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/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!
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File: 1552190076792.jpg (635.26 KB, 2000x1250, dd0tr7o-e4a96c53-3f5b-4336….jpg)

 No.713264[Last 50 Posts]

The story so far:

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.

 No.713267

>>713260 (Voleurz)
Dalliance nods eagerly. "Let's get going then!… Er… which way did they go? I… I didn't see…"

>>713261 (Platinum)
You take the full brunt of the blow, getting run through by the glowing blade. It sears and smokes, and you collapse next to Cinder. The mad paladin breathes raggedly, like a deep sea diver, bearing over your prone form.
>Platinum takes 7 hits, helpless at 0/3

>>713262 (Jesse)
She snarls and spins around as the shot hits her in the chest, turning the sword around in midair to face you.

>>713263 (Cinder)
You roll over, but your head is still spinning, and you fail to pick yourself back up.

>>713265
Moonlight's sword swings upwards as you approach, slashing you across the chest.
>Talon takes 4 hits

>>713266
>>713263
>>713262
>>713261
Enraged by the gunshot, Moonlight ignores everyone else for the moment, galloping towards Jesse and swinging the sword in a horizontal swipe.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.713268

>>713265 is Talon

 No.713269

>>713267
I crawl over to cinder and attempt to try to pick them up.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.713270

File: 1552191069659.jpg (76.41 KB, 786x1017, 8b7ff084621bdae4633078a3e8….jpg)

>>713267
https://pastebin.com/mEidtfKx
>Backstory update pending

"Well now, we've got this lovely tracking device I reckon. Hopefully it's good for something."

Voleurz says, looking to the clone following them.
>>713261
"C'mon boy, show us where's Platinum Prime at."

Voleurz says, waving her hoof in front of the double.

 No.713271

>>713267
The kirin snorts in frustration at her failed and clumsy attempt to right herself. She shakes her head to clear it, bits of flame shaking off her mane like water drops off a wet dog, bouncing off the ruined floor of the castle and sizzling out quickly.
>>713269
Cinder nods to the griffon in appreciation as she takes the help clambering to her hooves.

She takes a breath, narrowed eyes locked on Guiding Moonlight as she redistributes her weight, coiling like a snake about to strike.
And strike she does! Pouncing into a rolling attack, Cinder wraps herself in a wreath of flames, bearing down on the corrupted paladin with a vengeance. She is a whirlwind of unbearable heat and screaming rage, one with the elements, terrible to behold.

Tumble (Elementalist Fire) [1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.713272

>>713267
"Follow me" he says with a dastardly smiles and dashes to a pillar all while attempting to hit her

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713273

>>713267
"Cinder and the others ran off ages ago! I hope they're alright, these forests are really dangerous!"

>>713270
"Ohh! That could work, maybe the clone knows his way back to platinum!"

 No.713274

>>713267
My chest heaves as I collapse to the ground. I managed it. I actually got her out of the way this time. Weakly, I try to pull myself to my trembling legs.

 No.713275

>>713274

[1d10]


>>713273
>>713270
I smile and look between them. They want something. I was told to follow their orders, so that's what I'll do! I close my eyes and try to sense master.

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713276

I stand up, still shaking. Without any fanfare, my horn lights up and I aim another shot at her blade. It seems Cinder has no problem attacking her proper, so I shift my target to the much easier to aim at body.

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

"If things don't start looking up, perhaps we should consider a tactical retreat!" I call out.

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

 No.713277

File: 1552192888239.png (12.8 KB, 1290x101, ee4fc875e2eeecfeef0e56305d….png)

>>713273
>last thread

 No.713278

>>713269
As Cinder manages to get up on her own, you help up Platinum instead, hauling him to his feet.

>>713271
You clamber up and charge at her, leaping and curling up into a ball midair as you burst into flame. You slam into her as she tries to attack Jesse, slamming her into a wall, setting her alight and pelting her with falling debris. She shrieks with pain and rage as you thwart her attack, collapsing for a moment.

>>713272
You distract her like a matador, pulling her away from the rest of the group; however, Cinder manages to barrel into her at the last moment before you get to attack her.

>>713276
Your magic bolt goes wide, sizzling as it bursts agains the rotting wooden walls of the watchtower.

>>713274
>>713271
>>713272
>>713269
Moonlight takes a knee from Cinder's blow, wheezing as she takes time to recover. Her horn lights up, and the sword starts hovering once again, flying straight at Cinder.
[1d10+2]

>>713275
>>713273
>>713270
Platinum's clone starts heading off away from the farmsteads and towards the woods. "Seems he's leading us to him," Dalliance comments cheerily, following the illusion onward.

As you trek for about 20 minutes, the illusion starts moving through a patch of boggy marshland, infested by mosquitoes and other undesirable insects. It is difficult to see through the reeds, but you stick close to the doppelganger, until you come to a clearing with what looks like a wooden watchtower. You can hear the distant sounds of fighting coming from within. Dalliance, who has been quietly suffering through the swamp trek, perks up as you near the watchtower. "Sounds like they're in trouble. What should we do? What's the plan?"

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

 No.713279

>>713278
Jesse sees the sword fly at Cinder but he has a different idea. Charging directly at her frame he tries to bring the butt of his gun hammering down upon her horn

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713280

>>713278
My horn lights up as I try to summon two more doppelgangers. One beside me, one closer to Cinder. You've been slacking, Platinum. You need to stay vigilant and keep them active.

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.713281

>>713278
I take flight away from the battle gaining distance above so I wouldn't fall to an errant swipe of a sword."Come on everyone we need to go, it will just get up again when we knock it down!" I yell to everyone.

Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns.

Attempting to stall for some time I set a trap with the debris around the area once again to trap the blight for some time.

 No.713282

>>713281
[1d10] trap

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.713283

>>713276
The kirin calls back through clenched teeth, "Think you might be right! This is one tough broad!"

>>713278
Cinder is ready for Moonlight's attack this time. Watching the sword fly at her, she neatly spins, calculating that this will place her in a favorable position.
Dodge [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713284

>>713283
>>713278
Oof, slight miscalculation. Cinder moves as best she is able toward the steps they arrived by, attempting a hasty retreat before she gets too familiar with Midnight's eerie sword again.

 No.713285

>>713278
"Run and hide and hope none of them survive so we don't feel any guilt." Voleurz grins, looking to Dalliance, "What do you think my valiant knight? We play the hero."

Voleurz gallops towards the scene, throwing a knife to the top of the watchtower.

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

[1d10+1] DC-1 at an upper wall inside the watchtower

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.713286

>>713278
Flowing through the marshland unabated, Rainy samples some of the puddles as the group travels.

Hearing the fight nearby, however, Rainy looks on in panic as she surges past the others, towards the noise!

"Oh no! Hang on, everypony!"

 No.713287

>>713279
You conk her over the head with your gun. It just pisses her off, and she turns the sword towards you next.

>>713280
Your horn glows, but you are too heavily injured to be able to concentrate long enough to summon your doubles.

>>713281
>>713282
You loosen some of the rotting planks and crumbling stone to fall.

>>713283
You move up the stairs slightly, getting out of the way of her sword swing.

>>713285
She blinks, then puffs out her chest and draws her sword. "For great justice!" she cheers dramatically. She watches with curiosity and waits patiently for your command as you hurl a knife to the top level. It sticks firmly into the rotted wood.

>>713286
You move closer to the watchtower, where you can see your allies fighting a single Blight clad in once brilliant armor, her mane covering most of her face like a veil. The unicorn uses a floating sword, glowing greenish blue. She is filled with animalistic rage as she fights all four of your companions at once, who seem to have suffered great injuries; Cinder and Platinum seem to be the worst off right now. None of them appear to have noticed you yet.

>>713279
>>713280
>>713281
>>713281
Moonlight gets back up, retrieving the sword and lurching forward. She is pinned again by Talon's trap, struggling vainly to free herself. Her sword is untouched, however, and she floats it towards Cinder once again, flying straight towards her.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.713288

>>713287
I grit my teeth and wince. Seem's I'm a little worse off than I'd imagined. And she's still going at Cinder? I clench my jaw and aim a shot at the sword, trying to knock it off course.

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

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

 No.713289

>>713287
Seeing a sword flung at her rival, Voleurz dashes in to take the blow.

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

[1d10]
>Shadow Fade; passive: Ethereal Jaunt loses the spell tag. After a successful Ethereal Jaunt, become Stealthed. Attacks that'd be taken from swapping locations with an ally still apply.

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.713290

>>713287
Taking the advantage of the trapped mare he rushes up to her and puts the barrel as close as he can broken leg.
He unloads every bullet in order to sever the bone

 No.713291

>>713290
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.713292

>>713287
"I'm getting real h*ckin' tired of this," Cinder mutters as the sword again flies at her. She widens her stance, readying herself for the dodge, but thanks to Vanity's well-aimed lightning-bolt, finds she doesn't have to move that much. She instead readies herself for the attack, charging her horn with white hot anger. It glows for a moment, almost blindingly bright, and then darkens to a pitch black, pulsing in intensity this way three times in quick succession. A wave of heat pushes outward at each flash as the kirin focuses a nasty chain attack - directed not at Moonlight, but her shining weapon.

Storm Bolt (Elementalist fire; critfail range +3) [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713293

>>713287
moving around and over the surrounding bogged terrain, Rainy forms a healing water ball, catapulting the orb towards Platinum!

"Please work.." mutters the goo, channeling more magic into the sphere.
[1d10] Heal (water)

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.713294

>>713287
From my high up perch I try to take a pot shot at the blight.

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

Reflex Shot: recharge 1, requires ranged weapon; Deals double damage as well as suffers double counterattack damage. Can be used while helpless, but on fail while helpless recharge is set to 3.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.713295

>>713294
Combat Talent: -1 crit range reflex shot

 No.713296

>>713288
You send the sword careening off course, clanging off of the wooden wall.

>>713289
You blink up to where the knife landed and join the fight.

>>713290
You cripple her crippled leg even further, leaving it a mangled mess, causing her to collapse. She roars, thrashing about in abject rage and agony.

>>713292
You fire three strobing black and white bolts at the sword, pummeling it over and over. It glows brighter and brighter, cracks starting to appear on it, spidering up the flat of the blade. As she sees the sword get damaged, Moonlight screams in anguish, struggling even harder against the rubble binding her.

>>713293
You fling an orb of water at Platinum, cleansing his wounds and renewing his strength.
>Platinum is healed, now at 5/4

>>713294
You take the high ground and fire a bolt at Moonlight, piercing her chest. She flinches and wheezes, her breathing slowing, her movements becoming slowly more sluggish as she starts to give in.

>>713288
>>713289
>>713290
>>713292
>>713293
>>713294
Voleurz, Rainy and Dalliance join the fight, the latter posing dramatically with her estoc in the air. "Have at you!" she cries dramatically, and lunges at Moonlight with her sword.
[1d10]

Moonlight, now severely weakened, lets the sword clatter to the ground as she takes a moment to recover.

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713297

>>713296
Jesse without missing a beat runs over to the sword and picks it up
He gives her a taunting smile despite the handle in his mouth

 No.713298

>>713296
A chill runs through my body as I take Rainy's liquid healing inside myself. I look over my shoulder and grin, giving her a quick wink. "Well, now, it seems the cavalry has arrived. Thank you, Ms.Springs."

Taking a deep breath, I turn my attention back to the battle. I order the double that was with them to return my rapier, which I promptly unsheath. My horn lights up as I try, again, to pull out two reflections. "We may have this yet."

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.713299

>>713296
Cinder addresses Moonlight cautiously.
"Lady Moonlight!" she calls. "Lady Guiding Moonlight! The fight is over! Your enemies, vanquished, rue the day they met you!" She tries to reach through the darkness clouding the paladin's mind. "You have to gain control of yourself! Fight it! This is what you came here to do, fight the darkness! So fight it!"

>>713297
Sees Jesse take the sword. "Quickly - break it! Or bury it! Get it away from her!"

 No.713300

>>713296
Voleurz goes to sit on Moonlight, pinning her to the ground.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.713301

>>713299
He gives a nod and rushes outside of the watchtower. He then places the sword on a plank and hammers at it with the butt of his revolver in order to destroy it

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713302

>>713299
Persuasion [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713303

>>713296
Finally entering the fight, Rainy readies a water ball, holding her shot to assess the situation.

>>713299
"Cinder! Who's that? Is that your friend?" asks the goo near you, pointing a hoof to the struggling mare.

 No.713304

>>713303
Without taking eyes or attention off Moonlight, Cinder nods slightly in agreement with the watery pony's guess.

 No.713305

>>713296
Seeing snails speaking to the blight, I aim to set up a trap for if the creature continues its attack on the group. Hitting some of the rubble loose poised to fall on moonlight.

Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.713306

>>713304
"Ohh she's hurt bad! If we can keep her still i can help! My magic might clear the curse, but if she keeps fighting like this it might be too late.."

 No.713307

>>713297
You sense an immense amount of magical energy coming from the moonstruck blade. As you pick it up, Moonlight looks furious, struggling to get free as she glares at you with inhuman hatred.

>>713298
You take your rapier and try to focus on resummoning your doubles, but are forced to dodge some falling rubble before you can do so.

>>713299
>>713302
At first she keeps raging, but as you speak to her, trying to convince her, she seems to hold back, breathing heavily but gradually calming down. Her glowing yellow eyes fade for the briefest moment.

>>713300
You manage to hold her down in her weakened state, preventing her from breaking free. As Cinder speaks to her, she starts to stop trying to throw you off, growing steadily more passive.

>>713305
You set up another falling rubble trap, just in case.

>>713297
>>713298
>>713299
>>713300
>>713303
>>713305
As Cinder tries to appeal to her, Moonlight starts to change, still twisted by the Blight but seemingly regaining her sanity, if only for the briefest moment. After a tense silence, she speaks, her voice having a distant echo to it as if speaking from somewhere far away. "…Whoever thou art… Stay away… Soon, I will be consumed… by it… by…" She trails off, bowing her head, twitching slightly as she struggles to fight the corruption.

 No.713308

>>713307
She's talking? And she's still aware. Good! "Ms.Springs!" I call out. "Now's your chance!"

 No.713309

>>713307
He sees her rage and strikes the blade harder, hitting it so hard it appears the handle on his own weapon would fling off from the force

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.713310

>>713301
Your revolver is not strong enough to destroy the sword. It is broken, but still usable, and your revolver strikes off of it harmlessly.

 No.713311

>>713307
Cinder continues cooing to Moonlight. "Attagirl, stay with me, keep talking. Nobody's gonna consume you. We're all here for you. Any time, Rainy!" she hisses from the side of her mouth. "We're gonna help you now, Lady Moonlight. Stay with us."

 No.713312

>>713307
"Don't worry darling, from where I'm sitting I could make sure that doesn't happen." Voleurz grins from her living seat, idly holding a knife against the mare's spine, "You're apparently a friend of Cindy though, so I'll let Miss Springs give you a shower."

>>713303
"I've got her still darling, go ahead and sober her up will you?"

 No.713313

>>713312
>>713308
>>713307
>>713311

"R-right!"

dropping her form to hide a nervous quiver, Rainy flows around and under the injured warrior, extending into a roughly circular pool. Focusing, she sends pulses of magic shimmering through the pool's surface, towards moonlight at it's center

[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.713314

I sit at attention, not wanting to interrupt the possible end to the fight. Also encouraged by my exhaustion making me not want to move.

 No.713315

>>713309
The cracks on the magic sword get a little longer, but you notice you are damaging your gun in the process.

>>713311
>>713312
She doesn't seem to hear you, struggling and shaking as she keeps trying to stave off the Blight. "The Glow…" she whispers. "The Glow… It will bathe this land in color… All of thee… forgive me… for I have availed you naught…"

>>713313
You work your magic on Moonlight as best you can. The knightess closes her eyes as you bathe her in shimmering water, performing a ritual of ablution.

>>713313
>>713312
>>713311
>>713309
>>713308
>>713314
Slowly but surely, the black spidery lines on Moonlight's body begin to fade as Rainy begins the cleansing, the light in her eyes beginning to fade. As she finishes, Moonlight's head bows, losing consciousness for a moment; then, after a long, tense silence, her eyes flutter open, and she looks around, focusing on Cinder. Her eyes are a deep turquoise, the same as her sword. "…I know thy face," she says quietly to Cinder. She pulls herself up, but struggles and almost falls, still weakened by the exertion. Dalliance hesitantly sheathes her sword. "…Is… is it over?"

 No.713316

>>713315
I let out a breath and sheath my rapier. "Good you managed to show up when you did," I say, more directed at Rainy than Voleurz. "Ms.Fabrie. You were the target most of the battle. Are you alright?"

 No.713317

>>713315
Jesse, relieved jams the sword into the ground and rejoins the group

He walks back and eyes the mare up and down; curiously

 No.713318

>>713315
I get up away from the group to start a search around the place in case of blights or any objects of interest.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11

 No.713319

>>713315
the ground soaked around Moonlight, Rainy reforms to half her size, slinking back into her raincoat.

"Oh.. it worked! You're still hurt, but free." she says, her head drooping from the spell's exertion.

 No.713320

>>713313
The fire kirin hasn't completely gotten used to the wet nature of Rainy's magic, but she sure does appreciate it. She tells the goo-pony how she feels. "You're amazing!"
>>713315
Cinder sighs, sagging with relief and sudden exhaustion. Suddenly seeming aware of her surroundings, she looks around at her new companions, come to the rescue.
"Good timing, ladies!"
>>713312
Cinder never thought she would be happy to see Voleurz, but she can't help but crack a grin. "A wise use of your assets," she nods at the zebra's perch.
>>713316
Cinder takes stock of herself. She has a couple pretty good gashes, definitely more than a couple bruises, maybe a sprained ankle, but seems like nothing is broken. "Could be worse. You caught your fair share of that as well back there. How're you holding up?" She suddenly meets his eye, smiling warmly. "Thanks, by the way. For, you know. "Heroically saving my life" and all that. A damsel could get used to that kind of treatment."

>>713317
>>713318
"And you two as well! I would have been a goner back there. Thank you so much."

>>713315
She turns to hear Moonlight's voice. "Yes, Lady Moonlight. I was in the party you recruited to bring to Moonhollow. We were ambushed on the way, yesterday or the day before. I believe the rest of the party to be," she glances out to where the bodies of some of the party lie, some distance from the watchtower but plainly visible, "deceased or worse." She swallows. "Only myself and Solar Flair are accounted for."

 No.713321

>>713320
He tips his hat to the Kirin and crouches down next to the mare

>>713315
"Lady Moonlight eh? Sorry bout the uhh, whole leg thing. Yeah sorry about that, tell me if ya need anything"

 No.713322

>>713320
I give a dismissive wave of my hoof. "Oh, posh. It's something any stallion worth their salt would have done. A night or so of rest should be more than enough, and I'll be right as rain, I assure you. More endurance and stamina in here than I let on." I tap my hoof to the chest of my armor and wince. Rainy closed up some of my wounds, but I'm still more than a little sore I guess.

 No.713323

>>713315
Voleurz reluctantly gets off the larger mare, looking to Dalliance and smiling, "Yes darling, and we've saved the lives of the others. Well done."

>>713320
"It seems we've saved your life for a second time now, and this time I didn't have to use much more than my rear. Tell me, does your friend need a haircut? I've done my own hair for years."

She looks over at the incredibly long mane of Moonlight's, twirling a knife.

 No.713324

>>713320
"Thank you!" Rainy replies, perking up after pulling the water from one of the waterskins floating in her torso. "But you're still hurt too! Did you need help?"

 No.713325

>>713324
"Rainy if it ain't too much to ask get everyone patched up. Everyone else I want us out of here within the hour got that?"

 No.713326

>>713320
"How rude of me! I am Cinder Fabrie, Lady Moonlight. These are…" she looks around, uncertain how to refer to this odd assortment of characters, "my friends."

>>713323
"Thanks, really, very kind of you." She frowns a bit. "Even sharpened, are you sure your blades are up to the task of cutting hair?"

>>713324
To her credit, Cinder does not burst into flame again at the prospect of Rainy's magic being used on her, but she doesn't look entirely comfortable with the prospect either. "Well…" The cut on her chest is still leaking a non-negligible amount of blood, and it really does hurt to walk on a sprained ankle.
She scrunches her eyes shut and grimaces. "Just get it over with then!!"

 No.713327

>>713317
Despite her woeful appearance, the spell seems to have worked, and she has regained her sanity.

>>713318
You go scouting for a bit and manage to forage some extra money from one of the slain Blights, as well as an odd silver pendant. You sense magic resonating from it, but you're not sure of the specifics.
+50 bits

>>713319
She nods silently. "I am free," she echoes, as if to affirm it to herself.

>>713320
She looks grim. "The… the others are all dead," she says quietly. You get the feeling she saw to it herself in her mania. "'Tis good that at least some escaped."

>>713321
She struggles to stand on her good leg. "…It will heal," she says simply. "The flesh is fluid. It can be remade. The spirit is fragile, like a robin's egg."

>>713323
"Huzzah!" Dalliance says cheerfully, looking proud of herself even though she didn't get to do much. "Good triumphs over evil once again!"

>>713321
>>713320
>>713319
>>713317
>>713316
>>713323
"Dark have been my dreams of late," Moonlight muses. "Were it not for thine intervention, I would have succumbed to the very thing I seek to destroy. I know not thy names, save for Lady Fabrie, but thou hast my eternal gratitude, travelers." She bows deeply as best she can on her three good legs. "May the grace of the Twins guide thee to further triumph."

"Now. Knowest thee the way to Moonhollow? It is of utmost importance that I reach it. I must convalesce after this great ordeal, and I have urgent news to relay to Lord Harroway. If thou wouldst have me, I would accompany thee on the return, if thou art headed there. If not, thou hast merely to point me in the right direction."

 No.713329

>>713325
My hoof digs into the floor, and my eye twitches, but I grit my teeth and bite my tongue. "At any rate," I say. "It's best we don't linger. I'll summon two more of my reflections to assist in carrying your former comrades' back to town for proper burials, Ms.Fabrie. I don't believe we're that far out."

 No.713330

>>713329
"I agree, just wanted to make sure everyone was up to walkin"

 No.713331

>>713327
I come back around and give a wave to the group.

 No.713332

>>713331
"Thanks for that trap back there, if ya didn't place I think Moonlight here would still be tryin to kill us"

 No.713333

>>713327
I step up beside Cinder and nod. "We're actually returning to Moonhollow now. Of course we'll accompany you back. And please. Think nothing of it. Though it was more my-" I give a sidelong glance to Rainy and smile. Friend would be the correct word, right? She's sweet and bubbly enough, at least. "Friend, Ms.Springs, who saved you proper I'm sure any of us would have done whatever was in our power to aid."

 No.713334

>>713332
"I found some junk on the Blights we killed earlier." I hold up the coins and locket.

 No.713335

>>713326
"Okay, i'll be fast!"

forming an orb of water, i lob it above Cinder, the water bursting into a light shower
[1d10] Heal (water)

>>713327
"Happy to help, Miss Moonlight! As long as my magic can cure the blight, we can break this curse together." Says Rainy, nodding happily.

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.713336

>>713329
Cinder nods gratefully. "But what about the rest of them? You think anyone at Moonhollow is gonna care about a bunch of dead bodies out here? Do we just let 'em rot?"
>>713331
Cinder waves back at the griffon cheerfully.

>>713327
"Well, as luck would have it, that's where we were headed, as well!" She looks around the group for assent.
"Urgent news for Lord Harroway?" she prompts.

 No.713337

>>713334
"Ya mind if I check out that locket?" he asked with his eyes fixed on the small piece

 No.713338

>>713336
"Well, most of them aren't corpses for one." I sigh and shake my head. "But you're right. It doesn't seem right to leave what bodies are around to fester."

 No.713339

>>713337
"I want it back right after." I place into your palm.

 No.713340

"I agree, we gotta respect the dead. I'll help bury the poor saps" He says grimly and strolls over to a body

 No.713341

>>713339
He opens the locket and inspects both sides carefully

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.713342

>>713325
"I'm on it!" replies rainy, busy lobbing water onto the fiery Cinder. "you look hurt too, can you move okay?"

 No.713343

>>713327
Voleurz looks proudly towards Dalliance, turning to the pony she was sitting on and taking off her hat, giving a curtsey.

"Hardly a day, m'lady. If you're alright to travel through the mire and don't feel too wonky, then we'll be back post haste."

She gives a sly to Cinder as she speaks more eloquently than normal, reaffixing her hat to whisper to the kirin.
>>713326
"Darling, if you doubt how sharp my blades are, I'd be happy to lop your tail off."

 No.713344

>>713335
Cinder had forgotten to be braced for impact, and gasps loudly as she is splashed. For a few moments she is frozen in place, one hoof off the ground, head slumped down, an expression of disbelief on her face. Slowly she puts her hoof back down, doesn't raise her head, goes and sits down, away from the group, dripping.

W.
E.
T.

Steam rises off her, and in a short time she is dry; the sour look on her face has mostly evaporated along with the water, although she does not seem as chipper as the post-battle adrenaline had made her.

"..Thanks," she mumbles. "…'mazing." She wanders off.

>>713343
Cinder begins to catch wind of Voleurz's game, decides to play along. Whispers back as they both play demure to Moonlight, "If they're as sharp as your wit, you need to be careful you don't cut yourself on them."

 No.713345

>>713343
>>713344
I sit back, cock my eyebrows, give a small, amused smile, and watch. This is more entertaining than last time. I wonder why.

 No.713346

>>713328
"I will travel for as long as I have to. My mission is of the utmost importance," she says rather obstinately.

>>713331
Moonlight bows respectfully as you rejoin the group. "Greetings to thee, adventurer. I assume you are with these other valiant souls? Thou hast my thanks for thy heroics."

>>713333
She nods stiffly. "Very well. Lead the way, and I shall follow." She picks up her damaged sword with telekinesis and sheathes it on her back, frowning concernedly at the state of it. "I can only assume there is a smith in town?…"

>>713335
As Platinum talks you up, she turns to you. "Thou art the one who cleansed my condition, then? Thou art a skilled healer indeed to be able to purify such unholy magic. …If thou canst, couldst thou heal my wounds? I appear to have taken a beating." She gestures at her broken limb; she doesn't look to be in much pain, however. She's probably just good at hiding it.

>>713335
>>713336
The orb of water floats above Cinder's head and bursts in a dazzling but gentle display, the rain falling down on the kirin and easing her aches and pains.
>Cinder is at 5/5

>>713341
>>713337
It appears to be a pendant, not a locket, with an elaborate rose design on the front side. The chain is made of fine silver. As for the nature of its magical enchantment, you cannot tell. Perhaps someone in town might know more.

>>713343
Dalliance gives you a proud smile, happy that the party have managed to do some good.

"I am wounded," says Moonlight, "but I shall endure. I have not traveled through fire and death to die in this forsaken place. Lead the way."

 No.713347

>>713346
I simply nod my head.

 No.713348

>>713346
I break away to summon two of my doubles and have the three load the two bodies over to of their backs with only minimal gagging. I'll be happy when we can get back to our room and get cleaned up again. Here I'd expected a day of rest in which I could at least keep my mane partially in tact.

 No.713349

>>713346
He hands the pendant back to Blueblood and makes his way to the doorway of the watchtower
After that he goes over to a body and begins dragging it by the shoulders
"Alright everyone move out!" he bellows and begins hauling the body out into the swamp

 No.713350

>>713346
"Alright then! Let's hit the road!" Cinder stands by the door expectantly, waiting to see if everyone is ready to depart. She then seems to think of something and addresses Moonlight. "Lady, we also found your shield, down the road. It was broken, I'm afraid, but maybe it can be fixed? The smith in town seemed quite skilled."

 No.713351

>>713350
"We can all head back to town while I send one of my doubles to fetch it," I call up. "I know we all probably just want to get back and rest."

>>713349
I roll my eyes and call in a singsong voice, "At my own pace, Jesse. Give me just a moment, please."

 No.713352

>>713350
Stepping out into the swamp, she almost trips over one of the corpses. "Hmm, then there's this to deal with."
>>713338
>>713340
Cinder touches one of the bodies and it lights aflame without kindling. She watches it burn expressionlessly. When she's done, she walks to another dead pony and does the same thing again. She watches again. There is a strange look in her eye and her movements seem almost robotic, or rehearsed.

 No.713353

>>713346
"Oh my, right away, Miss!"

eying the mangled limb, Rainy gently take Moonlight's hoof in hers and flows over it, forming a watery cast over the injury. With some focus, Rainy sends more magic through, correcting what she can.
[1d10] Mend (water)

"Ohh, they really shouldn't have been so rough! This is a very serious break.."

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.713354

>>713344
Voleurz puts a hoof to her heart, taking a step back,

"Oh my darling Cindy, I'm glad you've noticed. If only it possible for a blacksmith to sharpen yours."

>>713346
Voleurz takes one side of Moonlight, beckoning Dalliance to go to her other side. "If you feel the need to lean on us at any time, do not think it unladylike to do so. I'm sure it has been a trial amongst such savages." Voleurz says in what is indistinguishable for honest sympathy, her hat once again taken off briefly to deliver the more posh dialect.

 No.713355

>>713352
He watches the Kirin do this and gives a small sigh and shakes his head then continues down the path

 No.713356

>>713352
I watch her out of the corner of my eyes. After the last body, I stand beside her and watch the flames. "I know that look," I say. "Knew it the first time I saw you fight, I think. This isn't the first time you've been through this, is it?" Without touching her, looking at her, or giving any kind of sly look or remark, I say, "I understand entirely. If you would like to talk… Well, just know I think I understand."

 No.713357

>>713354
"Alas, but even the best smith can only work with the materials he is given. By the way, how are your letter openers? Snap any in two yet?"

>>713356
Vanity's words wash over her like an ocean wave on the rocks. She nods wordlessly, and for the briefest of moments, when her eyes meet the unicorn's, she seems unbearably angry and sad. She closes her eyes, lets out a sigh that is only slightly shuddery, opens them again. She just looks tired. In silence she turns away to begin the long walk back to Moonhollow.

 No.713358

>>713357
"You're correct darling, as I said I don't think it possible for a blacksmith to wrought anything of use from you. As for letter openers, I'd happily allow you to use one yourself, it seems flailing your hooves around didn't pay off this time either."

Voleurz winks, turning her head away to lay off the Kirin for now, as not to go overboard.

 No.713359

>>713357
I nod, hang my head, and quietly follow her.

 No.713360

>>713359
He follows along and quietly sings some old marching cadences from his homeland

 No.713361

>>713336
"On the nature of the Blight," she answers. "Or the Glow, as would be a more apt term. I… I believe I may have learned something, while it had a hold of me. I still have many questions that need answering, but I feel he should know what I think I know."

>>713350
She blinks, looking down at her crippled leg. "…I remember as such. I killed many of them, but they overwhelmed me, and then…" She trails off. "…Yes. It would be good to retrieve what is left of it."

>>713353
"It was like these ere thy companions arrived," she states.

You form a sort of cast over the limb that stays, but fail to heal her in any magical form. She winces a little, but nods. "It will suffice until I reach the village. Doubtless they have some form of healing in Moonhollow. My thanks, Lady Springs."

>>713354
"I will endure," she says again rather stiffly as she adjusts her mane to look less ghostly, bringing it back behind her ears and down her left shoulder. She bears many scars and open wounds from the fight, but seems to be in good spirits. If not for them, she would look quite fetching. "I always do. But… thou hast my thanks for thine assistance." Between the two of you, you help her walk along with the rest of the group.

>>713352
You set the bodies of Thibault and Etain alight, giving them an impromptu funeral in the swamp. Dalliance looks upset at the sight, having to cover her nose and mouth, while Moonlight, seeing what she has done, simply looks away with sadness.

>>713357
>>713356
>>713355
>>713354
>>713353
>>713347
After burning the bodies, you begin the trek back to Moonhollow. Dalliance doesn't hesitate to complain when she gets a couple of leeches on her, plucking them off and trying not to dry heave. Apart from this, the trip back is relatively uneventful; you return to the spot where you found Moonlight's shield, and she takes the remains without a word, and from there you make it back to the village.

"It is about what I expected," Moonlight comments at the sight of the destitute little hamlet. "I see I shall have mine work cut out for me." You enter the hamlet after dealing with the gate guard as usual. "First things first," says Moonlight, "I will need to see a healer. Knowest thee of one in town?"

 No.713362

>>713361
>pausing

 No.713363

>>713358
"I noticed your primary weapon in this fight was noticeably… blunter… as well. I'm glad you've decided to find a use for that dusty old thing, must have been just lying around your parent's manor for decades." She smiles sweetly at Voleurz.

>>713361
"Yep, it's… not exactly a bustling metropolis, that's for sure. But there's a healer, and a smith, and then you'll want to check out the Guild. It'll be a whole thing. I'll show you around!" She takes Moonlight to the chapel, hoping to speak with Clear Waters again.

 No.713945

>>713361
I take a deep breath through my nose, taking in the disgusting -but somehow welcoming- scents of the dilapidated town. "Well," I say. "If that's all for now, I should like to return to my room, clean up, and change back into my suit. I'd hoped to get out of this armor for more than a night. Where should I expect to meet back with everypony?"

 No.713946

>>713361
>>713363

Seeing Cinder leave with her matron Voleurz turns to the rest of the party.
>>713945
>>713360
>>713347
"Well now darlings, I'm glad the firebrand found her noble matron out there in the mire, but we did have a job to do. Did you find any leads on the bandits while you were out there? Answer first then clean up Platinum dear."

 No.713947

File: 1552789044155.jpg (75.86 KB, 1018x1200, D1qf1VRWsAAgmwe.jpg)

>>713361
"Not a problem!" Rainy cheerfully replies, following the others back to town.

>>713946
"Oh! and now that everypony is here, we can help those farmers too!" the goo adds, nodding.

 No.713948

>>713946
"Well we certainly know they're targetin' people of importance. I wouldn't doubt they got spies in every inch of this place. As for why I ain't sure but I bet moonlight has some knowledge that'll hurt the blights for sure"

 No.713949

>>713946
I go up to Voleurz slowly coming onto the ground with a clack of my claws. I then pat them on the head. "I personally think they are attacking groups or outsiders coming in, such as when our carriage was attacked. Or they are collecting women such as with the daughter of that daughter."

 No.713950


 No.713951

>>713949
"Well lets think what do these two ladies have in common?. Personally I think they knew someone would send mercenaries after em. But why would they deliberately do that?"

 No.713952

>>713951
"Honestly I can't think of anything." I idly tap my chin.

 No.713953

>>713951
>>713952

"Hmm.."

Rainy taps her muzzle in thought, sending ripples along the liquid.

"Oh! Maybe they want the village to fall apart, so they stole a lot of helpful villagers to force them out!"

 No.713954

>>713947
Voleurz nods to the goo,

"Well if they found nothing but assumptions, I think you're right miss Springs. With no concrete leads, at least we know the beastie will be out tonight. Just one night's of work to get payment!"

>>713949
Voleurz smiles at the gesture, "Well unfortunately that doesn't give us much to go on darling. I'm sure you tried your best though."

>>713948
"Darling, for what reason do you think they have spies here? Do you see any proof of espionage?"

 No.713955

>>713363
You enter the chapel. It is a bit more lively this time of day, with a few churchgoers kneeling in silent prayer. The only one around is a mare that resembles Clear Waters a bit, but has a bit of a darker coat and a tied up braid instead of a loose ponytail. Her eyes widen a little at the sight of Lady Moonlight, who asserts herself quickly.

"Greetings, sister. I… I shall spare thee the niceties." She grimaces slightly from the pain in her bad leg. "I am Guiding Moonlight, an emissary of the Church, and I… I require healing. My associate here has told me this chapel is a place of respite in these times."

The mare looks a little taken aback, but nods a little. "It is an honor, Lady Moonlight. Please, right this way."

The mare leads you both down into the undercrypt, where the sick and injured are kept. With the aid of other healers, Lady Moonlight is quickly made comfortable, and tended to. Chief among the healers appears to be Doctor Caldwell, bossing them about as they tend to Moonlight's injuries. She is soon put under sedation, falling asleep for now. You notice Solar on one of the beds, still comatose. Clear Waters is around, helping tend to Lady Moonlight at the moment.

>>713945
>>713946
>>713947
"I do rather fancy the idea of helping the farmers," says Dalliance, "but if we want to try to tackle those bandits, that would be a good option too. I'll follow what miss Voleurz chooses, I suppose!"

>>713948
Dalliance frowns. "Spies? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these bandits just two, working independently? I mean… I don't doubt that there are bandit clans out there, but these two don't seem to be affiliated."

>>713949
Dalliance nods. "The Blighted certainly do seem to be trying to stop us travelers from reaching Moonhollow. It seems that they are more intelligent than they appear at first glance. They are not mindless, just enslaved." She looks a bit uncomfortable at the thought of intelligent zombies.

 No.713956

>>713946
I cock my eyebrow. Oh? Speaking with me again now that you've something to gain from it? Typical. "I'm afraid we found naught aside from the swathe of ash and carnage our Ms.Moonlight carved across the muck and mire." I smile. "I apologize. I'd hoped to find something to bring back for you from the caravan wreckage site, but it was a good bit further than I'd imagined. More than a half day's travel, as it turns out."

 No.713957

>>713955
"O-oh," I stammer, and my smile falters. "Back into another job so soon? I suppose I won't change into my suit after all. But, praytell, farmers?

 No.713958

>>713957
"Yeah! these poor farmers are being attacked by a monster, and we offered to help them!" Rainy replies, leaning against Voleurz and dampening her clothes.

"You'll help us too, right? I've got an amazing plan!"

 No.713959

>>713955
>>713953

"First they kidnapped the blacksmith's daughter and Lady Moonlight got corrupted. Clearly these Blights want something but what. I suppose if they were to capture the town it would really only give em more troops. This place aint exactly big on the map"

 No.713960

>>713957
"With the taste of the vegetation on the way here, and prey turning to ashes, I wouldn't mind helping farmers as it sounds like it would secure some food in the future." I scratch my belly feeling peckish at the moment.

 No.713961

>>713955
Cinder first makes sure that her patron is receiving care and comfortable, then, seeing Solar, excuses herself to go by his side. She looks down at his comatose face for a minute, before looking around to see if anyone is around to ask about him. She doesn't want to interrupt Caldwell himself, as he appears very busy. She wanders back over to Moonlight to see if she can borrow a moment of Clear Waters's time.
"Good to see you again! How goes the healing business?" An awkward start maybe, but she plunges through. "Any word on Solar Flair?"

 No.713962

>>713958
"Monster ysay?" He shifts his eyes to the mare "And what is this plan of yours?"

 No.713963

>>713956
>>713957

"What a shame darling, it'll have to be the farmers then. Trust me, they're just as mangy and unkept as you would expect for such serfs. Only reason I'd want to help them is the coin, and so we could have a proper dinner together." She winks.

 No.713964

>>713958
>>713960

I shake my head. "Not at all," I say. "Mr.Talon makes a good point. Aiding the farms would be a huge boon to both the town and, by proxy, ourselves. What's this plan of yours?"

 No.713965

>>713955
"Thank you lady knight." Voleurz smiles, "Well once Rainy has discussed our plan to the others, I suppose we could start scouting out where we'd want to set our trap."

 No.713966

>>713962
"Well.. The monster has been eating all their cattle at night, but if it sees a pony it'll fun away, so if i make myself look like a cow in the field tonight, it'll come running toward us instead!"

"I'll flow away and then we can fight it in the open." she finished, nodding sagely.

 No.713967

>>713963
I'd help them myself anyway, but I don't bother voicing that little tidbit. Wouldn't want anyone to start thinking I'm an easily manipulated bleeding heart, after all. "Well, at any rate it helps us too. A proper dinner together sounds wonderful."

 No.713968

"Well it seems like a good enough idea. If the plan don't work we could always just use the cattle gettin attacked. Just, keep yourself safe." he then turns to the rest of the group "Everyone I got an idea. Rainy disguises as a cow, we take advantage of the fields n such to provide cover, surround her. When the monster enters we ambush him"

 No.713969


 No.713970

>>713966
"H'm. A shame. If it was a ponyeater I could just use one of my doubles to draw it in. Are you sure you'll be alright, Ms.Springs? I'd hate for you to get injured."

 No.713971

>>713968
"What a brilliant idea darling! I'm glad you thought that Rainy's idea was good enough to claim as your own."

 No.713972

>>713957
"Well, we don't have to start immediately. We can have some time to convalesce after that little sortie, I think. We can set out tonight, or tomorrow, or… well, whenever you feel like! I'm not here to boss you around, after all."

>>713959
Dalliance rubs her chin thoughtfully. "It's almost as if they're following orders from someone, or something. But who?"

>>713961
She turns to you. "Oh. Hello again. He's about the same, it appears. I don't know how long it'll be until we can get him out of it, but the work continues."

 No.713973

>>713968
I stare at him for a moment before finally saying, "Was that- Was that not the plan to begin with?"

 No.713974

>>713970
"What is the monster even look like, I would just hate it if it turns to dust after we kill it and it just be another thing like the blights." I whine.

 No.713975

>>713972
"Well, I suppose I'll follow along with what the rest of us decide upon. My funds shan't last forever at any rate, so the more jobs the better. Still, I'd like a day of rest some time."

>>713974
"Well, I'd hate to rain on your parade-" I glance to Rainy. "No offense." I look back to Soft. "But I wouldn't put much stock in any plans to eat it. Any beast around here is bound to be infected in one way or another."

 No.713976

>>713975
"Well, I was thinking of eating it, but also if it does turn to dust, how would we prove this is the beast attacking the farmers without capturing it, or it can be a controlled attack." I mumble

 No.713977

>>713972
"Well I rather like 'bossing people around', I think it'd be best we take on the beast tonight so we finally have some coin for supplies. We've not even three days worth!"

 No.713978

>>713970
"Mhm! I'll be really careful and slip away before it pounces!"

"It can't grab a puddle, so i'll be a-okay."

 No.713979

>>713978
"Well, if you're certain. A simple hunting mission, then? We'd not have to do any tracking or what have you? Certainly a job you either finish quickly, or are finished quickly by, so at least that much is reassuring."

 No.713980

>>713972
"Ah. Got it. Please do let me know if anything improves." She looks the devotee over. "Do you ever take breaks? It's important to take time to yourself, you know." She gives a genuine grin. "If you ever want someone to wind down with, look me up. I'll be around at least until my friends heal up." She thinks a moment. "Or until the plague eats the town alive." She chuckles a bit darkly.

Looking around, she considers that this will probably take some time. Maybe it would be nice to grab a bite and a drink somewhere. It's been a long day. Addressing Lady Moonlight, she states "When you're done here, you should head to the Guild. I'm sure they're looking forward to meeting you."

 No.713981

>>713977
"Hmm.. tonight isn't here yet, but maybe we should head to the farm? We can find the spot to lay the trap before it gets dark!"

 No.713982

>>713981
"Yes darling, I just said that to Knight Dalliance."

 No.713983

>>713981
I laugh. "Seems we're developing a habit of repeating one another already. How quaint."

 No.713984


 No.713985

>>713983
>>713982
"Huh? oh.. sorry.. i was talking to Platinum and missed it." says rainy, looking away as her muzzle turns a darker shade of blue.

 No.713986

>>713980
"There's just not much time for breaks nowadays," she laments. "Everyone's in need of healing, whether physical or spiritual. It would be nice to get out of the chapel, but we're just too busy with the Blight and all…" She rubs the back of her head uncomfortably. "Ah well. If you ever need to get patched up, you know where to find us!"

Moonlight gives a weak nod, feeling the effects of the sedating spells and tonics. She wordlessly fumbles with her pockets before pressing a small leather pouch into your hoof, payment for your services.
>+400 bits

>>713974
"From what we gathered, it's like a huge, black wolf. Only, it doesn't seem to leave any trace of it. No footprints, I mean. Eyewitness reports seem few and far between."

>>713977
>>713975
>>713976
>>713978
>>713969
"W-wait! Shouldn't we, uh, prepare if we're going to hunt it? We don't really know what we're up against, other than that it looks like a wolf and doesn't leave footprints. If I may offer my opinion, I believe it would be a better option to observe its behavior. That makes sense, right? …I mean, we can engage it head on if you like." She seems uncomfortable sharing her opinions.

 No.713987

>>713986
"I don't see we can gather up any clues or observe it if it is in the dark and leaves no traces, but I guess if we do search it won't hurt to do so." I shrug.

 No.713988

>>713986
"If we're goin with that idea then when it attacks we should follow it back to it's home. We can get a better advantage when it sleeps"

 No.713989

>>713986
I knit my brow and stare at Dalliance for a long moment. Right. Just going in guns blazing is capable of getting someone killed. I… I really should have considered that, honestly. I mentally curse myself for being such an idiot. A dull pain throbs on my chest, and I place a hoof to my armor. "Ms.Dalliance is correct," I say. "We shouldn't just attack without knowing what we're up against. It's reckless, and I'm embarrassed to have suggested something so foolish."

 No.713990

>>713986
>>713988
Voleurz raises an eyebrow at Jesse,

"An actual valid point for once, just because we'll be witness to it hunting in the evening, doesn't mean we have to bash it's head in the very night. We could stalk it back to it's lair after we play the vouyer for a bit."

 No.713991

>>713988
"I personally don't like that plan as there could be a pack or monsters on the way over there, plus in that forest, we could easily lose it," I say.

 No.713992

>>713988
"It's really good at hiding, the farmers never find it when it hides in the forest.. And without prints to follow we might never find it's home!"

 No.713993

>>713991
>>713992
"Well to remedy that problem I suppose one of us can shoot something at it so it's trackable"

 No.713994

>>713986
Cinder takes the small, but hefty, pouch with a grateful nod. "If I don't see you there, I'll check back in on you later. Rest up, brave Moonlight." Cinder curtsies, then a moment later embraces the paladin quickly. "Twins' blessings," she murmurs into the mare's ear, before departing wordlessly upstairs and out of the clinic and chapel.

Outside, she makes a beeline for the guildhall. Again she notes it curious shape, wondering whether it was a ship before it was reformed into a place for heroism and fellowship. Not to mention drunkenness, gambling and probably vice on multiple other levels, she reckons. Her kinda place, all told. She will have to ask about the history.

She goes to the side door, aware that the front is closed, and gives it a solid three knocks with her front hoof. She takes the next moment to examine the craftsmanship of the building.

 No.713995

>>713993
"That would just be alerting it to our presence it would no doubt miss noticing tha it was stuck by anything, let alone us having something to track it if we do hit it." I put my claw to my head.

 No.713996

>>713995
"We could always take the old fashioned approach" His expression turns sour "Wound it badly enough it retreats and follow the blood trail"

 No.713998

>>713986
"But if we dont hurry, the farm is going to be even worse off.. If we can't track it, we'll just have to try with what we know!"

 No.714000

>>713987
"No, what I mean is, we could try following it instead of engaging it head on," she clarifies. "Obviously we can't follow a trail. Sorry."

>>713988
"Yes yes. It's an animal. It must have a home somewhere. Right? We don't really know what we're fighting yet, but it's no ordinary wolf."

>>713990 (You)
She nods vigorously. "Exactly! Better not to rush into this. We could all get killed."

>>713989
She blinks. "There's nothing to apologize for, Mr Vanity! I can understand being eager to get it over with. I just get the feeling it wouldn't end well."

>>713994
A red changeling answers the door. You've seen them around before, but don't know their name. "Hey. Forgot your name, sorry. You have any idea what's going on? Everyone just up and left this morning."

>>713998
"That's… a fair point." She frets a little. "This is kind of a bad situation, huh. I guess we should… follow it home and fight it? I don't know. I'm not good at this sort of thing…"

 No.714001

>>714000
I give her an appreciative smile, but otherwise remain silent and broody.

 No.714002

>>714000
"If it's a wolf then it follows wolf-like behavior. If that's the case then where's it's pack? If just one of these can inflict that much damage imagine six of them"

 No.714003

>>714002
"You make quite a few assumptions, don't you, Jesse? Be careful with that. It's dangerous."

 No.714004

>>714000
Cinder blinks with surprise at the news. "No, I mean, it seemed quiet this morning but I didn't realize that everyone had actually left." She cranes her head around the changeling to look behind him. "Everyone??" She's incredulous. "Was there any kind of meeting scheduled for today? An alarm going off? A note left? Anything?"

 No.714005

>>714000
"Yeah! We'll beat it up, then follow it back to it's home!"

looking around, Rainy tries to see the road to the farm from town.

"Hmm.. which way was it again?"

 No.714006

>>714002
"Jesse, just because I see you have feathers doesn't mean I think you lay eggs."

>>714000
"Well then darling, to the farm."

 No.714007

>>714006
>>714002
"Wait, can you lay eggs Jesse?" I raise an eyebrow looking at him from Voleurz comment.

 No.714008

>>714006
>>714003
"Well I hope ya don't mind me makin' a few more assumptions. First, we know it hunts cows which most likely means its a carnivore. Second, cow's bein fairly hefty animals means this thing has fairly high metabolism or it's rather large. If it's goin after stuff as big as cows then it may be the apex predator of this area which means we're in some trouble"

 No.714009

>>714007
>>714002

"Ohh! Eggs? I'd like an egg, Jesse!" says rainy, bouncing excitedly.

 No.714010

>>714008
"Darling, quit while you're ahead."

 No.714011

>>714010
"Ahead isn't the word I'd use."

 No.714012

>>714010
"Alright fine, we got a job to do anyway. To the barn" he remarks

 No.714013

>>714001
You give her an appreciative smile, but otherwise remain silent and broody.

>>714003
>>714006
>>714007
>>714009
>>714010
"Mr Blackbriar does have a point though," says Dalliance. "If it looks like a wolf and acts like a wolf, then it's a wolf. A… large, magic, possibly hyperintelligent wolf. Hm."

>>714004
"Well, most of us." The changeling shrugs and stands to the side to let you in; there's only them, a large, very hairy felid, and a female hippogriff milling about boredly. It's much less lively than usual. Feels like a ghost town. "Maybe they all went off on an expedition or something," the changeling shrugs. "Chantal and Lykoi over there are in the dark as well. If they did go on an expedition, why weren't we invited? Or at least told? It's all very mysterious." They shrug. "Oh, the name's Imago, by the way."

>>714005
>>714006
>everyone else that's following, can't be bothered quoting every post

You head off to the farms, Rainy, Voleurz and Dalliance leading the way. Most of the plots of land surrounding Moonhollow are threadbare at best, with wilted, barely edible crops and only a handful of wan looking farm animals standing about looking depressed. The few farmers you come across out in the fields look thoroughly weathered and glum. "You'd find more cheer at a funeral," Dalliance comments, looking uneasy. "What's the plan, then? Just scout where it's been? Ask around?"

 No.714014

>>714013
"While the one farmer claims that the wolf has never been seen properly, I'm sure that's myth. Someone here must have seen at least a direction it went after a kill. Let's spread out and ask around, darlings."

 No.714015

>>714013
Alright here's what I recommend
Split into teams of two, search these farms of anything relating to the beast, talk to farmers and gather as much information as possible. I expect everyone back here in at least an hour. If you encounter any problems scream and run to hear, do not fight it. If all goes well we regroup and discuss our findings.

 No.714016

>>714015
""
>ooc: forgot the quotes

 No.714017

>>714015
Voleurz grins from ear to ear, turning to Jesse,

"No, darling."

 No.714018

>>714017
"Fair enough, go do whatever then" he responds with a quite annoyed look

 No.714019

>>714015
I give him an only slightly annoyed deadpan. "Noted and rejected, Jesse. Would you please stop doing that?"

 No.714020

>>714014
"Right!"

>>714013
setting to work, Rainy attempts to flag down a farmer for information!
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.714021

>>714019
"Then Im sorry for tryin to keep this group organized" he glares and walks off toward the treeline

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.714022

>>714021
"Aw.. I'll ask around, Jesse!" Rainy yells as you trot off, waving a hoof.

 No.714023

>>714014
>>714013
Voleurz heads out looking for a miller, given their propensity to usually be slightly more cleanly than a proper farmer.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.714024

>>714017
>>714015
"I am just going to go while you two lovers fight." I shake my head as I take a flight to go find a farmer to talk to for evidence.

[1d10] Talk

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.714025

>>714021
"You're trying to do no such thing!" I call out as he walks away. "You're attempting to control our merry little band and I'll have-" I'll have none of it, I want to say, but continuing at this distance is awkward. I clear my throat, brush myself off, and head off to find someone to speak with as well.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.714026

>>714013
"Cinder. Pleased to meet you. Sorry it had to be under such cr*ppy circumstances." Cinder offers her hoof to shake Imago's, then peers into the gloomy, mostly-deserted hall. "This is all that's left? Have you guys tried to locate Zeke? There has to be some tracker that could…" She lets her voice trail off as she realizes the dearth of talent that is probably left, and begins to appreciate the gravity of the situation. She moves to the job board to check it out, deftly removing her own :MISSING: notice and trying to scan for anything suspicious. After this, she looks to the other occupants.
"So, no word from Zeke? How about Harroway, have any of you seen or spoken with him?"

 No.714027

>>714020
>>714025
You both head in more or less the same direction and find a sunken eyed young mare with a black mane and a white coat, giving her a rather ghostly appearance. The waif is carrying a heavy looking bag of potatoes with little effort. As you flag her down, she stops and looks at you expectantly.

>>714021
"Hey, I don't think that's a good idea," Dalliance calls out, looking concerned. Her loyalty makes her stay by Voleurz's side, however.

Among the trees, you don't really find much that you wouldn't find anywhere else. The trees are bare of leaves, and skeletal, like they would be in the coldest of winters, despite it being spring. There's little to no signs of life in the woods here, only the occasional buzz of an insect or the rustling of leaves on the wind. It's eerily quiet.

>>714023
You see a small windmill in the distance. As you approach along with Dalliance, you see that it is still, and in a state of disrepair. On the porch of an old, slightly run down house, there is a very old, white-bearded earth pony in a rocking chair, wearing a wide brimmed straw hat. He is fast asleep, and not even the barking of a nearby guard dog rouses him.

>>714024
You come across an extremely old mare with her hair in a bun, carrying a basket full of freshly picked carrots. She looks over at you curiously, but doesn't really seem to pay you much attention.

>>714026
Imago shakes his (or her) head. "Nothing from Zeke. And none of us left are any good at tracking. If they're not back by tomorrow, then we'll start worrying."

The notice board seems the same as always. No new messages.

Lykoi, the big and extremely hairy felid, shakes his head. "No one sees Harroway without an invite. Barely ever leaves his manor as is. Just sends manservants out to distribute his messages. Who knows what he does all day up there."

 No.714028

>>714027
I take a reflexive step back, but quickly regain my composure and smile before seeming too clearly disgusted. "Yes, terribly sorry to bother you. I've been lead to believe there have been attacks on livestock recently? I was hoping you might be able to provide me some information on that."

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.714029

>>714027
"Hello there, I am part of the group working to get rid of the wolf, we are looking for any information to be provided against the creature. I only require a bit of your time." I wave over to the older pony.

 No.714030

>>714029
[1d10] talk

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.714031

>>714027
Cinder stamps a hoof. "Well sh**t!" she curses. Acting distraught, she stamps over to the booze and attempts to pour herself a draught. She stands and sips at her stolen mug (whether she succeeds or fails) and looks thoughtful for a moment.

"Manservants, eh?"

Cinder puts down her drink and walks to the exit. Before walking through the door, she turns and addresses the group. "Thanks for your help, folks. Hang in there. I'll be back to check on you." She turns to leave, headed maybe toward the tavern. She wonders idly if she will run into the rest of her party there, or even anyone at all. She vaguely recalls the place seeming empty as they departed, but had attributed that to it being so early. Beginning to get worried, she picks up her pace to a trot to approach the Henke's Familiar.

 No.714032

>>714028
>>714027
"Yeah! We're here to help deal with the creature!" Rainy cheerfully adds, leaving Plat to his work.

 No.714033

>>714027
Voleurz holds a hoof to her mouth, letting out a long drawn out whistle [1d10]

"Rise and shine darling, I've got a hundred loads of wheat for you to start milling!"

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.714034

>>714027
Quiet, strangely quiet. He ponders and only remembers this quiet from the moments leading up to something dreadful. He keeps his head on the swivel, surveying the barren trees. Without noticing he finds himself in the center of the field he's patrolling. He takes a good surveying of the area and searches for anything of value

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.714035

>>714028
>>714032
The waif puts down the sack with a loud thunk. She looks frustrated about something, gesturing at her mouth and throat wordlessly.

>>714029
She stops and thinks. "I seen it carry off a whole cow and leave nary a trace behind. Lives up in them there woods. Never shows any others in its pack. Don't think it has one. 'S not a wolf, I don' think. Not a wolf at all. 'S got this yellow mouth inside… 'N it don't bleed neither. Remember old Dirk down the way saw it n' took a pot shot at it… Nothin' happened. No blood. It just got angry, he said. 'S never going to stop…" She points at you with one wizened hoof. "Bigger than you… Bigger than you tried ta take it down… Nothin' came of it, nothin' at all… Fool's errand, I says. 'S the curse of Moonhollow."

>>714031
There's not much booze left, but you take what you can get. The three remaining adventurers nod goodbye.

You head to Henke's, greeted only by the eternally exhausted Gord, futilely trying to get a stain off of the bar top. He nods at you ingreeting. Seems like no one else is around right now, not even Stolas.

>>714033
The miller starts awake, pulling his hat up and hobbling out of the chair, calling off the large, mean looking dog that is barking at you. "Sunny! Heel!"

"Sorry 'bout that. She's a good dog, really. Just doesn't like people she don't know. What brings ya here?"

>>714034
You move in a bit deeper. It's not that the wildlife is keeping quiet, you find. It's that there is no wildlife at all. There's almost nothing here, like all the animals were just spirited away one day. No sign of this 'wolf', whatever it may be.

 No.714036

>>714035
Jesse puts his hoof to his chin deep in thought. If the wolf never leaves tracks, there isn't wildlife, and the farmers doesnt know where it goes it could be a ghost or spirit. If it's terrorizing the cattle the farmers could've disturbed this somehow. He walks over to the nearest pony and asks
"Ya mind tellin' me when these farms were built?"

 No.714037

>>714035
"Ah. H'm. Well, that makes things difficult." I glance to Rainy and hum to myself. I don't suppose she knows how to write. "Well, thank you for your time. Would you know of anyone else who might be able to help?" I gesture toward the sack. "I don't suppose you needed help with that?"

 No.714038

>>714035
Cinder nods back to Gord.
"Everyone's gone, then?"
"Surprised you've got hooves on the ground, friend. Seems like this would be prime time to take a quick break, maybe sneak a few Z's in."
"Stay safe, be good!"
Cinder departs. She walks out to the 'middle' of 'town', trying to figure out where everyone is.

 No.714039

>>714035
"Oh! Your voice is gone? Let me help!"

forming a small circle of water underneath her, Rainy pulses magic into the pool, in an attempt to mend the injury!
[1d10] Mend (water)

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.714040

>>714035
"That sounds quite similar to what happened to that unicorn that was affiliated with cinder, I have to tell them, the colors and the rage. Might not be too big of a coincidence." I say to myself.

 No.714041

>>714035
"I've had a mixed relationship with dogs, they did great work scaring off sneak thieves back in the manor before they were sold off. However, ever since I left the place, they all seem to regard me as one. Cobblers I say." Voleurz grins, staring daggers at the dog to assert authority.

"Well now, this here is Knight Dalliance and you may refer to me as Voleurz - we've heard of the beast that stalks the night and want to ease the burden of the farmers here and slay the foul thing. Doing so, I'm sure the mill could see work again, if you catch what I'm on about."

She looks out at the barren fields behind her, "Given your position aways away from the farms proper, I was wondering if your vantage point has seen this beast from afar. Err rather, if your eyes are good enough for it that is." She smiles politely.

 No.714042

>>714039
I stare at Rainy, mouth agape. "Ms.Springs, you- You can cure a malady of such permanence as muteness? I have to say, if this pans out you're quite the amazing mare."

 No.714043

>>714042
"Hmm.. maybe!" she replies, partly sunk into the pool. "It might be too old an injury, but i'll do my best!"

 No.714044

>>714036
You stroll out of the woods and find a hard faced donkey plowing a field. He takes a break from his labor to talk a while. "Been around since forever," he shrugs. "Was born here myself, and I'll probably die here. Why?"

>>714037
She shakes her head in frustration, pointing at her mouth again, then up at the woods.

>>714039
You channel your healing magic into the mare, who is caught a little off guard. Despite your best efforts, however, it doesn't seem to do anything. She looks a little downtrodden.

>>714038
"Mhm," is all he has to say to you.

You find yourself in the town square, which has little more than a dying tree and a statue of some Diamond Dog noble, which has been thoroughly defaced by the local pigeon population. Up ahead on the hill is the fenced off area that is Harroway's manor, while a road leads to the shops behind you, the church on your left, and the guild hall on your right. It is all laid out very practically and simply.

>>714040
The old mare looks a bit confused as to if you're talking to her or not, but mumbles a farewell and goes back to her business.

>>714041
Having been called off, the dog simply sits on its haunches and pants a little. Dalliance gets a bit closer to it, warily reaching out and petting the dog. It is receptive, and enjoys the attention thoroughly.

"Oh. How do you do, sir," Dalliance says politely with a little curtsy, coming back from her dog petting session. The miller nods. "The name's Dirk. Just Dirk. And yeah, I know o' the beast. Even shot at it once.

"Heard the chickens one night making a horrific fuss. Thought it was a thief. I run out with Sunny, and there's this huge black beast, mouth like a lamp light, tearing into the coop. So I does the done thing. Pull out me rifle and fill it with lead. It… It just stared at me, with this hatred I never seen in no animal. It ran off, didn't leave any blood, not from the chickens, not from itself. No prints, nothing. Nothin' from the natural world could do that."

Dalliance looks troubled, looking at you to gauge your reaction. "Anyways," Dirk grunts, "that's 'bout all I know. It's like a ghost. Some kind a' vengeful spirit come to plague us. I don't know why or how. But it's there. It's very, very real." He shudders a little at the memory.

 No.714045

>>714044
Alright. I'm a little lost. "Wait, you're not saying you were personally attacked, are you? As in whatever caused this is the reason you can't speak? Apologies if I'm misunderstanding."

 No.714046

>>714044
"Then do you mind telling me when ya started havin' this problem with the wolf" he asks, although his original idea has been thoroughly shot down there may be something more to the story

 No.714047

>>714044
Voleurz looks discreetly at the miller's eyes, wondering if there is any sign of the blight from the wolf staring him down. She disguises this voyeurism as listening intently,

"I see I see, sounds like a rather scary sight. But you did say it ran off, and that's what interests me. It didn't leave prints, but you must of saw the headway it took, didn't you now?"

 No.714048

>>714044
Flowing back into her Raincoat, Rainy looks on, downtrodden.

"Aw.. It didnt work!"

Uncorking the second waterskin, she quickly pulls the water from the container, leaving it to float next to the first.

"I was sure it would work this time.."

>>714045
"Oh? You think something else took her voice?"

 No.714049

>>714047
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.714050

>>714044
After some contemplation and the older pony's farewell, I start my flight back to moonhoolow to talk to cinder to speak of my theory to them about the "wolf" attacking the farm.

 No.714051

>>714048
"Well, I'm not actually sure. I could just be making assumptions."

 No.714052

>>714044
Cinder finds it hard to call Moonhollow a town. What a ramshackle, decrepit mismatch of hovels and disrepair. She sighs and tries to look on the bright side.
"Quaint?" she wonders to herself as she takes an eyeful of the statue (probably half pigeon excrement by volume) and the tree (cause of death: suicide?). She looks up the hill with dread. The imposing manor looks haunted as h*ck.
Her hooves turn seemingly on their own volition and lead her down to the shops. It's well within business hours, she thinks. Some place has to be open.

Besides, she hums to herself, she has a bit of change burning a hole in her pocket…

 No.714053

>>714045
She nods, looking morose.

>>714046
"Must've been… hmmm… About a month ago now. The Rill family were the first ones to get hit. Their daughter was torn to bits by it, you see. Awful business."

>>714047
>>714049
His eyes are naturally yellow, so it's hard to tell if he has it or not.

>>714047
"Same place it always goes when its business is done." He nods with his head towards the dead trees bordering the farms all around.

>>714048
She looks at you curiously, with a slow, inquisitive blink.

>>714045
>>714048
The mute waif assumes you're done with her, and picks up her sack again before getting ready to head off, waiting to see if there's anything more to say.

>>714050
You take to the air, flying up and towards Moonhollow. It takes you a while, but you eventually locate Cinder walking down one of the many identical cobble streets.

>>714052
You start heading down to the bottom of town, where the shops are located; or rather, shop. The only relevant one in town is Scot Free's trading post, which is booming as it is the only one to supply drifters like yourself with adventuring gear.

You spot a familiar red winged shape flying towards you. Seems like Soft Talon has something on his mind.

 No.714054

>>714053
"I suppose that's all we have, unless my companion has something to add. I can only assume it was brute force damage and not some kind of magical voice stealing? Either way, thank you again, and I'm terribly sorry we couldn't do more to help."

 No.714055

"Thank you sir" He walks away all while forming a new theory.
All three people so far affected by these various things have been women, but why? Lady Moonlight, the Blacksmith's Daughter, and finally the Rill's Daughter. All of whom were either put in life threatening danger or corrupted. So something around here might be gathering females but for what purpose? It also doesn't explain the killings

 No.714056

>>714053
>>714054

"Yeah.. sorry for the trouble miss." Rainy follows along with Platinum as they move on.

 No.714057

>>714053
Voleurz rolls her eyes, "Not a tree disturbed however? You folk call him a ghost, but it's size didn't scare off birds resting in the forest or anything?"

She tries to sneak one last glance at his eyes before it comes off as uncomfortable [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.714058

>>714053
"Scot Free's Trading Post," she reads out loud. "Open for business?" she muses. She begins ambling that direction. She catches sight of something flying toward her in the distance and stops to stare. She can't quite make it out.

>>714050
>>714053
Cinder recognizes that flying object! She waves to Soft as they come into waving distance. "Ahoy!" she shouts in greeting.

 No.714059

>>714052
I drop down near cinder trying to wave them over.

 No.714060

>>714056
"Well, it seems your worries of scaring it off aren't an issue. It appears just as quick to attack a pony."

 No.714061

>>714060
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.714062

>>714059
Cinder trots over to Soft. "Talon! Good to see you again. Thanks for your help earlier. I have your share of the take, as well." Cinder reaches in the pouch and pulls out 20 bits, which she hands over with an appreciative smile.
"Appreciate your help. Be happy to fight on your side again."

 No.714063

>>714054
>>714056
Whatever it was, she can't answer now. She gives you an odd look as she walks off.

>>714061
As you head off, you take another look back, only to find she's gone.

>>714057
"What birds?" he says grimly. "There's nothin' up in the woods anymore. You can see for yourself. It's all dead. All rotted." Dalliance looks spooked.

You think you see a yellow glint in his eye, but it might be a trick of the light, or just his natural eye color.

 No.714064

>>714063
>pausing

 No.714065

>>714062
"Thing is that I do need your help with another job of mine, as there might be a pony roaming around attacking the farms in a similiar state of your unicorn friend." I attempt to explain. "I think." I mumble.

 No.714066

>>714065
Cinder is all ears. "Oh?? Another job, eh?" She tries to pretend she wasn't on the hunt for just exactly such a thing. "A pony on the attack, eh? Similar to Lady Moonlight?" She looks thoughtfully worried. "That could be a disaster."

 No.714495

>>714063
Voleurz grimaces. 'Even the chance that they're blighted means any info of theirs could be wrong.' She thinks to herself, nodding.

"Fair enough, we'll let you get back to napping then."

 No.714496

>>714063
"H'm. Well, that was at least somewhat enlightening, if a bit spooky. We should reconvene with our associates for our little informations d'échange."

 No.714498

>>714060
"Oh.. how sad. If he voice was stolen, do you think we could get it back?"

 No.714501

>>714066
"Yeah, at first we were told it was a wolf atacking the farmers, but a older pony told me it was a hateful creature that attacked alone, with a yellow maw. With it being unable to bleed and not exhaust when taking hits." I accompany all this with exxagerated gestures.

 No.714503

>>714501
Cinder watches the griffon talk. There's something strange but hypnotic about the way they speak. She stares for a moment after Soft's statement, shakes her head.
"It's gotta be one of those… things. Not bleeding when you hit them seems to be one of their specialties." She looks troubled. "Just have to hit them harder," she grins suddenly, "or toast em!" Stamps at the ground. A shower of sparks splashes outward from her hoof, and a ring of burnt vegetation is left behind.

"Some weird stuff has been going on around town," she admits. "Most everyone's gone missing. This shop appears to be the only one inhabited." She gestures at Scot's. "I was going to part ways with some coin. Anything you need?"

 No.714504


 No.714505

>>714503
"I was wondering if I could talk to your unicorn friend about anything that can possibly help with the mission at hand. Any help is appreciated." I smile.

 No.714506

>>714495
"You've been a great help!" Dalliance adds cheerily. "Thank you very much, sir!" The miller just nods grimly in silent farewell.

Dalliance looks concerned as you leave the farm to rejoin the others. "Very mysterious," she comments, scrunching up her face in deep thought. "What do you make of it all?"

The two of you come across Platinum and Rainy as you start heading off.

>>714496
>>714498
As you start heading back, you spot Voleurz and Dalliance returning from a trip to a local mill. The latter greets you with a friendly wave, though she looks a little troubled by something.

>>714503
Your sparky display gets an annoyed glare from a passing guard, but nothing more.

 No.714507

>>714505
Cinder nods sadly. "Yes, well, unfortunately right now she's undergoing healing from the doctors under the church and won't be much help, I'm afraid. The injuries she sustained were grievous." A pause. "I myself am uninjured, and since nothing else seems to be going on around town, I wouldn't mind helping you out to defeat one of these things! I definitely owe you one." She winks. "Not to mention, I would be surprised if they weren't somehow connected. This… sickness, whatever it is… it's changing the land. People, places, are corrupted, twisted." She appears thoughtful. "There has to be a way to bring them back. Maybe if we hooked that gooball up to a waterpipe?…" she murmurs mostly to herself thoughtfully.

>>714506
Cinder realizes what she's done when she sees the guard and waves apologetically. "Hi!.. Sorry bout that," she chuckles sheepishly.

 No.714508

>>714506
Waving to the pair with a gooey hoof, i call them over.

"Heey! Did you find anything?"

 No.714509

>>714507
"I would be very thankful to have you with our group, I am sure nothing can go wrong with someone as strong as you!" I wrap my arms around you in a hug of appreciation.

 No.714510

>>714506
"Hopefully you've managed more than I. The mare I spoke with didn't actually speak. It seems whatever this beast is, it stole her voice? It wasn't as clear as one would like, and she was quite short with me. Likely do to having her work interrupted. It does seem, however, that the thing isn't afraid to attack ponies at least, so scaring it off shouldn't be an issue."

 No.714511

>>714506
"That we need some sort of goggles when dealing with those bigger tainted, my knight." Voleurz says, scowling as soon as they're out of sight of the Miller, "You saw Cinder's boyfriend completely zonked out of it from a good stare of the creature, and the Miller's eyes looked rather yellowed as well."

She jostles the orb around in her sack, "Fortunately I managed to nab the perfect tool for experimentation. Not only does it keep beer cold, but we can use it to test if we can block out it's influence using a reflection or different tints of glass."

She smiles, smugly, "I'd like to fancy myself a mare of science."

>>714508
"Not much more than knowledge that the beastie ran off towards the forest, and that by my guess it's got some of that same glowey taint-inducing powers our anglerpony chum had. It'd be more prudent to fight with your eyes closed, at this rate."

 No.714512

>>714511
I tap my hoof to my chin. "H'm. Well, it's more than going in blind. Perhaps the others fared better."

 No.714513

>>714509
Cinder is surprised but hugs back warmly. Not too warmly, though; no sparks or flames singe a single feather on the griffon's soft crimson hide.

When they're finished, Cinder recommends they proceed to Scot's, and by way of initiation, leads the way, holding the door open for Soft as she enters.

 No.714514

>>714513
I walk in tilting my head as a sign of thanks for you holding the door for me. "So what shall we be doing over in here?" I tilt my head back asking cinder.

 No.714515

>>714511
"Oh no.. More ponies might be corrupted, like Solar flare, if we don't hurry."

"It looks like it attacks anypony, too! There was a mare who was injured by the beast, she's become mute.. Not even my mending can fix it."

 No.714516

>>714508
"What Miss Voleurz said, really. The miller we met saw the beast attacking his chickens and shot at it, but nothing happened. Very strange. He might have gotten Blighted himself, but we're not too sure yet."

>>714510
>>714515
Dalliance frowns. "Stole her voice? Did… did she have the glow in her eyes? Those blighted tend to make no sound, I've noticed."

>>714511
"Begging your pardon, but I don't really think it's a good idea to be playing with that orb. I would hand it in to an expert in such things. …Er, if there is one in town, I mean."

>>714513
>>714514
A little bell rings as you enter Scot Free's shop. The interior is fairly unremarkable, a dusty, dimly lit little wooden store, lined with shelves lined with various types of equipment for outdoors travel. Scot Free, an older earth pony with a salt and pepper mane and a beard to match, looks up from reading what looks like a pulpy paperback fantasy novella. "Heya drifters. Lemme know if there's anything ya need. …Say, where is everyone? Usually a bit busier than all this."

>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)

 No.714517

>>714516
I try to think back, but nothing comes to mind. "I'm not actually sure. I didn't notice her eyes. She seemed lucid enough, but there's no telling if there's some kind of- what's it called? Incubation period or some such?- before full corruption."

 No.714518

>>714515
"Well for now, I don't think you healing every case of corruption is going to be sustainable in the long run, though we appreciate the effort darling. We've just got to start dealing with these sources of blight and figure out how to end this nonsense."

>>714516
"I don't think it a good idea darling, but if there was a so called expert on the Blight then we wouldn't be in the situation we're in, would we?"

 No.714519

>>714514
Cinder offers a big smile to Soft. "Shop, of course! Let's see what fantastic wares Mr. Free has to offer today."

>>714516
She looks around at the dingy little store. Hardly a grand bazaar, this place fits right in with the dismal air pervading Moonhollow. The kirin looks like she's about to laugh, but doesn't. She greets the shopkeep (apparently Scot Free himself) with a wink. "G'day, friend!" She nods and frowns as he mentions the unnatural quiet that's descended on the town. "Strange, huh? I was wondering the same thing myself. It's like a ghost town out there."

She ambles about, taking a look here and there. She picks up one of the fire starters and chuckles a bit to herself, sparking it. Turns to Soft Talon, showing it off. "This could come in handy, eh?" She winks, chuckling, and puts it down.

She stops in front of the backpacks. "Hey," she addresses Scot. "You have any of these in fireproof?"

 No.714520

>>714519
I start patting down my person for bits. I then turn to cinder unable to find any I go to tell them. "The bits were all left with my other party member." I rub my claw across my head as I stare up at the ceiling.

 No.714521

>>714516
"A glow? I didn't see anything.. My mending didn't bring her voice back, but it might have helped with corruption, i hope."

>>714518
"Right!" replies Rainy, perking up "What should we do now? Should we wait for the night ambush?"

 No.714522

>>714517
>>714521
Dalliance looks pensive. "I suppose only time will tell. We would do well to study the symptoms and behavior of the corruption, don't you think? That way we can understand our enemy better."

>>714518
"Well… not necessarily on the Blight, but on magical ailments in general. There has to be some kind of wizard in town. Right? Every good town has one!"

>>714519
"Mhm. Not good for business at all. Usually get your kind coming in and out. Today? Nothing. You two are only the second faces I've seen today."

"They're all fire resistant," he answers. "But not fireproof. If you're careful with 'em, they probably won't get destroyed. Probably."

 No.714523

>>714522
I nod. "Of course. It seems we'll be dealing with this rather frequently for as long as we remain, so best we get an idea of what we're up against."

 No.714524

>>714522
Voleurz snickers at Dalliance,

"Good town, right."

>>714521
"We'd aught to find the rest of the group first then, but I'm thinking is we have some sorta trap set up at the forest's entrance for when it tries to get away. "

 No.714525

>>714519
"I think we should have some rope on our person, it does ave many uses, and it can help trap that creature for the job." I tap my chin as I talk to cinder.

 No.714526

>>714522
"Hmm," she hums as she slips the pack on. It's in a pretty inconvenient location to not burn, but she thinks she can probably handle it. Taking it off, she grabs up a frypan, shovel, a waterskin, three days rations, and a vial of antivenin. She thinks a moment and pockets three healing potions as well, mumbling something about "…wet…" under her breath as she does so. She takes it all to the counter and dumps it, pulling out the bag of bits and sorting through it with a delicate hoof. She looks up.

"You wouldn't happen to have a bottle of spirits or two for the road back there, wouldja?" She smiles winningly at the earth pony.

>>714525
She taps her own chin in response at the griffon's expression. "Rope, huh? Can't hurt, I guess." She looks over the price. "Seems kinda steep for any usable amount, though. 20' is 60 bits!" She looks back to Soft. "How much do you think?"

 No.714527

>>714526
I fish ou the twenty bits out from my bag that you gave me earlier, just enough for six feet of rope. "Probably 5 feet will do." I stare forward.

 No.714528

>>714527
"Sure," she looks from the griffon to the shopkeep and pulls out another 20 bits, slaps it on the counter. "Make it 12'." Smiles at Soft. "Should be enough to do something interesting with."

>Frypan: 10 bits

>Shovel: 10 bits
>Waterskins: 10 bits
>Rations: 15 bits x 3 = 45 bits
>Backpack: 10 bits
>Antivenom: 15 bits
>Healing potion: 25 bits x3 = 75 bits

Altogether Cinder pulls out 195 bits, sucking air through her teeth at the expense.

 No.714529

>>714522
>>714524
"Right! Once we figure out how it spreads, we might be able to keep it from the town." Rainy adds, nodding sagely.

"But first.. where is everypony? Do you think jesse went back to town?"

 No.714530

>>714524

"Ohh, a trap could work! I saw Soft using something like that when we fought Moonlight, maybe he can help us!"

 No.714531

>>714524
"…Er, right." She rubs the back of her head awkwardly.

>>714523
>>714524
>>714529
"I wonder if the others learned more," Dalliance thinks out loud. "Should we go and find them? Miss Fabrie and Mr Talon aren't anywhere to be seen. Maybe they did go back to town…"

>>714526
>>714528
Scot overhears you lamenting his prices. "Gear's rare in these hard times, miss," he explains. "Ever since the trains stopped coming and the farms dried up, we've all been isolated here, living on borrowed time. If we can get more goods coming in, prices will go down. But as it is… well, I hope you understand, miss."

He counts out your coin. "Thanks very much. Sorry again about the prices. You know how it goes."
>-195 bits

 No.714532

>>714531
Handing the rope off to Soft Talon, Cinder nods as she places everything in the pack and dons it. She's careful to place it in a way that doesn't get near her flame-colored mane.
"I completely get it," she assures Scot Free. "You've gotta run a business. I appreciate you being around today! By the way," she mentions after she has gotten her stuff situated, turning to face him. "You said someone else came in earlier?" She leaves the query open-ended, an invitation to elaborate without pressure, smiling cordially at the earth pony.

 No.714533

>>714531
"We could check the town, If they're there we should have time to get ready."

looking around to get her bearings, Rainy begins the trek back to the village.

"Lets go!"

 No.714534

>>714529
"He'll find his way back." Voleurz says nonchalantly, brushing off the thought with little concern, "Let's just grab the other two."
>>714531
>>714533
Voleurz looks to Rainy, then to Dalliance, giving a large smile, "Well, you heard the goo pony, let's get a move on."

She follows Rainy.

 No.714535

>>714532
"Your too kind Cinder, I am thankful. But be careful out there my friend. I would hate to see anything bad happen to you." I give a cinder a pat.

"Thank you."

 No.714536

>>714531
"Right. We'd do best to prepare for our upcoming plan d'attaque, as opposed to just ambushing the creature. Mr.Talon came with us, though, did he not? I could have sworn-" I look around and give a half shrug. "Well, I suppose he'll know where to join us even if he is still around. Let us be off!"

 No.714537

>>714531
Jesse after spending a while thinking he rejoins the others just in time to hear what Dalliance says "Seems like a good idea, after all we seem to be done with these here fields"

 No.714538

>>714537
"Jesse. We were just exchanging information. I don't guess you managed to turn anything up?"

 No.714539

>>714532
"Yeah. Big fella. Diamond Dog, black fur, great big sword on his back. Seemed anxious. Bought a bunch of rations and waterskins then dipped. Dunno where he went." The description matches Zeke.

>>714537
She does a double take as you rejoin the group. "Oh! Hello Mr Blackbriar! Any luck with the investigation?"

>>714533
>>714534
>>714536
>>714537
You start trekking back to Moonhollow. You notice there's no gate guard this time, letting you just waltz right in. Dalliance looks a bit perturbed by it, but makes no comment. "Do you think Miss Fabrie and Mr Talon came back here?" she asks.

 No.714540

>>714538
"The donkey over there told me a farmers daughter had been missin for a while. The beast showed up a couple months ago, the farms've been here for decades. Thats really all I got"

 No.714541

>>714539
"I don't believe Ms.Fabrie joined us to begin with, but I'm sure Mr.Talon will show up. A bit odd how there still isn't anypony here, is it not? Especially a guard. I feel that, above all else, would be mandatory."

 No.714542

>>714539
"No gate guard? Somethin' aint right. As for Fabrie and Talon I bet they came here for somethin or other. Lets keep our eyes peeled for our friends here. And anythin' else that rears it's head"

 No.714543

>>714541
>>714539
"Certainly feels… safe. Maybe we should be sleeping in shifts from now on."

Voleurz says, uncomfortably.

 No.714544

>>714539
Cinder leans on the counter, quite interested. "You don't say." She stares a moment, then stands right up and puts her nice smile back on. "Well, thanks for everything, Mr. Free. My name is Cinder, and from I can tell, I'll be around. I've got friends on the mend right now, so I've just gotta hang tight until they're shipshape at the least. You know anything about that Doc Caldwell?" She shudders. "Kinda weird guy, right? Just hope he's one of those brilliant eccentrics."

She edges toward the door. "Anyway, take care of yourself! Stay safe. I'd try not to venture out after dark if you can help it." Her face is full of concern for the shopkeep.

>>714535
"Oh!" She blushes a bit, demurely. "It's nothing really. And what are you talking about, be careful out there? We're leaving together, right? You're the one with the job. I'm just tagging along!" She jabs at the griffon's shoulder playfully as they exit the store together.

"A possessed pony like Moonlight was, eh?" she muses. "Sounds like it could be a pretty tough fight. That last one was almost too much for us to handle. We were lucky to get our b*tts saved, honestly! So is it just you and me tackling this one?" She begins walking up the lane away from the shops, keeping her eyes peeled for anypony who might seem like Harroway's 'manservants.'

 No.714545

>>714539
"Hmm.. maybe?"

wandering the street, i peer at the stores, calling out for the pair.

"Cindeer! Soft? Are you two here?"
[1d10] callout

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.714546

>>714544
"Well, I don't plan on tackling this alone, the ones from before will be joining us as a group to ambush the creature thingie. So it won't be attacking the farms anymore. Now that you mention it, I didn't tell them I left to see you. " I tap my chin idly wondering where I could find my companions.

 No.714547

>>714543
"H'm. Yes, I believe that would be most prudent."

 No.714548

>>714544
"Heard of him. Came in about a week or two ago on the stage coach. Back when we had one that is. Says he was sent by some fancy university or something." He shrugs. "Not my business, but we need all the help we can get. Right?"

"Oh, I don't. Haven't even left town for about a month now. Can't really go anywhere nowadays. Too dangerous."

>>714541
>>714542
"Very odd," Dalliance concurs. "Something's happening, and I don't like it one bit…"

>>714543
>>714547
"I will third that," Dalliance says firmly. "I'll take the first shift tonight. Er, unless someone else wants to."

>>714545
You call out as loud as you can, getting odd looks from a few passers by. It really is quiet out today. Even the market is barely alive.

>>714544
>>714546
You hear Rainy calling out for you from somewhere outside.

 No.714549

>>714546
"Oh, the same ones from before?" She's obviously glad to hear it. "Good, strength in numbers and all that." She listens to his concerns about finding them. "Well, where did you leave them?"

>>714545
Cinder cocks an ear at a faint, faraway sound. Someone is yelling! Sounds like Rainy's voice, but not necessarily in peril. She can make out her name being called. "Halloo!" she responds, trotting toward the sound of her voice. "Hey, Rainy!" She grins back at Soft Talon as she goes. "Looks like you won't have to search too hard!"

 No.714550

>>714548
"Somethin is off, and we oughta keep our heads on straight"

 No.714551

>>714548
Voleurz furrows her brow, "Well with all that setup, I'd want to go after the beast. But this seems much more important, where did everyone leave to?"

She gives a feminine grunt, "Ah bollocks. An afternoon's work just to have a different more important thing happen. These disappearances take precedent."

 No.714552

>>714545
"Oh, howdy there Rainy, good to see you again!" I take out my claw and wave it out to you. " We were stocking on items for the ambush for the thingie and such. Cinder here wants to help us." I gesture to the aftermentioned Kirin.

 No.714553

>>714549
"Howdy miss Fabrie, did ya find anythin' useful?" he asks

 No.714554

>>714551
>>714548
"I agree. Hopefully Ms.Fabrie managed to turn something up while we were speaking with the farmers. It's not as if there's nopony around, however. In the event Ms.Fabrie didn't manage to turn anything up, or heaven forbid went missing herself, do you think we should ask around and see what we might glean from the townsponies still here?"

 No.714555

>>714552
>>714549
"There you are! We were looking for you two, did you get something to fight the monster?"

"..Where is everypony, anyway?" She adds, looking around and behind you.

"The village is really quiet, i hope everything's okay.."

 No.714556

>>714549
I smile. "Ah! There you are. Splendid. Have you noticed anything-" I twirl my hoof in the air as I search for the word. "Odd about the town?"

 No.714557

>>714555
"Cinder grabbed quite a bit, and I do have some rope in claw." I tap my chin for a bit before asking a question. "Are you made of water Rainy?" I ask all of a sudden.

 No.714558

>>714557
"Yes!" she replies just as quick.

"My Village was next to a spring, so we pulled together from the water inside it."

 No.714559

>>714558
I tap my chin in thought. "That is quite interesting, is it safe to drink from you?" i tilt my head looking at the goo pony.

 No.714560

"Good, reckon we could use that rope for a trap or somethin?" he inquires while eyeing the rope.

 No.714561


 No.714562

>>714553
>>714554
>>714555
>>714551

Cinder trots up to the group. She greets each in turn with a smile or a nod. "Rainy! Jesse. Platinum. Dalliance. Voleurz. The gang's all here!" She chuckles lightly.

"Soft has been telling me about the plan to ambush some sort of possessed …being… which has been terrorizing the local farms. If you'll have me, I'd like to do my part to burn this infection out of Moonhollow." She snorts a bit of smoke from her nostrils to illustrate.

To answer Rainy, she shows off her new pack. "I got a few essentials," she concedes. "I needed to replace the pack I lost in the crash."

"Oh! Before I forget!" She pulls out her purse from within the pack and distributes 20 bits to Rainy, Platinum, Dalliance, Voleurz and Jesse. "Your cut of the earnings. Sorry it's not more… Thank you, again, so much! I woulda been a goner without you!" She offers one of her winning smiles to each one as she hands them their bits.


>>714556
Cinder nods thoughtfully at Platinum. "It's a ghost town. I mean, Moonhollow isn't exactly a bustling metropolis most days, but today it's really dead." The unfortunate imagery from her words hang heavy in the air. "Not sure what's going on. From what I heard, the de facto leader of the local guild up and skedaddled this morning, apparently along with most everypony else." She shrugs. "I honestly have no idea what's going on. But beating up some bad guys might be a good idea regardless, right? At least we'll be helping the farmers!"

 No.714563

>>714549
>>714552
You are reunited with the rest of your companions. Dalliance greets you with a smile and a little wave.

>>714550
>>714551
>>714555
>>714556
>>714562
>>714559
"M-maybe there's a festival on somewhere!" Dalliance suggests, trying to stay optimistic. "One of those local traditions. You know?"

"…Er. In any case. Whatever's, er, going on here… I think we should focus on the task at hand. With the farmers, I mean. If a day passes and no one's back, then we should really start worrying. I think."

 No.714564

>>714562
"Oh! Thank you!" says Dalliance cheerily with a winning smile. "Thank you very much! You don't have to pay me, really. I, uh, didn't really do much to help in that fight at all…"

 No.714565

>>714559
"Hmm.. I've been filtering the water i've taken in, so i think so!"

>>714562
"Ohh, thank you, Cinder."

Taking ahold of the bits with a pseudopod, i draw the coins in, leaving them to float in my torso with the waterskins.

>>714562
"Huh? The guild leader left?"

 No.714566

"Yknow that festival theory may have a link or somethin. So this thing has been showin up for a couple months, perhaps there's a new local tradition that's angerin' it" he ponders

 No.714567

>>714563
>>714562
"True. It hasn't even been a day yet. I can't imagine any local tradition leaving the guard post without a guard posted, though. Put it aside for now, hunt our beast, return, celebrate our slaying the beast, and should the townsponies not return by tomorrow we begin to worry."

 No.714568

>>714567
>>714563

"Few days is enough to blight someone pretty good y'think? You saw what happened to the stallion when the angler got them. I'm all for putting off responsibilities but if whole town game back full monty and corrupted because we put off looking for these folks, don't expect me to stick around for that fight." Voleurz says, looking around the ghost town and biting a lip nervously.

 No.714569

>>714567
"Leavin the gate open like is a result of somethin big. What would terrify a village so much that even the guards are too scared to do their job. Or perhaps something's been making people think there's no need for a guard"

 No.714570

>>714565
"Thanks for letting me know.For if there any troubles with water such as bugs or even something involving the blights. I do feel safer with you around."

 No.714571

>>714568
>>714569
"Hmm.. maybe we should take a look.. But where would we start? Would the guild know?"

 No.714572

>>714571
"If I had to say yes, mercenaries tend to have loose lips when it comes to local dealins'"

 No.714573

>>714570
"You betcha! I can even clean clothes too, if you'd like, though you'd need time to dry them off."

 No.714574

>>714564
"Oh, pish posh," Cinder waves Dalliance's objection away. "Fair's fair. You did your part and I have no doubt that you would have done more if you had the opportunity."

>>714565

Cinder watches Rainy absorb the bits, interested in the process. She then nods in response to the goo-pony's inquiry. "Yup, appears so. Mostly everybody from the guild is gone. I've been looking around for some so-called 'manservants' of Harroway's. I've a feeling that's a lead to getting some answers, Harroway is. I'd go give him a ring if his place didn't give me the heebies so bad." She shudders, looking up to where the manor is visible despite being on the other side of town, looming over Moonhollow like a spectre.

>>714567
Cinder nods in agreement with Platinum's suggestion.

>>714569
"Yeah, the lack of guards is especially disturbing. This is not a time that you'd expect everyone to lower their defenses."

>>714571
"Been there, asked em. The few that are still there don't know anything. Might be worth a second look, though."

 No.714575

>>714574
"Aw.. So we really don't know, huh?"

"Oh! Maybe they left tracks outside?"

 No.714576

>>714574
"Dya think someone's protecting this place now? But how would that explain the farms? We got ourselves quite the mess here"

 No.714577

>>714575
"On another note, I do believe the creature we are going after is a blighted pony not unlike the unicorn from before."

 No.714578

>>714566
"You think it's some sort of nature spirit?" she asks wide eyed. "That would explain the lack of prints. Even that horrible snake centipede… thing… left some sort of trail. It's odd that this one doesn't."

>>714567
"Or at least get a feel for what the beast is. We shouldn't get too confident," says Dalliance warily. "We don't know what we're up against yet."

>>714568
Dalliance shudders at the thought of having the townsfolk become Blighted. "Well… Let's pray it doesn't come to that. Eh? Hehe… Heh."

>>714574
Dalliance follows your gaze to the manor on top of the hill overlooking Moonhollow. With its two flanking observatory towers, and the pointed roof of the mansion itself, Harroway's manor reminds you uncomfortably of a set of jagged teeth jutting out towards the sky. "It is a bit… creepy. But there's an idea. I don't believe we've had the chance to meet Lord Harroway in person, have we?"

 No.714579

>>714562
>>714574
I smile and shake my head. "You keep your bits," I say. "I helped because I felt it only fair, as you assisted us and then went without payment. As for the matter at hand, I'd not object to searching around a little, but it seems there's not much to turn up. I fear it's to turn into an extended venture into the swamps at that rate."

 No.714580

>>714577
"Really? How horrible! We'll have to try and save them." Rainy replies, a determined look in her eyes.

"If it really is a pony, i'll have to try and purge their curse. It's the least i can do!"

 No.714581

>>714580
"Seems like you do so much Rainy, it is quite surprising. Thinking about it all makes me all tired and exhausted." I slump over.

 No.714582

>>714578
>>714574
Voleurz nods with Cinder, snapiness currently forgotten as she worries about the state of the town more,

"Right. Well for either seeking out the beast or hunting down the townsfolk, visiting the manor wouldn't hurt. That seems like a good course of action."

 No.714583

>>714579
"Yes, but I'm sure our merry band can fell whatever beastie is thrown at us!" I say, proudly thrusting my hoof out. "That's not to say we go in blind. Just that I'm sure we'll be fine. I do wish I could see through my reflection's eyes. That would make reconnaissaince a bit less dangerous, but we can still work with what we have. Especially if we now have decent supplies to work with."

 No.714584

>>714578
"Even a nature spirit'd leave tracks or somethin. I reckon we got a ghost or poltergeist. If that's the case we got a much heftier problem"

 No.714585

>>714582
I follow their gaze to the manor and a chill creeps down my spine. That's a bit unsettling. "Right. To the manor, then?"

 No.714586

>>714581
"Aw, it's okay, Soft!" she says, patting you on the head with a gooey hoof. "I can heal ponies, but you're the one we need to catch them! I know you'll do great once we've set the trap for the farmers."

>>714582
"Ooh, we're heading to the manor? How cool! I wonder what the owner is like?"

 No.714587

>>714575
"Say, yeah! I'm not much of a tracker so I didn't even think to look. Lucky for us we have a couple expert trackers right here!" She beams at Jesse and Soft.

>>714576
She glances pointedly at the town's gate, deserted and wide open to the elements and whoever might want to enter. "Doesn't look very protected to me," she deadpans.

"I'd say 'quite the mess' is a bit of an understatement. Stuck in a podunk village in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by creepy monsters, everybody in town up and left, and the supply store didn't even have any booze for the road." She allows herself a cute pout for a moment.

>>714579
Cinder raises her eyebrows at the posh unicorn. "I'd really prefer you take your fair cut. It's my preference that payment for a job well done is delivered to all the team members, sort of a coda to the whole thing. Tell you what, hold on to it for now and buy me a drink with it later." She smiles sweetly, meeting his eyes for a moment before glancing down demurely.

>>714582
At the mention of actually going to the manor, Cinder shudders again, looking up at the imposing structure.

>>714583
"To adventure!" she giggles at his grandiose bravado. To be honest, she feels a lot braver already.

"Well, I don't know how useful all my supplies are," she admits. "I just got a few necessaries in case I… we… end up on the road again. Don't know how much help this cr*p will be when visiting a rich old fogey in a haunted house."

 No.714588

>>714578
>>714587
>>714579
"If Platinum doesn't want the bits, I could hold on to them." Voleurz says, no crack of a sly grin breaching her face. She realizes what she's saying, and quickly goes to add to her previous statement, "What I meant to say is I purchased some supplies for the group earlier with Rainy and Dalliance. I made sure to buy rations for everyone. All I could afford was two day's worth - Dalliance has them in her bag."

She looks over to the knight.

 No.714589

"When ya put it like that we got a downright travesty and it's gonna be one hell of a job to get this town back on it's feet if we wanted to"

 No.714590


 No.714591

>>714587
I chuckle and nod, taking the bits. "You drive a hard bargain, Ms.Fabrie, but I suppose I must submit. Thank you."

>>714588
I cock my eyebrow. "That's right, you've been the one to hang onto the bits, haven't you. I still have some bits that I came in with. I wouldn't have any problem chipping a few in for the good of the group."

 No.714592

>>714584
Dalliance nods. "I don't even know if there are any priests in town that could help deal with an angry spirit."

>>714588
Dalliance nods. "They were quite expensive, but yes, we have enough rations to last a few days out in the wilderness. Maybe more, depending on how we split them. Let's hope it doesn't come to that though."

>>714589
"Mhm." She looks worried. "Like it or not, we… we might be in this for the long haul. Weeks, months, maybe even years. We might as well get used to calling Moonhollow home." She shudders a little as she looks around at the eerily quiet town.

>>714585
>>714586
>>714587
Dalliance sets her jaw and nods. "To the manor, then. Maybe Lord Harroway will be able to shed some knowledge on what's going on. If he even lets us speak to him, that is."

>pausing

 No.715047

>>714591
"By all means darling, Dalliance has the majority of the gear I bought for us. If you ever buy anything, she'd be happy to carry it."
>>714592
>ready to head up to the manor

 No.715048

>>715047
>>714592
I wave a hoof. "Heavens no. Thank you, but I'm not so weak as to have a lady act as my pack mule. That would be- why, that would be quite impolite. And, knightly as she may be, Ms.Dalliance here is still a lady. I'm sure I can manage.."

>Prepared to leave for the manor

 No.715049

>>714592
"Harroway may know somethin about this beast. And chances are he knows a bit about this place I say we head there."

>Prepared to leave for manor

 No.715050

>>714592
Cinder sets her jaw and gazes broodingly at the manor on the hill. "Guess it looks like we're gonna pay a little visit to Harroway, huh," she sighs. "Well, can't say I love the idea, but it seems pretty unavoidable. Hopefully he knows what the h*ck is going on around here."

>prepared to leave for the manor

 No.715051

>>715048
"Oh my, are you saying Dalliance isn't as strong as any stallion is? I'd beg to differ dear, but I suppose if that's your view.." Voleurz smiles, looking to Dalliance
>>714592
"I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it darling. I've seen how strong you are."

 No.715052

>>714592
>prepared to leave for the manor

 No.715053

>>715051
I smile and shake my head. "Not at all. I'm just not the kind of stallion that would pawn my own efforts onto others. I've seen firsthand just how strong she is, and I personally certainly wouldn't want to be on the other end of her blade. That doesn't excuse pawning my weight off on her, does it?"

 No.715054

>>715048
"Oh, it's not a problem," Dalliance pipes up. "Really! I'm stronger than I look! I can carry your things if need be, Mr Vanity."

>>715047
>>715048
>>715049
>>715050
>>715052
You set up on the path up to the top of the town, approaching the towering, forbidding manor. The path ahead seems to be blocked by a chained gate, but on closer inspection the chain is merely wrapped around the bars to give the illusion of being locked. "Not very high security here, is there," Dalliance muses with a concerned frown.

The land surrounding the manor is rather plain, consisting of various greenery and indistinct statues. Curiously, there are no guards out on patrol; the only sign of life is a gardener off in the distance who gives you a passing glance. The mansion at the center of the estate is tall and dark, with three main spires. There is a tiny courtyard out the front with a fountain that seems to have run dry. The front doors are quite large, and framed by a bas-relief over the top depicting odd figures you don't recognize. The doors seem locked, but feature heavy iron knockers and an unusually large bell by the side.

 No.715055

>>715054
He trots over to the gate and takes flight; hopping over the iron gate and into the courtyard. Walking over to the fountain he surveys the area the best he can. Something about this feels awfully wrong.
"I don't remember manors havin' this low security" he mutters

 No.715056

>>715055
"Well, to be honest with you Jesse. There has been nothing normal about this place since we came from that carriage to fighting beast that turn to dust. Also those ludicrous prices for supplies here still shake me to my bones." I shiver.

 No.715057

>>715054
>>715055
I cringe at the sight of the "Nor such questionable decor." I stop at the door and tap my hoof to my chin. "Well," I say. "Should we knock?"

 No.715058

>>715057
"How about we enter through the window instead?" I look to vanity as I respond to their question.

 No.715059

>>715057
"I'd say so"
He brings his hoof to the door and pounds on it three times in quick succession
"Ya gotta be a bit loud with these" he says to Vanity

 No.715060

>>715059
"I've been to my fair share of manor -some nearly as unsetling as this- and usually there's some manner of help to answer the door. With the level of security we've seen, however, I fear I'm inclined to agree." I take a step back, just in case.

 No.715061

>>715055
"Maybe they're too scared to come here.. this mansion sure is spooky."

>>715054
flowing through the gate bars and up the path, Rainy puts a hoof to the bottom of the door frame in an attempt to flow under and peek into the building.

"Hellooo?"

 No.715062

>>715058
"I doubt we'll have to resort to something so rougeish, Mr.Talon."

 No.715063

>>715054
Voleurz waits patiently, seeing how they've already knocked.

 No.715064

>>715054
Cinder trails behind the group as they approach the estate. "This really seems off," she mutters, glancing around dolefully at the nearly abandoned grounds.

>>715058
"That idea is not entirely without merit, actually. However, maybe we'll knock first and see what happens." She nudges the griffon playfully. "We could always come back after dark."

>>715059

As the knocks reverberate, Cinder cringes in anticipation. "I really do hope this turns out to be a good idea."

 No.715065

>>715062
I shrug my shoulders. "What if you heard a scream from inside, would you take the window or knock down the door?" I ask.

 No.715066

>>715065
My smile falls and I shift uncomfortably. "Then, Mr.Talon, we would take the fastest route. That may, admittedly, be the window, as it has been in my past. For now, we try this."

 No.715067

>>715064
"Only one way to find out. Alright listen up, if nobody answers this door I say we find another way to get inside."

 No.715068

>>715055
You take a look around the area. Seems like the three spires are observatories of some sort. There are also other structures about the estate; there are a few shabby looking sheds, a greenhouse with not many plants left, and a second smaller house presumably for guests. It looks like it hasn't been used in many years; it's practically a pile of rubble.

>>715056
"At least the prices have some explanation," Dalliance pipes up. "Food is running low in the town, after all. More reason for us to help where we can!"

>>715061
You can't see much, but from what you can make out, the interior is very dark and very dusty, like it hasn't been properly cared for in living memory.

>>715059
>>715060
>>715061
>>715058
>>715064
>>715063
As Jesse knocks, nothing happens at first; then, you hear a voice from behind the door. "Who is it?" He has a rather high voice, and a distinct upper class tone. "I'm not interested in hearing about the word of Celestia, or donating to charities, or purchasing the latest innovations! If that's what you're here for, kindly leave the premises!"

 No.715069

>>715067
"Oh! Oh! I might be able to flow under the door and unlock it, Jesse!" Rainy chimes in, feeling the bottom of a door with a hoof.

"I juust need to find a crack or seam to get into.. hmm."

 No.715070

>>715068
"It's some guests for Harroway. We wanna speak with him" he yells through the door

 No.715072

>>715070
>>715068
I jab Jesse in the ribs with an elbow and whisper, "Next time let someone else introduce us. First impressions are incredibly important, Jesse, and your- let's just say your curt manner of speach doesn't give us the best odds."

 No.715073

>>715068
Voleurz grins, "We've come to report the peasants are revolting, but if you're busy, we can come back again another time."

 No.715074

>>715068
"Hi there!" Rainy calls out from her spot under the door. "We're here to help Mister Harroway and the village, but everypony in the town is gone! Have you seen them?"

 No.715075

>>715068
"I wonder who and what people are trying to sell this pony all the way up here. Seems quite dangerous with all the beasties about. Might be looking too much in a rehearsed line." I rub the back of my head.

 No.715076

>>715068
Cinder keeps quiet. Seems there are enough explanations and introductions flying around without her adding to the milieu. She takes this opportunity to try and locate the various entrances to the manor.

 No.715077

>>715070
Another suspicious silence. "….What sorts of guests?" the voice calls.

>>715073
"Well that's a bit harsh! I'm sure they're perfectly decent folk, if rather uneducated. No need to be calling names."

>>715074
You see a bipedal silhouette look down at you and jump away. "Aagh! What is that?! Take it away, Credence, take it away!" A second, enormous silhouette manifests from the shadows, leaning down to look at you curiously.

>>715076
>>715075
>>715074
>>715073
>>715072
>>715070
You hear the jangling of many locks, and eventually the door to Harroway's manor opens. A small young adult Diamond Dog in blue and white finery is standing there, with a pointed snout and brown and white fur. He is flanked by a second Dog, easily twice his size, with black fur, heavy jowls and beady eyes, wearing a butler's uniform. The shorter Dog, presumably Lord Harroway, blinks as he sees you all. "I suppose you'd better come on in. What's all this about anyway? I don't recall any appointments for today." His gaze lingers on Rainy, looking a little weirded out, but he is too polite to say anything about it.

 No.715078

>>715077
He eyes the dogs, something about one of them seems a little familiar.

 No.715079

>>715077
Talon raised his claw high above the diamond dogs head. It swiftly came down upon him laying down the gentlest of pats upon the poor soul before there was anything to be done about the tragedy.

 No.715080

>>715077
"Thank you," I say, stepping inside and preparing myself to follow him. "Well, I'll cut the small talk and skip straight to the point, for both our sake. It seems quite a few townspo-" I clear my throat. "Townsfolk have gone missing since last night. The place is practically deserted. We were wondering if, perhaps, you had any knowledge of why this may have happened."

 No.715081

>>715077
"As in a peasant revolt, my darling. They've all up and left town." Voleurz says, "Unless this is a common occurrence, I believe something is amiss!"

 No.715082

>>715077
Cinder smiles kindly at the diamond dogs. "Well met! You must be Lord Harroway. We've been hearing a lot about you. I came with Guiding Moonlight's entourage to burn out the infection surrounding your town." She offers a hoof, realizes it's not entirely clean, tries to wipe it off and offer it again apologetically. "Sorry, it's been a long day already."

 No.715083

>>715077
draining back under her raincoat as the door opens properly, she smiles at the two, the stares of confusion left unnoticed.

"Yes, hello there, sirs! the town is empty, the guild members missing too. Did you know anything about that?"

 No.715084

>>715078
Apart from the obvious disparity in stature, you find that Lord Harroway has a passing resemblance to his second cousin Zeke, the guild master you'd met earlier. The butler, whose name appears to be Credence, may or may not be on the family tree. You can't really tell.

>>715079
He recoils at the unexpected assault upon his person. Credence the butler takes a step forward menacingly. "Hey! What are you doing!" the young lord protests. "Assault! Assault!" He pulls away from you, eyeballing you with great suspicion. "What did you do that for?"

>>715082
"That is me," he confirms. "E. Pendleton Harroway, lord of Moonhollow. Whatever that's worth…"

"Guiding Moonlight? She made it? At least it's not all bad news… Well. Welcome to Moonhollow, then, madam. Such as it is. I daresay you'll find your work cut out for you here."

>>715080
>>715081
>>715083
"What? Missing?" He looks just as confused as you at the news. "That is… very odd. I hadn't heard, no. I'm afraid I don't get to leave the manor much nowadays, what with planning the campaign and all."

>>715078
>>715079
>>715080
>>715081
>>715082
>>715083
The interior of the manor is dark and tatty. The main hall that you enter into has a large and impressive staircase draped in red carpet, which has been picked at by moths over the years, and a once gleaming chandelier hangs at a crooked angle over the top of it all. "Apologies the house is in such poor condition," says Harroway as he and Credence lead you in. "I haven't exactly had time to renovate since I inherited the place."

"I'm afraid if you are looking for answers on where everyone is, you shan't find them here," he explains as you all walk towards one of the rooms. "I did not know anything was going on until you told me just now, you see. But, I will be happy to help however else I can."

He leads you to what seems to be the dining room, a large hall with several portraits of stern looking Diamond Dogs. The central table looks like it's seen better days, and you note that there are a few empty bottles of wine on it, which Harroway hastily clears. The back wall has a large board with several notes and pictures pinned to it, some connected to each other by bits of string. "May I offer you a glass of wine? Or anything else? I'm an open book. If you have any questions for me, ask away."

 No.715085

>>715084
"I do that with almost everyone I meet. It has been a habit of mine since I was little. Is there anything wrong with doing such?" I tilt my head in a curious manner.

 No.715086

As Jesse walks through the manor a scowl forms upon his brow. He never liked these types of places, always seemed to reek of entitlement and snobbery. He takes a seat at the table and stares down the diamond dog portraits.
"I'll take some whiskey if ya got any" he tells Harroway "Say what's with the board on the wall?"

 No.715087

>>715084
"Think nothing of it. I doubt you've even had time to think about upkeep what with the blight and such. And yes. A glass of wine would be lovely." I step up to the board and tilt my head. "Forgive me for assuming, but is this used to attempt to trace the source of whatever caused all of this? Or just general campaign plans?" I say without looking away.

 No.715088

>>715084
Cinder nods in response to his inquiry of Moonlight. "She's currently healing from some fairly serious injuries in Caldwell's clinic under the chapel. It's been rough. The countryside is beset by these corrupted beasts, and they are all hideously powerful." Cinder points to Rainy proudly. "This one has the power to cleanse the blight from individuals," she explains, "but it's been slow so far. But at least it gives us hope that we can bring back the ones who aren't too far gone. Or already dead."

As they enter the dining hall, Cinder eyeballs the bottles of wine, smacking her lips a little bit. She smiles wide at Harroway's offer. "I could really use a drink, now you mention it. There's barely a drop left in town. You'd think we were in a drought."

She makes her way to the back wall and examines the board, trying to make sense of it.

Turning to Harroway, she asks, "Had Zeke talked to you at all about leaving? It seems he was one of the several who were in a hurry to skip town this morning."

 No.715089

>>715084
Voleurz enters, sauntering in as if she owned the manor, "I would love a glass of muscat m'lord, but any white wine would do in a cinch. Thank you."

She sits herself at the dinner table, taking off her hat and sitting politely. "Now just how long has this blight been going on m'lord, has whoever started it ever reached out to you trying to get you to surrender your lands or any other common thread you'd expect from such brigands?"

 No.715090

>>715084
Rainy follows the others inside, leaving a trail of hoof prints clear of dust behind her.

"Ohh, this place is huge!" she adds, looking around with interest.

Taking a seat in the dining room, she wetly taps her muzzle with a hoof in thought.

"Hmm.. Do you know about the farm monster? it's been attacking those poor farmers for a while now, anything that could help fight a blight beast would be really helpful!"

 No.715091


 No.715092

>>715085
"…Not at all, it was just… unexpected." He takes a moment to recover from the horrific attack.

>>715086
The portraits stare out at you knowingly.

"Of course. Credence, a glass of whiskey for our guest, if you would."

>>715087
>>715086
>>715088
The board has a map of Moonhollow and the lands surrounding it, with several landmarks pinned. There is also a wanted poster for Falling Snow and Broken Sword, an image of one of the hypnotic serpentine spiders you encountered, a list of names, and old newspaper articles relating to certain occult covens. "A bit of Column A and B, really," he explains. "I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs while I'm here, you know. I've been doing research on the town's history, trying to get to the bottom of all this. Nothing conclusive yet, though."

>>715088
>>715090
"Oh?" He looks to Rainy. "Well, that is certainly quite useful, though one… person… can hardly cleanse the Blight on their own. If we could develop a proper cure, our job would be much easier. We still do not fully understand this sickness, how it is spread, how it affects the mind of those affected… or what its origin is."

>>715088
He shakes his head. "Cousin Zeke and I haven't spoken too much since he arrived. He's been very busy keeping the guild hall running, even more so since Windemere went missing. He was my old right hand, but he vanished after a carriage crash. I assume the Blight got him…"

>>715089
"The Blight has been spreading for the last… oh, two months? Not long at all, but you can already see the impact it's had on this land. I haven't heard anything from anyone regarding it, but I have heard other rumors. Bandits beginning to assert themselves on my lands, depraved cultists and madmen starting to reassemble on the outskirts of decent civilization…" He shudders. "It's like my poor town is the epicenter for all things unsightly."

>>715090
He nods. "I've heard reports about it from the local farmers. To tell the truth, I'm not sure it is a Blighted beast at all. The Blighted are still creatures of flesh and blood. This seems much more ethereal. Like some spirit of vengeance preying on the farms. The only question is, why?"

>>715090
>>715089
>>715088
>>715087
>>715086
>>715085
Credence goes to fetch a bottle of red wine labeled Liqueur Muscat, along with glasses for everyone and an assortment of cheeses. Jesse, at his request, gets a glass of whiskey instead. "I believe introductions are in order," says Harroway as he pours you all glasses. "I assume you know my name, but I don't think I ever got yours…"

 No.715093

>>715092
"My name is Soft, Soft Talon. You know. I never had wine before now that I think about it." With this new revelation. Talon decides to prepare to relish this moment with a smile.

 No.715094

>>715092
>>715089
Addendum: Voleurz gets a glass of strong white wine, at her request.

 No.715095

>>715092
"The name's Jesse. If ya haven't guessed I'm a mercenary. If ya need anything let me know" he says and takes a swig of his drink "Dyall got some polish? My gun is itchin for a shine"

 No.715096

>>715092
"So you're saying this creature may not even be one of the blighted. Curious. I don't suppose you have any theories? You said a vengeful shade, perhaps?"

My jaw drops and my face grows a
shade of crimson. "Goodness, how terribly impoite of me. My sincerest apologies, Lord Harroway." I levitate the wine -which actually looks quite nice compared to what I was drinking at the bar- and hold my hoof out. "Platinum Vanity, at your service. Adventurer by trade."

 No.715097

>>715092
"Oh! We forgot our names, sorry. I'm Rainy Springs, here to help! My magic isn't wide enough to cure everypony i can of blight, but i'll do my best!"

eying the glass of wine with interest, Rainy extends a pseudopod into the glass, drawing the liquor in, which fizzes curiously before it's color drains away from red into clear water further up the limb.

 No.715098

>>715092
She introduces herself at the appropriate time. "Cinder, sir. I'd like to use the word 'adventurer' but probably, 'mercenary' might be more apt." She takes the offered glass gratefully. Raises it, her eyes traveling over the group. "To new acquaintances then," and sips happily.

At the back wall, she peruses the list of names, skims an ancient article on local covens, and then gazes at the map for a long minute.

>>715097
Cinder taps her hoof to her chin as she takes in what Rainy has said. "What if there was a way to make a cure with your magic? We should talk to Dr. Caldwell about that when we get back to the chapel."

 No.715099

>>715092
>>715094
Voleurz raises her glass, adjusting her hair, "Madainna Ghrain, heiress to the Ghrain Estate of East Andraxis. It seems the Dominion is in a decline as of late, both our manors seem to have seen better days."

She sighs dramatically, taking a sip of her wine, "Thank the princesses, at least here hasn't soured. Anyways, any ancient burial grounds or pagan nonsense that you'd know of that they're trying to encroach on then?"

 No.715100

>>715098
"Maybe! We'd need some way to keep my spell active, but that only works if i'm focusing.. hmm."

 No.715101

>>715093
Harroway raises his eyebrows. "That's an interesting name. Pardon my ignorance, but I thought griffons didn't use ponies' naming conventions."

>>715095
He blinks. "I don't keep a gun, but we might have some polish somewhere… Credence, go and have a look for us, will you?" The enormous butler trudges off, coming back for a while with some polish for you. "There we are!" Harroway smiles, raising his glass to you. "I take it you're a gunslinger then? Not many of those around anymore."

>>715096
"Or something of the like," he muses. "If you're going to try to hunt it down, you should prepare for anything, including the incorporeal."

"A pleasure to meet you, Mr Vanity," he answers warmly, shaking your hoof. "Or is it Lord Vanity? You look the type to have high connections, if I may say so."

>>715097
"Pleased to meet you!" he says politely, watching curiously as you drink. "…Er, if you don't mind me asking… what sort of creature are you? I've, er, never seen anything quite like you before."

>>715098
"To new acquaintances," Harroway echoes politely, taking a swig.

The names mostly concern prominent local figures in town, such as Doc Caldwell and Stolas the cat. The articles concern a supposed cult of witches active in the area some 60 years ago, led by a mysterious figure known only as Mother Visae, but they seem to have disbanded following a Church sanctioned crusade.

>>715099
"Oh! A noble! Pleasure to have you in my halls, my lady. Such as they are. If I'd known you were coming, I would have prepared a little better."

Dalliance chimes in. "I am Lady Dalliance, Knight of the Dove, First of the Three Servants. An honor to meet you, sir." She curtseys before taking a seat. "No need to be so formal," Harroway smiles. "It's just a title."

Harroway purses his lips. "Not that I'm aware of. The closest thing there is is the coven led by Mother Visae, but they were all put to the sword decades ago. Still. It's not entirely impossible that they have begun to rear their heads again."

 No.715102

>>715101
"It is a name I have been bestowed with upon my travels, a sort of reinvention of my character coming and living on the roads, but I doubt you want to hear my life story. So I will leave it at that." I state.

 No.715103

>>715101
"Yep" he replies and takes out his firearm and takes up a cloth from the table and begins to shine his metallic six shooter. "Damn good shot too if I say so myself."

 No.715104

>>715101
I chuckle and smooth my mane back. "Well, I am well connected enough, but no. Mr.Vanity is fine. My father was a merchant, but no lord. Still, I'll take it as a complement." I nod. "Thank you. Though through my two contacts with the incorporeal I've not had to fight them. I wouldn't know where to begin."

 No.715105

>>715101
"Please, I don't exactly advertise my comings and goings when I haven't an estate to return to as of yet. Forced to act as a common mercenary, spare me the indignation of remembering." Voleurz holds a hoof up to her forehead as if to faint, "But alas, a coven? How droll. What were they like in their prime? What sort of nuisance were they?"

 No.715106

>>715103
As he works his way down the barrel he reaches the handle. On it are 23 notches carved into the metal finish. Jesse frowns as he sees it and sighs then continues to shine it. In the end his gun is spotless, all engravings and elegant carvings are visible

 No.715107

>>715101
She sips her wine and thinks for a long moment. "So… how goes the campaign? Have you found any reliable way to fight the Blight? We have defeated a few, but we are so few, and they seem so many and so powerful. Is there any kind of weapon, or tactic we might employ to improve our odds? Would it be worth our time to try to fight it directly, or should we maybe focus on the local brigands first? Improving the quality of life in Moonhollow is going to be necessary if we're sticking around a while."

 No.715108

>>715101
"What i am? Hmm.."

Rainy takes a moment to think, more of the drink fizzing away as she thinks.

"Our village elder said something about 'magical runoff' from a wizard's tower and how it made the spring nearby come to life, but nopony really takes his stories seriously."

"My village is full of ponies like me, with bubbling hot springs and cores being formed from the water, it's a fun place to visit."

 No.715109

>>715102
"Oh? I'd like to hear it sometime, really. I've never really gotten to travel much, but I've always wanted to be an adventurer. …Not that I'm exactly cut out for it, haha."

>>715103
He flinches a little as you pull it out. "I trust you're a good enough shot not to fire it in here…" He looks uncomfortable.

>>715104
"Neither," he confesses. "Though, from what I've read, they wouldn't exactly be able to be harmed by the material. If it is some sort of wraith we're dealing with, you'd have to rely on spells, or enchantments on steel." He looks at your horn. "I'd wager you're versed enough in combat to be able to cast spells. Right?"

>>715105
"That's what I've been trying to put together," he explains, gesturing towards the board he's built up. "I wasn't alive during their time, and I can't exactly ask my parents or grandparents. So I've had to rely on old reports from those times to piece anything coherent together. The work is slow, though, and there's always the possibility it's a wild goose chase. Still. It seems they were quite dangerous, as witches are wont to be. So much so that my ancestor had to ask the Church for help, and they sent a group of holy knights to wipe them all out. Nasty affair."

>>715106
Harroway notices the notches. "A kill count?" he asks curiously. "That's rather morbid of you, sir. If I may say so."

>>715107
He sighs in frustration. "Nothing concrete. It does seem to be curable, but it's not like any other disease, where the body rejects it once it is cured. If anything, those cured are even more susceptible to repeat infections. The tricky part is, we haven't the foggiest what actually causes the Blight to be transmitted. Whether it's touch, bite, the air, fluids… or something else altogether."

At your second question, he taps his chin. "The reason I have called for adventurers like yourselves is twofold. One to combat the Blight, obviously, but also to help restore Moonhollow. The work would begin with reopening the railroads, or helping deal with whatever beast is plaguing the farms. Those brigands, most of all, should be dealt with as soon as possible. The sooner we can reopen contact with the outside, the better. Trains would mean more outsiders coming to help, after all. Ultimately, the choice is yours what you choose to do here, but we must see to the bandits eventually.

"Which reminds me, I have also put out a call for travelers to investigate the ruins not far from here. Merely a scouting mission, to determine if there is anything of note within. It's a castle that used to be owned by my family, but even before the Blight hit, it was abandoned. I would very much like to reclaim it, if possible."

>>715108
"How fascinating," he muses. "I had heard of liquidous ponies before, but never seen one in the flesh. Very curious… If what miss Cinder said is true, your magic may help solve the Blight once and for all. I would ask a favor of you, madam. The next time you cure the Blight, please, try and take a sample of whatever healing waters you may use. The doctor in town may be able to make use of them. He is a learned scholar, after all. …Or so he says. At any rate, if we can sample it, we may be able to duplicate it. Don't you think?"

 No.715110

>>715109
"Aint no kill count. Its for everyone I've wronged over my life, I keep em on my gun so I remember them. Learn from your mistakes n all that" he says

 No.715111

>>715109
I proudly puff my chest out and grin. "I have a couple of tricks in my repertoire, yes. Whatever it is that's causing your farms problems I assure you, me and my companions will get to the bottom of -and take care of- it." Finished with my questions, I sit back and listen to his explenations to the others.

 No.715112

>>715109
Out of curiosity, Voleurz checks out Harroway's eyes [1d10],

"Now, the experimentation I was interested in if that Blight light-" She chuckles, hearing herself rhyme, "Hah, blight light, it rhymes. Anyways, if that light those creatures give off can be blocked through some sort of material. If the things can taint your farmers just with a glare, then I dare say we should all be going about the day with blinders on."

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.715113

>>715109
"Hmm.. I'll try to save some water, don't you worry!" Rainy replies, nodding quickly. "My magic is hard to control, but if it'll help the doctor i'll do my best."

 No.715114

>>715113
I give a few pats on the head. "You work so hard Rainy. You are giving everyone a run for their money at the rate you have been going at." I lightly chuckle.

 No.715115

>>715109
"Hmm. Thanks for the info. We will try to make it out to your family's castle if we have time, but it seems like a low priority for the near future. Getting the town safe seems more important for now."

Cinder thoughtfully finishes her glass of wine, setting it down and looking around at the group. "So, we're not really any closer to discovering where the townsfolk went, but maybe we have an idea of how to move forward. The plan to ambush the spirit haunting the farms might be a good place to start, although I personally feel much more confident fighting corporeal enemies. I've heard only bad things about those two, Falling Snow and Broken Sword, and I have a real soft spot for the kind of folk that prey on innocent townfolk." She grinds one hoof into the other by way of illustration.

>>715112
Listening to Voleurz, Cinder has to shake her head in appreciation. "I have to admit, that's a pretty good plan."

 No.715116

>>715110
"I see," he says, sounding a bit somber. "Very wise of you, sir. I can respect that."

>>715111
He smiles. "Excellent! We need more drifters like you in town. You seem a very determined sort. I admire that."

>>715112
He has deep blue eyes, and normal pupils. He doesn't seem to have been affected.

"You think the Blight spreads through eye contact?" he asks. "That would… certainly be a development. Just to be safe, I will issue a message warning the common folk not to make eye contact with any Blighted they may encounter."

>>715113
"Thank you. I'm sure Doctor Caldwell will be able to make use of it. He's set up shop over in the town church. In… in the crypts." There is an uncomfortable silence. "It's the best we have right now, I suppose."

>>715115
"Thank you. You will be rewarded, of course. I have details up on the notice board at the guild hall. The priority should be getting to the bottom of this vanishing, though. I simply have no clue what could have happened. It's very mysterious."

 No.715117

>>715116
"Of course. Papa always said if you go into a job knowing you'll get it done then ponies are more comfortable parting with their bits." Always a stallion of wisdom. My lips curl into a small, sad smile and my eyes defocus for a moment. I recompose myself and sigh. "Certainly the more important matter. Ms.Fabrie already asked around without any real leads. Still, I'm sure we'll find something. Thank you for all your help, Lord Harroway."

 No.715118

>>715116
"From my experience, quite so. I took this glowing orb from one of them after it left one stallion catatonic. The barkeeper similarly had quite the eye for it, I wonder if I could use the thing as a sort of Blight detector…" She muses to herself, patting her bag, "Plenty of experiments to be done with it I must say. Also keeps drinks chilled!"

 No.715119

>>715116
"I overheard what ya said about blights. Thanks for sayin what ya know. I suppose we should be on our way"

 No.715120

>>715116
"Mysterious indeed," Cinder concurs. She looks thoughtful. "There's something about this, feels like we're missing something. Hmm." A brief pause, then she smiles sweetly at Harroway. "You've been very helpful. Thank you for the wine. Please keep in contact; we will be in town for the foreseeable future." She reaches out to shake his hoof.

Looks like the group is getting set to leave. "What now, crew? Any idea how to get to the bottom of this disappearing act?"

 No.715121

>>715118
" Is it more of an iced chill that is cool and refreshing, or one that is cold enough to hurt one's teeth?" I tilt my head in curiosity about the glowing orb.

 No.715122

>>715117
"Thank you, sir. Without you this town would be done for. There's still hope, isn't there?…" He looks pensive as he sips his wine. "I just wish there were more I could do to help, but I'm not exactly cut out for combat."

>>715118
He frowns. "An orb, you say. That's… a first. You, er, probably shouldn't use it. Who knows what it could do."

>>715119
"Yes, yes, I shouldn't keep you, should I. If there's nothing else I can do for you, then I suppose you ought to be going. I really can't think you enough for everything you do for my people, sir."

>>715120
He shakes your hoof eagerly. "I'm here to help in whatever way I can, madam. You're all credits to this town!"

>pausing

 No.715572

>>715122
"Everything we've done for your people?" Voleurz interjects the conversation between the lord and Jesse, "We're not even sure there will be people around to call 'yours' by the end of the night. Keep yourself barricaded and close your eyes if you see a glowing."

 No.715573

>>715572
"You got a point. Time to stop playing nice"

>>715122
He leans his head to the side and examines Harroway with a dirty look
"So Mr.Harroway care to explain why you've locked yourself in here with a guard n everything?" he pauses for a second "You have an entire village out there crying for help! You have more than enough resources to help. Hell you could make a defendable fort with this here manor but the question is why the hell don't you!?" He slams his hoof on the table at the last sentence "Now you best be careful with your reasoning; I don't take kindly to cowards"

 No.715574

>>715573
Voleurz laughs at Jesse, "Are you simple, Jesse? What's a manor without a lord, if they were to get kidnapped like the rest, this place would go to ruin. Don't be stupid."

 No.715575

>>715572
>>715122
"Grim as that may be, I'm afraid our lovely Ms.Voleurz is correct. I'm sure you hadn't planned on venturing out, as you seem to be preoccupied here to begin with, but now so more than ever you should lock yourself in the safest room im your home."

>>715573
I cock an eyebrow. "Jesse, I doubt he could have done much himself, and he's already said he hadn't heard of what's happening in the village until our arrival. I feel he's answered what he can in regards to that."

 No.715576

>>715122
Cinder turns to go, pauses thoughtfully, turns around with an eyebrow up.
"One more thing, actually, Lord Harroway. I was told something about… manservants. Do you employ many people these days?"

 No.715577

>>715573
Lacking any input to give talon reaches out and pats Jesse on the head as he stands idly on the side.

 No.715578

>>715577
Jesse alright quite annoyed at the other two he just simply puts his head down and lets out a long defeated sigh

 No.715579

>>715578
I knit my brow and shake my head. "Come now, no need to act like a colt. I was simply saying you needn't always be so confrontational."

 No.715580

>>715579
"It's called being direct and using force. Yes I agree I don't need to always do that. But it seems to get results easy and I don't like to waste time"

 No.715581

>>715580
"Yes darling, if I was to sum up your way of doing things, I would certainly define it as 'getting results easily'." Voleurz snickers.

 No.715582

>>715581
>>715580
I stifle a chuckle. "Well, we can -and maybe should- talk about this later. For now we have more pressing matters at hoof."

 No.715583

>>715573
"Aw, don't be mean to mister Harroway, Jesse!" says Rainy, withdrawing her pseudopod from the glass, now completely dry.

"Everypony is trying their best, and He's working hard too, trying to put the town back together. The least we can do is be nice to him.."

 No.715584

>>715583
I give a little shrug and move my claw over to Rainy and starting petting their head instead of Jesse's. "Will do." Talon states quite simply.

 No.715585

>>715572
>>715575
Harroway looks nervous, tugging at his shirt collar uncomfortably. "Er, okay. That's… ominous."

>>715576
"You mean for manor duties? There used to be more, but Widdershins passed away about two weeks ago, and Windemere is presumed dead. So now it's just me organizing everything and cleaning the place." He shrugs. "I don't mind, really. Means I don't have to rely on anyone but myself to keep the ship running. You know? …Why do you ask?"

>>715573
He flinches a little, looking like he's been slapped in the face at your outburst. Credence the butler takes a menacing step forward. "How… how dare you!" he says indignantly. "I invite you, a total stranger, into my home as a welcome guest, and you insult me and threaten me under my own roof! A lesser lord would have you banished for this!"

"What good would a fort do against a plague? We're not under siege from brute force. And the people need a leader. Even if I can't do much in person, I'm doing what I can with what I've been given." He stands up out of his seat in indignation. "Y-you think I wanted to come here? I could have been a learned scholar by now! Instead I'm here to clean up this mess, just because dear grandfather ordained it. I'm probably going to die here, but I'll be damned if I won't do everything I can to fix things! So don't you DARE call me a coward, sir." He stares you down angrily. Dalliance on the sidelines looks extremely uncomfortable.

>>715572
>>715573
>>715575
>>715576
>>715577
>>715583
Harroway takes a moment to calm down after his outburst towards Jesse. "…I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave," he says simply. "It's been a pleasure getting to know most of you." He gives Jesse another withering look. "I wish you the best of luck getting to the bottom of this beast hunt. I, for my part, will do what I can to investigate this strange disappearance. …Well, there isn't too much I can do, but I'll try. It's all anyone can do, isn't it?" He looks away pensively.

 No.715586

>>715585
I give Lord Harroway a soft smile and nod. "Of course. Lots of work to be done, after all. Thank you for your time and patience, Lord Harroway, and I apologize on behalf of my…" Companion seems like a stretch at this point. "Er- on behalf of Jesse. I hope when next we meet it should be with good news. Good day."

 No.715587

>>715585
Jesse looks behind him at Harroway and semi dashes out through the gate.
"I really..-" he lets out another sigh and covers his face

 No.715588


>>715585
"Well, there was at least a gardener outside, and you must have security. Not that Credence isn't," she eyes the huge dog from head to toe, "sufficient protection, I'm sure." She takes a breath and continues, looking back to Harroway. "Just wondered if anypony had reported the missing guards, or if you had noticed any lapse in correspondance, that sort of thing."

>>715573
Cinder just kind of awkwardly stands there during this whole interaction, making eyes with anyone else wondering what is going on.
As they are encouraged to leave, she smiles apologetically. Her eyes twinkle; she murmurs "I hope we meet again under more pleasant circumstances," curtsies, and exits the room gracefully as requested, giving another unabashedly long glance to Credence as she goes.

 No.715589

>>715585
I start backpedaling out of the manor while waving goodbye to Harroway and his butler. "It was a pleasure seeing you. I hope to one day meet with you again. Hopefully things will be better after." I take my leave with a smile and the taste of wine on my tongue.

 No.715590

>>715585
Voleurz nods, "Until we can have a more pleasant conversation then m'lord." She puts her hat back on, taking the wine bottle with her in the kerfuffle between Jesse and Harroway [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715591

>>715585
"Oh.. sorry mister Harroway.. I'm sure Jesse didn't mean it! He's just concerned for the town too, in his own way.. I think."

Dejected, Rainy re-stacks her glass before following the others out, partly flattening herself out as she slinks off.

 No.715592

>>715588
He blinks in surprise. It seems he hadn't considered the fact that the guards were gone. "W-well, everyone reported in this morning. I was more caught up in planning the expedition to Castle Carlisle than I was making sure the guards were doing their usual duties. This is… troubling, to say the least." He swallows nervously. "I'll be sure not to venture too far from the manor until this is over. I-if it's over…"

>>715587
You feel both of them glaring at you as you leave.

>>715586
>>715588
>>715589
He purses his lips. "Well, it's not like it could get much worse, I suppose. Good day."

>>715590
A hard look from Credence makes you reconsider swiping it.

>>715591
"I certainly hope so," he says simply.

>>715586
>>715587
>>715588
>>715589
>>715590
>>715591
You leave the manor behind you, heading back down towards the town. "That… could have gone better," says Dalliance on the way there. "He seems like a good fellow. He certainly seems to have the town's best interests at heart. …So, where to from here? Shall we hunt the ghost wolf? Or perhaps we should investigate these disappearances more? …Maybe things will be back to normal tomorrow. Or as normal as you can get around here. Hm…"

 No.715593

>>715592
"Hmm.. I want to help the farmers, but everypony leaving the town is even worse! Maybe we should find them first?"

 No.715594

>>715593
I shrug. "No people does make no farmers. Where shall we start go looking first in this big ol area of monsters and no ponies land." I ask tapping my chin clueless.

 No.715595

>>715592
Cinder takes a good look at the town from their vantage point on the hill. Descending Harroway's property, the kirin looks to her allies for their opinions.
"Alright… so, not a total loss. At least we got a drink out of it!" She laughs and skips along, turning back around to face the group and trotting backwards. "So, not everyone is missing. We need a tracker to trace the flow of traffic out of town. If everyone left, it's likely there's traces of it all over, but maybe not on cobblestone. Perhaps the mudddy sidestreets? Or just out of town?" She nods to Soft and Jesse. "I'm sure you might have a better idea where to get started searching?"

 No.715596

>>715595
Jesse gives a small nod at the kirin

 No.715597

>>715595
>>715592
Voleurz nods, "We've a few good trackers in the group. Those who can't do so however, perhaps we could get an account of exactly who left the village. Perhaps there's a correlation?"

 No.715598

>>715595
"Oh! Oh! Maybe the gate? A lot of ponies go through there, maybe we can find some tracks!"

 No.715599

>>715595
"Perhaps we should investigate the townsponies disappearence first."

>>715597
"Seems we have, at the least, a plan, then. Should we split up, do you think? Or move in groups?"

 No.715600

>>715599
>>715598

I nod my head. "We should split up into two or more investigative groups if possible to search around the gates for the townspeople's disappearances. Does that sound good?" I tilt my head questioningly.

 No.715601

>>715598
"That's a great idea!"

>>715599
"We should split up into two groups, one for each gate. Jesse in one, Talon in the other."
>>715594
>>715596
"So, any particular direction you've been yearning to explore?"

 No.715602

>>715600
"Yeah! You, me and Cinder check one, Jesse, Platinum and Voleurz check the other!"

 No.715603

>>715601
"We'll take the one at the head of the village. We'll meet up back here when we're done." he gestures towards the front gate of the town

 No.715604

>>715602
"Tracking through mud? I'd certainly prefer not, given the choice."

 No.715605

>>715604
"Agreed. If it's all the same I've had quite enough mucking about, as it were."

 No.715606

>>715601
"Well I have always been taking a liking to the sea as one great beast to explore, but besides that. I rather go for somewhere convenient to the moment." I nod with a sile.

>>715602
"How nice having you both with me. I do appreciate it, my friends." I give a nod of my head.

 No.715607

>>715602
>>715606

Cinder nods encouragingly, hoping that their enthusiasm will carry over to the rest of the group. She edges away from the group with Rainy and Soft in tow, urging them along.

"The muddier the path, the clearer the tracks. Better for us, eh Talon?" She nudges the griffon affectionately. "At least you can fly."
She turns to Rainy. "And I get the feeling you aren't too bothered by mud either. I'm gonna be the only one walking through the muck, really." She sucks her teeth. "Do they make galoshes for Kirin?"

 No.715608

>>715607
I nudge back at cinder. " Heh, well you can make fire at will. I do believe that is quite the handy ability at times, so how about you scare away the beasties and I protect you from the muck." I chuckle pulling cinder close in a one-armed hug.

 No.715609

>>715607
"Yep, mud is fine with me!"

"Hmm.. I wonder if i can make some water boots.. It might keep the mud off, if you don't mind wet hooves."

 No.715610

>>715592
Rainy follows Soft and Cinder to one of the gates, on the hunt for tracks.

 No.715611

>>715609
Cinder shudders visibly when the word "wet" escapes Rainy's watery voicebox. However, she seems to consider it seriously. "Hmm…" She almost taps her chin to a dirty hoof before examining it and putting it back down. "I'm fine with getting dirty, I guess."

 No.715612

>>715610
>>715611
>>715608
You head to the eastern gate, which you haven't been through before. Outside seems to lead to open, slightly barren marshland, and further on, a sprawling, twisted swamp. Around the gate you can see dozens of footprints, though without closer inspection it's hard to know which ones are fresh. One of the guards, a sturdy looking earth pony, is fiddling with a puzzle box, looking up as you approach. "Afternoon, drifters. …Say, you wouldn't know where everyone took off to, would ya? Been kind of lonely today. Was meant to be relieved from my shift like an hour ago…"

 No.715613

>>715612
I plop down to the muddy ground to look around for anything less obvious and at the obvious tracks.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9

 No.715614

>>715605
>>715592
"Well then Platinum darling, let us start our inquisition then. We'll collect names and descriptions and do some proper sleuthing to see if there's a connection between them."

Voleurz says, looking about, "Perhaps another guard first then, ask them about our missing dog."

 No.715615

>>715613
>>715610
The kirin follows along with the goo pony and the griffon through the eastern gate.

>>715612
Cinder waves to the guard. "Afternoon, soldier. Not sure where they went off to. You by yourself all day? Who's the last person you saw? Say, whats that puzzle box there?" She is full of questions today, it seems.

 No.715616

>>715614
"As good a place to begin as any. From what I understand Ms.Fabrie didn't manage to turn much up. Hopefully the two of us should be more successful."

 No.715617

>>715592
>>715616
Voleurz goes searching for a guard.

 No.715618

>>715612
"We're looking for them now! Most of the town is gone, it really is weird, huh?"

Watching Soft sift through the mud with interest, Rainy snakes a few lines of goo into the surrounding puddles, pulling the filtered water into herself.

 No.715619

>>715616
"I hope so too." He pauses for a moment "I got a feeling this is going to be a real long day"

 No.715620

>>715619
I sigh and follow Voleurz. "As do I Jesse. As do I."

 No.715621

>>715613
You find that most of the tracks here are about a day old. Doesn't seem like many people have been using this path today. All in all, you can probably rule the eastern gate out.

>>715615
"Nah. Took the noon shift, but it was meant to be over by now." He shrugs. "Haven't seen anyone since I started the shift."

"Oh this? It's nothing, just something I've been working on. Just found it."

>>715618
"Yeah. Something's up, and I don't like it. …You ask me, I think that cat in the inn is up to something. I don't trust cats."

 No.715622

>>715617
>>715619
>>715620
You look around for a guard, finding one near the cliffside path at the other end of town. He seems to be in conversation with a towering earth pony clad in plate mail from head to toe, a longsword by his side. Looks like another adventurer that found their way here. They stop their conversation as you approach, turning to you curiously. "Yes? What is it, drifters?" the guard asks stiffly.

 No.715623

>>715621
"Rainy, Cinder." I call them over. " Seems this gate doesn't cut it over here. A lot of these tracks are a day old at least and not enough people have taken this way today for it to be relevant. So it isn't cut out over here." I slump down a bit disappointed.

 No.715624

>>715623
"Aw.. maybe the other gate might have something! Do you think the others have found something? Maybe we should check too."

 No.715625

>>715621
"Nobody came this way, huh?" Cinder gives a meaningful look at the others. "So, you got here around noon? Sometime between then and now, some half the population has gone missing from the town. I would advise you to find your loved ones and take cover. Something strange is going on and until we know what it is, it's probably best for everypony to hunker down or run away…" She pauses after saying this as if just realizing something.

"Run away?…" she muses to herself. "What if that's exactly what everypony is doing? But why all together, why now?" She closes her eyes and rubs her temples.

>>715623
The kirin plods over to Soft Talon. Nodding, she says, "Seems like we should move on to the next entrance, and soon."

 No.715626

>>715622
"Hello darling, we noticed one of the guards by the gates wasn't on duty. Has this been a common occurrence as of late?" Voleurz asks innocently

 No.715627

>>715625
"What if something happens while I'm gone? I should just stay here… Not like I have much to go home to either. I'll keep doing my job," he says determinedly, his brow furrowed in concern for the missing townsfolk.

 No.715628

>>715626
>>715622
For now I sit back and let Voleurz do the talking, in case she has some plan or angle she's working. I give a sidelong glance to Jesse, hoping he does the same.

 No.715629

>>715628
Jesse takes a seat next to Vanity and takes of his hat, examine it
"I really made a whole mess of that"

 No.715630

>>715625
>>715624
"Yeah, I would like to move onto the next gate, I do want to hurry and find the monster so I can eat safely. Hope I am not rushing you both." I smile as I start to hover to the next area.

 No.715631

>>715628
>>715626
>>715629
The guard shakes his head. "Was just talking to this fellow about it. Bunch of townsfolk gone missing. No one knows what's going on." "It's very mysterious," says the armored pony. He has a low, gruff voice, muffled somewhat by his armor. "I've been asking around myself. I only just got into town today, thought I'd get more of a warm welcome. I was just about to check out the beach myself, and if not there, then the railway."

 No.715632

>>715627
>>715630

"Well we're in a hurry too! If something happened to the villagers the town would be done for!"

With the griffon hovering away, Rainy trots along behind, splashing noisily in the mud

 No.715633

>>715630

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11

 No.715634

>>715631
"Well being concerned drifters ourselves, we were looking into it. Do you know exactly who all went missing? Race, gender, occupation… any will do darling."

 No.715635

>>715627
Cinder nods understandingly. "I get it. Good luck. My advice: If you see anything crazy, just run. These creatures are scary strong. Wouldn't want to see you among the blighted tomorrow." She claps a hoof on his shoulder and turns to leave. "Ta."
>>715633
>>715632
The kirin plods along as best she can behind the two toward the next gate.

 No.715636

>>715632
>>715630
>>715633
>>715635
You head for the southern gate, which you have used several times by now. It's still abandoned. Talon finds several prints leading out of town, about 10 hours old, which would date them to about 4 in the morning the previous night. The tracks seem to lead out and around the wall of the town, towards the cliff face.

 No.715637

>>715629
"Yes. You did." I make sure we're far enough away as to not intertupt Ms.Voleurz's discussion with the guard and sit down with him. I let that linger for a moment before glancing at him again. My shoulders sag as I let out a sigh and shake my head. "It doesn't have to be like that, you know. It's your mouth. My papa always said-" I clear my throat and do my best to mimic a- well, a similar accent to the one Jesse has, now that I think about it. "He always said 'Platinum. Sell your image and ya can sell a pony his own shirt.' He meant one's appearence at the time, but of course he also meant how others see you. It's always best to conduct oneself with tact and grace at first." I smirk and chuckle. "The carrot before the stick, so to speak. Your-" I twirl my hoof in front of me. "Lets say 'method. It has a time, and a place. Burning bridges at the beginning of a conversation with somepony we just met isn't that place. Nor is ordering everyone around. Unless you are officially the leader -you aren't- its best just to make suggestions instead of barking orders, h'm?" I cock an eyebrow and properly turn my head to him. "We've all made mistakes, Mr.Blackbriar." I gently touch my hoof to my chest and glance away. "Some greater than others. You must learn from them and move on. Otherwise you'll wind up a moping layabout drowning in wine and women to fill some hole you-" I pause and clear my throat. "Well. You get the idea."

 No.715638

>>715636
As they approach the well-traveled gate, the kirin struggles to make sense of the churned mud. She appears to give up and turns to Soft. "This is all way over my head. How could anyone make sense of this mass of filth?"

 No.715639

>>715634
The two exchange a glance. "Seems like most of the guild's gone. Like they stole off during the night. The others seem to be mostly normal townsfolk as far as I can tell. Old Wilfried's disappeared, but his daughter's still there. Took off looking for him, of course. That weird cat at the inn's vanished, but Gord's still in. Looks worse than usual. Hmm… Plenty of guards are gone, and some of the sisters at the church too. But it's mostly just the smallfolk what pulled a vanishing act. No real pattern to it. This smells bad to me. Real bad."

 No.715640

>>715636
" there seems to be tracks heading out to the cliffs up ahead. These ones are not as old as a day like the other tracks. So this could be what we are looking for. Just about ten hour old. If that makes sense?" I tilt my head to rainy and cinder.

 No.715641

>>715640
"Half a day, hmm?" She ponders. "That might fit our timeframe exactly. Leading to the cliffs, huh?" She looks out at them now. "I wouldn't say it makes sense, but nothing has made much sense since we got here. It's worth checking out, at least." She looks to the griffin. "You shouldn't have any trouble with sheer cliff-faces, but I'm not always much of a climber, truth be told. I'll follow your lead along the path as best I can." She nods, ready to continue on at the griffon's discretion.

 No.715642

"Yknow I didn't used to be like this. All standoffish n yelling at people. I never barked orders, I never talked like that" He looks down at his hat "It was that damn war. You forgot who you were with all the screaming and bullets and explosions. In training they'd make you seem worthless then throw you into combat." he pauses again tears well at his eyes "I've seen so much shit. I've killed so many people." he buries his head in his hooves for a second and stares blankly in front of him "There's a lot of stuff I wish I hadn't done and nearly all of it I can't do nothing about"

 No.715643

>>715639
"All of this happened when, during the night? Were these people who were out at night, or sleeping in their beds?"

 No.715645

>>715642
I fall silent and stare ahead for a few moments, trying to think of the right thing to say. After failing to find something of any grander meaning, I finally speak. "It would seem," I say, "That the life of an adventurer is not far off. I won't go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that I, and I'm sure at least a couple of the others, know the experience well. Not speaking for them, I know I do. It's hard, Mr.Blackbriar. Dealing with the past, I mean. It changes you. For the longest time I was a neurotic mess, and to this day if I see a companion go down I border on the edge of a panic attack. But the thing is, our stay here can go one of two ways. One, you continue on the path you're on and burn all your bridges. The townsponies, or even we, get fed up with it and stop associating with you. Two, you tone down your acting out and try to get along with ponies. Become less of a tagalong that barks orders and more of a compatriot. Or perhaps, dare I say, a friend. Now, you tell me, Mr.Blackbriar. Wouldn't that be nice? A friend who would listen to your entire story with a legitimate, vested interest, instead of getting drunk and pouring your soul out to some random homeless person or poor barkeeper?"

 No.715646

>>715641
"I am sure it wouldn't be of any trouble going there push comes to shove. For now we should regroup and tell the others what we have found. Maybe we can sit down for a bit before the journey." Talon does a little exaggerated stretch.

 No.715647

>>715643
"Seems to have happened in waves, from what I gather," says the armored pony. "First the guild members overnight, then the regular townsfolk earlier this morning. They can't have gone too far, sounds like there were a lot of 'em. The drifters though, they could be anywhere by now."

He seems to resolve to check something. "I'm going out on the railway, actually. Feel free to come with if you want. I can take care of myself if not." Dalliance looks to you. "What do you think? Should we check the rails, or the cliffs?"

 No.715648

>>715645
"Yeah" he looks over to Vanity "Yeah that'd be nice" he says

 No.715649

>>715647
"We'd be happy to accompany you, we don't want the city all coming back blighted now do we." Voleurz nods to the guard, before whispering to Dalliance, "There's the chance that this could very well be the next wave right now."

 No.715650

>>715648
"Good." I stand up and pat him on the shoulder. "Then if we can make it through this with no more attacks, baseless accusations, or orders, perhaps we can share horror stories over a drink at the end of the day. For now-" I gesture towards Voleurz and the guards. "We have a job that requires our attention."

 No.715651

>>715646
Cinder nods. "Don't know how much sitting we can do, but meeting back up with the others seems prudent. Looks like we have a trail to follow, at least. Best rally the troops, see if they've learned anything of use." She makes to head back toward the center of town, at the agreed meeting place.

 No.715652

>>715649
"Right. I'll be at the gate." The mysterious pony takes off due north.

"I'm thinking the same," says Dalliance when he's out of sight, whispering despite him being nowhere near you. "We didn't even get his name…"

>>715651
>>715650
>>715649
>>715648
>>715646
You all reconvene at the town square as agreed on. Dalliance greets Cinder and Talon with a little wave. "Hey! We might've found a clue. You guys solve anything?"

 No.715653

>>715652
"Yes" Talon states. " There were a lot of tracks about 10 hours old heading to the cliff face and I believe that the people headed over there. " Talon gestures the walking with his talons.

 No.715654

>>715652
Cinder waves enthusiastically to the group as they approach, greeting them with a big grin. "Hey. A clue, eh? We might have found one ourselves…" She looks at Soft expectantly.

 No.715655

>>715653
"Sounds like someone's makin' a bunker of sorts with that"

 No.715656

>>715655
I tilt my head questioningly towards Jesse before asking. "What is a bunker?" unaware of what it is.

 No.715657

>>715655
"A bunker, eh? Possible, but what makes you think that in particular?"

 No.715658

>>715657
"Well for starters bunkers have the best advantage on places like beaches. The height and sight line difference n all that. You'll need a good crew to dig it all out which explains the groups headed there."

>>715656
"It's an are carved out in the landscape used for combat. People in it get a strategic advantage"

 No.715659

>>715655
>>715657

"I believe what Mr.Blackbriar is trying to say is that it seems the sheer number of ponies leaving at once means they may be trying to seek shelter from some impending doom. While we've already considered that fact, it's not likely, as the forest alone is more dangerous than Moonhollow. Let alone the things in it. Not something to dismiss outright, but also not something to jump to any conclusions about."

 No.715660


 No.715661

>>715659
"Maybe it isn't a bunker it could be a sort of storehouse. A stash of things stored in the Earth. There can be many uses for em one of them bein sabotage but that's a drastic move. It could also be a tunnel meaning there's something under the town itself. Whatever it is I don't like it and I say we should investigate"

 No.715662

>>715652
>>715656
>>715655
>>715654

"Aaaaanyways darlings-" Voleurz says, interjecting the strange theory, "There's a guard that apparently has a hunch that I'm keen on following, me and Dalliance and whoever'd like to come."

 No.715663

>>715662
"I'll join you. I haven't been of much help all day, I fear. It would be nice to get a chance to do something."

 No.715664

>>715654
>>715653
"To the cliffs? And the beach, perhaps. Hm… Well, looks like we have a clue, gang! Good work!" Dalliance gives you an encouraging smile.

>>715658
>>715661
"That's… a possibility. But that's a bit hard to keep secret, don't you think? Hmmm… The tunnel theory is a bit more plausible. If I may say so."

>>715654
>>715653
"For our part, we discovered the townsfolk have been leaving in waves. The first wave must have been the other guild members. The second, the townsfolk. I wonder if there'll be a third…"

 No.715665

>>715662
"Personally I'm gonna go check the beach itself. You'd be surprised how much is hidden there. Follow me if you want"

 No.715666

>>715664
"I think we should worry less about the why later, we can speculate about it all day, but we will never figure it out until we all see it for ourselves." I announce to the group.

 No.715883

>>715664
>>715665
"I'll join you! The tracks we found head right to the cliffs that lead up to the beach, maybe the townsfolk were taken there."

 No.715884

>>715664
Cinder scratches her chin. "I mean. There's only so many places to look." She closes her eyes. "Eenie meenie miney moe." After a tiny little ritual, she points at the beach. "Looks like we've got a winner. I'm not one to second guess eenie meenie miney moe." She takes a step forward.

 No.715886

>>715885
Cinder tries to pick her way down the 'trail,' as it were.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.715887

>>715663
>>715662
You head to the northern end of town, coming to an ajar iron gate. Beyond lies a rather desolate scene; a dilapidated little station gives way to a weathered, rusted set of railroad tracks, running along the side of the cliff. Having not been used in some time, they have started to become overgrown, vines and weeds sprouting and starting to reclaim the twisted metal.

The large armored pony from before is sitting on an old bench, his expression inscrutable under his steel armet. He clanks as he turns to face you. "Ah! So you're coming along after all. I was starting to think I wouldn't have company!" His voice echoes inside the helmet, sounding rather hollow. "…Oh, but I don't believe we've been introduced. My name is Amaranth. I'm new here. Only arrived last night. I figure someone ought to get to the bottom of this."

>>715883
>>715884
>>715666
>>715665
You head to the western side of Moonhollow. The guard at the gate nods in greeting, and allows you to pass. The way leading down the side of the cliff is slightly overgrown; a dirt path, half reclaimed by the trees and bushes all around, snaking steeply down the side of the cliff. The air smells slightly salty, and you can hear the distant sound of crashing waves below.
>roll to navigate

 No.715888

>>715887
Jesse stomps on the dirt path observing his surroundings. If someone were to escape they'd take the water. And if that's the case then there may be something that's been left behind
[1d10}

 No.715889

>>715888

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.715890

>>715887
Hovering above the trail as we go down the west of moonhollow. I search around the forestry with a salty taste of the air invading my mouth leaving a desire for some fresh water in the back of Talons mind.

 No.715891

>>715887
Trotting along with the others, Rainy looks around excitedly for the ocean nearby, flowing around or passing through the occasional bush in her path.
[1d10] Navigation

"Ooh, i haven't been to the ocean in forever! I wonder if we'll have time to see it fully one day."

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.715892

>>715890
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.715893


 No.715894

>>715887
I smile and hold my hoof out. "Platinum Vanity," I say. "Pleased to meet you. Trust me when I say it's best not to go out alone. The things outside of town get quite nasty."

 No.715895


 No.715897

>>715887
Cinder looks about. "Hmm," she observes. She navigates as best she can amongst the rocks and such.

Navigation [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.715898

>>715891
>>715892
You traverse the overgrown path, noticing it's eerily silent. You do, however, notice some footprints. It seems someone's been here very recently.

>>715889
>>715897
The dirt path is narrow and winding, and difficult to follow. Cinder missteps and nearly falls down the side of the cliff, the bushes concealing the sheer rock face. Jesse gets tangled and scraped by thorny branches.
>both lose 2 hits

>>715891
>>715897
>>715889
>>715892
A bitter wind blows, carrying the smell of the sea. Over the crashing of the waves below, you think you hear voices on the air.

It could just be the wind, but something seems to disturb the bushes nearby.
>roll Perception

 No.715899

>>715898
"Keep your eyes peeled, check these bushes too"
He begins to investigate the area around the group listening closely to the sounds

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.715900

>>715898
I wave my talons around the air thinking that maybe a spirit might be in it or some being in it for some reason like a mad bird. Grumbling while I do so looking for the voice,

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.715902


 No.715903

>>715898
"Hmm? Is somepony there?"

extending her neck, Rainy tries to peek over the bushes to find the noise's origin.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715904

>>715898
Cinder almost curses as she stumbles over her own hooves. She carries on, barely biting back the negativity. As as ill wind blows, she shudders. She's mostly concerned with not falling over and how cold she suddenly feels, but her eyes search out the surrounding countryside.

perception [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.715905

>>715899
>>715900
You think you catch a word as part of the voice on the wind: "Glow".

Some movement in the corner of your eye catches your attention, and you see a shape watching you with glowing yellow eyes. Looking around, you see two… no, three pairs of them watching you silently.

>>715899
>>715900
>>715903
>>715904
Something strange happens: as Jesse and Talon notice the Blights watching them, you hear a sharp hiss, like a cat or a snake, coming from seemingly everywhere and nowhere at once. On command, the three leap out of the bushes. They are ponies, dressed like ordinary citizens. One is in front of you, and two are in the back, effectively locking you in. Without warning, they leap at you with murderous intent.

The first Blight kicks at Jesse.
[1d10]

The second produces a knife and aims to shank Cinder.
[1d10]

The third tries to punch Talon.
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 8 = 8

 No.715906

>>715905
Jesse recoils at the sudden attack and reaches for his weapon. As he does this it jostles for a second but he manages to get a hold of it and fire at the blight trying to shank cinder

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.715907

>>715905
Seeing the ponies coming at me with their bare hooves I attempt to fly to the sky from their range and safely attack them in the air. Once up there I take aim and shoot down at the one attacking me.

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

[1d10] dodge

[1d10+1] shoot

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

 No.715908

>>715905
>>715906
>>715907
"Ooh, careful everypony! It looks like these are the townsfolk we were looking for, don't be too rough!"

>>715905
Splitting off some of her mass, Rainy compacts it into a water ball, hurling it at the knife-wielding pony!
[1d10] Ranged

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715909

>>715905
Cinder blinks. An apparition, certainly? She is amazed as it brandishes a knife and strikes at her. She's not certain how serious she should be as she dodges the thrust.

Dodge [1d10]

She blinks. Obviously things are not cool. What the h*ck is that hissing sound, anyways? She lands on her front two hooves, controlling her weight masterfully with her hind legs in the air before deciding how to proceed.

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.715910

>>715909
Grappling with her foe, she plants her hind feet as she attempts to disarm her assailant.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.715911

>>715906
You manage to shove the attacking Blight away from you, knocking her to the ground before struggling to fire at the Blight attacking Cinder. Your shot misses narrowly, however, marking a nearby tree.

>>715907
You miss your shot entirely, and the Blight manages to knock you out of the air and onto the ground with his swing.
>Talon takes 5 hits, helpless

>>715908
The orb splashes harmlessly into the bushes.

>>715909
The attack takes you off guard, and he slices your leg.
>Cinder takes 2 hits

>>715910
You manage to grapple the Blight, bereaving it of its weapon. The dagger falls into the bushes.

>>715910
>>715908
>>715906
>>715907
Undeterred, the Blight attacking Cinder redoubles its efforts, lunging forward in a tackle.
[1d10]

The Blight attacking Jesse is stunned, trying to recover from the blow.
[1d10]

The Blight attacking Talon stands over him, grabbing his head in his hooves and gazing into his eyes. The Blight's eyes begin to glow ever brighter like a lantern.

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

 No.715912

>>715911
Seizing his opportunity he aims at the blight attacking him

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.715913

>>715911
With one of the citizens tackling Soft, Rainy readies another water ball, tossing it at the one pinning the Griffon!
[1d10] Ranged

"Soft, look out!"

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715914

>>715911
I struggle in the blights grip screeching loudly trying to escape the blights grip to get into the air.

[1d10] struggle

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.715915

>>715911
Cinder, too late, realizes she is fighting for her life. Flames emerge, first from the tips of her hairs, then close to her body, then enveloping her whole frame. She becomes a fireball, her eyes glowing against the frame, blinding sun-bright on void black. She dodges, her movements becoming somehow blocky and stop-motion quick against the seemingly clumsy strikes against her.

Dodge [1d10]

She rolls, her body transforming into a fireball to strike down foes. She barrels into the three attacking ponies.

Tumble (Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire [critmiss -2]) [1d10+1]

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

 No.715916

>>715912
You shoot the struggling Blight, downing it temporarily. It falls and takes a knee, but isn't dead yet.

>>715913
Your orb splashes against the Blight, to little effect.

>>715914
You manage to break free of its grasp and get back up before it can do anything. Your head feels light, however.

>>715915
You barrel into them with as much strength as you can muster, knocking the Blights around like bowling pins. The one Jesse just shot gets knocked on his back, while the other two are staggered by your attack, but not downed.

>>715912
>>715913
>>715914
>>715915
The downed Blight tries to get back up.
[1d10]

The Blight that pinned Talon body slams him.
[1d10]

The Blight attacking Cinder looks around and makes a mad dash for the dagger.
[1d10]

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

 No.715918

>>715916
"Get away from meeee!" Talon screeches loudly at the blight going for the air once again. Once their he plans to aim to ake shot at the blight attacking him.

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

[1d10] dodge

[1d10+1] attack

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

 No.715919

>>715917
>>715916
"Jesse! They're townsponies, please don't kill them, try to wound instead!" Rainy calls out, lobbing a healing orb above Soft, the contents splashing down onto him.
[1d10] Heal (water)

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715920

>>715919
>>715916
"Fine!" he yells at Rainy
He sprints over to one of the stunned ponies and brings down the butt of the gun on their head

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.715921

>>715916
Without wasting any time, flame-wrapped Cinder stands on all four hooves, glaring with her terrifying headlight-eyes at the pony who just attempted to shank her. Barely any movement registers before three bright flashes connect their silhouettes, dark shadows of pony outlines against a brilliantly bright light.

3x Storm Bolt (critfail +3) [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.715922

>>715920
You clock the Blight over the head. The burly looking pony reels before thudding to the ground, down for the count.

>>715918
The Blight knocks you backwards, leaving you stunned and staggering a little, perilously close to the edge of the cliff. In your dizzy state, your shot goes wide again.

>>715919
The Blight intercepts the orb by swatting it out of the air, almost like a basketball player blocking a throw.

>>715921
You unleash a barrage of fireballs at the attacking Blight, obliterating it into a fine black mist.

>>715917

>>715918
>>715919
>>715920
The remaining Blight seems to hesitate for a moment, as if waiting for further instructions, but then pounces at Rainy.
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.715923

>>715922
With one of the Blighted being rendered to ashes in front of her, the devastated Rainy wastes no time and rushes the standing blight, knocking into them while focusing magic into her main mass
[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715924

>>715922
>>715923
[1d10] Mend (reroll)

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.715925

>>715922
As the Blight lunges Jesse aims for the hind leg in order to incapacitate the pony

[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.715926

>>715922
I screech angrily in the air with the rope in hand to contain the blights and keep them subdued.


Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns.

[1d10] trap

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.715927

>>715922

Cinder watches aflame, standing and staring far longer than it takes for her enemy to become obliterated. She stares at the ash he becomes for a long moment, the battle raging seemingly outside. She stares, flames raging on her body, slowly subsiding. She glances questioningly to the goo-pony she has grown to rely on for a moral compass, watching her throw herself into the enemy in a healing tsunami.

Cinder feels shame. Tears prickle her eyes, resulting only in steam rising up from her fearsome visage. Only now does the prospect of restraint occur to her.

She stands, abashed, as the fight rages around her. She watches the bodies flying around her.

Catching a glimpse of the milieu, she throws herself into the body of the pony trying to pounce Rainy.

Don't Touch Her [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.715928

>>715924
You reach out to meet the attacking Blight head on, channeling curing magic through your entire body. You become liquidous, and the Blight passes through you harmlessly, healing waters coursing through it. It shudders and shakes, mouth open in a silent scream.

>>715927
>>715926
>>715925
As the Blight passes through Rainy harmlessly, you rush to restrain him as the sickness leaves his body.

>>715927
>>715926
>>715925
>>715924
The yellow light in the pony's eyes begins to subside, his mouth opening and closing like a gasping fish. He seems to be trying to speak, but the words won't come out. His eyes move about, lazy and unfocused. After a while of trying, words, sounding hoarse and scratchy like he hasn't spoken in years:

"Th… e… Gl… ow…"

 No.715929

>>715928
splashing onto the ground behind the now cured townspony, Rainy pulls as much water back together as she can, rushing over to the other injured blight, refocusing her magic.

"Please be okay.."
[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.715930

>>715928
Cinder withdraws from the pony as it speaks, revolted. She watches it in a disgusted trance for a minute, her eyes half closed.
She shakes her head violently, mane flying, eyes clenched shut. When she opens them again, a moment of realization plays across her expressive face.

Cinder looks around for other threats, ready to defend her friends.

Doing Something [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.715931

>>715928
I slump down with my voice hoarse from screeching and my head spinning from being tossed around by the strength of the blights. "Glow." I say to myself as the next character I shall focus to go after.

 No.715932

>>715929
He starts convulsing as you cleanse the Blight as best you can. It seems to have worked, but you can't be too sure.

>>715930
You catch a glimpse of two yellow eyes staring at you before something runs away into the bushes, but it is no Blight. It seems far too small to be one by how little it disturbed the vegetation.

The coast seems clear for now.

>>715930
>>715931
>>715929
The Blight, eyes dulling to embers, suddenly lurches forward with a newfound burst of energy and grabs Talon by the shoulder, seemingly in an act of desperation.

"It… wants… to… a…lte…r… us…"

Three small gouges suddenly appear on the pony's chest, but he does not bleed. To your surprise, he starts slowly turning to dust like the rest of the Blights. Looking down at his disintegrating body, he panics.

"L…ist…en… It's H…HIM… He b…rought th…is… S…"

But before he can finish his sentence, the pony crumbles to black ash, fading into the howling wind.

>pausing

 No.716410

>>715887
"Voleurz, and this is Dalliance." the zebra says curtly, "Let's go after that hunch of yours darling."

 No.716411

>>715894
He shakes your hoof firmly. "I've heard a lot about the, er, situation here. Rest assured, sir, I came more than prepared."

>>715894
>>716410
Dalliance curtseys formally, stumbling a little in her own heavy armor. "How do you do, sir." He greets her just as formally with a stiff and well mannered bow.

With introductions out of the way, the four of you set off past the gate and into the wilderness once again, following the rusted old railway lines on the edge of the cliff. While they seem abandoned, every now and again you see traces of semi recent activity, like some hoofprints on the way, or a bit of discarded rubbish.

There seem to be two paths you can take:

Moving straight ahead would bring you to a large, dark train tunnel. It seems to spook Dalliance a little, but she steels herself and tries not to show her apprehension.

Veering off to the left would take you slightly away from the railway, past a dense patch of bushy thicket and towards what seems to be a dilapidated old shack. Seems like some sort of supply station, though it hasn't been used in a very long time.

 No.716412

>>716411
Voleurz rubs her chin, tapping her hoof on the ground briefly, "Well if we'll be checking both locations, I'd rather think the shack seems like the correct first choice. It's got a set location, while the trek into the tunnel could be who knows how long."

 No.716413

>>716412
>>716411
"I'm inclined to agree. The shack should just be a quick in-and-out. Give me just a moment and I shall provide us a bit of backup to watch our six, as it were." My horn lights up a pale silver and I focus on summoning three doubles.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.716414

>>716413
You conjure three doubles for yourself. Amaranth looks impressed. "Impressive magic, sir," he comments. "Where did you learn it?"

>>716412
>>716413
"Agreed," Amaranth nods. "Just a quick detour, I imagine."

You four, now seven, set off towards the shack to investigate. It is indeed a supply station; looks like years since anyone used it, which is odd considering the railway hasn't been shut down for too long. It is dusty, half rotted, and overrun with cobwebs, but you feel like there might be loot worth salvaging still in some of the cabinets and crates lying about.
>roll looting and also Perception

 No.716415

>>716414
I rub my hoof on my armor as if to shine it. "Oh," I say with feigned modesty. "It's nothing, really. Just a little something I picked up in my adventures. Thank you, though."

___

My nose curls and I block my face with a hoof as we step into the dusty hovel of a supply station. "Doesn't seem to be much to it. Still, I don't suppose it could hurt to have a look about."

[1d10]Perception
[1d10]Loot

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

 No.716416

>>716414
Before entering the building, Voleurz throws a dagger into the side of the wall outside.
Blink Strike [1d10+1] DC-1

Voleurz, with a trained eye, quickly scans the building for any valuables.
[1d10+1] Loot
[1d10+1] Pilfer
[1d10+1] Perception

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

 No.716417

>>716415
"I always wanted to learn magic, you know," he says casually as you walk, trying to make conversation. "But I never really got the hang of it. I guess my kind aren't really cut out for it. Shame."

You don't manage to find much of value, but you do hear the faint sound of something moving in the undergrowth. It's a quiet rustling, like some small creature shifting about.

>>716416
Your dagger just kind of awkwardly flops into a bush.

You scan the ramshackle shack, quickly spotting a couple of valuables: a hefty bag of coin, a leftover medical supply kit, and a bottle of vintage wine. Seems like the latter would be worth quite a bit.
>+75 bits

>>716416
>>716415
Dalliance doesn't seem to find much of interest, while Amaranth seems to hear what Vanity heard, stiffening up and placing a hoof on his sword hilt.

 No.716418

>>716417
"Quite convenient. It's a bit difficult to learn. I suppose I'm just lucky. But hey, papa always said 'Remember, Platinum. It's never to late to learn a new skill you know you can charge someone for.'"

My jaw locks as I hear the sound and unsheathe my rapier. "Seems we're not alone," I say, taking a step back and letting my reflections step in front of me.

 No.716419

>>716415
>>716417
Voleurz holds up the bottle of wine and looks to Vanity, winking as she stashes it away with everything else, "Ahah! Something quality to share, now we just need to find a proper dinner and silverware."

>>716418
Quickly nodding, Voleurz shifts from humor to a stern face. "Let's get outside, I'm fighting in the open air, not an inclosed area."

 No.716420

>>716419
I grin and nod as I see the wine. Goodness, finally. Something likely to be palatable. "Well, perhaps that won't be so difficult once the railroad is up and running once more. I must admit, I look forward to it more with every moment."

>>716419
"Right. Best not to be shoulder to shoulder when taking on a hostile force. Especially if I expect to sling some lightning."

 No.716421

>>716418
>>716419
Voleurz and Dalliance can hear it too now; a persistent rustling in the bushes, coming from all around you. It's like you're surrounded by whatever they are.

The four of you stand back to back in a circle outside the shack, ready to fight. You see movement in a bush, and from it emerges a pony's skull. The skull is attached not to a spine but to a series of arm and leg bones, almost like some bizarre, misshapen worm or a snake. It leers at you silently, swaying back and forth, cobra-like.

As you watch, more of the bizarre "snakes" begin to emerge, popping up all around the area. There are six of them in total, mostly ponies but a few from other races. They do nothing but stare emptily out at you with their permanent rictus, bobbing in place idly, as if waiting for further instruction. Amaranth unsheathes his sword, ready to fight, while Dalliance looks a little freaked out.

 No.716422

>>716421
I gulp as I see the moving bone amalgams and just barely manage to hold my tongue before squealing. I levitate my rapier in front of me and channel magic into my horn, not yet casting a spell. "Well, should we attack or attempt a tactical retreat while they're idle?"

 No.716423

>>716421
"Finally, just bones, something I'm used to. Used to to them being in proper their proper arrangement, but I've seen some shoddy necromantic work before."
>>716422
Voleurz shakes her head, "They'd just follow us darling, best to dispatch them now."

She speaks up clearly, addressing all, "Any of them start glowing or giving off any light, you hollar and avert or close your eyes. Everyone else make sure that light gets snuffed as soon as possible. If the Blight's traveling through light, then we're going to go about this properly."

She tosses a dagger cleanly at one of the bonesnakes. "Now then darlings, let's de-reanimate."
[1d10+1] DC-1 Blink Strike

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.716424

>>716423
*in their proper arrangement

 No.716425

>>716423
"Fair point. And the undead don't tire." I focus on one of the bonesnakes that Voleurz isn't attacking and a few out of place strands of my mane stand on end as I fire a lightning bolt at it.

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

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

 No.716426

>>716422
Almost as if on queue, they dip into the bushes and reappear behind you, effectively surrounding you.

>>716423
The dagger glances off its cranium harmlessly.

>>716425
It twitches out of the way, and the lightning bolt hits a tree.

>>716423
>>716425
The instant Voleurz tosses a dagger, the amalgamates spring to life, crackling with deep purple lightning. The one you attacked slithers towards you, leaping out from its hiding spot.
[1d10+2]

Dalliance tries to hold it back with a magic force field.
[1d10+2] Suppress

One of them jumps out at Amaranth, who counters with a cleave of his mighty blade.
[1d10+2] Amalgamate
[1d10] Amaranthe

The others dip and dive between the bushes, converging towards each other.

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #3 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #4 9 = 9

 No.716427

>>716426
Correction: The dagger cracks the creature's skull, while Platinum's lightning bolt staggers it with a powerful zap.

 No.716428

>>716427
Seeing the skelesnake spring at her Voleurz quickly sinks into the bushes as well,

[1d10+1] Ethereal Jaunt
>On success, Stealth due to Shadow Fade

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.716429

>>716426
>>716427
I grit my teeth and lunge at the attacking amalgamate with my rapier. "Stand by," I order my reflections. "We may need aid! Attack if you're attacked, but otherwise do not provoke!"

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.716430

>>716428
Crackling with dark magic, the unholy creation leaps at you, but you are not there. You fade away, reappearing out of sight in a nearby bush.

>>716429
You jab with all your strength, piercing through the crack that Voleurz opened, prying open its skull, revealing nothing within.

>>716428
>>716429
Amaranthe cleaves the head from the body, leaving the bones to clatter and wriggle. The head is still animated, however, jumping towards him and snapping.
[1d10]

He tries to stomp on it.
[1d10]

Dalliance holds the serpentine golem back with her magic, concentrating on holding it in place. "End this one!"

A third snake jumps out from the main group towards Vanity.
[1d10+2]

The other snakes keep converging, piling on top of each other. You see the bones realigning, as if to form something else altogether from their bodies.

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6

 No.716431

>>716430
"Changing. That's never a good thing to see in combat." I squeal and try to parry and, if there's an opening, riposte as the third snake attacks.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.716432

>>716430
>>716429
"Platinum dear, if your doubles could take care of that pile of bones before it forms into some giant creature, that'd be lovely."

Voleurz says as she throws the a dagger towards the one Dalliance is holding.

>Rhythm and Rhyme: [Blink, Jaunt]

Blink Strike [1d10+2] DC-1 (autocrits due to stealth)

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.716433

>>716431
You fail to deflect the incoming attack, and the snake bites into your neck, coursing with dark energy. You feel your strength failing you.
>Vanity takes 2 hits
>-2 hits dealt on your next attack (minimum 1)

>>716432
The dagger hits the exposed skull, cracking it like an egg. The creature falls apart in her grasp, clattering to the ground, little more than a pile of bones now.
>5 amalgamates remaining

>>716431
>>716432
Amaranth finishes it off with a decisive stomp, pulverizing the skull.
>4 amalgamates remaining

He turns to fight the snake attacking Vanity. "Get away!" he warns the unicorn before swinging his sword dangerously close to him, aiming at the amalgamate.
[1d10]

The snake ignores him and keeps attacking Vanity, firing a dark purple lightning blast.
[1d10]

The other amalgamates continue to transform. Dalliance steps in and tries to blast them with a burst of magic.
[1d10] [1d10] Magic Bolt

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

 No.716434

>>716432
"Right. Apologies. I just like to have them on the side, just in case somepony goes down." I grit my teeth and let out a pained groan as the thing bites into me, stumbling a little as I suddenly feel very weak. "Attack the pile," I order my three doubles.

I try to backpedal and get out of the way to make room for the others to attack.

[1d10]Dodge

[1d10]Double 1 (5/1)
[1d10]Double 2 (5/1)
[1d10]Double 3 (5/1)

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

 No.716435

File: 1555741579467.jpg (Spoiler Image, 46.27 KB, 660x350, 234d90aa-2687-4c32-93a7-45….jpg)

>>716433
Knowing how much Vanity values his visage, Voleurz valiantly vaults in front of the unicorn to take his place.

[1d10+2] Jaunt

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.716436

>>716434
Your doubles cast spells at it, to little effect save for Double 2, which chips away at them.

>>716435
You dash into the fray, protecting Platinum from the incoming attack. You are knocked off balance by the magic blast, feeling a faint burning sensation in your chest.
>Voleurz takes 3 hits

>>716434
>>716435
The snake contorts and avoids the blow from Amaranth, wheeling around to face him before pouncing.
[1d10+2]

Amaranth digs his hooves into the ground, hunkering down in his heavy armor before shoulder bashing the incoming snake. "Miserum!"
[1d10] Stand Firm
[1d10] Slam

The shots from Dalliance and Vanity's double are enough to disrupt the convergence, and the snakes fall apart. Each one attacks one of Vanity's clones.
[3d10]

Dalliance breathes in sharply as Voleurz takes a blow, attempting to conjure a magic shield around her.
[1d10] Protective Bubble

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 5 = 5 / Roll #4 9, 1, 2 = 12 / Roll #5 4 = 4

 No.716437

>>716436
Each of the clones continue to pelt the amalgams, as ordered.

[1d10]1
[1d10]2
[1d10]3

"No!" I cry out. Clenching my teeth, I dig my hooves into the ground and fire off a lightning bolt at the one attacking Voleurz.

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

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 2 = 2 / Roll #4 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #5 1 + 1 = 2

 No.716438

>>716436
Grimacing from the shadows, Voleurz tosses another knife, this time at the one attacking Amaranth.

Blink [1d10+2] DC-1 Stealth Autocrit

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.716439

>>716437
"Relax darling, nothing I can't handle. Only worry is if they spread the blight as well." Voleurz says, emerging from the thicket yet again.

 No.716440

>>716439
I anxiously swallow. Right. She can take care of herself, especially against something that doesn't seem like such a huge threat. Stay calm, Platinum. We're doing fine. "Right. Apologies, Ms.Voleurz. They don't seem blighted, but best not to assume."

 No.716441

>>716437
One of the illusions is dispelled, leaving only 2 and 3. The second double manages to blow the snake away with a powerful blast of magic. You do the same, charging a powerful blast of fulminating lightning that reduces the attacking creature to cinders with a mighty crack.
>2 amalgamates remaining

>>716438
You fling a knife expertly at the creature's neck, severing the head from the "body". While the rest falls apart, the head remains, very much alive still.

>>716437
Voleurz's attack was enough to defeat the creature before it can bite Amaranth, who is left charging at thin air. He tries to stomp on the animated head.
[1d10]

The head, in turn, tries to bite him.
[1d10]

The remaining fully formed snake chooses a new target in the form of Dalliance, coiling up before throwing itself at her.
[1d10+2]

She squeals in fright and slashes at it with her estoc.
[1d10]

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

 No.716442

>>716441
The last two illusions, neither of which are looking particularly good, stand by without a target. I give my rapier a little flourish and lunge at the one attacking dalliance, aiming to skewer the skull.

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.716443

>>716441
Grimacing and realizing she can't throw a dagger for both the skulls, Voleurz instead goes to protect her knight errant.

[1d10+2] Jaunt (since i don't want to incur Rhythm/Rhyme penalties)

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.716444

>>716442
Your rapier bounces off its cranium harmlessly as it leaps at her.

>>716443
You take the blow. It bites into your neck like a vampire, knocking you over from the impact, thirsting for your blood and sparking with purple smoke.
>Voleurz takes 5 hits, helpless

>>716442
>>716443
The severed head barrels into Amaranth unexpectedly, emitting a dark magic pulse. He groans and topples over with a resounding crash, wasting no time in righting himself and swinging at the skull rather weakly.
[1d10] -2 hits dealt, min. 1

The head, meanwhile, jumps to attack Vanity.
[1d10]

"My lady!" Dalliance cries out as she sees Voleurz fall, swiping and jabbing with her estoc at the snake.
[1d10]

The snake continues to attack her.
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 10 = 10 / Roll #4 6 = 6

 No.716445

>>716444
Voleurz hisses and spits at the skullsnake, pulling herself up.

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.716446

>>716445
"Assist Ms.Voleurz!" I order my doubles, dealing with the one attacking me by myself. I backpedal, trying to get out of the way.

[1d10]

One of the doubles moves to help VOleurz up.

[1d10]

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

 No.716447

>>716446
The second attacks the one attacking me.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.716448

>>716445
Vanity's double hauls you up in a single swift motion.

>>716446
The head is surprisingly dangerous for being just a head. It shoots up and headbutts you, knocking you backwards and flat on your ass.
>Vanity takes 2 hits, helpless

>>716445
>>716446
Dalliance skewers the snake, stamping it into dust in a panicked frenzy. She breathes heavily as she stares blankly at the pulverized remains.

Amaranth charges the rabid skull with animosity.
[1d10] Slam

The skull fires off a blast of dark magic at Amaranth.
[1d10]

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

 No.716449

>>716448
I grit my teeth, suddenly both figuratively and literally painfully aware of just how useless I've been in this fight. Still feeling the aftereffects of whatever dark magic is channeling through the skulls, I weakly try to pull myself to my hooves.

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.716450

>>716448
Voleurz goes to return the favor, helping Platinum up. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.716451

>>716449
>>716450
Voleurz helps Vanity up onto his hooves again.

Amaranth tramples the skull, and for good measure, picks it up and hurls it at a nearby boulder, shattering into dozens of tiny pieces. He lets out a low grunt and sheathes his sword. "What were those things? No Blights, from what I know… Never seen anything quite like that." He pokes the skeletal remains idly. Dalliance, meanwhile, continues to stare blankly, lost in thought.

 No.716452

>>715932
"We should talk Elphias about this Glow that these blights were talking about. Looks like it will be important." Talon says poking the ashes from the blight.

"Then after that let us hunt down the monster attacking the farms so I can eat it!" Talon exclaims jutting his finger to the air.

 No.716453

>>716451
"I've seen plenty of undead before, comes with the profession, but I digress, hoping I didn't contract anything from that bite."

She shows off her neck to the others, given she can't look at it herself, "Any necrosis or anything? Gotta check early on. Oh- and speaking of darlings, Eye check."

She taps on Amaranth's helmet, "That includes everyone. I don't care if they don't look blighted, it's high time we start acting with proper paranoia about this stuff. If any of us become blighted, we need to know right away, not find out later when it's too late."

She allows her eyes to be surveyed for yellow, and expects the others to do the same.

 No.716454

>>715932
Cinder is huffing, drawing full-lung breaths as fast as she can, slowing eventually to a normal hard breath. She looks around at the others in the group. "Everyone alive? Anyone hurt?"

She waits for a reply, then brings up the strange pair of eyes she saw. "There was… something… in the bushes. Something small. Something… roughly cat sized, I'd say." She pauses and thinks about what she's just said. "Hmm."

 No.716455

>>715932
Jesse staggers back with his legs shaking wildly. He swallows hard and his appendages calm, however not by much.

 No.716456

>>715932
Keeping one eye on her impromptu patient, Rainy shuffles the other onto a second mass, turning it to the scattering ashes and using pseudopods to methodically gather what she can of the dissipating dust

"H-how?! they were healed, i was so sure.."

[1d10] Gathering ash

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.716457

>>716451
"Thank you," I say to Voleurz as I stand up. I brush myself off and smooth my mane, turning to Amaranth. "Where there's necromancy there tends to be a necromancer. And, considering the creatures we've seen dwell here, that does not bode well for Moonhollow." I sheathe my rapier and sigh. "I've had too much experience tangling with cults to not at least know that much."

 No.716458

>>716453
"Yes. Especially if it can lie dormant." I chuckle. "You don't have to ask me to gaze into your beautiful eyes, Ms.Voleurz. I'd just as soon do that of my own volition." Joking aside, I check for any sign of the blight.

[1d10]perception if needed

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.716459

>>716453
Dalliance snaps out of it as you ask, giving you a look over. "N-no. You're alright. Everyone's alright." She doesn't seem to have been Blighted.

Amaranth backs away. "Er… you don't have to worry about me," he answers vaguely. "I'm… not normal, you see. I'll be immune to the Blight."

>>716457
"First the Blight, then the bandits and now possibly a necromancer," Dalliance laments. "The list of problems here just keeps growing, doesn't it?…"

>>716458
It doesn't seem like she's Blighted to you.

>>716452
The ashes remain inert as you toy with them like a cat.

>>716456
You grab a hoofful of ash. Perhaps it could be analyzed, but the only real practical use it could have is to throw in someone's face as a distraction.

>>716456
>>716455
>>716454
>>716452
The second Blighted pony seems to fare better at first; then, with a soft sigh, he too crumbles to ash. This doesn't match up with previous interactions with the Blight at all.

The path down the cliff extends ahead. A bit further on, it seems to split, a small branch leading out into the bushes, to parts unknown. You could follow this path, keep moving further down towards the beach, or head back to town.

 No.716460

>>716459
Voleurz stares daggers at Amaranth, "That's a very easy way for me to get incredibly suspicious of you, Amaranth dearie."

She twirls a dagger in her hoof, "I'd love to know what you mean by immune."

Voleurz looks to Platinum,
>>716458
"Could you have your handsome doubles come back to help us dear? I feel as we might need them again."

 No.716461

>>716459
"But are these things really dead? They seemed quite different. Talkative, desperate, and resigned." Talon keeps prodding the ash for a response that was unlikely to come.

"Also these blights seemed quite strong, having pinned me down with a weird glow in their eye." Talon involuntarily shivers.

 No.716462

>>716459
"Well, there was a reason we were called here, after all. There's an entire mercenary and adventurer guild in town that apparently has some history, but they still call in new adventurers? That could only mean the current residents weren't enough, so it would stand to reason there is a lot going on."

>>716460
"Right. Of course." I dismiss my damaged doubles and make an attempt to summon 3 fresh ones.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.716463

>>716459
Reforming into a more pony shape, Rainy looks on at the swirl of ashes, defeated.

with the ashes settling into a dry bubble inside her, she pokes around the bushes, looking to the others.

"Should we look here?" she asks, nodding to the forest. "It looked like the others came from there."

 No.716464

>>716460
"And you'll be happy to hear not a trace of yellow. Simply the oceanic eyes I've come to lose myself in time and again." I clear my throat, suddenly realizing that I haven't been confirmed safe. "And if you would be so kind." I gesture to my own eyes.

 No.716465

>>716460
He chuckles slightly nervously. "I suppose I'm not very good with words, am I." He pulls you aside for a moment and wordlessly lifts his helmet visor, out of view of the others. There's nothing inside.

>>716462
Dalliance nods rather glumly. "I'm starting to think I should have stayed in bed when the call went out. Hehe…"

You conjure up three fresh new doubles.

 No.716466

>>716459
Cinder watches the second pony dissolve into ash. "Oh, cr*p!" she exclaims, starting towards it before stopping herself to watch it crumble. "Oh man." She looks to Rainy, concerned. "Well, that didn't work! I thought you could heal them?" Her expression morphs to abject horror. "What about Solar? And… Oh my g*sh, Moonlight?" She stares for a moment, agape.

Shaking her head, she collects herself. "There's no time for that. We have to carry on and hope we can help the survivors. If there's one thing I've learned, ash doesn't care either way." She looks dispassionately at the piles of her enemies, tosses her mane and turns toward the path to the beach. Looking over her shoulder at the rest of the group while starting to stroll, she offers a "Coming?"

 No.716467

>>716459
"I-I suppose we continue down to the beach" he says and takes a couple steps down the path

 No.716468

>>716466
"Of course, there isn't anything to find here anymore." Talon looks around the area filled with the blights ashes.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11

 No.716469

>>716466
>>716459
"Ohh.. I-i thought i could.." unsure of herself, she physically droops, left in a partway between goo and pony as she follows behind Cinder

 No.716470

>>716464
"Of course darling~" Voleurz says, getting unnecessarily close to Platinum to look back into his eyes, hovering there to add tension before pulling back suddenly. "Stunning as ever, Vanity my dear."

>>716465
Voleurz raises an eyebrow, "Blimey, well that would explain the hesitance. Though you're right darling, you aren't very good at words. Tell us about yourself as we head back to the tunnel."

Voleurz takes one of the skulls for examination in her bag, just in case there is any chance of checking it for residual magic.

>>716465
She also turns to Dalliance, looking at her sternly, "I won't hear any of that, darling. You're the knight Dalliance, brave and stalwart. I'm so very glad you hadn't stayed in bed."

 No.716471

>>716468
Among the remains of the Blighted townsfolk, you find a few golden coins, and a well sharpened dagger.
>Tempered Dagger: +1 to all attacks with this weapon
>+50 bits

>>716467
>>716469
>>716468
>>716466
You keep moving down the path to the beach, trekking down towards the beach. Eventually, you finish your walk, arriving at a dark, sandy beach, with turbid green waves lapping gently at the shore. Ringing the beach is a formation of black, razor sharp rocks. There is little to the beach itself; far in the distance, you can see what appears to be a tiny fishing hamlet. You have heard of there being such a place near Moonhollow.

Perhaps what grabs your attention the most are the rest of the missing townsfolk. There are about 100 of them on the beach staring up at the sun, standing idly in a huge formation, unmoving and unblinking. They make no attempt to acknowledge your presence; a brief glance shows that they are all Blighted.

 No.716472

>>716471
"Be very very quiet" Jesse whispers. He moves toward the blighted and examining them. The entire situation utterly confuses the pegasus. He sweeps the area eyeing everyone

 No.716473

>>716470
My breath briefly catches in my throat as I feel Voleurz's breath on my face. Almost enough to make a stallion blush.

>>716465
I glance to Dallaince. "Ms.Voleurz is correct. You've battled with more bravery and tenacity than most ponies I've partied with in the past, and that's just in the small amount of time I've met you. Brave and stalwart, indeed, Ms.Knight-of-the-dove."

I cock an eyebrow and turn my attention to Amaranth. "A problem, Mr.Amaranth?"

 No.716474

>>716472
"There is obviously something wrong here, but what is wrong in particular here this time? Brainwashing, a blightening, or even a holiday!" Talon exclaims looking to the group of villagers of the Hamlet.

 No.716475

>>716471
Cinder catches her breath as she sights the group. She whistles quietly through her teeth as she takes in the spectacle.

"Well that's curious, for sure."

She tries to pick out any familiar faces from the group, completely rapt and not paying any attention to her friends. She keeps stepping slowly toward them, fascinated.

 No.716476

>>716473
>>716475
I nudge the pony and kirin next to me. "Shall I go ahead and check on them, all sneaky like, they do seem quite transfixed in what they are doing. I doubt they will notice me."

 No.716477

>>716474
"Holiday?" He repeats the phrase under his breath several times "You may be onto somethin' what if this Blight thing is part of a cult? What if they're waiting for something to arrive?"

 No.716478

>>716471
Further worried by the mass of blighted townsfolk, Rainy follows behind Cinder, mindful of the porous sand.

"Oh no.. So many blighted, what could have done this?"

 No.716479

>>716470
"I would prefer not to," says the walking suit of armor.

You take a pony skull. It's a rather macabre trophy; Dalliance winces a little at the sight of it.

>>716473
>>716470
Dalliance blushes and looks away. "Oh… Don't say that, I'm nowhere near as good as either of you! I've never really… really seen much battle, while I'm sure you've seen dozens if not hundreds of battles by now. I just hope I can be as good as you someday!…"

>>716473
"No problem, no problem at all," he says. "As Miss Voleurz can see, I am safe from the Blight."

>>716470
>>716473
Looking around from the shack, you can see that the woods extend a bit further out before giving way to what looks like a cave formed by a cliffside overhang, near a gently bubbling stream. Alternatively, you could retrace your steps and explore the abandoned train tunnel.

 No.716480

>>716472
>>716475
>>716478
>>716474
You examine the crowd. Some have familiar faces, but you don't recognize any of them. Curiously, you don't see any of the guild members among the crowd. These are all just normal people, not adventurers at all. One of them, Cinder notices, looks almost exactly like Clear Waters, presumably a relative. A couple of them seem to be mouthing the word 'Glow', though being Blighted, they have no voices to speak with.

 No.716481

>>716479
"You sell yourself short, Ms.Dalliance. As papa always said, 'experiences make experience, and experience makes money.' You just have yet to have the proper experience." I chuckle and shake my head. "And yes. Dozens sounds about like it. That's dozens too many in my eyes, but-" I shrug. "what can one do besides pursue something they've found they're good at?"

I glance back to Amaranth. "Well, I trust Ms.Voleruz's word. So, to the tunnel as previously planned?"

 No.716482

>>716480
He puts his hoof to his chin
"Hmmm well this most certainly is odd." He pauses for a second "What if Blights are attracted to light? I mean they're attacking the village and now are down here staring at the sun. They're behaving like moths"

 No.716483

>>716480
Talon shrugs and decides to get closer to the group of blights to investigate by flying overhead. Going he looks at a different angle.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.716484

>>716476
"Check it out," she murmurs to the griffon, not taking her eyes off the group.

>>716477
"Holiday?" Cinder looks startled, as if the word and his fixation on it reminds her of something troubling.

>>716478
"This is… troubling, for sure," she deduces out loud. "For something to have…" She remembers something the annoying zebra had mentioned earlier, and glances up momentarily to the sun, then back down to the goo pony.

"Could you try to heal any of these guys?" She nods to the waterfront. "You should try one, at first, just to see what happens. Then maybe we can try to help the rest of them."

 No.716485

>>716482
>>716480
"Oh! Maybe we should check the fishing village!" Rainy chimes in, pointing to the far off buildings with a hoof "Maybe something there brought them!"

 No.716486

>>716485
"Of course something brought em here but what would go to all this trouble?"

 No.716487

>>716486
>>716485

"Hmm." Cinder tries to be quiet as she approaches one of the townsponies and prods them gently, then harder. She finally tries to knock one down, careful to pick one on the outskirts and unlikely to disturb any others even if falling over.

 No.716488

>>716487
Jesse watches as Cinder starts testing the Blights. Jesse decides to do the same. He goes to a Blight on the edge of the circle and puts his gun to it's head, all while studying it's face"
"It doesnt even seem to see us as a threat"

 No.716489

>>716483
They make no effort to acknowledge your presence as you fly over the crowd. They are completely transfixed by the sun. You can see their eyes watering from gazing out at it. It seems like they've been here for many hours.

>>716487
As you touch one, a bony black and white mare, she slowly turns to face you, staring through you. She mouths something, but you don't know what.

 No.716490

>>716479
>>716481
"You'd prefer not to, but I'd insist." Voleurz says, picking up her knives from before. "I don't know how long you've been here darling, but I need to know as much as you can tell me. I don't care if you're the creation of an evil warlock that killed a hundred villages or something, I just want to make sure you really can't be damaged by the blight. If you're a ghost, you probably still have eyes, if they're invisible. If you're the armor itself, then we might be safe. If you're worried about me judging you darling, I assure you I'd do no such thing. If you're worried about unearthing some bad feelings you might have about a tragic backstory, toughen up. Half a town is missing, not really the time to feel a little sappy."

After ranting, she turns back to Platinum,
>>716481
"I don't know darling, now I'm wondering if whatever necromancer is close by. It wouldn't hurt to give the cave a peak now would it?"

 No.716491

>>716489
I call out to the group. "Can we wheelbarrow all these blights to somewhere else than here please? They have to be here for a reason I don't want to find it." Talon calls out as he lands.

 No.716492

"They are awfully close to the village, it could pose a hazard if they stop whatever this is. Hey did you manage to see any pattern they were standing in?"

 No.716493


 No.716494

>>716489
Looking at a nearby villager in concern, Rainy tries to form a ring around them with her water, channeling energy through it.
[1d10] Mend

"please, please work.." she mutters in her focus

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.716495

>>716489
Cinder almost feels bad as she knocks down the frail and flimsy mare. She watches her mouth move as she lies on the ground. She tries to make out what is being worded.

Lip Reading [1d10]

Shrugging her shoulders, she watches Rainy work her magic.

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.716496

>>716492
"I didn't, I don't see how any pattern would be relevant to what is happening right now in this situation." Talon grumbles, but nonetheless takes a look his curiosity turned to the possibility.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12

 No.716497

>>716490
Unsure of what to make of her little rant, I decide to let it go for now. "I don't suppose it would, no. The cave it is, then." I'm really not particularly keen on fighting a necromancer today, but best to nip situations like this in the bud I guess.

 No.716498

>>716490
"Hmph. Well, when you put it that way, I suppose." He clears his throat and speaks up so Vanity and Dalliance can hear.

>>716490
>>716497
"Miss Voleurz is correct in her assumption. I am indeed a spirit. Of sorts. I met my supposed end in a great battle many years ago, but for some reason, I remained. I found myself without a body, so I had to take this suit of armor. …I imagine there is a reason I still linger. I have no eyes to see with, yet I still see. Somehow. I do not think this Blight will affect me, as I am not of flesh and blood."

Dalliance looks surprised. "You're… a ghost?"

"I suppose so. I am not alive, at least, yet I cannot die. I simply am." He shrugs. "Now you know. Let us move on for now, yes? You have been here longer than I, so you lead, and I will follow."

You head off and examine the cave. It is difficult to see, but you feel the unsettling snapping and crunching of bones beneath your feet. Dalliance audibly shudders at the sound. The cave seems to extend quite far in, though just how far is difficult to tell. You won't be able to see much without a light source; it is pitch black in here. "I can't even see my own hooves!" Dalliance comments.

 No.716499

>>716494
Nothing happens. The Blights don't even notice your efforts.

>>716495
You can't make it out. When she realizes you can't understand her, the Blight sinks to her knees and screams silently in grief.

>>716496
You fly a little further up, directly above the crowd. You can see that Jesse was right; they are standing in an odd pattern. It resembles a nonagon, with lines of Blighted townsfolk connecting every vertex, creating a smaller nonagon inside. It looks like some sort of bizarre, geometrical spider's web. What's most eerie is that they are standing in absolutely perfect position to form it, save for the one which Cinder pulled aside.

 No.716500

>>716499
I call over to my group below me yelling to them. "They are forming a pattern, some type of nonagon. Lets try shifting the townspeople to break it!" Talon comes down to start pushin over the townspeople in his landing.

 No.716501

>>716500
"Oooohh no" he groans "This could be a ritual"

 No.716502

>>716498
I swallow at the revelation, but don't say anything. Not the first ghost I've met, I guess. Still jarring nonetheless.

I squint through the darkness of the cave, suddenly regretting never learning a basic light spell. "I don't suppose anyone brought torches? I'm afraid I've forgotten to carry one."

 No.716503

>>716500
"Oh, a nonagon," Cinder shouts up. A pause. "A what?"

Pushing ponies over she understands. As Talon begins his darkly hilarious work, she tries her best to start shoving all the ponies to the ground.

 No.716504

>>716499
With the others investigating the townsfolk, Rainy worriedly begins the trek towards the hamlet in the distance.

"Hmm.. I'm sure there's something over there.." she mutters in thought, flowing over the damp sand.

 No.716505

Cinder walks over to Soft Talon and asks what is probably a really weird question. "Will you please throw me at these ponies?" Without waiting for an answer, she curls herself into a ball, careful not to set anything on fire as she waits for Soft Talon to chuck her.

 No.716506

>>716505
"I suppose we should get to work movin these guys"
He surveys the crowd and goes to a Blight. He backs up several steps and charges into a shoulder bash in order to knock it over

 No.716507

>>716505
Soft stare at the kirin for a moment, being worried about time. Talon grips the Kirin and lugs her at the blighted ponies forming the weird shape. Once finished with his ask, Talon resumes pushing other blighted ponies near him blocking the recent incident from his mind.

 No.716508

>>716498
"See there we are, nice having a spirit who isn't screaming at me for once as well." Voleurz says, seeming satisfied. As they reach the cave, She marvels at the bones "Seems like the right place."

>>716502
Voleurz sucks air through her teeth, "Damnit, I figured our friend the living torch would be around to prove herself useful. Now she can't even be around to do that. One more visit to the shack again I suppose. See what's flammable."

 No.716509

>>716507
[1d10] Throw

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.716510

Soft Talon's momentum added to her own fury rails her into 10 of the distracted ponies, taking out what is hopefully a full lane of the 9-sided formation.
Good Golly, Great Balls of Kirin (critfail -10) [1d10+6]

Roll #1 9 + 6 = 15

 No.716511

>>716506
To knock over the Blight

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.716512

>>716504
You start heading towards the hamlet, little more than a clump of wooden buildings on the coast. It seems eerily silent as you approach. Looking back, you see your companions seem to have instigated a riot.

>>716509
>>716510
Between Talon's barbaric yeet and Cinder's signature cannonball attack, you wreak havoc on their formation, breaking them up like a set of bowling pins.

>>716511
You give one of them a good shove, but he looks much bigger and stronger than you.

>>716500
>>716503
>>716506
You knock over and generally cause mayhem on the formation of Blights. As you start breaking their formation, they turn to face you. A hundred eyes are on Talon and Cinder all of a sudden. Many of the villagers silently pull out rudimentary weapons. Slowly at first, then gradually faster, the mob start surging towards you with animosity.
>roll to escape

 No.716513

"RUN!" he screams and attempts to take flight

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.716514

>>716512
Talon start to fly away with a thought on his mind. "Why are they angry?" Seeing the townsfolk take their weapons. "Weren't they just braindead not seconds ago?" Talon tilts his head.

[1d10] run

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.716515

>>716512
[1d10+1] look for flammables
[1d10+1] pilferin' flammables

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

 No.716516

>>716512
Cinder proudly unrolls herself, announcing her own arrival with a dramatic "Dun dun dun DUNNNN!~" Her eyes open to see the villagers turning on her. Suddenly widened eyes full of panic, she stands quickly and backs away, then turns tail and full out flees on the sandy ground, kicking up clods of matter behind her. Randomly her path takes her roughly toward the beach near the seaside hamlet.

Get The F*dge Outta Heah! [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.716517

>>716502
"I never learned either," says Dalliance bashfully. "Shame."

"I don't have much except my sword," Amaranth laments. "I don't normally need much gear. Being incorporeal has its perks, sometimes."

>>716508
"Only if you annoy me," Amaranth quips. "I'll haunt you for the rest of your days if you do!"

>>716515
You pull away some relatively dry wooden planks. They could be used as decent kindling. "Good show!" says Amaranth cheerily. "Now if only we had a proper fire source…"

 No.716518

>>716512
A veritable cloud of sand is kicked up in the distance as Rainy spots the now moving mob of blighted. With her friends in danger, Rainy surges away from the village and towards the others, using the moisture of the sand to quickly pull herself along the wet surface.

 No.716519

>>716517
"Well, it isn't fire, but-" I take a step forward and look the wood over. "Perhaps I may be able to create some sparks without destroying it completely." I start looking around for something like paper or cloth. "We may need some tinder, however. I doubt I'll be able to just set it alight with weak sparks."

 No.716520

>>716517
"Trust me,not the first spirit to threaten that. I visit a priest once a month to wash the bad juju off, usually does the trick."

She signs dramatically, "Alas, not even a tinderbox to my name, I'm not some sort of savage that goes around lighting fires. Never been an outdoorsmare. No clue how to start one of those things."

 No.716521

>>716519
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.716522

>>716520
"I've had to start a few while camping on extensive hikes. I've managed before, but that was with proper tinder and kindling."

 No.716523

>>716513
You take to the skies and fly off, taking refuge among the nearby canopy. A few of the winged townsfolk chase you, but you think you manage to lose them, for now.

>>716514
A pegasus grabs you by the leg and weighs you down, dragging you onto the sand. You are kicked and clawed by the various townsfolk, pinned down by the mob.
>Talon takes 4 hits

>>716516
A large earth pony grabs at you, pulling your mane painfully and preventing you from getting away.
>Cinder takes 1 hit

>>716518
You see them attempting to flee, but Talon and Cinder seem overrun by the angry mob.

 No.716524

>>716520
"I used to know how," Amaranth bemoans, "but this suit is quite difficult to move around in. Especially when it comes to sneaking around…"

>>716519
>>716521
You find some rotted scraps of paper, but not enough to start a real fire. Dalliance looks around, but can't find much either. She huffs a little in frustration. "Should we just… come back later?" she suggests. "Or move on? We can't do much here without a light source."

 No.716525

>>716524
"I suppose so darling, but whatever it was that was commanding those snakes probably knows we were snooping around. I don't believe they'll just wait here patiently to return with torches. Ah bother." She frowns. "Besides, we'll have the same issue with the tunnel."

 No.716526

>>716523
Cinder screeches, turns, meets eyes with the being who dared pull her hair without permission. Her eyes glow. They glow bright, ever brighter, impossibly bright, and then there is a flash so intense that it burns. Followed by three more strobes of such intense radiation. It leaves a mark on the surroundings, bleaching any walls, posters, rugs, clothing, and even causing mild sunburn to exposed skin. However, the assailant who touched her mane receives not one, not two, but four fully focused anger blasts of pure hatred. Cinder is panicked and continues to gallop on the sand roughly toward the hamlet. She redirects herself to intersect the town. She is mostly on fire, leaving flaming hoofprints behind her. She looks up to see Talon above her, Jesse in front of her, and Rainy in the distance, and a heck of a lot of peeved off ponies chasing behind her.

 No.716527

>>716526
Forgot To Roll
Storm Bolt (3- Critfail)[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.716936

>>716523
Talon tries and attempts to climb away by kicking and punching away the mob. Aiming to take flight away from the mob trying to kill him.

[1d10] Escape

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.716937

>>716524
>>716525
"Well, we do have yet to check the tunnel. Perhaps there are torches or some other such light source before it gets too dark deeper in. Ponies going into the tunnels would have to see some how, no?" I tap my chin and hum. "Though I suppose that's what headlights are for on a train, so that's quite possibly just wishful thinking."

 No.716938

>>716523
With cinder being clubbed by the townsfolk, Rainy forms a water ball, lobbing it over the hot-headed mare!
[1d10] Heal

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.716939

>>716523
>>716936
Jesse abandons his position in the sky by performing a daring dive for the Griffon and extends his hoof in order to try and pull Talon away from the fighting
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.716940

>>716526
>>716527
You try to blast them with flame, but are pummeled across the jaw by another Blight, and shoved to the ground, hitting your head painfully on a rock.
>Cinder takes 5 hits

>>716936
You manage to squirm away from the Blights and take to the air, out of range of most of the crowd.

>>716938
You soak her to the bone with the orb. The healing waters give her the strength to get back up, despite her injuries.
>Cinder is fully healed

>>716939
You go to help him, but he seems to be doing fine on his own, joining you in midair.

>>716526
>>716527
>>716936
>>716939
The mob keep advancing on you, three Blights with wings flying up to attack Jesse and Talon.
[1d10] [1d10] vs Talon
[1d10] Jesse

Four more split up from the mob and run to attack Rainy and Cinder.
[1d10] [1d10] Rainy

[1d10] [1d10] Cinder

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

 No.716941

>>716940
[1d10] last one didnt go through

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.716943

>>716525
>>716937
"There would have been workers in the tunnels," Amaranth postulates. "If nothing else, it is worth trying, is it not?" Dalliance nods in agreement. "My brother was a steel driver. On big jobs they used to even spend the night in the tunnel stations. There might be something we can salvage for light down there. Let's go!"

You leave the abandoned shack and head back to the rails, following them into the tunnel. The waning sunlight only reveals so much; it quickly grows dark, and you can only make out vague silhouettes in the gloom. The whole place reeks of mold and decay, and your footsteps echo eerily through the great archway. "I've seen crypts with more cheer," Amaranth comments, his voice carrying and resonating throughout. There is something about the place that makes your skin crawl.

By sticking to the side of the tunnel, you soon come across one of the posts Dalliance mentioned; it is a small structure, with only the bare essentials for living, comparable to the abandoned shack. This one, however, is made of stone, from what you can tell. You can't see much, though your eyes have somewhat adjusted to the darkness. Dalliance wordlessly sticks to the walls, trying to feel her way around the area in search of a light source. Amaranth notices her doing so and joins in.

 No.716944

>>716940
Talon takes out the rope given to him by cinder to make use of it against his opponents in a little trap against the first Blight to bind its wings and hopefully dodge its attack.

[1d10] Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns

[1d10] Dodge

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

 No.716945

>>716943
"I doubt you've seen as many crypts as I darling, despite your current state. Nonetheless, I agree. I'd much prefer polished marble sepulchers to this drivel."

Voleurz looks around, keen on finding something quickly to spend as little time lightless in the dark as possible. "You know, even an empty hooded lantern would suffice I suppose, I do have that orb after all. It'd just have to be the sort we point away from ourselves, not the sort that spreads the light out evenly."

[1d10+1] Loot
[1d10+1] Pilfer (crits on 9 if there's a body nearby we're not aware of)

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

 No.716946

>>716940
>>716938

Cinder is painfully bashed into the ground and then doused with water. Taken separately, it's possible she would accept these circumstances. She's eaten dust before, she's also been doused with water before. One after the other, however, are untenable for her dignity.

Upon hitting the dust, she lies there; when the water douses her, her entire body bursts into intense flames. She stands slowly, the Nirik form slowly rising to its full unholy glory.

Her eyes are headlights. They illuminate everything in their path. At this moment, they turn to completely envelop the members of the mob approaching her in a most unflattering light. She appraises them unhurriedly as they approach her, waiting for her moment. As they approach, she dodges, tumbling into a forward roll, turning her body into a wrecking ball aimed toward the members attacking Rainy.

Dodge [1d10]
Goodness Gracious (critfail range -1) [1d10+1]

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9

 No.716947

>>716940
"Help me get Cinder!" he yells then notices the blights. He does a flip in the air and dives straight down as he goes down he positions himself to be facing the blight and opens fire

[1d10] dodge
[1d10] attack

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 5 = 5

 No.716948

>>716940
flowing under the pair attacking her, Rainy forms a water ball to throw at the more competent towny attacking Cinder!
[1d10] Ranged

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.716949

>>716943
I swallow. "It's a bit creepier than I anticipated, I must admit. Though I feel I should have grown to have such expectations by this point." I look around for at the very least something to get back to sparking.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.716950

>>716944
You avoid one of the Blights and kick him away from you, pulling out the rope and artfully winding it around the incoming Blight like a lasso.

>>716946
Giving in to your primal rage, you do a forward roll and leap into the air, unleashing a blast of flame that sends several of the Blights flying, scorching the dark, muddy sand beneath your hooves.

>>716947
You manage to avoid the attack, shooting the Blight dead with a single bullet. It stumbles backwards and turns to ash.

>>716948
You bean the pony over the head with a water orb. It is only briefly distracted before getting blown away by Cinder's fire blast.

>>716944
>>716946
>>716947
>>716948
As soon as one is cut down, it seems like more rise to avenge them. It is like the Blighted are acting as some sort of hive mind. Cinder's fiery display draws their attention away from the rest of you, and she is beset by Blights.
[1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 3 = 3 / Roll #4 2 = 2

 No.716951

>>716945
Amaranth stops in his tracks and gives you what you think is meant to be a confused look, but doesn't question you.

Scrambling about in the dark, you manage to find a small metal box. Fumbling to open it, you find a jagged rock and a piece of specially curved steel. Seems to be a fire starting kit.

>>716949
You look around semi-blindly, happening across a lantern. It still has some oil in it. You also find a tiny leather pouch with a satisfying weight to it.
>+30 bits

"Why does everyone always keep their coin in a bag like that?" Dalliance comments with a slight frown. "I just keep mine in my pocket."

 No.716952

>>716950
After killing the blight his head whirls back around to Cinder noticing her surrounded he takes off for a bit and circles back around for a strafing attack making sure to unload every bullet

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.716953

>>716950
The trotting inferno under attack by blights, Rainy keeps well out of her way, lobbing another water orb towards Cinder, muttering a stream of sorries under her breath.
[1d10+1] heal (water)

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.716954

>>716951
"Brilliant!" I levitate the lantern in front of me and look it over. "I found a lantern, and somehow it still has some fuel." I squint through the darkness. "Though I'm not sure if it's one one can spark or if one must use a match. I'd hate to spark it myself and damage it. Do you think I should attempt?"

 No.716956

>>716950
Talon takes some of his leftover rope to lasso Cinder away from the mob that is attacking her, so they can run away with the rest of the group.

roll was 6

 No.716957

>>716951
"Easy darling, it's much easier to trade when you've got bits seperated into groups of ten, twenty, a hundred… Not everyone has the time to count out each bit on the counter you know."

Voleurz notes to Dalliance, "You don't need to wash coin bags, but you do need to wash your clothes."
>>716954

"We could spark some kindling and transfer the flame like that darling. I found some nice flammable wood back at the other shack, shall we make the trek back to the cave again? Our route has been rather circuitous, but one can not expect us to be expert rangers after all."

 No.716958

>>716950
Nirik Cinder stands tall after her flaming display of power. She eyes the remaining mob approaching. Her eyes reflect the oncoming threat only momentarily; a careless glance would indicate not worry, but glee. She nonflinchingly awaits the oncoming mob.

>>716953
An orb of water almost impacts her, but the extreme heat of her mane converts it to steam, creating one intensely satisfying breath. Cinder catches this naturally, inhaling with her eyes closed, exhaling a massive steam cloud from her snoot as she meets eyes with the onrushing mob.

>>716956

All of a sudden, the nirik is lassooed and dragged bodily away from the situation.

 No.716959

>>716957
I pocket the bits and nod. "Seems we've a stroke of good luck. Let's not dawdle! Onward! Or backward, I as the case would have it. Assuming there's even anything still left to find."

 No.716960

>>716954
>>716957
>>716959
You head back to the shack for now, using the firestarter Voleurz found to light the lantern. Dalliance and Amaranth take some of the kindling, just in case it's necessary, and the four of you return to the cave.

Now with a light source, you can see a grisly sight; there are dozens of remains littering the floor, creating a blanket of bones. Amaranth mutters something under his breath, while Dalliance tries not to freak out a little at all the dead. "What could have done this?" she mutters, looking at the scene.

Whoever the culprit is, they are not to be found here. Indeed, the cave holds little of interest on first glance, save for a crack in the wall that seems to lead to an adjacent cavern. It is quite narrow, only just big enough for a pony to squeeze through rather uncomfortably. If you listen closely, you can hear dripping water from deeper within.

 No.716961

>>716952
You see a particularly large Blight pummel Cinder, and while he's distracted, you fan the hammer and riddle him with bullets.

>>716953
Seeing her in trouble, you hurl another sphere of purifying waters, cleansing her wounds as soon as they appear.

>>716956
As Cinder seems to prepare for a final stand, you flick the rope around her and hoist her away, rather like a helicopter carrying cargo.

>>716958
The water turns to steam, invigorating you. Even though you are beset by the Blights, the healing from Rainy patches up any damage you may take.
>Cinder remains at 5/5

You are hoisted rather unceremoniously into the air a moment later, taken away by Talon.

>>716952
>>716953
>>716956
>>716958
With most of you out of harm's way for now, the mob turn on Rainy, as the last one left in the vicinity.
[1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10]

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

 No.716962

"Alright Talon lets get Rainy back, same way we just did. And uhh cinder can you set fire to some sticks n hurl em at the blights?"

 No.716963

>>716961
With Cinder pulled away, Rainy now faces the horde alone! Faced with the number of enemies, she tries to make her escape, keeping low to the sand to avoid the swinging attacks!
[1d10] Escape
[1d10] Dodge(?)

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 6 = 6

 No.716964

>>716961
Talon takes Cinder up into his arms and hands the Flaming Kirin to Jesse. "Here, hold this." He say before taking the rope off Cinder and make another Lasso attempt at Rainy.

[1d10] Lasso

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.716965

>>716964
"You cant just!" He yells before the griffon exits earshot range. Now he has a flaming kirin in his hooves that is burning parts of his coat off. Quickly he drops Cinder on the ground prevent him to be fully engulfed in flame

 No.716966

>>716960
As the light shines on the remains I feel myself grow faint, and my face pales. "Stumbling upon scenes like this is the second worst part of the job," I say. "Should we-" My voice cracks and I have to clear my throat. "Should we advance? Or just leave?"

 No.716967

>>716960
"Who knows, perhaps we've found the residence of our farmer-eating pup. If you see any sort of light approaching, avert your eyes. I'd rather be mauled to death then puppeted by some unknown force. Still, I don't think raising the dead is that beast's modus operandi."

She peers into the crack ahead [1d10+1]

>>716959
"Darling, have one of your doubles go check out that crack will you? We could light some of this tinder for him to use as a crude forch if needed. I'd rather not get trapped in such a tight space."

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.716968

>>716967
Though I'm not keen on remaining any longer than I must, I nod. "Go ahead," I tell one of my doubles.

 No.716969

>>716961
>>716965
After promptly dropping Cinder he takes flight and joins Talon, giving covering fire to Rainy

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.716970

>>716961

Cinder's burning frame does not burn through the rope she bought earlier, probably because of the massive amount of water dumped on her. The fiery nirik struggles valiantly against this rope but finds it as flame-resistant as the shopkeep described. She screams into the night as she is dragged away.

>>716964
>>716965

Cinder's scream reverberated against the trees as she is passed off like a football in play. She struggles free of the clumsy grasp of the pegasus and drops several meters to the ground, landing in a fiery splat somewhat removed from Rainy with the mob on the other side.

A few moments pass before she rises. For landing ungraciously, the nirik Cinder sure takes to her feet steadily, if not quickly.
Her headlights illuminate the scene near Rainy in a sporadic manner, flashing intermittently.

Shaking her head violently, she tries to make out what is happening, though seeing complete red.

Come to Cinder's senses [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.716971

>>716967
It's difficult to make out much at first glance. It just looks like more cave from what you can see. You do, however, spot what look like markings on the wall of the cave, but nothing you can make out.

>>716968
The double struggles to fit through the crack, but slowly squeezes through. You watch as it explores the cave silently, quickly vanishing from sight in the process due to your limited view through the gap in the wall.

>>716966
>>716967
Dalliance hops up on top of a rock to avoid touching the bones, losing her composure a little. "What's the worst part?" she asks Platinum nervously.

Amaranth looks grim, but is not deterred, sifting through the remains curiously. "These bones have been here some time. It is doubtful that the townsfolk came this way, especially since that gap seems more and more like a dead end. Perhaps we would do better to investigate the tunnel further? Or head back into town?"

 No.716972

>>716963
You are surrounded by the mob, dipping to avoid some of the blows and even lashing out at some of the Blights. You are overwhelmed, however, and one of the blows actually hits your core, making you lose your form and stunning you momentarily.
>Rainy takes 6 hits, helpless

>>716964
You hoist Rainy up with the lasso, out of harm's way.

>>716969
You reload and pop another Blight, bringing her down.

>>716970
As Jesse drops you, you feel your flames fading, and you slowly start to come down from the bloodlust. Before long, you are back to your normal form, very much aware of being the only one left on the ground.

>>716970
>>716969
>>716964
>>716963
With Cinder back on the ground, the mob focus her again.
[1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10] [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 4 = 4 / Roll #4 7 = 7 / Roll #5 8 = 8 / Roll #6 3 = 3

 No.716973

>>716971
"The worst part," I say, "Is informing the families of the fallen they their loved ones aren't going to make it back. That, unfortunately, extends to comrades in arms." I close my eyes to calm myself

"Anyway, it seems only the entrance is narrow. It gets larger on the other side. I'll send my other two doubles through to deter ambush and we can follow after."

I gesture to the passage and my other two doubles walk towards it. "Take point around the exit to the passage once you're on the other side. Watch for threats."

 No.716974

>>716973
". . .Watch for threats," I tell them.

 No.716975

>>716972
Jesse swings back this time for Cinder before the mob can attack

 No.716976

>>716972
Cinder, trying to face down the crowd, is aware of her flame slowly fading. "Come on! COME ON!" she yells as the fire slowly fades, as the crowd slowly closes around her, yellow eyes glaring at her from all angles. She suddenly feels very cold and afraid. She tries not to show any weakness as the mob closes around her. She strikes at the closest, most vulnerable of the group with a flaming suckerpunch.

going down swinging [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.716977

>>716975
[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.716978

>>716973
>>716971
Voleurz lets the doubles go ahead, throwing a dagger out of the entrance of the cave before following herself.

[1d10+1] DC-1 Blink Strike (Cave Entrance)

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.716979

>>716972
Affixing rainy on his back, Talon attempts to swoop down with Jesse to attempt to save Cinder back from the mob she was dropped in.

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.716980

>>716972
With her core struck, The liquid around it violently bursts, sending a spray of water outward briefly, before a portion manages to re-accumulate, dragging her raincoat and the items from her torso into the air with it.

With her size cut by a quarter, Rainy dangles from the end of the lasso, the rope around her core.

"Oww.. This rope is really tight.." she mutters. looking down at cinder, she drops an orb from her elevated position, trying to aim while aloft.
[1d10+1] Heal

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.716981

>>716976
You knock out a Blight with a single punch and fend off two others before getting overwhelmed, being beaten to the ground, punched, kicked, stomped on and generally pummeled into submission. You hear a snap, and a jolt of blinding agony rushes through your left back leg, and as you are hoisted by Talon once again, you see it sticking out at an awkward, impossible angle. Your vision is blurred, and you can taste blood.
>Cinder takes 10 hits, helpless at 0/3

>>716975
The sea of angry Blights blocks you from being able to grab her.

>>716979
You manage to save Cinder from them, beating back a few Blights and hoisting her up again. She looks in an awful state, her right eye closed and swollen, blood on her face, and one of her back legs is broken. The burden of both her and Rainy is difficult to bear.

>>716980
The orb splashes harmlessly on a few Blights.

>>716975
>>716979
>>716980
>>716976
With Cinder and Rainy in tow, Talon and Jesse manage to fly the group away from the mob, moving further up the path you came from. You come back to the spot where the road forks off, going a while on the less beaten path to take a moment to recover. You find a relatively open spot with a few large smooth rocks to sit on. In the distance, you can hear the Blights beginning to stomp their way up the path, searching for you.

 No.716982

>>716981
"Everyone alright?" He asks the group.

 No.716983

>>716981
>>716982
"No." Talon slumps over with cinder in his arms and Rainy on his back feeling the events rushing up to him feeling exhausted.

 No.716984

>>716983
"That was a rather stupid question. Alright everyone just sit here, I'll keep watch" he says and trots of a few feet away checking the surrounding area for any blights or things of interest

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.716985

>>716981
Touching down onto the dirt, Rainy flows over to Cinder, rope dragging along behind her. With little mass to work with, she slumps wordlessly onto Cinder's leg, sending magic bubbling through her water in an attempt to heal it.
[1d10] Mend

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.716986

>>716973
The doubles nod and proceed to do just that.

>>716978
You throw a dagger expertly into a small crack between the rocks. It sticks there and wobbles slightly. Amaranth lets out a low whistle. "Nice throw, madam! Where did you learn?"

It takes you a considerable amount of effort to squeeze through the gap, but you emerge onto the other side. Dalliance hesitates, but follows you through unquestioningly, having to strip off her armor to do so. You hadn't gotten a good look at her without it before; she's actually quite short, and lightly built. She shimmies through and joins you in the cave beyond.

You see the markings for what they are. Drawn in chalk on the side of the cave is a nine sided shape with a lattice of lines connecting every vertex. Dalliance frowns as she follows your gaze. "A nonagon? What do you suppose it means?" she asks.

 No.716987

>>716981
Cinder fights as many as she is able before going down, taking a fetal position and trying to shield herself ineffectively against the rain of blows. At the last second, she is hoisted away via skycrane, a la Soft Talon's impeccable lassoing skill. To be honest, the lasso around her shoulders is pretty uncomfortable. She opens an unbroken eye and gasps with what breath she can muster, "D*ng!" before passing out from pain.

>>716983

Cinder appears to be totally unconscious.

>>716985

She half-opens one eye at the goo-pony. It's hard to tell if there is recognition.
There is no further reaction as Rainy casts a magic. Cinder closes the eye in question. It is not obvious if any of this had to do with the outside world.

 No.716988

>>716986
I suddenly feel an incredible unease, and have to fight not to leave right there. "A nonagram," I say. "If we didn't have any other indication of cultist acticity this is it. This is bad." I try my best to keep the fear out of my wavering voice, but I doubt I manage. "We can have a quick look around, but we need to leave as soon as we can. Hopefully we can find some indication of where the responsible party -or more likely, parties- went. Whatever this is, we need to stop it. Fast."

[1d10] looking around

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.716989

>>716984
You see a familiar yellow glow coming up the path. It seems the Blights will be here in a few minutes. You don't have much time to rest up, it seems.

>>716985
The healing waters don't do much apart from dulling Cinder's pain. Fixing injuries on this extent would take you time, which you don't really have.

>>716987
You hold on for as long as you can before you succumb to exhaustion and pain, drifting in and out of consciousness.

 No.716990

>>716989
"Come on everyone, we need to move on, there is too many of them." Talon involuntarily shivers thinking of the encounter. prodding his teamates to make sure they were listening.

 No.716991

>>716986
"Wednesday tea parties with the Dancer sisters back at the estate, dearie. I won darts every week there after I picked up the basics of the game. I never could get into badminton though."

Voleurz says with a smug grin, looking at the chalk symbol, "Ah, with my expertise, it's either binding a demon in place, or it's currently sustaining an evil spell. Given I haven't heard any word of demons, I suspect it'd be the later. In that case-" Voleurz makes a mess of the chalk, confidently messing up the drawing. "Wish me luck against any curses, I do suppose."

 No.716993

>>716989
With more water draining off and little to show for recovery, Rainy leaves Cinder alone, for now.

>>716990
"Right.. Can you carry Cinder?" Rainy asks, starting along the trail away from the Mob, raincoat and rope dragging behind her as she opts to slink along the ground, hooves not forming.

 No.716994

>>716993
Talon nods his head to Rainy having Cinder on top of his back as he begins his march along with Rainy away from the impending doom of blights Keeping his eyes wide and open.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8

 No.716995

>>716988
The cavern seems to split into two branching paths, though in the darkness it is difficult to see where they lead. The left seems to lead to the water you heard before, while there is a faint but definite smell of death coming from the right, like something rotting.

>>716991
"You are a much better throw than I ever was. Kudos to you!"

Platinum stops you from doing it yourself.

>>716992

As the double reaches out, the symbol changes color, turning a familiar glowing yellow and flashing with a sudden bright light. The double pulls back sharply, its hoof charred and smoking, but the deed is done; the sigil is broken, and the nonagon fades back to chalk white. Nothing else happens, for now, save for a vague feeling of dread.

>>716991
>>716988
"I say, what's going on in there?" Amaranth calls from the other side. Being a suit of sentient armor, he is too big to fit, bobbing his head awkwardly trying to get a look through the gap. "Is everything alright?"

 No.716996

>>716995
I gulp. "That," I say. "Is about what I'd anticipated." I look to the pathways. "I imagine the right is an abattoir of sorts. It smells of rot. The left is where what sounds like water is coming from, but I wouldn't put any bits on it actually being water."

 No.716997

>>716994
A broken Cinder, semi-conscious, tries to fight against being carried, but nestles into Soft Talon's feathers without much fight and allows herself to be carried.

 No.716998

>>716991

"No!" I shout, holding my hoof out. Quickly, I compose myself and clear my throat. "No," I say softer. "Let me send one of my doubles. They stand a bit less to lose than you, I imagine." I nod toward the circle and one of my doubles steps forward.

 No.716999

>>716993
>>716994
>>716997
You head off up the path as fast as you can, leaving the mob behind you and making your way back to Moonhollow. After a while, you notice something odd: they've stopped following you. There's no sound of the mob on the cliff path anymore. It's like they changed their minds about chasing you.

 No.717000

>>716999
"They are finally gone." Talon mumbles as he continues walking. "Why did I expect them to just stand there?" Talon nods keeping cinder rested between his wings.

 No.717001

>>716996
>>716995
Voleurz raises an eyebrow, "I suppose that makes you my hero, darling. Which one am I supposed to kiss though?" She smirks, pecking the hoofless double on the cheek before returning to a more serious state, "Still, there was a flash of light. That's enough for me to be worried we could've been exposed. Inspection time, before we move forward."

 No.717002

>>717000
>>716999
"What happened?" Rainy asks from nearby "I was in the village.. Everypony turned on you.."

 No.717003

>>717001
"I suppose it does. And yes, any ammount of exposure is cause for concern." I step up in front of her and check her eyes.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.717004

>>717003
Voleurz checks back, as well as Dalliance
[1d10+1]
[1d10+1]

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

 No.717005

>>717002
"All those were blights, blights forming a shape we found. We were pushing them out of the shape, yes. Then they noticed us." Talon stretches in place. "There is too many of them but they are gone now. Just we can't go back now." Talon shakes his head.

 No.717006

>>717003
Voleurz has tiny pinpoints of yellow light in her pupils.

>>717004
Platinum and Dalliance seem fine.

 No.717007

>>717006
The small amount of composure I've managed to hold cracks, and my smile fades completely. I open my mouth and close it again without saying anything. Slowly, I nod my head. "There is," I say, and my voice cracks as I speak. "A small ammount of yellow in your pupils."

 No.717008

>>717007
>>717006

Voleurz enlists a wide away of curses to express her feelings, before getting a hold of herself, "Well cock and balls, but this is exactly why we're checking every single time. Proof in point. Ahhh bollocks."

She catches herself again, letting out a deep breath, "And the reason we're checking is because I'm most certain Rainy's magic could handle it better than those who've been blighted over night, days, or weeks. I'll be heading back with Dalliance right away to get to our gelatinous friend, if you wish to trek on, I won't stop you."

"Minging bellend bastards…" She continues to curse under breath.

 No.717009

>>717008
"No," I say. "I shall return with you. Our numbers are small as it is. It would be unwise for Ms.Dalliance, Mr.Amaranth, and myself to advance on our own."

 No.717010

>>717009
"Very well, let us hope at least some good came from removing that sigil."

 No.717011

>>717007
>>717008
Dalliance's face turns to stone. As she examines Voleurz, she backs away, covering her mouth in shock. "My lady… no…" Her legs almost give way, and she props herself against the cave wall, breathing heavily. She takes a moment to recover, taking a deep breath. "…I will follow wherever Miss Voleurz goes," she says obstinately.

"Is everything alright in there?" Amaranth calls, peering through the crack. "What's going on?"

 No.717012

>>717011
"Oh for the love of- chin up Dalliance! You're not the one blighted, and I'm still all here, aren't I? Save the bloody 'my lady'-ing till things get more dire." Voleurz says, going over to mess up Dalliance's mane, mostly playfully.

"Bloody sigil started to blight me, so field trip is canceled." She calls out to Amaranth, squeezing her way back through the crack.

 No.717013

>>717012
"Though we should-" I grunt as I force myself through the crack. "Put a pin in this place, as it were. We at the very least know it's playing a part, howver large or small that part may be."

 No.717112

>>717012
Dalliance flinches a little as you reach out to touch her, but she doesn't protest, looking at you with grave concern. "Well… we'd better find a cure, and fast. Hopefully miss Rainy can work her magic on you. Do… do you feel any different?"

"Oh my. Well that's quite grave," Amaranth calls. "You'd better come on through. Who knows what lurks in the depths of that cave."

>>717013
Dalliance gives a little nod. "Perhaps if we can find a way to resist the Blight… In any case. Let's get out of here. I don't like this at all. Should we reconvene with the others, or explore that tunnel some more?"

 No.717113

>>717112
"Well, I personally would vote we head back to town. Ms.Springs can give that healing magic of hers a try, see if we can't get that dreadful disease ousted from our beautiful Ms.Voleurz's body. We likely shouldn't linger knowing she's infected." I cock my eyebrow and turn my head to Voleurz. "Unless you'd like to take a moment to see if we can't find something more in the tunnel?"

 No.717114

>>717112
"Bloody fu-" Voleurz cuts herself, looking to Dalliance and holding off swearing directly at Dalliance, despite her ire, "Very upset, darling, but I don't think that's the blight. I'd prefer not to be a living test subject, but if Rainy can't get this blasted curse from my body, I'm going out fighting."

Voleurz makes her way back.

 No.717115

>>716999
Managing enough energy to reform her hooves, Rainy gathers herself together and makes for the town.

"Let's go! Now that we know where the town went, we need to get the others and rescue them!"

 No.717116

>>717113
"Darling whatever you wish, but I need to make my way back as soon as possible. I'm sure you're fully capable of going on your own. Nonetheless, I don't think it safe to split up any more than we already have."

 No.717118

>>717116
"No, I still say we head back. I trust in Ms.Springs' abilities, but I don't think we should risk it. I just wasn't sure if you wanted to remain longer due to your-" I clear my throat, resisting the urge to tug at my collar. How do I say obsessive greed politely? "Proclivities. I didn't want to assume."

 No.717119

>>716999
"Well that's good I suppose, we best get Cinder here to a doctor or somethin"

 No.717120


 No.717121

>>717114
Dalliance gives you a concerned look. "I'd rather you didn't go out at all, my lady. I'm sure we'll find a cure. Don't fret! There's no better healer than Miss Springs in all Equestria!"

>>717113
>>717114
Amaranth rejoins you, and with a rather somber mood the four of you start heading back into town.

>>717000
>>717115
>>717119
>>716997
You keep walking on the path, eventually reaching the gates of Moonhollow.

>>717113
>>717114
>>717000
>>717115
The sun is starting to go down, and the sheer emptiness of Moonhollow is starting to weigh on you more. The surviving townsfolk all look thoroughly harrowed by the day's events, ranging from concerned to grieving to angered to simply looking defeated. You do notice, however, that not all is lost; there are a few familiar faces here and there, in the form of those adventurers that were missing in the morning. Many of them look a bit shaken, nursing injuries.

>>717113
>>717114
"You'd find more cheer in a graveyard," Amaranth comments, looking around at the somehow even more dismal state of the town. "Er, I suppose this is it for now. Thank you for having me, fellow drifters. I will be around if you ever need a traveling companion!" He tips his helmet to you before heading off on his own towards the guild hall.

>>717113
>>717114
>>717000
>>717115
You reconvene in the main town square, which is eerily empty. There's barely any signs of night life anymore. Moonhollow, for all intents and purposes, has become a ghost town. What makes matters worse is the state you find each other in; Cinder's leg is broken and her eye swollen, while Jesse and Talon seem to have gotten into a fight. Voleurz's pupils have a faint yellow glow to them; the mark of a Blight.

 No.717122

>>717121
"Do you guys have any good news?" Talon ask wearily seeing Voleurez unfortunate state while scratching his own arm in waiting.

 No.717123

>>717122
>>717121
"Potentially, but as it stands we have far graver news than good. There has been an incident. Ms.Springs, we need you post has-" I suddenly actually notice the state of their group and pause. "Goodness, I take it you four weren't without confrontation either?"

 No.717124

>>717121
"Oh my, Voleurz!"

>>717116
drinking her last water flask, Rainy pools underneath the zebra's hooves, sending magic through the middle.
[1d10+1] Mend
Remembering her task from the heir, She tries to root around for the blight within Voleurz, in an attempt to contain it rather than let it dissipate

>>717123
"Oh, it's terrible!" you hear echoing from the puddle under Voleurz "The townsfolk are at the beach, under some spell!"

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.717125

>>717121
Jesse walks up to the two with a weary look

>>717123
"We got roughed up pretty bad, ran in with some 30 or so blights. We're lucky to be alive"

 No.717126

>>717123
"There were an unexpected amount of blights where we went to say the least, they aren't following us anymore. They likely went back to where we found them." Talon says a bit hushed towards the group.

 No.717127

>>717124
>>717125
>>717126
I bite my lip and glance away. "Under a spell? That's quite disturbing news. Why, with how many are gone I can only imagine how large a group it is, and even then we couldn't just go in guns blazing if it isn't their fault. I don't suppose you, per chance, saw the spell's caster so we at least have a goal in mind"

 No.717128

>>717127
"They were in some kinda sigil or uhh sign. Not sure what, I didn't get a good look. They were all starin' up at the sun. Well we knocked em out of formation and they attacked. Never found a reason why"

 No.717129

>>717121
>>717124
Voleurz broods as she's splashed with water,

"Least you found something, wasn't a bloody blighter or monster that got me, a blasted trap that got the best of me."

 No.717130

>>717129
*wasn't even

 No.717131

>>717124
You don't manage to cure the Blight in this rudimentary, nascent form. You sense that it seems to actively resist being cured.

 No.717132

>>717131
>>717129
"Hmm.. This blight is tough.. Can we stop by the bar for water? It's hard to cure ponies when i'm all dried out.." Rainy mutters, reforming under her coat. "If i could just find a water source, i'm sure i could cure you!"

 No.717133

>>717129
"It's not that far along, but i'll clean you up no problem, Voleurz." she adds, trying to reassure the blighted mare.

 No.717134

>>717132
>>717133

"Anywhere. As. Soon. As. Possible." Voleurz says, through gritted teeth.

 No.717135

>>717134
>>717133
I give a slow, somber nod. "I'll join you. I shouldn't have to say that it's best if we get to it as fast as possible. In other words," I take a few steps away from the party and toward the bar. "We should leave immediately."

 No.717136

>>717124
>>717127
>>717125
>>717126
>>717129
Dalliance frowns. "We found a sigil as well," she brings up. "Back in the cave. It's what… what caused miss Voleurz to…" She swallows. "It was a nine sided shape. Several lines connecting every corner. I don't suppose that sounds familiar to you?" She bites her lip as she sees the state of Cinder. "I think the local church is where they keep the sick and wounded. Maybe you should take her there."

>>717132
>>717134
>>717135
>whoever else comes along

You head to Henke's. Much like the rest of the town, it's strangely empty. Gord is slaving away at the counter as usual, while Stolas is curled up by the fire. They're the only souls in sight. Gord looks up at you with a miserable expression and nods slightly, averting his gaze. Stolas lazily opens one eye, then another, stretching before trotting up to you. "Finally! Where is everyone? It's like half the town got turned to dust! …Everyone doing alright?"

 No.717137

>>717136
"Hmmmm nine nine nine…" he pauses deep in thought "Yeah that sigil they made had about nine sides, not too sure though."

 No.717138

>>717136
"Oh, it's real bad out there!" Says Rainy to the curious cat, quickly flowing over to the barstool and sitting on her raincoat "Half the town wandered away to the beach, there's a spell or trance on them, and Voleurz is sick! I'll need some water, please."

 No.717139

>>717136
Talon follows everyone to the bar peaking in out of paranoia from the towns state and his own recent experience with the mob beforehand. He examines it and peers quietly at them.

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

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9

 No.717140

>>717139
He trots behind the griffon and catches up with him
"Thanks for the help back there" he says with a small smile on his face

 No.717141

>>717137
>>717136
"So they're likely related." I sigh. "I suppose I could have guessed as much. If the nonagram enthralling the townsponies is similar to the one we found then just simply removing it isn't an option. And magic like that- well, we can try finding and dealing with the caster, but magic like that likes to remain long after the caster is taken care of in my experience. Let us hope that isn't the case in this instance."

I glance up at Stolas and knit my brow. "Not well, unfortunately, though we hope to rectify that soon. As it stands, I've not eaten and I'm exhausted, so I know at least I need a rest first."

 No.717142

>>717140
Talon lets out a grunt as he stares inside the bar, standing there at the doorway peeking inside."You too." he just replies.

 No.717143

>>717136
>>717134

Grabbing an empty cup from the counter, Rainy extends a thin pseudopod to the bottom of the cup, keeping in contact with the cup as she fills it with a measure of water. With some focus, she tries to charge the liquid inside with magic.
[1d10+1] Mend
"Okay Voleurz, try drinking this, maybe that'll help cure you." she asks, holding the cup out to you

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.717144

>>717143
Voleurz does as told, wet and irate.

 No.717145

>>717137
Dalliance's expression darkens. "…Interesting. We'll have to investigate that cave we found more, then. If only we had a way to protect ourselves from the Blight…"

>>717138
The cat's eyes widen. "That's not good. That's not good at all. My… Gord, get the lady some water, would you?" Gord looks like he's about to say something, but merely nods a little and passes you a large bottle of cold water.

>>717139
You notice something odd: Gord only seems to do anything whenever Stolas makes direct eye contact with him, reverting back to his usual d. You noticed before that he's been Blighted; this is still the case.

>>717141
"Oh but of course! Whatever you need!" Stolas says eagerly. "We, er, don't have much on the menu, but there is a nice vegetable stew… Rooms for how many? All of you again?"

>>717143
You charge it with magic, but the medicine doesn't seem to work when Voleurz drinks it.

>>717144
It just tastes like regular room temperature water.

 No.717146

>>717145
Dumping his own bag, Talon finds the items insufficent for his task. With only rope to reuse, Talon looks about for other materials for setting up his planned trap for stolas.

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

Trap: recharge 1; Starting next turn, first enemy to attack is helpless for 2 turns.

[1d10+3] Search

[1d10] Trap

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13 / Roll #2 8 = 8

 No.717147

>>717145
>>717144
"Hmmng.." Rainy bubbles in irritation, seeing that her spell failed again. "This is getting silly, how can a little blight be so stubborn!"

"..Y-you don't think it's.. becoming resistant, do you?" Rainy adds, looking around in a worry.

with the water arriving, she takes a moment to place a hoof into the bottle, absorbing the contents as she ruminates.

 No.717148

>>717145
"Vegetable stew would be fine, thank you." I sit down at the bar and nod to Gord. "Good evening, Mr.Gord," I say. "May I please just get a glass of water?"

"It seems that way," I say to Stolas over my shoulder. "Though many more days like this and I fear I'll run out of funds."

 No.717149

>>717147
"Try Absinthe." Voleurz suggests, "My body treats it as water."

 No.717150

>>717145
"It don't seem there's a way to protect yourself from it. This damn" he hangs on his word for a second, stuttering slightly "This damn curse it's just so confusing"

 No.717151

>>717146
You manage to loosen a few floorboards in the entrance, making for a somewhat effective pitfall. Your scrabbling gets the innkeepers' attention though. Stolas' ears prick up, and he trots over to you. "Excuse me," he says in a firm tone, "just what do you think you're doing to my property!"

>>717147
"It just might," says Dalliance fearfully. "It's like a sickness. And sicknesses evolve…"

>>717148
He doesn't seem to hear you at first, but Stolas seems to jog him into action. "Well? Serve the gent, would you kindly!" Gord jerks awake and starts to do as he's told, serving you a glass of water before heading off to the kitchen.

"Well," says the cat, "there's plenty of money to be made here! Right? Always work to go around! …Not to mention, you people might be my only customers for a while, if this situation with the townsfolk isn't solved… What could have done this?…"

>>717149
"You heard the lady! A bottle of absinthe for the table, please, Gord!" The griffon complies. "Just 20 bits for the whole thing. Special discount, just for you!" Dalliance orders herself a mug of hot cocoa instead of partaking, nursing it pensively.

>>717150
"It is a curse," she muses, huddled over her hot cocoa. "No other way around it. It's a magical disease. But where could it have come from? And why is it here? Hm…"

 No.717152

>>717151
>>717147
"I have my own." Voleurz says flatly, taking out the near empty bottle she first came to this cursed place with.

 No.717153

>>717151
>>717152
"Hmm.."

Eying the bottle, Rainy extends another thin pseudopod into the liquid within, conducting the magic into the drink.
[1d10+1]
"Lets give this a try, drink up!"

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.717154

>>717151
"I have no idea, I mean the only thing I can think of is it's more like a fungus. It's using ponies to feed and spread."

 No.717155

>>717153
Voleurz swishes it, "Watered down, what was I expecting."

 No.717156

>>717151
Talon squirms under the cats gaze. "I think I dropped my bits under the floorboards, so I am trying to pick them up." Talon keeps his head down with his gaze away from the cat. Feeling uncomfortable.

 No.717157

>>717155
She bubbles again, glaring at the glow in your eyes before slumping wetly onto the bar counter.

"Voleurz, I don't know what's happening! i couldn't save the ones in the forest, i couldn't save the townsfolk on the shore, i can't even heal cinder's leg.."

 No.717158

>>717157
"Darling, can you breath? I don't know exactly how goos work. If you can, please, take a deep breath."

Voleurz says, sternly.

 No.717159

>>717151
I knit my brow as Gord sluggishly follows orders. You'd think one would have better customer service than that, but I suppose you take what you can get when there aren't many ponies left in town at all. I nod and take the glass. "Thank you."

"Work, perhaps, but it's a matter of coming back with said work complete. Unless you mean there are a couple of odd jobs around the old place."

>>717158
>>717157
My ears flick as I hear Rainy apologize. "Is everything alright?"

 No.717160

>>717152
Gord wordlessly takes the bottle away. Stolas looks a little discouraged. "Well… of course! Whatever suits your needs, madam!"

>>717153
Nothing more happens. Either your magic isn't working, or something is actively sabotaging your attempts to cure it.

>>717154
"That'd be apt. Perhaps it's simpler than we're thinking… maybe it's just following its nature. But what is it exactly, do you think? It's all very mysterious."

>>717156
Stolas watches you intently for a good long while, standing still as a statue, tail swishing with malcontent. He seems to refuse to leave until you've found what you're looking for.

>>717157
Dalliance goes to give you a reassuring pat on the back, but only gets her hoof wet. "I'm sure it's not your fault, miss Springs!" she says reassuringly. "You'll get it! Eventually!"

 No.717161

>>717160
"It could be a combination of the two I guess. Someone directing this infection in a certain way to benefit themselves."

 No.717162

>>717158
"Okay.." still dejected, Rainy makes the motion of a sigh, air bubbles floating into her mass briefly.

>>717159
"My magic isn't working anymore.. Cinder's leg is still broken, the townsfolk turn to dust when cured and Voleurz is still blighted, too!"

>>717160
>>717158

hopping off her seat, Rainy pools around Voleurz again, a look of determination crossing her face as she does so

"I can't give up, everypony is counting on me!"

throwing herself into it, the pool pulses bright with the magical effort!
[1d10+1] Mend

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

 No.717163

>>717161
>>717160

He sits there tapping his hoof for a while an enraged expression growing on his face. Within about a minute Jesse is pacing from left to right. Why cant this entire situation just be simple? Why can the answer be clear or at least easier to tackle. As he thinks his steps become heavier. He whirls his head around and sees his injured comrades before finally losing his cool
"Dammit!" he yells and sends a glass bottle barreling into the wall in front of him.
"Why can't this just be easy? Why can't these blights just give us an answer!? Or even a clue!? Why do these things have to destroy lives and break hearts?!" He stands there for a second before stomping out of the place "Son of a-" he mutters angrily

 No.717164

>>717162
"Darling I said relax, don't just-"

Voleurz says, before getting interrupted by water. She falls back out of her seat, her hooves knocking into the table dramatically and nearly flipping it.

 No.717165

>>717163
>>717160
Considering his options and what happened with Jesse. Talon takes to the skies above away from the frightening cat Stolas. Avoiding all responsibility.

 No.717166

>>717159
"Oh no, not here. But the guild hall always has jobs available!"

The stew is brought out, consisting of rather poorly looking leeks, carrots, peas, potato and onion, all in a rather sludgy broth. It's better than nothing.

 No.717167

>>717162
My ears fold back as I consider what I've just been told. I'm sure Rainy is just having a bad day, but the townsponies turning to dust upon being cured… That's dreadful news.

>>717163
>>717164
I jump first at the outburst and then again at Voleurz falling out of her chair. Quickly jumping off my stool, I rush over to her side. "Ms.Voleurz! Are you alright?"

 No.717168

>>717161
"But who would benefit from cursing innocent people like this? Why bring such ruin to this town? Are people really that evil?" Her brow furrows, and she looks around the room, gazing idly into the fireplace.

>>717162
Your magic surges powerfully, resulting in a jet of water that causes Voleurz to topple over.

>>717164
>>717162
Dalliance jumps a little at the sudden clatter, head turning in surprise. "Goodness! Miss Rainy, are you quite alright?" She moves to help Voleurz up. Stolas jumps a few feet in the air, while Gord merely trudges off to fetch a mop, getting to cleaning up the mess. "Careful!" he says with a spark of annoyance. "This furniture is vintage!"

>>717163
Stolas' ears flatten as you throw a bottle, while Gord obliges and fetches a dustpan. "Hey!" the cat shouts angrily. "Are you going to pay for that? That's my stock!"

>>717165
You fly up and perch on the roof of the inn, making a getaway while the others cover you.

 No.717169

>>717168
peeking her head out of the pool, Rainy quickly reforms before leaning over Voleurz
"Oh! Voleurz, are you okay?"

"This is all my fault.. i can't control my magic, not well enough for this.. I was too quick to volunteer, i should have stayed at the spring." Rainy continues to mutter, falling into a despair-filled puddle on the floor

 No.717170

>>717169
"Now now, Ms.Springs." Seeing Dalliance moving to help Voleurz, I walk up to Rainy and reach my hoof out as if to pat her on the shoulder. Not entirely sure where it would be appropriate to pat the puddle, I just put my hoof back down. "I, personally, have seen your magic work. It isn't your fault. We're all tired, and I can tell your day has been quite rough. While we are on a bit of a time crunch, there hasn't been a day since arriving we've been allowed to relax and take a break, and clearly it's taking its toll on all of us."

 No.717171

>>717170
Rainy's head reforms enough to show the top of her muzzle, staring up at you from the pool

"Y-you think so? I'm not washed up?" she asks, what looks like tears in her eyes.

 No.717172

>>717171
I take the chance to pat her on the head and give her a small smile. Had I thought she was disgusting before? That was actually kind of cute. "Of course not. Simply exhaustion, I'm sure of it."

 No.717173

>>717169
>>717170

"Rainy Springs." Voleurz says from the floor, "Bloody… alright quiet Vanity."

She pulls herself up, closing her eyes to hide the yellow glow. "Forget the blight for a moment, forget the magic for a moment. Do you want to take a walk outside and calm down?"

>>717171

Getting up, she places 30 bits on the counter, heading near the door. "Heavens, I thought I was supposed to be the upset one. I can't have everyone breaking down around me now can I?"

She beckons Rainy, "Let's just, walk outside for a spell, alright? Calm down and take a proper breather. Others can clean up."

 No.717174

>>717173
>>717168
>bits were meant to pay for bottle broken by Jesse.

 No.717175

>>717168

"No I ain't! And if you think I am you're outta your mind" he yells back with a slight crazy smile

 No.717176

>>717173
My smile falls and I take a step back, defensively holding up a hoof. "Apologies. Only trying to help."

 No.717177

>>717175
>>717168
"Oh dear" Talon mumbles as he heads away from the group as he is flying away from the bar to the other half of the group. Talon couldn't help but feel worry.

 No.717178

>>717173
>>717168
Pulling herself back together, Rainy slips her raincoat back on, nodding to the zebra.

"Alright.. I'll follow you, Voleurz."

 No.717179

>Cinder:

At some point during the journey, you pass out from the pain of your broken leg, and the world goes black.

The next thing you know, a sinister pale bird mask hovers over you, inspecting your condition. The room is bathed in yellow candlelight, and a handful of priests and orderlies are crowded around your bed. "There we are," says Doc Caldwell. "She's coming to. I told you the serum would work. And people doubt my credentials. Hah!" Your vision is slightly blurred, and your ears ring as your head pounds, but you can't feel the pain of your broken leg anymore.

"Take it easy," Caldwell cautions as he gives you a wide berth. "Don't sit up too quickly now. And don't strain that leg. The bones are still frail from being reconstituted by my, er, panacea. So don't kick with it, don't run, don't put too much pressure on it… generally don't overexert that leg for, oh, 24 hours. At least. You're welcome."

 No.717180

>>717179
Cinder tries immediately to sit up, too fast. She immediately lies back, her eyes wide and unseeing. "Wew!" In her supine position, she eyes Caldwell and listens to what he has to say, before slowly replying.

"Thanks." The answer is slow and calculated, delivered with grace but also a touch of irony.

She attempts again to sit up, more slowly. She is more successful. Appearing emboldened by her victory, she now attempts a slow head turn to look at the rest of the room.

 No.717181

>>717180
Your left eye still feels a little swollen, but you can see, at least. More priests and orderlies are tending to the patients, though there are significantly less than before. You see two of the Waters sisters, Muddy and Open, tending to Lady Moonlight, who appears to still be wounded and comatose. Solar Flair is on a table; he's conscious, though appearing a little groggy, and gives you a small smile and a nod of greeting. You also see a few familiar faces in the infirmary, namely Zeke; while his face is completely wrapped in bloody bandages, his large frame is unmistakable. He is breathing gently, and is being tended to by Clear Waters and two others. There are a few other familiar drifters being tended to; a loudmouthed goat you don't recognize is nursing a stomach injury, while a grizzled, humorless old stallion is sitting upright in bed, inspecting a bandage on his arm.

Caldwell gets your attention again. "You were in some state when we found you. What happened? Any sign of the missing townsfolk?"

 No.717182

>>717181
Cinder takes a look around the room, feeling her own body out as much as the room. This isn't her first recovery. She does feel a bit more groggy than she expects, though. She looks at Caldwell, hearing him speak. A small time passes as she looks at him. Eventually she replies slowly, her voice thick.
"The town. Everypony. On the beach." She coughs, and tries again. "All the ponies," she offers unhelpfully. "All there. They were together. Making a…" She furrows her brow, obviously putting a lot of thought into her choice of words. Sighs, shaking her head, lays back.

A minute passes and she perks up, doing her best to exclaim in her subdued state, "Nonagram." She waves her hoof around in the air to illustrate. Unfortunately, this doesn't communicate much because she's also feeling a bit loopy from Caldwell's "panacea."

She waves at Solar Flair excitedly. This proves to be a little much for her stomach and she spends the next few moments staring at the floor wondering if she will vomit.

She now thinks to examine her injured leg.

 No.717183

>>717182
There is a brief but ominous silence as you get most of the healers' attention with your recounting of what happened. "…What's a nonagram?" Clear asks blankly after a moment, as the drifters begin to murmur amongst themselves.

Caldwell ignores her, rubbing his chin under the mask. "That's… very interesting. …I'm going to have to get in contact with someone on the outside. An old friend of mine from my Litharge days. He's an expert in runes and symbols. If it isn't too much to ask, I'll have you draw it, once the medicine wears off and you're lucid again."

Solar tries to say something, but coughs. He's still got the yellow eyes of the Blight, but it doesn't seem to have gripped him like before yet. "You too, huh," he says in a raspy voice. "Guess death isn't coming for us yet."

Your leg seems to have fully healed; you can move it around with ease and not feel a thing. However, you notice a long, jagged scar running glaringly down your leg, spidering out from the spot where it snapped, almost like a broken glass pane. Caldwell meets your gaze. "That's not coming out any time soon, unfortunately," he says, as offhandedly as if he were talking about inconvenient weather. "I can fix broken bodies, but the scars always remain. You'd best get used to the sight of it."

 No.717184

>>717183
Cinder seems not to hear the ominous silence, or Clear's question. She's still gazing at Caldwell. "Draw it. I can draw it." Her eyes are hazy but show slow recognition as she nods.

She tries out her leg. It works. Shrugging at the sight of the scar, she grins up at Caldwell again. "I like it," she says, working her mouth a bit, getting the feel of talking again. "Works just fine. Thanks."

She appears startled at Solar's raspy voice and yellow eyes. Looking pleadingly at the doctor, she doesn't know how to ask her next question. "Am I…?" She falls silent, her bright eyes trailing over the many blighted patients in the catacombs, then back to Caldwell fearfully.

 No.717185

>>717184
Caldwell wordlessly passes you a mirror. Your left eye has a dark ring around it and is somewhat swollen, but your right works normally. You haven't caught the Blight. "You'll be okay," says the good doctor. "Maybe try to pick your fights better next time though. You looked like hamburger when you came in." He takes a jug of a fizzing red liquid and pours some out for you, offering it to you. "You should thank your friend, you know. The weird griffon with the red feathers. He walked you all the way here, from what I gather." Solar's throat seems to ache, so he sits up in bed and listens quietly.

 No.717186

>>717185
Cinder inspects the mirror carefully, putting it down after she is sure no tinge of yellow is in her eyes. She meets eyes with the bird-mask doctor.

"Griffon?" The wheels in her head are turning. She smiles. "Soft. Talon. He helped me." Still smiling, she falls back into the bed.

She notices the cup of red liquid. Suddenly thirsty, she takes and downs the whole cup. Coughs, mutters "Spicy," and hands the cup back, looking down thoughtfully.

She looks up suddenly. "Friends," she explains. She looks questioningly at the doctor, clears her throat and tries to speak again. "Do you know where my friends are?" she manages before another coughing fit.

 No.717187

>>717186
The liquid burns your throat on the way down, but after a moment of intense discomfort, it passes, and you feel better than ever, your mind cleared and your aches and pains gone. It's like liquid wasabi.
>Cinder is at 5/5

Caldwell shrugs. "Probably drowning their sorrows, if I had to guess. Your friend didn't tell me anything, but I'd check either the guild hall or Henke's. It's where you lot usually hang out, isn't it."

 No.717188

>>717187
Cinder eases into her body after drinking the strange draught. Once her coughing fit has passed, she feels much better, much more in control of her faculties.

"It is," she responds to Caldwell's pointed remark. She doesn't see the need to respond further. Trying her legs, she slowly gains her feet, first cautious of her injured leg, then testing her abilities, down to a tiny little jumping dance. She completes this to her satisfaction, then turns again to Caldwell.

"Thank you," she offers earnestly. "For everything." She thinks a moment, then follows this with, "Anything I should know about Solar, or Guiding?"

She makes her way over to the pegasus. "We made it, alright. How are you feeling?" She searches his face as he replies. She is almost overly aware of the fact that Solar is tainted by the blight.

 No.717189

>>717188
"Easy!" Caldwell warns as you start testing your leg. "It's still wont to break again if you go jumping around like that. Give it a day or two to fully heal."

"Just doing my part, aren't I," he says with a shrug. "For science." When you ask about the other two, he shrugs. "Your friend here seems to be doing better," he says with a nod to Solar, "but the Blight is still running its course. As for her…" He looks over to Moonlight. "Well, the work continues. She was in even worse shape than she looked when you lot brought her in here. But we'll get there. Check in tomorrow, why don't you."

Solar averts his gaze, well aware of his condition. "Not bad," he says with a roguish smile. "For being twice cursed with a magic disease. I've had worse from better. I'll survive this. What about you? Heard you were in quite a state when they brought you in."

 No.717190

>>717189
Cinder feels remarkably good, considering her injured condition. It might be the brew, it might be her upbeat attitude. She winks at Caldwell at his suggestion she takes it easy. Sobering, she looks to Moonlight at the same time as him. She nods silently at him.

At Solar Flair, Cinder can't help but grin. She stares into his eyes for a moment. "You know, yellow kinda suits you." She laughs, then responds to his inquiry. "I'm doing fine. This birdface," she jerks her hoof over her shoulder to indicate Caldwell, "is apparently a pretty good artist. Check this out," she stretches her injured hoof and its latticework scar towards Solar. "Pretty cool huh?? Bet you've got a cool scar or two now, too!"

 No.717191

>>717190
"Careful," he says soberly as you look into his eyes. "It might rub off on you."

Caldwell grunts and turns away to treat another patient, looming over him like the Reaper himself. Solar winces at the sight of the scar. "Yeah. Have a few shiners of my own from a few mishaps." He shifts his tunic to show a scar across his chest, dangerously close to the heart. "This one was from when I was tracked by a bounty hunter. Big brute of a Dog tried to stab me in the heart. He missed. I didn't." He smirks bitterly.

His gaze shifts to Moonlight. "Heard you and the others managed to find her out there. Awful state from the sounds of it. Guess things will be looking up once she recovers. Gods know this place could use some good news, huh." He takes a swig of the powerful red liquid, coughing slightly. "What is this stuff anyways."

 No.717192

>>717191
She grins at Solar's story, though she's heard this one before. "You and your bounties. You know the difference between in-laws and outlaws? … Outlaws are wanted."

Following his gaze to where Moonlight is being attended, the kirin sighs. "Getting Moonlight here was my last job. I don't know what's next… we found the missing townponies but it only raised more questions." She ponders a moment, then offers, "It probably would have helped if I had stopped to ask questions before trying to knock them over."

 No.717193

>>717192
He guffaws. "I'll have to remember that one. I like it."

"Well I'll tell you what's next," he says earnestly. "We get to the bottom of this-" he points at his eyes - "and figure out how much old Harroway will pay us for getting rid of it all. Else, I'll have to find a way back to the city. From the looks of this place, not much here at all."

 No.717194

>>717193
Cinder meets his eyes as he lays out a plan. "Getting to the bottom of this, and getting rid of it. Agreed." She offers a hoof to shake, then changes her mind and attempts a hug instead.

"Moonhollow? Yeah, this place is a d*ngheap. There is literally nothing here. At all."

She looks over to Moonlight. What's the commotion over there? How many assistants does it take to assist an unconscious paladin? She moves in to take a closer look.

 No.717195

>>717194
He rolls over in his bed and goes for an awkward one armed hug. "Great. I'm not planning on dying in some backwater cesspit. More motivation to get the money and run ASAP."

From the looks of it, the majority of the healing is being done by priests, rather than Caldwell's assistants, who are huddled over her in prayer, casting some sort of healing miracle around her. Caldwell seems a bit annoyed at being denied of his duties, and is forced to watch from the sidelines as they kneel around the bed holding candles and chanting. "Quaint, isn't it," Solar comments as he follows your gaze. "But whatever gets the job done, I guess. If it'll help them sleep better, especially after what's going on right now, then a little faith can't go astray, can it. Hum."

 No.717196

>>717195
"Yup. Agreed. Let's grab what we can and blow this joint."

Cinder watches the religious ritual proceed. She's a bit fascinated by this kind of magic. "What makes it work?" she wonders out loud.

Looking over, she spots Zeke. "Oh!" she exclaims. She goes to walk right on up to his bed.

 No.717197

>>717196
Solar shrugs. "Beats me. The Twins, I'd assume. I dunno, I've never been the magic type. Figure you know more about it than I do, haha." He breaks into a coughing fit and sculls the rest of the glass of Panacea. "Ah, that's the stuff."

Zeke's entire head is wrapped in bloody bandages, making him resemble a giant mummy. He is being tended to by Caldwell and another orderly, who is setting up an IV drip while the former tests a syringe with some streaky black substance. He is in a coma; if it werent for his light breathing, you'd say he's dead. "They went hunting for bandits, from what the others have to tell," Caldwell comments as you trot up. "Took a few of the other drifters with him at the crack of dawn, searching for Falling Snow and Broken Sword's gang. Apparently they found their lair, out past the train tracks, near Castle Carlisle. Zeke here walked into a fire trap. Almost scorched his whole face off. He'll be lucky to survive." He pulls aside the sheet and delicately plunges the syringe into his arm.

 No.717202

>>717197
Cinder looks dispassionately down at Zeke's bandaged form. "Huh," she responds to Caldwell. "Burns can be nasty." She doesn't know what else to say. "Hope he survives. The guild kinda needs him to pull through. And I'm sure Harroway would be absolutely devastated." She looks at him for a moment longer, then turns away. She has a troubled look on her face.

She wanders back to Solar. "So, how long do you think you'll be out of commission? Looks like we'll be gearing up for some action soon, could probably use your skills in creating some mayhem. Might be even hairier than the last job we ran together." She laughs, looks him over, only cringing a little bit at making eye contact. She looks almost like she is going to say something else, but then turns away. "What do you say? Sticking around drinking the spicy red, or are you ready for some ale and a fight?"

 No.717210

>>717202
"I'll be out there fighting with the best of you tomorrow," Solar answers, rolling his shoulder."Long as it pays, of course…" He ponders this for a second, seemingly coming to a realization. "…Then again, I don't have much of a choice, do I. I can't really leave this place, not in my state. Last thing we need is a pandemic sweeping the country." He looks pensive as he contemplates the state of affairs. "…I guess I'll have to stay here until we find a proper cure. And I'm not going to sit around frittering. If I'm going to be Blighted, I'm going to take down as many of those bastards as I can before they take me."

 No.717257

>>717210
Cinder grins back over her shoulder as Solar begins to talk. As he reaches his realization the smile drops off her face and she turns to face him fully. She gazes vulnerably at him as he speaks. At his final words, some of his fury seems to traverse to her. Flames flicker around her snoot as her grin starts to return. "We'll take down as many as we need to. Burn the infection right out of this town." Her eyes make dangerous promises as she looks him over one final time, turning to leave.

"The town's not that big. Come and find me," she taunts, swishing her tail as she saunters to the exit. Meeting eyes with one of the Waters sisters, she offers a saucy wink before leaving, through the chapel, up into the town of Moonhollow.

 No.717258

>>717257
He gives you a hard look and nods slightly. "We can't let this spread. Whatever it takes."

"Oh I will. Not like I have a choice. Don't know anyone else in this place, do I. Startin' to think it was a bad idea taking this job. But what's the point of whinging, right?" He raises the glass of Panacea. "To bad decisions," he smirks, and sculls it.

Clear blinks and smiles at you, but is too busy participating in the rite to offer any words of greeting.

You exit into the ailing town. It suddenly dawns on you how empty the town is now. While it was far from lively before, now it's practically a ghost town. Only the occasional miserable looking pony trudging about their business prevents Moonhollow from looking completely abandoned. A dark, salt-scented wind blows from the west, carrying with it an air of misery for Moonhollow.

You make your way to the tavern. Barely any chatter or laughter comes from it anymore; luckily, what you can hear are your companions, though they don't seem to be in the best of spirits.

 No.717528

>>717178
Taking to the near empty town, Voleurz gestures for Rainy to follow as they walk slowly. "Rather spooky, innit darling? Can only imagine how frightening it would've been to be chased down by the entire town. I think it's best we get away from the noise of the others, you seem like you're about to melt from all the stress."

Voleurz chortles, her previous anger turning to some sort of grim humor, "This land has been taxing on all of us, it seems. Why, I never dreamed I'd be forced to care about other people as much as I'm feeling right now. It's quite surprising."

 No.717529

>>717528
"Yeah.. All those ponies, completely blighted, standing in the open, unmoving.. And nothing i could do would help them." Replies Rainy, slinking along glumly next to you.

"So many sick ponies, and now you too! I don't want you to turn to dust, Voleurz.."

 No.717530

>>717529
"Daaaarling, forgot about my blight for a moment, alright? If it helps, I'll walk with my eyes closed." Voleurz chuckles again, stumbling a bit as she demonstrates.

"You are one mare, that is an entire village. We aren't solving that problem by giving each one a shower one at a time. Besides that, we haven't seen any of them turn to dust on their own accord, have we darling? I do believe that's just a result of all the bullets and knife wounds we've been inflicting upon them. We've aught to figure out what's causing it in the first, and put an end to that, right?"

 No.717531

>>717530
"Hmm.. the others have been too rough on them.. maybe it isn't my magic then."

"But where could the magic be from.. Do you think we could go back to the beach? I tried to look into the town they were gather by, but cinder got mad and, well, torched several of the townsfolk.." she says, looking away.

"If we could get the others to be careful, i'm sure i can help who we can while we're searching for the cause."

 No.717532

>>717531
"Of course it isn't your magic dear, you've healed us perfectly fine in the past, I do believe it's just the constant noise and ghastly images you've been subject to. Just some time alone from the others and I'm sure you'll be right as rain!" She grins, winking to Rainy with the soft glow of the blight in her eyes.

After she's given herself enough time to get over her own joke, she brings herself closer to the goo pony, whispering, "Besides that, I'm not trusting of bar. If all the blighted folks left the town, what's the bartender still doing there? I'm starting to think I should stick to the dried overpriced drivel that the shopkeeper sells as rations instead - it's why I asked for you to use my own supply for the spell."

She nods as Rainy mentions being careful and searching the town there, "We certainly have some shadowy sorts, myself included. The problem is those with… hotter tempers, as you've suggested. Honestly, perhaps it had've been better if your party had went our way, and our group had went yours. We could suggest it when we get back, of course."

 No.717533

>>717532
Giggling at the pun, she perks up at the mention of the bar.

"Oh? you think the kitty is suspicious? Maybe it wasnt around when the others were caught?"

"Hmm.. kitty was awfully angry at Talon.. maybe we should check on them?"

 No.717534

>>717533
"Perhaps it's paranoia darling, I just don't get how that bartender's still here with every other blight gone on vacation. Nonetheless, they can handle themselves for ten minutes darling. Did you want to try again with the magic dear?"

She takes off her hat, letting her mane fall loose and running a hoof to put it behind her ears. "Perhaps if you'd allow it, I could make sure the rest of my clothing doesn't get soaked as well."

 No.717535

>>717534
The opportunity presenting itself, Rainy cheers up, nodding with a smile.

"Sure! Take your time, let me know when i can begin."

 No.717537

>>717535
Voleurz strips down behind a building, placing, the patchwork dress to her side as she stands out in the night air, blond and white stripes exposed. "Frankly I'm so used to wearing clothing these days, I feel off not wearing it. Alas, tis a symptom of high society." She huffs, looking to the gooey mare beside her,

"Now then darling, take whatever time you need. I'm not one of those folks who's totally lost their mind yet, it's not life or death. Err, yet, anyhow."

 No.717539

>>717537
Setting her raincoat down, Rainy dissolves into a pool, flowing under Voleurz.

With a glow emanating from the pool, Rainy focuses her magic on the blight, attempting to pull it from the zebra and hold onto it in her water.
[1d10] Mend

"I can do this.." she mutters, her voice bubbling up from the pool

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.718098

>>717539
You reach out with your magic and focus as hard as you can on purifying Voleurz. You can sense the sickness within her stirring; however, it evades your cleansing spell, and she remains Blighted. All you have to show for your efforts is a thoroughly sodden zebra.

>>717257
See >>717258. In addition, outside the tavern you can see Rainy and Voleurz, the latter of which seems to have been subject to one of the former's spells. Talon is perched on the roof, while Jesse is nearby looking peeved about something. Only Platinum and Dalliance seem to be inside.

>>717539
>>717537
>>717177
>>717175
As you stand outside the tavern, you see Cinder approaching, having made a full recovery since Talon dropped her off at the infirmary earlier.

>>717167
After shenanigans ensue, you find yourself alone in the bar with its two proprietors, along with a confused looking Dalliance, whose gaze shifts around the room awkwardly. Gord starts mopping up the mess sluggishly, while Stolas hops up onto a table. "It was a day, huh?" he comments, tail swishing idly.

 No.718120

>>718098
I sigh and return to my seat. "Quite a day indeed," I say. "Seems things are compounding mere days after our arrival."

 No.718122

>>718098
"Well now ain't that a surprise. Miss Cinder over here is back. What kinda god d'you got on your side?" He comments surveying the patched up Cinder
"Oh and uhhh" he hesitates for a second or two then putting a hoof to the back of his neck "Sorry for droppin ya n all that"

 No.718130

>>718098
Peeking an eye out of the puddle, Rainy notes the yellow glint remains and sighs, the bubbles breaking the pool's surface.

"Aww.. Nothing again.."

 No.718131

>>718098
Talon squirms from his perch. Looking down a bit wary. All the while nervously scratching his himself. Considering regrouping after his missteps.

 No.718134

>>718130
Voleurz stands quietly, looking away from the puddle for a while. "It's okay, don't worry, try it again love." She says quietly, continuing to look away.

 No.718137

>>718134
"Are you sure? You might catch a cold!" asks Rainy, peeking her head out of the pool.

"..a-and i'm not sure i can cure it just yet.. It's very stubborn, maybe there's not enough to clear away at once?"

 No.718140

>>718137
"I don't care if i'm drenched for the rest of the month, I want you to try a couple more times." Voleurz says quietly again, shivering a bit.

 No.718141

>>718122
She walks right up to Jesse. "Howdy, cowpoke! What kinda god? I'm afraid I don't understand the question. What can I pick from?…

"And. Don't worry." She says, touching him gently. "I've done worse to people I knew better."

>>718131
She offers a wink to the griffon.

>>718134
>>718137

She notes the situation, nodding sagely. She rummages in her bag, pulling out one of the vials of healing potion she bought. She offers it to Voleurz.
"Think this would help at all?"

 No.718145

>>718141
His brow furrows as he looks at the Kirin
"Don't call me that please" he says sternly

 No.718147

>>718120
"Half the town succumbed, from the sounds of it," he laments. "What a disaster. In all my years I've never seen this inn so empty…"

"I've had nightmares better than this," Dalliance concurs, looking disturbed. "If only there were something we could do. But there's nothing. We can't fight this plague." She sinks her head into her hooves. "Did we really come all this way to fight an unwinnable battle? If only we had some lead, SOME way to at least know what's going on. But nothing apart from a cave drawing." She huffs in frustration. Stolas stiffens a little, but offers no response.

>>718141
>>718140
>>718137
The vial Cinder offers is labeled 'Panacea'. It contains a fizzy red liquid, almost like literal boiling blood.

 No.718149

>>718140
Nodding silently, Rainy's head ducks back into the pool, more ripples of energy sent through the water.

[1d10] Mend (and maybe contain)

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.718150


 No.718152

>>718147
"Are we all here, I worry about that cat. I want to confront it with all of you." Talon shakes and dusts himself off. "Something tells me things won't go well if I confront it alone by myself," Talon states to the present group.

 No.718153


 No.718156

>>718149
>>718147
>>718141
Voleurz stays very quiet, hardly acknowledging Cinder as she approaches. She gives her a look with her tainted eyes, face grim.

 No.718157

>>718147
"Well, and the actual location of the villagers. It seems we do have a couple of leads, but not the wisdom or knowledge of just what to do with them." I cover my mouth as a yawn escapes my lips. "But for now, I wasn't just saying that to ease Ms.Springs's mind. We all really do need some rest, whether the others would like to admit it or not. You included, Ms.Dalliance."

 No.718159

>>718153
"The.. cat?" Rainy asks, peeking up from the pool again. "He seems nice, what do you mean?"

 No.718162

>>718159
"He is controlling the blight with him, that one is a blight. A speaking one, but a blight nonetheless." Talon gives a hiss in anger.

 No.718165

>>718162
"Wha? A Blight? How can you tell? Should i try to help him too?"

 No.718168

>>718162
"That's a mighty bold claim there. Care to tell me your line of reasonin"

 No.718169

>>718165
"I don't know if that is possible, seems so different than what I have seen so far. Rather than something obvious. He had the taint in his eyes. The usual." Talon nods.

 No.718170

>>718149
You reach out with your purifying waters once again, finding the root of the slowly growing curse within Voleurz. With great effort, you take a hold of it, struggling with it for a moment before mentally and physically wresting it from within her body. From Voleurz's chest comes a a faint golden orb, just like the one found within the monster earlier, only much smaller. It fades away into nothing after a moment, shrinking and dissipating. You see the yellow glow in Voleurz fade into nothing, curing her once and for all.

>>718156
As Rainy works her magic as hard as she can, the world seems to shift and revolve, fading into bright yellow light. From above, where the sun would be, you think you can see a second sun, like a pair of terrible yellow eyes gazing down on Moonhollow with unknowable, alien intent. The moment passes, and you see Rainy holding a yellow orb like the one you found, which soon fades away. You feel a great burden lifted from you, but also feel exhausted.

>>718157
Dalliance nods. "I think we should have stayed in bed when the call went out," she says with a faint smile. "What about the others though? Shouldn't we go get them?"

You see Stolas looking upwards, his ears pricking up as if he's listening in on something you're not privy to.

 No.718173

>>718170
"I'm sure they'll be back. Did you see the state of Ms.Fabrie, though? Perhaps I should have gone with her to the infirmary. She seemed she'd taken the worst of all of them." I cock an eyebrow and glance over at Stolad. "Is something the matter, Mr.Stolas?"

 No.718176

>>718170
pulling with the magic she could muster, Rainy drags the blight from Voleurz's system, the orb dissipating before she could secure it.

With the blight gone from her eyes, Rainy leaps up from the pool to offer a gooey hug to the sodden zebra.

"We did it, you're cured, Voleurz!"

 No.718178

>>718176
"Great Job Rainy, I was worried there for a moment, but I shouldn't have doubted your capabilities." Talon flashes a smile from his perch.

 No.718180

>>718176
"Well I'll be" is all he can manage to say. "Great job Rainy"

 No.718185

>>718170
>>718176

Voleurz sways for a little bit she scowls off at something distant. She mutters something, falling into goo pony a bit haphazardly as she just barely catches herself before she hits the ground. With a soft chuckle, she grabs for her hat from the pile of clothes nearby, putting it over her soaked head.

"Thank you, Rainy."

 No.718192

>>718173
>>718169
>>718168
>>718165
>>718162
>>718159
>>718152


Cinder listens to everyone speak about the cat innkeep, Stolas. Finally she speaks up. "I'd have a few questions for him, but I don't think we need to jump to any conclusions either way just yet."

>>718185
>>718180
>>718176
>>718170

She watches Rainy douse Velourz. She is not privy to all the information but senses that some cloud has passed.

 No.718196

>>718173
She nods slightly, clearly more worried about Voleurz at the moment. Stolas' tail flicks. "No, nothing. Nothing at all. Apart from most everyone I've known over the years being gone, everything is just fine!" Dalliance notices him acting odd, and exits the inn quietly, mumbling something about going to check on the rest of the party. You are left alone in the inn, save for its owners.

>>718176
>>718178
>>718180
>>718185
>>718192
Dalliance exits the inn, clearly having something on her mind from her expression. She is about to say something, but brightens up as she sees Voleurz cured, rushing over to the zebra and staring into her eyes before hugging her out of relief. "She… she really did it!…" She turns to Rainy then and moves as if to hug her, but is unsure of how to do so. "Th-thank you," is all she can bring herself to say to Rainy. She takes a moment to pull herself together and clears her throat.

"I, er… Mr Stolas is acting a bit strange. It seems he heard something out here. Were… were you guys talking about something?…"

 No.718201

>>718196
"Well, blights and how Stolas might be involved in such. Whatnot. So how are you?" Talon tilts his head looking towards the now present Dalliance.

 No.718203

>>718196
Voleurz takes shallow breaths as she recovers from the ordeal, shivering and slowly her clothing on.

"I n-need a fire, blanket, s-something."

>>718201
>>718192

She looks over at the other two, still feeling weak but resolve returning to her untainted eyes,

"Cinder, Talon - I don't think that d-discussion was proper for the occasion. I could have b-bbeen a spy for those tossers."

 No.718204

>>718196
"Yes. I imagine that's quite jarring, going from a packed house to, what, five or six patrons?" I lean on the bar, chuckle, and tap it with my hoof. "Though I suppose you still have Mr.Gord, non?" I knit my brow and glance over at the skull. "I don't believe I ever asked about your former- er… is master the correct word? Ms.Heineke, was it? I have some time to pass, unless the rest of the group suddenly wishes to go galumphing off once more. She seems interesting, and quite skilled to have such a powerful and, dar I say, entertaining familiar. Would you mind sharing more with a curious stallion?"

 No.718205

>>718203
>slowing putting her clothing back on*

 No.718208

>>718207
>Voleurz is outside behind a building aways from the tavern, pick where you are

 No.718211

>>718203
"Ohh, sorry Voleurz! You must be freezing.."

>>718196
"Hmm.. What now? Should we check the hamlet? There's got to be some reason the townsponies are drawn there!"

"Although.. Talon is pretty set on what he saw.."

 No.718219

>>718211
"Camp, not in town. Watch cycles and sleeping armored. Figure out more after we rest."

Voleurz says, yawning despite making a face seemingly trying to prevent it.

 No.718220

>>718219
"Ooh, that could work! We would risk more townsponies though.. but maybe we'll find whatever is drawing them out!"

 No.718223

>>718201
Dalliance looks a bit concerned. "Oh my. Well. You may be on to something then…"

"I'm a bit better now, thanks to Miss Rainy. So the Blight can be cured completely after all!"

>>718203
Dalliance passes you your clothes and offers to help you walk. "There's a nice fire inside the tavern. Though… do you really want to go in there?"

>>718204
"Miss Henke," the cat says fondly, following your gaze. "One of the greatest magic practicioners the world has ever seen. Back in her time, she had dozens who followed her wherever she went. She gave me new life, and this new body. We traveled the world for decades, researching new forms of magic, exploring forbidden places… She was born here in Moonhollow, you know. Fitting that she lived out her twilight years here too. What I wouldn't give to be able to have what we had back in those days again." He looks off distantly before turning back to you. "But you know what they say about Moonhollow, right? No one here ever really dies. …Er, will you and your friends be staying the night?"

>>718211
>>718219