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/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!
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File: 1562027091356.jpg (697.08 KB, 2250x1174, 1554960155322.jpg)

 No.720713[View All]

Last time, on PirateQuest…

Despite Professor Shrimp's best attempts at bribery, making threats and pleading, the party turned him in to the Constable's Barracks. There, he would wait in a small aquarium unti he could stand trial and receive his punishment, which would be determined via majority vote by those whom he had conscripted into his would-be army. They collected their bounties, coming in at a whopping 900 gold per person.

With multiple jobs now under their belts, the exhaustion of their hard work, compounded by the heat and hunger, finally caught up with them. Many members of the Beesting started up a potluck, ordering takeout dishes from a variety of Manenhi's more popular eateries. They brought the dishes back to the Beesting, allowing everyone to pick and choose as they pleased and eat aboard the comfort of their ship.

There was, however, an unsettling matter at hand. Cutlass was still nowhere to be seen, and even the Hidden Dagger was missing. Not a single member of her crew was present at the docks, nor anywhere else in town. Things only got worse when Thessaly attempted to contact them via the Caller Conch. Not a single person picked up. But just as she was about to hang up on the final call, she found an answer. It was the voice of Philip the Gentlecolt, and though Alder was unaware of the conversation, he learned just that day of Philip's role: One of the dreaded fleet commanders of the Crimson King.
118 posts omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.721276

>>721269
>>721272
She stays quiet during Kukulcan's spiel, listening with interest as he elucidates the nature of the sunken island. She has no questions of her own, ruminating on the nature of the shared dream from last night. Surely not a coincidence. She doesn't hesitate to sign the paperwork, although she lists the Hidden Dagger and Cutlass as her ship and captain.

 No.721277

>>721275
>>721273
"Of course!" Kukulcan says. "Not to worry, we're taking every precaution before this trip. We will supply your ship with the additional armoring and weapons she will need to endure the trip down there and back, along with magitech and certain charms and spells that will more than last through the journey. We shall not be felled by mere wildlife."

>>721274
>>721276
With a final look of hesitation, Splendid joins you in writing down her name. Her handwriting is rather loopy and well-made. She passes in her paperwork with the other pirates, forming a stack which Kukulcan and Two Reeds take. Kukulcan doesn't let a single pirate go without a firm handshake, and you two and Splendid are no exceptions.

"Surprisingly, there is still much we do not know about Island Turtles," Two Reeds begins, with a far calmer and more reserved atmosphere than Kukulcan. "From what scholars know, Island Turtles never submerge their backs underneath the surface of the water, except in a few cases. One of the only known instances in which an Island Turtle may submerge is if it is sufficiently injured that it cannot continue to swim on the surface – or if it is killed.

"But no weapon known to mortalkind has ever been demonstrated as being capable of even scratching an Island Turtles. During the Century of Blood, when the dreaded pirate Zheng the Hurricane brought countless islands under his control, Zheng used every weapon at his disposal – cannons and bombs, spells that called forth firestorms and tornadoes, even Aura abilities that could level a town – but couldn't kill the Island Turtles, even when he attacked them directly. Only two things are known to be able to kill an Island Turtle: Total environmental desiccation… or a fatal attack from one of the legendary Ancients of the Sea. One of which, we believe, is a beast known as the Hunger."

Nearby pirates go quiet at the mention of the legendary monster.

 No.721278

>>721277
Cloud listens in silence as Two Reeds explains the durability of the Island Turtles, and the reasons they sink. His assumptions on this journey go a little darker at hearing what can take out a Turtle, especially after hearing hte Crimson King is sponsoring the expedition.

 No.721279

>>721277
"The Hunger? Oh, tell us more! This sounds cool!"

 No.721280

>>721277
Her ears prick up at the mention of the Hunger, looking at him with a curious expression. Her mind is on the vision she was shown by the Atlas not too long ago. "What do you know of the Hunger?" she asks plainly.

 No.721281

>>721277
Alder takes note of the other griffon's surprisngly neat and loopy handwriting, figuring it might be worth asking about later.

"I assume The Hunger is a more likely cause than Dessication, from the sound of it? What exactly is hunger?"

 No.721282

>>721281
*The Hunger

 No.721283

File: 1563246365297.jpg (72.44 KB, 450x281, example 1.jpg)

>>721281
>>721280
>>721278
>>721279
As some of the nearby pirates appear somewhat nervous at the talk of sinking islands and the Hunger, Kukulcan attempts to break the tension by laughing it off. "What a way to begin a story, miss Two Reeds!" he says, clapping her on the back. "Let me be clear before she continues: We have no reason to believe that we will encounter something as awful as the Hunger on our way underwater. If that monster was anywhere NEAR this Ring of the Ribcage, everyone and everything in a mile's radius would know it without a doubt."

Two Reeds looks a little embarrassed when she notices how your crewmates grow nervous about talk of the legendary monster. You notice that a few make superstitious-looking gestures, or fiddle with various whalebone charms – most likely rituals for warding off evil or bad luck. She clears her throat, then reaches into her bag. She withdraws a long scroll, and Sir Diamantaire floats over to help her unravel it. What lays before you upon the scroll is a charcoal etching of an ancient mural, flowing with runes and abstract art, resembling what you may have seen in museums, the relics of old and long-dead societies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elj9ijUBiV8

Almost the entirety of the scroll depicts a dreadful monster's body. Serpentine and sprawling, the body seems to be made of countless serpents, mouths unhinged horrifically wide, eyes sharp slits, teeth so real that they seem ready to tear right through the page. Its head is an inky black mass, rendered here as somewhere between a dragon's and a monstrous bird's, sleek and predatory, with countless scales jutting off like a kind of mane. The monster tears through the waves on the page, and with a real chill, you see that it appears to be attacking dozens of island turtles all around it. From each of the islands, a boat rides forth, packed with dozens of warriors armed to the teeth, sailing out to fight it head on. Upon the other side of the mural is a massive boat, a true ark, and at its head stands a singular warrior, a pirate, he seems, wielding a golden harpoon.

"We have reason to believe that the Hunger's attack is what sank Cuauhtemoc," Two Reeds begins. "Legends and ancient murals dated from around the same time as the last historical mentions of Cuauhtemoc all share the same story. One day, a colossal sea-serpent rises from the depths, its mouths stretched so wide as to swallow the sun and moon and every star. It is a being of pure desire, of unquenchable ravenous hunger. Everything and anything it covets, no matter how small or insignificant, devouring everything in its path, leaving naught but a void. Thousands upon thousands of souls are lost to it as it rampages through the waves, roaring and tearing through the world. Only when the people of the islands can build a worthy vessel and face it can it ever be stopped. Otherwise, the Hunger would tear through the world eternally."

"Call it a fable, folktale, legend, myth, whatever," Kukulcan says. "It is the most likely reason that Cuauhtemoc vanished, and if anything can be recovered from that island, we intend to salvage it. I hope that you will also find whatever it is you're looking for, as well," he adds with a gesture at the obsidian vase.

 No.721284

>>721283
Cloud looks at the scroll, reminding him of told historical writings and tidbits of history he'd see in a museum.
"If the Hunger's leaves nothing, then it couldn't have been the cause here if there's still an island left."
Cloud scoffs to lessen the overbearing threat the crew feels over that name being mentioned.

He clutches the vase as Kukulcan gestures to it.
"That's something I wouldn't mind missing. So are we done here? I believe you enough now."

 No.721285

>>721284
>>721283
Alder is a little stunned by the story, and by the idea that something that size could even exist. He starts to wind himself up worrying about what someone could even do if they ran into something like that, before flicking his ears and listening to Cloud.
"E-Ehm… he is right, I suppose. If the island was merely sunk, the beast had certainly been run off- we should have nothing to worry about." He offers, trying to chime in in the batpony's favor.

"Out of curiosity, sir- how does the Total Dessication occur? Does the plant life on the island keep the island turtle alive? I am confused how an entire island would dessicate…"

 No.721286

>>721283
She listens carefully, recalling the vision once again. She shoots a side glance at Granny, assuming she's around, trying to gauge her reaction. "So where is this Hunger now?" she asks, feigning a mere scholarly interest. "Surely it has not been slain yet, according to the legend."

 No.721287

>>721283
Cerulean listens intently to the tale, enjoying the tale and the description of the great beast.
"Woah. Sounds like me when I get extra hungry. Sounds dangerous, but I kinda wouldn't mind going tooth to tooth against that."

 No.721288

>>721285
"Every Island Turtle has a symbiotic relationship with the plants and animals that live on its surface," Two Reeds explains. "Even the soil, the rocks, the very air all around the island, the Island Turtle is symbiotic with that too. But like any other part of the world, it is possible for the balance of nature to be disrupted. Plagues and environmental disasters can seriously damage an Island Turtle's health by killing off the life on its back en masse, but it can usually recover from that. Actually, in modern times, the most common way for an Island Turtle to undergo total desiccation is as a result of uncontrolled resource harvesting."

Her expression grows disgusted. "Black Market investors often buy up unclaimed Island Turtles whose backs are home to high-value natural resources. Mines full of gold and other jewels, fields full of rare plants and animals, forests and valleys home to natural magic wellsprings and sites – if a Turtle has any resource that can turn a profit, then Black Market investors will try to establish a colony on it as soon as they can. Then, they harvest and harvest until the Turtle has no more to give, and it simply falls beneath the waves, a hollow and dead shell."

>>721286
Granny is nearby, within earshot definitely, but she doesn't look at Kukulcan or his entourage, and is stubbornly grinding away at the deck with her mop. She seems to be cleaning an area that doesn't have any blemish or messes on it.
"Nobody knows," Kukulcan says. "But, popular legend and pirate lore holds that it jealously guards the mythical Heart of Gold, circling around the island eternally, biting its own tail to sate its own insatiable cravings."

>>721287
Kukulcan and a few of the nearby pirates can't help but laugh at your self-description. "We'll have to add your name to the legendary Ancients of the Sea, then. Perhaps you shall be the one to make a meal of the beast and leave the Ribcage's inhabitants with one less thing to worry about."

>>721284
"That is what you might think upon first examination," Kukulcan says, helping his companions to roll up the scroll carefully. "But I am more than certain that the island still exists in some capacity. It *must*. There is no other explanation. Nothing I have found in my years of research have ever suggested that Cuauhtemoc suffered any symptoms of environmental desiccation, and both your crew's Accompass and mine were able to sense the island's presence when presented with artifacts taken from it. There is no other explanation: Cuauhtemoc still exists, and I shall be the one to find it."

>>721287
>>721286
>>721285
>>721284
Kukulcan then bows as Cloud implies he should hit the road. "Yes, if you are satisfied, I shall take my leave. Excuse me if I have stayed overlong, good Cloud. As I said, if I may answer other questions you have, then you have but to ask. We shall be finishing our preparations aboard the Thunder Serpent until the expedition this coming Sunday."

He turns to Captain Bee Holder, who nods. "Dismissed, Kukulcan. We'll surely be in touch."
Kukulcan turns and offers you a brief, pleasant wave, and starts to make his way off the Beesting with his entourage.

 No.721289

>>721288
"Right, I'll track ya down if I have anything else I want answered."
Cloud responds to the farewells.

>>721288
>>721287
>>721286
>>721285
Cloud waits until Kukulcan and his entourage heads off the docks, then turns to the party and crew.
"Did anypony else get a bad feeling off that guy and his story?"

 No.721290

>>721288
"Until then," she nods, waiting for him to leave.

>>721289
She nods. "I have little reason to trust most people on this island. But showy, talkative types I trust the least of all. I very much doubt his interest in the island is purely academic as he claims. He is up to something. We will have to be extra careful on this expedition."

 No.721291

>>721288
Cerulean waves back to them, then gives a relaxed sigh.
"Well, that was fun. But I gotta go pick up my beetleband from the repair shop, then maybe explore around the city a bit." Cerulean then heads into the city.

 No.721292

>>721290
"I feel the exact same way. I think we should be careful of what we point out to him down there."

 No.721293

>>721288
"O-Oh… t-that is tragic, honestly. Is it commonly done? Is it frowned upon?" he asks, before blinking "O-Oh! No, no more questions. Thank you for answering mine." the griffon says, bowing his head.

>>721290
>>721289
"Something seems very… off. I also do not like the sound of this serpent business."

 No.721294

>>721291
She looks over to her as she prepares to leave. "What of the arrangement we had struck?" she asks, with a slightly icy tone.

>>721292
>>721293
She nods. "It would be wise to keep that jar away from him. I feel he may covet it, for reasons beyond us. Best to keep it secret and safe."

 No.721295

>>721294
"We could stow it in my room- I have an eye for hiding things where a thief wouldn't look."

 No.721296


 No.721297

>>721293
>>721289
>>721290
"He seemed very…" Paraiba begins, struggling to process all the information Kukulcan and his entourage shared. "You know, it was like he was getting really emotionally invested into all this talk at Cuauh– Cua… that island."
"I'm not the only one who felt that, then?" Chiu asks.
"Academic types do tend to get pretty obsessive about their work, don't they?" Kling Klang says, shaking his head dismissively. "He's just an egghead with a lot of money to burn. I wouldn't overthink it. We can clean out his wallet if we play this right. Request supplies here, or armaments there… there's real profit to be made here if you think like a pirate."
Zerk shrugs. "Well, we've got a week until the expedition. Plenty of time to try to figure out what he may or may not be up to, and all this stuff about our dreams."

>>721291
Leaving the Beesting, you head back through the city's streets, retracing your steps from yesterday evening until you reach the multi-story adobe stone house with the workshop on the second floor. You enter and head up the creaky old stairs, and find the workshop in the back. At the counter, the spider sits, reading the day's newspaper and smoking a long pipe in his rocking chair. On the desk before him, your Beetlebands hang out, good as new and freshly repaired. They appear to be practicing their music.

Kahuan is also there, looking at various tiny clockwork instruments. As you enter, he looks your way, and grins with a glint in his eyes.

 No.721298

>>721294
>>721293
"…Should I just keep it with me then? He can't steal it if somepony is always watching it."
Cloud asks for the group's opinion, looking down at the vase.


>>721297
"I don't know if he has a connection to the place or not, and I might just be feeling paranoid from my dreams, but… You all heard him say the Crimson King is behind this, right? What if they want to find out how the island sank for a better way to do it themselves. Toko was going to use this jar against us, what if this island is some sort of weapon stash?"
Cloud says, genuinely worried.

 No.721299

>>721294
"No worries, I'll be quick about it," she says, trying to reassure her with a smile, "just tell me where we can meet up and I'll meet you there, but with music this time."

>>721297
As Cerulean enters, she waves happily to the spider shopkeeper.
"Hi again," she then glances to Kahuan and greets him as well, though with less enthusiasm.
"Oh, hey again." She looks back to the spider.
"I'm just here to pick up my little guys."

 No.721300

>>721298
"That could work too, yes! If you want to, at least. As far as what it could hold… maybe something to do with money? What if it was a wealthy island? The money gives him power, right?"

>>721297
"I thought I pirate would just take his wallet… but, yes! I suppose we can just be wary and think of what we can do to benefit more."

 No.721301

>>721295
"If everyone else is in assent, it is a viable option. I could also carry it, if there are no objections."

>>721297
"He does not seem the scholarly type. I am not the greatest judge of character, granted, but I can confidently say at this point I know a pirate when I see one. And then there is his mention of the Crimson King… We should expect the worst when it comes to him. I feel we are almost certainly walking into a trap."

>>721298
"Do not take this personally, but given your recent ailment, perhaps you are not in the best condition to safeguard it. I would take it myself, if you are in agreement."

>>721299
"Very well. I will be waiting here."

>>721298
>>721297
>>721295
"Another matter. Cerulean and I have arranged to go on a trip into the nearby vale to investigate some matters. A small commune of farmers is being raided by local Kalphites, and in addition, I have been tasked with investigating some magical anomalies present there in the evenings. Are there any among you that would join us in this venture?"

 No.721302

>>721301
"I would like to go, yes- just in case something goes wrong, I would much rather be there during rather than after… is there anyone else you would like to bring?"

 No.721303

>>721299
Kahuan looks crushed as you greet him with little enthusiasm. His shades slide off his snout, and he has to wriggle his nose to get them back up on the bridge of his nose. The spider repairman, meanwhile, folds up his newspaper. "Morning! These little guys seemed to miss you, and I was getting a little worried myself, but I suppose you pirates are always busy, mmm?"

The spider helps your Beetlebands pack up their instruments securely in their cases. One by one, the four of them hop onto your back, apparently eager to get back on tour. They then turn toward Kahuan with a vindictive glare. He simply smirks back at them. "You should let me get your Conch code, by the way," he says. "Then we can plan a Battle of the Beetlebands whenever we want."

>>721300
"I used to do that, but then I ended up with too many wallets," Kling Klang says. "I was always misplacing my money, my papers and all that. The Captain even yelled at me for misplacing everything! It was a real hassle. So now I just con people into buying me shit. It's not as effective as when Bent Scales or the Captain does it, though."

>>721298
>>721300
>>721301
Chiu and Paraiba perk up as Thessaly asks for companions on the trip. "Sounds a heck of a lot more fun than bartering for goods," Paraiba says. "What kind of anomalies are happening out there?"
"I'm just here to make sure Cloud doesn't become a quadruple amputee by day's end," Chiu says with exasperation.
"Ooh! It's my turn for a mission, too!" Zerk says. "Squatz, you gotta stay here this time. Behave yourself."
"I adamantly refuse," Squatz says. "Buuuut I got my share of fun last time. Monster hunting's not my thing."
"Oi, if you got room for one more, might I tag along, gents and ladies?" Splendid chimes in.

 No.721304

>>721300
"I don't know if there's money in this thing, but that island would definitely have valuables with how old it is."

>>721301
Cloud looks back down at the jar for a moment.
"…I think I'll keep hold of it. I can hear if anypony tries to get close to take it, I'll just make sure I stick around you guys if things get rough."

As she offers an invitation on a venture, Cloud eases up a bit.
"Anything to get my mind off last night, and this stuff just now. Though I did promise to meet those breezies again to help them wit ha few things… This won't be like that Qurupeco job again, will it?"

 No.721305

>>721303
"Hey, I don't plan on losing anything else for the rest of this trip."
Cloud retorts to Chiu.

After the mention of heading out, Cloud remembers the little bag that Sparrow gave him for saving her tortoise. He pulls it out, and works his magic to size up the contents inside, as he never bothered to check it before as he focused more on the cookies.

 No.721306

>>721303
>>721302
"I am not partial to any of you coming along," she replies aloofly. "Whoever wishes to may come. I will not stop anyone."

>>721304
"I cannot say. Apart from Kalphite raiders, there could be anything out there."

>>721303
"Details are limited," she answers Paraiba. "But from what I know, there have been lights in the skies, townsfolk disappearing, travelers finding themselves suddenly in different locations, all sorts of strange occurrences. It seems like a magical experiment gone wrong. We should be prepared for anything."

>>721304
>>721303
>>721302
"Which brings me to another point. Because the events only happen during the evening, we may have to remain in the desert overnight. It would be best to notify Bee Holder of our absence, and prepare for having to camp. The alternative is hiking through the desert back here in the dead of night, which I am sure we would all rather not do. I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to do this. Before we depart, we will have to acquire camping gear."

 No.721307

>>721303
"Yeah, sorry about that. Had a run in with a crazy qurupeco," she briefly explains, and grins brightly to the beetleband.
"Sorry to make you all wait a bit longer, but no worries. Back to adventures and stuff again."

At the offer of exchanging Conch code, Cerulean shakes her head.
"Thanks, but I don't think I really want these guys getting hurt again. Nothing against you," she says to the shopkeeper, "but I just wanna have fun with them without them getting all dinged and bent and stuff."

"Anyway, you guys ready?" She asks, looking to the beetleband members, "we got ourselves a bit of a walk today, I think, and I got a friend who I think will love to hear you all play."

 No.721308

>>721303
"Ah, I suppose that makes sense. I will

>>721304
>>721306
"We can pass through the market on our way over, and grab some camping gear there."

>>721303
"I would not be opposed to others coming along- if you would like to, feel free!"

 No.721309

>>721306
"Ok, so what's a kalphite then so I can know what to expect?"
Cloud asks.
"Camping out at night? I'm fine with that, night time is where I thrive."

 No.721310

>>721305
Chiu slaps your arm – though not too hard. "Don't jinx it! Your wings are on loan and you're down an eye. I'd prefer not to bring you home as a brain in a jar. Your parents would kill me."
Inside, you find 200 Bits, just as Sparrow promised for the job's completion yesterday. Seems that even they use Bits as their currency, just shrunken down for their convenience.

>>721306
>>721308
Paraiba and Zerk look truly wounded at Thessaly's indifference, but Chiu and, surprisingly, Splendid seem unfazed. Paraiba shakes it off as you start explaining what Gullveig shared. "That does sound par for the course. Escaped familiars, or spellbooks and staves taking on a life of their own and deciding to cause some mischief, perhaps," she says.
Splendid's eyes glimmer at all the talk and speculation on magic. Bran, meanwhile, sniffs at Thessaly's outfit, apparently looking for a snack even though he just had breakfast. It's easy to surmise Gullveig spoiled him.

>>721307
The guitarist, who didn't put his guitar away earlier, plays a quick riff, and the rest of your Beetlebands nod in enthusiasm. Kahuan clicks his tongue in annoyance, then wheels to the other side of the shop, where other instruments lie. "Well, it's your loss. See you soon, either way."
The spider repairman shakes his head. "No offense taken, young ma'am. As long as you use your beats for good, and not for evil, my soul will be at peace."

>>721309
>>721307
>>721308
>>721306
After Thessaly's group leaves the ship, and Cerulean leaves the workshop, you both head toward the bazaar, as the marketplace is roughly midway between the docks and the workshop. Merchants are setting up for the morning, but things are already picking up steam it seems. Traders flag down passing customers to make a sale, and town criers pass out newspapers and belt out the day's affairs, stock trading prices, and so forth. Alder even notices the jittery insurance salesman he saw yesterday, talking a mile a minute.
"Camping equipment, camping equipment, where might we find some of that?" Zerk wonders aloud.
"It's gotta be at a good price, too! Don't forget!" Paraiba insists.
[1d10] they search for a good bargain

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.721311

>>721309
"Some sort of lesser life form native to these lands, from what I understand. A mindless rabble of insectoid wretches. Not too threatening to seasoned travelers, save perhaps in hordes."

>>721310
She rolls her eyes at Bran looking for second breakfast, swiping an apple off the main breakfast bench on the way out and feeding it to him.

Reunited with Cerulean, she starts scouring the bazaar for outdoors gear, looking for something for desert traveling.
[1d10] if needed

>>721307
"Cerulean," she nods as they reunite in the marketplace. "Are your affairs in order? I have assembled a rather large contingent for this expedition, as you can see. We will be leaving as soon as we have secured the necessary equipment for the night."

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.721312

>>721310
>>721311
"Yup, got the band back together," she says, letting the beetleband greet Thessaly.
"So looking for camping stuff, right? Hmm…lemme see…." She begins to look around a bit for some good deals.

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.721313

>>721311
"Bug seem to be a big thing on this island."
Cloud comments on the description.

>>721310
Cloud nudges Chiu in the shoulder.
"Now look who's jinxing it. I already got three jars on me, let's not mention anymore."
He pours the bits out onto his hoof, letting the 10% portion vanish away as his part of the deal, and tossing the remainder into his own coin bag. To keep the obsidian vase secure, Cloud puts it in the now empty breezie bag to help hide it, and then tucks it away.


>>721310
Cloud walks with the group, now awake as they start to move, though still wishing he could rest just a bit more. He gazes around the market now setting up, usually a good time to grab stuff when they're not too desperate to make a sale or trying to gouge you at closing time.
"Don't forget food. Gotta have the good stuff if you're camping."
Cloud looks around the bazaar for the usual camping supplies. A tent for two, a pair of sleeping bags, and seeing if the food stalls have any good supplies, hoping they might have the materials for smores all the way out here in the ribcage.
>Quality Hunting [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.721314

>>721310
[1d10] Deal Hunting
"Do you like Magic, Miss Splendid? I do not know a lot about it myself."

>>721311
"Is it a horde of them, or just a small infestation?"

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.721315

>>721312
She looks at the beetleband with a slight frown, tilting her head to the side. "What are they? Some sort of magical construct?" She goes to pick one up and examine it more closely.

>>721314
"From the little I know, Kalphites are a native species like any other, living in small groups. It so happens that one such group has taken to looting the ostrich farms."

 No.721316

>>721311
With the demeanor of a spoiled royal, Bran arrogantly takes the apple, chewing it as he walks along with you to the bazaar, demonstrating skill in how he manages to eat it with only his mouth.

>>721312
>>721311
The lead guitarist of Cerulean's beetleband greets Thessaly with a sick guitar riff. She can see that they are clockwork beetles, rhinoceros beetles to be exact. Though they are small, about the size of Alder's fist, they are elaborately made, a skillful work of clockwork engineering. A simple magical examination shows that they are animated by magic too.

>>721313
"Oh yeah…" Chiu says, apparently only thinking of it just now. "Never took you for such a jarhead."

>>721314
"I fancied it as a career choice, once," Splendid says. "Though, when I tried to learn it as a wee chick, all the tutors available on the island had a very systematic, very scientific kind of approach to it. They put all the theory and calculations and paradigmism first and foremost in our lessons. Never got the hang of it, and they lost patience with me shortly into the lessons. Really, I just wanted to learn to make me some fireworks, and maybe some simple spells or two to help some of the servants around the monastery."

>>721311
>>721312
>>721314
>>721313
You comb the marketplace, comparing prices and quality on the various options that are out for sale. Eventually, you find what appears to be a good median. One of the vendors, who appears to be a humanoid ferret, about four feet in height, is offering camping sets for about 150 Bits apiece. Each set includes cable, poles, pegs, twine, a tarp and canopy, and a bedroll. Though other vendors offer for cheaper, theirs appear to be of lesser quality. A feeling in your head seems to tell you it'd be a bad idea to skimp on the tent.

"We can pick up some food and water rations from the ship on our way to the northern gate," Paraiba says.
"I'm sure Bee Holder will give you some too even though you're not on our crew, Thessaly," Chiu offers.
"This should be everything, then," Splendid says. "Unless there's something we're forgetting? We probably should make triple sure we ain't lackin' anythin'."

 No.721317

>>721316
She is more impressed by their handiwork than amused by their antics, gently setting the guitarist down and letting the beetles do their thing. "Curious."

"It would not hurt to ask. I will return to the ship after this, and see about procuring rations. We should not need too much; it is only for the day, after all." She buys a tent for herself, pledges to reunite with the rest of the team in a minute, and goes back to the ship, asking Bee Holder about rations.

 No.721318

>>721316
"Hrm… have you ever considered giving it another go? There are some talented mages aboard our ship- perhaps one could teach you? Failing that, we could find you some books on it. I would not have expected calculations involved in magic, though… is all magic like that?"

>>721316
"Perhaps a tent or two could be a good choice? We could split the cost." he suggests, before looking to Thessaly.

>>721315
"What is an ostrich? Some form of cattle or livestock?"

 No.721319

>>721318
"No idea. It is what I was told, nothing more."

 No.721320

>>721316
Cerulean buys herself a full kit and tent, just to make sure she's nice and prepared or the trip ahead.

>>721317
"I know, right? And they're so small its cute!" Cerulean seems to be almost gushing with happiness at the fact they're so small.

 No.721321

>>721316
Cloud snickers.
"Gotta have some hobby when we're on a boat for days on end."


Cloud picks up two camping sets, one each for him and Chiu.
"Camping set, food and water, think we're covered on everything."
Cloud comments as the others check on what they have. Though, to be truly sure they have camping supplies, Cloud does do one more sweep for smore materials.
>Market Search if needed [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.721322

>>721318
Splendid seems to get a bit flustered at first, but her excitement quickly pushes that hesitancy away. "Ya think I could ask 'em for it? Was only just a week and some change that I invited meself onto the crew, but hell, I'd certainly like to take another crack at it. Don't have anything I could offer in exchange, though. Oh! I could barnacle the ship for a whole month in exchange for a lesson! Or I could clean and de-bone all the fish we catch out at sea for the rest of the year."

Chiu shakes her head. "I've never heard of magic as being so rigorous and systematic. There's always a sort of mystery to it, something you just have to feel when you use it. Overthinking magic always makes me screw it up."

>>721317
Taking a detour back to the ship, you find Bee Holder standing on top of Bent Scales' shoulders and dictating the chores and tasks of the day to the various crewmates. It seems now that there's going to be quite a lot of work done on the ship itself. Not just the usual cleaning and repairs, but a more thorough kind of renovation, probably in accordance with whatever Kukulcan was talking about earlier with the magitech and armor he would provide as part of the expedition's agreements.

Once that's done, you get her attention and explain briefly your plans for the day. Bee Holder nods, sending a couple of mooks to rustle you up a canteen and a light set of rations – nuts, dried seaweed, some seed cakes, hay, and of course water. It's a bit light, so if you want something with more flavor and substance, you'll probably need to find it yourself.

>>721321
>>721320
>>721318
>>721317
After you get your tents purchased and hooked up to your saddlebags for convenient carrying, Cloud spies what he was looking for, but not quite, either. A sweets shop on the corner of the bazaar seems to be selling marshmallows, chocolate and sweet crackers, but they are a tad expensive, coming out to a total of 90 Bits altogether – pure robbery.

Aside from that, though, it looks like you're all set in terms of supplies. When Thessaly comes back from the Beesting with her supplies, Paraiba flags her down. "Alright, I think we're set. Do you have a map to this village, or directions?"

 No.721323

>>721322
Cloud grumbles at the price of these simple treats, but he tosses down the bits anyways, not in the mood to start arguing with a street vendor at this hour. Smores will be a private treat on this trip it seems.

"Yea,where is this place. I didn't see a desert when we were heading out yesterday. This better not be on the entire other side of the island or something."

 No.721324

>>721322
"Please, I do not think you will need to work so hard to repay them. It will be nice to have more mages, too!"

The griffon looks to Chiu and cocks his head to the side, before shrugging. "I suppose there are different variants of magic? I wouldn't know much, though."

 No.721325

>>721324
"Yes and no, in a manner of speaking," Chiu says. "There's different ways of using the energy we call capital-M Magic, and we call all those different ways 'magic systems,' or just different kinds of lowercase-M 'magic.'"
Splendid looks totally lost.
"…We'll just have to test out what you might be good at," Chiu says. "I did a little teaching in the use of magic scrolls and items for the military, but not so much for using magic as such. You'd be better off with someone else, sorry."
Splendid looks like her hopes just sank a little, but nods and smiles anyway.

>>721323
>>721323
>>721320
While you get the last of your supplies together and make your preparations for the long trek out to the desert ostrich farmers, Zerk and Chiu split off from the group slightly, flagging down passerby to ask directions and what they might know about the situation as Thessaly described it earlier. They hear rumors now and then about some of the strange anomalies reported out in the desert, but not so much any new information about it besides what Thessaly shared before.

Mixed in there, though, is an interesting rumor you have not heard til now. Only a few people mention this, but you hear tell that someone reliable has been hired to stamp out whatever magical anomalies have been happening out there.

>Paused



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