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/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!
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File: 1552439379232.jpg (262.88 KB, 1371x857, 1552132879519.jpg)

 No.713499[View All]

Last time on TPW…

After entering the town of Gladiolus, the party accompanied the traveling performer troupe to the town's castle, where they secured a meeting with the Sage of the Marsh herself, an old mare by the name of Peat. Peat, upon hearing the news of what Lugh and his underlings had done, was furious, but not surprised, as this was only the latest in a series of crimes committed by druids.

Peat confided that she and the other sage had known for some time of an extremist faction within the druids, who resented the presence of foreigners on Albion, and of the destruction of the land that came as a result of icreasing idustrialization. Said industrializaton was a direct result of foreign businesses coming to Albion to set up shop, buy up land and resources that had once been wilderness and bountiful nature. Peat pledged to investigate these extremists and warn the other Sages of their activities, so that the other three Treasures of Albion could be kept safe.
186 posts omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.716118

>>716112
I pat the goo pony on the head and then look at them curiously hearing them wondering if they were talking to me and stare at them awaiting a for them to continue.

 No.716119

>>716116
>>716115
"Hmm… let's go for the village, then. We can try and approach as peacefully as possible, and if they look like they're not having it we can back off and find another way. Might be harder to do that in the hunting grounds."

 No.716120

>>716116
"Oooh, soft." She pats the wisp on his tiny head with a tiny part of her pseudohoof. To the rest of the party, she probably looks insane. Maybe she is.

>>716118
Turning to Soft Talon, she realizes what she's just said. "Oooh, Soft," she repeats, trying to cover up her outburst, "which way do YOU think we should go??…"

Listening to the rest of the party, Communion offers up her two cents. "The village sure seems like the least threatening way to approach the tribe. Let's make sure they know we're not some wandering raiding party, or any more of those pesky druids… maybe send someone first as a scout?" Her eyes widen as she seems to realize just who that scout might end up being. "Or, maybe it will be okay if you guys just keep your weapons stowed."

The ever-thoughtful gooey pony taps her chin. "This is all assuming that the Wild Magic sprites are telling the truth. They did mention they might mislead pilgrims from time to time."

 No.716121

>>716120
"Hm? Nono, they said they'd never do that, remember? And surely they never would, riiight?" She casts a glance at the sprites, and flicks an ear. "But, yes, village sounds fine."

 No.716122

>>716120
You see Suncatcher adjust her glasses and give you a very scrutinizing look as, from her perspective, you just poke at the open air. "Are you feeling alright, Communion?"

>>716117
>>716118
>>716119
>>716120
"The village it is, then," Candelabrum concludes. Upon hearing Communion bring up the suggestion of a scout, he raises his halberd. "I can go. If they're going to react negatively to anyone, it'd be the guy holding a cursed halberd, I reckon. Anyone else fancy to go with me?"

>>716121
>>716120
"Wouldn't even dream of it!" one of the sprites says, his voice dripping with performed sincerity.

 No.716123

>>716120
I tap my chin idly thinking for just a moment scrunching up my face. "I am unsure, preferably a way that is convenient to choose." he ends up shrugging.

 No.716124

>>716122
"Should me and Pippali go? We've got no weapons to speak of, so that might be a good idea. Though… I don't remember what your cursed halberd is… cursed with. What was it, again?"

 No.716125

>>716122
"I'd be more than happy to go. I'm not much of a talker, but I can try to be as friendly as possible."

 No.716126

>>716123
"Hmm." She doesn't say anything else, just nods thoughtfully.

>>716122
Communion smiles at Suncatcher reassuringly. "Sometimes I just talk. Mouth starts going and I just go go go."

Turning to Candelabrum, "I can't see why we would send the person who is the MOST threatening… Seems counter to our purposes, neh?"

>>716124
>>716125
"I also have no weapon to speak of…" She looks reluctant. "I volunteer myself."

 No.716127

>>716126
"I trust your judgement communion, where should we head out that you think is best for us all?" I ask poking them a bit for their attention.

 No.716128

>>716124
Candelabrum thinks for a few seconds. You can almost hear the gears turning in his head. "Ah! I never ended up sharing that, did I? There's a spirit of war that has been sealed inside this weapon. Maintaining it is a tricky thing. If I don't get into a fight with it every now and again, it becomes restless, and might even lash out against me and anyone else around me. But, if I use it in a battle, and start to get overwhelmed or take too much damage, it'll start to, er… how should I say it? It'll try to 'help' me by taking control, moving and striking for me. The effects, so I've been told, are permanent. I'm not the first one in my family to try – and fail – to break the curse upon it."

>>716124
>>716125
>>716126
>>716127
"Yeah, your reasoning doesn't work out too well," Suncatcher says to Candelabrum. "Shouldn't you remain behind?"
"…I just wanted to see the snake people," he confesses. "They sound so interesting!"
"You can stay and help guard the rear," Suncatcher says. "The rest of you can go on ahead. We've got it covered back here."

 No.716129

>>716128
"Goodness, you and Suncatcher would make quite the pair, no? Cursed and unable to fix it. Hopefully we'll find something to help you both." She gives a somewhat cheery smile, before nodding to Suncatcher.

"Sounds fine to me. Suppose we'll come back to grab you if everything goes well. If it doesn't go well… actually, we'll still come back and grab you, just with plenty of snake people on our tails, or lack thereof." She chuckles as she gives her short tail a shake.

 No.716130

>>716129
"Certainly we do have a lot of interesting ponies in our group, would make an interesting tale to talk about later for my next travels." Talon lightly chuckles to himself.

 No.716131

>>716128
"Oh, that's… hmm. We'll try to make sure that never comes to pass, then."

>>716129
"A little cheerier than I'd say it, but yeah- hopefully, we can find a way to find a way to fix both of your curses."

>>716130
"A colorful little group, to say the least."

 No.716132

>>716127
"Seems like we're headed to the village…"

>>716128
Communion looks Candelabrum over as he speaks. "Violence begets violence, eh? Sounds familiar," her voice is flatly ironic. "I'm sorry that your life is stained with blood." Now she's genuinely compassionate.

>>716130
"I imagine this journey will make quite the story!"

 No.716133

>>716128 >>716129 >>716130 >>716131

Communion looks at the rest of the group. "So… Northwest, supposedly to the village then? No point tarrying any longer than we have to!"

 No.716134

>>716132
"Let us have a feast when it is all over!" I exaggerate doing a fist bump into the air with my claw. "Though I am getting peckish right now." I pat my belly.

 No.716135

>>716134
"Oh! I might be able to help with that," she says. She reaches a gooey hoof backwards over her back and produces her silver chalice, filled with the red goo that makes up her being. It glistens in the light of the multitude of sprites. She hands it over to Soft Talon proudly. "This is one of my talents. Go on, drink it!"

 No.716136

>>716135
I take the chalice into my talon and lift it up to my beak to drink, as it goes down a tart cherry taste hits my tongue going down my tongue leaving Talon licking his beak as he finishes his drink of communion.

 No.716137

>>716129
Suncatcher turns a shade red, noticable even through her orange coat. She says nothing, even though you can practically see a hundred stammering rebuttals puffing up in her cheeks.

>>716131
"Hopefully so," Candelabrum says. "Sirocco's not far off. Like Suncatcher, the stallions of my family who have taken on this task have tried every possible option for breaking the curse, but all have been dead ends. I have been sent out on the Pilgrim's Way, hoping that the miracle that comes to all pilgrims on its completion will be enough. Not everyone believes that the miracle is real, but I myself have seen it with my own eyes, when I completed it with my own father once before."

>>716132
"Yep, that's the way of it. I've seen it happen – the moment the weapon starts to take control of its wielder, the moment the wielder realizes that they've lost control of their own bodies. It's not a fate I'd wish on even the worst of the world's evil."

>>716129
>>716130
>>716131
>>716132
With that, you head up the northwestern path, which is a great, wide tree root, gnarled and old, that connects to the stone island. The root is wide enough for you to follow along side by side without fear of falling off the edge. The long root crawls through the mist-dense swamp, running parallel to the water for some time, until it starts to elevate, rising steadily up into the treeline, though at a reasonable incline. The road winds along the many trees, which as you proceed, start to get densely packed and intertwined. Vines and branches droop down from above, and from being so closely built together, start to form a sturdy canopy. The path continues, until you can no longer see the waters below you through the thick canopy, which looks stable enough to walk on.

You head past a few more loops around the thick and ancient trees, when you hear a high and small voice call out from the murk ahead.

"Haaaaaalt!"

Ahead of you, you see one very small snake, blocking the path ahead. He appears to be unarmed, but wears a rather tribal garb, consisting of old snakeskins that have been treated like leather to become armor.

"No visitors may pass without tribute! State your name and business, foreigners, or suffer the price of death for intruding upon these lands!" he cries out, slithering up to you with his chest puffed out. In the mist beyond, you see more snakes just like him, very small fellows, all.

 No.716138

>>716137
Sirocco does her best to stifle a little giggle at Suncatcher's reaction. It's exactly what she expected.

Once they head off along the path, they don't need to worry about walking side by side, since Siro keeps to the air, flitting to and fro around the party, oftentimes swooping off the root to prod at the water, or tug at some vines, just to keep herself busy.

Once she hears that tiny, almost inaudible noise, though, her ear flicks, and her head swivels 'round and 'round as she looks for the source. When her eyes finally lock with the snake, she leans down, keeping a nice distance, and stares. She stares for a good while before grinning, and standing tall. "Well now, *I* am Swirling Sirocco, and I, as well as my friends, are here to progress down the pilgrim's path. What kind of tribute are you looking for?" She puffs out her own chest, and slightly flares her wings as she speaks, a grin still on her face.

 No.716139

>>716136
Communion takes the chalice back and grins expectantly at Soft. "Well?? How was I?"

>>716137
Communion notices Suncatcher blushing and begins to laugh. "Aaaah, SOMEBODY has a CRUSH~!" She prances a circle around Suncatcher, sing-songing "Sun and Candel, sittin in a tree!" She gets a little too excited and almost dances right off the edge of the giant root, which sobers her up real quick. "Speaking of trees," she mutters.

>>716137
As they approach, Communion doesn't even see the tiny snake guard until he begins to squeak- er, speak. She looks down and stifles a giggle. It wouldn't do to be rude to their hosts.

"We are mere pilgrims seeking passage through the great Serpent Tribe's land. Pray tell, could we offer a tribute to your ..leader?"

 No.716140

>>716139
Sirocco gives Communion a little bop on the head (not that it works super well on a goo pony).
"Hush, you, don't tease anyone."

 No.716141

>>716139
I go to communion and give their slime body a lick. "Pretty good if I do say so myself."

>>716137
Unable to quite hear them correctly Talon leans to them cupping their ear to try hearing them better.

 No.716142

>>716138
>>716137
"Come now, Sirocco. Don't tease them too much." he says, chuckling a little bit and turning to look back at the road. Just in time to hear… snakes!

He blinks in surprise and leans in a little to take a closer look at the snake. "I'm Pippali, and I'm here as a pilgrim. What kind of tribute would please you and yours?"

 No.716143

>>716139
>>716138
>Before leaving
"You will not wake up tomorrow morning," Suncatcher mutters, narrowing her eyes with plain embarrassment. Candelabrum, on the other hand, rocks back and forth on the ends of his hooves, smiling faintly but not disturbed by the talk.

>>716139
>>716138
>>716142
>>716141
"The most valuable item in your possession!" the lead guard cries out. "Or, if you have any in your possession, medicine of all kinds! And if there is a doctor among you, they shall come with us!"

The other snakes behind him hiss their assent to these demands.

 No.716144

>>716143
"Sounds like some of them are hurt or sick?" Talon shrugs to the group. "I don't like the attitude or things being taken away from me." Talon grumbles.

 No.716145

>>716143
"A doctor? Uhm, I'm not… actually, would you mind if I asked why you need a doctor, and these supplies? If you need help, I'd be happy to assist, my friend." Sirocco cocks her head as she asks her question, not handing over the supplies just yet.

 No.716146

>>716143
>>716140
Communion rubs her head playfully as though she was actually hurt. "I'm hurt," she teases.

>>716141
Communion continues to beam at him. "Hope it helps!"

>>716143
She winks at Suncatcher before they depart, a mischievous gleam in her eye as she looks to Candelabrum knowingly.

To the snake: "I'm a doctor," Communion offers helpfully. "Well, a healer, really," she rubs the back of her gooey head, suddenly embarrassed. Sudden concern in her eyes, she asks "Why? Is someone hurt?"

 No.716147

>>716143
Pippali shares a soft smile with Candelabraum, but doesn't say anything else. At the mention of healers, he perks up a bit and gestures to Communion. "As a matter of fact, we've got one here."

>>716146
"Hey, looks like your guess was right!"

 No.716148

>>716146
"It does my lovely goo pony, I do look forward to tasting you again in the future." Talon cheerfully says licking his beak.

 No.716149

>>716144
>>716147
>>716146
>>716145
The lead guard looks hesitant to explain further, then a few snakes come forward, hissing whispered talk into his ear-holes. After a few moments of deliberation, the lead guard approaches once again.

"Our god is dying," the lead guard explains. "Last year, our guardian god, the great serpent that the outside world calls The Filth, was badly wounded by a poacher seeking nothing except his own glory, seeking to make a name for himself by slaying an ancient beast. The wound will not close, no matter what we try. Our god is in such pain that the spirits that are at his command have fallen into disarray, and are rampaging elsewhere in the swamp, attacking anyone that crosses their path. We have tried everything we can, but nothing eases his pain. We have even tried contacting the monastery deeper in the Valley, thinking the ponies there might have some medicine, but they are no match for the rampaging spirits, and refuse to put themselves in undue danger for our god's sake."

 No.716150

>>716149
Sirocco keeps her ears held high, and swiveled towards the snake. The Filth? Hm. "See, we came across some spirits earlier who asked for tribute to keep this god appeased, and claimed that he would go hurting innocent folk if he didn't get what he wanted. I do want to believe you, but can you assure us that they weren't telling the truth?"

 No.716151

>>716149
Talon humms to himself in thought thinking a bit. "I am unsure if they are just making sacrifices to their god, aren't gods supposed to be all-powerful and invincible?" Talon ask no one in particular curiously.

 No.716152

>>716149
Communion's fluid expression goes from amused disdain to shocked understanding to compassion as the lead guard speaks. She turns to the others to seek their opinions.

"So… the Filth that we heard about, the dangerous monster, or god, or whatever, it's in pain. We have a moral obligation to ease suffering, neh? The whole point of the Pilgrimage is to walk in St. Orore's footsteps." She grows in conviction as she speaks. "I for one have no doubts that we must help this being, if we're able. At any risk to our own persons."

Without waiting for anypony to respond, she turns back to the serpents. "I am uncertain that my ability is enough to heal your God, if he is indeed as mighty as you say. I am but a humble servant of the Sisterhood, and of all the creatures of Albion. Big and small." She curtsies, her mass gooshing out around the center and rebounding as she moves. "But if you can guarantee safe passage through this land for my friends and I, I swear to do everything in my power to heal your God Filth."

 No.716153

>>716149
>>716150
>>716152
"As long as this guardian isn't something bad, I don't see a problem with it. We haven't heard much good about this 'Filth', though.

 No.716154

>>716153
>>716150
The lead guard sighs, wincing at the use of the term 'Filth' – seems they're not fond of it. "No… you have heard correctly. Our god is still rapt with fury over what happened; this, combined with the pain from the wound, has driven him mad at times, and he has gone on rampages until he has drained enough energy to pass out. Pilgrims and monster hunters from the outside world have indeed died as a result of these. That, I presume, is why the ponies from the monastery refuse to stick their necks out for us."

>>716151
"Your gods may be nothing but light and spirit, but not ours," the lead guard hisses with pride. "Our god is real and tangible, a serpent just like us."

>>716152
The guards' expressions light up with hope as you indicate that you will help. "We will send some of our warriors to help your passage, and so long as our people know you have pledged to help us, you will not be harmed, questioned or harassed by our people while you are in our land. Is this acceptable to you? Do you swear to it? If so, our village is beyond this point, and you will be welcome here."

 No.716155

>>716154
>>716149

Sirocco doesn't really feel too bad. Not like they've given her another name to call it by. She gives Communion a nod as she steps forwards, and offers her help. "If you're sure, I'll be happy to tag along. At the least, helping him will help travelers along the way, and regardless of that, or any kind of reservations I may have, I am profoundly interested in this creature. I'll admit that I'd love to see it in person."

 No.716156

>>716154
"What do you think Franklin the 3rd? Should we help this group and this god?" I nudge the cat between my wings for an answer on whether to go or not.

 No.716157

>>716154
Communion's head nods as she solemnly looks over the snake people. "Thank you. And yes, I have sworn to do so. I am gifted with the ability to heal and ease suffering, and this is how I serve my God." She sneaks a glance at William, then back to the snakes.
"Does your God not have a name? We seek not to degrade, but to understand."

>>716155
"I admit, your expertise will be greatly appreciated. We should inquire back with the others… We'll want someone who can row the boat, as well." She has a determined look in her eye, and her form is much more defined than it usually is.

 No.716158

>>716154
"Do you… have something else we can call him, other than that? I'd rather not make him upset."

>>716152
>>716157
"We'll be with you the whole time. You're a good spirit, Communion."

 No.716159

>>716156
Franklin tilts his head your way and starts to nibble on some loose feathers in your head. It's not painful, but he's clearly hungry."

>>716155
>>716157
>>716156
>>716158
"Forgive me, I nearly forgot that. Frankly, I wasn't expecting to get this far – I'd always heard the worst stories about ponies and the other equine races of the world. Our god's true name is Raiodh. Do not speak it lightly, or without reverence."

He slithers off to the side, as do the rest of the guards, opening a path before you, which leads to a curtain of vines, beyond which you can see a good deal of warm, dim light, that of torches. "Our village is this way. You can stop here and eat, if you desire, but we should make haste onto our destination."

 No.716160

>>716159
>>716157

"Does anyone have grub for Franklin the 3rd? Would he like the drink and such Communion?"
I ask curiously.

 No.716161

>>716157
The pegasus gives Communion a warm smile, and softly flutters her wings at the praise. Someone actually recognizes that she's useful!

>>716159
She wrestles her smile back down to a grin, before turning back to the snakes, with their much more serious matter. "Well, Soft, they said we could stop and eat, but if we have food, it might be better to eat along the way, considering…" She glances at their new friends' small size. "Well, the portions might be a bit small."

 No.716162

>>716161
>>716159
Communion smiles warmly at the snake. "I can imagine that many who come by are… less than reverent, about many things."
At the last of his speech, she pauses. "Where exactly is the destination?" she inquires.

>>716160
The goo-pony eyes Franklin III warily. "I don't think I'm comfortable with starting that precedent. He's a predator, neh? Perhaps he can catch his own food." She is half smiling with an eyebrow cocked playfully.

>>716161
Communion smiles graciously back at the pegasus. Eyeing the snakes, she nods knowingly at the portion size comment, in a way that still implies respect.

 No.716163

>>716162
"Don't you remember communion on how we met Franklin the 3rd, we found him eating a soul. What if he eats mine and I become an undead zombie? Oooooo~" I make a little spooky noise exaggerating my point.

 No.716164

>>716159
"Uhm, noted. I'll make sure to be careful how I use it." he says, before shaking his head a little. "No need to eat, really. The sooner the better, right?"

 No.716165

>>716163
Communion does not smile. "I don't think you'd turn into a zombie. I think you'd probably just die and be dead. And that would be a shame." She meets the gaze of the cat, a playful grin on her face but a serious glint in her eyes. "We'll need to watch that one, for sure. Last time I fed him, he got noticeably bigger. I don't think it's the flesh he's feeding on."

 No.716166

>>716164
>>716162
>>716161
>>716160
"Our destination lies at the forest's heart, some distance beyond the village. If we leave today, we will reach it by tomorrow at noon," the guard says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M06yl1wupn8

The guards head beyond the curtain of vines, entering the village onward. As the curtain parts, you see a village, built within the trees, sturdily held atop the canopy of tangling vines and branches that you saw yourself rising up into earlier. Roots are interwoven into the thick bed of the village, indicating that there are yet more trees, growing out of other trees, and stretching higher up into the skyline. Hollows have been carved into many of the trees, consituting burrow-shaped buildings and homes similar to those you might see in the outside world, but still with a uniquely snakelike feel.

There are serpents of many sizes stationed about the village, some quite small like these guards, others dwarfing you at nine feet in height. The larger ones have more pronounced upper bodies, comparable to a minotaur's in width, though without arms. They eye you suspiciously as you stand outside the village's boundary, but seeing the guards near you, they do not stop or harass you.

>Paused

 No.716167

>>716165
"Yeah you are right communion, I should take responsibility for him, do we have any food on us." I pull some of my own rations out of my own bag and show it to Franklin so they can feed. "Here you go Mr." I cheerfully proclaimed.



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