1 lunges for Amy's neck, trying to clamp it shut with its mandibles.
[1d10+4] Stranglevine

Chimera Demon 2 retches and squirms, then vomits up a heap of ants and wasps at Shei
[1d10+4] Animal Swarm

Chimera Demon 3 strikes at Pryce's eyes, loosing centipedes and worms from its amorphous hand.
[1d10+4] Blind

Chimera Demon 4's hand shudders and morphs, and many insects turn about on its surface, pointing all their stingers and horns outward, ready to infect Flaming with a rotten poison.
[1d10+4] Sleep Serum (Poisoned)

Rus Tea throws a weapon at Chimera Demon 1!
[1d10+3] [1d3]

Roll #1 2 + 4 = 6 / Roll #2 1 + 4 = 5 / Roll #3 2 + 4 = 6 / Roll #4 8 + 4 = 12 / Roll #5 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #6 3 = 3

 No.714276

>>713726
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bz3wBuRpEQ

As the two clones sneak into the cave, they are struck by a wall of mildew odor, and the drip of some unseen liquid far below them. The cave is without any major source of light, save for strange purple bioluminescent mushrooms hiding under the crevices of rocks. The air is heavy with the dark magic presence, oppressive and obscure like a foreboding mist.

The faint light of the mushrooms reveal two paths leading away from the cave entrance. The paths seem indistinguishable at first, but a close inspection reveals that the right path has a floor of loose gravel covering its stony base, making it the more treacherous to climb down. On the other hand, the magic presence feels more dense on the left side.

Renee shudders. "Cold. Sluggish. Like parts of me have been frozen, turn into unworkable slush. I don't think the spell had any lingering effects, besides draining my vitality, but… I can't be certain."

 No.714277

>>714275
Pryce brushes himself off as the mosquitoes are driven back.
"Thanks you two."
He says to Zhetya and Wireframe.

He turns his head towards the parting crowd and approaching masses of insects. His horn glow in a bright crimson as he goes to attack, but quickly changes tactics as they begin to spit. His horn changes from red to white, focusing his magic on his allies to shield them all as best as he can.
A white glow emits from his horn and washes over Flaming to try and shield her from the dripping stingers and horns.
>Mantra of Purity [Flaming] [1d10]

His horn then glows in a more reflective white, a shimmer flashing over Amy and himself to try and shield from the worst of the chimeras.
>Palisade [Amy and Self] [1d10]

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

 No.714280

>>714275

Amy barks again!

>Wrath [1d10+4]


Then, her body begins to glow brighter.

>Prayer of Enlightenment to learn Homing Magic


"Protect Shei," Amy orders the Nail Beast. It obediently rushes toward Shei's side and attacks the Chimera demon attacking Shei.

>[1d10] on Chimera Demon 2

>DC4, hits twice on success

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.714281


 No.714282


 No.714283

>>714275
https://pastebin.com/p1dtY3qj
Flaming lets out a cry of pain as she's stung harshly by the mosquito demons, but as the barrier shimmers around her in a protective layer of magic, Flaming looks around it in glee. "A barrier…? Awesome, thank you Volkama!"

She turns to Rus Tea, furrowing her brow, "Really? They're so darn LOUD, how can you NOT hear them?!"

>>713725
As the group of mosquitoes coalesce into four, towering masses of wings and shells, Flaming grits her teeth, eying the one who lashes out at her (Demon 4) with fierce determination. "Good, now I can just smash all of you at the same time!
>Oorzof's Circlet of Routing (Relic)
>>Effect: Activating Wild Hunt no longer gives a free Automatic action, but instead knocks back all nearby enemies and applies a debuff of -1 to all their rolls for 5 turns (or until debuff is broken). The debuff does not stack and wears off if this relic is removed.
[1d10+3] All or Nothing on Chimera Demon 4
[1d10] Mantra of Recovery on Chimera Demon 4

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.714284

>>714277
Before you are able to charge your spells enough to protect yourself and your allies, the demons fling their bugs onto your face, which score your skin with a multitude of tiny bites and scrapes, throwing off your focus.
>Blind applied to Pryce
>Pryce 6/5

>>714280
Your fire washes over them, but the flow is cut off mid-bark when CD 1 bites into your neck, thrashing you about. You are able to get free before it can crush your windpipe or deal severe damage, but your throat is pinched and tight, and feels weak as blood drips down your neck.
>Stranglevine: instant, recharge 1; Silences the target by strangling them. Deals damage and interrupts talking and spellcasting for one turn.
>Amy 6/5

The nail beast rushes CD 2 and fills it full of spines, killing a multitude of the insects that leak from the abominable, beetle-like carapace.

>>714283
"I hear their mindless chattering and grating, but not anything in Equish! Why, can you understand them?" Rus asks. She raises her weapon to throw at the Chimera Demons, but one of them rushes her, then side-swipes her with its leg, kicking her into a nearby wall with a loud crunch of stone and the wet sound of broken flesh.

>Stealing 3 hits instead of 2 from CD 4 due to crit, lasts 1 extra turn.


You knock back CD 4 and bind it with your spell, draining a well of energy from its body with each moment. However, it then strikes you with its poisoned claws, digging into your flesh at the shoulder. Venom flows into your body, and you quickly feel weak and drowsy, stumbling about in a daze.

>Flaming 4/5, after Mantra of Recovery's restoration is applied


>-2 debuff to your next turn's rolls due to sleep serum


*******

CD 1 doesn't let up its assault on Amy, and goes in for another strike with its claws.
[1d10+3] Earthen Strike

CD 2 tries to shove away the nail beast.
[1d10+3] Basic Attack (poison)

CD 3 pushes the advantage against Pryce, and strikes him once more.
[1d10+5] Animal Swarm, bonus due to Blind

CD 4 tries to smack Flaming down into the stones.
[1d10+3] Basic Attack

Vortigern throws on a cloak made of dragonskin and fur, and as she does, she starts to tremble, her body shuddering and morphing. Her form becomes more bestial and lizard-like, her fur turning into scales and her wings becoming webbed like a dragon's. Flames spark and accumulate around her spear, and she charges into the fray, skewering CD 4.
[2d10+4] Fire Element

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 2 + 3 = 5 / Roll #3 10 + 5 = 15 / Roll #4 2 + 3 = 5 / Roll #5 6, 5 + 4 = 15

 No.714285

>>714275
Between the cleft of his hooves Shei weaves a neat of black threads, seemingly invisible when seen from most angels.

Shei ducks into combat shooting one end of the black thread at Chimera Demon 1, he pivots mid crouch and while backing away attaches the other end of the thread to Chimera Demon 2

>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3; Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.

[1d10]

Subtle energies warp the air surrounding Shei
>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3; Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.
[1d10]

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

 No.714286

>>714285
You connect the two threads, but your second spell backfire, overcharging the air around you with potent energy that acclerates your movements. The stimulation causes you to stumble and strike your chin against the cobblestones.
>Shei 4/4

 No.714287

>>714285
>angels
erm… angles..

 No.714289

>>714286
>>714284
The warping of Shei's immediate view thrusts him onto the paved road. He gets up with haste, though clumsy.

Shei thrusts both hooves forward, sinking his hooves into the sensation of grabbing threads on puppets.
>CONTROL+1: Spell, attempts to take control of a hostile or neutral undead. More powerful undead may require a higher minimum roll. Also used to take control of a larger undead at recharge 2.
[1d10+1] CD1 CD2

>APPRAISE: instant; Determine the number of remaining hits and wounds on an enemy, and possibly weaknesses. More powerful enemies may be harder to Appraise. Out of combat, quickly determine value of objects, study mechanisms and documents, size up other ponies, etc.

[1d10] appraising one of them

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

 No.714290

>H/W: 6/5

>>714284
Pryce stumbles back as the bugs strike as his face. He shakes his head in a frenzy to toss the bugs off, swatting them away but not before he's bit apart. Eyes watering and face bitten up, Pryce coughs out one of his songs to try and give him some defense while he tries to regain his vision.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Self] [1d10]

His horn glows after he finishes, pulling back his chakram as he tracks the demon. Seeing it prepare another insectoid assault, he flings his burning rings at the beast.
>Dual Wield [Flare, Ranged] [1d10+1] [1d10+1] (At Chimera Demon 3)

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11

 No.714292

>>714284
Flaming looks back towards Rus Tea, "I don't get it, they're so loud and obnoxious I can barely hear you all over the-"
She pauses, looking down at the brooch around her neck, recalling the mystical artifact she received from the treasury in the temple of Slipper.
"Wait! My brooch, it-"

She's cut off as the spines sink into her, forcing her back while also filling her with an uncomfortable supply of poison. She stumbles, already feeling numbness racing through her limbs, "Ooooogh…. w-watch out for the spines, Rus!"

As it comes in for another attack, she swiftly moves out of the way while whispering a prayer to herself, her horns glowing white as she prepares for the worst.
>Prayer for Salvation: Automatic; Recharge 2; The target's next recovery from Helplessness will be an Automatic Instant action, and the target will get +1 to all future attempts to get up until the end of combat.
>Using on self

 No.714294

>>714284

Amy closes her eyes and wills the stranglevine away from her neck.

>Jhana of Uprooting Poison [1d10]


"You'll have to do better than that," she chokes out.

>Mantra of Equality to scare him into submission [1d10+2]


Amy then turns to CD2 when she sees that he's attacking the Nail Beast. She punches him in the jaw.

>[1d10] unarmed attack


>Nail Beast attack on DC2. [1d10]

>DC4+ and hits twice

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

 No.714295

>>714280
"Thanks Amy!" he thanks for the nail beast assist as he gets up from falling over.

 No.714298

>>714295

"No problem," Amy says with a close-eyed smile as her wolf form fades away.

 No.714299

>>714289
>Chimera Demon 1
>Weak: Fire, Lightning, Light
>Resist: None
>Immune: None
>HP: 113/125

>>714289
>>714290
Pryce cuts into CD 3, cleaving away great tracts of bugs and chitin from its body, but the swarm of insects flows from CD 3's arm, ripping into Pryce and tearing his flesh apart from all sides. They crawl under his clothes and armor, stinging and clawing every bit of flesh they can reach. He quickly stumbles under the intense, burning pain, as if his body were aflame, but manages to raise a barrier to shield his body, cooling the pain and throwing the insects away. T

he swarm then leaps from his body and flows towards Shei, dripping blood and bits of fur as the hungry insects swarm toward him. Just like it did Pryce, the swarm scours across Shei's skin in a horrifyingly rapid flurry of flesh and blood, bringing him low. He attempts to exert his will over the Chimera Demons, but CD 1 strikes him across the face, knocking him to the ground before the spell can take effect.

>Pryce 0/4, shielded by Cedar-Tree Shrine

>Shei 0/2 due to the swarm's attack and the critfail.

>>714292
You dodge the monster's swing and prepare yourself for further punishment, and heal up more of your wounds by stealing vitality from CD 4.
>Flaming 7/4, bubble still at 5.

>>714294
CD 1 strikes you across the jaw, but you quickly restore your ability to use magic, and affix CD 1 with an intimidating glare, and it pauses, leaping away as if you were an enormous predator. You then strike CD 2, letting the nail beast circle about and strike it from the side without being harmed.

>Amy 3/5


*******

The Chimera Demons back up and regroup after your waves of retaliation, wounded by the attacks. A great splattering of dead bugs lie about you on all sides. Yet, the monsters' appetite is not sated, and they show no signs of backing down!

CD 1 attempts to stomp on Pryce while he's down.
[1d10+5] normal attack, bonus due Turn 2/2 of Blind

CD 2 tries to crush Flaming's head.
[1d10+3] Poisoned normal attack

CD 3 attempts to strike Flaming as well.
[1d10+3] Earthen Strike

CD 4 rallies the swarm of insects that flows off of Shei's bloodied body and sends them toward Amy.
[1d10+3] Animal Swarm

LJ gasps with horror at the state Pryce and Shei have been left in, then strikes the cobblestones with his hooves, causing the ground all about you to shake.

[1d10+4] Great Stampede

Roll #1 1 + 5 = 6 / Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #3 2 + 3 = 5 / Roll #4 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #5 2 + 4 = 6

 No.714302

>H/W: 0/4

>>714299
Pryce's chakram's return to him from his mighty throw, the weapons burning brighter than ever as they form iridescent discs.
>Emblem of the King: Passive; Weapons created by Conjure Weapon get a second weapon tag. Weapons are +1 by default, and +2 on a critical conjuring roll. Landing a critical hit with a Conjured weapon grants that weapon another +1 (does not stack).
>Boosted to +2 now

Pryce grunts in agony as the insects crawl and leech at every bit of his body, trying to toss them away but fails as he collapses from the pain. He breathes heavily on the ground, finding some deal of soothing from his hymn and lying there as any movement causes the bites to burn up again. But he can't just lay there as his friends battle. He struggles to raise himself up, fighting through the pain to stand again.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.714303

>>714299
>>714298
>>714295

However, Amy's mood quickly turns to panic when Shei gets downed right in front of you.

"Are you okay!?" she shouts, terrified. She quickly shoves a potion in Shei's mouth.

>Natural Remedy [1d10+3]


>Nail Beast attacks CD4 [1d10]

>DC4+, hits twice

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 5 = 5

 No.714305

>>714284
>>714298
"These -uhm Beatles? are very territorial."

>>714299
Shei regains his balance shortly after being pimp slapped by a Chimera tail but meets a very unfortunate attack.
"AAAA-a-a-aAHH Get them off!" Shei fights off the swarm of bugs eating him.

Shei attempts to get up from helpless
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.714307

>>714299
>>714302
>>714305
Flaming lets out a grunt as she dodges one massive creature's attack, but as she see Shei and Pryce knocked down nearby by the swarm of bugs, she lets out a cry of dismay, racing over to help them.

"Get off of them you gross, evil, slimy little bugs!" She cries out, leaping up to slam down her head on to CD1 instead

>All or Nothing, CD 1

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

 No.714309

>>714303
"ehm.. Yeah. I'm doing fine." He says disheveled over the experience of being covering in carnivorous insects "Are you always so protective in battle? Have my apologies, I'm feeling a tad clumsy today."

>>714299
while in Amy's arms Shei tries to take hold again of the chimera demons.

[1d10=8] Shei takes control of CD1 and CD2 via black threads

>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3; Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.714310

>>714309
oh, using
>Can I Borrow This
on CD 3

 No.714313

>>714307
CD 2's strike breaks the Bubble and grazes you badly, searing you with an acidic substance. The health you steal from CD 4 quickly seals up your injury, but your skin still feels like it's burning from the inside due to the poison. You evade CD 3's attack in the nick of time. You then crash into CD 1, caving in part of his chest with your strike.

>Flaming 8/3, Bubble destroyed


>>714302
You roll out of the way of the strike in the nick of time, but your body is still too weak to get up without aid, your flesh stinging and horribly raw.

>>714303
>>714305
>Shei 8/3
Amy restores some of Shei's injuries, but the pain still lingers after the volley of attacks. The insect swarm then moves to her as their target, making her their next feast. In a horrifyingly mechanical fashion, they strip the flesh from her legs as they crawl up, leaving nothing but raw stinging horror and a torrent of blood.
>Amy 0/4

Shei then takes control of CDs 1 and 2, then drains immense energy from CD 3, leaving it unable to move. It trips forward onto one knee, heaving and shuddering with weakness. Shei can only actively control CD 1, as demons require 2 minion slots to use, but 2 is unable to act, pacified by his will.

*****

CD 4 turns its attention to Shei, clamping down on his head with fury, and swings about left and right to break his neck.
[1d10+3] Poisoned normal attack

The swarm of bugs returns to Shei, seeing him as the biggest threat with two of the chimera demons in his control.
[1d10+3]

Vortigern leaps about, still morphed partway into a dragon, and stabs her spear into CD 4 to release Shei from its grasp.

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11

 No.714314

>>714309

Amy blushes. "Well, if you prefer, I can just let you get hurt," she says petulantly.

 No.714315

>>714314
"No No! I like it-" Shei becomes abashed, not meaning to sound ungrateful "I also like being alive if nobody minds."

 No.714317

>>714313
Pryce lie on the ground for a moment, rolled onto his back to avoid the stomping of the demon. It feels like an eternity as he stares at the sky, trying to ignore how his body still feels like it's crawling with insects. He painfully rolls back onto his stomach with a groan, stabbing his conjured spears into the ground to give him aid and something to grasp to pull himself up, treating them like canes.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.714318

>>714313
>Flaming 8/4

 No.714320

>>714276
https://pastebin.com/R0AXr1UU
>"Did you notice it as well?"
>>"Notice what?"
>"We're able to sense latent magical energy…anything strange about that?"
>>"Aye lad…the ol bloke 'asn't purified himself of that mega sushi or whatever."
>"It's rather…concerning, don't you think?"
>>"More than you believe, lad…"

Vice crouches down to the gravel, and runs a gooey hoof over it.
>"If these two caves were connected, we can maybe get the drop on him…and that's a big if."
>>"Aye lad, I'll check it out."
Vice nods, and pursues the magical energy he senses, making sure to tread very carefully, lest he gets dropped on.
>being careful
[1d10]
Trapper goes down the path covered in loose gravel, trying his best not to make too much noise with the shifting surface.
>being extra careful
[1d10]

"Hmm…I don't know too much about whatever magic liches use…or any magic whatsoever…"
He puts a hoof on her shoulder.
"But don't worry, we'll get you feeling 100 soon," he says with a reassuring smile.
He turns to the large skull knight.
"Funny…he reminds me of an old friend of mine…"

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

 No.714325

>>714313
>>714309
As CD 2 pierces the Bubble and grazes her, Flaming lets out another agonizing cry of pain, wincing as she tries to keep her wits about her with an unhealthy amount of poison now coursing through her veins. She lands her heavy blow against CD1's chest to try and knock him away from the others.

As Shei's magic takes affect, seizing control of CD's 1 and 2, Flaming looks over at him, smiling widely as she approves of his ability. "Way to go, Shei! Keep them locked in, we'll take care of the other two while we're at it!"

She takes note of CD4 trying to clamp down on his head with a poisonous chomp. Quickly, she takes another breath, focusing on all her prayers to her horn as a white light washes over the entire group.

>Commandment of Harmony: Once per combat; Automatic; For 3 turns, you and all allies may ignore all Recharge periods, and the DC for all rolls is reduced by 2.

 No.714326

>>714313
>Cooldown turn 2

Amy shrieks in horror and pain as her leg is eaten alive. She falls over and continues to shake the consumed leg.

[1d10] to get up

The Nail Beast continues to attack CD4.
>[1d10]
>DC4+, hits twice

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

 No.714328

>>714314
>>714313
Shei commands of CD 1 and compels it to summon arms made of cobblestone to rise out of the ground and hold down CD 4
>Earthen Grasp: spell, recharge 1, ranged; summon vines, stones, or quicksand to trap an enemy and render them helpless. Large enemies may only be immobilized. Effect lasts until the enemy breaks free or is released.

Shei-Sher reaches out to CD4 and enables Earthen grasp further
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;
[1d10+2] to strengthen effect

Shei then points his hoof over to CD 3, an electric shock of concentration shoots through Shei as he conjures a Dark Corridor on the ground underneath where it stands.
[1d10] to throw CD3 into a Dark Corridor

>>714314
>>714313
Shei fixes himself over Amy and tries to swat all the bugs off her.
[1d10] help Amy get up
"Amy! No- Ba-a-h! I was stupid to get involved with these demons!" Shei panicks as Amy panicked for him.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 3 = 3

 No.714329

>>714328
>>714313
Earthen grasp
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9

 No.714332

>>714317
Your movements only agitate your bleeding injuries, and only make them worse as dirt and poison rub into them, exacerbating the wounds.
>Pryce 0/3

>>714325
>>714326
Amy fails to get up, but a great surge of energy wells up from within her as Flaming activates one of her strongest spells. The nail beast digs into CD 4, its body rapidly weakening.

>>714328
CD 4 and the swarm assault Shei anew, the poisons and injuries reducing his flesh and blood to a dark paste at the places where the damage is most severe.
>Shei 2/2

Before the attack can continue, CD 1 seals CD 4 under a grip of stone, holding it fast for the time being, but the Chimera Demon ruthlessly strikes out against the bindings, struggling to get free. Meanwhile, CD 3 recovers from its enervation, and gets away from the dark corridor just as it opens.

****

Growing desperate now that their numbers have been reduced by half, CD 3 and the Swarm of Bugs try to take him down so that the others may be freed, and do not let up, snarling and screeching in a blood frenzy as they push to kill him.

[1d10+3] CD 3, poisoned Sleep Serum vs Shei
[1d10+3] Swarm of Bugs' attack vs Shei

[1d10+3] CD 4 tries to get free.

"TOGETHER!!" Chorazin roars, raising her saber as Flaming's power spreads to your allies. As you look about the battlefield, you find that a great many of the mosquito demons lay slain at your hooves, piling about in great heaps of fetid, filthy corpses. Many of your allies are ragged and badly wounded, but they pile together in a mass, and with a shout, charge all four of the Chimera Demons.

[9d10+2]

——————–

>>714320
The two goos go down the sloping paths as they wind through the earth. The tunnels curve about in looping snarls, like the paths of serpents through the grass. Though the light is dim, Trapper and Vice slowly step around various traps that have been left for them – tripwires and noisemakers made of bones and rocks, and the like. Without setting them off, the goos proceed into the earth, but the tunnels are deep and vast, seemingly endless. As Vice walks forward, the magic presence grows more and more palpable, bearing down upon him like a headwind as he heads deeper. Trapper feels it receeding from him, and his path seems to head upward rather than down.

>roll again


>>714320
Renee shudders and rubs the side of her head. "Hopefully…" she mutters, but grows a pained expression. You notice that parts of her body are starting to become thick like sludge.
The skull-masked knight looks on at Renee, his expression hidden beneath the mask, but he reaches behind him, as if to grab a hidden weapon.

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #2 10 + 3 = 13 / Roll #3 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #4 6, 6, 10, 7, 6, 7, 5, 3, 1 + 2 = 53

 No.714333

>>714332
Pryce's hooves slip down off his spears as he collapses again. His body shakes as he tries to rise, energy drained as he falls again.
"Somepony… Please help…"
Pryce forces out through the pain, finding himself sapped of all strength. Even still, he tries to stand, hooves digging into the ground to force himself up, slipping and falling but not giving up!
>Recover [DC4] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.714337

>>714332
Flaming lets out a mighty, ferocious 'mooooooo' as she feels the power surge through her horns and the light of her Sphere washing over the others, filling them with the same vigor and power of the Climbing Fire as she scratches her hooves against the ground, aiming first for CD 3 as it is the only one still moving around.

"Leave the two Shei has under his control, focus on the ones threatening us first! TAKE THEM DOWN!!!" She shouts as she leaps and drives her head into CD 3 for a start, her horns shining brightly all the while (and, though she doesn't notice, so does her tattoos)

[1d10+3] All or Nothing

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.714339

>>714332
Shei's CD1 screeches violently at the swarm of bugs.
>Animal Mastery: spell; you can talk to and understand animals, and wild animals obey your orders. For recharge 5 after effect ends, you can instead summon an animal minion of large size or smaller that obeys your orders for 5 turns.
[1d10+3] Dissuading Swarm from attacking Shei

Shei's body numbs while gross blood trickles down his body and aching fatigue fills him. Seeing the swarm diving towards him Shei embraces this drowsy sensation. Laying down and phasing into the earth

>Body Without Organs: The spirit and body are now one. Astral projection is instant/automatic and does not leave behind an unconscious body. The Spirit is unfettered and can travel any distance now. The spirit is visible and susceptible to regular combat. Traveling speed is similar to flying.

[1d10] to avoid oncoming swarm

>Jhana of Malleable Flesh: Spell, Recharge 2: You can escape from any physical binding or grapple by moving yourself freely through space in a radius of three meters in any direction. During this time, you are considered intangible for the purposes of moving through physical obstructions, unless said obstruction is larger than your three meter radius. This ability naturally has DC - 2 and stacks with other bonuses.

[1d10] and save my ass

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #2 8 = 8 / Roll #3 2 = 2

 No.714340

>>714332
Vice grows increasingly uneasy as he treks through the cave. As he passes through all the traps that're laid out, he tries keeping his cool throughout.
>being even more careful
[1d10]

Trapper on the other hand, grows curious as to where this cave leads. He gets an idea, and continues onwards. He idly looks for any traps that can easily be disarmed, so he can have a tool of sorts.
>navigating
[1d10]

Flow crouches down to Renee as parts of her body starts thickening, and grabs his last waterskin.
"Oi, what's going on? Do you need water?"
He looks back to the the large knight as he reaches back, and looks back to Renee.
"Oi lad, any idea what's goin' on?" he says to the knight behind him, ready to get in between the two if needed.

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

 No.714343

>>714332
>>714328
>CD turn 3

Amy continues to let out bursts of pained screams, her leg a bloody mess.

>[1d10] to get up


The nail beast attacks CD4 again.

>[1d10]

DC4+, hits twice

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

 No.714346

>>714339
updated h/w

 No.714350

>>714333
You push the pain to the back of your mind and stand up, vitality surging in your body.

>>714339
A few bugs break away from the core swarm, but the rest are frenzied and beyond reasoning, and digs into Shei with fury in the precious few moments before he is able to activate his spell. He is quick enough to escape CD 3's attack, but just as the transparency and intangibility of the astral projection flows over him, a horrifying white hot pain drives into his arm, up to the shoulder. Once he gets away, he is able to look down at the source of the pain and–

His left foreleg is gone. It lays on the cobblestones a short distance away, a mess of pus and gore and poison. Perhaps more would have been lost if he had not gotten away when he did.

>Shei 0/1


>>714337
You and your allies devestate the foe, crushing chitin and bug alike under your hooves as you retaliate with the force of a small army, creating a frenzy of bloodshed and war, leaving a haze in your wake. You restore more power to yourself from CD 4.

>>714343
You are able to recover as well, energized by Flaming's magic.

>>714343
>>714339
>>714337
>>714333
Your allies help knock back the Chimera Demons, leaving the four of them a bloody heap, but they themselves are not without damage. Each of your allies has their share of wounds, and with the sounds of skittering, you hear more bugs coming in from other streets nearby. The four Chimera Demons still live, but the swarm of bugs has been slain, and CD 3 and 4, still with fight in them, call forth, and the nauseating sound of reinforcements come in from the distance.
"You have… to be kidding…" Zjetya pants, coughing as she lays on her side with bad gashes all up her skin and wings.

CD 3 and 4 are not without energy, and still try to keep up the fight against Pryce and Flaming.
[1d10+4] Earthen Strike vs Pryce
[1d10+4] Backstab vs Flaming

Wireframe starts spreading pink wire from her body, forming a perimeter around the courtyard. "I can hold them back a little while, but this isn't a fight we want to keep having!" she says.

[1d10+2] Trap

>>714340
The smell of wet earth hits the two goos as they proceed further into the caves, and hear the rushing of water. In time, Vice enters a sloping cavern, near its base. Before him is a pool of water, filled from above by the flow of an overhanging waterfall. A good distance away, at an altar laying near the outer rim of the pool, the Lich floats, dark magic energy and magatsuhi flowing from him in a cloud. The two knights lay before him, and he is operating on them with surgical tools and occultic apparatuses. In the empty space behind the Lich, there are a good deal of other occultic trappings, enchanting tables and wicked-looking spellbooks, the usual fare for necromancers.

Trapper comes upon this same scene, but his cave opens to a stone platform some distance above and behind the Lich. As he reaches the edge, some rocks slip off and drop to the ground, causing an echoing clatter. The Lich looks about, raising his faces to smell the air.

At that exact moment, Renee pauses, and the transformation halts, but doesn't reverse. She looks down at her body in worry, beholding the coagulation. "I-I don't know! Try it, give me the water!" she says, panic rising.

The knight is silent, and you see the glint of a blade in his grasp.

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14 / Roll #2 8 + 4 = 12 / Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6

 No.714353

>>714350

Amy huffs and puffs from the pain and the exertion. She looks down at her leg, then at everyone else.

A bright glow comes from deep within her that washes over the party.

>Commandment of Balance: Twice per combat; Automatic; Brings up all Helpless allies, cures all status conditions on the party, and restores full hits and 3 Wounds to each.

 No.714355

>>714350
Trapper immediately freezes in place as the rocks fall. He crouches down and picks up another rock to throw as a distraction.
[1d10]

Vice also crouches down to hide, and observes the lich for any reactions.
>'Hmm…luring might not be as easy as we thought…" the clone thinks to himself.

Flow gives her the waterskin, and squints as she stops transforming.
"You've stopped transforming…does that mean his focus on you was interrupted?"
He looks to the mouth of the cave, then back to the knight.
"Oi. If you've dealt with this bloke already, have you seen something like this yet? Can his concentration be broken on whatever bodies he's influenced?"

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.714356

>>714350
Pryce's body goes numb as he ignores his injuries, pushing everything else to the back of his mind. He looks at his friends, everypony covered in injuries and wounds. His eyes lock to Shei's dismembered leg lying on the stone, a chill running through his body as his vision jumps back to the scene on Prominence. His legs begin to quake again, shaking his head of the vision as he puts his full effort into remaining conscious for this battle. If he was stronger, this could've been avoided. But now, he needs to remain strong in order to keep everyone from falling apart. His horn glows a brilliant white, sending out a gentle and soothing pulse that washes over the battlefield and his friends, easing their injuries and revitalizing them.
>Commandment of Balance [Auto]

He looks forward at the demon charging towards him ready to strike. Pryce ignores this. While his body burns from bites, he can keep enduring. Shei cannot. The glow on his horn focuses into a ray to cast a light onto Shei, channeling his magic to keep the goat on this plane.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Shei] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.714359

>>714350
Flaming stomps her head into the Chimera Demon with vigor, shouting a fierce warrior cry as she makes each possible blow count before her magic wears off. However, as she looks to the side, and sees Shei's fore-arm torn off, her eyes dilate in fear and shock, "SHEEEEEEI!"

Her fear soon turns to anger, and she slams her head down hard on top of CD 3 once again, intent on butchering it for what it had done. "I'll make you all pay for what you did to my friend! COME ON!!!"

As attacks surround them from all sides, she shouts to the others, "Get Shei somewhere safe, we're almost done with these things! Then we'll re-group and heal inside the tower!"

[1d10+3] All or Nothing on CD3

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11

 No.714365

>>714350
"GAAAAAA-A-AH Accknng" The little coat bleats tears as he holds his arm up to his face. Or at least where it would be. Shei crawls along the ground and grabs his dismembered arm. Holding it close to his chest.
[1d10] get up from helpless

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.714373

>>714365
>>714350
>Impatience reduces recharge by 1 passively
>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3; Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.
Shei focuses on CD3 and steals its energy.
[1d10]=6

Shei then sprays a sulfurous brume onto CD3 and CD4, the gas spewing from his mouth as it plumes onto the field
>Sulphureous Brume: Recharge 2; Ranged; Pick two targets; This effect spreads a mist around those targets which will either increase their damage received by 2 for 2 turns, or reduce their damage dealt by 2 for 2 turns. Effect is chosen when cast.
[1d10]reduce damage dealt by 2

The Chimera Demon in Shei's control sends arms made from stone to hold CD4
>Earthen Grasp: spell, recharge 1, ranged; summon vines, stones, or quicksand to trap an enemy and render them helpless. Large enemies may only be immobilized. Effect lasts until the enemy breaks free or is released.
[1d10+4]

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 6 + 4 = 10

 No.714375

>>714356
>>714353
An incredible wave of healing power spreads out over the party, rejuvenating everyone and restoring the worst of the injuries, making the flesh new and healthy once more.

>Everyone has been restored to full H/W


>>714359
You bash and slam repeatedly into CD 3, and are rewarded with a flood of black blood, flowing from the weakening creature. It puts both forelegs together and jams them into your back, knocking the wind from your lungs.

>Flaming 1/7


>>714365
>>714359
>>714356
>>714353
As many more mosquito demons try to pour into the area from the nearby streets, they are caught and tangled up in Wireframe's barriers, but said barriers strain and creak, threatening to give out under the sheer weight. She desperately tries to weave more to keep back the horde.

[1d10+2] Wireframe's barrier
[1d10+5] Mosquito demon charge

Although CD 3 and 4 are mere brutes and feral demons, even they can see the effects of the restorative powers and Flaming's incredible buffs, and despair knowing that they probably can't stop you. Still, blood is in the air, and these beasts have had their pride wounded and meals disrupted, and they work themselves into a frenzy, screeching and dropping insects all about, going out in a storm of blood and flailing limbs. Before CD 3 is able to attack, Shei steals its power once more, enervating it. CD 1 holds back CD 4 with a grip of stone rising up from the earth, but CD 4 pushes forward anyway, continuing its attack even as parts of its body are ripped up by the cobblestone trappings.

[1d10+1] CD 4 Cleaves Pryce, Amy, Flaming, +Poison

————

>>714355
Trapper tosses a rock out toward the waterfall in the back, and the Lich floats over there, inspecting the area with curiosity, and moved a good deal away from Vice and Trapper. He scratches his chin, and moves behind the waterfall, going around its side. He doesn't come out the other end.

>>714355
The skull knight shakes his head slowly, and gestures to Renee. Her body has darkened somewhat, and you pick up the faint traces of magatsuhi and dark magic energy emanating from her.

"Death," the knight slowly intones, his voice deep and slow and cold, like the creaking of an old and sealed coffin.

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 8 + 5 = 13 / Roll #3 9 + 1 = 10

 No.714380

>>714375
>>714373
>CD turn 5

Amy huffs and puffs, she looks over and Shei and sees his missing limb. Her coat turns darker.

"Are you alright?" she asks in a combination of concern and barely contained rage.

Before Shei can answer, she turns to the Chimera Demons and shouts, "WHO DID THIS TO HIM!?"

Her shout takes the form of holy fire that blasts the enemies.

>[1d10+3] Wrath


>Nail Beast attacks CD4 again [1d10]

>DC4+, hits twice

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 9 = 9

 No.714381

>H/W: 10/6

>>714375
>>714373
>>714359
>>714353
The pain and injuries wash of Pryce as the commandments wash away everypony's injuries. He feels ease that he was able to restore everypony and keep any of the injuries from getting worse.
"Everypony! Move towards the tower! We can shield ourselves in there and buy some time!"
Pryce shouts to the party, gesturing for them to move while he moves back towards the front line to cover the demons. As the fourth demon rushes the party, Pryce sings his song again but more triumphantly to keep spirits high rather than a s a panicked defense.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Self] [1d10]

His twin Chakram spin rapidly, winding them up in his magic before throwing them at the broken and raging demon to carve it apart.
>Dual Wield [Ranged, Flare] [1d10+2] [1d10+2] (vs CD4)

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

 No.714382

>>714375
Both of the clones grow wary as the lich doesn't come back out, and begin to retreat back into the caves. Before he can make too much progress, Trapper starts hitting any bone collections he sees to make noise.

"Ah shit…"
He snarls as he sees magatsushi and dark magic coming out of her body.
"What did he do to her?" he says with a growl.
He immediately gets behind her and tries restraining her before anything else happens.
>grappling
[1d10+2]
"I knew this crap was gonna happen eventually!"

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

 No.714383

>>714375
>>714353
Flaming huffs as her body slams once more into the towering mass of skittering mosquitoes, war cry after war cry unleashed from her muzzle as the tiny warrior shouts command after command not to give up, not to give in, until she is outright bathed in the black blood of her enemies.

As she's sent flying back by an attack from CD 3, she coughs, but notices the beautiful white light washing over her from Amy, mending her injuries and restoring her stamina. She looks over towards her sister, shouting graciously, "THANK YOU! We're almost there!"

Seeing CD 3 being caught up in Sheis' magic as well, her attention turns once more to CD 4, the last hostile creature, and charges it down as she leaps up over its poisonous spines to ram her way right through it
[1d10+3] All or Nothing
[1d10] Mantra of Recovery

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

 No.714384

>>714375
>>714375
>>714380
The resounding chorus of healing energy renews Shei's body. Restoring a sense of safety, though despair lingers when Shei sees the wound where his arm was closed up.
"Amy.. Just save them." His voice trembles "I want to save those stupid Feathered Tigers. Then It wouldn't have been pointless." Shei seethes

Shei-Sher Reaches out his other arm towards CD3 and Bellows more pained Bleats "GNA-A-A-AHH!"
>Phantasmagoria of Conquest: 3 times per Combat; Automatic; Sacrifice X hits to deal 4X damage and inflict a status condition on up to 3 targets.
[4X8H]

Shei-Sher is beaming with energy
>Impatience: Passive/Instant; As a passive effect, all recharge periods on your abilities are reduced by 1. As an Instant action, you can reduce 1 ally's current recharge periods by 1.
[1d10]

Shei commands CD3 to heal him
>Natural Remedy: recharge 1, ranged; Use an unpredictable tincture to fully restore a target’s hits to full and restore one wound, or removes status effects. Crit on 9+ restores 2 wounds, but crit fail on 2- deals a wound of
[1d10+4]

>>714381
>>714380
>>714381
Shei-Sher stows his arm away in his bag and looks at Amy "Come, like Pryce said into the tower."

Grabbing Amy's hoof Shei and CD3 run over to the feathered Tiger demon's side by the base of the tower.

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 9 + 4 = 13

 No.714386

>>714381
>>714384

"I'm not leaving," Amy says with a calm fury.

>>714383

"Rip them apart," she says with Flaming. Her coat is growing blacker.

 No.714389

>>714381
As Pyrce's healing light washes over her in tandem with Amy's, Flaming takes a moment to look back at Pryce as well, shouting her gratitude
"Well done, Sir Pryce! But what are you talking about!? We have these things on the run, no way we're going to just let them go after what they did to Shei!"

 No.714390

>>714384
>>714383
>>714380
>>714381
Pryce, Amy and Flaming are badly cut by the rampaging demon, and poison spreads throughout their bodies, but Pryce's dense magic barrier prevents it from spreading too deeply through him.

Flaming and Pryce leap about in the frenzy of combat with the rampaging CD 4, Pryce getting cut several times by the demon, but the barrier prevents most of the damage from getting through to him. Soon, Flaming and Amy get an opening and blast CD 4, hitting it with magic and buffalo alike, knocking it back.

>Pryce loses 2 Hits and 1 wound, while Amy and Flaming lose 1 wound

>Flaming regains 2 Hits from Recovery
>Shei at full again

With a straining and cracking sound, the wires that Wireframe put up break under the strain of the flood of mosquito demons, and they start to pour into the plaza, flooding over the countless corpses that your allies have made of the first few waves. They rush in to attack to support the Chimera Demons.

Before CD 3 can join in to attack, he is severely weakened by Shei's power, reduced to a drained shell of a demon by his attack. The weakened demon falls to the ground, but CD 4 keeps trying to fight, even as it must strain against the cobblestone bindings.

[1d10+1] Cleave Amy, Flaming, Pryce, +Poison

The mosquitoes join in the battle in a fresh wave, but your allies leap in, stopping most of them, though some still slip through.

[1d10+2] Mosquito Demon 1 attacks Pryce
[1d10+2] Mosquito Demon 2 attacks Flaming
[1d10+2] Mosquito Demon 3 attacks Shei
[1d10+2] Mosquito Demon 4 attacks Amy

However, just as the battle blazes to life once more, an incredible eruption shakes the ground, shaking the nearby buildings and deafening you for a moment. In the distance, you see a great plume of dust and stone fly into the air, as if from an explosion. Amid the debris, an incredible amount of mosquito demons are launched into the sky, and you see the movement of some great shape behind the buildings.

"What now!?" Box shouts.
"Another enemy!" Volkama says. "Heading this way, it looks like!"

>>714382
As Trapper starts to make noise, a sharp pricking sticks him in the back of the neck. Nothing physical touched him, yet it feels like it anyway. The dark magic presence that flooded Vice's senses before vanishes, and now floods toward Trapper, nearly bowling him over. The presence rapidly grows stronger, and the air hums all about him.

As Flow grapples with Renee, she offers no resistance, but keeps her eyes shut as more of her body turns to sludge. You see some of it spreading to yourself, and you feel the pricking at the back of your neck just as Trapper does.

"He approaches," the knight says again in the cold, raspy voice.

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #3 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #4 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #5 2 + 2 = 4

 No.714392

>H/W: 8/5

>>714386
>>714389
"Can't you hear the skittering? Who knows how many more there are, we need to defend and regroup!"
Pryce tries to shout sense into the two.

>>714390
Pryce holds himself against the demon's onslaught, shielded enough from it's attacks but managing to not fall or back on his position. His Chakram swing around from his toss, manipulating them with his magic as he brings them flying back into the fourth demon's sides.
>Dual Wield [Ranged, Flare] [1d10+2] [1d10+2]

Pryce looks over as the wires are broken as more mosquitos begin to swarm again. His horn glows to retaliate, but stops at the massive explosion against the bugs. It would be hopeful to assume it can aid, but the only thing that could cause that is another demon, one they cannot afford to fight niow.
"TO THE CLOCK TOWER, NOW!"
Pryce orders the group, taking a few steps back himself but not backing further than anypony else, not letting himself retreat behind anypony else.

His eyes look back at the tiger demons. It is risky, but right now they need as much power against these bugs as possible, and sending demons to fight others might be their only opening now. His horn glows white and casts a soothing ray on the most injured tiger demon, mending it's injuries and hopefully sending it at the bugs.
>Prayer for Deliverence [Tiger Demon] [1d10+1]

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

 No.714394

>>714390
>CD turn 6

"Poison won't work on me," Amy says angrily.

>Jhanna of Uprooting Poison to negate the poison damage [1d10]


Amy opens her mouth wide and unleashes several balls of energy which rotate around her.

>Homing Magic [1d10+2]


When another demon starts approaching, Amy looks over in the direction of the noise. She breathes heavily, then shouts angrily, "I'll kill them all!"

>>714392

"If we can't handle this, then we'll never be able to handle Tartarus," Amy barks back immediately.

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

 No.714396

>>714394
>>714390

>Forgot Nail Beast attack on CD4 [1d10]

>DC4+, hits twice

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.714398

>>714394
"You'll need to make it to Tartarus first! All our allies will be there, there's no need to throw away everything on a minor battle like this!"
Pryce barks back in a commanding tone.

 No.714400

>>714390
Trapper freezes just for a moment, and turns around.
>>'C'mon, follow me, ya bastard," he thinks, before he goes further back through the tunnel
>runnan
[1d10]

Vice sighs as the presence leaves him, and focuses on making it back to the fork from earlier.

Flow steps back from Renee, and draws out Schlangenschwert.
"Fine then. We'll meet the prick inside."
He hoists Renee onto his shoulder and starts making his way inside.
"We need to meet up with the other lads, and kick this bastard's teeth in."

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.714404

>>714390
>>714392
>>714394
Flaming lets out a cry of joy as CD 4 is knocked back, but her jaw drops as it comes back for more, "Oh come on, what does it take to KILL these things?!"

When Wireframe's net breaks and the mosquito demons come in, she lets out a curse, "Damn it all, one thing after another… Amy! Pryce is right, we need to re-group inside the tower! Maybe we can funnel them all in there and take away the advantage in numbers, we're too vulnerable out in the open here! Take anyone who's too injured to move and we'll hold up in the tower, these things will die soon enough!"

She says as she looks at the on-coming Mosquito swarm, charging up her ram. "I'm better at dealing with crowds, someone make sure the big ones stay under control and kill the last one if you can!" She says referring to CD 4, while she attacks Mosquito Demon 1 with her headbutt, intent on activating the Circlet to scatter the smaller demons
[1d10+3] All or Nothing

>Retreating into the tower, making sure all who are out here follow


Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8

 No.714405

>>714390
Shei-Sher thrusts his hoof into the air mentally grabbing hold of Wireframe's barrier and forcing the wires to weave and mend together again.

>TINKER: Can repair broken objects, restore negative quality weapons to +0, fix up worn down loot to make it more valuable or get a poorly working mechanism back into shape.

[1d10] Fixing Wireframe's barrier

>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session; Forge a small- to medium-sized object out of a natural elemental source, such as water or earth. If this object is a weapon, it carries the elemental properties* of the material it was made from and is +1 quality on a critical forging roll. Objects made with this skill disappear after a few hours. If this skill is used to make Bits or fake documents, they are obviously counterfeit upon close inspection. Keys made with this skill work just as well as their real counterparts, but break after being used. Forging an object requires access to an amount of source material equivalent in size to the desired object.

[1d10+2] Fixing Wireframe's barrier

Shei's Chimera Demon dances feverishly amid the fight, and howls towards the clouds in the sky. Thunder belows and it seems a tumultous storm is suddenly taking form, where the party is in the eye of.

>Climate Control: Spell; Through your deep connection with nature, you can change the climate in your local area, albeit for a short amount of time. Attempting to summon major storms or other cataclysmic events may backfire horribly. In most cases, using this indoors only affects the climate outside.

[1d10+4] Summon Major Storm that blows away the distant Mosquitos.

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

 No.714406

>>714405
>>714404
>>714392
>>714394
The Chimera Demon knocks back the chakra that fly its way, sending them back into Pryce's grasp. Amy purges the poison damage from within her body, preventing it from destroying anything else within her. CD 4's frantic swings prevent her from being able to charge up more homing magic, but she and the nail beast manage to catch it in a pincer attack. The Chimera Demon swings at both of them, and manages to clip Amy on the side, but she and the nail beast then blast it with magic and needles, reducing it to a bloody corpse at last.

>Amy 2/5


Flaming is able to crush the swarm of mosquito demons that come your way before they can attack, but a great deal more simply rush by you, fleeing whatever it was that caused that explosion moments ago. Several earth-shattering stomps follow, one after the other, signaling a slowly, but steadily, approaching presence. Winds begin to blow, and thick clouds approach from the distance, blowing away several more mosquito demons.

At Pryce's command, the party quickly follow, rushing for the clock tower as the ground quakes beneath them. Pryce's magic restores only a little of the wounded tiger's body. The other tiger tenses and growls, blocking the way to the clock tower as you approach, evidently unsure if you too are predators. From the direction of the stomping, a colossal shadow falls over the plaza, cast by the approaching presence.

[font14]"Back! Back! My hideout! My hideout! Get your own!"[/font14] the tiget snarls, standing before you all. However, only Flaming can understand them.

>>714400
You and the knight rush into the cavern together, proceeding into the mouth of the cave. As Trapper and Vice book it up through their respective tunnels, in short order, they both meet up with Flow, arriving about the same time at the fork. However, the magic presence suddenly vanishes altogether, as if it were never there. The knight looks about, feeling the walls, apparently confused as well.
"It… it stopped?" Renee asks cautiously.

 No.714407

>>714404
>>714398

"Fine!" Amy shouts upon seeing even Flaming retreating.

>Already used instant action, will retreat next turn

 No.714408

Whoops.

[14]"Back! Back! My hideout! My hideout! Get your own!"[/14] the tiget snarls, standing before you all. However, only Flaming can understand them.

 No.714410

How do you do this?

"Back! Back! My hideout! My hideout! Get your own!"[/size14] the tiget snarls, standing before you all. However, only Flaming can understand them.

 No.714413

>>714406
Pryce starts to back, a bit of his gusto waning as the demon smacks his chakram back at him. Looking to see everypony else starting to move towards the tower, he speeds up his retreat as well.

When the tiger snarls and blocks their entrance, Pryce doesn't hesitate. With it still injured, his horn glows as he simply levitates it aside so they cna move past it and enter the tower.
>Telekinesis [Move Tiger] [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.714416

Shei-Sher steps forward "Fuck You!" He shouts at the tiger and then walks through the tower wall.
>Body Without Organs: The spirit and body are now one. Astral projection is instant/automatic and does not leave behind an unconscious body. The Spirit is unfettered and can travel any distance now. The spirit is visible and susceptible to regular combat. Traveling speed is similar to flying.
counts as an instant action

Shei uses his regular action to open up a Dark corridor on the other side of the Tower wall. Effectively creating a tunnel.
[1d10]

CD3 Continues dancing under Shei's control
>Climate Control: Spell;
[1d10+4] keep the mosquitoes from advancing

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 7 + 4 = 11

 No.714417

>>714406
As the towering creature finally falls, Flaming lets out a roar of victory, "YES! Okay, that's a good start, get everyone inside and we'll deal with the rest of them later!" She shouts, looking on at the buzzing swarm that approaches them all. However, as the winds begin to blow away other mosquitos, and a massive, stomping shadow looms overhead, Flaming looks up in confusion, "What… what is… is that ANOTHER demon?! I-it must be massive to make footsteps this loud!"

"Okay, everyone get in the tower, barricade the doors!" She stops, however, once the tiger-demons begin growling at them.

With no time to explain, Flaming leaps out in front of Pryce, shouting at the tiger
"Sorry, but we need to borrow it! You're injured, right?! We can heal you, but only if you let us inside! Please!"
[1d10] Making a plea to the tigers to let us by peacefully

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.714418

>>714406
>>714413
>>714416
>>714417

"I still say we just kill whatever it is," Amy says angrily, her coat still black.

She pops a potion in Pryce's mouth.

>Natural Remedy [1d10+3]


Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12

 No.714420

>>714406
Vice looks around as the presence leaves.
>"Damn…he might've psyched us out…"

Trapper leans down and tries sensing for the magic again.
>>"He probably left through that waterfall."
He bumps Vice and beckons him to go through the path he took.
Before Vice follows, he gives Flow back his coat.

"Aye lads, we'll go through the other tunnel…I don't know if we have the element of surprise anymore…"
Even still, Flow tries to be as cautious as he can while navigating through the cave.
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.714422

>>714418
Pryce nearly gags as the potion is suddenly thrust in his mouth. He pulls it out in a coughing fit, giving Amy a look.
"What was that for?!"

 No.714424

>Pryce fully healed

>>714418
>>714417
>>714416
>>714413
The lead tiger snarls and tenses as Flaming tries to reason with it, and as Pryce tries to move it, but Shei is able to get past them with his power, and open a corridor to the other side, allowing the others to get through. At first, your allies have pause at the presence of the two tigers, as they are much larger than normal tigers, and of course are demons. But, when Shei opens the corridor, they quickly scoot through.

Seeing this, the tiger that stood guard at the entrance growls, but as the stomping gets louder, it grips its companion by the scruff of the neck and drags it inside, through the clock tower's massive front doors.

The dark corridor deposits everyone on a small balcony area just slightly above ground level. The clock tower is an enormous structure, stretching upward a great distance, which eventually ends in an immactuately decorated ceiling, richly illustrated with iconography of holy warriors and priests, bearing scrolls of power, surrounded by calligraphy in a language you don't recognize. There are many floors to the clock tower as you can see, connected by wooden spiral staircases and the first floor appears to have been dug partly into the ground, as it's lower than the ground outside.

>>714420
As you head down the leftmost tunnel, Vice and Trapper note that the purple glowing mushrooms no longer glow, leaving the tunnel completely dark. For lack of a light source, the knight draws forth a small glowstone from his pouch, affixing it to his belt. The light is faint, illuminating only a few feet before you on all sides.

Eventually, something taps your shoulder.

 No.714427

>>714422

"You were hurt."

>>714424

"So, now what?" Amy asks like an annoyed child. Her coat fades slightly, but is still darker than usual.

>>714416

Amy kneels in front of Shei and looks at his missing limb. "Can we fix it?" she asks with concern.

 No.714428

Health fix.

 No.714430

Would like to Opt for my controlled Chimera Demon to come through the dark corridor as well please.

>>714427
Shei lowers his bag to the ground opening it, showing how it's become a gelatinous mold of his arm. "What do you think.."

>>714424
>>714422
"Pryce -Pryce try healing it. Heal the arm. Like you did with all us before. Maybe it will revert." Shei exudes hollow desperation

Ready to use Alchemy on reverting arm when Pryce heals it.
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session; Forge a small- to medium-sized object out of a natural elemental source, such as water or earth. If this object is a weapon, it carries the elemental properties* of the material it was made from and is +1 quality on a critical forging roll. Objects made with this skill disappear after a few hours. If this skill is used to make Bits or fake documents, they are obviously counterfeit upon close inspection. Keys made with this skill work just as well as their real counterparts, but break after being used. Forging an object requires access to an amount of source material equivalent in size to the desired object.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.714431

>>714430

"Y-yes?" Amy asks genuinely and hopefully.

 No.714432

>>714424
>>714430
As the tiger tenses up and snarls at Flaming, Flaming growls back, "Come ON! This isn't the time for you to be stubborn, your friend's hurt and we can help him. Let us in-"

As the stomping gets louder, Flaming looks back in fear, wondering just how close the creature is, before looking over at Shei walking through the walls of the tower, causing her to open her eyes in surprise. "What the-!" Then, as Shei opens up a Dark Corridor for them all inside, Flaming's surprise is replaced by relief, and she races through the tunnel, shouting, "EVERYONE IN!"

She looks back at the tigers guarding the door as they find themselves going inside, giving them one last look as though to say 'come on' before theycome through the clock tower's massive doors. Flaming moves to lock them, and after taking in a quick look of the interior, shouts out, "Okay, is everyone inside, no one left behind?!"

>>714427
Flaming takes a look at Amy's pitch black cloak, frowning. "We'll get him fixed up, Amy… River had less limbs than he does now, and she got them back."

>>714413
>>714430
She turns to Pryce and Shei, "Good call for us to go inside, Pryce, I think things were getting too much for us out there… Shei," she frowns, looking at the remains of the arm, mournful for Shei's loss. "I'm sorry… how are you feeling?"

 No.714433

>>714431
>>714422
Shei simply grimaces at Amy's response and then looks to Pryce his face pleading him to heal the arm

 No.714434

>>714424
>>714418
>>714417
>>714416
Pryce is the last to go through the corridor, making sure everypony else made it through fine first. He stops only when the corridor closes, finally breathing as they have a moment to relax. He sets his chakram and spears against the clock tower's wall, and finally let's Lockjaw free from his robe, now that he doesn't need ot shield his pet from the demon's onslaught. He looks up at the immense height and decoration in the ceiling. If it wasn't for the threat of demons and the destruction they fought through, this might be a good moment.
"Is everypony ok?"
Pryce asks the group as everypony recovers.

>>714427
"I'll be fine, you should worry about everypony else first."

>>714430
Pryce looks to Shei, his eyes lingering on the stump of his forelegs still on his body.
"Shei, are you feeling fine enough for now? The magic stopped the bleeding at least, right?"
He asks, stumbling over his words as he hasn't seen a grave injury like this since the last horrible event.

He looks down at the arm, and nods.
"I'll try my best."
He says in a serious tone, horn glowing white as he sends a pulse of soothing magic over Shei and the arm to try and help his friend.
>Commandment of Balance [Auto]

"You showed a lot of bravery out there, still managing to act after losing a limb. I've seen a few knights act far worse over far less."
He says, mostly trying to keep up morale, possibly for his own sake.
"…When did you learn to pass through walls?"

>>714432
"I thought we would've had it. But when that explosion went off… We couldn't face everything all at once. We might need to wait for it to walk by before leaving this tower."
Pryce says, the tiniest hint of fear residing in his voice.



>>714424
When the healing and checking is done, Pryce walks over and sits down next to Zjetya.
"Are you alright?"
He asks with deep concern.

 No.714435

>>714433
>>714432
>addendum
"And… how did you get into the tower? It looked like you just went right through the stone. You can do that now?"

 No.714436

>>714424
>>714430
>>714434
Pryce's horn also casts a golden light on Shei's arm, attempting to stabilize whatever poisons and infections that got inside and hopefully keep it secure.
>Mantra of Purity [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.714437

>>714427
Everyone takes a moment to catch their breath and collect themselves now that they're apparently safe from the threat, but a chill passes through the room as they hear more and more stomps and cracks coming from outside. Though they've been rejuvenated by your powers, each of them looks mentally worn out, even, somehow, Box, who is usually the most upbeat out of all your current allies. In a short period, the stomps slow and eventually stop, though nobody around you relaxes, evidently expecting things to get worse.

>>714432
>>714430
"M-maybe you could get a replacement built!" LJ suggests, grossed out by the annihilated arm. "Clockwork technicians among Buiwong's cultists often made simple prosthetics for those among us who lost limbs during our expeditions into unknown lands.
"I'd offer to sew it back on, but that thing's long gone," Wireframe says grimly.

>>714432
>>714434
The party looks around, and do a quick head count. It looks like everyone's been accounted for, but mentally exhausted and shaken by the sight of Shei's limb being destroyed. Lockjaw softly shivers within Pryce's robe, not wanting to come out.
Zjetya, meanwhile, takes a seat a little distance from everyone else, and has a moment to breathe. She tenses a little as Pryce comes over, wringing her forehooves to keep them from shaking. "Well, we won pretty handily, alright, but damn… they wouldn't give up, would they? Even after all we did to cut them down left right and center."

Tantra looks over at Flaming. "How about you? I was busy being mobbed by the little ones and couldn't keep an eye on your battle."

>>714436
That scrap of flesh and bone looks beyond anyone's capacity to save.

>>714430
You reattach your arm to your stub of a shoulder, but it is dead, and cold, nonfunctioning. It drips ichorous blood and dead flesh, and the bones are dissolved and visible in patches. The rest of the party looks on in abject disgust, except for Volkama who seems to get a kick out of it. "Put a little ice on it, that should help."

>Paused

 No.714438

>>714434
>"…When did you learn to pass through walls?"
"What do you mean? What kind of cripple can't walk through walls." He says in a faux caustic tone, but it's obvious he's trying to draw levity from the situation.

 No.714440

>>714434
Flaming looks to Pryce as she checks over her wounds, nodding her head. "Y-yes, I think so. Just, exhausted… those things just wouldn't let up, there were so many of them. I think we can take out the rest but, we just need to breath first and… let whatever that *thing* was out there. I couldn't see it, could you?"

 No.714442

>>714438
"Heh, right, what was I thinking. That was a pretty nice trick though, might come in helpful."
Pryce says with an awkward chuckle.

 No.714444

>>714440
"I couldn't either, I could only hear its steps."
Pryce replies grimly.
"And this was only one part of this city. I can't imagine what else is out there, or what magic Regina has to keep them at bay."

 No.714445

>>714424
All of the goos grow increasingly uneasy as the mushroom's faint glow no longer helps them.
Although Vice can somewhat remember the path, the odd lighting discomforts him, and his eyes dart around nervously.

As soon as something touches his shoulder, Flow spins and tries grabbing whoever touched him without prior warning.
>grabban
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.714446

>>714444
"I wouldn't worry about Regina took much: she keeps them at bay, we're throwing ourselves into the thick of it. There's a difference in how much effort one takes versus the other. Still, yeah, I'm surprised just how persistent these ones are, there were tons of them… finding that treasure isn't going to be easy in all this."

She looks towards the tigers, before asking Pryce, "Hey, Pryce… can I ask a favor?"

 No.714447

>>714446
"Yea… though it still takes an immense effort to keep this many demons at bay."

Pryce looks to Flaming.
"What is it?"

 No.714450

>>714447
"The tigers… I can understand them." She points towards a brooch on her neck with her hoof, "The little you was there for it, but you weren't: when we got through the Temple of Slipper, looking for that hidden vault of old Sons of God stuff? One of the things in there was this: it's a brooch that lets me understand animals. The mosquitoes were nothing but rage and violence… but the tigers there seem more reasonable. I think this is their home. If you can heal them, I think I can convince them to help us take out the rest of the bugs."

 No.714451

>>714450
Pryce looks down at the brooch.
"That's quite a treasure you found."
He glances over at the tigers for a second, then back to Flaming.
"If you say so, I shall. But… I think I'll wait until we all recover a bit, just to be safe."

 No.714471

>>714437
Feeling Lockjaw shiver, Pryce keeps him in his robe, upset at seeing his once ferocious (for it's size) pet scared. Pryce sits beside Zjetya, placing Lockjaw in his lap, pulling up a piece of meat for him to snack on while giving him some consoling pets.
"I haven't seen that many demons since Circadia, but those even seemed to have an end."
He comments, silent for a moment before turning to Zjetya, looking at her hooves.
"You didn't get injured or anything, did you? You don't need to hide anything here."
Pryce ask in concern.

 No.714472

>>714471
Lockjaw sits on your lap, stiff and anxious and alert, not reacting much to your petting or to the strips of jerky you offer him. He looks about this way and that, clearly fearful for another wave.

"I got cut and scraped and bruised pretty badly trying to hold the wave off you guys in the vanguard," Zjetya says, "But I'm alright now after that big wave of healing magic you and Amy used. It's just…" she shudders, her hooves slowing. "I got an eyeful the moment that swarm chewed Shei's arm right off."

 No.714473

>>714472
"It's okay little guy. No more demons will be getting in here."
Pryce whispers to Lockjaw to help ease his deviljho.

"That's a relief. You… it's typically been worse in past excursions."
Pryce says, wondering if that was a good thing to say partway through. He looks up from her hooves, giving a glance over at Shei a moment.
"It won't be happening again. I swear that I'll keep everypony else safe while we're here."
Pryce states, though while his tone has concern to settle her worries, it carries regret at letting it happen to begin with.

 No.714474

>>714473
Slowly, Lockjaw relaxes his posture, becoming more calm. He hops off of your lap and trots over to Zjetya, inspecting her wings. Zjetya glances his way, scratching the underside of his chin softly.

"It's not that I don't have faith in you, but we need to be realistic," Zjetya says. "I was thinking about what Blessings was saying to us back in Vitral, that we were lucky that the only demons we've faced so far have been weak enough for us to handle. We ended up alright at the end there, but only because you and Amy dropped your strongest powers on us. If there'd just been a few more of the bigger demons there, we could've ended up even worse off – someone getting kidnapped or killed, even."

 No.714475

>>714474
Pryce smiles as Lockjaw relaxes and starts to walk around with his old curiosity.

"I know. At the start of that fight, I didn't think it was going to be any issue. …I hesitated when we took a few bad hits. I thought we could fight through it, I was cocky."
He glances down at his medal.
"I wasn't much of a knight there."
When Zjetya mentions somepony could've been taken or killed, Pryce hangs his head for a moment. He takes a breath, the possibility a reality that he doesn't want to acknowledge. There's a moment of silence.
"I don't want you fighting if another wave of demons comes at us."

 No.714476

>>714475
After getting his share of scratches from Zjetya, Lockjaw turns your way, and nudges you with his chin. "He's a little demanding, isn't he?" Zjetya jokes.

She listens to your concerns about the fight, and twists her mouth. "Cocky? Seriously? We're a small army, Pryce, it shouldn't be any trouble for us to deal with most demons we'd come across. These ones had to pull out all the stops before we started to get overwhelmed. We can hold out own, so we have a right to be confident – and I don't wanna hear about you not being much of a knight, not when you got some good hits in."

She then looks shocked as you tell her not to fight. "Wh… I can't promise that. I need to carry my weight when things get ugly."

 No.714477

>>714476
Pryce reaches down and gives Lockjaw some scritches at his demand, as well as the piece of jerky he didn't take earlier.
"I think he believes he's the owner here."
Pryce chuckles.

"When I was in training, we were told never to underestimate our foe. Myself especially, with my magic I should be changing how I fight to how they act. I could've healed earlier to prevent us from getting hurt as we did. I should've done more than trying to cut them down before they cut us down."
Pryce says, his tone changing from guilt to more self-scolding in review. He looks back up as Zjetya tells him to not say how he isn't' a knight.
"Today just… hasn't been that great."

"I want you to promise it."
Pryce says sternly.
"I've already seen you nearly lose a limb twice now. I can't let it happen a third time. Or worse."
Pryce chokes out that last word, not wanting to humor the thought.

 No.714478

>>714477
Lockjaw takes the piece of jerky, slowly chewing it. He lays across your lap, setting his full weight on you as he gnaws his treat.

Zjetya rubs her head as you go over your critique. "It's easy to say all this after the fact, isn't it? Of course you can see now what you 'should' have done, but during the battle, you have to trust your gut and go with what seems best for the situation, don't you?" She shrugs. "It's good you're learning from what you saw, but I think you've accomplished more than enough for you to have the benefit of the doubt. Hell, that disaster we were dealing with in the Birdcage should prove that by itself."

Zjetya reflexively touches the leg she nearly lost trying to save the baby monsters who had taken up residence in the Tree of Red Lacquer. "And what if someone else would get hurt if I didn't fight? I can't just let the same thing happen to them! Please, I don't understand, why can't I fight alongside everyone all of a sudden?"

 No.714479

>>714478
Pryce leaves Lockjaw where he lays, letting him gnaw in piece and petting his back.

"That's what I'm getting at. I should have the instinct to adapt, but I didn't. Instead I stuck to trying to force through the fight and it didn't work out. An even then I still kept at it until I called for us to retreat."
Pryce stops for a moment, exhaling to try and relax himself.
"I must just be shaken. The Birdcage was the first large conflict I've been in, and now everything will be like that."

"Because I don't want to lose you, okay?"
Pryce says suddenly after her plea. He looks away quickly after, conflict heavy on his face.

 No.714480

>>714479
Lockjaw quickly finishes the piece of jerky, his powerful tail wagging back and forth. He nips at your hoof in between pets in a playful manner, never biting down hard enough to hurt.

"Okay, fair points, but the fact you're recognizing it at all is a credit to you," Zjetya says. "Most others would just throw themselves at the wall until it's too late. We had a loss in this fight, but… to be blunt, we should be glad it wasn't worse."

Zjetya looks shocked as you confess your reasoning. She twists her mouth, her brow tight and displeased. Her expression reminds you of the night outside the Witchbone Jungle, when she first expressed her feelings toward you.

She lets a long, palpable pause linger between you.

"Are you serious?" she asks, with weight.

 No.714481

>>714480
Pryce leaves his hoof for Lockjaw to play with, his mind too taken by what he said to Zjetya.

"I am."
Pryce answers. After another moment of silence, he finally lifts his head to face her, staring her in the eyes. His expression is stern, expected of a knight giving orders, but forced.
"After I realized that was you in that tree, I felt terrible about the way I treated you. When you lost your wings at Mariposa, I hated that I wasn't there to stop that demon trainer from taking them. Shei has experience with demons, he's been able to handle himself through the worst. And look at what they managed to do to him! To you, they…"
Pryce's tone gradually grows more worried, his face following suit as he continues to talk.

 No.714482

>>714481
Lockjaw flops around on your lap, twisting and turning as he play-fights your hoof, perhaps thinking it some kind of predator or hunter.

"You're saying I'm most likely to lose my life, considering how badly Shei got hurt in spite of his expertise and power, right?" Zjetya asks, deflating slightly. "…Told Amy I wasn't bullshitting her."

 No.714483

>>714482
"Wait, no, that's not what I meant."
Pryce corrects when her pride is hurt.
"You're not weak. But every place we go you end up getting gravely hurt."
He says apologetically, though immediately regrets his word choice. He pulls his hoof away from Lockjaw, putting them both on Zjetya's shoulders as he turns himself and her to face each other.
"You're caring. Both those times you were helping, but things just went south. I thought today was going to be simple, just a scout and some treasure hunting. But it's not. I promised today would be about you. And…"
Pryce pauses with an expression of weakness.
"…I'm scared I won't be able to protect you."

 No.714484

>>714483
Zjetya listens patiently, her expression not changing much. She frowns in thought once it's done, then eventually sighs with a look of resignation. "Pryce, it's alright. Things will go smoother when we accept that there's a real difference in ability between some members of the group. Not even all of us can use those 'Aspect' powers, the whole 'old magic' thing that the rest of you have. I'm not weak, but I'm not as strong as the others, either.

"…Then, alright. I won't get involved in fights… unless it's to keep the worst from happening to one of our allies. That's the point I can't compromise on, whatever else happens. Can you accept that?"



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