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The party have arrived at the far flung seaside village of Moonhollow, ruled over by the elusive Lord Harroway. They have found that among other problems, the surrounding lands are plagued by a magical corruption known as the Blight. Having befriended the aspiring knight Dalliance, the party have signed on with a slowly growing band of adventurers working to cleanse the lands around Moonhollow.
Their first mission consisted of them rescuing Anna, the local blacksmith's daughter, who had apparently not been kidnapped, but instead run away to prove herself in combat. Their mission was a success, and they made two new allies: Cinder Fabrie, a kirin, and Solar Flair, a pegasus. The latter had already succumbed to the Blight, but the party found that this could be undone through great effort. Unfortunately, Solar was attacked by a creature which appeared to be an advanced form of the Blight, and was made comatose. He is currently in recovery.
With their new friend Cinder having joined the party, the group have split into two for the moment:
Voleurz, Dalliance and Rainy have stayed in Moonhollow for the time being, seeking their next mission. They appear to have found one: food is scarce in Moonhollow due to the local farms being plagued by a terrible beast of unknown nature. After asking around, they have discerned that the beast appears to be some sort of wolf, but of an unnatural size, leaving no trace behind.
Talon, Jesse and Platinum have accompanied Cinder in trying to find her former charge, a renowned paladin called Guiding Moonlight. Cinder, Solar and a handful of others were part of a hired group to escort Moonlight to the village, but a Blight attack led to them being separated. After some investigating, they found Moonlight, only to find her having driven mad by the Blight. Unlike most, she appears to be fighting the corruption, but can no longer tell friend from foe, reduced to little more than a beast.
having mostly drained the pitcher, Rainy retracts her tendrils with a content sigh and happily trots her way back to the main hall.
I lean in to hear him and only give him a small nod before returning my attention to answering any other potential questions or concerns.
Cinder not only doesn't mind, she maintains prolonged eye contact with the griffon, searching his own eyes for traces of yellow flecks.
"I been doin some talkin round here lately. If worst comes to worst we got a fairly good shot of gettin outta here. It's about 2 days to the nearest city. The village should have enough food to make it. As for protection its iffy but if we travel in a caravan it'll improve our odds. I say if things go wrong we everyone in the village high tails it outta here. We can get reinforcements and purge these blights later"
"We'll talk after the meeting, Mr.Blackbriar."
As you introduce Imago, she waves happily at whoever's watching. "Yes, hello. I'm just here to help!"
Solar nods. "Seems like a sound plan, capturing the castle. Won't be easy. But nothing around here ever is, is it." He crosses his foreleg.
Dalliance weighs in. "What CAN we expect? According to rumors? We should be ready for anything."
"Oh? What's that about the Familiar?" Imago looks curious.>>719751
You hear Platinum's entire spiel.>>719747
Dalliance flinches a little as you yell, while Imago doesn't even seem to notice until everyone's looking around to you.
Solar and Imago look at each other. "I've got one," Solar calls out. "Yellow in her eyes!"
Neither of you are Blighted.
"Seems you aren't blighted Cinder, as far as these eyes can see." Talon says with a smile. "How about mine?' Talon asks of her.
"There are a few rumors. Evidently they revolve around cultists or vampires, if I recall correctly." I rub my chin. "Perhaps bring some holy water if the church can spare it, now that I think of it."
I nod to Imago. "That it will. That's why I've gathered everyone. There are one or two more ponies I'd like to try and bring along. I'd not been able to find them before this meeting, but if I can before tomorrow morning- well, perhaps I can convince them to join us."
I glance to Imago and grin. "In the absence of Stolas and Gort-" I knit my brow. "Actually, I suppose you'd have no reason to know this, but Stolas is responsible for this mess. He confronted us last night and has since turned tail. Lord Harroway has agreed to sell the vacant building to me, as otherwise the many adventurers he's called here won't have a decent place to turn in at night."
She smiles. "Nothing. You're clean." She opens her arms for a hug.
After, she looks to the group, to see how many of them are actually making a check to see each other's eyes.
Talon accepts the hug by pulling cinder into his arms. Having her close he says. "Good to hear, I dislike the idea of turning to dust quite a bit. I doubt I would feel good Mrs. Cinder."
"Ooh, blight check? I'm here to help, if we need it! There was a really big pitcher of water in there, so i'm ready to heal." the goo adds, pointing a tendril towards the kitchen.
"Spooky," Imago comments.
"Who did you have in mind?" Dalliance asks. "Amaranth?"
Her eyes widen at the news. "Really? Stolas? That's… huh. Wow. Okay. Only met him like once, but sure. If he's the bad guy here, then I guess we have someone to beat up! Though, I'd feel kind of bad hurting a cat."
I nod to Dalliance. "Mr.Amaranth was who I specifically had in mind, yes."
"Unfortunately so, Ms.Imago. Though I don't believe he's actually a cat. He's a familiar, so he's likely a spirit or demon or some other thing in the shape of a cat. While this makes fighting against him less- uncomfortable
, I suppose, it also makes it more dangerous."
"Well. I'll feel a little less bad then. Still. I like cats. How would he even fight us?" She shrugs. "Er, I don't really have much to do here. I've just been sleeping in the armory, haha. I'm ready to leave whenever everyone else is."
Cinder steps to Rainy, attempts to read her eyes for the blight.
"Boy, this would be awkward, but we have to know, right?"
I blink. "The- the armory? Goodness, that can't have been comfortable."
She shrugs. "I make do with what I've got. Always have. 'S no big deal, really. I'm used to roughing it."
I try to keep the look of pitty off my face, but I'm not sure I actually manage. "Unfortunate," I say. "Well, after we return you may not have to worry about it again." I chuckle. "Though I imagine sleeping among such a stockpile of weapons would provide a measure of security. On that note, however, I must depart. If I'm to find more allies I should attemt while there's still light. I also need to find two more weapons. I glance between Dalliance and Imago. "If either of you would care to join me, feel free. Otherwise," I look up. "And this goes for everyone," I try to say over the chatter. "We reconvene here at dawn!"
"Ooh! Can I?" Imago bounces to your side. "I haven't really left the hall much since I arrived. They, uh, don't seem to like me much out there. The townsfolk, I mean. I don't blame them. But it'd be nice to go out with some company!"
Imago follows you along as you leave the hall. "Wow. This place looks depressing. …So, who are we looking for? I guess to storm this castle we'll need all the muscle we can get, right? …Actually. Why don't you tell me what to look for, and I'll go peek around? Then we can meet back here!"
I chuckle. Energetic, isn't she? I suppose the poor girl is itching to actually do something, so I can't really blame her. "Well," I say. "I'm specifically looking for a heavily armored pony named Amaranth, but we should take any help we can get. I was even going to ask Mr.Wilfred, the blacksmith, while I was buying a couple of weapons."
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"Alright! I'll go take a look and see what I can find!" She takes to the air and starts scouting the town from above.>>719777
You soon find Amaranth near an artificial pond, skimming rocks out of boredom. He starts as you approach. "Oho! Hello again, sir. What brings you my way?"
"Mr.Amaranth! Good evening." I step up beside him. "You missed my speech -a rousing speech at that, if I might be so bold- in the guild hall. I'll keep it short. I'm getting a group together to take on an expedition to Castle Carlisle. Once clear it's a good option in the event of an evacuation. We already have-" I glance to the sky in thought as I count. "I want to say nine members. I'm looking to bring in as many as possible, as it is likely to be quite dangerous. You're one of the ponies who immediately came to mind, but I couldn't find you earlier."
"Oh! It sounds like quite the expedition! I would be a fool to turn down such an opportunity! I was not busy, anyhow. I would be honored to join your party." The animated armor does a clunky sort of bow. "My sword is yours, sir!"
"Wonderful! I'm glad to have you, as I'm sure the rest of the group will be. We're meeting at the guild hall at dawn. Until then, take your time to prepare yourself." I take a step away. "I, however, am going to go have a word with Mr.Wilfred. Good day, Mr.Amaranth." I make my way toward the smithy.
"Dawn it is then. I have little to do to prepare myself. Save for preventing this body from rusting. Haha! Until tomorrow!"
You head to the blacksmith. As you approach, you hear the repeated banging of a hammer on steel, and the hissing of molten steel in water. To your slight surprise, though, it is not Wilfried working the forge, but Anna. She is covered in soot and grime, rather violently beating out a sword's blade on an anvil. She gives you a fiery look as you approach, saying nothing.
I slow down at her glare, but put my best smile on. "Good evening, Ms.Anna. Working the forge, I see?" I clear my throat. Did something happen? Goodness, I hope Mr.Wilfred wasn't one of the blighted who were taken. "I, er- I came in hopes of aquiring a cheap weapon or two. And I'd hoped to speak with your father."
She doesn't answer, her lip trembling a bit. She sniffs a little, and keeps angrily working on the sword. In a corner, you can see a large pile of freshly forged swords.
My smile falls and I remain silent for a moment. "Was he one of the blighted who were taken?" I ask as simply and tactfully as possible.
My smile falls and I remain silent for a moment. "Was he one of the blighted who were taken?" I ask as simply and tactfully as possible.
She doesn't answer. "What do you want?" she says huskily, her voice cracking a little. She doesn't stop working the whole time.
"I-" I glance away. "I'm getting the strongest people I've met together to clear out and secure Castle Carlisle. As a defense against the blighted. An all out war is upon us. I'd also wanted to buy one to three spare swords." My heart feels significanrly heavier as I look up at her.
"I recently lost my father as well," I say. "It doesn't seem like coping with it gets any easier. If you'd like to talk-" I glance away again. "Anyway, if he was blighted, my party and I are doing everything in our power to fix this."
[1d10+1] Reassuring and comforting?Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
She stops assaulting the metal as you mention your plan. She doesn't look at you, but you can tell she's listening. After a moment, she sets her jaw and puts the hammer down before marching over and taking up her makeshift maul. "Tell me where," she simply says, her hands trembling a little.
"Well, we're meeting at the guild hall at dawn." I knit my brow. "But are you sure you're fit to go? It will be quite dangerous. Likely even more dangerous than the forest. I've seen you're a capable fighter, so I shan't deny you should you decide you wish to attend, but-" I pause. "Well, perhaps you should have more experience?"
"Moonhollow's lost its best warriors," she growls. "And whoever's behind this is winning. So I'm going to fight. Because no one else will. If you wanna try and stop me, I'll fight you too."
I defensively raise a hoof. "Now now, I already said I had no intention of trying to stop you. As I said. We're meeting at the guild hall at dawn. Take what time you need to prepare."
"I will." She looks at the hammer, then to the pile of swords. "How many will you need?"
"Three. I'd like to be able to arm each of my clones, should the need arise. The problem is, a companion of mine is holding on to the group's funds right now. Currently I only have 180 bits."
She nods and shifts through the swords she's been making, unceremoniously passing you three, complete with rough leather scabbards. "They're not the best. But they'll do. Money doesn't matter anymore."
I give her a somber nod and take the three swords, strapping two on my left side and one on my right with my rapier. "Well, reasoning aside, I appreciate it. We'll say I owe you for now. Doubly so, as you've agreed to assist our merry band. I was always taught to keep your debts squared away, so I shan't forget, Ms.Anna." I turn and glance over my shoulder. "Good evening. I shall see you at dawn."
Next I make my way back to the general store. Doubtless the little excursion will last days, so supplies are a must. My wallet aches just thinking about it, but what must be done must be done.
She nods. "See you then," she simply says, brooding quietly as you leave.
You go to the general goods store, finding Scot Free hard at work doing absolutely nothing as usual, this time reading a fantasy novel. From what you can make out on the blurb, it's about a futuristic city where sickness is spreading through magic crystals. He looks up from his important work as the little bell above the door rings, heralding your arrival. "Hey, drifter," he says lazily, putting the book away and straightening his floppy bucket hat. "Wouldn't happen to know where everyone is, would ya? Been awful quiet here since yesterday. No one ever tells me nothing."
>Torches: 5 bits each>Tents: 30 bits each (includes hammer and pegs)>Bedrolls: 10 bits>Frypan: 10 bits>Shovel: 10 bits>Fire starting kit: 15 bits>Rope: 3 bits/foot>Waterskins: 10 bits>Rations: 15 bits (1 ration=1 days worth of food for one pony)>Backpack: 10 bits>Antivenom: 15 bits>Healing potion: 25 bits (automatic heal for full hits and 1 wound)
I step into the store and take a small look around. "I'm afraid the answer to that is a little complicated, Mr.Free. Though you'll likely find out at the town meeting tonight anyway. It seems a large portion of the town has come down with the blight, and Stolas of The Familiar is the one behind it. I'm actually here shopping for supplies to help fight it off." I look up at him and knit my brow. "Goodness, I apologize. That's probably a lot to take in."
I grab six potions, a torch, a fire starting kit, and an antivenom. "I believe this will be all for now. I don't suppose I can get some kind of 'risking life and limb to save Moonhollow' discount?"
[1d10+1]Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
His eyes widen. "Stolas? Well, I shouldn't be surprised. He's always been fishy to me. I'm more of a dog person myself." He ponders this information for a good long while. "Hope you can do something about it. Blight's killing my business. It's the curse of Moonhollow."
He sizes up what you're buying. "Eh, why not. It's for a good cause innit. I'll leave it at 155 for ya."
"Unfortunately I had a bad feeling about him as well, but I chose to ignore it." I smile. "155? How very generous of you. I'll do all I can to bring business back and curb the blight, Mr.Free. You have my word." I count out the 155 bits and set them on the counter. "I'll likely return to restock after the quest, as well. Thank you."
And good luck. You're gonna need it with what you're up against.">-155 bits
I nod my goodbyes and leave the shop, heading back to the guild hall to meet back up with Imago.
You find her waiting around as usual, playing checkers against herself. She appears to be losing. She looks up happily as you approach. "Heya! I found plenty of suits of armor, but none that talked. So I just came back here like you said. Any luck finding the dude?"
"I found him quite swiftly, actually. It seems he'll be joining us, along with Ms.Anna." I nod to my new swords. "Who graciously donated these three blades. I also picked up some supplies. I feel I've prepared as well as I can manage."