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 No.727864[Last 50 Posts]

>Fun fact, I've been numbering these wrong so we're actually up to 11 mlpg threads now!

Last time on HolyQuest…

The Saviors wrapped up the last of their business for the night before retiring to bed. It had been a very long and very eventful day, and needless to say, their exhaustion gave them a good night's rest.

Amy Thest and Flaming Shorthorns met with Fairy Castle in the Observatory. There, Fairy Castle explained what it meant to be a Witch, and what one's Craft represented. Put simply, to be a Witch was to be free. Though Witchlings are cursed from birth by the Mark of the Crone to lives of misery and misfortune, adult Witches have the power to rebel against that fate. The point of choosing one's Craft was not just to gain power, but to exercise a strengthened Will, to go down a path not because they are forced to by fate or destiny or any other external pressure, but because that is what they desire. Thus, the highest virtue for any Witch was to be free. Regina lost against the Saviors because she attempted to take their freedom, and because she created Replicas and Replicants, and tried to take their freedom for the sake of defeating Mudi. Mudi, Vizsla and Azawakh were also guilty of stealing others' freedom; in this way, they sinned against what it meant to be a Witch.

Fairy Castle concluded with a formal ceremony, in which she, as Shekinah of Wacachan, gave Amy the Arc of the Moon, a special talisman designed to inspire Amy, helping her develop her own spells relating to her Craft. She also gave Amy a title – well, Amy basically chose it herself: She was dubbed "Amy the Inescapable Revelrous Friendmaking Heartthief Hugger." Perhaps an abbreviation would be in order.

Shei spoke with Gadriel and Buiwong, accidentally spilling his plans. Some days prior, Shei had consulted a group of Umbrals via the Augur Grail, the relic of Tartarus recovered from the Tower of Traitors. During this time, he learned about the power of the Sacrifice: It was a special property of Tartarus. Those who entered Tartarus from the Overworld, the land of the living, could sacrifice their lives for another's sake. They would be given tremendous power in exchange, but their deaths would be all but assured. In addition, a life that is sacrificed to the God of Tartarus would be claimed by that God, with no hope of escaping Its jaws. Shei hoped to sacrifice himself in the event that Mudi overwhelmed the party, and use that power to help Amy fuse with Mudi. Needless to say, Gadriel was unable to accept this, but Buiwong made no objections.



Pryce announced his new relationship with Zjetya and River to the rest of the Saviors in order to preempt any rumors or suspicions of infidelity or abuse. Though the Saviors largely had no idea what to do with this information, Rus and Vortigern gave the new trio a toast to their happiness. The three would later retire to the airship, under Zjetya's direction. Zjetya had planned to invite River and Pryce to share a bed that night, given that he would fight against Sir Estuary tomorrow, and possibly die by his sword. However, Pryce and River were reluctant to rush things, and so Zjetya relented. Instead, they and Lockjaw played a short tabletop adventure using Covenkeeper, third edition, a companion book to the mainline Witches and Wargs series.

Little Journey, after much prodding by the rest of Buiwong's servants, asked out Flaming on a date tomorrow. On the advice of _____, the date would start off as a double date with Regina and Box, before the two couples split off around noontime.

And finally, later that night, Flaming was visited by Vir-can in a dream, during which the two discussed fear, death and what it meant to be a god. Buiwong interrupted them partway through, as he had a quest that only Flaming could take on – it dealt with the fate of Vortigern. Though she swore up and down that she was ready for Tartarus, Buiwong could tell that she harbored secret fears that she could not overcome. She longed to see her children and husband once more, and Buiwong feared that such longings would disrupt the Tartarus mission, potentially even getting her or others killed, due to Tartarus' malleable nature. He gave Flaming two options: Assuage Vortigern's fears and bring her into Tartarus, or amplify her fears, break her Faith in Buiwong, and leave her behind.

Though Vir-can was annoyed with Buiwong's interruption, he agreed that it was best for Flaming to take that quest. Responsibility for the lives of their worshipers was among the chief duties of a god. If Flaming wanted to know if she was ready for the Kindling, this quest would prove it, one way or the other.


In lieu of an opening post, we are starting with a timeskip to morning. Please state where you would like to begin, and what you will be doing. You can sleep over at Threecoins, or return to Fantasia if you have business there. If you have anything else you want to do before the previous night ends, such as shopping, RP or other matters, state so and we can tend to that first.


Flaming, having slept in Threecoins in the softest, most comfortable bed she thinks she had EVER slept in (least, in the wake of the arduous day behind her), Flaming wakes up in a cold sweat, remembering deeply the vision she had concerning her god, her enemy, and her friend. She blinks herself awake, looking around the room in the dim light of the dawning sun as she lets out a yawn, stretching out before falling back onto her bed, exhausted.
"What a day…."

Allowing herself 20ish more minutes of sleep, Flaming puts on the red tunic she'd found in Threecoins, grabs her brooch, mirror, and circlet, and heads out into the common area of the abode she was allowed to stay in, looking for any of her clanmates to see who she runs into.


[leaving off from the discussion with Buiwong that night]

If there is an instrument in Buiwong's lair for calling the angels, like a rotary phone or something Shei picks it up and speaks up.

Either that or he speaks aloud. "Ahoy, Malakhim of st. Providence. This is Shei-Sher. I still wake in the world of the living."



The small room grows dark, and all candles and the flames in the fire-pit grow small and dim. As you look up, the ceiling has vanished, replaced with an utter blackness that crawls down along the walls to the floor. Out of that darkness, crawling along webs of silk, you see three abhorrent beings.

Though they have ponies' heads, they have eight eyes apiece, and their bodies have been twisted into the shapes of spiders. Mightily thick, deep brown fur covers their bodies, which have plates of shiny obsidian metal fused into them. They are an awful hybrid of mechanical and biological, with many angular surfaces, much like the angels you have faced before. Their jaws split, revealing dozens of rows of jagged scrap metal within. Some twisting, twirling, probe-like instrument lurks in the shadows beyond, much like a tongue.

Buiwong expands his arms upward. "I didn't have the power to make demons of mortal souls at the time, so I had to improvise, appropriating something of roughly equal power to make them into my own. Transmutation instead of creation. They are ours to command."



Amy spent the night in Three Coins studying her new witch powers. Though, she doesn't make much progress as fatigue finally catches up with her. She falls asleep nearly immediately upon starting. So, she sleeps somewhere in the middle of the garden. And, there she remains unless someone picked her up and moved her. Amy sleeps so heavily that she wouldn't even notice if someone did.



The exhaustion of the day before, along with the added stress from the relationship drama and the dealings with gods, left Pryce worn, nearly dropping out during their game. They manage to finish though, and before the lure of dreams pulls Pryce away, he does suggest they could at least share a bed that night, considering their points on the fight with Sir Estuary.

Pryce stirs in the morning, slowly awakening from one of the most relaxing nights of sleep he had. It's practically a challenge to leave his current comfort, a challenge he feels he can leave along for a few more minutes.


As it turns out, someone DID pick up Amy and move her. Probably Yadala or Zjetyacant, as Flaming and Amy wake up in the same bed, with Flaming functioning as some kind of stuffed animal.


The area you entered was a blur to you last night, given how tired you were after your many fights and adventures. In what feels like the first time, you are finally able to get a good look at it.

At first glance, it is a grand library's common reading space, a massive square room, full of desks, plush chairs, couches, futons, and so forth, centered around a fire-pit. Makeshift corridors, composed of towering stone bookcases, sprawl off from the central area. Beautiful portraits many times your size fill the walls, depicting fantastical and surreal scenes, mostly of magical locations and incredible battles from past, mythical kalpas.

But as Flaming looks above, her mind starts to bend to make sense of it all. Instead of there being a ceiling to this grand room, there appears to be another floor, an upside-down floor with its own assortments of furniture, magical apparatuses, display cases full of magical objects, and so forth. Spiral staircases connect the two levels, as do ramps and stairs running along the sides, and mobius-strip walkways curving through the air. Floating collections of wind chimes seem to be making music out of the morning breeze.

Amy, of course, recognizes it as the common area she was brought to after being abducted from Regina's illusory world.

Many of your allies start coming into the room as well, minus, most notably, Box, LJ, River, Zjetya, Mocha and Deriva. Apart from those six, everyone else seems to be present in this strange reading-room.

As your mind clears away the grogginess of sleep, you realize that the comfiness feels slightly different than it did earlier. You're curled up with Lockjaw (who seems to be using you as a stuffed animal), but not Zjetya or River. You start to smell breakfast being cooked in the kitchen.


Shei-Sher is unmoved by the darkness, but when the transmutated malakhim, perturbed sensations swim up and down Shei's spine. He looks at them with a degree of remorse.

"Was that necessary Buiwong. This- What you've done to them. Why could they not have remained the way there were. They made an oath."


"Oh, pardon me – I was feeling just a little mean after countless thousands of my servants perished in battle against the Accorsian Holy Army, and thousands upon thousands more were being stolen by their cowardly Devas as they abandoned the world to a slow, painful ruin… not to mention what happened to your true mothers and their son, Wrath. Would you prefer I turn them back?"


"I would. Please." When Shei looks to Buiwong his eyes harbor a trembling sincerity. That what Buiwong has done has struck a chord. A deep seated fear. Something Shei-Sher wouldn't wish upon his worst enemy. He takes his gaze back to the malakhim and speaks more casually. "What you've done here is an offense to creation."


"Too bad. Take 'em or leave 'em."


Pryce sits up in bed, looking down at Lockjaw who uses him as a toy. He nudges the deviljho to wake him up.
"Come on little guy, it's morning."
He steps out of bed, sniffing the alluring smell of breakfast.
"Did they wake up that early?"

Pryce goes through his routine, cleaning up, donning his robe, and heads to the kitchen.



Amy wakes up to find herself hugging Flaming like a stuffed animal. When Flaming escapes her grasp, she wakes up. She looks around drowsily at her surroundings. When she recognizes where she is but has no memory of how she got there, she shrugs and tries to go back to sleep.

When others start coming in the room, she groans like a child, clearly not wanting to get up yet.


Flaming groans as she wakes up, looking back at Amy as she holds her like a stuffed animal. Her eyes open wide. "Amy? When… how did you get in here?"

She lightly jostles Amy awake so she stops squeezing her, and wiggles her way out and into the library's common reading space. Flaming looks around, admiring just how much nicer this place is when Regina isn't using it for deadly games. Until, at least, she looks up and sees the 'upside down' floor above on the ceiling, causing her to turn her head to the side in confusion.
"…witches." She states simply, looking on towards the others coming into the common room. Spotting LJ in particular, she decides to go say good morning.

"Hey Journey, get any sleep last night?" She asks, curious if Buiwong happened to invade his dreams as he invaded hers.


>Remove the last phrase to LJ
Flaming looks around the room, spotting Vortigern amid the masses. Swallowing a gulp, remembering Buiwong's warning, she decides to take things slow, and just greet Vortigern in the morning before pressing too deeply into anything else.

"Morning Vortigern. Get any sleep last night?"


Shei-Sher grimaces as he looks upon the malakhim "I know I will be having a difficult time explaining this." Shei scratches the back of his head.

"Alright Buiwong, I am not in a position to turn down help. Speaking of help, let's make our exchange now so I can leave this place and carry on with my business for the night."

Shei-Sher touches his heart and then his belly "Buiwong I beseech thee. I offer my portal and a compartment within my inner sea. In exchange I ask for the replenishment of my soul. Restore it how I once was. Do you accept?"

Shei-Sher sacrifices

>A Vision of Thralls: Twice per combat; Instant; Summon either 1 monster from the “Medium” tier, or 2 from the “Small” tier of the Compendium of Monsters. If “I Dream of Monsters” has already been chosen, this skill’s rolls get +1. Grants one Pet Mastery point. All summoning weakens the Firmament.


>Sulphureous Brume: Recharge 2(minus 1); Ranged; Pick two targets; This effect spreads a mist around those targets which will either increase their damage received by 2 for 2 turns, or reduce their damage dealt by 2 for 2 turns. Effect is chosen when cast.

for 2 skill points.


Lockjaw's yawn is a low roar, followed by a good stretch and shake of all his limbs. It nearly tosses you out of the bed from how much force he produces, but once he's done, he rolls out of bed and hops out, following you into the dining room.

There, you see Zjetya and River, both wearing loose pajamas. Both look well-rested, but they've still left the kitchen somewhat of a mess in their preparations. Strongberry jam, ice grape preserves, milknut butter, and tallwheat bread toast fill the center of the table. Coffee, hayggs, haycon, and froghop tea are also available. The mares smile at you, taking their places at the table. Zjetya starts passing around plates to everyone, and ties a bib around Lockjaw.

"Not the night I was expecting, but just as fun," Zjetya says.
"I really can't believe those back-to-back 10s Lockjaw rolled. He really did save us from that final battle!" River exclaims. "Perhaps you might not want to make combat so difficult, Pryce."
"Nah, that's what makes it fun."

Vortigern nods to Flaming, and nudges Amy with a wing-tip.
Breakfast in garden, she mouths, pointing upward with her wing.
"How… exactly are we meant to get up there?" Busta asks.
"We're in a witch's library, I think we're meant to figure it out ourselves," Wireframe says.
"Technically, the library was always this upside-down and inside-out," Volkama says. "The witches only found it homey; they didn't make it this way. This library is actually what's known in technical occultist terms as a Dungeon. Capital-D."

"I'm not one to go back on my word; not even I dare to do that," Buiwong says with a grin. "Very well. I hope you do not regret your deal."

You feel greatly unsteady as power leaves your body and soul. It's like being punched in the gut, but without the actual impact. You can't help but stumble, catching yourself upon the desk. The "air" gradually returns to you after a little while, and you feel yourself growing strong again over the next few minutes.

That night, for reasons you couldn't fully grasp at the time, you felt an insatiable urge to go back outside, and find solitude somewhere in the garden atop the LIbrary. You wandered about for a time, but it is there that your memory cuts off. Presumably, the exhaustion of the day ambushed you, and you could not help but fall asleep.

When morning comes, and you are wrested from the bosom of dreams, you half-remember a vision you had in the depths of that sleep. Strange, unearthly beings visited you one by one in the garden, a scene feeling so real and lucid that it almost was like you were awake. But those incomprehensible forms, and the strange words they spoke, a foreign tongue you understood completely – those couldn't have been a product of this world. It is only now that you theorize that they may have been avatars of the gods. They showed you strange and wondrous contraptions, devices and weapons capable of things no school of magic or magitech had mastered yet. You were like a child being presented with a host of new, fascinating toys.


You also wake up a short distance from Amy, on another nearby futon, and you see what they see.


"You two have been busy."
Pryce comments as he walks in, seeing the breakfast array the two prepared, smiling back.
"It was our first time, I have a better grasp on the rules now."

Pryce is about to sit down, but notices something off.
"Shouldn't we pick up the kids first?"



Upon learning that there's food to be eaten, Amy rolls out of bed. Or, more accurately, Amy rolls off the bed, face first into the ground. There, she lays for a moment until she dramatically lifts one hoof into her bag and pulls out her broom.

With her face still pressed into the ground, she drowsily holds her broom up for everyone to see as if to answer the question as to how you're meant to get up there.


Flaming looks to Amy, nudging her gently with her horns.
"Come on Amy, it's morning! The day's wasting away here." She puffs out her cheeks, "Bet you'd get out of bed if you could bring a blanket and pillow to breakfast…"

She turns to look up at Vortigern as she mouthes her message, and she nods. "Sounds good to me, let's get going"

She looks at the bizarre nature of the witche's common room, pausing to think as she grabs at her mirror. "I found this in Regina's home yesterday, it lets me look down on the room like a map from above. Maybe it'll show us the way out…"

[1d10] Using Mirror to navigate

Roll #1 1 = 1


Shei-Sher sits up remaining silent as he collects his thoughts. After some moments he observes the conversation and everyone's confusion to navigate the place.

Shei stands up "Ahem. Or I could draw us a corridor to the Garden." With a little effort Shei opens a dark corridor back to the garden.

[1d10+1] dark corridor

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


Flaming glowers at Shei, giving him a sour-faced look as he deprives her the chance of using her new fancy magic item.
"You're the opposite of fun."


"We've got it covered," Zjetya says. "We sent Mocha and Deriva on ahead to bring them here. They should be coming in any minute now."
"That's why we made so much!" River exclaims. "What, you thought we were going to eat all this on our own?"

>Back in Fantasia…
KP is awoken by a splashing sound nearby. Over to his left, on the nightstand, he sees Hopper splish-splashing about, swimming small laps in his new aquarium. Looks like he really enjoys it. Just outside his small room, he hears the muffled sounds of Mocha, Deriva, Sugar and Spitshine talking.

Those in attendance all Ooh and Aah at the sight of Flaming's new handy-dandy item, making sure to get a peek in at the bird's eye view of themselves. Some, like Tantra and Busta, take the opportunity to make faces up at the mirror from where they are, thoroughly amused by the antics.

You follow your makeshift map closely, going around turns, bends, corners, intersections, loop-de-loops, conveyor belts made out of square blocks floating along rivers carved into the very stonework of the library itself, and so on and so forth.

Eventually, you arrive at your destination.

You look up.

You're back in the same place you started.

Shei fails to open up a dark corridor, only manifesting some strange black mist in the general area he wanted to open it.

"Oh, but what's the fun in that?" Volkama complains.
Vortigern shakes her head. Time of essence.
"For breakfast? But is it really gonna be that import…" Tantra begins, but Vortigern silences him with a look.
"Ohhh… now I get it," Tantra says.


"Oh, good."
Pryce says as he takes his seat.
"…Maybe a little. We did have a big day yesterday after all."

KP opens his eyes, hopping out of bed eagerly at the new day. He steps across his mattress to peer into the aquarium.
>"Enjoying your new little home buddy?"
He says as Hopper makes his laps. Hearing the others talking and awake, KP hops off his bed, opening the door to his room to see the others.
>"Mornin' everypony!"



Amy huffs as everyone arrives back to where she is still laying on the ground. She slowly and drowsily gets up.

"Just fly!" she declares moodily. She gets on her broom. She grabs Flaming and Shei and takes off.

[1d10] to fly Amy, Flaming, and Shei to breakfast

Roll #1 3 = 3


Flaming looks down at her map, following it intently as she weaves her way through the library's corridors with the party following behind.
"This thing is so neat! I can see every corridor and turn from above and see what's in them. Okay, think we take this left… then a right… then up those stairs…."

However, after reaching what appears to be her final destination, Flaming looks up, "And here we… are?"

She frowns, looking up at the same ceiling (floor) with amazement. "We… we just went in a circle."

She blushes, "Uh, JUST as I had intended! I forgot something I needed to take down with me." She looks around for something, anything, to grab as though she needed it (she decides on her Wargs and Witches book), "And with that, now I'm ready to REALLY go outside. E-everyone, please follow me-"

As Amy grabs her, she lets out a gasp, "Woah! Okay, just, follow my directions!"

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Well there are about a dozen errands that remain in my itinerary. If getting lost in a dungeon is your idea of a good morning then by all means." Shei-Sher opens up a dark corridor again to the garden. "But I have things to do."

Shei leaves through a dark corridor he opened to the garden.


Also I'm spending 2 skill points on
>Spell Bleed: passive; You may cast any spell you know at multiple targets, but doing so increases the crit fail range to the number of targets +1

have 1 skill point remaining

activating What if: https://pastebin.com/x0gyfzRa
>>Sapphen's Favor: As an extra effect to Phantasmagoria of Conquest, without expending hitpoints Shei can create vegetation that is both tasty and nutritious to eat. All fruits and vegetables that are known to Shei may be produced including esoteric ones.


Shei-Sher sees you come back into the room the other direction. He snickers. "I thought Buffalo were known for their skill in nagivation."


Hopper croaks heartily, leaping out of the aquarium, which gets you a little wet. As you leave the room, you see Mocha and Deriva sitting on a couch, while the kids get their things together. Two pony-sized spiders stand nearby. They are wearing gray knightly armor with a black-and-white spider heraldry. They also have eight swords, one on each leg.

Meanwhile, next to Mocha, are a couple of much smaller spiders. Between them, they're holding a silk stage magician's outfit, designed for Hopper's proportions.

"Morning!" Spitshine says.
"Glad you're finally up," Mocha says. "Breakfast is waiting for us with the others."

Zjetya and River pass the time with small talk. Neither touch their food, waiting for the others to arrive. Lockjaw has to be restrained from digging in more than a few times, and he whines with impatience.

Through your own various ways, you end up back in the sprawling garden on the Library's rooftop. The lake, laying nearby, brilliantly glimmers in the sun's rising light. The air is chilly and bracing, yet the healthy glow of the nearby plantlife dashes the cold from your minds. Though the garden itself did not change between your first visit and now, something about it feels far more lively, as if Regina's change in turn changed the garden.

Over where the feasting tables once sat, a very wide circle has been made of tables, complete with countless chairs. A short distance to the side, you see Box and LJ wearing aprons and chef's hats. LJ's keeps sliding off owing to his fluffy hair. The two stand near a collection of grills, bonfires, and so forth, and they have produced a bounty of meals. Hearty drinks, teas, coffee and fruit juices are present, as well as collections of soups, exotic salads, and well-seasoned hay dishes. A number of fish have been caught, de-boned and cooked, and there is even a variety of meats, glazed with honey and other tantalizing sauces.

LJ waves, and you notice he looks exceedingly tired. Black bags hang under his eyes as if he didn't get a second of sleep. Still, he looks happy to see Flaming. "Heeeeyy! Help yourselves!"


Flaming growls as she leads the way on the broom-stick. "Shut up, Shei! They do! I just… may not be the best example of them. But we find our way across the countryside all the time!"

As the group finally make their way to the garden on the roof top, Flaming holds her mirror upside down, still trying to make heads or tails of it. "Ummm… then we… I think we went the right way…" she says before looking out onto the spread of food laid out before them all.

Flaming smiles as she looks over at Journey in particular, noticing the chef's hat falling off his head. She snickers, walking up to him as she looks over the tables. "Journey! I didn't know you could work with a kitchen! Did you help make all of this?!" She says, genuinely impressed the bull knew his way around a stove.


Shei-Sher grabs himself a piping hot cup of coffee. He takes it black with honey, fondly nostalgic of the drink and ambles over to LJ. "You're a mess." Shei puts it bluntly before gratuitously sipping his cup-a-joe. "Explain."

Remarkably Shei's have dark rings around them too due to his usual lack of sleeping.



Amy wakes up more when she sees the fish. She grabs a plate and throws several whole fish onto it. She sits down and starts devouring the deboned creatures.


"Lead on O God of buffalo." Shei is still smiling, the only one laughing at his own jokes.


KP catches Hopper, not minding the splash. As he steps out, he walks over to the spiders, looking up at them.
>"Cooool… Are these your guards Mocha?"
He asks, turning to her and seeing the outfit in their grasp.
>"Whoa, that looks great!"

When told that breakfast is waiting,and seeing the rest grab their things, KP goes off to get his new supplies as well, keeping the aquarium just enough in balance with his magic so it doesn't spill.
>"I can't wait to show them all my cool new stuff! let's go!"

"So what are the others up to?"
Pryce asks, since it's only the four of them at the table.


"Yup," Mocha nods. "We left late last night to meet up with the others. Vortigern brought us to where everyone was. To make a very long story short, they've made friends with a whole city full of Witches. I left my guards here before I left, to make sure you were safe."
"Just doing our job, folks," one of the spider guards says. Meanwhile, the tiny spider seamstresses crawl over to Hopper, showing off the new outfit for him. Hopper thoughtfully inspects the coat, trousers, robe and hat.

River is about to answer, but at that moment, a Dark Corridor opens aboard the ship. Out step Mocha, Deriva, KP, Spitshine, Sugar and Hopper.
"Sup?" Sugar asks. "How's– who the heck…?"
Zjetya puts down her coffee and smiles. "Three guesses sound fair?"
"Zjetya!?" Spitshine exclaims. "Looking good! This a new disguise or something?"
"Why don't we let Pryce here explain?" River asks.

LJ has to stop and give a mighty yawn, rubbing at his darkened eyes. "N-nooooooohhhh… Box showed me quite a lot of it. He was really taking the reins."
"Ah-ah-ah," Box says. "I may have read you the recipes, but it was you who helped prepare and cook your share of the dishes. Take credit, will you?"
LJ laughs sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. "W-well, we still have to wait until the taste test verdict comes in."

He trots over to a chair, pulling it out for Flaming. "Here, take a seat and tell me what you want. I'll serve for you."

"Didn't sleep great," LJ bluntly replies, hardly even looking in your direction. He only has eyes for Flaming, it seems.

As you begin your meals, sitting at the wide circle of tables, you hear soft footsteps coming from the northwest. From behind the curtains of trees, Regina softly, bashfully steps into view. She has on a white sundress, her mane done in two girlish braids and adorned with flowers woven in. Sandals cover her back paws, and much of her magical jewelry has been swapped out for smaller, more modest necklaces and bangles.
Box nearly hops out of his skin at the sight of her, and happily approaches. He takes her hoof and guides her over to the tables.
"Good morning to you too," Regina says.
"O-oh, I forgot! Good morning!" Box says. "Got a little ahead of myself, heh."
"With how much you cooked, I don't blame you." Regina then turns her gaze to you. "How are you doing, Saviors?"


He takes her paw*
Sphinxes do not have hooves.


Flaming glowers at Shei, sticking her nose up high and doing just that, leading on, as a noble god o buffalo would!

Flaming looks out at the spread made before them, utterly impressed. "W-woah… this all looks so great. I can't believe you helped make all this." She looks at Box and Journey, then frowns as LJ rubs at his darkened eyes. "How late did you two work on all this? Journey, you look exhausted."

She sits down in to the chair he pulls out for her, but looks to him before taking a bite. "You sure you don't need a nap or anything? I can tell you how good it all tastes after you wake up."

As Regina enters, Flaming looks up at her, similarly (but not as much as Box) wowed by her appearance. "Woah. REgina, you look like a whole new pony…cat…ponycat?" She says, forgetting what a 'sphinx' was.
"And, I'm doing pretty okay. Had a weird dream but, I can talk about that later…" she says, trying not to look in Vortigern's direction. "How about you, Regina?"


>"You guys got to go to a city full of witches? That sounds amazing."
KP responds, before turning to the guards. He salutes respectfully.
>"Thank you for your service, sirs."
He says, also with respect as he would if he was full grown after his knight training, but he also can't help but chuckle a little from having spider guards.

>"Oh cool, they look perfect!"

He says as the seamstresses show Hopper his new duds.
He says to them.

Pryce turns as he sees the corridor open and the others step in. He gets up from his seat, horn lighting to grab the aquarium from KP just to get that aside before a mess.
>"Zjetya?! Whoaaa, you look all fiery and cool!"
KP says in amazing, walking up for a closer look.

Pryce comes back to the table, realizing that the children are the only ones out of the loop.
"Right. Well…" He clears his throat, trying to consider how to word this for them, "The three of us, River, Zjetya, and I, are in a relationship now. And from that, Zjetya had a metamorphosis into this new form."
He explains. Whether it's the smaller crowd, or that they spent the night together, but he feels more confident this time.
KP looks up in silence for a moment.
>"…You can do that?"
He questions, mostly to the relationship part.



"Great! Now that I have food!" Amy says between bites of fish.


>"Didn't sleep great,"
"Hm. Fantastic." Shei sips some more coffee "A small tithe to Sabuul should fix that."

Regina catches Shei's eye for a while as he watches her make her way through garden, all gussied up. Shei double takes to the feast "Ah, that explains all the food. Completely forgot you had a special day today Box."

>"How are you doing, Saviors?"

Good morning. Thank you for allowing us the night in your home." Shei-Sher finishes his coffee and finally sits himself to eat some salad and try out the glazed. He puts a single cutlet onto his plate in case he does not like it.

Shei-Sher asks to anyone present at the table "Has anyone seen Gadriel? I have not seen hide or tail of him since last night."


"We've only been up a little over an hour," LJ says. "Sun was already up when we started. I tend to get up at sunrise, so I even slept in…"

He tosses his head and blinks rapidly, trying to shake off the feelings. "Just… it's just those weird dreams I told you about yesterday. Had more of them, you know? I should be okay once I get some food in me. Cooking all this without being able to chow down beforehand has been driving me crazy."

Regina smiles. "Better than I have in a long time. I really do feel like a whole new catpony," she smirks at Flaming.
With a snap of her claws, Regina produces a very large couch for her to lounge upon. Box, visibly sweating, rolls up a tray with food for her, including plenty of fish. Though the food is comically small in comparison to her, she bends down, allowing Box to feed her.
"So, what are we doing first?" Regina asks. "I have a few things in mind, if you'd like."
"I heard something about a board game being put on, and so I think we can start with that, if there's no objections?" Box asks.

The spider guard tousles KP's mane, and the seamstresses bow, all seeming quite happy from the thanks.

Zjetya shrugs. "We're doing it now."
"F-for a time," River says. "Just so we're clear, I agreed to test this unorthodox situation for a month before making my final decision."
Sugar nods. "Well, both Mr. Pryce and Ms. Zjetya are good ponies. You should be in good hooves."
Spitshine is silent, his expression flat.
The others seem to take no notice as they get to their meals, digging in at last.
Mocha opens another dark corridor. "I don't mean to run off, but the others have their own breakfast planned, and I want to be there to support LJ. Poor guy's nerves are fried from anticipation. You guys enjoy yourselves, then stop by to say hello, won't you?"
Deriva waves farewell.

It's actually very well done, if somewhat foreign in taste. You're not sure who made it, but though it is exotic, it is very competently prepared.
"Oh, your brother, I take it?" Regina asks. "He wandered a little near my palace last night. I saw he was in a terrible mood, so I offered him a tent. He took it and set up his own camp under the stars. I didn't see him this morning, but I did inform him of breakfast last night. I fancy he should be on his way soon."



"Catpony?" Amy asks with sudden interest.

"Okay, I've been meaning to ask this for a while now. Are you REALLY a sphinx? Is that what you were born as?"


Regina tilts her head. "Yes! I know you never ended up fighting me, so you never touched my body, but this isn't an illusion. You don't believe me? Have a touch if you want."

She extends her paw to you.



"I DID hug you," Amy points out.

"Your other illusions have felt real too, by the way," she adds as she pokes Regina's paw curiously.


Shei-Sher puts down his utensils. "I should go look for him. If you'll excuse me." he leaves his dish unfinished. And leaves for Regina's palace in search of Gadriel's tent. Maybe he'll see him on his way.


"It is unorthodox, but it was the best thing I could see to work for us."
Pryce answers with Zjetya and River. KP looks between the three, and smiles.
>"If you're all happy then it's great! Seems a lot easier for everypony when you don't need to pick between each other."
KP takes his seat, and Pryce helps serve some of the breakfast, giving Lockjaw and extra helping of haycon along with a few treats he has left over in reward for waiting patiently for so long. KP sets Hopper down next to him, happily biting into some toast with a generous helping of jam.
>"So you all visited a city of witches? What was it like?"
"It's interesting, you'll see it soon. We're parked there right now."
>"We're here already? I can't wait to see all the magic they have! Oh! Also look at all the cool new stuff I got. I met some cool ponies and they gave me some stuff to learn Beast Mastery!"
KP says with an excited voice to Pryce, River, and Zjetya, taking out his grimoire and diary, and showing off Hopper's outfit.

Pryce takes a sip of his coffee first to start the morning, getting a serving of hayggs and haycon. He notices Spitshine's flat expression, looking over to the colt.
"Are you alright Spitshine?"


"Oh, yeah…" Regina muses. "Clearly, the first one didn't take. I require another one."
Regina is extremely soft and plush, with luxuriously smooth fur.
Box looks visibly annoyed.
"Well, you may wish to use some kind of anti-magic upon me if you're not convinced. I've done such a good job with my magic I can't even prove my own existence. Illusionists of lesser stuff would kill to have such a dilemma.


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief, "Phew, okay that's a little better." She smirks, "You were yawning so hard I thought you didn't get any sleep at all last night or something. You'll be fine, you're tougher than that."

As he mentions the dreams, she frowns, "Huh… funny story about that, but, I can wait to tell you after I try your breakfast. What should I try first, the soups? Some of the toast or jam, or…" she pauses, taking a look towards the hayggs. "Ooh… what's those?" She asks, reaching over to take a mouthful

Flaming chcukles, "WellI'm glad you do! You look pretty, too."

As she asks aloud what she had in mind, her eyes open wide, "OH! Uh, if you want, I still have your Wargs and Witches game! I spent a little time last night reading… well okay I had Rus-Tea helping me read it, but I think I get the gist of the rules if you wanted to play later. I came up with a character idea."



Amy can never resist a hug when it's invited to her.

[1d10] for goodness of hug

Roll #1 6 = 6


Even Hopper gets to have a meal, as Zjetya seems to have captured several bugs for him to eat. Lockjaw tears into his own meal, finishing it swiftly. Hopper glares at him judgmentally.
River and Zjetya take great interest in KP's new things. "Sounds like you had your own adventures," River says.
"A chip off the old block," Zjetya jokes.
Spitshine finishes off his own meal quickly, his expression never changing. He uses his full mouth as an excuse to say nothing for a while, before he eventually swallows.
"…Dad used to do that a lot. Have a lot of mares hanging off his arms," he says bluntly.
"Well… it's not exactly the same here," Zjetya says.
"I guess."

"Hayggs!" LJ says, scooping you up a plateful, as well as some soups to go with it. "Try it with haycon too. It's an iconic combination for a reason.
Quite simply, the hayggs are the best you've ever had.

Box starts vibrating in place when Amy hugs Regina. Regina's hug is like being immersed in a big, sweet-smelling blanket. Regina eventually lets her go through. "That's just what I was going to suggest," Regina says. "We can use some of the stories you didn't go into as a campaign grounds. Though, it won't be as intense as what you faced yesterday, heheheh."

After quite a bit of wandering, you emerge from the garden's small forests into the plains that surround Regina's tree-house palace. Yonder, among the rocky horizon, you see Gadriel sitting near an animal-pelt tent. He seems to be making a small cairn out of rocks, but each time he builds it up, he slaps it down again with a look of bitter frustration.


Shei-Sher stands by Gadd's tent watching him do his thing for a while. Letting the remorse build up inside himself before speaking up "Gadds. Come, Little Journey and Box cooked a feast for breakfast. Really, it's all quite good.. A warm meal soothes the soul."


Gadriel just sits there, not even looking your way.


"Beast Mastery?"
>"Yea! It's this cool way to train and do stuff with your pets! I got Hopper all set up with it!"
He beams with pride as Zjetya and River show interest in his new toys.
>"Yup. I'll have my own magic shows going with Hopper soon enough!"

Pryce isn't sure how to respond to Spitshine's comment. He can only imagine how a slaver would go with that lifestyle, but that is Spitshine's father, and being openly negative of him wouldn't be right in front of Spitshine.
"River and Zjetya are the only mares I will ever consider. I chose and offered this because I care about their happiness, not for my own selfishness."
Pryce says to reassure.


Flaming takes a big bite of the hayggs and haycon, chewing them slowly in her mouth as she enjoys the sweet, savory combination. She melts into her chair, lost in flavor before swallowing. "Aaah… by the spirits, that's good!" She takes another bite, downing it with a small side of soup she pours for herself (as well as one additional bowl of especially spicy bisque for Spark), before turning over towards Journey, grabbing some haycon, "This is amazing, you're a genius!" She says, putting some haycon into his mouth. "Now you eat up too, you got to get your energy back after putting in this much work!" She commands him as she feeds him a bit of his own breakfast.

Flaming laughs, "Trust me, Regina, after yesterday, I could use less intense… no offense, your games were really REALLY fun but, I could do with something a bit more down to Earth. I'd love to try one of your other stories we didn't get a chance to go into. Want to set up right after breakfast? I read these games can take a while."



Amy looks at Box vibrating. "Do you want a hug too, Box?" Amy asks with a grin.


"You guys want to… play a game? The day before Tartarus?" Amy asks, cocking her head nervously.

"I… was just thinking about working on my witchy powers. I can't believe I'm the one saying we SHOULDN'T have fun…"


Flaming frowns, "I- I know, that sounds weird, but, I guess I just really want to try it just once you know? Before going in. I know I probably have better things I should be doing, like figuring out how to get this god-thing right, but, you know… when's the next chance we'll get?"



Amy frowns. "I'm sorry, you're right," she says softly.


Shei-Sher sits beside Gadriel. "Come spend the day with me. Spend some time together while we still have it. And even still, the end is not guaranteed. I've escaped the brink of death a number of times now. You never know."


"And we said yes because it was what we wanted of our own free will," River adds.
Spitshine doesn't offer a response. By the grimace on his face, it seems like hearing these rebuttals have only caused him to shut down with frustration. He just collects the empty plates and takes them to the sink.
Sugar gulps, the awkwardness getting to her. "Wh-why don't we go see the others soon? I'd like to meet those Witches you've all met."

Spark squeaks with delight as he slurps up the spicy broth, occasionally burping out tiny plumes of fire.
LJ laughs, grabbing himself a plate of pancakes to complement the hayggs and haycon. Occasionally he'll dip one of your haycon pieces into the syrup, going on some kind of ramble about how the maple and the grease of the haycon mix in such and such ways. You've never seen this kind of culinary expertise from him. He trails off now and again from being tired, but a few cups of coffee seems to perk him up.

"In a manner of speaking," Box mumbles. It's clear what he really wants.

Regina holds up a claw. "Well, it's up to you. Amy, I can make the campaign something in which you can practice as intently as you want. But, Flaming might find it a little too intense for her tastes after what you endured yesterday."
The others take note of this conversation, and start talking among themselves. From what you overhear, they seem to be divided down the line. Some, like _____, Blessings and Volkama, want to get in as much training as they can. Others, such as Wireframe and Busta, sound like they would much rather take it easy, keeping their minds free for one final day of relaxation before the next stage of their quest.
"We don't all have to do everything as a group, honestly," Blessings says. "After all, it's their date. Why don't we go check in on other things? Cover our bases?"
"Oh, right!" Rus Tea says. "I need to check in with the rest of the Choir. Amy, Flaming, I don't know if you heard, but Doctor Galton arrived here last night. She says she wanted to speak to you. You are Ecclesian soldiers, after all."
"Oh, right," Regina says. "I met with her last night. A most curious, laconic woman."

Gadriel turns away, rubbing at his eyes for a few moments. "…Can you escape this… this 'Sacrifice' thing?"

The answer to that, as you remember all too clearly, is no.



"Well then I guess first thing we should do is talk to that Galton lady," Amy says with a nod.

She looks to Flaming. "Ready to go? We can play later."


Pryce feels guilty as Spitshine goes silent for the rest of breakfast. What River said about this lifestyle being barbaric comes back to mind, and Spitshine's father likely went down the route with it. For now he leaves the topic off, not pushing it further on the colt.
>"Yea! Let's go see the witches!"
"Right. You three can set your stuff away while we clean up, then we'll go meet up with the others."
Pryce says at the topic chance. He finishes off his haycon and hayggs, taking a piece of toast with a spread of butter and jelly and clearing off the rest of his coffee. KP goes off to find a good spot for the aquarium while Pryce helps River and Zjetya put the dishes away and clean up. As they do the dishes, Pryce gives Zjetya a kiss on the cheek so she can have a proper breakfast serving of love, and then gives River a kiss as well to not leave her out.

Once they're all ready, Pryce gathers them all, pets included, to track down the party.


Shei puts his arm over Gadriel.
"I do not actually know. But I never do anything unprepared. Everything at my disposal, all of my power, will be used to escape Tartarus' clutches. And I will be counting on you and Amy, and everyone else to leave Tartarus as soon as the deed is done. If I tie my soul to someone else the sooner you all leave Tartarus the more of a chance I will have."


>Memory [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


Flaming laughs alongside Journey, stealing some of his toast and jams to make up for her haycon pieces and taking his suggestions about what kind of butters and spreads to put with her food to enhance the flavor. She says, with an unlady-like mouthful of food,
"This is really good, Journey, seriously. I wish I knew how to cook like this but, whenever I tried to help my mama in the kitchen back in the tribe I sort of excelled at finding new ways to light things on fire. Do you like burnt flatbread? Cause I can make that."

"Galton…" Flaming repeats, remembering that griffon to be quite a bit of trouble, especially where the Mariposan princesses were concerned. "Right, as members of Ecclesia I guess we have a duty to speak to her first."

She nods to Amy, "Right, let's finish up breakfast and go see her. Then when we get back we can decide what to do next." She looks to Regina, Box, and Journey, "You'll wait for me before starting the date, right?" She honestly asks.


The last you saw of Banana Splitz was in Vitral, you recall, in the Cozy Vimana. There, he seemed to be with only one mare, and his daughter, Sundae III. There seemed to be no evidence of a harem or concubines anywhere.

Spitshine is silent for the rest of the time, but eventually does come with you. River and Zjetya appreciate the kisses, but take care to return them only when Spitshine isn't looking. Afterward, once everyone's done, River conjures a Dark Corridor, which takes you to the garden where everyone else is having their own breakfasts.

Gadriel sits there, slumped over, his head between his knees for a long while. Eventually, he stands, clenching and unclenching his fists, releasing tension. "…Okay. Where did you say everyone was?"

"Burnt flatbread is only a few steps away from pizza!" LJ excitedly says. "You ever have one of those?"

After LJ, Box and Regina assure Flaming and Amy that they won't start the date without them, Regina gives Flaming and Amy directions to where Galton can be found.

Regina goes on: As it turns out, Doctor Galton was sent over upon Sir Ichimonji receiving reports that an Ecclesian soldier with a black septagram button on his lapel had stolen bags of Dove Incense from the Witch population. Galton and this mysterious member had come back to Threecoins last night, relinquishing the stolen bags to Regina, as requested.

Doctor Galton also wanted to retrieve the bodies of several escapees from Vitral. Following Metatron's attack on Vitral, some of the initial escapees managed to get some distance north before succumbing to the strange disease that turned their bodies to glass. A few of the Witches loyal to Regina at the time discovered their bodies and brought them to Threecoins, to be placed under Regina's care. (You remember hearing about this from the three Witches you met when first arriving here).

"ANYWAY, you'll find her in the Observatory… hopefully. That's where I told her to wait, after all," Regina finally concludes.

It's at this point that Pryce, Zjetya, River, Sugar, Spitshine, KP, Hopper and Lockjaw arrive at the picnic grounds via Dark Corridor.


"In the garden." Shei stands "Follow me." Shei leads Gadriel back to the breakfast table.


Pryce wonders if Splitz changed his ways, or if maybe he goes through various phases on this. Either way, that seems like a talk for later. Once everypony is prepared, Pryce leads on through the corridor.

Pryce steps out into the garden, seeing everypony gathered and having breakfast.
"Good morning everypony."
He greets.

KP turns around in place, circling as he walks forward at the lavish garden they're now in. He's about to comment in his usual enthusiasm, but he stops as he spots Regina, walking over and looking up at the sphinx.
>"Whoa…. You're huuuge."


Upon your triumphant return, the others greet Gadriel heartily. Blessings and Deriva wave him over, offering him a spot beside them, as well as a plate stocked with fish and chips. Gadriel takes the seat, offering only a mumbled bit of thanks.



"So she wants to ask us to do some favors…" Amy grumbles. "Alright, Shortyhorns… Let's go…"

Amy gets up from the table, having finished her meal. She follows Regina's directions.



"Hi," Amy grumbles. "We were just leaving. See you later."


Regina's eye twitches. "I prefer to be called Regina, Queen-Mother of the Coven of Wacachan, and Mother of Illusions, thank you… Pryce?"
"Oh, that's KP. It's a long story," Box says. "Think of him as… actually, kind of similar to a Replica, all things considered. He's like a kid brother to Pryce, not a son."
Regina frowns. "You people are so weird."


"Pizza… I'm almost sure I've heard it mentioned but no, I haven't tried it. Like a cheesy bread thing, right? Maybe we can have some for dinner."

Flaming looks at Pryce, "Morning sleepyhead. You're late! We started bright and early already. We have to go take care of some Ecclessia business at the Observatory but we'll be back soon."

As Regina explains the whole situation, she sighs in relief. "I'm glad to hear they returned the incense. I just wish I understood why they felt it was needed to take them in the first place. We'll talk to them about the bodies, I think they just want to try and help them get back to normal. We'll move over to the Observatory and talk to her. Amy, get the broom!"


"You're leaving already?"
Pryce questions as Amy grumbles, looking to Flaming as she explains.
"Oh, alright. And I'm not late, we were having breakfast ourselves, and getting the kids."
Pryce says.
"Oh, wait, you're meeting somepony from Ecclessia here? That reminds me, we should do another of those cleansing rituals today. Flow had an incident yesterday from not clearing himself, so we should take precaution."

Pryce steps over as he sees Regina's eye twitch.
>"You're a Queen? of Witches? Wow…"
KP says in awe, not realizing his earlier mistake.
"It's a bit of a story, but to sum it up there was a pony who cast a spell to remake my younger self."
Pryce explains.
"Sorry for that, we haven't explained everything yet to them."
He apologizes, and then takes out Covenkeeper manual to return.
"Also, we borrowed this last night."



"Or he could just stop going around murdering," she grumbles under her breath as she climbs on her broom.


Shei-Sher waves to Kid pryce "It feels like it's been ages since I last you little Pryce."

"Did someone say pizza? I actually never made one before. Before we go into Tartarus it is of high import we go without a pizza." Shei cuts into Little Journey and Flaming Shorthorn's conversation.


LJ grumbles. "Just 'cause I can make pizza doesn't mean I'm starting a business! Why do you want one all of a sudden?" he asks Shei.

After you fly back over to the Observatory, you land inside via an open window. Some time afterward, Rus Tea joins you, trotting over on hoof.


At first, it seems like the Observatory is empty. But then, an outline of a door traces itself along the ground, as if someone were rapidly sketching it in charcoal. Once the drawing is complete, that door opens. Out floats a very tall, very skinny crystal pony stallion, clothed in an Ecclesian coat and trousers. He has a black septagram button upon his lapel, and his body appears to be a patchwork of different kinds of crystal, all lumped together. He floats using a small parasol, carried by an unknown breeze. You recognize his appearance as matching the description of the incense-thief.

He curtly nods to you, then reaches down, extending his hoof into the darkness beyond the door. Doctor Galton, a beautiful phoenix griffoness, with a black septagram stitched into her white labcoat, climbs out, aided by the stallion. Rus Tea stands at attention and salutes them, but Galton dismissively waves her claw.

"At ease, soldier. Ah-hu-hu-hu-hu, we were almost late," Doctor Galton says. "Thank you, Viper, for your speedy delivery."
"Of course, ma'am. Though I might suggest that we don't have so many last-second shopping trips when we are scheduled to meet someone."
"Utter nonsense! The Princesses require souvenirs," Galton retorts. She then turns to you. "Good to see you again, girls. Ichimonji speaks so highly of you these days. I understand it's you we have to thank for this new alliance brewing between Ecclesia and the Coven of Wacachan?"

Regina takes back the book gingerly. "I thought I noticed something vanishing from my shelf. My perfectly well-organized shelf, of course," she says, affixing you with a look that reminds you not to speak out about her messy abode.



>"Hey Shei! Yea, a day can feel pretty long, can't it? Especially since you all have been going through a cool witch city."


Flaming sticks out her tongue, "Still shoulda come have breakfast with us instead!" She says jokingly, not really all that broken up about it. "And, maybe that'd be a good idea: I don't think anything Regina had for us yesterday had anything to do with demons… at least, not 'real' demons… but better safe than sorry."


>of high import we go without a pizza."
of high import we go with a pizza."



"Yeah, I'm… gonna pass on that," Amy says uncomfortably. "Obviously."


Last time on HolyQuest…

The sun rose on the fifth and final morning before the Tartarus Expedition. The party spent the night in the Library of the Sacrosanct, having been provided lodging by the Coven of Wacachan. Apart from the Kindling, and apart from Pryce's and Flow's duel with Sir Estuary, there was little of note upon the agenda. They were free to spend their time as they liked.

Today would be the last of their free time until what was quite possibly the most important, and certainly the most dangerous, undertaking of their lives. Perhaps that precious little time would best be spent in the company of friends in relaxation. Perhaps it would be best spent in preparation, checking weapons and armor and practicing with spells and the Primordial Aspects. Perhaps consulting the stars and divines would be in order. Whatever they chose to use their time on, it would be wise to use it well.

Box set up his date with Regina the night before, and Little Journey made it a double date with Flaming Shorthorns soon after. To start things off, the two woke up a little early to cook a massive breakfast for the party.

Once the eating subsided, Flaming and Amy went to go speak briefly with Doctor Galton in the Observatory. Galton had arrived late last night to return the stolen dove incense, and to collect several survivors of Metatron's attack on Vitral, who had fled north before turning into glass as a result of the unknown disease Metatron weaponized. Shei, Flow and Pryce were still in the Library's garden, free to spend their time as they pleased.


>Shei, Flaming
LJ grumbles. "Just 'cause I can make pizza doesn't mean I'm starting a business! Why do you want one all of a sudden?" he asks Shei.

>Flaming, Amy

After you fly back over to the Observatory, you land inside via an open window. Some time afterward, Rus Tea joins you, trotting over on hoof.


At first, it seems like the Observatory is empty. But then, an outline of a door traces itself along the ground, as if someone were rapidly sketching it in charcoal. Once the drawing is complete, that door opens. Out floats a very tall, very skinny crystal pony stallion, clothed in an Ecclesian coat and trousers. He has a black septagram button upon his lapel, and his body appears to be a patchwork of different kinds of crystal, all lumped together. He floats using a small parasol, carried by an unknown breeze. You recognize his appearance as matching the description of the incense-thief.

He curtly nods to you, then reaches down, extending his hoof into the darkness beyond the door. Doctor Galton, a beautiful phoenix griffoness, with a black septagram stitched into her white labcoat, climbs out, aided by the stallion. Rus Tea stands at attention and salutes them, but Galton dismissively waves her claw.

"At ease, soldier. Ah-hu-hu-hu-hu, we were almost late," Doctor Galton says. "Thank you, Viper, for your speedy delivery."
"Of course, ma'am. Though I might suggest that we don't have so many last-second shopping trips when we are scheduled to meet someone."
"Utter nonsense! The Princesses require souvenirs," Galton retorts. She then turns to you. "Good to see you again, girls. Ichimonji speaks so highly of you these days. I understand it's you we have to thank for this new alliance brewing between Ecclesia and the Coven of Wacachan?"


Regina takes back the book gingerly. "I thought I noticed something vanishing from my shelf. My perfectly well-organized shelf, of course," she says, affixing you with a look that reminds you not to speak out about her messy abode.

"Oh, by the way, how did your game go?" Regina asks. "I'm told the first games are always the most deadly. First-time Queen Mothers usually overestimate how much damage a party can take."



"Your neat and tidy bookshelf was how I was able to find it so easily with my magic."
Pryce says, reading her look.
"It went well. I did end up making the combat a little difficult, but Lockjaw has some pretty good luck with the dice."
Pryce says, giving Lockjaw a pat.
>"You guys got to play witch games too? Lucky."
KP chimes in.


"I may or may not have promised an Umbrel a freshly delivered Pizza in Tartarus's Hanger Port in exchange for esoteric knowledge." Shei-Sher finishes his coffee. Seeming almost sad it's gone.


"Yeah, he kept taking all my luck," Zjetya says. "You'd have thought that those dice didn't have numbers over 1 or 2, based on how I was rolling."
"It's too bad," River says. "You had such an optimized character, too. Things would have turned out worse if you didn't."
Lockjaw grunts happily, tearing away at some leftover fish that had went uneaten from breakfast. Regina smirks. "Are you going to want to make it a habit of playing? I can't lend you that book. It's my original copy. However, I have quite many more that I can let you take if you wish."

"Just another day in the life of Shei, I suppose," LJ says. "So, what, am I supposed to cook a pizza just before we enter Tartarus? Depending on how long it takes us to get there, that pizza could either be stone cold or moldy."
"Well, not necessarily," Zjetya says. "I get Rus Tea to read me Ecclesian newspapers. They talk a lot about certain new magitechnologies that the engies have developed. There was a report a few weeks ago about food preservation equipment that incorporates the magic used to make bags of holding. I wouldn't be surprised if the Choir wanted to bring it in for the Tartarus Expedition."


>Depending on how long it takes us to get there, that pizza could either be stone cold or moldy."
"Well how would he be able to tell?" Shei shrugs "I can hardly imagine the food in Tartarus being much better than moldy pizza."

When Zjetya speaks up Shei-Sher is left a bit confused. He hasn't spoken to Zjetya since her transformation so its weird this stranger is talking like they know them. In fact, Zjetya is a character Shei has interacted with the least.

"Erm. My apologies but- Who are you?"


"We should get you a little nametag at this rate," Busta says to the strange newcomer.
"Yes, and some 'before and after' pictures, too," Zjetya says with a characteristic eye-roll. "Shei, it's me. Zjetya. I transformed shortly after Pryce added me to his romance."
"Such a crass way of putting it," River says. "I added you too!"
"Yeah, which was the most surprising part," Zjetya jokes.
River blushes but smiles.


>"Yea, totally!"
KP answers eagerly.
"It was a fun way to spend the night, and it might be good to have something easy to set up during travelling time."
Pryce says.
"Where did you get them? Picking up a collection of our own might be a good investment."


"Answering that would involve naming other Covens, and telling of their locations," Regina says. "I am grateful to you and your allies, but no Witch, even under the pain of the worst tortures, would commit such an act. It is one thing to talk vaguely about one's own Coven with trusted outsiders, but to name another Coven is to potentially send sisters to their deaths."
Sugar looks up at Regina sadly and puts her hoof on Regina's paw. "I take it Witches aren't welcome anywhere in the World, are they?"
"Only a few places are we safe; the same goes for books and other material that depict us as anything other than monsters to be slain."


"OH! That was yooou. There was so much activity the evening of, I was hardly aware of anyone else's business. I merely assumed Pryce was adding Another! to his romance." Shei says wisking his eyes up with admonishment only a second after realizing he's being an ass to two scary women.

"Ba-ah, I'm sorry! I did not mean it in that way. I mean, I hardly speak to you Zjetya and just this morning I viewed your affair with Pryce with complete contempt -This is unprecedented." Shei darts to River "You're fine with this?"


"Don't worry," Zjetya says. "A lot of us view you with complete contempt."
River nearly bursts out laughing, but stifles it. "…I am allowing it for a time. It is an unorthodox arrangement, and Pryce and Zjetya have been given an earful of the historic consequences for kingdoms where it was the norm for the elite to do as they pleased to mares. However, I trust them both, so I will honor their proposal for a month to see how I feel about it."


As they arrive at the Observatory, Flaming looks up in awe at the parasol Stallion, turning her head as they notice his peculiar behavior / poise. She recognizes him as the incense-thief, and gives him a hard glare as they approach.

When Galton comes out from the darkness, Flaming turns her attention to her next, standing at attention as she bows her head,
"That's really kind of her, but we're just happy to help, Miss Galton. And, it's owed to a lot more than just us that the Coven are willing to work together with Ecclessia now, but I'll pass on your message to them when we return. We all need to stand together to survive, I'd say."


"No need to say anymore, I won't pry."
Pryce says in understanding.

>"Really? But you seem so nice so far. Why would anypony want to slay witches?"

KP asks in disbelief at hearing how witches are treated.


>"A lot of us view you with complete contempt."
"Ha.. Ha.." Shei can only mock laughter after that sick burn.

>It is an unorthodox arrangement, and Pryce and Zjetya have been given an earful of the historic consequences for kingdoms

Shei snaps his hoof "Somebody beat me to it." Shei-Sher removes himself from the breakfast "I. am curious- but researching polygamy is a little above my paygrade. So I'll let Amy ask all the inappropriate questions and then I'll go to her for the details."

"Gadriel, are you done with breakfast? I want to tell Amy goodbye before we take our leave. I think she and Flaming left to the observatory."


"It's a very long story, little colt," Regina says. She reaches down to scratch your hair, but stops when she sees Hopper sitting in your mane. "I don't know who drew the first blood, but Witches have been at odds with the mortal world for a very long time. Curses and misfortune follow in our hoofsteps, and many Witches, feeling themselves pushed to the edge, give in to their dark paths, and seek after truly evil magic. I was about to make a decision like that myself, until your friends stopped me."

"I couldn't agree more, young Flaming," Galton says. "Well, anyway, I don't want to take up too much of your time – we all have precious little time these days. The Tartarus Expedition is upon us, after all. So, I'll get straight to the point."
She gives each of you a grave look.
"Surrender your Ecclesian jackets and sidearms."
Rus Tea gulps, her face turning pale, her expression one of abject horror. Her hands tremble.
"D-doctor, if I may be so impertinent," Rus stammers. "Why are we being punished!? We haven't even received letters of reprimand!"
Doctor Galton turns her head. "Eh?"
Viper groans, rubbing his head. "Mind your phrasing, ma'am. First of all, you started off on the wrong item on the agenda. Second, you made it sound like these poor girls are being excommunicated."
Galton gasps and shakes her hands. "No, no, no, no, no! Sorry, I have so many things on my mind at the moment. I got jumbled up."

Galton sighs. "Let me clarify. I have come here bringing quite a few things for you. In addition to the Ecclesians who are already in your party, several more of us will be coming with you: Six members of the Choir, six members of the Spooks, and a few of the Horrors. We want to pull our weight in building the new world, after all. To that end, we will be giving you quite a few things. First of all, we want to enchant your armored jackets and guns, dramatically increasing their effectiveness. I thought that I'd take them off of you while I'm here to save on time."

Rus sighs with relief, slumping to the ground.

"Take our leave?" Gadriel asks. "What's up? Where we headed?"


Pryce tuns as he hears Shei speaking with River and Zjetya about his romantic life.
"I wasn't having anything close to an affair Shei."

>"Maybe now that there's worse things out there than bad luck, everypony can get along with witches again."
KP says in an optimistic tone.
>"And this place looks really nice. I don't see anything like curses or bad luck here."


Flaming at first has an elated smile on her face as Galton congratulations her, a sense of pride welling up… but then as she asks to turn over her jacket, her face drops in surprise.
"Wait, what?! Yeah, what did we do-"

As Viper helps her to clarify her phrasing, she looks on in utter confusion. As Galton explains, how they are sending in more of their number to help with the expedition AND will be enchanting their weapons and armor, Flaming looks relieved.
"Oh, OH! That is MUCH better news, thank you! We truly appreciate all the aid you have to offer, in that case i'll gladly give it over to you."

"Oh, uh, a question about the additional members we'll be taking into Tartarus: would you mind if we had a look at them first? It's not that we don't want every hoof on hand we can, but we've learned that Tartarus gets 'tricky' the more are going in, particularly if the more that are going in don't all coincide in their goals. The world warps according to the desires of those exploring it and, if even a single pony is distracted or has other aspirations in mind, it can endanger the entire expedition."


"Even Witches who have gained power to resist our cursed births are hated and reviled," Regina says. "So, I will be looking forward to see how a nation of wayward zealots, refugees from the far east, shall treat this alliance."
"If Ecclesia gives you any trouble, just tell us, and we'll fuck 'em up," Wireframe says.
Regina softly laughs. "What an assurance of safety."
"Don't take that literally, though," Zjetya says, shooting Wireframe a severe scowl. "Wireframe feels somewhat differently about Ecclesia than we do."

"But of course; you will have a chance to speak with every member of the Expedition tomorrow, before we enter," Galton says. "I would bring them over now, but our teams are currently neck-deep in work, trying to finish the last of their own preparations before entering. I have little time to speak with you as it is.

"In any case, we have, with the cooperation of the Apostles of White, accessed their own records on Tartarus, as part of our preparations. It seems that even the ancient Sons of God struggled with that particular aspect of Tartarus. From what we have discerned so far, the Sons seemed to recommend entering in groups no larger than six. If you find that our members wouldn't have good compatibility with your own, we are prepared to travel separately so as not to jeopardize the Expedition."

Viper clears his throat. He goes to a wall and pushes against it. The wall swings open, revealing darkness beyond. Viper steps in, whistling as he does.

"Ah!" Galton exclaims. "Thank you, Viper. I am getting distracted. Anyway, the coats are just one thing we're giving you."

Viper comes back, wheeling with him a cart that is full to the brim with Caller Conches, much like the one Ichimonji gave you. A variety of colors are present.

"We don't know if long-range communications via the Conch will be possible in Tartarus," Viper says. "And it won't be possible to tell. However, we thought we'd bring these over to you just in case. There should be enough here for every member of your party to have their own. Take your pick."

Rus goes over and picks a pink one.


And it won't be possible to test prior to our entry.*


>"They've been pretty friendly so far, and I don't think they'll do anything if you all agreed to work together."
KP says.

"She does have the right idea, if a bit extreme," Pryce comments to Wireframe's bol declaration, "We have a strong reputation with Ecclesia, and if anything goes awry we will help you and your Coven."


Flaming nods, "If it wouldn't be too much to ask, we'd appreciate that chance to talk with them. I'm sure things will work out one way or another with all our groups, but if we split that may be for the best after all."

She turns towards Viper as he clears his throat, and she looks on in surprise as he pushes the wall open, demonstrating his peculiar ability again. As he pulls out the Caller Conches, Flaming smiles,

"OH! Just like the one I have with Ichimonji!" She says in glee, dashing over to the conches as she looks throughout the batch. "This is perfect, thank you! Communication will be extra important." She reaches in and grabs at a gray one. "Shei's still borrowing mine, so I'll give him this so I can take mine back."



Amy already started taking her Ecclesian jacket out of her saddle bag the moment she was told to surrender them. She didn't much mind being kicked out. However, upon being told they intend to bless them, she says, "Oh. Thanks!"

She also takes a purple conch.

"I'm sorry, but what are Spooks and Horrors?"


Regina nods. "I figured as such. Buiwong spoke highly of you all during his visit."
"How kind of him," River deadpans. "But apart from his characteristic lies, he wouldn't be wrong to say that we stay true to those who are good to us."

Suddenly, you feel a weight plop down on your head. You feel the warm stickiness of frog's goop too. KP sees that Hopper leaped off his head and landed on Pryce's. Hopper announces his arrival with an annoyed screech.

Regina laughs. "I take it I'm interrupting something?"

"That would be me," Viper, the tall crystal pony says. "The Spooks are the personal bodyguards and assistants to the twelve members of the Choir. Each of us were the students of Sir Gegenschein back when he was Grand Legate of the Morte Legionem. However, we don't pay him any special favor over our own assigned Chorister. I am Viper, assigned to Doctor Galton here. Our code names are taken from the twelve signs of the Accorsian – or rather, the Ecclesian – Zodiac. As for the Horrors, they are assistants and bodyguards of the Spooks. To put it simply, for every one Chorister, there is one Spook. For every one Spook, there are two Horrors. Twelve Choristers, twelve Spooks, twenty-four Horrors."

"Purse!" Galton squawks at Viper. Viper pushes his hoof down on a table, opening up a smaller door. He reaches in, then fishes out a small leather purse, which he gives to Galton. Galton rifles through the contents, pulling out a notebook that is heavily annotated, the pages heavy with ink. She flips through several pages, muttering to herself. "Okay, to-do list… coats, conches… ah, here we are."

Galton clears her throat, getting her demeanor back under control. "Sorry. A thousand plates to juggle. I have two final gifts for you, only one of which is here right now. As you may know, when someone dies in this world, their soul remains in the body for three days, before departing for the Ocean of Souls, housed in the Moon. However, our research shows that if one dies in Tartarus, their soul is claimed by that cursed land's very soil. Tartarus itself manipulates and mutates body and soul, creating a twisted chimera out of the deceased. You can think of it as an instantaneous reincarnation, into a most horrid form.

"To that end, we are developing special talismans capable of protecting and binding souls. Should you feel you are about to die, merely touch the talisman to your body, and your soul shall be extracted. The captive soul shall be taken by Living Saint Zoantharia, who is coming with us. When he emerges from Tartarus, he will release all souls captured by this method, so they may take their eternal rest. But, we are still working on creating those. They will be ready by tomorrow. You can imagine how long it would take to create such powerful items, of course.

"However… the final gift, and the one I actually did bring, is a bit unconventional. He says he's an old ally of yours and wouldn't stop pestering Holy Hours until he approved a change of mission. Of course, how could I say no to a former Savior?"

Viper opens another door in the wall, which opens to darkness. Galton extends her hand to it. "That's your cue, dear."


File: 1574828892144.jpg (122.45 KB, 643x900, PATIENCE REWARDED.jpg)


The large earth pony walks out of the magical door, wrapped in cloth and leather wrappings. Carrying with him a beaten kite shield and a rifle strapped over his back, he looks at those in front of him.

"Some new faces as well, eh? Is Pryce around?"


"While I hate to say it, that's good to hear."
Pryce says with disdain. Before he can go further, he looks up as he feels a weight and wetness on his head.
"Oh, hello Hopper. Been a while, hasn't it."
Pryce looks up to Regina.
"We've been taking on a lot of pets recently."
>"Oh yea! It's been a whole day since you saw him, check out his cool new outfit!"
KP says excitedly. Pryce picks up Hopper of his head, noting his new wizard attire.
"It's pretty fitting."
>"Yea, it's to go with the new Beast Mastery stuff I got, since Hopper is all in tune with us and our magic! And also Zjetya too."



"That's an awful lot of people to be bringing into Tartarus," Amy points out. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"


"An old friend?" Amy asks excitedly, her tail wagging. But, upon seeing someone she doesn't recognize, she cocks her head.

"I'm sorry, I don't think we've met. But, I'm always happy to make new friends! My name is Amy! Amy Thest!"

Before Cloak can responds, the wolf-pony grabs him and gives him a tight hug. "Well, actually, my OFFICIAL name now is Amy Thest the Inescapable Revelrous Friendmaking Heartthief Hugger," she continues to chatter into his ear as she hugs him.


Flaming takes a look at Viper. "How are you doing that? It kind of looks like some kind of Dark Corridor. Does it have anything to do with that?"

As she explains how the talismans work, and the horrific fate of those who die in Tartarus, Flaming's eyes open wide with relief. "So, even if we FAIL in Tartarus, we won't be cursed to stay there?! That's great news!" She pauses, "Wait, you said this talisman works by touching it to you if you feel you're about to die. Does that mean, if you touch it to yourself, you'll instantly die? So, you should really, REALLY be sure you want to touch it first?"

As Galton reveals the second gift, that being a former ally of the party, Flaming twists her head at the new arrival, looking at the large pony with intrigue.

"Uh… I'm sorry, I don't think we've met. You know Pryce? Yeah, he's real close by. But, who are you?"


Cloak raises a hoof to great the wolf-pony before being grabbed and pulled into a hug. He stands in slight shock for a moment, before relaxing and hesitantly patting her on the back.

"It is.. nice to meet you too, Miss Amy Thest. It is nice to see such enthusiasm, you'd get along with my wife."

Cloak waves his one free hoof to the buffalo, offering an awkward grin as he's held in place by Amy.

"I once traveled with Sir Pryce and the others before the Firmament shattered. My erm, title is Hypostasus, Embodiment of Patience, Follower of Hypomone." He says looking away briefly, "Apologies if it is wordy, I did not choose said title."


But as you pull Hopper off your head, he screeches angrily again. He bites down on the side of your hoof several times. It doesn't hurt, but his annoyance is plan to see. Lockjaw looks up at Hopper, and Hopper growls at him. Lockjaw's tail wiggles with interest.

Regina rubs her chin. "Witches have their share of pets, thralls and familiars, but even I haven't seen a frog get jealous."
"Jealous?" Spitshine asks.
"Just look at him!" Regina exclaims. "Don't tell me, Pryce: Did you get him before Lockjaw? It wouldn't surprise me."

Viper smirks. "Not quite. My power came about through my training under Grand Legate Gegenschein, when I was hardly more than a homeless colt. I have no connection to your god Buiwong, personally. My power specializes in short-range movement, and not long-range teleportation. It also has a number of other uses."

Suddenly, his head falls off. Or so it seems. His head flops off at a 180 degree angle, but is still connected to his neck at the right side. There is only darkness visible on the underside of his head and the top of his now-headless neck, like what you saw beyond the doors he opened.

"I say!" Viper exclaims. "Who turned everything upside down?"

"That is exactly what it entails," Galton says. "There are a number of safety precautions built into it, however, to prevent accidental activation. There are secret words that must be said to activate the spell, and it cannot be invoked against someone else. It can only be used against one's self."

"Careful that you don't let Holy Hours hear you," Galton warns Cloak with a smile. "I hear that he was very proud of that title. It took him quite a long time looking into etymology and nomancy, or name divination, to come up with a fortuitous title. I trust it will bring you fortune."
"Moreover, you left out an important part," Viper says. "He is one of the Horrors to Rooster, who in turn is the Spook to Sir Holy Hours. He is one of the few Horrors we are bringing on this mission, for we believe he is one of the few cut out for it."
"We will need every capable member that we can spare," Galton says. "Gegenschein, knowing what he knows about Mudi, Vizsla and Tartarus is still concerned that it may not be enough. But, what we bring we will have to make do with."
"If there is nothing else to tend to here, we must be off," Viper says. "Doctor, you're overdue for your meditations."
"Ah, right," Galton says. "Girls, Cloak, if you have need of me, please call Viper here. I and the other Choristers will be in a secret rite for most of the day. to prepare our souls and bodies. If you want equipment upgrades, weapon refinements, and so forth, Viper will assist you."



"You have a wife?" Amy asks happily as she lets Cloak go. "Is she here? I'm always happy to make more friends!"

Again, before Cloak can get a word in, she continues to talk. "So, you were with Pryce and the others before the whole sky breaking thing? Did you know that Punish lady? And Gabriele? Shei talks about Gabriele all the time. She was like a mother to him, or so he says. But, he kinda seems like he doesn't understand relationship connections in general."

"But, I guess I shouldn't judge him," Amy laughs, continuing to jabber on. "It's not like I'm much better. I used to eat people who got close to me."


Pryce chuckles a bit, giving Hopper at pat and setting him back down on his head.
"I did, yes. A long time ago. I didn't think he'd be jealous though…"
As Lockjaw looks up with interest at Hopper, KP comes over and gives the deviljho a back scratch.
>"It has been a while. We should trade pets today to make up for the lost time!"
"I'm not leaving you alone with Lockjaw. We can all stick together today instead."


Flaming bows her head, "Sorry about her, she's a very 'hoofs on'… or, 'paws on' kind of greeting-pony. Get used to hugs with her."

She smiles, "OH! Then you know Shei and Sir Flow too then, right? I'm Flaming Shorthorns, of Clan Climbing-Fire. And, don't worry about the title: you should hear Amy's."

Flaming nods as he offers his explanation of how his powers work, but then when his head suddenly and inexplicably POPS off, she gives a shrill yelp, bouncing back, looking at his disconnected head by the hinge he's created.

"T-that's freaky! But, also kinda cool…"

As Galton prepares to depart, Flaming approaches her, "Thank you very much for these gifts and boons, Galton. I know they'll all come in handy once we enter Tartarus. I think Pryce and Shei especially will be excited to hear Leather's joining us. Though, before you go I had one more question: the Mariposan princesses, are they doing well?"


"At the very least, it fits me more than any of the other Horrors I have seen. In the end, it was Holy Hour's patience that faltered when it come to my request go journey into Tartarus, not my own." He laughs heartily. "You have my thanks, Doctor."

Cloak adjusts himself as he's freed from the vice grip, "I knew the two, yes." the stallion says flatly, before returning to his calm smile when made mention of visiting his wife.

"She is currently bound to a bed in the Cairn, against her will no doubt. She would greatly prefer to be with me now if she could. She likes to make new friends too."

"I have heard Amy's, unless there is one even longer than what she has given me. I do not mind the hugs, I am used to unwarranted physical contact and loud noises from my work as a Horror."

Cloak nods, "All three of them, yes. I must ask, do you travel with a Dania as well? We met briefly before we were separated, do you know if she still travels with the troupe?"


"I thought I said it already. I want to vist my ex-tribe, the goats. Just one more time before the day can end." Shei then smiles "And then we have other things on the itenerary. It should be a fun day!"

"It was painfully obvious to everyone the affections being exchanged." Shei says as he is in the middle of leaving "I don't have time for this, all things consider congratulations. You are a very, very, very lucky man."


"Leather!" Leather hears a teenage voice call out to him. Just as Gadriel and Shei entered the observatory, Shei made a dash and tackled Leather Cloak. If he recognizes the goat at all, he'll note that he's grown quite a bit since he last saw him.

papers and books fly out of his bag, as he tackles Leather in a hug


Having just recovered from his first hug he was subjected to, it's Leather Cloak's large stature and sturdiness that prevents him from being knocked over by the pubescent goat. Unlike with Amy, he returns the hug in full.

"Shei-Sher, you've so grown much since we last traveled together. I apologize for our disappearance."



"Bound to a bed?" Amy asks with a grin. "Into freaky stuff, huh? I like it," she says with a wink.


"There's nothing 'unwarranted' about hugging a new friend!" Amy objects.


"Your name is Leather?" Amy asks with a laugh. "That's a silly name."


Lockjaw pushes his head against KP, the force of which nearly knocks KP over, though Lockjaw seems unaware of it. Katcher and Pucchini squawk with amusement. Hopper groans. Using his long tongue, he snatches up the clothes that the spiders made for him, dangling them in front of your eyes. Seems like he wants you to put them on.
"Why not give them their own adventure with Covenkeeper?" Regina suggests. "If Lockjaw can handle playing, perhaps your other pets can figure it out."

In the blink of an eye, his head re-attaches, and Viper laughs. "Life has many doors, not just the ones that others have built for you. I prefer my own."

Galton collects the cloaks from Rus, Amy, and Flaming, then tosses them to Viper. Viper gestures to the cart. "Go ahead and bring that back to Lilane once you've passed out all the conches, please."
Galton then turns to Flaming with a smile. "They're doing better than ever! Laciela had the sniffles for the past few days, but Yareakh was sure to help her get over that. We haven't yet gotten to the bottom about the strange reports of Mudi coming into possession of a wing like Laciela's, but I trust we will find out soon."

A cool chill flits through Cloak at the mention of Laciela and Yareakh, the twin alicorn princesses of Mariposa. He hasn't had much interaction with them, as they seldom stray from Lilane, one of Ecclesia's northernmost holdings, these days. But in prior months, back before Cloak was even aware of the Saviors, they had visited some of the holdings further south, as an attempt at building morale for the war effort. Everywhere they went on their tours of holdings, strange incidents followed. A mixture of sudden good and bad fortune, almost in equal measure. Mass reports of deja and jamais vu. Days suddenly seeming longer or shorter without apparent reason. All the while, the Choir has said nothing of these episodes.

Viper opens a final door in the wall, and with a wave, he and Galton depart through it.

After Cloak gets over being tackled, he turns to see a slender-yet-muscular female minotaur in Ecclesian trousers and a tunic standing before him. Next to her is a small metallic griffon. The minotaur offers a salute.
"Good to meet you, sir," she says in a deep voice. "I am Rus Tea of Ecclesia. Division: Congregation. Rank: Ravager."
The griffon offers his hand for a shake. "And I'm Gadriel. I'm Shei's younger brother, mother and lab experiment. Kind of sort of not really."



"Yeah, like I said… he doesn't really understand relationships…" Amy says as Gadriele makes his HORRENDOUS introduction.


[Gadriel description]
You see the person Shei-Sher came in with. At first appearance one might assume was an angel due to his metal coat. A lion, with hind talons. His entire body is made up of a light grey metal with a violet sheen in the right light. Many sharp needles make up his fur though it seems to behave as if pliable and soft. His wings are vestigial palor plumes of fluffy, wispy fur. And a lengthy tail for his body much like a cat.


Cloak rubs his temples at Amy's first remark, giving a chuckle regardless. "Oh yes, you two would get along."

He clears his throat, looking to Flaming and Amy. "Yes, my proper name is Leather Cloak, I make an effort not to wear one as a result."

Cloak shudders involuntarily at the mention of the two alicorns, turning to the minotaur and nodding. "My pleasure, Rus Tea." With Gadriel's introduction, he turns to Shei before accepting the hand shake.
"Gadriel? Any relation to Gabby, Shei?"


Flaming raises her eyebrow, "Uh… that sounds like a weird job, being a Horror. You get hugged a lot?"

She nods, "Yeah! Though, Dania actually had to stay behind in Zha Arlakane…" she snickers, "Okay, you're still calling her a she? Okay, I think I might have some surprising news for you then: did you know Dania was actually a boy all along?"

As Leather and Shei engage in another hug, Flaming laughs. "Okay, I guess you better get used to a lot of those. So you DO know this pony, Shei."

"I gave up trying to argue something like that with you a long time ago, Amy." Flaming says with a snicker.

"Could… is that spell easy to teach?" Flaming asks in a mix of disgust and interest.

"Oh good, word of that got to you. I was worried about it too, but Mudi's become something of an uneasy ally, I don't think we can make any moves on that feather one way or the other until at least the issue of Tartarus is dealt with. Anything you want us to do regarding it now since we're in frequent contact with the Witch?"


KP laughs as he's nearly shoved over, and then tries to give Lockjaw a shove back in play.
>Shove [1d10]
Pryce takes the outfit in his telekinesis, picking up Hopper again in his hooves so he can look at frog as he puts on his new outfit.
"That would be a nice idea, especially if Hopper really is that jealous."
Pryce comments after Hopper is now in his wizard attire, then placing the frog back on his head.
"I think we will have to borrow a few of those extra books after all."

Roll #1 6 = 6


>Before Viper and Galton peace out
"Sure, we can sit down and practice for thirty or so years," Viper says, completely seriously.


"…maybe AFTER we get out of Tartarus then, thanks." Flaming says with much less interest, already knowing she's got mountains of homework coming from Fairy.


"No," Galton says to your second question. "We will conduct our own investigation, and questioning her too much about it will potentially interfere with that, given your connections to her. If and when you see her, simply keep an eye on its powers, if any, and report them to us via the Conch."

She quickly gives you her Conch code and Viper's.


"It's a fine equish name. You just aren't used to Accorsian culture."

"Shush, bad Amy." Shei lightly pats your head, but firmly, showing his disapproval.

"Leather Cloak.. This is Gabriele and Evel's Punishment. Together, as one. I brought them back three years they were deceased -during the reckoning." Shei puts an arm over Gadriel's back as he further introduces him. "That is why he's my brother. And this >>728412 Amy thest is my girlfriend."

"I originally traveled with Leather Cloak. When I was sent on my mission from Hearthome to vanquish Buiwong, all those years ago."


Leather chuckles again in a bassy pitch, "I wish, Miss Flaming. I take the brunt of the blows when fighting along Rooster, as he is not the type to watch his flank. I am told I have lasted the longest as his Horror so far."

Cloak blinks at Flaming's mention of Dania's gender. "I was not aware." He blinks a few times more for good measure, suddenly deep in thought thinking to his past travels.

Cloak closes his eyes, processing the information. "I had heard they were no longer with the party. They are- It… He introduced himself, I am to assume they are them in body only?"


"In Body and spirit." Shei illustrates the point by bringing his hooves together to touch "They are one, and try not to be rude. He is his own person you realize."



"Being named after clothes is weird," Amy states matter-of-factly.


"You're just lucky I like it," she says to Shei as he pats her head.


Lockjaw lets himself be bowled over onto one side, then rolls back up and tries to push back again.
Hopper gradually calms down as you dress him. Once he's all done, he holds up his staff, and twirls it, causing several small orbs of water to float about him.
Regina nods, then reaches about in her bag beside her. She pulls out a skull much like the one she let you take from her house, then taps it twice. "You heard the stallion. Bring me a spare copy of Witches and Wargs, 3E."
Some smoke floats out of the skeleton's eyes, floating off in the direction of the tree-house.
"It'll just be a while," Regina says. "Find yourself a place to set up while we wait."

"I'm a demon," Gadriel says. "Or, something along those lines. I was created in a process of Fusion, using the souls of Gabriele, Evil's Punishment, and Wrath, their created angel child. For the Fusion, Shei also used the souls of demons."
"Sounds like certain novels I've read and never told anyone about…" Rus comments.
Gadriele rolls his eyes. "Now you see why I have such a hard time introducing myself, mister Cloak. All I can say is that I remember you in a fashion. Those who were born of Fusion often have glimmers of memories when confronted with beings and places that their past lives recognize. They… they thought you were a pretty good guy. I'm sure they're wishing the best for you and your wife."

Roll #1 9 = 9


"That's right. Glass Dagger -where is she now?"


"Hmn. I see." Cloak's face is stern as he tries to process his emotions on the matter. Quiet for a long time, the stallion takes solace in Amy's welcome distraction from the subject at hand.

"I apologize, Miss Amy Thest. If I knew it had been off-putting, I would've asked to had it changed when I was born."

"Bedbound in the Cairn, likely getting in an argument with one of the nurses about why she can't leave. The mare hasn't been able to fly for the last two months, yet she thinks she could assist on the expedition to Tartarus. Even in her state, still as full as fighting spirit as ever." He smiles yet again, "We exchanged vows the month after the Firmament shattered. If we were going to make it through the end of the world as we knew it, we decided it should be together. Properly together."


Flaming nods her head. "Understood then, Miss Galton. We'll just keep an eye on her from here and make sure she doesn't cause any more trouble. If she does anything with the feather that I haven't seen her do yet, I'll be sure to let you know."

She coughs, "And… when you go back, please tell Ichimonji to give me a call? I haven't seen her in a while."

"AH!" Flaming says in understanding, nodding her head. "That is… a lot less fun than hugging, huh?"

As he seems bewildered at the reveal of Dania's nature, Flaming laughs, "Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction too. WEIRD, right? Not just that, not only was Dania really a boy, he was a PRINCE."

"That's great! Bet you're excited to see him again, huh? Is he strong?"

As Gadriel introduces himself, Flaming looks to Leather, "Oh! Why not get the whole reunion in? Do you want us to take you to Pryce?"


KP tumbles back, essentially somersaulting backwards from Lockjaw's mighty push. KP stops on his back, and goes into a laughing fit.
>"That was great!"

"I'll go check in with Amy and Flaming in the meantime. I want to catch their Ecclesian business before they leave."
>"I'll wait here!"
Pryce turns to head to the Observatory where he was told they were going earlier, leaving it up to Zjetya and River if they want to come or stay with Regina.

KP sits up, catching his breath after the tumble and looking at Regina for a moment.
>"So what are you?"


"Battle often isn't fun, yes, but it must be done." His attention is fully on Flaming as she mentions visiting Pryce. "At the moment, there is nothing else I'd wish to do more."


Shei nods "He is an excellent mercenary. But as I see him, I can feel how much stronger he's become."

"Oh yes! This would be a good opportunity to introduce him to the whole family."



Amy waves her hoof-paws frantically in objection. "I didn't say it was bad! I just said it was weird! I like weird!"


As KP lays on the grass, Lockjaw comes over to sniff at him and make sure he's doing alright.
"A sphinx," Regina says simply. "Even where I'm from, we aren't very common. Some say we're descended from a now-extinct race known as Gigantes… though I haven't looked into it much myself. You may have heard of my kind from myths and legends of riddle-telling gatekeepers."

"But of course, dear, I'll be seeing her shortly," Galton says.

Pryce, Zjetya and River eventually make their way over to the Observatory, where they see Leather Cloak. Cloak recognizes River as one of Buiwong's servants. That's always been a controversial part of the Saviors' story – the idea that some of them were at Accorsia when the world ended, and may even have had a part in bringing that end about.
"Y-you…" River gasps, holding a hoof over her mouth.
"Familiar with him?" Rus asks.
"You… could say that. Like seeing a ghost," River continues.


"We do not choose our allies in times of war." Looks to River with passiveness in his eyes, but his attention is quickly turned to Pryce.

Rushing forward to take alicorn in a bear hug, Leather Cloak emotes the most since meeting the others again.

"Pryce Etac in the flesh, my patience has been rewarded. It is good to see you, my brother in faith."


Flaming nods in agreement with the others, "Alright then, let's go find him. Last I saw he was having a LATE breakfast, so he should still be in the garden-"

She turns, noticing Pryce approaching the Observatory. She smiles, looking at him and then to Leather, "Hehe… maybe we won't need to go searching after all. HEY PRYCE!" She cries out, drawing attention to their group, "We have someone who'd like to see you!"



Amy claps her hoofpaws together excitedly. "It's like a big happy family reunion!"


"R-right?" Amy asks, turning to Flaming. Apparently, Flaming is the professional on families in Amy's mind.


KP gives Lockjaw a pet as he comes over with concern.
>"Just catching my breath buddy."
When Regina says she's a sphinx, KP hops up, eyes wide in amazement.
>"You're a sphinx?! For real?!"
He exclaims.
>"Of course I heard of them! Are you really good with riddles? Do you use magic with your riddles? Is that why you're the Queen, cause you're good at being a guard with all the riddles?"
He questions, rattling them off rapidly.

Pryce walks up to the Observatory, looking for Galton, but stops as he sees the old familiar face.
"…Leather Cloak?"
Pryce says in shock at seeing him, motionless until the pony runs him into a bear hug. Pryce returns it and thensome at seeing a past ally that he thought was gone.
"I thought the Rapture got you… Is Glass here too?"


"Just say that it's a nice name next time ten." Shei pats Amy's head again, less firmly this time.

"How do you feel knowing that we work with Buiwong as well?

>"Bound to a bed?" Amy asks with a grin. "Into freaky stuff, huh? I like it," she says with a wink
Retroactive firm pat on the head "She's bed ridden and cripple for goodness sake."

>Cloak blinks at Flaming's mention of Dania's gender. "I was not aware.
Shei-Sher sighs "What she says is the truth. My embarassment mounts. As we have shared affection on more than one occassion. We've remained friends."


Flaming looks on as Pryce wraps Leather into a bear hug, then smugly looks up at Amy as she nods her head. "Oh yeah, it definitely is."

Flaming snickers. "You dated a boy." She says with utterly immature glee.


Cloak speaks with haste (unbecoming of his title), excited to see an old friend. "She is stationed at the Cairn, restricted to her bed and expecting. I'm to be a father." He says with a grin across his face.


"That I did.. That I did." Shei nods solemnly, infact he nods a little to eager, and headbutts Flaming.

[1d10] Headbutting.

Roll #1 5 = 5



"O-oh," Amy stammers, looking a fair bit sadder at the news that Dagger is sick.

"Is she going to get better?" she asks Cloak hopefully.


Amy simply smiles happily in response.


Amy bursts out into laughter. "I forgot you two were a thing! Oh how I wish I was there to see when you found out…"


"I prefer my illusions to riddles," Regina says. "Verbally, I tend to get tripped up if I'm not prepared."
"It's a little rude to bombard someone with questions, don't you think?" Sugar asks.
"It's alright," Regina says. "Small talk has been in short supply for me. I don't mind the practice."
Lockjaw sits at your side like a puppy.

The happy announcement elicits a gasp from Rus Tea and Gadriel, both of whom now look rather happy for Cloak.
"Congratulations!" Gadriel says. "Do you know if they'll be a colt or a filly?"
"The others will want to extend their congratulations as well," Rus says. "I hope you aren't intimidated by crowds."


"You are?"
Pryce questions at the news with so much new information coming in.
"Congratulations! I'm glad you've been doing so well. What brings you all the way out here?"

>"We're meeting a real live sphinx! How can you not have a million questions?"
KP says to Sugar, turning back to Regina.
>"Illusions? Oh so you must do shows and stuff instead of normal riddles! That's even cooler! Can you show me one? Or a bunch?"



"Oh! THAT kind of sickness!" Amy says, sounding relieved to hear that she's not terminally ill.

"You still have my sympathy, though," she says genuinely in response to the pregnancy announcement.


"You are guaranteed to be an excellent father, but you have to survive Tartarus first. Are you truly decided on going, knowing that you have a child coming?"


Flaming continues to laugh, "It is pretty silly, but, at the same time I can't blame Shei too much. Novelus DID make a pretty convincing girl. But I think the only reason I couldn't tell right away is all sheep look alike anyhow."

As Shei head-butts Flaming, she reels back, "Ow! Why you…" she says, taking on the challenge readily as she prepares to deliver one right back, even though she technically started it
[1d10] head butt!

Flaming looks to Leather excited. "OH! You're going to be a Papa?! That's amazing! Congratulations!"

"Sympathy? You make it sound like having a baby's a bad thing."

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Sorry, my bad. Let me REGAIN MY BALANCE."
headbutt roll

[1d10] chad goat forehead vs virgin buffalo scalp

Roll #1 3 = 3


As Flaming misses her shot, she grumbles, "And I'm still just a little sleepy, this time I'll get you!" She says as she rears up another small charge
[1d10] chad chieftain buff vs virgin momma's goat

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Holy Hours asked the same thing, and is the logical choice no doubt. Still, I cannot rest knowing my children could be devoured by demons some day, because the expedition to Tartarus failed. Dagger and I have both agreed that your mission is paramount to the fate of the world, and she would be here fighting as well if not for Ecclesian nurses insisting on her being grounded. She is to remain at the Cairn."


"By the gods I hope so, she looks like a blimp." Leather laughs to Amy, turning to Gadriel and replying despite his discomfort towards the fusion, "Twins, one of each. Glass has already picked out their names."

"No no, Miss Amy Thest is quite right to give sympathizes, she is even more of a hoof-full with two infants bouncing along inside her. Hypomone knows her humor hasn't gotten any more filly-friendly."


"Sorry, did you trip? I'm feeling a little Top Heavy."

[1d10] Motherfuckers vs Dumbfuckers

Roll #1 2 = 2


Lockjaw rolls onto his side, which results in him laying across your lap.
Regina rolls her eyes. "It's a little impromptu, and I am exhausted from what I demonstrated yesterday. I can spare you some spectacle, I think. What do you want to see?"

"Then we'll have to make sure we bring you back alive," Rus says.
"Gods, talk about 'no pressure,' huh?"
Rus grunts. "Oh… speaking of which, aren't we forgetting something? A word that starts with 'd' and rhymes with 'ate'?"

Gadriel sighs with disgust at this pathetic display, then headbutts Shei. [1d10]
Rus headbutts Flaming. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11



Amy laughs. "Yeah, I think I would die if I ever found out I was pregnant."

"Actually… I'm not sure I even CAN get pregnant…" She screws her face up in thought for a moment. Then, she shrugs. "Just a win-win for me."

If Cloak is observant, he might notice Amy flinch slightly at the use terms like 'Hypomone knows'.


"You mean Box's date?" Amy asks Rus excitedly.


"Oh, you're joining the Tartarus expedition?"
Pryce says, his tone dropping ever so slightly to be noticeable before it turns back up to it's previous reunion joy.
"So am I right that this means you joined Ecclesia? You must've been busy in all this time."


KP gives Lockjaw a bellyrub as he rols over his lap.
>"Anything! I wanna see what a sphinx witch Queen can do, cause it's gotta be amazing!"
He says, looking up at her in eager anticipation.


Shei-Sher isn't very phased very much. He blinks at Gadds and shakes his head "You do realize, this means war." Shei gives Gadriel a headbutt.
[1d10] I wonder what headbutting steel feels like

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I'm just having a hard time seeing you cause I'm laughing so hard!"
[1d10] Lil' Buff Bump

As Rus moves in to head-butt her next, Flaming squawks, "Hey! You want some of this?!"

"Wow, TWO!? You're pretty lucky, huh?" She snickers. "I know it can't be easy, least for ponies. Buffalo are HUGE so I know how they can carry a baby but honestly I'm surprised you can fit one inside one of you, much less two. Hope she does okay…"

"Really?" Flaming asks, "I think you'd be a good mama."

"D… ate… OH!" Flaming's eyes widen. "Right, right! Uh, all my business with Galton is finished so I'm good to head back, is Journey waiting for me?!"

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 3 = 3


Shei-Sher lets Rus take out Flaming. await DM response before possibly making cheeky remarks.





"W-what!?" Amy responds with laughter. Though, she also seems to blush a bit. "What makes you think I'd be a good parent!? I barely take care of myself!"


"True." Flaming says without much contest. "But, you're really nice, you're REALLY really fun, and you're a lot smarter than most ponies I know. I think a foal… a pup? A CHILD can do a lot worse than a mama who'd shower it with hugs day and night."


"You'll be relieved to know I'm incredibly hard to kill, let alone knocked over. It is one of the reasons they've let me along given my wife's pregnancy." Leather says, hoisting his shield in front of him.

"I am, and yes. I've worked in the rear guard under the command of Rooster, the Spook of Holy Hours, the Choir member. My previous position in the Morte Legionem made for a quick integration once me and Glass Dagger escaped the chaos that was the Firmament falling. We had believed it to be the end of the world so we-" he cuts himself off.

"Well, eight or so months later, she is in a bunker and I'm making sure my children will have a safe world to live in."

"Worse, she's a pegasus. You can't imagine what it looks like with that much baby packed into her small frame." Leather laughs again.



Amy laughs. "See that's why I think I can't get pregnant. What would the babies even be? A demon? A pony?"

"Oh no… I said 'babies'… Would I have a whole litter!?"

Amy shakes her head. "Nope, nope, nope. Can't be possible."


Shei bonks Gadriel, and Flaming bonks Shei, and Rus finally bonks Flaming, putting an end to it once and for all, for all time.

"Yes, you two have special some…ponies… who are waiting you," Rus says, seemingly realizing how that term, "somepony," isn't very applicable when it comes to Box and LJ. "And the rest of our comrades are going to want to meet their new party member. Come now! We are burning daylight here!"
"I dunno if he can be called a Savior, though," Gadriel says, rubbing his head. "Well, I can't really claim the title either…"

Regina rolls her eyes, then waves her claws before you. At first, nothing seems different. But then, after a few seconds, you feel a sudden sense of vertigo and exhilaration. The world seems to flip upside-down, with the ground below him turning into a kind of ceiling. KP feels as though he might fall away into the sky at any minute.

Though, the illusion isn't very convincing and seems to fade fast. KP sees Regina looking toward the observatory impatiently, tapping her claws nervously.



"Oh, wow! Yeah, no, I can definitely see where the worry is coming from there. Pegasi especially are kinda thin… how soon is she planning to have them, if you don't mind me asking?"

Flaming starts laughing, "A-a litter! Hahahahaha!" Flaming snickers, "H-hey Amy, look on the bright side, if you do have a litter, you could always adopt, I'd love a lil' Amy-dog of my own."



"They wouldn't be pets!" Amy objects, oddly defensively.


"So… You work for Ecclessia now, right?" Amy asks as if she's approaching an uncomfortable subject.


"Sometime in the next month or two, is what the nurses have said. She says she's holding them in until I return, whether they like it or not." His face scrunches, imagining the image.


"That I do. I have worked as an assassin for the Morte Legionem before the fall of the Firmament, and they formed together with other groups in the wake of catastrophe to ensure ponykind would not be wiped from the face of the world. I've since worked patiently waiting for a time that I could do something more to help return peace to the world. I believe this is my opportunity."


Flaming shakes her head, still snickering, "I know, I know! I was just making a bad joke. When you said 'litter', it just made me think of it, I'm sorry."

"Seriously though, whether you have one kid or a bunch though, I really do think you'd make a good mom. And, hey, even if you aren't? They'll have a really good aunt to help you out." She smiles proudly.

"Holding them in until you get back…?" Flaming shakes her head, "Oooh… that's not… that's not gonna be easy. Or possible, I think? I hope we can get you back in time before that becomes an issue.



"I know that Ecclessia has a lot of hate for demons. I was just wondering how you felt about them… And our plans in Tartarus."


"Oh yeah?" Amy responds with a smirk. "You think you'd be a good mom, then?"


Flaming's eyes widen, "M-me?! I uh…" her face blushes deep red, "I-I never really thought about it. I think that's a long, LONG ways off for me." She says avoiding the question.



"Well, you couldn't be worse than MY parents," Amy laughs more sincerely than one should about that.

Then, her face straightens up a bit. "I guess that's true for me too…"


"The Spook? Is that what they call their knights?"
Pryce asks, unaware of the Ecclesian rankings. As Cloak cuts his explanation short, Pryce nods, assuming the topic must be something private.
"It's just good to see you've done well. The ember we went to find up at Vadahara, I used it during the dark hours of the Rapture. It put me out for most of that time."
Pryce says, pointing to the charred portion of his horn.
"I came back only a month or so ago, seeing the world completely different, and hearing we lost some of our friends… Those first few days were rough."


Flaming sighs, smiling a bit more relaxed. "Yeah, I think I agree. For both of us."

"Alright, how about this: what if we promise, if either of us ever become a mom, to help each other out? Then no matter what we'll be good, right?"



"Well, of course I'll help you with anything you need!" Amy says with a smile. "But, I don't think you should expect me to be good at it."


"It is something I have petitioned Hypomone for their word on for many months, though I have not had a visit for quite some time. Still, my god is that of patience, and so my opinion is mainly to wait and see. I choose not to make any opinions one way or another, save for the need to stop feral demons from attacking and bringing chaos to the lands. If that is through controlling them, then so be it."

"Think right-hoof stallions to the members of the Choir themselves." Cloak grows somber, "And yes, I was under the assumption me and Glass had lost all of you as well. It was through faith and companionship I retained my will to go on, and now I know my patience was not in vain. Let us not enter the bowels of Tartarus with remorse, though. We must press on with resilience and valor!" He pats Pryce firmly on the back. "See now, you had thought me dead, but here I am. It will take more than world ending for our righteous quest to be extinguished!"



Amy smiles at that response. "Good," she says with a nod. "I'm glad to see that there's some in Ecclesia who acknowledge that we aren't all bad. That butchering demons and performing horrible experiments on them isn't right. Thank you."


Pryce smiles at Cloak's triumphant speech.
"We've fought a god and lived through the worst this world has faced. I don't think anything can extinguish us now."


"Ah, to be in good company again. I am blessed."
Leather relaxes, looking back to Amy with an eye raised.

"We aren't, hmm. Is it rude to ask what exactly are you? You resemble that of a crystal pony, besides some traits. Are you a shaman of sorts?"


Last time on HolyQuest…

Doctor Galton and her Spook, a crystal pony stallion code-named Viper, came bearing quite a few gifts for our heroes. First, they brought over a shipment of Caller Conches. It was impossible to test whether long-range communications would be possible in Tartarus, but it would be better to stay on the safe side.

Second, Galton told them a little about the nature of dying within Tartarus. According to records of the Sons of God, found by the Apostles of White, anything that is slain in Tartarus is given a kind of instantaneous reincarnation. In the surface world, the Soul lingers in the deceased body for three days before it leaves for the Ocean of Souls. But in Tartarus, both body and soul are immediately warped and mutated, turning into abominations. The Choir, therefore, are preparing special talismans. When used, the Soul is immediately extracted from the body and captured by the power of Living Saint Zoantharia, one of the six Choristers who would be entering Tartarus. This process does entail permanently taking the Soul from the body, however, so it should only be used in the face of imminent death.

Finally, Galton brought over Leather Cloak, or as his new title went, Hypostasus, Embodiment of Patience. Cloak was a former member of the party before vanishing during the chaos of the Rapture nearly eight months ago. He joined Ecclesia the very day it was formed, as he was a member of the Morte Legionem. He quickly rose the ranks thanks to his experience and indomitable will, and attained the rank of Horror. His patron, the Spook known as Rooster, in turn served Sir Holy Hours. Both Rooster and Holy Hours would be going into Tartarus to aid the quest.

With this business concluded, Galton and Viper had to leave, as she had to tend to the Choir's final preparations on this busy, busy fifth day. Now, Leather Cloak needed to meet the whole party, followers and all.


>Everyone except KP
Shei bonks Gadriel, and Flaming bonks Shei, and Rus finally bonks Flaming, putting an end to it once and for all, for all time.

"Yes, you two have special some…ponies… who are waiting you," Rus says, seemingly realizing how that term, "somepony," isn't very applicable when it comes to Box and LJ. "And the rest of our comrades are going to want to meet their new party member. Come now! We are burning daylight here!"
"I dunno if he can be called a Savior, though," Gadriel says, rubbing his head. "Well, I can't really claim the title either…"


Regina rolls her eyes, then waves her claws before you. At first, nothing seems different. But then, after a few seconds, you feel a sudden sense of vertigo and exhilaration. The world seems to flip upside-down, with the ground below him turning into a kind of ceiling. KP feels as though he might fall away into the sky at any minute.

Though, the illusion isn't very convincing and seems to fade fast. KP sees Regina looking toward the observatory impatiently, tapping her claws nervously.



"Oh, that's right. Our group has grown a lot since the old days," Pryce comments as Rus brings up the further introductions, "You showed up at a good time. We all just finished breakfast so we're still mostly in one area still."
Pryce gestures over to River.
"You've already met River, but she's changed a lot since back then."
He then gestures to Zjetya.
"And this is Zjetya."
He says, formally introducing, and reintroducing, the two to Cloak.
"And this is Hopper. The first of the collection of pets we've picked up."
Pryce says, picking Hopper up off his head for the frog's introduction.

KP looks up eagerly as Regina waves her claws, awaiting what magic a Queen Witch Sphinx can do. The wait draws on, building the anticipation that KP doesn't even notice the sudden flip for the first second, the rush coming to him after as he wobbles in place a bit as his stomach flip-flops. He looks up into sky, or rather ground now, mouth open wide as he feels like he'll fall away to the heavens.
After it ends, he sits there a moment in silent shock before hopping up and giving a stomp of applause.
>"That was amazing! Have you thought of doing magic shows?"


River nods stiffly to Cloak. Though she's nervous in his presence, she maintains steady eye contact, and Cloak can see a brightness to her eyes that wasn't there during her servitude to Buiwong. There is only a faint hint of shame for her past misdeeds, but it seems to have turned into hope for atonement.
Zjetya's appearance is certainly strange to Cloak. Her body is like that of a changeling's, but with a distinct flame-orange color instead of black. She has the neck fluff of a mothpony, and a mane to match. With yellow scelra and bright amber eyes, she is certainly eye-catching. "Sup?" she asks, tossing her head back.
"Zjetya, have some manners," River says. "He's a Horror."
Zjetya hops in place, genuinely surprised. "Oh! My apologies, sir." She then does a more formal salute, putting her hoof across her chest to her left shoulder. "Zjetya. Division: Laity. Rank: Evangelist."
Hopper, a small frog in a stage magician's costume, looks to Cloak with a very sagely, studious gaze. He raises his tiny staff, which is tipped with a perfectly spherical orb of water. Droplets of water start floating from it.

"I'm about to start my career by making all of them disappear if they don't stop delaying my date…" Regina grumbles.
Box clears his throat nervously. "Remember what we talked about this morning?"
"Right, right…" Regina says, with a sigh. "Some tea, please."
"I've got ya covered," Spitshine says, then gets up, wheeling over a tray from the picnic tables. It has a tea set that would be very small for Regina but the right size for a standard pony. Box immediately starts preparing some tea for her.


As Rus bonks Flaming on the head, she lets out a yelp of pain as she reaches up and rubs at it. "Ow. What did I do, Shei was the one who started it."

As she brings up that she has some special 'somepony' waiting for her back at the Library, her eyes blink rapidly. "O-oh yeah, right! I should get back to my room so I can change into that new dress before I go," she says, using her magic to open up a speedy dark corridor

Roll #1 10 = 10


You produce a Dark Corridor with ease, giving you the opportunity to quickly change aboard the ship. Once you're done, Spark settles down into your hair right atop the crown of your head, getting nice and cozy on this chill morning.


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief as the Dark Corridor drops her out so promptly in her room aboard the ship, rushing to change back into her green dress Regina gave her as she smooths it out, making sure it's not wrinkled. "Wooh… alright, that's taken care of. Let's go on that date!" She says to herself excitedly, looking up at Spark as he climbs up to the top of her head. She giggles, reaching up to scratch beneath his chin. "Okay, you can stay up there for now. But you may need to move later when the date gets going, okay?"

With that, she proceeds out of the ship and opens one more corridor to take her to the Library

Roll #1 5 = 5


"We should not give in to any more delay" Shei tapped Gadriel's shoulder and after made a dark corridor spring up from the floor just the same as Flaming.

The corridor leads to a field some distance outside the walls of lilane.

[1d10+1] dark corridor

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Spark chews a little on your horns, warming them up just a smidgen with puffs of flame. Seems like he's got a bit of an attitude when it comes to being told to move out. You may have some trouble when he's eighteen and needs to get his own house.

With your second corridor, you arrive back at the garden, where you see Regina sitting with Sugar, Spitshine, Box, LJ, KP and the pets.


Flaming snickers up at Spark's rebellious behavior as he chews on her horns, "You better watch that attitude of yours buster." She says light-heartedly as she steps through the corridor to the garden.

As she spots the others sitting around, she slows her pace, letting herself get comfortable to her dress as she moves towards LJ, smiling. "Hey! Sorry I'm late, Galton definitely had a surprise for us there. But I'm all done and ready for our date!" She says excitedly, hoping Journey matches her energy.


Cloak again looks sternly to River, but shows no anger or ill will. "It has been some time, River. While the past cannot be changed, the future can. Let it be known I see you as an ally just as any of the others here, do not let my presence be a cause of worry." Cloak offers a hoof to shake, offering a nod if accepted.

As for Zjetya, Cloak smiles, waving his hoof to dismiss her formal pose. "Oh come now, you may be as informal as you want. If we're to travel to the depths of Tartarus together, it shouldn't be with a stick up our flanks the whole time. Call me whatever it is you wish, as long as my patron Rooster isn't around."


>"I'm sure they'll be here soon. They usually don't take too long if they got something they know they gotta do."
KP says, unaware of how serious Regina might be, and how easily she could do such a threat.

"Oh, right. I almost forgot you were part of Ecclesia."
Pryce comments at seeing Zjetya acting so formal.



"Kind of," Amy screws her face up in thought. "Some of the stuff I do is kind of shaman-ish," she nods. "That's what people have said about my potions, anyway. I do a lot of magic, though. I haven't really studied any of it, so I can't really say what kind of magic-doer I am."

Amy completely misses the point of the question.


Before Gadriel leaves with Shei, he turns to Cloak, offering his claw for a shake. "Well, I do hope we'll get some time to talk before we enter Tartarus. In my previous lives, I had a more authoritative position over Shei, but he's definitely in charge this time around. Take care, okay? If you get bored, come find us. Shei gets in trouble no matter where he goes, if you don't mind getting banned from Ecclesian territories."

Afterwards, Shei and Gadriel arrive via Dark Corridor near the towering trees of the swamps north of Lilane.

River takes the shake with solemn resolve. "The same to you. Whatever happened in the past, our interests are the same now. Even Buiwong seems to be fighting for our cause, though as always, we cannot trust his machinations."

Zjetya relaxes. "To be honest, I almost forgot myself. Ever since I got assigned to your group, they haven't been giving me additional missions. They probably assume – correctly – that we'll be too busy."

When Cloak talks about traveling to Tartarus together, Zjetya nearly imperceptibly winces, looking to Pryce for a sign of whether she should say anything.

Out of habit, River Spring conjures a Dark Corridor for the party to get back to the garden atop the Library of the Sacrosanct. The Corridor looks similar to those Cloak has seen before, but some things have changed. White esoteric text, in a variety of languages, now spirals around the rim of the portal's opening, as well as across the darkness below and to the sides. River looks to Cloak with a bit of concern. "Sorry. This has become sort of standard practice for us. If you prefer stairs, I believe they're that way."

Whatever your method, eventually everyone gets back to the garden. Cloak finds himself in a vast walled enclosure, full of groves, creeks, ponds, and mysterious and fantastical plants of all kinds. The chill in the air and the sound of sweeping winds nearby suggests it's quite high up.

Cloak sees a group of people of varying races situated by a lake – it's the other party members, of course. They are an eclectic bunch of varying races. Perhaps the most notable is the massive sphinx in the sundress, sitting on a long couch.

LJ, a strong-looking buffalo about Flaming's age, runs over to her once he sees her. He's changed out of his apron and has on a very nice-looking poncho, full of intricate tribal designs. "Hey, it's about time you got ready! Guess Tantra was right about how long cows take to do their makeup and stuff. Who's this guy?"

"An old friend," River says. "Leather Cloak, get ready for a lot of introductions."



Amy bounces with bubbly excitement as she watches all the reunions and new meetings.


As LJ runs over to her, Flaming admires his poncho for a bit before he makes that comment about how long it takes cows to get ready. She snorts, "Pfff, make-up?" She blinks a few times, realization dawning on her: "…make-up!"

She looks around for Zjetya, who got her looking pretty for the show a couple of days ago, "How could I forget, it was gonna be perfect and I-I just forgot! Where is sh-" she pauses, taking a few moments to calm down before she makes Journey notice her freaking out. "Uh, I-I mean… I uh… t-that's a really nice poncho! I don't think I've ever seen it before, it's very cool."

She looks over to Leather, "An that's an old friend of Pryce and Shei's, he was traveling with them ever since before the Firmament fell!"


Shei-Sher flashes his caller conch at Leather Cloak before entering the corridor. "I have a caller conch, should any need. You all have my calling card."

"A touch unfair!" Shei complains as they traverse the corridor "I-I have friends in many places -where I am surely welcome. Right? Hm.. Do you think people maybe ENDURE my company rather than recieve it?"

They exit the corridor together finding themselves below Swamp trees. "Right then. Those wings of yours- do they work? Because they look vestigial."

[Gadriel's wings are vestigial despite him having the griffon flight racial. Gadriel is simply able to hover into the air while the metal furs of his body take on a shifting serrated form.]


Pryce smiles as Cloak and River greet on friendly terms, and in agreement that the past is in the past.

"We should discuss with Ecclesia about that at some point," Pryce says to Zjetya on her status, "…What missions did they usually send you on?"

As she looks to hm about the Tartarus talk, he says nothing, his look showing that topic will be for later.

Pryce steps through the corridor as the party all reunites, the air of the day to come feeling light and hopeful. For a lack of better terms, he considers it a godsend to have a reunion and a day of everypony being together amidst the trials and looming threats.

KP turns his head as the others step out back into the garden. He waves, and then pauses as he spots Cloak. He runs up to the earth pony, looking up at him.
>"Cloak? Is that really you?"
He asks like he's seeing a ghost. Cloak can see the young colt looks almost identical to Pryce, though he lacks the wings and the charred burn on his horn.



"I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention," Amy says, looking to Shei. "Are you going somewhere?" she asks with concern.


Shei has already left through the corridor. You get a ring on your caller conch though.

>collect call for Amy

>"I'm visiting my folks."


"Right," Cloak nods patiently, "an alchemist by trade then. Perhaps I'll ask you more questions when I'm not being introduced to so many new faces all at once."

Still the most tentative to interact with so far, Cloak does eventually shake ahnds with Gadriel. "Very well." Out of sight, he polishes his hoof on one of his wrappings.

With little more to say besides an eyebrow raised at River's words towards Buiwong, Cloak joins them through the Corridor. Giving a small laugh as he sees just how large the group as become since he's left. "By the gods, you've amassed your own army."


Cloak looks between Pryce and his lesser a few times, blinking once again. "Hello there..?"

He looks to the larger Pryce, looking for him to elaborate on the strange situation wordlessly.



"You could have at least given me a kiss before you left…" Amy grumbles in response over the Conch.


"My potions aren't all that cool, anyway," Amy says, again missing the point. "And, in case you hear any rumors about my potions, they ARE technically true, but don't worry! It's not that bad!"


"Whoops I forgot!" he blurts into the conch


"Is that MY caller conch? I think I lent mine to you and I haven't gotten it back yet."



"You better make it up to me later," Amy huffs before she hangs up the conch.


"It was my father's, when he was my age," LJ says fondly. "And before that, it belonged to his father, woven by my grandmother when they were wed."

The implications fly right over his head.

"I thought it'd fit the occasion to bring out something nicer than my grubby combat poncho," he adds with a smile. "You look… uh… really pretty yourself."

In the background, Vortigern softly claps.

Gadriel floats upward a short distance, but despite not needing his wings, he does flap them, rather forcibly. They're inelegant, off-balance flaps, looking almost like a cartoonish parody of flight than anything else. "Yeah, I can fly just fine," he says, not taking any notice of how awkward he looks. "Where we headed?"

"Laity usually can't participate in any combat ops unless they have a detachment of Congregation to guard them," Zjetya says. "I've only seen battle a few times, though. They pegged my skillset as being best for after-battle care. I would perform for wounded soldiers in medical tents, and for widows and orphans recovered from danger zones. Stuff for raising morale, you know?"




River waves over the others. "Come say hello to our new ally!"

Eagerly they do, trotting over from various parts of the colorful, magical lakeside to get a look at Cloak.

The first is an orange unicorn colt with one eye permanently shut by a scar. "Hey! I'm Spitshine."
Next is a morose-looking doe, about Spitshine's age. "…Name's Sugar."
After her is a battle-scarred zebra mare in a white cloak, a little older than Pryce. She wears a sword handle with no blade at her hip. "I'm Blessings, blade of the Apostles of White. Good to meet you."
Next is a middle-aged mare whose body appears to be made all of smooth chrome with a rainbow sheen. "I am General Chorazin of the fallen nation of Mariposa."
She's followed by two ghastly-looking alicorns whose bodies are jet-black, one stallion and one mare. The stallion's body almost appears to be lacking skin, covered with sinewy muscles, with an elongated neck. His sclera glow yellow like lanterns, but the eyes are intelligent and blue. His mane is very long and greasy, unkempt. "I am Volkama, the Earl of Glass, from Circadia. Meet my wife, Deriva."
The mare next to Volkama has a similar, albeit more feminine apperance. She is covered with tattered mage's robes. "…Hello…" she wheezes softly.
After them is a treasure chest with four pony legs sticking out of the bottom at the corners. The lid opens, revealing a row of teeth along the rim and a very long tongue. "Hey! I'm Box, nice to meetcha."
Afterward is a changeling mare with a glasgow smile. Pink wires flash around her in a circle, disappearing and reappearing seemingly on the mare's whim. "Sup. I'm Wireframe. I mostly… hang out."
Next to Wireframe are two deep purple unicorns, of ambiguous and indeterminate gender. The smaller one appears to be a stallion, with a crow on his head. "I am Observer, agent of the Void," he intones dryly.
"I'm Yes Mare… technically…" the mare says, with much more personality. "I would really prefer if you call me Hafaza though. I'm trying to rebrand."
Finally, there's a humanoid fly demon, about the height of a pony. He seems to be relaxed enough around the party, but when he gets close to Cloak, he grows nervous. "H-hey. I'm Busta…"
"Did we forget anybody?" Box asks.
"Just Sister Renee, but she's training with Flow," Wireframe says.



Amy lets out a tiny squee as LJ talks, but doesn't want to ruin the moment.


"Don't worry, Busta," Amy consoles Busta. "He's fine with nice demons."


Flaming spots Zjetya, but realizes it's far too late to ask her for that make-up… and, thinking on it, maybe she'll be okay without it. She looks back to Journey as he explains where it comes from, and lucky for HIM, the implications seem to sail over Flaming's head as well, who is too caught up admiring it. What she does get is how big this date must be to Journey too if he'd break it out for this.

"It really, really is cool. It must mean a lot to you, thanks for showing it to me." As he compliments her looks, she smirks, doing a little twirl in her dress. "Thanks! I uh… 'feel' pretty pretty, too. I'm not used to dresses like this." She glares, "But uh, don't go spreading that around."

She casts a look in Vortigern's direction, raising an eyebrow, before turning back to Journey. "So… should we grab Box and Regina and let them know date's started?"


LJ laughs, suppressing a yawn. "You could've fooled me. Looks like it was practically made for you! Uhh but yeah, we should report in to Regina. Like… five minutes ago. She got pretty antsy waiting for you to come back from the observatory."

He takes you by the hoof. "C'mon! I think she'll throw us into those illusions again if we make her wait any longer."


Working down the line with a grin at how many made the effort to introduce themselves, pausing a bit to repeat the list in his head before attempting to return all the names as accurately as he can.

"Right, let's see then. Spitshine, Sugar, Box, Wireframe, and Hafaza; it is nice to meet all of you-" Cloak says in friendly matter, -"General Chorazin, Earl Volkama, and who I assume would then be the Countess Deriva, the pleasure is mine." He says more respectfully, offering something between a bow and a nod. "Blessings, a pleasure as well.. and let's see… Ah, Observer, Busta, my greetings to you two as well." Cloak says, amicably despite giving the last two a second glance.

"I am Leather Cloak, former companion of Sir Pryce, Flow, and Shei-Sher, among others. In the ranks of the Ecclesia, I am known as the Horror Hypostasus, Embodiment of Patience. I look forward to working alongside you all."


Shei looks on at Gardiel seamlessly hovering into the sky. He's impressed and flaps his wings to join him up in the sky.

"Hehe, you know I am not entirely sure actually. Lets rise above the swamp canopy and see." Shei flaps his wings more until he is above the trees and scans the area.

"I remember someone saying there were villages being built east of lilane. Just fly in opposite direction of the electric horizon. We will know if we are going the wrong way if the sky is turning dark."

With Shei flies eastward
[1d10+1] navigation

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


"In case you were wondering, I am not a demon, nor is Hafaza," Observer says. "I considered the transformation, but demon parasites are apparently far harder to come by than black market dealings. Besides, gathering the knowledge I seek would be far less efficient in a demon form."
"We are Voidlings," Hafaza says. "Beings from outside your World. Don't worry, we plan to stick around to aid your struggle, so long as it's beneficial to our own mission of Gathering."

"Well, that's everyone in our little circle. Now for Buiwong's n–" Wireframe begins.

"ME! You forgot me!" a metallic female voice cries out. From down a road to the north, you see a silver bipedal figure, made all of metal like an automaton or golem. It has wings as well, woven of metal. The figure stops once it gets close to Cloak. It stops, stopping over with hands on knees to catch its breath… despite having no muscles to get sore, nor lungs to need breath. It gets up and extends a hand to Cloak. "Paladin Mirror Image of the Union Church, and Chayot of the Heavenly Hosts."



"Demon parasites?" Amy asks with a cock of her head.


>"Hi! I can't believe you're here, it's been so long I thought the demons go you."
Pryce steps over at seeing Cloak's confusion.
"Right, this might be one of the odder faces to see. A few days ago, on our mission to Mariposa, I ran into a crystal pony who had an interesting spell to make a child version of myself as a hostage threat."
>"Yea, Mr. Ruby was a bit rough to work with but he's calmed and helps us out now."
KP chimes in.
"There wasn't really a way to undo the spell, so here we are."

"They did pick you for the right job there. But, that is a concern if things will get as bad as it feels tomorrow."


"We'll need to put in a special petition sometime today," Zjetya says. "Any of the Ecclesian agents entering Tartarus will have the authority to command me to go with them. Whether they'd actually do that remains to be seen, but we should try to be sure."

"An exceedingly rare organism from Tartarus," Observer explains. "They Fuse with the first organism they come into contact with, regardless of whatever they may be. Their beauty lies in the fact that, because the parasites have no personality of their own, a Fusion between a mortal and a parasite results in no change to the mortal's personality or memories, only their bodies and souls. However, when they are used on demons, the results are typically disastrous."


"Just fly in the opposite direction?" Gadriel asks, incredulously. He doesn't follow you, instead plopping down on an overturned tree. "Are all your plans this ingenious?"

He reaches into his bag and pulls out the crystal ball you gave him yesterday. "Why don't we actually try finding out where we're supposed to go? That's what this can do, right? How do I use this thing again?"


Flaming blushes, turning her head away as he says that. "C-come on, Journey, you're embarrassing me here, hehe… and, yeah, I agree: if we don't check in soon I bet she'll make us take our date in another story book!" She says.

As Journey grabs hold of her hoof, she smiles and runs along side him, heading over to the massive sphinx just ahead, shouting at her for her attention. "Regina! Sorry I'm late, I just had to deal with a little Ecclesia business first. You weren't waiting too long, were you?"


Leather nods, not in understanding but to at least show he's paying attention, "Very well, I myself might need to gather all the knowledge I've been given today. Once I find some free time I'll probably be hunched over a scroll writing this all down."

Taking a curious glance to Mirror Image, Cloak shakes the Chayot's hand. "Leather Cloak, disciple of Hypomone and Horror to Rooster, Spook of Holy Hours. A good name you have, my wife was thinking Mirror as a name for one of our children."


"Ah, what a surprise. It sounds as if you share the memories of the memories of the Pryce I've traveled with proper, so it is a pleasure to meet again for the very first time." Cloak says with a smile.



"Well that's nifty," is all Amy has to say in response to Observer.


"Don't worry," Amy says, patting Leather on the back as if they're old friends. "I don't know what's happening half the time, either."


Shei hoofpalms at seeing Gadriel fly directly down "I -uh.. I did not mean that way -opposite." Shei gently flies down to Gadriel, feeling out the awkward misunderstanding. "Yes! let's do that." Shei sits down on the tree beside Gadriel.

"Why don't you have at it first. It is your gift after all. Do you remember my instruction, on how to use the crystal ball." Shei insists Gadriel try using the crystal ball "Simply visualize a goat village, try and let the feeling take you, do not chase it."


"I would be happy to bless them, whatever you choose as their name," Mirror says. "By the way, your accent… Are you an Accorsian by any chance?"

"I'll draw you a diagram too," Wireframe says. "That'd probably be more useful for our group, anyway, since illiteracy is a rampant problem among the mares here. Not me, though. Heh! Leave it to the changelings to hog all the brains!

"Anyway, as I was saying, Buiwong's group is over there," she continues, gesturing to the picnic tables. "Ready to meet them too or do you need a breather?"

Regina takes tiny sips from a teacup that is practically microscopic in comparison to her, balanced precariously on her claw-tips. "All I'll say is that it's good for you that we set this up after my change of heart, otherwise I'd be having a very different response right now."

She sets down the tea-cups and claps her paws. "Well, gentlecolts, what shall we do first? I may be a queen, but even I know boys don't like to let the mares lead the dates."

"If it's all the same to you," LJ begins. "I'd like to do something a bit… active. Don't get me wrong, I want to have this be a fun relaxing day, but we are on the verge of an important mission. If it's at all possible to blend training with our date, I would think it wise to go for that."
"Yeah, that's just what I was about to say!" Box says. "I had a lot of fun yesterday!"

Regina makes a big show of tapping her chin, but her barely-hidden grin betrays that she's looking forward to it. "Flaming, what say you?"

Gadriel holds the crystal between his claws, shutting his eyes in quiet focus. Curls of swirling light and sparks start to form in the ball…


Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


Gadriel groans after a few seconds, but holds his posture. "A-am I doing it right…?"

>Second attempt; if this fails, you can roll as well.


Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


"I -uhm cannot really say. It is your mind after all. But don't give up! I'm sure you can do it."


An extreme, and visible, sense of worry flashes over Pryce at hearing any agent could order her away to Tartarus.
"We'll need to do that right away, the next time we see them."
He says with an absolute determination.
"I wanted to pick up some of those cleansing ingredients too, so that might be later this afternoon."

>"Yup! All the memories up to when Ruby cast the spell, but since then I've a whole new pony. For half the price too!"
KP says, laughing at his own pun.
>"Though we're also still connected too sorta."
"We are?"
>"Yea! River was saying yesterday that we still have a connection cause of the magic used and stuff… I was gonna talk to Mr. Ruby to learn ore about it, but then it got late and now we're here and he's back at Fantasia."



"Hey! You say that like not be able to read is some kind of sickness!" Amy objects to Wireframe.

"And, I have plenty of brains!"


Eventually, the orb reveals a small settlement under construction. It's in a lightly forested area, in a rocky hillside, built along a rapid cutting through the mountains that runs southwest to join a larger river. Goats populate the area, and everyone you see is wearing Ecclesian clothing. Many armed guards keep watch on the surrounding area while workers build fortified huts and repair existing architecture.

Based on the map of the region, and on the geography you're seeing, it looks like this is near Commontown.

Gadriel laughs as he opens his eyes and beholds the crystal ball's vision. "Hey! I got it working!"


"Aye, born and raised in an Accordian town and was once part of the Morte Legionem. I've only become accustomed to so much travel over the last year."

"Thank you, Wireframe. I'd like to think I have a better memory than most, but I'll not argue the usefulness if a diagram."

He nods, "I am fine to wait, whenever it would be most convenient."


Flaming looks up at Regina as she sips her tea, chuckling lightly as she tries to gauge just 'how' mad she is with a comment like that. "Hahaha.. g-guess we're pretty lucky you've changed since then, huh? What exactly would you have done to us, dare I ask?"

When Journey offers up his suggestion of what to do for their date, Flaming can't help but frown a 'little', hoping to focus more on relaxation for their date and getting to know one another better, but perks up as she realizes, training IS pretty much like a fun-day out for buffalo. "Hmm…. I guess I could go for that! But, how exactly do you plan to do it? Is our first date going to be to the sparring circle?"


>Accorsian, not Accordian. Cloak doesn't do Polka dots anymore


"Bravo Gadds! Tis no surprise, you have a legacy of magic within you." Shei leans forward to get a look at the crystal ball, he clicks his tongue at seeing the many guards surrounding the town. "Now I wish I had not traded my sacklcloth disguise with Flaming.. Well I doubt we could manage to find you a disguise either way Gadriel. We will have to present ourselves at the gate and beseech entry if they've heard of my transgression."

Shei-Sher puts his hoof over the crystal ball and looks to Gadriel.
"Whatever happens, promise me you will not resort to violence. They may be a little belligerent."


Cloak chuckles, "Well, I've seen a great deal of odd things today, but nowhere near unpleasant."


Zjetya lightly socks your arm. "Relax. We're gonna take care of it. I know your feelings on 'em are complicated, but the Choir has been good to us soldiers. The paperwork might drive you crazy, but I'm sure we can come to an understanding."

"How are you gonna be a demon queen if you can't even…" Wireframe begins to retort, but stops and considers her words. "Hang on… does being royalty or aristocracy even require much reading?"

"So good to finally meet a kinspony. I was born in the Glowstone Gulch, a mining town in Andalusite, and one of the few settlements where unicorns were welcome," Mirror continues. "Accorsia yet lives."

She dabs at her metal eyes as if wiping away tears that are not there. "F-forgive me. Even in this angelic body I can't help but wax emotional. Don't let me get in the way of your introductions!"

Regina just winks.

LJ turns to Regina. "Hey, based on what I heard from the others about yesterday, they skipped over a few of the stories. Can we use one of those?"
"Go into an illusion, you mean?" Regina asks. "Er, that's a bit more work than I was hoping. What I could do is play a little Witches and Wargs for us, like we were talking about last night. I can do a conventional adventure, or for a more modern take, have a little more relaxation and play. Does that sound alright?"
"We should be asking you that!" Box says. "Flaming, Regina, it's our day to pamper you. Does that sound fun?"

"I don't think I'm even capable of resorting to violence," Gadriel dryly comments.

He takes a compass from his bag and starts to follow it and the map eastward.

>Roll navigation

"Forget waiting," Wireframe says. "We're on a short timeframe today."

She leads you over to the picnic table. There, you see four powerful-looking figures.

The first is a gray pegasus mare with a very large wingspan, and a ghille suit for armor. She gazes at you dispassionately.
"That's Vortigern," Wireframe says. "Doesn't do much talking."
Next to her is a white dragon, with a segmented body made entirely out of paper, with features seemingly painted on with black ink. He grins. "I am _____, formerly of Yongning-si, outcast of the dragons. Refer to me however you wish."
After that is a drider mare, a pony with a short-cropped dark auburn mane, massive round glasses, and a modest blue poncho covering her midriff. Her spider half is black and a kind of poisonous-looking olive color. "Howdy. Name's Mocha. Buiwong's granddaughter."
Next is a very large buffalo with gruesome facial scarring, including a glowing-white scar that runs down the right side of his face, turning one of his eyes pure white. He wears an orange gi. When you look his way, he grins, contrasting with his horrific damage.

But of course, you recognize him instantly.

"Hey! I'm Temper Tant–" he begins, then stops short. He stands up, knocking back his chair. "You… I know you!"


>"I don't think I'm even capable of resorting to violence," Gadriel dryly comments.
Shei chuckles "heh, okay. Lets be off then." Shei flies up again and when Gadriel joins him they make a flight path eastward.

[1d10] naviagtion
[forgot, my regular talent isn't active right now]

Roll #1 4 = 4



Amy shrugs. "I don't see why I can't have someone else read everything for me."


Amy follows along to the picnic table.

When Tantra stands up, Amy cocks her head. "You know Pleather, Tanter?" Amy asks, getting neither name right.


"That sounds great!" Flaming says to Regina's suggestion. "I've been wanting to try it since last night, I even made a character with Rus and Vortigern's help reading through the book with me! I think that sounds like a lot of fun, if you two don't mind playing through that." She says, looking to Box and Journey.

"It 'could' help with training in more ways than one too, let us practice strategy right?"


"While I may have had a more urban upbringing, I agree it is good to see Accorsian hospitality even here."

Cloak offers a short nod to all of them, not going through their names like the previous group. "Leather Cloak, my greetings." With Temper Tantrum's appearance, he rubs the back of his neck awkwardly.

"Leather." Cloak says amicably to the side, "One could say that."


>"Oh! Have you seen our cool new pet? Lockjaw!"
KP says, calling over Lockjaw for Cloak to see.

Pryce looks down as she bops him, giving a light chuckle as the worry is cleared.
"It was just shocking to hear you could be whisked away so easily. But you're right, some of them have been pleasant to work with, so things can be settled."

Pryce looks over to River, and then to Leather, seeing as Shei ran off and Flaming went off to her date.
"Did you have any plans for the day? We were going to show the kids around town."



"Cotton," Amy responds enigmatically.

"Another old friend?"


"C-can I do it?" Wireframe asks excitedly. "I always wanted a cushy, important position where I get paid big to do easy work."
"I already called dibs!" Rus protests.
"Since when!?"
"Just now."
"That's not how dibs works!"
Wireframe and Rus Tea suddenly lock horns, getting into a bizarrely buffalo-like headbutting bout.

You and Gadriel are forced to fly into an eastern headwind, making travel rather difficult for a time, but after a while you get into a pattern of criss-crossing through the winds, mimicking the strategies of birds to get to your destination. Soon enough, after getting closer to the mountains, they catch enough of the winds for you to get to your destination safely.


You and Gadriel touch down on a hill road, well-worn with cart tracks. Pine needles coat the ground, and a light hoarfrost embraces everything nearby. An imposing wall awaits further up the hill, built from thick, well-carved logs with spiked tops. Guards await in their towers, but don't seem to have noticed you yet.

"So can't we just go in and request entry?" Gadriel asks.

"Much like River Spring, I fought to bring about the end of days with Buiwong," Tantra says. "Though, if I had known it would have turned out like this… argh. I need to get out of that mindset. What's done is done, right?"

He offers his hoof for a bump.

"Oh right, our pets!" Spitshine exclaims.
Aside from Hopper, there seem to be four pets with the party. The first is a tiny Kecha-Wacha, which Sugar introduces as Katcher. Second is a tiny Pukei-Pukei, who Spitshine names Pucchini. Third is Lockjaw, a tiny Deviljho. Lockjaw grunts upon being introduced, sniffing Cloak all over, apparently in search of food.

The fourth pet is a piglet, who sniffs around in the grass near Hafaza's legs. He seems a little shy.

"Still working on a name," Hafaza says. "I've been sticking with Pig for now."
"Hafaza is a Power Voidling, while I am a Knowledge Voidling," Observer dryly explains.

"Does this involve a lot of math…?" Box asks. "…Cause math is my favorite subject!"
"That actually sounds like a good start!" LJ says. "You'll have to show me how it's done though."
"I was hoping you'd say that," Regina says. She digs into her bag and pulls out that old copy of Witches and Wargs, as well as a set of glasses. As she sets them on her nose, Box starts visibly sweating.
Regina then passes out pens, inkwells, sheets of paper, and dice. "Alright, we need to decide on what characters you'll be playing. Box, LJ, why don't you look through the book here and take your pick. Flaming, give us your introduction while they do that."



"I may not know how to read, but I'm pretty sure that's not how the word 'already' works, Rusty," Amy laughs.

"But really, I'm sure I'll need both your help… I'm not sure if it will be the cushy job you're looking for though…" Amy pauses as she realizes she doesn't have a nickname for Wireframe.

Then, she suddenly gasps. She jumps up and down with a giddy expression. "Framy!" she exclaims excitedly.



"So you WERE on the same side!" Amy nods to Tantra.

As far as Amy understands it, it was Pryce and his friends that caused the end of days. Thus, Tantra was on their side.


Shei-Sher looks about himself, taking in the surroundings. "I suppose so."

And so they sonder over to the gate. As Shei approaches closer to the fort he can feel his beat faster and his hooves feel clamy. He musters the spirit to greet the guards without sounding nervous. "Ahoy!" Shei calls out to the tower guards "Goodmorning, We request entry into the village. A relative of Shei-perd and my griffon friend."


"The past cannot be erased, but the future may still be righted." Cloak nods, "I've spoke to River about the same sentiment." Cloak shakes the hoof that had intended to bump.

Cloak looks at the pets with amusement and bemusement alike, turning his head towards Observer when he spouts the random factoid. "..I see."

"Mmn. We had some disagreements, but I am sure at the end of the day, we all wished to continue living fulfilling lives. Most if not all do."

"None, save introductions."


As Regina takes out the board and starts to set up the game, Flaming looks to Box, "Yeah, there is a little… but from what I can tell it shouldn't be too hard, just subtractions. I can do those, I just write my numbers in sticks and it should be fine."

As Regina asks her to introduce her character, Flaming smiles widely. "Sure! Ahem… okay… my character is a pony named Sheimy Thrice. She's the noble, honorable alicorn wizard-princess of a kingdom that's always in danger, and she goes out to save it using her magic, warm hugs, and crazy smarts… extra on the 'crazy', she gets yelled at a lot for doing stupid stuff sometimes, even though she means well."



"I'd rather have fun than be fulfilled," Amy shrugs.


As Lockjaw searches for food on Cloak, Pryce pulls off his bracelet, attempting to conjure some food for the little deviljho.
>Hat Magic [Meat] [1d10]

He smiles at all the pets playing around.
"Are you ready to see the city?"
He asks Spitshine, Sugar, and KP.
>"Yea, totally!"

"You're welcome to join us. It'll be a good time to catch up."

Roll #1 7 = 7


"As you can no doubt see, Amy has a very interesting imagination," Wireframe says.

The guards look down at you, then operate a system of levers at their command, and the gate slowly opens. Once you get past the gates, you are stopped at a checkpoint, operated by a group of three guards.

"State your business, and turn over your belongings," the head guard says. "We just need to inspect them for any illegal materials. You'll get them back soon."

"He's calling me dumb," Hafaza says. "But for all that knowledge, he still can't help but be cripplingly socially inept."
Observer merely blinks, less than amused. Meanwhile, Pryce conjures a slab of meat-on-the-bone, which Lockjaw quickly starts chowing down on.
"It would be a good opportunity to get something to bring back to Dagger," River suggests.

Regina stops in the middle of setting out a folding board to cover her stack of papers and dice. She looks down the rim of her glasses at you. "…I think some edits are to be in order. Why not make this… Sheimy… somewhat more down to earth? If she starts out as an alicorn and a princess, there's nowhere really for her to develop and advance. Maybe she can be an earth pony to begin with, of humble origins, and rise to greatness."

LJ laughs. "Sounds like Regina's experienced with vetting characters. Anyway, Box, check out this sick combo if you take this class and that one…"



"Amy and Framy," Amy says happily in a little tune. "Now you HAVE to be one of my advisors or something!"


Flaming looks up at Regina as she offers her notes, "Oh, I haven't even mentioned how she's also part demon yet! But uh… I… think I may see your point." She says feeling a little sad that her character didn't go over so well.

"I could dial her back a little bit then. How about… what was Pryce again… oh, just a regular unicorn then? Could she still be a princess? Just a young one, not really in charge yet?"

She looks to Journey, snickering. "I think Regina has a bit too much experience with characters, I guess… also, 'combo's? You know combos?"


Like the cutting of steel, a cold tremor is felt inside Shei-Sher at the mention of an inspection. He tries to remain calm.

"I am visiting family after being gone for some time. I also wish to offer my labor and perform good works for the village." Shei-Sher holds his bag securely in a hoof.

"However, I am afraid I will be needing to dispense of my belongings at an inn before visiting. I am an alchemist by trade and handle highly sensitive materials within my bag. It would be highly unethical of me as a professional to allow laymen to handle such hazards. Thank you" Shei bows "I shall return soon again."

[1d10] to be convincing enough not to rouse suspicion

Shei turns around and motions Gadriel to follow him back up the hill.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Pryce gives Lockjaw a pet after handing him the slab of meat, letting him gnaw away in peace.
"How have you two been?"
He asks Observer and Hafaza, not having had time to speak with them much as of late.


"Ah, well I've been called slow plenty, which I would argue is not equivalent to patient but I digress."


He rolls his eyes at River, already acting more friendly around her at the mention of getting something for Dagger, "If there's one thing that's tested my patience in these last few months, is her need for the strangest of foods. By time I go fetch her maple sugar candies, she's already decided she's in the need for pickled beets. If it wasn't for the nurses I may have renounced my vows already. I'll see if I can find something nice."


"And obviously, since this fits so well, I have to get a nice big salary cut out of the royal budget!" Wireframe laughs.
"Fine, but since my penponyship is better than yours, I get a nice office with a big desk and a good view!" Rus Tea says.

Regina nearly bursts up laughing when she hears about the part demon bit. "If you thought that was over the top, you should look at some of the earliest characters I made. Since I always played by myself, I had nobody to tell me what worked and didn't."
"You played by yourself?" Box asks. "…How?"
"…I had more imaginary friends than most mares my age," Regina mumbles sheepishly.

Meanwhile, LJ is scribbling down notes. "Yeah, whoever designed this should've done some testing. You can make ridiculous things if you play it right. Okay, so I'm Great Voyage, the son of the lead warrior of my wayward tribe. I'm an Ascendant too, and my horns are magic!"

"That's… marginally better," Regina comments. "Box?"

"I'm Chester, the keeper of goods. I'm gonna be an Entertainer, a wandering Krikral bard in search of things to steal, sell and tell tall tales about!"

Regina nods in approval. "Something interesting."

"Get lost and don't come back," the guard says. He signals to those in the towers, and they shut the gates once you depart.

Gadriel follows you. "You couldn't have just let them look through it? I doubt those guys would know what any of that stuff was if you just lied to 'em. Now they'll think you had a bomb in there!"

River conjures another Dark Corridor for your small group.


After proceeding through, you find yourselves back in the northwestern district of Threecoins. In the distance to the east, Cloak can see just how gargantuan the Library is, even when seen from far-off. The northwestern district is a very eclectic place.

The flagstone streets are marked with several closely-held clumps of buildings, separated by winding streets. No two buildings look alike, and often look like they were taken out of fantastical paintings and plopped straight down in the city. Some are made of mushrooms, others resemble cakes or tree trunks or even stone fish. The streets are populated by an all-female population, of diverse races and clothing styles, suggesting they hail from all across the lands.

Zjetya looks somewhat sad as she looks over them all.



"Huh…" Amy suddenly puts a hoof to her chin pensively. "Where do you think I'd rule from?"


"There's a lot of variety, and surprises, here. I'm positive you'll find more than enough."

As they step out into one of the main districts of Threecoins, KP immediately looks giddy at all the magical and also imaginary architecture, as well as the clothing.
>"This place is so cool! Look at all this, it's like we're going through a storybook like the other day! Remember that Spits?"

Pryce is feeling better walking through the witch city this time, no overarching threat of demons or a mission, just a simple stroll. He turns to Zjetya, seeing her expression.
"Is everything alright?"
He asks.


Leather follows Pryce close as they walk through the city, peering into windows and soaking in the sights.

"No kidding, Pryce…" Curious to see where they'll lead, he mostly stays quiet to allow for the conversation between Pryce and Zjetya to take place.


"She probably made replicas to play with, right? And, I'm sorry you had to play all by yourself back then, I guess that would make it hard to check to see if what you're doing is good or not. What was YOUR first character, REgina?"

As LJ points out his character, Flaming looks over her sheet, not wanting to be outdone competitively by him as she leers at his sheet. "Uh… um… do you… just HAPPEN to see anything like that that can be done for a wizard? Just curious, don't want them or anything just wanna know if you can see the combos for my class too."

As they introduce their characters, Flaming snorts. "Great Voyage? Chester? Those are a little familiar. But I like the idea about your horns being magic, that's a pretty neat trick." She looks up at her horns, where she sees Spark is still perched.


"Somewhere central to your territory, with a good amount of transportation in every which way in case you have to travel, which I bet you will," Blessings says. "Why not take over Fantasia? I have talked with Easy Doesit in recent times. She has little wish to be a queen, or a ruler of any kind. She was born from legends of adventurers, and adventure is all she wishes to do."

Zjetya shrugs. "I talked a lot with Yadala and the others about where they're from. The Coven they're from – Wacachan – was kinda like this. Everything and everyone looked like a mishmash of a million different things collapsing in on themselves. Witches are misfits, and no matter where they're from, Wacachan took them all in.

"They might be able to handle it, since it's all they know, but lots of places are experiencing the same thing. Ecclesia's been swamped trying to keep all the refugees they've taken in happy, but that hasn't succeeded in the slightest. Zha Arlakane's been filled with violence from different refugee groups every single day, even after we took it over. I just wonder if Ecclesia will be able to make all those different peoples as happy as these Witches seem."

"Eventually, I think so," River says. "When people are brought together due to fear and strife, they can't help but fight. Once we're back to a state where all those old kingdoms have their own land and sovereignty again, instead of being clumped up in shelters all day, we'll see peace return in that way too."

Spitshine blinks. "…So, uh… where's the good shops? Anyone know?"

"I can only make replicas out of the Dove Orchids, so for a while I was just with me myself and my imagination," Regina says, then smiles. "We're not going to dig that one out of the folder."

LJ looks over. "Want some help building your character? I can definitely make you overpowered."

Regina frowns. "That's kind of not the point… but if you want to have a challenge, you better be prepared."

>paused, continue the RP if wanted


After arriving in the northeastern district, you feel a shuffling around in your robe. Hopper is crawling around inside, until he eventually pops out of your collar and climbs onto your shoulder. He taps you with the staff, and little orbs of water manifest from the staff's tip. He seems very proud of this cantrip, as he is very insistent that you get an eyeful of it.


Pryce turns his head down to Hopper as he bops him with his little staff, looking at the little droplets he conjures.
"This is part of the ensemble you got yesterday, right?"
>"Yea! Hopper picked it out all by himself!"
"It's a good fit," Pryce comments, turning his attention back to Hopper, "I knew you were talented but this is a real gift you have."


Hopper then turns about, and waves the staff again. This time, the water orbs float down toward KP's bag, floating around the pouch containing the books that he got from Sansebas about beast taming. He makes little grumbling sounds until KP takes them out of his bag.
"Curious," River says, eyeing the grimoire and bestiary. "Do you think Regina wasn't far off when she said he was acting jealous? Because it looks to me like he wants to prove his worth as an adventurer."


KP pulls out the books as Hopper makes it clear he wants to see them.
>"Which one do you want Hopper?"
He asks, holding them up for the frog.
"I wouldn't be surprised. I found him all the way back in Vadalahara before the Rapture. After all that time he probably wants more to do."


Hopper taps the grimoire with the staff (with the butt of course, so as not to damage it with water).
River grimly smiles. "He'd have to be a very strong little frog to survive a place like that. I think it would be a far cry to expect that he could be trained to a point where he could assist you against Estuary, but he will probably appreciate being trained all the same. Why not devote a day to him, since Lockjaw had his share of the fun yesterday?"


KP puts the bestiary away, and opens the grimoire,flipping through the pages.
>"Ok, stop me when I get the page you want."
"Maybe one day he could. There was a rather large frog with a sword back in the wichbone forest that I ran into."
>"I was hearing a lot about beast masters from Spits and Sansebas, Hopper could totally be an amazing mage!"
Pryce nods to River's suggestion.
"I was planning to spend most of this day for quality time, since it'll be the last for a while I might get for some."


Hopper grumbles a little – though KP knows by now that he always does that – until he gets about 10 percent of the way through the book. At that point, Hopper thrusts out the butt of the staff, stopping KP from going on further. He can see that it's a two-page spread, illustrating many Beast-Tamers fighting alongside their Pact-beasts. It is a very heroic scene, displaying a wide variety of adventurer archetypes, defending a massive castle-city from an onslaught against shadowy monsters.
Hopper's eyes widen at the sight, and then he gives Kp a look of severe hope.
"…How might a frog train, though?" River asks aloud. "If only we got to ask that frog in the Witchbone Jungle what his routine was."


"We could always visit him in the future. I imagine he'd like to know how this duel will turn out, since he was the one who warned me about Sir Estuary to begin with."
KP looks down at the the spread display of battles, looking as excited as Hopper is. He turns, holding the book up for Pryce, River, and Zjetya to see.
>"Look! We just gotta do stuff with him, like they are here!"
He says as if inspired.
>"And since there's two of us, Hopper will probably get twice the training!"
"…Would it really work that way?"
>"I don't know. But if Zjetya had enough of a bond to teach Hopper a trick, then two of us having the main bond has to be twice as fast!"


Hopper turns from KP to Pryce, looking up at him the way that a young colt looks at a stallion who is of great inspiration to him, motivating him onward to greater heights.
River smiles. "Looks like we have ourselves our day five mission. Perhaps the Ecclesians might have some simple tasks we can take on to get some practice with him."
"Want me to call the logistics offices and see what they've got?" Zjetya asks. "Or should we stick with the Witches? Though, in all likelihood, Ecclesia will be coming and going around here today to try to solidify that deal."

She laughs. "Plus, once the stallions know that there's a whole city full of single ladies, we'll see a serious spike in the population."


"I did want to speak with the Ecclesians anyways, for a few reasons. Why don't we try both? See if the Witches have any tasks we could take on while we shop, and then in the afternoon head to the Ecclesian camp and see what they have."
He suggests, looking down to Hopper.
"Been a while since I did any proper training as well, it'll go good for the both of us."
>"The three of us!"
KP corrects.

Pryce looks over to Zjetya and her comment.
"Do you think they'll really rush over here over that?"


River nods. "Time well spent, if I say so myself."
"We ought to get in some ourselves," Spitshine says to Sugar. He strokes Katcher's fur. "Maybe we can get our pets on the same level."
"I don't wanna put them in danger," Sugar says. "But it would be best if they're practiced at defending us and themselves."

Zjetya nods. "Oh yeah. Setting aside that the Witches themselves have probably next to no experience with stallions, and would be excited themselves, Ecclesia is very pro-natalist. Being in a committed relationship that is likely to result in marriage and children gets you the good life. Earlier, Cloak mentioned the Cairn. It's Ecclesia's most fortified bunker, reserved for VVIPs, like the families of the Choir, the elderly, and expectant and young mothers. Its location is kept a strict secret; need-to-know basis only. Revealing it without proper authorization can get you the death penalty. But if you can get yourself or your spouse there, their safety is totally guaranteed, and you're set financially for the rest of your life."
"For a more simple explanation – some ponies may just have a thing for witches," River says. "Box is proof of that."


He looks down to Spitshine and Sugar as they talk about their own pets and training as well.
"I think your pets have an edge, since they're all shrunken like Lockjaw was. They're already better at handling their own," Pryce comments, thinking a moment, "I'll need to check in with Fairy Castle too to finish up that Unweaving training as well."
Pryce says, followed by a sigh.
"Today is going to be a busy day. Hope I don't wear myself out before the fight."

"That's good to hear they keep the families safe, though I hope the Ecclesians would take interest for their own emotions, and not just to take those benefits."
He comments.
"I think Box's romance goes beyond just Regina being a witch."


"Well sure," Spitshine says. "But I have a feeling that if they're cooped up while they see you, Hopper and Lockjaw running around, they'll lose their minds."
"Yeah, better let 'em get a share of the fun," Sugar says.
"Don't worry," River says. "Keeping to a schedule is one of my skills. I had to keep my whole group on task when I was working for Buiwong. They were all dysfunctional and a tad scatterbrained, even Shining Light. I'll keep our tasks on track, however."

Zjetya shrugs. "I wouldn't worry too much. Something tells me Witches aren't so easily taken advantage of. Besides, the troops that the Choir sends to retake a city are made of much better stuff than what they keep on the front lines. I don't think Regina will regret this deal."

>Pause, reply if you want


Last time on HolyQuest…

In a whirlwind of new names and faces, Leather Cloak was introduced to almost every member of the Saviors of Mariposa, including four members who served Buiwong, their old adversary and the fallen god who cast the world into ruin. Although not all of them would be joining the Tartarus Expedition, they greeted him warmly as one of their own.

Afterward, the party split up in order to tend to their business for the fifth and final day that they had before the Expedition began. If they needed to get in contact with one another, they could use the Caller Conches that Doctor Galton of the Choir brought them.

Flaming, LJ, Regina, Box and Buiwong's crew remained behind in the garden at the top of the Library of the Sacrosanct. LJ, Flaming, Regina and Box began their double date with an adventure of Witches and Wargs 3E, while (unbeknownst to LJ and Flaming) Buiwong's crew remained nearby to keep an eye on things. Additionally, Amy stuck around to give her own advice to Flaming. While there, she also had access to Fairy Castle and the other Witches, who could teach her more about her powers.

Pryce, Cloak, KP, River, Zjetya, Spitshine, Sugar and the pets went into Threecoins' northeastern district, located outside the Library's massive, castle-like grounds. There, they could do some shopping and see the sights to take their minds of the ordeals to come.

Shei and Gadriel took a Dark Corridor to Lilane's outskirts. Although they couldn't enter the city proper, thanks to Ichimonji's ban, they could go to another developing Ecclesian territory, to the east. Gadriel managed to scry it out with the crystal ball Shei procured for him, and they were off. Luckily, they managed to avoid encountering demons on the way. When they arrived at the town's outskirts, they had to face a guard outpost and submit to an inspection of their belongings. Shei's refusal to submit raised much suspicion in the guards, so it would be harder to get in now… at least, through that route. As any thief will tell you, there's more than one way to get somewhere undetected.


"Somewhere central to your territory, with a good amount of transportation in every which way in case you have to travel, which I bet you will," Blessings says. "Why not take over Fantasia? I have talked with Easy Doesit in recent times. She has little wish to be a queen, or a ruler of any kind. She was born from legends of adventurers, and adventure is all she wishes to do."

>Pryce, Leather

Zjetya shrugs. "I talked a lot with Yadala and the others about where they're from. The Coven they're from – Wacachan – was kinda like this. Everything and everyone looked like a mishmash of a million different things collapsing in on themselves. Witches are misfits, and no matter where they're from, Wacachan took them all in.

"They might be able to handle it, since it's all they know, but lots of places are experiencing the same thing. Ecclesia's been swamped trying to keep all the refugees they've taken in happy, but that hasn't succeeded in the slightest. Zha Arlakane's been filled with violence from different refugee groups every single day, even after we took it over. I just wonder if Ecclesia will be able to make all those different peoples as happy as these Witches seem."

"Eventually, I think so," River says. "When people are brought together due to fear and strife, they can't help but fight. Once we're back to a state where all those old kingdoms have their own land and sovereignty again, instead of being clumped up in shelters all day, we'll see peace return in that way too."

Spitshine blinks. "…So, uh… where's the good shops? Anyone know?"


"I can only make replicas out of the Dove Orchids, so for a while I was just with me myself and my imagination," Regina says, then smiles. "We're not going to dig that one out of the folder."

LJ looks over. "Want some help building your character? I can definitely make you overpowered."

Regina frowns. "That's kind of not the point… but if you want to have a challenge, you better be prepared."


"Get lost and don't come back," the guard says. He signals to those in the towers, and they shut the gates once you depart.

Gadriel follows you. "You couldn't have just let them look through it? I doubt those guys would know what any of that stuff was if you just lied to 'em. Now they'll think you had a bomb in there!"



"Right, and that's not counting any biases Ecclesia might have, or the ponies that are a part of it."
He comments on the topic.
"I'm sure they'll be fine though. The Witches have been able to hold themselves, so they won't need to be as reliant on Ecclesia's help. That should keep most tensions down."

As Spitshine speaks up, Pryce looks down the roads.
"I think there was some this way. Let's start there first."
He says, leading the group towards the shops.


File: 1576030239568.jpg (29.23 KB, 576x324, cloak_dagger_7.jpg)


Leather Cloak listens passively to the conversation between the others, mostly doing window shopping at the strange buildings around him, seeing if anything around would appeal to either Dagger's crude sense of humor, or something for her to snack on.


Flaming smiles up at Regina, "Tartarus won't show mercy on us, and neither should you! Climbing Fires don't shy down from a challenge."

She pushes her character sheet towards LJ, scooting in close to look over it with him. "Okay, so, what do you recommend? I chose a wizard so, all that fancy magic should already make me pretty powerful right?"


"Well, unless two Witches end up fighting over the same soldier," Zjetya says with a laugh. "I doubt they'd all be willing to go down the polygamous path you've chosen."

As you head into the shopping district, you see many willowy and tall buildings, grouped together closely. The district's streets are not ordinary ones. A grand, central street gives rise to many smaller streets, sprawling off from the central one like the roots of a plant. Those smaller streets are in turn filled with criss-crossing staircases, pulley elevators and ladders, making practically every building interconnected in some way. It's almost as much of a labyrinth as the Library itself.

Along the way, River flags down a local witch to ask for some directions. Said witch, recognizing Pryce et al from yesterday, is all too glad to help, listing off some noteworthy stops and what they offer.

>Halaq's Haircuts

-Offers not just haircuts, but hair lengthening, alteration of texture, thickness, composition, color, etc.

>Meister's Metallurgy

-Weapon purchasing and quality upgrades, property changes (Elemental / Physical damage type), other Enhancements
-Elemental Ammo, Special Ammo
-Armor purchasing and upgrades

>Prickly Pear's Pharmacy

-Sells potions, salves, creams, perfumes, colognes, gels, pills, comics, toys and candy

>Wizingstar's Witcheries

-Catalysts like spellbooks, wands, grimoires, fetishes, staves, amulets, charms, coins, cards, tubes, spell tags, scrolls, etc.
-Supplies for summoned familiars and pets
-Assorted magical items for both combat and noncombat purposes

>Arthuria's Antiques

-Furniture, rugs, curtains, tapestries, and art commissions

>Threadbearer's Threads

-Clothes, accessories, makeup. They also have coffee.

"So, check it out, if you go pure Mage, not taking any other classes, you'll get this, plus these two skills have some synergy. Let me show you…" LJ says, going over the rulebook to show you everything that the Mage class offers, until you have a sheet that you can be proud of.
Regina looks your way once it sounds like you're putting on the finishing touches. "All ready?"


Flaming's sheet is as follows:
>Sheimy Thrice
>Female Unicorn
>Fire Elementalist (free)
>Hat Magic
>Storm Bolt
>Magic Bolt
>Homing Magic
>Talent: +2 to Homing Magic

Flaming looks over her sheet, holding a pencil in her mouth as she jots down some notes according to LJ's instructions. Once done, she spits it out, smiling as she looks it over. "Yeah… yeah, I think this works!" She turns to LJ, awfully close to his face. Almost too close! She moves her muzzle down a little, snickering. "T-thanks. I bet it'll be awesome now."

She turns to Regina, nodding her head eagerly. "Ready!"


"Art commissions… Glass would be wondering if they do smut." Leather muses, looking about. "Prickly Pear's seems like a nice time, long as they don't offer free samples without consent."


"I couldn't risk that.." Shei says in a hushed tone as they walk back up the and behind the hill. "My grievances would be doubled if I lost anything before we enter Tartarus."

Shei-Sher opens a portal to their airship in threecoins "We will drop off our things at the ship and return. I have a few contingency plans before calling it quits."

[1d10] dark corridor

Roll #1 3 = 3


You see LJ almost reflexively back off when you get too near to him, but then he stops and allows you to be closer to him than he'd normally allow. He casts a glance over to a grove, where Vortigern, Tantra, Mocha and _____ are doing a very conspicuous job of not looking inconspicuous, as they watch the date unfold.

Regina looks over the three sheets that her players have submitted. "Okay then… yeah, I can work with these."

She hands them back, then rustles some paper, pens and dice behind her massive QM screen. She waves a paw, and dark mists gather around and above you, darkening things slightly to set a mood. Regina's face seems to be lit from below, and her voice slightly resonates, as if she were speaking from all around you.

"You three have been commissioned by the Machine-King of Acappella City on a quest that he can trust nobody else with. A dungeon far to the west, known as the Coil of Daedas, holds the remains of the Vrykolakas, a dreaded vampire defeated and sealed away long ago. But now, in the shadowy kingdom of Circadia, occultists driven mad by the eternal moon have stolen into the dungeon, seeking to revive the Vrykolakas and install her as the head of their new kingdom of the night. This cannot be allowed to happen. The Machine-King has commissioned you to infiltrate the Coil, retrieve the three corpse parts of the Vrykolakas, and return to Acapella City before the Occultists can revive her.

"You have ridden by carriage for several days across the northern countryside. The swampy terrain has made travel terribly difficult, and the beasts of burden pulling your wagon are exhausted. The ride is bumpy, and the carriage stuffy and hot with the damp air of the fetid swamp. Without warning, the carriage grinds to a halt, nearly throwing you out of your seats."

With a flourish, she turns it over to you.

"Okay, I trust you," Gadriel says. "Just let me know if you need me to do anything. Hey, maybe one of my past selves was really good at distractions. Tapdancing routines, slapstick comedy, that kind of stuff.

As you return to the ship, you recall the Moon and Sun Diskos that the others will need to use in order to be eligible for the Kindling.

>For the sake of time you can assume you get back to that area outside Commontown without a roll.


Flaming looks over in the grove, wondering what the heck those guys are up to watching their date before she shrugs it off, looking over at LJ and rolling her eyes pointed in their direction.

As Regina passes them back their sheets, Flaming looks up at the giant sphynx, nodding her head as she tells the story of their mission. "Coool…. wait, uh, you're looking at me?" Flaming says, eyes popping wide open.

"OH! Oh this is the part where I act, got it!" She looks at her sheet, "Umm… okay, Sheimy says, 'Hey! What's going on out there?', deciding to take matter into her own hoofs and hop outside to see what's going on."

She looks around. "Um, do I need to roll for that?"


Regina smiles. "Oh, I hope you like the word 'perception,' because you're going to be hearing that a lot. Yep, whenever you want to know more about the physical details of a place around you, you need to roll perception. I will prompt you sometimes when I want one out of you. All of you, go ahead and roll for that."

LJ and Box pick up and toss their dice.

[1d10] LJ
[1d10] Box

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 9 = 9


"'Perception', huh? That's a funny word. Alright: Sheimy steps outside of the cart and looks around!" She says, giddly grabbing at dice and shaking them up enthusiastically. "This part looks really fun-" she says, seemingly enamored with the simple act of tossing a multi-sided decahedron on the table.

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Eheh, I uh, don't imagine Ecclesians would go down that route either."
Pryce says wit ha nervous chuckle.

As the witch tells them of the nearby stores, KP looks all too eager to check out each one.
>"They have so many places here! You can get everything."
"The antique stores sound like a good place to start if we want to decorate the ship up."
Pryce suggests to the group.

"Have you been to places that force samples on you?"
Pryce asks curiously at the comment.


After counting up the rolls, Regina leans back.

"You see that your carriage has been running across a partly-sunken dirt road, gripped on all sides by the depths of the Onuma Swamp. The carriage was en route to cross a great bridge over the deepest parts of the swamp. The bridge awaits before you, but has been destroyed. The wood panels of the bridge have been blown away, and support beams, black with burn marks, sink partway into the swamp, their ropes turning a sickly green from the bile below. It looks like the bridge was destroyed recently. The driver tells you that this is as far as he can go; he's not getting paid nearly enough to risk his boars of burden in this swamp."

"I tell him that he's violating the king's orders if he runs away!" Box protests.

"Roll persuasion," Regina says.

Box shakes the dice… [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2


"But the driver will hear none of it!" Regina says. "He tells you that he's not going to tangle with occultists no matter how much he's offered, not when he's got so much to lose. You'll have to find your own way from here."

LJ taps his chin. "Okay, what to do…"


They arrive at commontown and Shei-Sher heads for the Airship

>Hey, maybe one of my past selves was really good at distractions.

"I suppose there's always a chance. Perhaps you should inquire the Sun Diskos on your true self Gadds. It might just acquaint you better with your past lives."

Shei pats a fist onto his hoof "That reminds me. The others have not made their own inquiries with the diskos. Before we leave again for Ecclessia lets drop those off with Flaming."

When they enter the ship Shei-Sher directs Gadds to the location of the diskos while dropping off the majority of his belongings. He calls out loud for anyone in the ship hear "Chorazin are you here? I have a question."


Flaming snickers at LJ's failed negotiations. "You should have tried being nicer with him, Journey. It's alright though," Flaming looks at Regina with a confident look.

"Sheimy says, 'Don't worry about him! The King tasked US with stopping the occultists, and that's just what we'll do. We'll traverse the swamp ourselves, unless any of you can fly'."

"Um, neither of you can fly, right? I downgraded Sheimy to a unicorn so her wings are gone. Oh! And, she uses her magic to pull out three pairs of swamp-wadding boots out of her bag!"
[1d10] Hat Magic

Roll #1 8 = 8


Gadriel heads for your room, which is where you last left both Diskos. There's no response when you call out to Chorazin. It seems that she's not here. Perhaps you could try the Conch.


"Glass has dragged me into a gag gift store. Err, not that sorta gag, practical joke stuff. Had me peer through a kaleidoscope even though I didn't care for the experience. Tattoo'd some magical ink around my eye for a week that wouldn't wash off. Real funny."


Deciding to hit up the pharmacy first, you proceed through the labyrinthine streets until you find a squat building, shaped like a mushroom. It's built on the lower tiers of the district, on the western side, by the great river which divides the city in two. Around the outside balcony overlooking the River, you see many pots containing rows of mushrooms and other small plants.

With a jingle of the doorbell, you enter and find a very nice, cool hovel, with a dirt floor and many stout wood tables, containing rows and rows of potions, salves, medicine cases, and so on and so forth. Spitshine and Sugar immediately bolt for the back, where you see candy, toys and manga on the shelves.

Prickly Pear is at the counter. Cloak sees that she is a young white alpaca with a colorful poncho and a curled staff at her side. She hums and waves as you enter. "Hey, Pryce! How's everything today?"


"Gadriel I need to send a call out to Chorazin. You can use the Sun Diskos while I speak through the conch. It works similarly to the crystal, simply ask it a question."

Shei-Sher takes the conch out from his belongings and makes a call out to Chorazin.


You succeed at drawing forth three high-topped boots, enough to insulate your legs from the treacherous swamp. You know that even though the occultists destroyed the bridge to slow their pursuers, they must have still gone that way, for this bridge was part of the long road to the Coil.

>"The mighty Great Voyage thanks the clever mage Sheimy for her spell," LJ says, making his voice much deeper than it normally is. "Alright, let's roll for navigation!"

[1d10] LJ
[1d10] Box

"Alright, I'll give it a shot and report back!" Gadriel says.

After a short while, Chorazin picks up. "Hello, Shei. I must have just missed you. I am in the middle of discussions with Mirror Image at the moment. What do you need?"

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 5 = 5


As LJ lowers his voice, Flaming snickers, heightening hers so that it sounds like a close approximation of Amy's. "Sheimy says that the great warrior Voyage is very welcome, and she skips and hops her way through the swamp in her boots ahead of the others with no sense of direction!" She says, drawing upon someone close to her IRL as she takes another roll of the dice.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Cloak offers a small bow as he enters, looking to Pryce. "Ah you know the proprietor. That's nice to know." He waves to Pear, "Hiya, just browsing the sweets, trying to pick out a gift for my wife."


"Oh Sorry to interrupt. Well you may not approve, but I wished to visit my biological mother before the day ends. She has not seen me since opportunity compelled me to join Pryce and the others on our quest -that was months ago. The problem is her place of residence is likely an ecclessian village. It is not among my first ideas to gain entry, but if my options run out would you be available to lend a hoof in playing a role?"


>Regina flourishes her fingers, and ominous, atmospheric background music begins to play.

With the help of your boots, you trudge through the deep swamp, taking experimental steps here and there to test the depths, lest you take one wrong step and fall in, never to surface again. More than a few times, Chester missteps, nearly submerging his head below the surface of the foul swamp, and Great Journey and Sheimy are hard-pressed to pull him out once more.

After finishing the last leg of the trek on your own, you see the cold gray of carved stone, poking out between the vines between the thick, dark trees. A great temple, made to resemble a holy symbol of the sun, lies before you. There was once a stone door sealing it off, but it appears to have been recently destroyed, as rubble lays scattered around. With her magical senses, Sheimy can feel that several protective spells were cast upon the temple, but have sense been dispelled with evil magic. Occult runes deface the temple's stones, almost like a defiant and presumptuous declaration of victory.

"After thanking the others for their help, Chester checks for traps!" Box says.


Roll #1 3 = 3


You're certain that it's not trapped.

>Regina says this with a small smile.

>Box looks at the die with the 3 facing upward, gulping nervously.


KP snickers at hearing Cloak's unfortunate gift.
>"Those are great, aren't they?"
"That is one of the classic ones. Haven't heard of one using magical ink though personally. She sounds like she really enjoys pranks."

KP follows Spitshine and Sugar, quickly following the sweet smell of assorted candies one expects at small shops like this.
"Hello Prickly. I didn't know you worked here."
Pryce greets as they enter.
"Everything is going, great," He says with the slightest pause of thought, realizing that today really is going well, "We're taking a look around the town for some souvenirs."

Pryce nods.
"We met her yesterday shortly after arriving. She's a pretty talented mage."



"Hmm…" Amy thinks out loud. "Does anyone know how to call her on the conch? I could talk to her about it right now!"


Flaming looks over to Box, really starting to get into character as she berates his character for getting stuck in the swamp so often. "Sheimy says, 'Watch your step from now on! If you fall in again, I might just leave you there'." She pauses. "Uh, but, she says that in a joking way, like not really."

As they reach the temple, Flaming tells the others, "Sheimy senses the magic that once protected this place is long since gone. She uses her own magic to detect if the occultists set up any magic wards of their own." Flaming grabs at the dice again, eagerly shaking it. "Hehehe, I REALLY like throwing this thing for some reason, the rush of not knowing what it's going to land on is really fun!"

Roll #1 10 = 10


"It comes with the job, so she says. Assassinating someone is just a really big prank on someone and all."


"I would be all too glad to help," Chorazin says. You hear some muffled talking on the other end of the line. "And Mirror Image offers her help as well. Do you wish for us to come there now?"

Prickly nods. "Yeah, Mistress Fairy Castle makes me work here to pay her for the magic lessons. She may be my aunt, but she's an alpaca alright. We're a frugal people."

She gestures with a staff over her wares. "Here's what we've got."

>Assorted candies with spooky themes: 5 Bits per tin, or 1 small favor

-Candies shaped like jack-o-lanterns, haunted mansions, ghosts and witches
>Prank toys: 5 Bits each, or 1 small favor
-Simple toys that often can perform some small cantrip as a prank. Options include snakes-in-a-can, self-lighting candles, disappearing gold coins, cards that can change their suit and value, and other such small things.
>Manga: 5 Bits each, or 1 small favor
-Stories of female heroes solving world-threatening calamities with friendship and sweets. There are fights, but nobody's ever really hurt.
>Vilepetal Wrappings: 10 Bits per wrapping, or 1 small favor
-Black rags that apply the Poison quality to your weapon until combat is over. 1 wrapping has 1 use.
>Hermit's Pills: 50 Bits per case, or 1 moderate favor
-A medicine case containing 3 pills. Each counts as an automatic use of Heal.
>Universal Salve(vation): 100 Bits per jar, or 1 big favor
-A jar of medicinal salve that can cure any Physical status condition, but not Mental or Spiritual ones. Each jar has 5 uses.

"I don't have her conch code, but if we have one of Buiwong's crew take us back to Fantasia, we can get it and talk to her," Blessings says. "Want me to get ahold of one of them?"



"Yeah!" Amy says excitedly. "I haven't seen Easy in sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long anyway! It'll be nice to see her!"


A chill creeps up and down your spine as you detect faint currents of evil magic. Their sorcerers took great care to conceal their trickery, but you are mightier than their evil. You can tell that, in the temple's entrance hall, they enchanted various stone panels on the ground. It looks like they stuck to the panels with a spiral pattern to help themselves remember which ones are safe and which aren't. The entrance hall is narrow, and sloped downward as the temple goes deeper into the earth. The panels are checkerboard in arrangement, and so the traps are arranged according to that pattern.


"No no, not now. Enjoy yourselves -enjoy your time today. I will call again if the help is absolutely needed. Thank you Chorazin. I will see you later today."

Shei-Sher hangs up and goes to check up on Gadriel.


Cloak tilts his head as he inspects the candies, looking up to Prickly. "Any of these sour? She's a fan making her face all puckered up, not that I agree with her tastes."


Blessings nods, walking off to the grove where Buiwong's four minions are both training and keeping an eye on LJ and Flamin as their date unfolds. You see her sharing a few words with them. Eventually, Mocha nods, splitting off from the group. She comes over your way, and conjures a Dark Corridor.

>For the sake of time, going to just assume you hop in

The Corridor takes you to Fantasia's main thoroughfare. You see that, in the past few days, things have really improved. Construction on destroyed buildings has mostly finished, and there are many more Ecclesians milling about on guard duty. The outer walls are now higher and more fortified, and the streets are far cleaner than they were before. It seems that almost everyone has been put to work. Carts bearing Ecclesian banners are being pulled by Rumblers out through the city's main gates. Inside, you can see the mind-broken mortals who were dumped there by the Treibheanna.

Overseeing this evacuation effort, you see Easy Doesit standing atop the fountain in the center of the thoroughfare, periodically shouting at people through a paper cone to amplify her voice as she directs traffic and barks orders.


"Ooh, if you want sour, try these," Prickly says. She passes you a small cloth pouch full of green, yellow and amber candies which are shaped like villainous-looking fruits. Many of them twist and curl, evoking that feeling of sourness, and are encrusted with sugar. "Careful though, these aren't for the faint of heart or lips."

In the bedroom, you see Gadriel shaking the Sun Diskos as if it were a piece of malfunctioning magitech. "Uh… I don't know what I did wrong, but it's not showing me anything."


"I guess that's one way of looking at it."

"You can pay with favors?"
Pryce questions as Prickly showcases the wares.
>"We don't need bits?!"
KP says joyfully as he spent all his cash the day before on his pet supplies, quickly grabbing a bunch of candy tins before Pryce stops him with his telekinesis.
"Let's find out what that will entail before we take our whole day up in payments."


Shei looks at Gadds quizically "Hm.. maybe not shake it." Shei sits down beside Gadriel "Ask it who you truly are. Try and focus on the question like you focused with the crystal ball."


"Yep," Prickly Pear says. "It's a holdover from our days in Wacachan. Witches have little use for gold, except for the rare occasions when we must deal with the outside world, and with our magic, procuring gold can be done with little effort for us – err, but don't let the economists or the treasuries know that we're deflating their currency. Anyway, for our internal business matters, we barter in either direct exchanges of goods, or in favors and work. No two Witches have the same Craft, and so, we all have radically different magic styles, and different abilities. Thus, we 'sell' our labor to one another in exchange for goods, since the Witch we're buying from often has tasks she needs done that she can't do by herself, or that would be easier done with another Witch's Craft. Make sense?"

"Th-that's just it!" Gadriel stammers. "I tried just about everything I could. Questions about myself. Questions about the future. Questions about you and the others. All I saw was a blinding light each time, but nothing ever came out of it. It was like I was just trying to look at the sun!"


Flaming smiles, looking to Journey and Box out of character. "Okay, this should be simple: my magic picked out the pattern they were using for their traps. So, I have Sheimy…" Flaming shakes her head, "Right, right, I do that in character, ahem…."

"'Ha! Those occulstists think they're so clever, but I can see right through their little trap pattern. Voyage, Chester, follow me, we have to go in a certain path or we'll spring their trap.' And then, I have Sheimy go through the checkboard along that spiral. Do I get to roll for it?!" She asks excitedly.


Leather rubs his chin, "I'll take your word for it, I'm sure she'll enjoy them. Anyways, I probably wouldn't mind doing a small task if you need something done for them, though I can't say I'm too magical. Sturdy and patient, sure, and I can counter a spell if I put my mind to it."



"Easy!" Amy shouts happily as she rushes toward her. "How are you, you fairy!?"

She tackles Easy and hugs her tight.


>Regina shakes her head. "I would consider that to be a simple, trivial thing. It'd be easy enough to avoid…" But, she double-takes at your excitement, seeming to question her lenience. "…You know what? Yes, go ahead. You may know what panels are trapped, but the panels are small compared to your hooves, and they are many. You'll need to carefully navigate over them to avoid stepping on a trap."

>"Aw!" LJ says. "We almost got out of having to navigate around it!"

>"The danger's part of the fun!" Box says. "I'm sure it won't be a hard dice check."

[1d10] LJ
[1d10] Box

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 7 = 7


"What are you complaining about, Journey?! Now we get to throw the dice again!" She says, all too giddy to risk every thing to RNG as she tosses up the dice. "Hehehe, okay here it goes!"


Roll #1 9 = 9


>LJ sighs with relief when he sees that everyone passed. Box seems to be having a ball, just as you are. Regina smiles, but contains her excitement, clearing her throat as she goes back to her more severe QM voice.

Despite a few close scrapes of nearly stepping upon a trapped panel, you get past the entrance hall without bringing down any of the curses that the occultists left to stop you. Upon arriving at the end of the hall, you find yourselves in a round room, with three great passageways splitting off from it – one to the north, one to the west, and one to the east. In the center of the room is, or rather was, a statue of a great paladin. It has been destroyed, and radiates evil magic – a result of the occultists' blasphemous arrogance.

>"Chester turns to the others and suggests, 'Hey, if we split up, we should be able to cover all three corpse parts before the occultists can get them!'" Box says.

>Regina says nothing, but bites her finger with worry.

>LJ picks up on this. "Uh… Voyage is gonna shake his head. 'It's much too dangerous to split up. They got here before us, but we can probably stop them from taking at least one corpse part if we choose the right path."


Shei frowns lightly, looking at the diskos crestfallen. "I think I know what it is. I've done my best to frabricate your soma without blemish. But the essence of an angel, a mortal, a demon. It comes up to you like static. Like too many paints on canvas."

Shei steps away to grab the moon diskos "So I am going to do something, and it could be dangerous, or it could be very insightful. The moon diskos and sun diskos, I will tied thread between them and you will use them both. If you are willing, of course. The choice is yours."

Shei draws a tether between the sun diskos and the moon diskos
>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3(minus 1); Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"That makes sense. So, what would a small favor entail then?"
Pryce questions, while KP walks up to the counter with four tins of candies, each with a different pattern.
"…Make that four favors."
He corrects, looking down at his younger counterpart, who smiles at the relatively free candy.


Easy wears an eyepatch made out of a large leather belt, covering her right eye. Her expression is grim and grizzled, bitter with what looks like many years of misfortune and tragedy.

"Hello, Amy," she says with a deep and grizzled voice. "It's been rough out here without you. Ecclesia has shown up en masse, now that I signed an official agreement of alliance between us and them. We've got a stable supply of food and water coming in over the new trade routes, and Ecclesia has finally taken in the Treibheanna's former hostages. We're managing to keep our independence for now, but I expect that they'll want to take that from me soon. Just like they take everyone's…"

Mocha blinks. "I get your sentiment, but aren't you hamming it up a little?"

Easy shushes her. "So how are you two? I hear good things about you, Savior."

In addition to Leather's sour candy, Spitshine and Sugar line up to buy some manga volumes (Sugar's) and monster action figures that light up thanks to the magic tree wood that they're carved out of (Spitshine's). Prickly Pear tallies all your goods up, then consults a long list hanging on the wall. It looks like an endless list of chores assigned by Fairy Castle. "Hmm… Aha! Okay, scrub the floors, dust the shelves, organize the goods and wipe down the windows."
"That doesn't sound very magical," Sugar says.
"You know what is magical?" Prickly Pear asks. "Having a moment off! I get that she's my mentor, but she's working me to the bone! I don't get what running a shop is supposed to teach me about metamagic…"
River laughs. "I'm sure she has a purpose for it. Now, hand over the cleaning supplies, and let's get started."
Prickly Pear reaches under the counter, fishing out rags, a bucket and mop, and some bandannas to tie back your manes. "Here you go!"

Gadriel hyperventilates softly, and sits down on the bed before the two Diskos. After you connect them with a thread, he tries to slow his breathing down. After a few moments, he slowly reaches out, shuts his eyes, then touches both Diskos at once. He shudders as he touches them, but maintains his grip, keeping his eyes closed all the while. He is silent, and the only sound is of his breathing and his periodic small shivers.


Flaming looks down at the table, thinking. "Hmmm… Sheimy says 'I agree with Great Voyage, splitting up is just what the bad guys would want when we're on their turf! Even if they don't know we're here yet, that can change at any time. Besides, we only need ONE part of the corpse right? If they don't have all three, their plan doesn't work, so let's just pick one and grab a part of the vampire!'"

Flaming points west, "Sheimy immediately heads off into the western tunnel, expecting the others to follow her lead!" She grabs the dice and rolls it again, having become infatuated with the constant tension of chance.

Roll #1 3 = 3



"I don't feel like a savior…" Amy frowns. "Not yet, anyway."

"Which is kinda why I'm here. Can I have your city?" Amy asks sincerely without any additional information.

[1d10] diplomacy with compassion

Roll #1 3 = 3


Shei-Sher takes out Pupil, holding it to see the diskos so he can observe the process with the diskos better.
[1d10] appraise

Roll #1 2 = 2



Roll #1 10 = 10


>Regina tilts her head. "Wh-what are you rolling for exactly?"
>"I think she just wanted to toss the dice!" LJ laughs. "It is fun though, can't blame her."


Leather nods, "Happily done, honest work for honest.. candy."

Leather Cloak gets to scrubbing the floors, given it's probably the most physically demanding.


Roll #1 10 = 10


Flaming blushes, "Oh…. I uh… j-just thought it might help you know? Hehe… like, how well Sheimy runs down the tunnel?"

She shrinks back in her chair. "Ilikethedicethrowing."


"Sure," Easy says without any hesitation. She also seems to have dropped that grizzled, deep voice, and has now gone back to her usual sweet alto tone.
"So easily?" Mocha asks, baffled.
Easy reaches upward and removes her makeshift eyepatch. You see that her eye wasn't hurt or anything. It seems to have been more of an accessory than anything else. "Well, she can have it once she's strong enough to rule from it. I don't want to be a queen or anything of the sort. But, Amy won't be able to govern from Tartarus, so I'll have to watch over it with my council before I can turn over the keys to her."


"Even when you're a mage, you'll still need to keep your study clean and controlled."
Pryce says for an answer as then takes the mop, while KP grabs one of the rags.
>"Can we use magic for this, or is there some 'no magic rule' here?"
He asks as they start their favors.
>Mopping [Pryce] [1d10]
>Windows [KP] [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 10 = 10


Almost immediately, as you spy into Gadriel's visions, you can tell what the problem is. Unlike the visions you had with the Moon and Sun Diskos, which were clear and simple despite being deeply symbolic, Gadriel is being bombarded with countless different visions of countless different possible futures, played out by countless different selves. Some are armored like knights, others cloaked like rogues. Some connive and conspire with demons and umbrals for personal glory, while others charge into battle with shield raised to defend the helpless. Some perish, some slay. A great many fail, vanishing into eternal darkness. Only a few succeed, returning to the light with victory in hand.

Eventually, it ends as Gadriel leans back, releasing both Diskos. His claws faintly glow; the one that held the Sun is radiant and gold, while the one that held the Moon is dark and misty.

"So… well… I guess that answered that…" Gadriel murmurs to himself. "Hey, tell me. What did you see in your visions when you touched them?"



"So, you know that the plan is to make me queen?" Amy asks, equally surprised about that as her willingness to hand over the city.


>Regina smiles. "Maybe one day you can be the one behind the screen. You'll enjoy that, I think. Now, where was I?"
>"Voyage follows Sheimy as she charges into battle!" LJ declares.
>"And Chester's following!" Box says.
>"Ah, right."

Leading the charge, Sheimy rushes down the western tunnel, with the courageous Voyage and the clever Chester hot on her heels. The tunnel is dark, as the occultists have extinguished the fires that once burned eternal in the sconces along the walls. But, just as you reach for your own torches to light the path…

>You hear Regina tossing about a score of dice behind her screen.

Sheimy feels the hum of magic at her hoof! It is too late to change course; and before she can react, she sees a deep red rune glow below her. She stops running, but not of her own volition. Grabbed by an unseen force, she starts levitating upward toward the ceiling, helpless in something's grasp.

LJ grabs his die frantically. "Perception to see what's up there!"

[1d10] LJ
[1d10] Box

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 5 = 5


"Mine was a singular vision. Infact it was less like a vision, and more as though I was transported somewhere. It was beautiful, I saw the kingdom I had wished to build for the goats. In all it's shining glory, cradled in a valley where children played. It was as though I never knew the word prosperity until I saw it. And then I saw him, my older self. Aged, wise, tall. He fixed a gaze at me. And it was all it took to keep me from running head long into the valley with glee. I told him That I understood. That I'm not a goat, and verily I never was. What he showed me, the prosperity and belonging. The truest since of pride and family. I acknowledged that it was neither something owed to me or by superstition tied to my fate. And infact I already have all those things, I've just been being silly for a long time now. I told him there was nothing more I want than to be what I'm being right now and enjoy the experiences of this world that come along with that. That. That was my destiny the same as anyone else."

Shei-Sher stands up and puts a hoof on Gadriel's shoulder "Your vision was a bit muddy wasn't it. But it's just proof that your past is not your defining feature. You are the beginning of a new soul. Your true self are the things that you do."


If only Cloak could see Leather now as he gets down, rump raised, and scrubs the floor. She would probably get a kick out of it in more than one way.

Pryce and KP set to work as well, as do Sugar and Spitshine, and River and Zjetya. The shop is a bit cramped for all of you to be working at the same time. Zjetya and River take advantage of this by hip-checking Pryce whenever they pass by to throw off his work. Despite all the chaos, you do quite a good job. Prickly Pear does request that you leave the cobwebs alone – she thinks it adds a more authentic witchy feel to the place.

By the time that you're done, the place is practically spotless. Prickly Pear's eyes are glowing. "Sheesh. Could've saved something for me to do! Th-that was a joke, I am glad that you didn't. Take these, you've more than earned them."

She pushes your goods to you. "If you need anything else, you know where to find me."

Easy shakes her head. "Nope, but rumors have been flying around lately. Appropriate, considering how Fantasia even came about. The Ecclesians have been spreading talk about Mudi's plan. They know what she aims, but teh question that everyone's discussing is who's actually going to succeed at it. In fact, it's a very popular subject of debate. What will happen if Mudi dies on the way? Who shall take her place? I hear that among the Ecclesians, Gegenschein and Doctor Galton are the favorites… though I don't know if they themselves would want to take it. As for you, well, the Fantasians speak more about you taking the crown than any of the Choristers."


Gadriel nods slowly. He looks far different than he did a while ago. A great weight seems to have pressed down upon his heart. "It was like looking into a kaleidoscope. So many different, overlapping visions of what could be. But the reason I saw that at all, instead of a single, clear vision like you, was because I'm… not really anybody yet. I was just brought back to life in a new form. I have nothing except my memories of the old lives. But if I continue to remain like this, in this undifferentiated state, doing nothing but following you around and making my snide remarks, then not even these relics could show me what awaits me. That's probably why I saw nothing the first time I touched the Sun Diskos. It showed me nothing, because no good fate awaits those who don't make anything of themselves."

He lays back on the bed, closing his eyes in thought. "…well, now what?"


"I think that'd be pretty fun but, I don't know. I'm not that good at telling stories, I can't really come up with any good ones off the top of my head."

Flaming listens as she's pulled upwards in the dungeon, her eyes opening wide, "Oh great, that's what I get for copying Amy 'too' hard… okay uh, Sheimy says 'Watch out Voyage, Chester, there's some sort of evil magic pulling me up!'"

"And, while the others are looking up, I try to use my fire spell to recoil my self back down by firing it up!" She picks up the dice, and throws it again, "Don't fail me now!"
[1d10] Rolling fire blast

Roll #1 5 = 5



Amy makes a dissatisfied grumble. "It feels weird," she says, scratching the back of her own neck. "This wasn't even my plan. But, everyone just started talking about it like it was the best idea. I don't know… me ruling? The more people like the idea, the more nervous I get."

"But, there's a lot of things I want to be better. And, I can't get people to listen to me like this. And, before anyone can listen, everyone needs to stop fighting. So, when I think about that, I like the plan," Amy nods.

"I'll needs lots of help, though. So, if you stayed by my side, that'd be awesome! Assistant to the Queen of Demons sounds pretty nice, huh?" Amy asks, giving Easy a nudge with her elbow.


"What do you desire most?" Shei shrugs


"As I said, honest work is fine by me. Maybe it's something I'll have to get used to, if everything goes well in the coming month."

Cloak offers a short bow again, "Thank you for the treats."


"Chocolate," Gadriel says. He reaches into his pouch, pulling forth a small velvet bag of chocolate droplets. "I had the good fortune to run into a Chocolate Witch on my way to breakfast this morning… so that's covered."


Pryce is certainly taken off guard by the hip-checks, distracting a bit from his mopping, though luckily there's plenty of hooves working that take care of the missed spots.

KP quickly grabs his candy tins, but Pryce lifts three away in his magic.
"Don't shovel them all down right away. You'll get sick."
>"Come on, that can't happen again."
"I'd rather not take that chance."

He nods to Prickly with a smile.
"I do want to learn a little more on that Unweaving, but I think that can wait for later. Have a good day now."
He says in farewell as they exit.
"I think we should leave the antique store for last, since I think we'll end up picking up a lot. Which place would you like to check next?"


Your blast passes through open air, until it eventually burns out against the ceiling. But, in the brief moment that it illuminates things around you, the fire causes a shadow to be cast on the wall without an apparent cause. In the brief glimpse that you get, it looks like a terrible hybrid of chameleon and mosquito, many times your size. Long wings sprout off from its back, and from its long, tube-like face extends a wicked, spiked tongue. It's grabbed Sheimy in one long hand, gripping her tightly!

>The background music intensifies, adding instruments and a blood-pumping beat.


>"Great Voyage commands the monster to drop Sheimy!" LJ declares.

[1d10] Word of Power

>"And Chester will take out his lumpet, blasting a loud sound to add weight to Voyage's declaration!"

[1d10+1] Inspire

After the fire fades, the Invisquito vanishes back into the shadows, and squeezes Sheimy in its grasp!


Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9


"Oh, what?!" Flaming exclaims, clearly over-excited. "An invisible monster?! That's cool! Okay, let's kick its butt… uh, I mean, while Sheimy wriggles around in its grasp, she shouts out, 'Hey! If you wanted a hug, all you had to do was ask!'" she snickers, turning around to look at Journey. "Hey, 'Voyage', you better save me, okay? Sheimy will be upset if you don't."

Flaming picks up the dice, "Sheimy summons a bunch of fireballs!"
[1d10+2] Homing Attack

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


Shei-Sher is now craving chocolate "Well that solves that" He brandishes his hooves together at a job well done "Identity won't come to you over night and I wanted to spend some time with you while I finished up the last of my works. So would you mind following me around just a little longer and we'll figure it out on the way?"


"I imagine you had to work quite a bit to get enough money for all the exotic foods your wife got cravings for!" River jokes.
"Hey, if you get in good with Amy's new government, you could probably get her to cut a big salary just by being the Chancellor of Compliments or something like that," Zjetya adds.

Prickly Pear bids you a safe journey once you're all done, thanking you again for your work and your purchases.
Spitshine and Sugar share one of their candy tins, providing a model of conservative consumption that KP would probably benefit from.
As Pryce asks for a suggestion on where to go next, Hopper spritzes Lockjaw from behind with a spray of water from his staff. Lockjaw whips around, looking for the source of the unseen attack. Each time he turns about, Hopper sprays him again. Lockjaw doesn't seem angered by this, more like a dog that can't find the ball that his owner is pretending to throw across the room, only to hide behind his back.

Gadriel tosses you a chocolate with a laugh. "Eheheh. Yeah, that's what I originally meant when I asked 'what now,' but you misunderstood me. Anyway, you wanted to go see your mom, right? What's your plan to get into Commontown now? I'll be glad to help with that."

"The best leaders are usually the ones most reluctant to take power," Easy says. "So, I'm going to say 'Absolutely not,' to any offers of power and authority until you grab me and force me into that position."

Mocha blushes.

Easy laughs. "Well that's not where I was going with that, but that's also an option. Heh…. what were we talking about? Oh, right. Mudi. Well, on a more serious note, who would you have take the throne, if not yourself or her?"


Deciding to head over to Halaq's Haircuts next, you trek through the winding streets until you find a particularly tall group of buildings near the center of the shopping district. You take an elevator from the ground level all the way up, and then when you reach the top level that the elevator can reach, you have to take a set of stairs to get to the very top of the cluster of buildings.

The hair salon resembles a quaint, kitschy birdhouse, with perches outside where many griffon ladies sit and talk. Inside, there are many chairs around the walls, as well as basins for washing and shampooing hair. In the center of the room is a pool, a birdbath one might say. Sugar frowns and covers Spitshine's eyes so he can't watch the bird ladies bathing.

The salon is populated by both griffons and another species that Pryce has not seen before, but Leather has – the Vola. They seem greatly similar to griffons, but stand upright, and have bird legs rather than cat paws. They seem to range from three to six feet in height.

As you enter, a Witch that Pryce vaguely recognizes – a dark griffoness – turns his way.

"You. You need haircut," she declares, pointing your way.

"Err, who exactly do you mean?" River asks.

"All of you," Halaq says. "Come and sit. I cut."


The Invisquito tries to squeeze the life out of Sheimy, but LJ's command and Chester's bold trumpet–

>"Lumpet!" Box corrects.

…and Chester's bold lumpet blast cause it to drop Sheimy to the ground. Sheimy loses 4 Hits, but can still fight. She charges up six fireballs to her cause, ready to fire at the beast, if only she can find where it is…

>"Hmm… how should we get it to reveal itself…?" LJ asks.

>"I've got it!" Box says. "Chester will use Recursion to copy Sheimy's fire blast from before!"
[1d10] Recursion
>"Then Great Voyage will charge up his attack power for when we find it!"
>Empower Weapon on self
>Meanwhile, Regina puts on an affected evil laugh, rolling behind her screen.


Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8



Amy shrugs as an answer. "I'm not saying I have a better idea. I'm not even saying I've tried to think of one. I just… never thought of myself as a leader."


KP pops a few candies in his mouth, enjoying the sweet treats. He chuckles a bit as Lockjaw spins around at the water sprays.
Pryce looks down at Hopper with a smile.
"Play nice now."
He says, not in a scolding way but to suggest it before it devolves in the future.

Pryce remembers the suggestion River gave the other day, and leads to the barber shop. He looks up at the tall group of buildings, looking almost like a castle. The shop itself when they reach it looks even more curious in it's birdhouse design, almost making him question if they went to the right place.
They enter, Pryce not noticing the bird bath setup, and KP amazed at the bird house design, almost feeling like they're hanging from a tree once inside.
As Halaw calls them all out and points, Pryce pauses.
"Oh, that was quick. But we just walked in, don't we need to say what we want first?"
He questions.


"Well my first plan was to impress them by conjuring palatable produce. Which is more impressive than it sounds. If that does not work then we will go to Halaq's Haircuts to help disguise ourselves. And if that does not help Chorazin and Mirror agree helping us convince the guards. Ecclessians worshipped Chorazin last she visited their camp. Just the sight of angels causes them to postrate."

Shei-Sher picks up the diskos from the floor and cuts the tether between them. "But first let's deliver these to Flaming."

Shei-Sher opens a dark corridor leading to Regina's observatory

Roll #1 4 = 4


also shei-sher takes a bite out of the chocolate


Easy seems slightly disappointed that you didn't comment on her totally-not-intentional sexual innuendo. "Well, you've proven to me that when hardships come, our true worth and potential are revealed. I ran from Orcus, but you faced him head-on. In the same way that that situation proved my weakness and your strength, so too will the Expedition reveal who's fit to lead, and who isn't. So, don't think about it too much. Do what is right, and the rest will follow."


As Sheimy is released to the ground IC, Flaming rubs her chin, "Hmmmm, okay, so we just need to find it first…. OH! Okay I got it. While Chester and Voyage power up, I use my magic sack to pull out a bucket of paint to pour over the room so we can reveal where it is!" Flaming says, grabbing at the dice for another role, "Sheimy says, 'this room could use a little color'!" and she throws her dice
[1d10] Magic Hat: Paint

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I mean before she was immobilized more or less, she nicked them herselves. Got this purse a while back that helped her with stealing, something something dickass thief."

Cloak rubs his scruffy beard, considering the offer. "I've been thinking about it, know the missus was thinking it made me look rugged though."



Amy nods. "I can do that," she says with a smile.

"And by the way," she adds, noting her disappointed expression. "I save the flirting for the guys. Making sex jokes with just girls around is no fun," she says with a smirk.


This time around, Hopper waits until Lockjaw faces him before casting another spritz. Lockjaw eagerly catches and drinks it, finding it quite enjoyable.

Halaq takes you both by the shoulder with a firm, authoritative grip, almost like a guard escorting a prisoner. She sits you both down in chairs in front of mirrors, while her attendants come around and tie white cloths over you. "Yes, yes, tell me what you want. Make quick judgment. Stallionfolk must be quick and decisive. Not chatty and him and haw like marefolk.
"Just a little off the top," River says.
"Instead of a cut, just give me a scalp massage. Use your nails, don't hold back either," Zjetya says.
"Yeah, I'd like it cut pretty short," Spitshine says.
"Just brush my fur," Sugar says.

Hopper crawls down from Pryce's shoulder, then hops down to the poolside, where the other pets go as well to avoid getting covered with stray hairs.

Easy clicks her tongue. "You're no fun. It's only when the guys aren't around that we can really get spicy. Well, if there's no more flirting to be done, I have a job to do. Oh, by the way…"

She exchanges conch code info with you and Mocha.

Mocha finishes jotting it down, and then turns your way. "Anywhere else I can take you?"


"Something tells me the third option would be a better second option than the actual second option…" Gadriel grumbles.

You then arrive back in the garden where Regina, Flaming, Box and LJ are in the middle of intense W&W rolls.



Amy laughs. "I think we have very different… tastes, Easy."

Amy turns to Mocha once Easy is gone. She screws her face up in thought. "Wanna get a drink?" she asks after a moment.


"Mmm, nah, granddad doesn't like me drinking too much," Mocha says. "Besides, I have training to get to. I've been eating a lot lately and my posture as a drider makes it obvious when I don't work out."


Cloak snorts, grinning, "I believe the opposite, patience and forethought are the traits of the most successful. I will spectate until I have decided."


Sheimy spills paint all across the floor and walls of the hallway, coating everything in a shade of blue. From the bell of the lumpet, Chester blasts out a peal of fire, which strikes true! A moment after the blast hits the Invisquito, it comes into view, if only for a brief moment. You see a pale monster with grotesque, blotchy skin all covered with scales, and deep red eyes. Its wicked, spiked tongue thrashes about angrily from being struck, but it loses its grip upon the wall, and is forced to land. On the way down, it swipes at Great Voyage, striking him with its spiked tongue for 3 Hits.

It lands in the paint, getting thoroughly messy from the spill. Even if it fades from view now, it shall be child's play to find it again.

>"Great Voyage goes in for the attack!" LJ says.

[1d10+3] Basic Attack

>"Chester steps back a bit to provide support with Lumpet!"

[1d10+1] Inspire

The Invisquito whips at Great Voyage once more to stop his assault!


Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #3 4 + 1 = 5


Halaq mad-dogs you, determined to get to cutting ASAP.

>roll to resist


yknow patience and shit [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


Halaq eventually blinks, then frowns. "Have your way. Sit there while others get the cut they need. You will see error of ways soon."
Spitshine whistles. "Nice. Where'd you learn to do that?"


"Yes, but the second option sounds fun. -Alright, alright, we will try the angel plan second."

"You all seem to be having a jolly gay time." Shei approaches the table they're playing on. "We came by to leave these." Shei places the disko's on the table by Flaming. "They're the diskos we acquired, you and Pryce still haven't inquired upon them yet Flaming."


"The title Embodiment of Patience is not for show, I prefer to wait things out." Cloak winks to Spitshine.


Flaming smiles, "Yes, nailed it! Okay, now that we can see it, Sheimy goes all out: all her magical fire balls she summoned, AND a Storm Bolt, are coming its way in a hailstorm of fire and death! Muahahahahah!" She says, grabbing at 7 d10 dice to throw at once with eager glee. "Let fire rain down on the monster and smite all who oppose Princess Sheimy Thrice!"

[1d10] (Homing Attacks)
[1d10] Storm Bolt (crit range 3 for 3x attack)

As Shei rolls up, Flaming looks over at Shei, "Oh! Hey Shei, what are you up to?" She looks down at the diskos, "Oh! I remember one of those from the Temple. Sorry, things got so busy after we left Wineberry I forgot. If I remember correctly, they can answer almost any question about the future if you have both parts, right?"

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


[1d10] Last one for Storm Bolt

Roll #1 9 = 9



"O-oh…" Amy stammers awkwardly. "How old are you?"

"Well, either way, let's go back. I should probably find something important to do anyway."


"Just turned twenty-two last month," Mocha says. She then conjures a Dark Corridor back to the garden, where you see that Shei has joined Flaming and the others.


Pryce is surprised at how direct Halaq is in directing them to their seats.
"Uh, just a little trim, I guess?"
He looks to River and Zjetya.
"What do you two think?"

KP hops up in his chair.
"I could use a tidy-up. Or maybe a cool style for being on stage!"



"Shei! You're back!" Amy shouts happily as if it's been years since she's seen him. She grabs him for a hug as her tail wags vigorously.


>Regina looks a little annoyed when Shei interrupts to put something on the table. There's where the dice go, for goodness' sake. But she says nothing, preferring instead to just give him a look. She then gets back to her narration.

Great Voyage meets the Invisquito head-on, knocking it back down the hall. As it is thrown off-balance, it ends up whipping Sheimy instead, knocking her back into Chester, who throws out a very loud blast into your ears, breaking your focus. But as Sheimy goes down, she fires off a storm of magic bolts upon the Invisquito. A few miss, but most hit their mark, burning the monster's hide thoroughly. It switches tactics, trying to turn invisible again, but you can still see its footprints, thanks to the paint. It climbs up the wall, out of reach.

>Sheimy 0/4

>"Great Voyage will heal up Sheimy's wounds!" LJ says.

[1d10+1] Heal

>"So that's what it's like to roll a 1…" Box laments. "Uh, Chester… hmmm…. Ah! Chester will make a sound like a much bigger monster to try to scare it off!"

[1d10] Mimic Sound

>Regina rolls behind her screen.


Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 8 = 8 / Roll #3 10 = 10


Spitshine nods. "Me, not so much. Not sure what I could be the Embodiment of… Greed, maybe. Wandering?"

"It's looking a little long," River says as they get to work on hers and the others'. "Go for something a little shorter, but tell them to keep your current style. Try to strike a balance between wandering bard and brave paladin."

Halaq and her assistants descend upon your group, minus Leather of course. They wash and shampoo your manes, massaging your scalps with claws, combs and brushes, which eases away stress you didn't even know you were carrying there. Then they dry with a towel, and start to trim with fine, sharp scissors and razors, taking care not to nick anyone in the process.


Flaming lets out a hoof-pump as Sheimy's flames scorch the creature, but looks dismayed as she sees that she also rolled enough lowly to knock her out. "Awwww…. I guess that's the trade off to rolling too many at once. Still, that hurt it more than it hurt me so it's not a bad trade. Oh, uh… 'AAAAAAAAAAH! It got me! Keep me covered!'" Flaming shouts as she gets into character, finding a singular die to try rolling to get up.

"Okay and, I roll this one time to try and get up from 'fallen', right?"
[1d10] She gives it a little roll

Roll #1 7 = 7


"What she said. My current look but shorter."
Pryce says with River's opinion.

Pryce sits back as they go through the process, finding it much more reliving than he thought it would. It has been a long time since he's seen a barber, even without counting his recent travels.
KP meanwhile isn't as relaxed, though it comes more from his childish nature to not want to sit still for too long. He doesn't dislike it though.


Cloak crosses his hooves, spectating the whole affair with mild amusement. "Hmn, wandering's a nice one."


"Yeah, well, it runs in the family, if the stories are to be believed," Spitshine says grimly. "Dad left home when he was my age, came back at eighteen, killed my grandpa and took over the family slave trade. Kind of the same thing grandpa did when he was my age too."

The griffonesses and Volas under Halaq's command seem to be quite experienced with this issue, as they manage to finish cutting KP's hair despite all the trouble he gives them. Soon, they are finished with everyone's haircuts. They have done an excellent job on all who wanted a cut. Their coiffures are lined up well, looking fresh and neat, and feeling very vivified as a result.


Sheimy is back on her hooves before long, and Voyage's magic restores her flesh, leaving no trace of the old injury. As Chester attempts to scare off the Invisquito, you see its footprints linger on the wall. It seems to hesitate, deciding whether or not to flee, but in the end, it remains steadfast.

>"We've almost got it!" LJ cheers. "If we can just roll good right here…"

[1d10+2] Basic attack

>Box now looks really nervous about rolling dice. "Chester sounds out the horns of battle!"


The Invisquito, badly wounded, tries to go in for one last blow against Great Voyage.


Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9


Leather nods silently, thinking for a moment. "As I am sure it is of no help, I will eschew any platitudes that have been repeated before. The same word can hold multiple meanings."


KP gives his head a little shake after his cut is done.
>"Thanks! This feels great!"
"It does," Pryce follows, "What do we owe you?"


Spitshine tilts his head. "…Thaaaaanks?"

Whatever it is you said, it seems to be beyond his level of vocabulary.

"I think he's being supportive in his own way, right?" Sugar offers as an explanation.

You see Halaq's assistants start to sweep up the fallen hair. Zjetya raises her hoof. "Hey, if I can ask, what exactly's gonna–"

"Not to worry," Halaq says, shaking her head. "I know already what you want to know. We do not use hair in magic unless asked specifically by customer. Too dangerous to leave sympathetic connection lying around Witches, I know. We toss into incinerator. You need to see?"

Zjetya shrugs. "I think I can take your word for it."

"Ordinarily, no payment first time," Halaq says. "Too many people need haircut, not realizing it until I do it. Before that, they take bad care of hair. After, they take good care. Is usually enough. But so rare to have stallions in my shop. Thus, you must pay. Do a – what do they call it in other parts of world? Barbershop quartet. Sing for us."

River and Zjetya nod approvingly.
"You heard her, colts," River says.
"Can the pets join?" Zjetya asks.
"Only if males," Halaq says.


Leather snorts, realizing his mistake. "Ah, I meant you've probably heard people the same boring things before so I'll avoid doing that."


Leather grins at the mention of singing, looking to Pryce with and winking, "I'm a tenor, though I've been told I have excellent range. If you're short on payment, I mean."


"Have you seen ponies use hair for magic before?"
Pryce questions Zjetya as she speaks up about what will happen with their hair.

When Halaq says they'll have to sing for payment, Pryce is a bit taken off guard. Not so much for having to perform, but out of such a specific request. He looks over to Leather as he offers to join in, then to Spitshine and KP.
"We are one short for a quartet, so that would help. How are you two feeling?"
>"I think I remember enough from before to carry a tune."
KP chimes in.


"Well while I'm no member of the Choir, I know a few hymns." Cloak chuckles, looking back to Halaq.
"You may trim my mane, so my performance is officially part of the payment. Just the mane though, if you would be so kind."


"I've only taken up singing recently, so that's practically a songbook ahead of me."


"Not hair per say, but it's normally dangerous to let your enemy have a piece of your body," Zjetya says. "It's called a sympathetic connection. Folktales hold that if an evildoer has a piece of your body, or an object that's very important to you, or a piece of clothing you've had for a long time, they can curse you from afar. Most ponies don't have to worry about that, but hair and feathers alike can be used for it."

Halaq's employees titter and giggle as you agree to the request. They usher you out of the chairs and gesture for you to stand in the middle of the room, by the pool that fills the center. Spitshine is noticeably more nervous than either of you.
"What's your range?" River asks, looking at Spitshine.
"…Soprano," Spitshine says, a little embarrassed.
"The fact that you know it at all tells me you've had some experience with singing," Sugar says.
"None, none whatsoever," Spitshine adamantly lies.
Hopper jumps over to KP's side, clearly looking like he'd like to try it as well.

"Whenever you are ready," Halaq says, leaning back in her chair in the center. By her look and cross-legged posture, she looks like ehs'll be a hard critic to impress.

The hair-witches pledge to trim it to your specifications, just after the performance.


"Are you familiar with some of the Ecclysian gospel hymns perhaps? They're quite common in the camps, so I'm sure you've might heard some."

Cloak asks those who've agreed to perform, assumedly the most confident of the others.


Zjetya smirks. "I'm somewhat of an expert, if you need any suggestions. Singing's kind of the only thing I can do."


"Really now?"
Pryce says with interest.
"Even clothing or objects… I guess we should watch our possessions if we're gong ot be dealing with demons in the coming days."

>"Oh wow, not many colts have that range. You'll stand out great Spits!"
KP says as Spitshine mentions his range, and probably not helping.
Seeing him nervous, Pryce gives Spitshine a pat on the back.
"Focus only on one thing, or somepony, in the crowd. My parents always said that whenever we were getting a bit of stage fright."
When Hopper jumps over, KP picks him up and places him on his head.
>"And that'll make us a quintet. We're all set."

"Can't say I am. I'm more familiar with the Accorsian ones, though if Ecclesian adopted them I should be fine."


"Oh easily, many of the Accorsian hymns from before the Firmament's breaking still survive today, though many sing them in a minor key to make them more somber in remembrance of what was lost. I'm still one to keep them the way they were, though- no use moping about."
Leather grins. "Do you happen to have a pitch pipe, or perhaps are pitch perfect then? We should make sure to harmonize before we begin."


River shakes her head. "I may not have a pitch pipe, but I have this," she says, producing a small harmonica from her robe's inner pocket.
"Perfect," Zjetya says. "Group up everyone."
Spitshine grumbles from KP's encouragement, but Pryce's more concrete advice seems to take his mind off his very high range. "…Okay, let's do this."
"Concert C," Zjetya instructs.
River plays the note on the harmonica and holds it, and Zjetya cues you all to harmonize in your respective ranges.


Cloak clears his throat, "Should I take bass then? As I said I'm tenor, but I'm unaware if anyone else has the range."


"One day they'll be sung in the old glory again."

"I'm around baritone, so I could take bass if you prefer."
Pryce offers.
>"I'm not sure what Hopper is, but I think he'll fit in fine. Right Hopper?"



Leather nods, sticking to his normal range. He let's out a steady "Ahhhhh."


In agreement, Pryce, followed by KP, join in with harmonization.


"Ahhhhh," Spitshine intones. It comes as a surprise, since you've never heard him sing before, but he is actually quite competent at harmonizing and holding the note.
When he's cued, Hopper makes a nice alto Eeeeeee, the kind of noise that a frog might make when threatened. Only now, instead of sounding like a harsh warning to predators, it sounds like a somewhat-amateurish, but good note.
Zjetya takes a few moments to tweak you all, indicating that you should lower or raise your pitch with subtle movements of her wing-tips, until you are all in harmony.

"Okay, I think we should be good to go," Zjetya says. "Ready, everyone? Let's go with…"

>Insert song choice here


>When The Saints Go Marching In




"How about 'Saints go Marching in'?" River asks.
"That'd be pretty fitting given the season," Zjetya says. "Everyone know it?"
"Yeah, that's a classic," Spitshine says.
"Perfect," Zjetya says. "Ready? One, two, one two, three–!"

Zjetya accentuates the downbeat with a dramatic breath.

>Roll for performance

[1d10+1] Spitshine
[1d10+2] Hopper]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11


"That sounds like a good choice."
>"Yea, that's a fun one."

Pryce waits for their cue as Zjetya counts down, with KP going slightly early as he's ready to sing just for the fun of it.
>Pryce [1d10]
>KP [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 3 = 3


Leather knows the strength of a chorus is not to over stress one's own voice, but rather support the others. He commits to helping those with weaker voices shine better.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Whatever the cause, Spitshine's voice cracks the second the song begins, throwing off Pryce and KP since they're closest to him. Cloak and Hopper end up carrying them through the first third of the song. Zjetya and River offer silent condolences to Spitshine to try to get him to calm down.
Spitshine, meanwhile, has turned bright red. Beads of sweat dot his forehead and run down his now-trimmed sideburns.
The Witches in attendance clearly pick up on all of this, but they are clearly trying to ignore it for the sake of not embarrassing Spits.

As you hit the da capo, you begin the second phase of three.

[1d10+1] Spitshine
[1d10+2] Hopper

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5


Cloak continues with a smile, looking to impart the feeling of just having fun with the song, not stressing over the performance aspect to Spitshine.


Roll #1 10 = 10


Pryce glances down slightly to Spitshine, empathizing with the poor colt as he flushes red from his voice crack. He does his best to try and guide him along with his own voice to help guide him back on track and not spiral too much from embarrassment.
KP meanwhile continues on singing, enjoying the performance and being on stage, or on chair in this case, and also being amazed as Hopper sings so well.
>Pryce [1d10]
>KP [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 1 = 1


Perhaps in an attempt to make Spitshine feel less bad about his own voice crack, KP's voice cracks as well. The repeated mistakes cause Hopper and Pryce to lose track of where they are somewhat, but Cloak manages to keep them on beat. The corners of Sugar's mouth turn upward, not out of derision, but a rare moment of actual fun. Cloak hasn't spent long with her, but this is the first time that he's ever seen her outside of a morose, almost dangerous state.

And finally you come in for the third and final repeat. If there was ever a time for a creative riff or even a solo, now's the time.

[1d10+1] S
[1d10+2] H

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10


KP breaks into an embarrassed laugh after his own voice cracks, breaking up his flow a bit and leading him to have to stop for a second to take a breath and join back in.
Pryce feels a little bit of channeled embarrassment, but seeing Sugar start to enjoy this showing makes the whole thing a success in his eyes, and he's sure to make this finale grand.
>Pryce [1d10]
>KP [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 6 = 6


Seeing the others have fun with it, Cloak relaxes his voice a little, letting them take the lead of the final stanza as he harmonizes rather than guide.


Roll #1 5 = 5


It's not so much that either of you start to fail, it's just that you're shocked – as the third round starts, Spitshine steps forward, and Hopper jumps from KP's head to his. Gone is Spitshine's embarrassment, and like a pony possessed, he riffs on the conventional rhythms of the song, turning it into a passionate solo. Hopper, unable to sing lyrics like you, harmonizes with sustained squeals, bringing out the hopes and the longing that one feels, waiting for the glorious day when the saints will come marching in, armed and armored with the light of the gods, ready to bring the eternal peace and magnificence of the gods to the world.

Silence falls as the song ends – and then much, much applause. The pets, sitting on the sideline, rush in with excitement, and River and Zjetya come up to hoof-bump KP and kiss Pryce on the cheeks. A couple of younger Witches make a beeline for Spitshine, but Sugar, frowning again, steps forward to intercept them with a bodyblock. Spitshine turns red again, this time for another, and very obvious, reason.


Leather nods in approval, quietly waiting in one of the chairs as the crowd has their time with the two companions.


>"Wow, that was amazing!"
KP says excitedly. He beams as River and Zjetya give him hoof bumps, and goes to scoop up Hopper to praise his pet.

Pryce is a little flustered by the kisses.
"Not bad for a sudden performance."
He says, clearing his throat after. He steps over to Spitshine, looking to him with a proud smile.
"You have some real talent there Spitshine."


Hopper's breathing a little heavily after all that attention. Given that he's demonstrated stage fright before, he might need a strong drink (of water).

"Yeahiguessmaybeidunno," Spitshine mumbles, looking away as you praise him.

At long last, Halaq begins to clap. "Mmm. Not bad. I feel it. Holiday cheer, I care little for. National pride, marching, military might, now that is good. Very oompah, oompah! That is what people should be singing and teaching to colts and fillies all the time! Make them grow strong. Okay, your pay is covered. Have good day."

She gestures to Cloak. "Almost forgot. You get your cut now, yeah?"


Cloak nods, "I am seated." He says simply.


Halaq draws a white barber's cloth around your neck, secure but not too tight. With a few assistants, she begins giving you the same quality treatment that the others got – a slight trim, then a rinse, shampoo, claw scrub and scalp massage, another rinse, and then an all-around trim with razors and clippers.

It doesn't take long, but it was clearly not rushed. By the end, your shit is lined up, and you are looking fresh; not a hair is shorter or longer than what you wanted it to be.

The assistants then busy themselves with sweeping up the cut hair for the furnace.


"My thanks." Leather sounds politely, offering a short bow.

"Well then, that was a fun little bout wasn't it. I hadn't of thought I'd be singing today, even less so you and a frog as well."


>"You did a great job buddy."
KP congratulates Hopper as he walks over to one of the sinks to get some water for Hopper.

"You really do," Pryce says, seeing that Spitshine might not want to admit his singing gift, or is embarrassed of it, "If you ever want to, you can always join Zjetya and me whenever we go over my song scrolls."
He says, leaving an open offer.

As Halaq claps to their performance, Pryce bows his head.
"I'm glad you enjoyed. It's always a pleasure to put on a performance."

"It was a nice break."
Pryce agrees.
"I'm just glad I had some practice for this. About a week ago Zjetya has been teaching me how to sing after I was given this," Pryce lifts up the Moonlight Prism around his neck, "It's a catalyst for Songspinning, magic from singing, It's been pretty useful, both for the magic and performing."


"Fascinating, I have seen some Ecclesyian leaders able to stir a platoon of their soldiers into a crusader's fervor simply through a battle verse, so I wouldn't doubt the power song has when channeling music."


"Yeah, come back anytime," Halaq says. She looks too proud to bow back, but gives you a gleam of respect in her eyes.

Hopper croaks out a sigh when he finally gets some water. Lockjaw ambles over, making short, excited roars to Hopper, kind of like his own way of congratulating him on a job well done. Hopper looks very annoyed, as he always does at Lockjaw's antics.

"…You think so?" Spitshine mutters.

"A hundred percent," Zjetya affirms.

"It could be useful in combat to know that stuff," Sugar says. "And you obviously have an aptitude for it."

"Heh… maybe I will, then," Spitshine says.

"So, now that we're all squared up, where to next?" River asks.

>Paused, continue RP if you want


"It might be an overstatement, but we probably wouldn't be standing here as we are without it."
Pryce comments.
"I have to say though, I didn't know you could sing either. How long have you been doing it?"


Last time on HolyQuest…

Pryce and Cloak did some shopping with River, Zjetya and the kids, first stopping at Prickly Pear's pharmacy, which Fairy Castle was making her run as part of what was supposedly a training routine. If nothing else, working retail could teach her patience and emotional control. It was there that they were introduced to the unique economic system of the Witches. Instead of trading goods and services for gold or some other precious substance, Witches used a mixture of a barter economy, and a direct exchange of labor. If a Witch didn't have any tangible object for trade, then she can agree to perform tasks to pay off her debt to another Witch, with the scale and number of tasks depending on the amount owed.

They then went to Halaq's Haircuts, a Witches' barbershop run by griffonesses and members of a race of upright bird people called the Vola. They got some nice trims, and the stallions paid with a barbershop quartet (quintet, if you count Hopper).

Amy left Threecoins with Mocha, returning briefly to Fantasia to speak with Easy Doesit. Fantasia continued to improve its defenses and infrastructure thanks to a lucrative new peace treaty that Easy had signed with Ecclesia. In exchange for Ecclesian influence in its internal doings, Fantasia received Ecclesian labor and raw materials. Easy still retained her autonomy as its Chancellor, but she was all too eager to hand it over to Amy when she came and asked for it. Easy had no desire to be a political leader, preferring instead a life of adventure. If Amy proved successful in her mission in Tartarus, Easy would be happy to make Fantasia the seat of her new kingdom of peace.

Flaming, LJ, Box and Regina began a tabletop adventure in the world of Witches and Wargs, 3E. Their quest was to prevent moon-crazed occultists from the Kingdom of Circadia from resurrecting the Vrykolakas, an ancient vampire. The vampire's corpse was divided into three pieces, sealed in a dungeon called the Coil of Daedas. If the corpse should be assembled again, then the vampire's powers of regeneration would bring it back to unlife once more. They infiltrated the dungeon, evading a few of the occultists' traps, but were confronted by one of their lackey monsters, the Invisquito.

Shei returned to the ship with Gadriel, and it was there that Gadriel tried to see his future with the paired Sun and Moon Diskos. However, it wasn't much use for him. Though he obtained some power from the Diskos, he couldn't get a coherent view of his future. This was likely due to his scattered and discordant identity. He still didn't have a strong enough conception of himself as an individual person to have his own future. He only saw himself as an amalgam of souls, and not his own rational, free actor. With Shei's help, he resolved to try and figure out who he was, and what he wanted, in order to better help the party.


"Yeah, come back anytime," Halaq says. She looks too proud to bow back, but gives you a gleam of respect in her eyes.

>Cloak, Pryce

Hopper croaks out a sigh when he finally gets some water. Lockjaw ambles over, making short, excited roars to Hopper, kind of like his own way of congratulating him on a job well done. Hopper looks very annoyed, as he always does at Lockjaw's antics.

"…You think so?" Spitshine mutters.

"A hundred percent," Zjetya affirms.

"It could be useful in combat to know that stuff," Sugar says. "And you obviously have an aptitude for it."

"Heh… maybe I will, then," Spitshine says.

"So, now that we're all squared up, where to next?" River asks.


Sheimy is back on her hooves before long, and Voyage's magic restores her flesh, leaving no trace of the old injury. As Chester attempts to scare off the Invisquito, you see its footprints linger on the wall. It seems to hesitate, deciding whether or not to flee, but in the end, it remains steadfast.

>"We've almost got it!" LJ cheers. "If we can just roll good right here…"

[1d10+2: 8] Basic attack

>Box now looks really nervous about rolling dice. "Chester sounds out the horns of battle!"

[1d10+1: 3]

The Invisquito, badly wounded, tries to go in for one last blow against Great Voyage.
[1d10+1: 9]

>Amy, Shei

Regina gives you both a silent look as you hug and talk near the table. It's very, very clear that she'd prefer you take this anywhere that's not near her tabletop campaign.



KP smiles at Lockjaw, stepping over and patting him on the head.
>"See Hopper, you're a star now!"

"We could head to Wizingstar's Witcheries to get some stuff for the pets to treat them too."
Pryce suggests.


Hopper puts on a stoic, unmoved frown as Lockjaw showers him with praise. Lockjaw, oblivious, continues his small roars, as well as his tiny jumps. Hopper eventually takes the water orb staff and sprays Lockjaw in the mouth. Lockjaw, now properly distracted, bites at the water, wagging his tail with enjoyment.


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief as her character manages to get back up, looking over to Journey as she says (in-character), "'Thank you brave Voyage for healing my wounds! Now, let's teach this thing a lesson!'"

"Sheimy powers up her fiery horn, and launches a bolt of magic right at the Invisquito!"
She picks up a dice, and throws it hard at the board to give it that extra bounce (for luck)
[1d10] Magic Bolt

Roll #1 3 = 3




Leather nods at Pryce's suggestion, "Sure thing, though if they ask to do accounting work at the next location in replacement of payment, I'm afraid I will not be able to assist." Cloak laughs.


>The die dinks off the table and spirals upward at Regina's QM screen. She stops her narration mid-sentence as she tries to keep it from tipping over onto all her notes, figurines and dice. The die eventually lands in the grass on a 3. Regina affixes you with a judgmental look over her glasses.

The lash of the Invisquito's long, spiked tongue slams Great Voyage into Sheimy, knocking her to the ground. With no time to help her up, Great Voyage rushes in at the monster's opening, slamming his iron-hard head down onto the monster's. The blow crushes the evil thing's chitinous skull, spewing green bug guts onto the walls. It falls dead at your hooves, and Chester marks the victory with a blast of his tr– with his lumpet.

>Sheimy 2/5

>GV 1/5

>LJ leans back with a sigh of relief. Box just looks happy to be there.


Shei-Sher recieves the hug in kind "Oi- Was only an that passed and you're throwing yourself at me." Shei ganders at the dice and boardgame "You all seem to be having fun. I can't help but be a little jealous but my work never ends."

>Brave Voyage
Shei stifles a snicker at the mention of Little Journey's character name. He just barely manages to conceal his laughter.

"Sheimy? Is that.. Amy? combined with Shei?" Shei-Sher pulls out a heavy text and lands it onto of the diskos, on the table "Whatever, here is also the the Anathema Scripture."


KP chuckles at their antics.
>"You two would make a great duo on the stage."
He says, starting to picture Lockjaw in an outfit along with Hopper.

"I think we'll be clear of that here, though I imagine we'll be hosting a full circus by the time we're done."
Pryce chuckles.


Flaming looks up at Regina sheepishly at the dice, smiling widely, "Hehehe… sorry. I guess I threw that one a little too hard." She gets up from her cheer, running down to the grass to pick up her dice, and moves back, "I'll throw it more softly from now on, I don't think the dice likes being thrown hard."

As Voyage manages to finish off the monster, Flaming stamps her hooves on the table, shaking it, "Woooooooo! Sheimy says, 'Well done Voyage! That WAS impressive! But we still have an evil vampire part to find, so lets move!', she says running over to give him and Chester a quick hug before hopping on her way."

Flaming blushes at your comment, "Uh… N-no! I don't know where you got that idea, it's just Princess Sheimy Price. Totally original, came up with it all on my own!"

As you lay down the diskos and the Anathema Scripture, her eyes widen. "OH! This is what Buiwong promised us, right? The recollection of one of the Sons of God journey into Tartarus?"


"Now that's a market," Spitshine says. "Comedy troupes were always a favorite for dad, with how grim his line of work can be. Clowns, jesters, and minstrels could always get out of slavery if they could make him laugh. Plus I don't think there's many monster-centric routines out there."

Taking again to Threecoins' streets, you recall the directions about town that you got from the passerby Witch earlier. Unsurprisingly, and perhaps a little stereotypically, the magic shop is a focal point of town, perhaps to the detriment of other, more niche stops.

You head down the many ladders and stairs that you took to get to Halaq's Haircuts, all perched high in the sky, and make your way back down to the ground level. The Witcheries would be hard to miss, as it is near the center of the merchant's district, and unlike other shops which are more organically baked into the landscape and its aesthetic, this shop seems to go out of its way to project a distinct look.

After proceeding a little southwest through the walkways, you come to your destination: A dark, ruined-looking chapel, two stories high, drooping and sagging as if it were looking down at the street below like a predator looking down at prey. It's wedged between two rather normal-looking apartment towers. It has a gate and a small garden around it, and it is packed with headstones – more graves than the number of bodies that the garden's soil could possibly hold.

It'd be like coming across a haunted house in the middle of a boring suburb.


The front door creaks open when you try it, and you behold a dark and gloomy main room. Monsters' heads line the wall. Grimories and crystal balls stand on pedestals and stands. Diagrams of anatomic structure hang up like posters. The rugs are made of skinned monster hides, with the heads still attached, and the heads' eyes glow brilliantly.

In the center of the room is a black cauldron, big enough to hold a manticore inside. Bones float out of the murky green substance inside.

And behind it there is a tiny witch hat.


>"Ooh," Box says. "Now this looks like it could be good source material for future games."

>Spark crawls down off of your head with a yawn, stumbling onto the table sleepily as he tries to see what's all the commotion. Regina smirks at your enthusiasm and goes back to her thing.

The three of you run down the hall, taking care to look out for any other traps the occultists may have left behind. But behold, there are none to stop you. Soon enough, you see the reason why.

You come to a rounded room, the walls lined with grisly statues of scowling monsters and bodhisattvas, locked in eternal warfare. There are no occultists around, but there are occultist robes and staves lying around. Piles of black ashes lay in the midst of those robes, and burn marks in the shapes of bodies mark the walls.

In the center of the room, there is a towering metal contraption, made of brass and crystals, now broken. The contraption is centered around a raised stone dias, the top of which you cannot see.

At the top of the brass contraption floats a small glowing yellow orb, like a miniature sun. You aren't mechanists, but just from a look, you can tell that this complex machine was designed to refract and amplify the light from that orb, turning it into a powerful beam. It seems that the beam was meant to be focused on something down directly below it. You piece together what happened here: In their attempts to disarm this machine, and claim the corpse part, the occultists ended up turning the beam upon themselves, reducing them to ash.

Great Voyage and Chester start to look around the room to make sure that it's empty, leaving whatever is atop the stone dias for Sheimy to discover.


"I've ran into a few abandoned buildings when retaking settlements for Ecclysia, this is feels like someone decided to take every trait of them and ramp them up to eleven." Leather notes, amused as he enters the building.


KP says with interest, looking back to Hopper and Lockjaw.
>"You hear that guys? We could be the first!"

Pryce and company head down the tower of Halaq's Haircuts back to the streets, leading on the group as they walk the streets for the witchery shop. As they come up to the large chapel, KP let's out an 'ooo' of awe.
>"This place looks spooky."
"Magic stores usually do stand out more. I guess they had to go even more over the top in a city of witches."

When they step inside, KP looks around at all the monster heads, feeling like he just walked into a horror story, full of interest but just the slightest bit unnerved.
Pryce also shares the curiosity, the shop almost coming off as a taxidermist. When he spots the tiny witch hat, he steps over to the cauldron.


After Pryce calls out, the Witch hat starts to move around the rim of the cauldron, and soon you can see that it's attached to a head – a weasel's head. Only, this weasel seems to be clothed, and very modestly at that – a long dress with several layers of coats, socks, boots, robes and finally one more cloak to cover it all. The weasel wears a scowl and has a slight stoop, and gray whiskers mar its otherwise bright red and tan coat. Her mean, aged face makes her look far bigger and more imposing than she actually is. Maybe it's all the clothes.

"Guess we're just letting in anyone these days, are we?" she complains, more to herself than you. "Not a drop of cursed blood between any of you."
Zjetya clears her throat with annoyance. "If I recall right, you're the ones who aren't native to this city."
"City, fortress, grove, desert, it doesn't matter," the weasel says. "A Coven's got to have a little quality control. Used to be that the only outsiders who could set foot on our grounds were those strong enough to treat with the demons and gods they wanted us to summon for them. Things haven't been quite right with Regina at the helm. Anyway, you're here now and I don't feel like expelling you. What do you want?"


Flaming looks down to Spark as he crawls off her head, reaching down to pet him gently while she listens to Regina's story.

"As they look around the room, Sheimy says 'There's a bunch of ash in the middle of all these discarded robes… either they were throwing one heck of a party here, or something happened to these cultists. But why wouldn't the robes be ashes too?'"

As she listens further to get the full story, Flaming says, "Okay… Sheimy goes up to the dias carefully, but keeps clear of the machine, she doesn't wanna turn it on at all."

She picks up a dice, "Rolling to investigate"

Roll #1 9 = 9


Pryce looks down at the weasel witch, surprised at who the shop owner is, the oddest type of witch he's seen.
>"Oh wow, so any creature can be a witch?"
KP says rather bluntly, not knowing how witches come about. Pryce puts a hoof in front of KP, then looks to the weasel.
"We were told your hop has pet supplies, and we wanted to know what you had."



"Well, you left without saying goodbye! I missed you!" Amy gives Shei puppy-dog eyes.

"Oh, I'm not playing that game," Amy waves a dismissive hoof-paw at it. "I was just in Fantasia getting Easy Doesit to let me use her castle when I'm queen," she says casually.


"If you prefer it, I could step out of the establishment. I would hate to be a bother."

Leather says, respectfully.


>Regina blinks with a somewhat surprised look. You realize you may have just seen through… not a plot hole, but a logic hole. Maybe it'd be best to keep that one under your poncho.
>She shakes her head and gets back to narrating.

As you get up to the dias, you see two gray, brittle, long shapes – arms, one left, and one right. Twin arms, simultaneously brutal and slender, ending with hands that bear curved claws. Even getting near them might cut you.

It looks like the occultists were trying to disable this sunlight-producing machine in order to get at the vampire's hands, but got killed in the process. With their deaths, they managed to sabotage the machine. The arms are yours for the taking…

>"So long as we have even one of the corpse parts, they can't resurrect the vampire," LJ says in his GV voice. "Let's take them!"

>"I hope they don't curse or poison us from touching them…" Chester/Box says.


"Yes, it's quite the read. In fact, I do not really expect you to read much of it. A complete headache. I scanned the thing cover to cover last night."

"So you literally missed me.. leaving the room? heh" Shei's a little amused "You say it so casually, informing a dear friend of their iminent eviction. I know we did the same with Volkama but I hoped it would not become a habit." Shei says referring to the fact we literally just comendered Volkama's airship all those months.

"Gadriel and I were about to leave again, to visit my mother. Care to join us?"


The weasel is unfazed. It seems like she's heard this – and probably much worse – many times in the past. "I am Wizingstar, of the Vellus race. And no, don't bother. You're here as it is, you might as well compensate me for my time and all the effort it takes to be this nice to people. Keheheh."

Wizingstar looks at your many pets. They seem like they're watching their step around her, even though most, including Lockjaw, are taller than her. They don't seem intimidated, but more like how children know how to stay in line around a school teacher they know to be strict. There's a lot of respect for Wizingstar here.

Wizingstar takes a small cane from nearby, and starts to pace around the shop. "Let me show you what I've got."

Pet items:
>Animal Snackers: 5 Bits per pouch, or 1 small favor
-Meat snacks in the shapes of animals. Might be considered somewhat macabre if eaten where others can see it.
>Brushes: 2 Bits each, or 1 small favor
-Simple brushes of various sizes and toughness of bristles for hygiene and recreation
>Stuffed and rubber toys, bouncy balls, fetching sticks: 1 Bit each, or 1 small favor
>Pet-sized clothing: 3 Bits each, or 1 small favor
-Various small clothing items for embarrassing pets.
>Pet Armor: 20 Bits for a full set, or 1 medium favor
-A custom-made suit of armor for a pet, granting them 5 extra Hits in the event that they are brought into combat.
>Amulet of the Familiar: 50 Bits, or 1 medium favor
-A charm meant to hold a picture of one's chosen Familiar. When worn, if the summoner and the Familiar perform the same action or attack the same target, they both get +2 to that action for that round only. Recharge 3.

"That's just for the pet items," Wizingstar says. "I've got other things for other purposes, if you want to see them. Grimoires, scrolls, things of that nature."



"But, I just love you that much," Amy says before grabbing Shei and squeezing him tight like a stuff animal. She makes a lot of adoring squeaking sounds before letting go.

"Easy said she didn't want to rule anyway. So, we're really just helping her out. I AM making her my advisor, though. She's excited."

"Wait, meeting your mom- How? Isn't she…" Amy looks over at Gadriel awkwardly.


Gadriel shakes his head. "Different mom, different mom. He seems to have a lot of those. Don't ask why."


"Hmmmm…" Flaming thinks outloud, trying to consider the best approach. "They seem to have disabled the machine, so they are safe for us to take…. Sheimy says, 'Okay! But before I do, I'll get something safe to carry them in so they can't curse us!'"

"She uses her magic hat to pull out a safe container for the arms, blessed against dark magic that will keep them locked away for as long as she wishes!" She picks up a dice, and throws it, this time super-soft

Roll #1 8 = 8



"What other mom do you have!?" Amy asks, sounding practically exasperated.


"You already ready it? That's a big book to go cover to cover in one night. Well, anything I should know right away, did you spot anything groundbreaking?"


"Oooh my little homunculi, I ask myself that quite often."

"My biological mother. She's a goat." Shei's brow raises "Goats! I should hide my wings! Amy do you still have the cloak with the embroidering of kittens?" Shei's asking for the kitty cat astral stealth cloak.

"I would just distract you from your game. Beside, it will not do you much good if I explain something you couldn't understand in the first place. Sit down with the book when you have the time."

Shei-Sher opens up a dark corridor back to the Goat's ecclessian camp

Roll #1 8 = 8


A list of things Shei is leaving behind at the airship:

sheep stomach bag (under coat)
(Within Bag)
vine-and-origami headdresses (from Circadia make's wearer less noticeable by Evil beings)
Crow-ley's Book of Sigils
pouch of salt
praymore (for soothing wounds)
Vial of orange goop
Vial of mercury
Vial of crow Blood (Vial treated for blood to never spoil)
Vial of Jasmine juice (vial treated for juice to never spoil)
Vial of ink
Black leather cloak with a circle inscribed within a square woven in silver color on the back
HALF Red Skull
[Game additive]
1 1/2 flasks of dark matter (contained within a vial of infinite resources)
vial of infinite resources
Tree of sapphen (planted in Vadahara)
Witching Lantern
Piece of Vipaka (Chariot flesh) (4 pieces)
An effigy of Pravda's throne (for summoning the Demon Lords)


"There are certain things I'm sure Dagger would be interested in here, but not getting her those with kids on the way.." Cloak mutters to himself.

Cloak returns to a previous topic, looking to fill time as long as he's here.

"Ah, you asked before about singing earlier - I've had more time since the Firmament breaking. Truth be told, my place in the troops wasn't on the front lines, so I had more time to devote to my work as a paladin. Part of which? Devotion via performance."


Pryce looks around the shop as Wizingstar points out her pet supplies. He grabs a brush for Lockjaw, and then glances over the toys to see if there's anything durable enough for him to play with. He then grabs a few of the animal snackers, stocking up in food for him as well. As she mentions other supplies, as the witch who gave hem directions earlier mention this store has a number of magical supplies, Pryce leans down to her for secrecy.
("Would you happen to have any moonlight prisms, or know where I could find one?")
He whispers, preferably while Spitshine is distracted in getting his own pet supplies.

KP goes o the clothing spot, looking for a nice outfit for Lockjaw that could match well with Hopper's. While browsing the aisles, he stops by the amulets, already imagining the potential of performing with Hopper with it. He grabs one of those as well, one that'd fit well with either his or Hopper's magic.



"I'm pretty sure you took that a while ago," Amy screws her face up trying to remember.

"Does it matter? Why can't she just see you for who you are? I mean, you've got a pretty good looking girlfriend, right? Can't she see that you're happy the way you are? Isn't that enough?"

Amy follows Shei into the portal.


>Regina clears her throat. "Sadly, Hat Magic can't conjure enchanted objects, but you can conjure something mundane."

You produce two long, thin storage trunks, one for each arm. You swear you see them twitch as you touch them, but after an examination, it seems that you may have been mistaken.

>"Hah! That's one section of the corpse secured," Box says as Chester. "Maybe we could escape now before more of them come down this way to claim the corpse."

>"But we still have to stop the occultists' plot!" LJ says as Great Voyage. "Who knows – perhaps they have dark magic that could revive the vampire in a weaker state, so long as they at least have the heart and brain. Those are the most integral parts to a vampire's resurrection."

>"Hmm," Regina hums. "Roll knowledge."

[1d10] Box
[1d10] LJ

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 10 = 10


The three of you end up back at the outskirts of Commontown, on the same dirt path into town that leads to the guarded entrance. Shei recalls the guards from earlier – it's doubtful they'll tolerate a frontal entrance.


[amending post]
>I scanned the thing cover to cover last night."

Change that to

"I skimmed as much of it as I could last night, to say the least it is a cumbersome read."


"It's not that. I've been excommunicated from Ecclessia. I am not allowed. And the wings are a dead giveaway." Shei-Sher puts on the kitty cat stealth cloak to hide his wings.

back again Shei-Sher is feeling a little nervous about approaching the front gate again. "How about this time we see if there is an entrance to the backside of the village."
Shei-Sher leads the way around to the opposite end of the village.


"Hmm… I guess that's fair enough. No sense worrying about it until I can afford to. Just let me know if anything important comes up, but, yeah I think I'll follow your advice Shei. I'll read it later."

"Awww… okay, I guess that's fair. Would be a little over powered if I could just pull out anything magical. But I'll take the trunks! Oh, and I lift them out of the dias with my MAGIC, I don't touch them!" Flaming says overly cautiously, making SURE Regina knows what she means to do.

She turns to Box and Voyage, speaking in character, "'That's a good point, they may be able to summon the vampire with fewer parts! But we should at least stash these somewhere or hide them so they can't find them, just in case the worst happens to us!' And then she rolls knowledge too," She says, grabbing another die

Roll #1 7 = 7


Pryce grabs a tough cloth rope for Lockjaw, suitable for tug-of-war. There's no outfits resembling Hopper's that might fit Lockjaw, however. But there is a classy looking top hat and a cape fit for a small stage magician. Perhaps that'd be enough.

Wizingstar nods subtly to Pryce. "I have one in the back. 100 Bits or a medium favor."

Magical Items:
>Jester's Cap: 20 Bits or 1 medium favor
-Reduces the penalty from failing a social or performative roll, allowing you to salvage a negotiation or situation that you would have otherwise lost. Works only once per situation.
>Book of Shaman-Flowers: 50 Bits or 1 medium favor
-A book that can impart the Shaman-Flower Divination spell to one who studies it.
-Shaman-Flower Divination: Requires ritual (non-combat) setting: Using a collection of stiff, wood-like reeds from the Shaman-Flower, you cast these reeds into various hexagrams. These hexagrams will tell you the most likely things that will happen within the next twenty-four hours. Unlike the Sun and Moon Diskos, which project long-term ideas of the future, and not specific details, high rolls with Shaman-Flower Divination can yield precise visions of what is to come.
>Quill Pen of the Dictator: 10 Bits or 1 small favor
-A quill pen that automatically writes whatever is said in its presence. It's fast enough to record dialogue between up to four speakers accurately. It distinguishes between different speakers via noting names, but it will only write down the names of those known by its user.
>Purifying Bottle: 40 Bits or 1 small favor
-Whatever liquid is poured into this bottle is purified into pure, drinkable water. The purification process takes about one full minute.
>Magic Planter: 40 Bits or 1 small favor
-A small pot full of soil. If an object is buried in this soil, then in an hour will sprout a plant with a single flower. Inside the flower is a perfect copy of the thing you buried, with the same functionality.
>Autonomous Chain: 50 Bits or 1 medium favor
-An animated chain that can be given orders to chain up anything that it can wrap around, requiring a roll of 9 or higher to break free. Reassembles over a period of 24 hours if broken.


"I remember practicing hymns during my time with the Church. Those were always nice moments to cleanse the mind."



Amy pouts a little bit at Shei's response.

But, then she gives a grin. "Why Shei," she says as if she's surprised. "Usually you don't like to use the back entrance."


[1d10] Rolling perception (OOC)

Roll #1 2 = 2


perception roll

Roll #1 9 = 9




Roll #1 3 = 3


Gadriel claps a claw over his mouth and (barely) stifles an exasperated scream.

You take care to find a path through the forested rocky hills that surround Commontown, so that you aren't seen by any sentries as you make your way toward the northern side. Eventually, you come across a second, smaller gate, with its own dirt road leading northeast. This one is not as heavily guarded than the front entrance, although there are still two guards posted upon the guard towers at the ramparts. They haven't noticed you yet, but look very bored and annoyed with having to stay out here during the morning chill. They appear armed, but aren't paying any particular attention to the empty road.


Taking great care to avoid contact with the pieces of that old, defeated evil, you store one arm each in the small trunks.

You take a moment to reflect over Great Voyage's warning, and you know that it's accurate. Although it is greatly difficult to revive a vampire whose limbs have been severed with vampire-killing magic, it is not impossible. The Heart and the Brain are the most important parts for a vampire's regeneration. Severing or crushing the head can stop the regeneration for a time, but to kill a vampire permanently, you need to destroy the Heart.

>"Hey, hang on," LJ says in his normal voice. "Did the King ever address this? Why cut up the vampire and seal it if you could just kill it forever by destroying its heart?"

>Unlike before, when you poked a hole in Regina's plot, she just smiles knowingly.
>Box gulps nervously. "Do we realize what LJ's getting at, in-character?"
>Regina nods. "It's not hard to connect the dots."


KP grabs the top hat and cape, walking back with his supplies, and then trying to see how the new outfit looks on Lockjaw.

"If you have a box for it too, I'd appreciate it."
Pryce adds. As he turns for the counter to rejoin the others and see what favors he'll owe, he stops at the magic supplies. Many of them look appealing, but he settles on just one, taking the Autonomous Chain.



Cloak eyes the chain and only thinks of Dagger more, quickly looking away towards something else and coughing. "Hmn, the quill could prove useful, but I worry there'd be tracts of missing names due to trying to remember all of your companion's names."

Leather ultimately passes on purchasing the magical item, looking to Pryce.

"Will we be doing another favor, then?"


Flaming frowns, "Uh, I'm not sure if it's so easy for 'me', I'm not quite sure WHY they didn't just destroy the heart if they already had it all cut up in the first place. Could they have wanted it for something else?" Flaming frowns, "Uh, could I have a hint? I think my character would know this but I don't think I do." She asks for a little meta help from her friends as she gets into character.

"'Well, we definitely should get the other parts so they can't perform the resurrection, at the minimum! We'll stash these pieces somewhere they won't find them, there should be more than enough loose stone in this castle to find a good hiding spot. Then we'll find the brain and heart next!' Sheimy shouts, and she hides the arms!"
[1d10] Hiding!

Roll #1 1 = 1


>LJ looks to Regina, who nods.
>"It's starting to look like whoever slew the vampire last time had a reason for leaving it like this, instead of outright destroying it. After all, why even leave all the pieces in the same place if you're going to cut the body up?"
>As LJ lays it out, Box suddenly gasps. "Oh! And why didn't the Machine-King tell us to destroy the Heart? He told us to collect the corpse pieces and retrieve them, not kill the vampire."

You "hide" the arms by putting them back on the stone dias.

Great Voyage and Chester just give you a look.


Shei tilts his head and closes his eyes, like Amy's comment were a blunt force "Well I would use yours but it's currently undergoing repairs." In a split second Shei-Sher slaps Amy's flank hard enough to leave a mark.

Shei-Sher leads the party to hug the wall as they get closer to the back entrance, but stop a couple feet from entering the dirt path. After getting a good look at the guards Shei tries something with the wave of his staff. "Hm, this could work.."

>Staff of the Cloudsmith: Roll to change the weather in the local area to rainy, cloudy, stormy, or clear. Can store one weather pattern that is not on this list in its orb for future use

[1d10] roll to make the weather windier and raining

Roll #1 5 = 5


"If you're aware of the names, it should be able to write them down you'd think."
Pryce comments.

At Leather's comment, Pryce nods.
"Yes. I'm… a bit short on bits. Thankfully this at least allows us to stock up on supplies still."


Lockjaw struggles a bit as you try to put the hat and cape on him. Not so much out of annoyance, but because he seems to think you're playing a game. Eventually he seems to get it through his skull that he's meant to wear these. Once it's actually straightened out, he looks pretty sharp.

Wizingstar goes into the back room briefly, then comes back with a small chest covered with soft red velvet on all sides. She then looks over at all the things that you're buying.

"You'd think adventurers would have a little more gold to toss around. Normally I wouldn't be interested in letting someone who isn't a Witch pay with favors. If I wanted hard labor, I could fetch some hirelings from the nearby Guild. But that was then, and this is now. That old Guild is gone, sadly. Luckily for you, I am in need of whatever help I can get. Let's roll the price of all these together and call it one big favor, why don't we?"

She taps her cane on the ground as if to state that it's a done deal without your agreement.

"Several weeks ago I decided I'd try my paw at studying the so-called 'Anomaly' phenomenon that's been tearing our world apart. I trust you've seen them before – rifts in space and time, gateways to other Worlds. At more than a few points during our journey from Red Thunder to Threecoins, a few of the more cowardly Witches suggested to Regina that we use them to abandon this World and leave for another. But the Anomalies – they're normally too unpredictable and too dangerous for reliable travel. You might end up in a frozen pit upon a far-off planet, or in the midst of a storm of noxious gas and swirling sand with nothing but desert on all sides for hundreds of miles.

"So I decided I'd try to wrangle one up and try to control it, like conventional teleportation magic. But, wouldn't you know it, the one I succeeded in opening upstairs ended up leading to a plane ruled by Scuttlebutts. Nasty, horrendous things. Cousins of the imps, I believe. They've been opening and closing the Anomaly upstairs. Well, not completely – nothing can close an Anomaly once it's opened, except the fickle machinations of the Anomaly itself. But they are able to seal it behind them temporarily. Like jamming shut a door that won't lock. Where was I…? Oh, right. Anyway, the bottom line is that they've been popping in and out of my shop to steal things. I want you to pay for all this by getting in there and killing the lot of them."


Flaming glowers at her roll and then at Sheimy's action as she puts them back on the dias in-character. "Okay, so Sheimy may have picked up a bit more Amy than I anticipated. I'll roll with it…"

"Ahem… 'Hey, there we go! No one will ever think to look for them where they just got stolen from, it's like hiding them in plain sight!'" Flaming says, looking at Journey and Box with a sour look on her face. "Please stop me."

"'Anyways, that is definitely fishy as to why the king wanted us to just 'retrieve' the parts. Maybe, just to be absolutely safe, we should destroy the heart as soon as we find it. Then the threat's over for good! Let's go!' Sheimy says before moving back to the main hall."



Amy giggles in response to Shei. "I recover quickly," she says with a wink.

"Why are these goats so defensive, anyway? They don't like us?"


"Any traits of the vermin we should be aware of, besides thievery?" Cloak asks, looking up at the ceiling as if to check for them.


"I take back my advice earlier," Gadriel says, harrumphing with annoyance. "Make it as difficult as possible to get in. Do it. Go on."

"We would've been able to walk right in before," Gadriel says. "But Shei didn't want to submit to the bag inspection. For people who are trying to reclaim a settlement that's been destroyed by demons, this threw off some pretty dangerous vibes. They told us to get lost and never come back. Personally, I think they might suspect him of having some malicious purpose in mind. Terrorism, or demon summoning maybe. Though… I guess he technically did by going to grab you."

Shei conjures up some light clouds, which slowly start to drip a misty, thin rainfall over the nearby area. The guards perk up a little, but only because it seems to be a slight change from what's been going on up until now – that is to say, the whole lot of nothing they've had to look at.


>LJ, Box and Regina all share a giggle.

Great Voyage steps forward. "Clever as it may be, we're dealing with moon-crazed occultists who charged headfirst into a dungeon full of dangerous traps and machinery. They won't leave until they've got their goal, no matter what they have to sacrifice. The safest place is to keep them in your magic hat."

Chester nods. "The second we find the torso, we drop everything and annihilate it. It's too risky to let this corpse remain in any way, cut up or no."

You return to the main hall. The north and eastern corridors haven't been explored yet, and look very much the same as the western corridor.

"Where to next?" Chester asks.
"Maybe if we can… perceive… what's ahead of us…" Great Voyage asks.

>LJ looks at Regina with an open smile to see if she got his pun.

>She did. She's not impressed.
>"…Just roll," she laughs.

[1d10] LJ
[1d10] Box

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10


>"Looking good Lockjaw!"
KP says proudly at the good pick. And then for added measure, he puts Hopper on Lockjaw's head to see how they look together.

"One big favor? Alright."
Pryce says, listening to her story.
"Controlling an Anomaly? Is that safe?"
He says, then pausing after to let her finish.
"Could we push them back through their anomaly as well?" He asks as an alternative, more out of not wanting the kids to go killing if they don't have to, "…Either way, we can deal with them."
Pryce says in agreement, following Wizingstar upstairs. He pauses for one moment to look to KP.
"Stay down here to keep an eye on the pets."
>"Aww, ok fine."
KP complains for only a moment, then being content as he fiddles with Lockjaw's outfit. With that settled, Pryce continues upstairs.



"I mean… I feel like he's proving their point by messing with their weather…" Amy mumbles.


"Ooooh Pish posh, you get used to her banter, and what could I do other than to retaliate."

Shei-Sher slaps the hammer of his staff, like it needed it to start working right and he waves it again to get a freezing deluge going on.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Flaming smiles at Journey, "Nice one. 'Oh! That sounds like a much better idea!' And then Sheimy puts the chests in her magic hat, and gives Voyage a hug for his suggestion. And then she looks to Chester and says, 'And your idea is great too! Forget bringing the vampire pieces back, we'll just destroy them so they can't hurt anyone ever anyone ever again!' And then, she hops back to the hall way."

As Regina drops a none too subtle hint as to what to do, Flaming smirks. "Heh. I got it. More rolling is just fine by me, let's do some perceiving!"
[1d10] She rolls the dice, eying where it will land

Roll #1 7 = 7


"They've a penchant for crude traps and dungeons, they're as numerous as ants, and though they might have less gray matter between the lot of them than a bag of rocks, they aren't slouches when it comes to magic. In addition to whatever magic objects they may have pilfered, they also have an innate aptitude for cantrips of the Spatial school of magic. In other words, they can make themselves hard to hit, and poke you without warning with their makeshift weapons."

She taps her cane on the ground again. "Oh! And they have an inexplicable respect for authority. They're natural-born bootlickers, every single one of them. Flash some military badges, order commands, see if that might help. For some unrelated reason, they also seem to fear and respect the color blue."

"Not at all," she answers to Pryce when he asks whether playing with Anomalies is safe. But she doesn't follow it up with anything.
As Wizingstar leads you up the stairs, River and Zjetya look down at Sugar and Spitshine.
"Flow trained us a little," Spitshine says. "We can defend ourselves."
"And it's not like we've never seen anything die before," Sugar says coolly. "It's a common occurrence. No need to shelter us from it."
"I'm inclined to agree," River says. "Just promise you'll follow Pryce's orders, won't you?"
"Sure," Spitshine says.
Sugar doesn't answer, instead drawing a wrench from her bag.

Wizingstar eventually reaches the top of the stairs, and unlocks the door. It leads into a storage room with another door at the far end. She opens that one in turn, and that leads to a smaller, empty room. In the center of the room floats a very long zipper, about six feet in height. The zipper faintly glows.

"Just pull that open and you'll be in their realm," Wizingstar says. "I had to seal off this room and take out everything, otherwise they'd steal just about anything that's not nailed to the ground! That's why my shop's been so cluttered as of late. Do a thorough enough job and I'll give you a discount next time you come by. Oh, and if you find any of my stolen goods over there, bring them back won't you? You can keep all the gold you pick up. I have no use for it."


The guards turn toward the town, shouting out some words at those inside. If you had to guess, they're probably requesting a change of gear to accommodate for the strange new weather. The temperature rapidly drops, and the winds start to pick up, but the rains don't get any stronger. It's nothing that those of sturdy constitution can't weather for a while at least.

"…Shei, please, can you just talk to them normally? Couldn't we flex our fame? What're you trying to do here?" Gadriel asks, shivering and hopping in place from the cold.



"Yeah, I've had enough of this," Amy says, suddenly angry.

"C'mon," she gestures to the other two.

She marches up to the guards. "You two. I demand to talk to someone in charge right now," she says forcefully.

>Mantra of Equality with compassion [1d10+2]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


Though the corridors are too long for you to see the ends of, you hear a great many voices coming from down the eastern corridor. It sounds like the majority of their forces went down that way, and they're bickering about what to do. However, you also pick up on the distant sounds of battle coming from the northern corridor.

"Sounds like either route will be dangerous," Great Voyage says. "Let me dress our wounds from the previous battle. Perhaps we can use the chaos to the north to our advantage."

>"Do I have to roll healing for everyone?" LJ asks.

>"I'll let you get away with a free heal since this is your first game," Regina says.
>"Lucky us! I'll take it," LJ says.


"Wouldn't you think by now I'm tired of doing exactly that and having things blow up into a pile chagrin. I don't like attention anymore, leave me alone.." Shei says the last bit half jokingly "If I make it cold enough, maybe they'll leave their post for blankets and then we may slip through."

"Oh boy." Shei follows up with her shyly


half joking, yet equally pathetic



"Or, you just make yourself look evil by pointlessly making people suffer."

"Attention wouldn't be bad if you would just stop doing bad things," Amy says in an exasperated tone.


"Oh, yeah that'd be helpful! I think I'm down to 2/5, a full heal would be great before we go into combat. Sheimy graciously takes the healing from Voyage, and then suggests, 'Hey, THAT direction sounds like more fun!', pointing to the one that has all the sounds of combat from it. 'Let's check it out'! And then she runs off in that direction once Voyage is done healing!"

She says, grabbing at another dice to roll for any discernible reason ranging from checking for traps to running in faster

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I'll do my best to protect you all. How able are you to withstand blows, all of you. I'm more effective when I focus my protection towards the less resolute in body." He chuckles.


"These allegations are unfounded! I've done nothing but improve people's lives.. In the long run."


"Guards are trained to be tougher than that!" Gadriel blurts out. "I dealt with my share of guards as Evil's Punishment! They're so much harder to shake than your average guy!"

When the guards see Amy and Gadriel, two very strange-looking people in comparison to average griffons and ponies, they initially level their guns at them. But then, one of them pipes up.
"Don't shoot! That's one of the ponies on the Expedition!" the guard shouts. "Get the captain!"

There's some more chatter among the guards on the rampart, and you hear some chatter from within as they comply with Amy's request. Eventually, the massive timber gates shudder, and start to slowly crank open. You are ushered in by the guards, and the gates start to slowly close behind you.

Ahead, you are greeted by a small detachment of four guards, with a taller, more heavily armored earth pony stallion in the center, a light orange with a smattering of mossy green for his rather shaggy hair. He nods curtly as you enter.

"Captain Everypony Jack at your service," he says. "Division: Congregation. Rank: Lightforged. Currently overseeing Commontown's affairs until a proper leader can be chosen by the Choir. What seems to be the issue?"


Pryce gives a bit of a worried glance as Sugar takes out a wrench, from the idea of her form of combat, and her choice of weapon.
"Let's all stick together, we shouldn't need to worry about as much that way."

As they head upstairs and shown the zipper, Pryce stares at it in confusion.
"Enter that, and clear out the ones inside? Alright, we'll have them dealt with before you know it."
Pryce says to assure the group, stepping forward to open the zipper, assuming they're all ready.


"I have a few defensive spells of my own. Focus on protecting the kids, and I can cover River and Zjetya."



Amy initially enters the gates with a serious scowl on her face. Though, as the captain introduces himself, Amy can't help but let out a little snicker. "I'm sorry," she says, covering her mouth. "Everypony is a part of your name?"

Amy shakes her head, moving on. "Sorry, sorry, sorry. I'm not trying to make fun of you. I'm here because my boyfriend here wants to see his mom, and your guards aren't letting him," she says in a tragic tone as she puts her hoof around Shei's shoulders.

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with compassion

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Shei just quietly follows with Amy and Gadriel past the gate. "How do you make it look so easy."

When Amy snickers at the Captain's name, Shei bleats her to behave "Aaamy."
He embarassment mounts when Amy explains their reason for the commotion. He steps forward, shaking it off.

"Her name is Shei-perd Captain Jack, do you know if she is staying in this village?"



"Because I'm right," Amy states simply.


>When Spark sees that you're all throwing dice around, he skitters across the table to try and fetch them, making it difficult to see results. Worse still, he starts knocking around the pieces and character sheets. Regina clears her throat.

Deciding that time is of the essence, you rush down the north hall. The fact that Sheimy picks up on no evil magic this time allows you to bolt down the corridor without fear of reprisal from traps.

As you reach the end of the hall, you see a room much like the one to the east in its design – the stone dias, and the intricate machine in its center, refracting light onto the thing in the middle.

This time, however, you see a group of three occultists, hooded and robed, doing battle with what appears to be a black vapor, darting back and forth through the room. Flashes of silver follow in its wake, and it is almost too fast for you to follow it as it strikes at its attackers. A few dead or unconscious occultists lay on the ground.

In the middle of all this chaos, it looks to be exceeingly difficult to get at the corpse part.


Everypony Jack laughs. "If you think that's funny, then get this – my father got the name from a newspaper comic he got when he was out at sea. Some are named after gods, others are named in the hopes of great destinies. Me, I'm named after a doodle in the funnies."

Jack looks down at Shei, then scoffs. "Do you think that it might have been because someone of his description has been kicked out of Ecclesian territories before, and was turned away at the gates for getting all clammy and nervous when asked to submit his possessions for a dangerous and illegal materials check?"
"Definitely had nothing to do with that," Gadriel says with an eye-roll.

"She is, yes. If you'll submit to that illegal materials check like I asked, then I can allow you to see her. But given the nature of her mission, then I certainly can't let any danger come her way. It's strictly policy, you know how it is."

Zjetya and River both look like they're about to speak up. From the way they're turning, they seem like they're going to point to Sugar. But it's actually Spitshine who blurts out, "Protect Sugar, above all else."

Sugar casts her eyes off to the side, annoyed but not protesting. "If that's what helps you fight better, then okay."

Pryce opens up the zipper, revealing beyond it a swirling pathway of blending light and sound. Reality has fragmented as a result of the Anomaly opening, and as such, sensations and fragments of creation blend together in a whirling synesthesia.

>roll to proceed through, Tough applies


"S-spark!" Flaming cries out in surprise, reaching out across the table to try and snatch up the errant little dragon in her hooves, using her cloven hoof to pry the dice from his teeth. "What are you doing, those aren't for fetching, they're just for rolling, see?" She says, throwing them out again just as a test roll while holding on to Spark.

She looks up to Regina as she offers an explanation on the room, turning her head, "Huh… so the occultists are fighting something. The question is, is that thing they're fighting on our side? Is it something even worse than the occultsists and we should help them? Journey, Box, what do you two think? I want to say we should just dive in hooves swinging, if anything both of them will be easier to fight while they're distracted with each other."

Roll #1 10 = 10


Pryce nods as Spitshine instructs to protect Sugar.

Pryce stares into the opening of the zipper and the swirling mix of realities and space. While they've heard of the anomalies plenty, this is the first he's gotten this close to seeing the opening of one. He steps forward, entering first to be a bridge for the others to follow or hold onto him if they need aid, spreading his wings for stability as he feels the pathway pull in all ways.
>Flight [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2



"Well, that shouldn't matter," Amy insists. "Even if he is excommunicated, he's still a Savior. We're trying to save the world. And, we're going to be risking our lives in Tartarus tomorrow. He should be allowed to see his mom before we go into literal hell!"

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with compassion

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


>updated hits for correct value when using a shield until Sphere of Life officially obtained

Opting not to use the rifle for what sounds like a multitude of smaller enemies, Leather Cloak arms his forehoof with his kite shield and makes to enter the breach. He looks resolutely to the others, offering a grin before pulling some of his cloth wrappings up over his muzzle.

[1d10] unto the breach, Tough

Roll #1 10 = 10


Shei grimaces at the fact that Everypony Jack has heard what happened in Liilane "I ruined a family dinner! That doesn't mean I'm out for blood. For miracle's sake, I've spent a year being chased by demons and angels just so I secure their lives in peace. Can you blame me for how I've reacted when I came to lilane learning they discarded me to follow another. Yes! I'll submit to that check, I've secured all my belongings, I have nothing illegal on me I think."

Shei-Sher starts stripping down his coat and making a show of putting all his items on the floor. "A mission? What do you have my mother doing?"



You step into the whirling current, which at your hooves feels like the roar of a vicious ocean current. River and Zjetya grab ahold of the kids instinctively, clutching them close as they move as a group.

[1d10+1] River/Spitshine
[1d10+1] Zjetya/Sugar

But with almost a comedic whistling sound, Pryce is swept off his hooves the moment he tries to spread his wings to balance himself. The whirling of the unstable currents of chaos threaten to toss him out into oblivion, but he just barely manages to hook the edge of his hoof on the zipper that the Scuttlebutts apparently made.

"PRYCEEEEEE!!!" River screams in desperation. "Grab him! Anyone!"

"Toss the chain!" Spitshine shouts.

Jack seems to just ignore Amy as he and his guards rifle through Shei's belongings. Gadriel offers his own as well.

"Fine, go on ahead," Jack says. "She's in the central guild hall. We're having her oversee the reeducation process. As a former slave of the griffons, she's best suited for conditioning the goats to live in a way conducive with Ecclesia's mission. We can't let any old ethnic tensions get in the way of our overarching goal of world peace. The goats will live in the same ways that the rest of us live. That'll build a much better harmony between the races, and it'll hopefully cut down on all the tribal violence that's been breaking out at the refugee camps in other settlements."

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11


>"He probably doesn't want to be left out of all the fun!" Box laughs. "Make him a sheet for the next game."
>Regina reaches out delicately and scratches the top of Spark's head with her claw. One wrong move and she could crush him, yet she does no harm. Spark obediently rubs against her claw with a purr.

Back to the game.

Chester turns to you and Great Voyage. "Me and Voyage can distract them while you get the corpse part, Sheimy. You're best suited to grab it, cause of your magic!"
"I'll take whatever side seems to be losing – the occultists at this rate," Great Voyage says. "If I know anything about vampires, this is probably a thrall or familiar trying to resurrect it!"
"Great, we've got our plan with no time to spare!" Box says. "Ready?"


With his footing already strong and hooves planted, Leather instinctively reaches out to grab Pryce and pull them towards the group.

"Come on Pryce, we're not getting separated again so soon."

[1d10] help w/ Tough

Roll #1 5 = 5



Amy simply glares and seethes, but says nothing.


Pryce holds tight to the zipper as the current sweeps him off his hooves. His eyes widen in shock at how quickly he's pulled away, but he doesn't panic, clutching onto the one steady hold he has. And hearing River's scream of desperation, he can't let himself fall away and cause more of that. He pulls on the zipper to get him back on the path, reaching into his cloak and throwing out the length of rope he looted during their earlier trek through Threecoin towards Leather as he reaches out to him.
>Back on path [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


Flaming chuckles as Regina scratches his head. "I don't know Box, I think Sparks is a little young. I don't know if he grasps the finer points of playing W&W yet. He'd probably just eat his sheet, the silly guy." She puts him down on top of the table, rolling the dice gently from now on so as not to overly excite him.

"'I think that sounds like a great idea! You keep them distracted, I'll go for the part!' And then, Sheimy waits for the two of them to grab their attention and sneaks along the sides of the room to the back so that she can get at the dias. Rolling stealth…"


Roll #1 1 = 1


Flaming's eyes pop open as she looks at her roll. "Oh shit."


"Thank you." Shei-Sher puts his jacket back on along with several other cumbersome items he hoists onto himself.

He leaves the guard station and waves his weather staff to clear the sky before ambling to the guild hall Shei-perd was said to be at.
[1d10] clear the sky

Roll #1 8 = 8



Amy follows.

"I'm sorry," she says quietly.


"Sorry for what?"


In her panic, River starts to reach out for Pryce, but she ends up starting to lose her own stability as the currents sweep around her. In a moment of clearheadedness brought on by sheer danger, Pryce takes hold of Leather and pulls himself back down to the ground, grabbing ahold of River in the process. Together with Zjetya and Sugar, the six of you link arms and tails and wings, forming a big interlinked blob of pony mass as you trek through the synesthesia waves. Colors, sounds, feelings, heat, cold… it all blends together as the current washes over you, assailing your senses.

Struggling to maintain your sense of reality, you reach the other side, and wrench open a second zipper floating in the air. With it now open, you are able to tumble forward, and hit the sweet, sweet stable ground.

But your rest isn't very pleasant, for an awful smell of foetid sea-water and grime hits you.

You seem to be in the midst of a ruin of a once-great city built along the sea. Crumbling walls surround you. Hollow shells of once-magnificent homes and businesses lay all around, like the corpses of giants. A shattered castle casts a shadow over the city from the far north.

The party takes a moment to catch their breath rather than pay this hellhole too much mind. River refuses to let go of either Pryce or the kids, and Zjetya is sandwiched between them all. She seems to enjoy it actually.

Gadriel bows quietly to the guards, then follows you away. You take the directions of passerby as you enter a long wooden hall near the center of the town, similar in style to the longhouses of Lilane. There are many offices and suites inside, populated by busy-looking Ecclesians of the Laity division. When asked, they point you to a rounded meeting hall on the northern end of the longhouse. Inside, you see that the chairs and tables have been appropriated into more of a classroom setting. The seats are filled with goats, and writing utensils and papyrus lay before them. Shei-perd is at the front, before a blackboard, writing on it with chalk. She seems to be giving a lecture on proper Ecclesian Equish, and is in the midst of admonishing against the use of the goat pidgin. She doesn't seem to notice Shei on entry.



"I don't know…" Amy says with her ears back. "It just felt like the right thing to say."


Amy looks around at everything she sees with disgust.


Shei-Sher takes a seat if there is one and watches the lesson.


You slink along the walls, taking cover in the shadows cast by the statues of battling monsters and saints that line the walls, while Great Voyage and Chester take to the battlefield, joining the very-confused occultists in their struggle against the vapor that continues to route and slash them.

It all happens in an instant– you see an opening, you make a break for it, you reach for your hat, and just as you take it off to pull out something with Hat Magic,

A young pony, dressed in a dashing black tuxedo, appears before you. His skin is pale white, his eyes are blood red, and his fangs are dripping with gore as he laughs – "Ha! Haha! Hahaha! Hahahaha!" His body is partly vapor, manifesting before you as he brings down a long blade from above toward your head.


Chester tries to blast out a war cry with lumpet!

[1d10+1] Inspire

Great Voyage tries to attack the shadowy vampire from behind!

[1d10+3] Empower Weapon normal attack

Meanwhile, the occultists make a run for the corpse part!

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10 / Roll #3 7 + 3 = 10


"Well don't- I mean It's not needed."



"Okay," Amy says, unsure.


Pryce shouts as she starts to slip in reaching out for him. When his rope is secured by Leather, Pryce grabs her as they pass by each other, pulling them both back to safety and holding onto her tightly.
When they break through onto the other side, Pryce as well refuses to let go of the group after experiencing the first sense of a real potential of loss after their union.


You two sit in the back, and though the lesson continues on for a little while longer, Shei-perd can only ignore your presence for so long. You see there's an hourglass on her desk up front. There's still about ten or fifteen minutes left in it, but she raises a hoof.

"That's enough for today. We'll save the rest for the next lesson. Go on, I already brought up the assigned readings."

Goats start filing out from the meeting room, paying you no mind. Shei-perd looks at Shei unblinkingly in silence as people leave the room all around her.


Happy to have wrappings covering his face due to the fetid smell, Cloak allows the others to collect themselves, not wishing to break up the moment. He instead begins to scan the immediate surroundings for traps that may have been set up around the entrance to this realm.

[1d10] percep

Roll #1 10 = 10


"My 1 summoned the vampire?!" Flaming shouts in surprise, shaking her head, "Oh, wow, that's… that's really bad. Are we ready to fight him?" She groans, "We gotta be. We prepared for this!"

"Okay, Sheimy jumps back, says… hmmm… what would she say… oh! She says 'Hey, what's so funny? Got a joke, or ARE you one?'" Flaming snickers, "Yeah, she says that! And then, she summons some fireballs!" She rolls the dice, getting excited and forgetting to roll them gently

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10


Shei-Sher respectfully waits for every goat to file out of the room before he addresses Shei-perd "There's still sand in the hourglass. I did not mean for you to close the session on my behalf."



Amy's mood lightens up when the meeting finally gets closer. She starts vibrating with excitement as the tense silence continues.


"Can I hug her? Would it be bad if I hug her?" Amy asks excitedly, barely able to contain herself.


"Maybe keep the hug on reserve for later." Shei says gently


>Spark looks at the rapidly-moving die like a cat surveying a jumpy rabbit in the grass. He crouches down and wiggles his bum as he prepares to pounce.

You conjure five fireballs as you dive back from the pony's strike, just barely avoiding a powerful strike. His blade grazes you just barely, but you see blood flying from the wound into his mouth.

>Sheimy 3/5

"That can't be the vampire!" Great Voyage says, as he runs up. "Look! They're trying to grab the corpse part now! This has to be a thrall!"

He charges the pale pony from behind, knocking him from behind at the wall. The pony spins in mid-air, breaking his fall against a statue as he drops his sword. He vanishes into mist, then charges at Great Journey in his misty form!

>"Uh-oh, I can't block that, can I?" LJ asks. "Can I try to dodge?"

>"You can try," Regina answers.

LJ gulps and rolls.


"Ooh! Ooh!" Chester says.
>It's hard to tell if it's Box or Chester frankly.
"Let me join you, Sheimy!"
>OK it's Chester.

Chester blasts the lumpet, and tries to conjure some fire orbs himself.

[1d10+1] Recursion


Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11


As you hug River, you feel a very rapid buzzing feeling tapping at your stomach.
"Zjetya…" River grumbles. "Could you just give me a second to get off? No need to rush me."
"Oh I'm not trying to rush you," Zjetya says. You notice that the buzzing is coming from her wings, which are fluttering as rapidly as a hummingbird's as she's squished in this pony sandwich. "Lay there however much you like."
River can't help but scoff. "Changeling mares."

It looks like there are, or rather were, some traps set up around here. Up above, in the ruined crevices of attics and bridges between buildings, there are very simplistic and poorly-concealed rock traps, rigged to trip wires near the ground level. Simple bear traps have been scattered underneath garbage littering the ground, and noose snares are rigged up in spots where one would step if they were trying to step around the obvious bear traps.

You seem to have dropped out in the intersection of a few alleyways, leaving you with a path out to the north, west, east and south. You hear quite a bit of rowdy noise coming from the south and west.

Shei-perd dispassionately looks at Shei. Her gaze seems devoid of almost all but the most bare of connections between her and Shei.

"My class has all the time it needs for their reeducation, but you and I… we only have a day, don't we? Less than that. We only have a little while before you have to go off and do something else."

Her voice is cold, near-deadpan. Gadriel almost looks scared to hear such a voice coming from her.

>Pause; if you want to get in RP before next week, given that Christmas will probably ruin scheduling, go ahead and do so and we can RP intermittently when i'm free



Amy makes anxious, dissatisfied doggo sounds.


Shei-Sher gets up from his chair "Less than a day really. I just have a couple hours before I need to leave again. There is much that needs attending to, and then after the day is done. I will be gone." Shei speaks in a chipper tone, happy to see his mother and flashing her a smile at the end of his last sentence.

He takes a pouch of coins from his coat "Here it isn't much, but save it for when times are destitute and their purchasing power could multiply. I haven't had much use for money in my travels, so this is most of what I've curated." It's a 100 bits in a leather pouch.



"What? You're not going to introduce me?" Amy asks, sounding hurt.


"Oh right! Mother, this is my girlfriend Amy Thest. And Gadriel here, in a way that would be difficult to explain- he is my brother. I love them both very much. I hope you approve."

"I've made lots of friends in my time away. Verily at times, it feels as though they are my family. Actually they are my family and they have been taking good care of me all this time."


Shei-perd slowly nods, her expression softening only just slightly. The cold distance remains, made hard and immobile through years of separation, due to Shei and Shei-perd having been picked by different slavemasters.

Gadriel takes a hesitant step forward, but he frowns, and hesitates. It is clear he still feels a little like an impostor in this arrangement.

"You were always a little more resilient than the others I had," Shei-perd says. "Even if you didn't always know it yourself. I knew you'd be able to find someone to really call your own, somewhere out there."

She examines your wings and staff, and the scars you've accumulated over your journey's countless battles. "What about your master?"



"Awwww," Amy says as she grabs Shei for another hug. She rubs her face against Shei's face. "You love me!"


"How many kids did you have?" Amy asks curiously.


"Five," she says, and smiles faintly, mostly leaving it at that. "All of them sold off at various young ages. The longest I had any was a few months."



"That's a lot…" Amy says as if she's in awe of the very concept.

"I'm sorry you couldn't spend more times with Shei. He's really special. I hope you know that he's in good paws."

"Or hooves…" Amy says as she looks at her own hoof-paws. "Whatever. I guess we're a couple of freaks," she laughs.


"Y-yeah," Gadriel adds, emboldened by your words. "We've had our share of trials, and we wouldn't be around if it weren't for him, you know? We'll do right by him."

Shei-perd's cold smile doesn't move or change. "That's… more than I've been able to do. I can trust you to take care of him."

Gadriel starts to look annoyed. "Do you happen to know where your other children are? I'd– I'd like to meet my siblings."

Lifelessly, Shei-perd shrugs.

"…That's all you have to say?" Gadriel asks, his temper growing.



"What in Tartarus do you want from her?" Amy blurts out angrily at Gadriel. "It's not like she had a choice in any of it! I'm amazed Shei even found her!"

"Or… Sher…" Amy pauses, screwing her face up in thought. "Is Shei your family name? Have I been calling my boyfriend by the wrong name!?"


Shei-Sher recieves the hug in kind, smiling and nuzzling lightly with Amy upon impact. He lets her stay there as he speaks to his mother.

> "Even if you didn't always know it yourself. I knew you'd be able to find someone to really call your own, somewhere out there."
"Yes. But to be fair, I was never really a goat Mother. This has been made apparent to me all too well. But even so, you will always be my mother. That could never change."

"Funny you mention my Master, I met with him the previous night. He ascended, to the realm of gods. But not without much grief. He is a desperate God, so if there is anything you may wish for but no one to answer your prayers. I know Crow-ley will answer to anyone."

"Gadriel- It's fine." Shei says in a way to chastise.


"I… don't know," Gadriel says. "She… she's just so cold. Having all her children taken, sold off? I thought she'd be angry, protective, trying to make up for lost time. Not talking to us like this is just some everyday talk."

"It's hard to feel anything for someone who's been a stranger for years," Shei-perd says. "This is all I've known. To fall on him, crying and hugging him, talking about how badly I've missed him – would you prefer I fake what I'm feeling? I can't feel these things."

Gadriel staggers, as if he were punched in the stomach.

"I have no wishes for the gods," Shei-perd says. "Ecclesia may mandate our worship, but I have nothing to pray for. My life is what it is. So long as I'm able to live without a chain on my neck, there's not much more I can think of. But, if you want me to pray, I can say something to your master for your safety."



Amy frowns as Shei-perd talks. Once she is done, Amy approaches Shei-perd and gives her a hug.

It's not her usual aggressive, tight hug. It's just a light, sympathetic hug.

[1d10] for good hug. And, I'm going to argue that compassion applies here!

Roll #1 9 = 9


Shei-Sher grows uncomfortable as his mother has to spell it out for Gadriel, his eyes downcast. He tries to ignore that she even said it.

When Shei-perd does ask Shei-Sher what she would pray for, he gives it some thought. Understanding what might be within Crow-ley's power and considering what he could want most.
"…No, if you do pray to Crow-ley. Could you pray to him that everyone will remember me well?"


Shei-perd stiffens as Amy hugs her. Even her body is only faintly warm, and her hooves are downright cold. She remains still, but allows her neck to just barely fold into Amy's.

"I will pray for whatever you ask, but remember that you will have to do your part for that. The gods might empower, but mortals act."


"I see you are still cut and dry as ever Mother. Well, I did come her for more than simply give my farewell. I want to help the goats prepare for when Tartarus makes its march onto our world. Are there any basements to these houses? Or if there is a cave nearby that will do too. I want to conjure you crops that will be hidden and may flourish without light."


"There are caves beneath the hills here, but the Ecclesians retain control of them, using them mainly for storage. You'd probably have better luck trying to get it approved with Jack, rather than keep it hidden."



"I understand more than anyone," Amy says in Shei-perd's ear in a soft tone as she continues to hug her. Not soft as in quiet, to be clear. Shei can hear what Amy is saying. The tone is just gentle and soothing.

"I spent over two millenia in Tartarus. After a while, terrible things just make you numb. You can't even bring yourself to be upset about it anymore. And then, when it's finally over, you're not even relieved."

Amy hugs her tighter. Shei-perd may even feel a tear fall on her shoulder. "Things are going to get better, I promise. It's okay to feel now."

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with compassion

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


"hehe right, I would not even think of going behind their back." Shei says with some amount of chagrin. "Why don't we go together." Shei offers Shei-perd to come with them to ask Captain Jack.

>"I spent over two millenia in Tartarus
"That's quite the doozy, to be telling ponies so simply."



"Everyone's been through bad stuff. There's no point in comparing it. Besides, that was like 200 years ago."


Slowly, Shei-perd's voice drifts off, and she, inch by inch, comes closer. You feel two cold hooves curl around your back, and a cheek press into your shoulder. She does not cry like you – it's not certain whether she even can. But if nothing else, she reciprocates your embrace.

Breaking away from Amy, Shei-perd leads you out of the longhouse, and back toward the many hills within which Commontown resides. Many paths and bridges connect the ground and rooftop levels of the nearby buildings with cave entrances in the rock face. She takes you in through a well-guarded cave system, lit with torches. Many caverns have been given proper doors, beyond which you see rooms full of crates, barrels, satchels, all full of dried, salted rations.

As she leads you, Shei-perd looks over her shoulder. "Anything in particular you wanted to see?"



Hopper grumbles as he's made to perch on top of Lockjaw's head. Lockjaw looks up, trying to get a look at Hopper, but when it turns out that he can't see the top of his own head, he keeps leaning back until he's nearly vertical. With an angry screech, Hopper leaps onto a nearby shelf. He gives you a dirty look with narrow eyes.


KP chuckles as Lockjaw tries so hard to see Hopper. He looks to Hopper when he hops off angrily.
>"Come on Hopper, you gotta get along with him. We're all a family here."
He says, putting a hoof on Lockjaw's head to adjust him back down before the deviljho falls over backwards.


After you adjust Lockjaw, he gets a good look at you, then turns his head around the upstairs room. Wizingstar has gone back downstairs for now after re-sealing the Anomaly. It takes Lockjaw some time to figure it out, but he eventually realizes that it's just you, him and the other pets in the room now.

Lockjaw wiggles his hips a bit, then hops forward, trying to bump you back with his chin, much like how he tried to challenge Pryce for authority earlier.


KP looks to Lockjaw as he gets ready for a pounce, expecting what's coming now after he got rolled over back in Regina's Garden.
>"You got a lotta energy, don't ya Lockjaw? We'll have to think of a good routine for you."
He says, bracing himself to take the bump and give the deviljho a chest bump back.

Roll #1 7 = 7


The impact forces you back a few steps, but before he can follow it up, you regain your hoofing and bump him back. Lockjaw growls playfully, tail thrashing as he seamlessly forgets his original goal of taking dominance in favor of fun. He goes for another strike, this time a measured, controlled tail-swipe.

>roll again

Hopper looks onward nervously. Meanwhile, in the background, Pucchini and Katcher amuse themselves by poking around in Wizingstar's storage room, checking under chest lids and fishing around for little baubles or toys they can make off with.


Roll #1 10 = 10


>"Heh, I won't go down that easily!"
KP says triumphantly, going to hop over Lockjaw's tail like a jump rope and then follow up with a headbutt.

Roll #1 8 = 8


You spring up, dodging his swipe, and deftly bump your skull against Lockjaw's. He makes a dramatic show of stumbling back, tiny arms swinging at the open air, before he twirls and falls to the ground with a grand thud. Mouth agape and tongue lolling out, he plays dead with one eye half-open.


Hopper jumps down from his perch, then pokes Lockjaw's "corpse" with the butt of his staff. Surprisingly, Lockjaw keeps up the act, and doesn't move. Hopper screeches victoriously once he thinks Lockjaw really has been defeated.

Behind you, you hear some tinking and tumbling sounds as a few glass and wooden objects are knocked over on the shelves. Claws and paws scamper as Pucchini and Katcher flee the scene of their rampage.

From downstairs, you hear a hiss. "What's going on up there, child?" Wizingstar's muffled voice asks.


KP hops up in cheer.
>"Ha ha! I'm the winner!"
He says joyfully, stepping over to Lockjaw as Hopper gives him some pokes. He gives Hopper a pat as he cheers with him, then gives Lockjaw some scritches under the chin for his effort.
>"You're a really good actor."

He them looks over as Pucchini and Katcher run away from the fallen objects they knocked over, and then to the stairs as Wizingstar calls up.
>"Noooothing. Just playing around."
He says as a kid would when accused and tries to hide the fact.


Lockjaw gets back up once he's gotten his fill of all the scratches, deigning to stay by your side instead of challenge you again. His energy has changed somewhat, and he looks more like the way he does around Pryce – strong and ready to fight, but obedient and deferential.

Hopper just looks annoyed when it turns out it was all and act. Lockjaw eyes him, then bends down, lowing the top of his head as if he were bowing. Hopper hesitates with a frown… then reluctantly hops up onto the top of his head. Lockjaw gradually straightens back up until he's at his full height again.

You hear Wizingstar's tiny feet ascending the stairs, and far too late, you notice that both Pucchini and Katcher have snatched up a couple of small rope toys in their mouths. When they hear her coming to investigate the sound, they make a break for you, trying to hide them in your saddlebag.


KP looks on as Hopper hops onto Lockjaw, smiling as they seems to get along together.
>"See? Doesn't this feel better?"

When Wizingstar starts to come upstairs, KP doesn't feel that badas the pets did it, not him. But as they run over to him, he quickly turns and tries to shove them back.
>("Guys stop! You can't do that, or pin this on me!")
He says in a hushed voice, trying to keep them from stowing their loot in his bag.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Hopper pouts stubbornly, but he cannot help but give off a regal air, as he rides upon the mighty, tiny Lockjaw, magic staff in hand. Since he's perched on Lockjaw's little hat, Lockjaw takes care to keep his head movements even and slow so as not to disturb him.

Katcher and Pucchini are quicker than you, and certainly no slouches when it comes to tactics. They make a break for your sides to get at your saddlebags, but then dive back toward your front as you try to push them outward to the left and right. They duck beneath you, circling around your chest and back to your sides again as they try to stuff in the toys.

About midway through them finagling open the straps on your bag, Wizingstar pokes her head up from the stairs below, catching only the last glimpses of the two pets trying to make a burglar out of you. She gives you a very hard, scrutinizing stare, the kind that makes you feel like you failed a test or botched an essay under her tutelage.

"…Tricky little things, aren't they? Untamed familiars get into all kinds of trouble."


KP spins in place, trying futilely to keep the pets at bay. He looks up at Wizingstar as she peeks in while Katcher and Pucchini are opening his bags.
>"Yea, that sounds like pets in general… I don't know how some ponies can have so many."


"Nonetheless, you are still responsible, as you are the one in charge of them," she says. "Give me a paw in cleaning this all up, will you?"

She gestures to the small mess that the pets made.


Last time on HolyQuest…

Pryce and Cloak left Halaq's Haircuts looking fresh. Together with KP, Spitshine, Sugar, Zjetya, River and all the pets, they then went across the mercantile district, bound for Wizingstar's Witcheries. It was a very distinct building, to put it mildly – a definite facsimile of stereotypes and popular notions of what Witches' huts are meant to resemble; a haunted house surrounded by its own private overstuffed graveyard, in the midst of a row of otherwise normal abodes and shops.

Once inside, they bought quite a few supplies – a mixture of mundane toys for the pets, and some more useful magical implements. Once they were done and it came time to the matter of pay, Wizingstar asked that they take care of a problem she had with a gang of imp-like creatures called the Scuttlebutts. They were creatures from another World, slipping into this one via an Anomaly. They would occasionally raid Wizingstar's shop and make off with much valuable merchandise. Wizingstar wanted them all dead, and her things recovered.

Pryce, Cloak, Sugar, Spitshine, River and Zjetya went in, leaving KP to take care of the pets while they were gone. They stepped into the Anomaly, and had to traverse a wide, deep stream of distilled reality, pure Chaos, in order to reach the Scuttlebutts' World. They nearly lost Pryce in the process, but managed to make their way across the gap of space and time.


As you hug River, you feel a very rapid buzzing feeling tapping at your stomach.
"Zjetya…" River grumbles. "Could you just give me a second to get off? No need to rush me."
"Oh I'm not trying to rush you," Zjetya says. You notice that the buzzing is coming from her wings, which are fluttering as rapidly as a hummingbird's as she's squished in this pony sandwich. "Lay there however much you like."
River can't help but scoff. "Changeling mares."


It looks like there are, or rather were, some traps set up around here. Up above, in the ruined crevices of attics and bridges between buildings, there are very simplistic and poorly-concealed rock traps, rigged to trip wires near the ground level. Simple bear traps have been scattered underneath garbage littering the ground, and noose snares are rigged up in spots where one would step if they were trying to step around the obvious bear traps.

You seem to have dropped out in the intersection of a few alleyways, leaving you with a path out to the north, west, east and south. You hear quite a bit of rowdy noise coming from the south and west.


Leather makes note of the traps and peers further into the western alleyways, careful not to set off any of the traps he saw earlier. He takes only the first corner he has to turn before stopping his scouting, not to get seperated from the others.

[1d10] generic scouting roll cause assume i might need to roll for something

Roll #1 4 = 4


With few options of getting around the traps, you're forced to pick your way over garbage heaps and avalanches of stone and steel rubble to pick your way down the narrow alleys between abandoned buildings. You round the corner and stop at the sight of sunlight illuminating the end of the corridor.

You are on a hillside, overlooking a terraced port town divided in two by a grotesquely polluted river. Great swathes of the once-prospering town now lay in ruin, and only a few seem to be filled with any life, judging by the boorish jeering and shouting and crude merrymaking you can hear. It seems mostly to be coming from a series of guildhouses centered near a brewery closer to the water's edge. You can't see if there's anyone or anything in the streets near you right now.



Pryce starts to laugh in their embrace at the buzzing on his stomach.
"Wh-What's that tickling?"
He questions through the chuckles. When River points out it's Zjetya, and Pryce sees her squished between all of them, he gently looses his grasp, helping her up as they collect their bearings.
"I guess you're doing alright then," He says jokingly to Zjetya, "Are you okay River?"


River gives an experimental roll and stretch of her shoulders, wings and legs, then promptly secures her wing-tip around your arm. "Only if I never see a repeat of what just happened ever again."
"Hard to say how often we'll run into these Anomalies, but now we know, right? Don't go through one unless we're all tied up together. Though that's just general good practice as it is."
River buries her face in a wing. Zjetya laughs.



Taking note of where the noise is coming from, Leather returns to the others, making the same trek across trash and stone to avoid setting of traps.

"I trust you're all alright after the trip, then?" he grins, "I've done some basic scouting, there's a great deal of simple traps set up around us, but I found a path that'll get us through to the alleyways. Some of them seem to be partying near a brewery westward."


"Were you able to find any lookouts or scouts?" River asks.
"Yeah, I figure if they're vigilant enough to leave traps around here, they're gonna have at least a couple eyes out," Zjetya adds.


"Don't worry, I don't plan on going anywhere like that again."
He says assuredly. It takes a second for Zjetya comment to get through, his face going a bit red.
"Let's uh, keep it to wings and focus on these imps first."

Pryce turns and nods.
"We're all good now. Simple traps then? How dangerous do you think these imps are based on hat you saw of those?"


"Myself? No. But I've seen where such scouts may hide. Up atop the buildings there are scaffolding and planks that make for runways between the rooftops. I was considering possibly setting up with my rifle there, but that would mean forgoing my ability to protect one of you."

He looks west, rubbing a hoof over his beard, "Though, perhaps I could pick them off like such and force them to come to us instead."

"Bear traps and rockfalls are no joke. Despite their crudeness, they will prove painful if we don't show vigilance."


River and Zjetya ponder their options.
"In either case, they have the territorial advantage," River says. "We are strangers to this town, whereas even if they only made cursory passes through here, they know the land better than we."
"Yeah, we'd be better off trying to get somewhere they can't easily ambush us," Zjetya says. "Take out a few with a surprise attack, maybe lure 'em down a tight bottleneck with not a whole lot of ways around. That sounds safer than going to them, anyway… but we still have to get the goods they stole."


"Another thing to consider, the imps are not immune to their own traps if we are to change their placement. Sure the rockfalls may be immobile, but moving bear traps may work to our advantage."


"Not too advanced, but they'll know this area in and out then no doubt."

"Wizingstar mentioned they fear blue, right? We could prepare an area to throw them off as well, in case there's more than we expected."
Pryce suggests, taking off his bracelet and attempting to conjure some blue paint.
>Hat Magic [Paint] [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2



Roll #1 10 = 10


"Yeah, they're suckers for authority and they fear the color blue," Zjetya says. "Weird things to go on, but it's something."
"So, shall we look for a suitable ambush point?" River asks. "I'd scout from above but that'd risk getting seen by any lookouts – and the Stars help me if they've archers."

Pryce conjures three buckets of blue paint for their use, as well as a couple brushes for good measure.


Pryce hands the buckets and brushes to the others.
"I can scout safely, enough for a look to get an idea of what we can do."
Pryce offers, singing a short hymn to shroud himself from view for scouting.
>Limerick of the Desert Mist [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


You turn yourself totally invisible. River and Zjetya hop with surprise. And, since the spell normally produces a partial invisibility that does not break from actions taken, you can act three times without breaking it.


"I don't have the wings my partner does, but if I can-
Cloak blinks, raising his eyebrows, "Pryce..?"


"I'll be right back, sit tight."
Pryce says, flying up into the air to scout out the area in this realm.
>Flight [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I'm still here. It's one of the song spells I learned, it makes me invisible for a short time."


Cloak nods, understanding. "Right, we'll wait for you to return with an idea of where to set up."


As Spark gets ready to pounce on the die while it rolls across the table, Flaming looks at him, chuckling as she picks him up and holds him against her chest, "You know, if we can't beat the vampire, we could always send in Spark to knock over his piece! I'm sure that'll get the job done."

Flaming looks at the board while rubbing Spark's head, nodding, "Right! A thrall is still pretty dangerous though, but I'm sure we can handle it no problem."

As LJ flubs his roll to avoid the attack, Flaming winces. "Ooooh. Okay, that isn't good. Time for Princess Sheimy to save the valiant Great Voyage! Sheimy shouts out 'Watch out, Voyage!' as she prepares her fireball attack, charging up a huge storm of fire and brimstone to burn the thrall with all the heat of a small sun!" She says, getting extremely enthusiastic as she grabs at all the dice again, rolling them to the board (and holding on to Spark so he doesn't go chasing after them
[1d10] / [1d10] / [1d10] / [1d10] / [1d10] Homing Attack fires

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 8 = 8 / Roll #4 9 = 9 / Roll #5 1 = 1


[1d10] And one more for a Storm Bolt attack, critfail 3- for three attacks on the Thrall

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Oh, on that note," Zjetya says. "You got any names picked out yet?"

It's hard to pick out precise details from how badly ruined the town is, but as you fly over the rooftops, you see a cluster of about four buildings, which seem to be the nexus of activity for the Scuttlebutts. It's centered on a red-light street, where the warehousing district meets with the commercial district, perched on the edge of the sewage-green seawater like an alcoholic about to barf up a stream of regret. Neon signs and bright tacky signboards mark the buildings' facades, and colorful, graphic graffiti stain the walls.

There's the Ankh, a two-story building which seems to have once been a combination brothel and tavern, which is next to the proud and prominently-labeled Thieves' Guildhouse. Across from them is a Brewery with a defaced signboard, robbing you of the ability to see who owned it, and then there's Mattress Tag's Furnishings – the largest of the four buildings, and the one which seems to have the most Scuttlebutts wandering about.

As for the Scuttlebutts themselves, they are grotesque little things, hunched, often malformed, with ugly swathes of patchy sand and concrete-colored fur, mixed with rocklike scales covering their backs and shoulders. Many wear little red conical hats with white tufts at the end. Others, who are taller and look to be of a higher status than the smaller ones, have on paper crowns of various colors. They're all occupied in various flavors of violent debauchery, merry-making, raiding and gluttony, drinking and fighting and drawing graffiti and defacing public property and loitering. It's impossible to tell how many there are in this area.


"Ah, I was talking with the metal one.. Mirror-something about this earlier. Glass thinks she's so clever giving the two matching names just because ours happened to match up nicely. She was thinking Mirror Coat for one of them since it relates to both our names, then Smoke Screen for the other because she wants to raise 'em in the family business."

He chuckles nervously, looking to the side abashedly, "I'm no good with coming up with those sort of things, so I'm happy with her choices. All I hope is that they get along."


Pryce grimaces as he flies over the slum that the Scuttlebutts made home. Whatever this town used to be like, it's a ruin that anypony would avoid as much as possible now. When he finds counting is pointless, Pryce continues flying, looking for a any sign of where the stolen goods would be.


>Scout [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


"You mean Mirror Image," Zjetya smirks. "'Metal one' can apply to like three people out of our whole army. I'll get that flow chart to you once we're safely back in our own world."

River looks a little more pensive. "It'd be best if we don't see those children."

Zjetya turns to her with a shocked look.

"Have you forgotten?" River asks. "Our souls are stewing with Magatsuhi and Dhyana from our proximity to the angels and demons of our party. Even if it is benevolent, we need regular purging to keep our sanity. What should happen if an infant's soul should be exposed to it?"

This is a problem that Ecclesia is well-acquainted with. You can roll knowledge for more precise info.

You see that a portion of the ceiling in the furniture warehouse has collapsed. Ladders have been stacked up below to turn the rooftop into a makeshift rampart. Inside, the sofas, couches, recliners, love seats, and so on have been gathered near a display floor in the back. Several crates that look like those you saw in Wizingstar's shop have been stacked on top, their contents spilled out like they would be in a dragon's hoard.

Many tall Scuttlebutts lounge about in this fortress of furniture. At the top of the pile sits the biggest Scuttlebutt, a buff looking gray one with slapped-together armor of studded leather and twisting, spiked metal, a barbarian straight off an album cover, complete with skull helmet and double-headed axe. He seems to be covetously cradling a strange cylindrical parcel, wrapped in colorful paper, with two tied ends. He's holding it, studying it, as if it were a complex puzzle box.


>has Leather actually listened to the nurses constant reminders to Glass why she can't go to Tartarus with him. [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2


"I remember the nurses warning Glass about something like that. They've got all sortsa defense for something like that at the outpost I'm sure, but they probably wouldn't approve of the visit."


You don't know much of the specifics, but you do know of Ecclesia's constant struggle with the Congregation and their demon hunter mercenary corps. Demon's souls and angel's souls both exude energies that affect the world around them, particularly the souls of other living beings. Demons produce Magatsuhi, while angels produce Dhyana. Ecclesia has had far too few opportunities to study an angel's soul, as far as you know, but Magatsuhi is far more known. Excessive exposure to Magatsuhi, if not purged regularly, can produce hallucinations, madness, contagious illness and disease, contagious physical deformities, and even a kind of "phantom possession" – in which one shows all signs of being possessed, without actually having another spirit in one's body. Rumors hold that there are far more, far worse effects of Magatsuhi Overexposure that Ecclesia does not talk about. Of course, anyone who gets to an incurable state is immediately executed with full honors, so you don't know what the worst stages might be.


Pryce peers down into the warehouse through the opening in the roof, all the stolen supplies hoarded away inside. He eyes what appears to be the leader, assuming his gear might be the worst they'll have to deal with, mostly crude but still pretty damaging if they get hit.
Pryce starts to make his way back, tracking out a path they could use to get to the warehouse, as well as any chokepoints they could use for their earlier plan of moving the traps around.
>Return Scout [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Probably for the best," Zjetya says. "We'll settle for pictures."
"Didn't know you cared so much for foals," River says.
"You didn't think a changeling would like talking about raising families?" Zjetya asks.
River pauses, then shuts her eyes and taps her head. "Riiiiiight…"

Pryce sees a lane due east of their position that might be suitable. The southern end intersects with both alleyways and busier main roads, while the middle portion has no connecting roads. The northern end has only a single road connecting to it, running west to east. It'd make for a tricky escape, but it could be used to funnel them down a single pathway with some ingenuity.

He makes it back, invisibility wearing off in the middle of the conversation between River and Zjetya, who hop again with surprise when he returns to reality.

"Oh!" River says. "Find anything good?"


Pryce lands back down, nodding to River.
"I found all the supplies they stole, all together in a warehouse in the middle of what looks like a slum section of a city. The bad news though is there is too many of those Scuttlebutts to count. Sneaking or fighting our way in will be tough, but we could move those traps as Leather said so we can cover our escape."


"She's taking up art to pass the time, I'd have her do a portrait of the family once they're out, but she's the type to get her posters rejected for over-exaggerated-"

"Combat totally out of the equation then. What of drawing their forces to one section of the city while others transport the supplies?"


"There's a tavern, a guildhouse, and a brewery there we could use for a distraction. There wasn't much else left, and that's where they're all gathering. They almost seem to look like they're celebrating a holiday."


"Over-exaggerated…?" Zjetya asks with interest. "Go on…?"

River raises her wing.
"Yes, you, in the white," Zjetya says, pointing at her.
"Wizingstar said they were suckers for authority, right? Perhaps there's some kind of command structure we can take advantage of. Taking out a higher-ranked one may serve to destroy their morale or upset their ability to coordinate an attack. If we get the right one, we may even throw them into a panic, and make them more susceptible to landing in their own traps."


"There's one in the warehouse that's bigger than the rest, and armored. If any of them are the leader it would be that one. He seems fascinated with some toy, so he could be easy to get a sneak attack on."


"She's still working on anatomy." Cloak says curtly.
Cloak raises his hoof, unstrapping his rifle from his back, replacing it with his shield, and slinging the strap around his neck,
"Assassinations are my specialty. If the warehouse has windows, I can get up on a rooftop and take out the big man without any fuss. Only takes one bullet, and none of us have to risk going in the building proper. All that would be needed is diverting the panicked crowd out of the building."


"There's a large opening in the roof that you can see right through to him. It was the tallest building, so that'll be the only vantage point you'll have unless we try to lure him elsewhere."


"There's quite a market among demons for that kind of thing, I hear."

"Yeah, if you can kill or injure the big one, we can handle diverting them toward an area of our choosing," Zjetya says.
River moves over toward one of the bear traps, producing tools from her bag to help her disarm it. "Depending how well this all goes, we may still be in need to hot-hoof it out of here. We should try to disarm some of these, and move them to our ambush site."



Last time on HolyQuest…

Shei and Amy met with Shei-perd, Shei's estranged birth mother, in the middle of one of her lectures as a re-educator in Commontown. She was cold, clinical, almost lifeless as she spoke with her biological son, who had come a very long way from his days of slavery under Crow-ley's roof. She was proud that he had attained his own family, a special somepony, and even a new brother, but it was the pride one might feel only for one's countrypony or kin, not the pride of a mother. Shei wanted to leave a special supply of food for the goats to take, on the chance that, provided Amy and Shei succeed in Tartarus, they might lead the goats away in independent exodus from Ecclesia's yoke, and establish their own sovereign nation.

Pryce and Cloak proceeded into the abandoned town on the other side of the Anomaly, where they discovered that the Scuttlebutt raiders had set up their rowdy encampment in the ruins of the port, at the street where the mariners' warehouses met the inn district. After some preliminary scouting, they determined a lane that could be used to funnel the Scuttlebutts, turning them into easy pickings with some appropriated traps.

Flaming continued her game of tabletop with LJ, Box and Regina. After securing the first corpse part of the terrible Vrykolakas from the cultists, they began to realize that something was amiss with their mission… and that assembling all three corpse parts for the Machine-King would risk bringing the vampire back to unlife. They would need to destroy the vampire's heart once they managed to find the torso, in order to prevent that. So, heading down the northern tunnel, they found cultists engaged in a battle with a thrall, a well-dressed stallion, armed with a blade and a strange laugh. Killing him would bring them that much closer to victory.


"There's quite a market among demons for that kind of thing, I hear."
"If she takes more… uh… family-friendly commissions, maybe we could get a picture of us done?" River asks, then blushes. "Or, perhaps that's a bit too early to think about."

>Cloak, Pryce

"Yeah, if you can kill or injure the big one, we can handle diverting them toward an area of our choosing," Zjetya says.
River moves over toward one of the bear traps, producing tools from her bag to help her disarm it. "Depending how well this all goes, we may still be in need to hot-hoof it out of here. We should try to disarm some of these, and move them to our ambush site."


Slowly, Shei-perd's voice drifts off, and she, inch by inch, comes closer. You feel two cold hooves curl around your back, and a cheek press into your shoulder. She does not cry like you – it's not certain whether she even can. But if nothing else, she reciprocates your embrace.

>Amy, Shei

Breaking away from Amy, Shei-perd leads you out of the longhouse, and back toward the many hills within which Commontown resides. Many paths and bridges connect the ground and rooftop levels of the nearby buildings with cave entrances in the rock face. She takes you in through a well-guarded cave system, lit with torches. Many caverns have been given proper doors, beyond which you see rooms full of crates, barrels, satchels, all full of dried, salted rations.

As she leads you, Shei-perd looks over her shoulder. "Anything in particular you wanted to see?"


>Spark playfully chews your hoof-tip as you hold him close. He's apparently feeling quite feisty in this warm morning sun.

The pale thrall sinks his teeth into Great Voyage's neck before he can dodge. You see the mighty warrior's flesh begin to wither as the thrall feasts upon his blood. Bones begin to stick out from beneath skin, and veins bulge and pulse as blood flows away from them.

>GV 0/3

>LJ starts to sweat and pale from the dreadful description. Wordlessly, with a trembling hoof, he grabs a die, but Regina raises her claw. "Not finished."

But, before the thrall can finish him off, Sheimy blasts the thrall with a blazing storm, knocking him across the room! The thrall curses, blood dripping from his smoking mouth. Much of his body is now missing, but the smoldering wounds slowly start regenerating. He lunges across the room, and his hoof transmogrifies into a grisly bat's claw. He swipes at Sheimy again, raking his claws deep across her side. As she falls, he grabs his sword, raising it to strike a killing blow. But, from the corner of his eye, he spies a mass of fireballs surrounding Chester's head. The thrall turns and springs toward Chester, trying to interrupt the coming onslaught!


>Sheimy 0/4

>"Now you can roll," Regina says.

>LJ nervously rolls. "I'll get up!"


Chester laughs maniacally, tossing his head back like a villain in his own right.
>Box grabs a plethora of dice, shaking them eagerly. "FIRE!"


Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 1, 2, 6, 9, 3, 4 = 25



"We still need to plan how to get in there to begin with. My song only affects myself, and with all the scuttlebutts in that block we can't exactly sneak in easily either. What do you think Leather?"



"I've always wanted to see those pretty lights," Amy says, totally misunderstanding the question. "What do they call it? Up in the sky in the north?"


>Swapping from shield to rifle, 15/6

"Very well, if I can get one of my flying companions to assist me in getting to a vantage point, I do believe we can get this plan underway."

Leather Cloak looks to the buildings, seeing if any of the rubble would make an easy way up for an earth pony.
[1d10] percep

Roll #1 4 = 4


Flaming giggles as Spark bites at her hoof-tip, "You REALLY wanna chase something, huh? Maybe after this, we can go for a walk and let you burn off some of that energy."

Flaming turns her attention back to the game, pumping her hooves as she manages to knock the Thrall across the floor. "ALL RIGHT! Feel Sheimy's fiery wrath, you undead spawn!"
She winces, "Ooooh… that counter attack though. I'm starting to realize maybe throwing more dice at the problem isn't always the best idea… but at least we got him injured! We just need to finish him off, go for it Box! Uh, I mean…"
"Ahem… 'Chester! It's up to you! Light him up with the power of our fiery friendship!'" She pauses, "Maybe that's a little over-board…"

She grabs a dice, and throws it along the table to recover

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Those are called the Daughters of Ratren, or the Roses of the Morn," Shei-perd answers. "Myth and folklore hold that the lights – the daughters of the god of mornings – are out making merry with the many sons of Levotk, god of the ocean, for they principally take place over the northern ocean."

Cloak notices that one of the nearby buildings has enough of a landslide of debris and an opening in its second floor, as well as a gap in the ceiling. It looks like a catapult volley caused this collapse. There's enough stacked up there that he could probably get his way up on his own, though it's a mite treacherous.



"Ooooh, so it's like a big orgy…" Amy says with admiration and awe.

"Now I REALLY want to see it!"


>Forgot the canonization in my name

Shei-perd snorts. "Don't let the officers hear you say that, otherwise they'll have you lashed. Folktales in that vein are regarded as nothing more than elaborate poetic expressions for the glory of the gods' creation, and metaphors for the union of the faithful to the divine."



Amy laughs impishly. "They already hate me. Besides, I'd probably like that," she adds with a wink.


>Regina winces as she sees LJ's die land on a 5. "That's always the worst part about the system, those near miss–"
>Then, without warning, Spark slips out of your hooves and knocks LJ's die over, turning it to a 6. Regina snorts. "Looks like someone wants you to succeed. Alright, I'll allow it once, but I do have a houserule for things like this."

Chester's flame volleys blow away more of the Thrall's body, even blasting one of his forearms to smoke. But with inequine strength, he pushes through and brings his sword down on Chester's chest, knocking him to the ground.

>Chester 0/4

The thrall's attention turns to the cultists dismantling the magical sun-globe and the machinery preserving it. Despite his wounds, he turns to mist again, swirling about them in a black miasma…

[1d10+2] Cleave vs 2

>"Great Voyage will heal Sheimy!" LJ says.

>"Chester will get back up," Box says.

[1d10+2] Heal
[1d10] Recovery

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #3 5 = 5


"I can guide you along the way, and with my song I can guide you without much risk."
Pryce then looks to River, Zjetya, Spitshine, and Sugar.
"It will probably be safer if you four set up the escape routes to keep them contained if they start to scatter."


She tilts her head. "…How did someone like you ever get involved with Ecclesia?"


Shei-Sher's eyes shift between his mother and Amy, delightfully, though quizzically, surprised she's taken a liking to Amy.

"Uhhmmm, somewhere with soft clay, even better if it's a large basin of a room. And the deeper the better." Shei-Sher walks up ahead motioning that he needs to travel deeper inside the cave for a good spot to grow the agriculture.


The four nod, and start to assist River with pulling up the snare and bear traps that can be safely disarmed and appropriated. Looks like Spitshine's skills are coming most in handy for this one. He quickly takes the lead, walking the others through with some tips on how to safely disable the Scuttlebutts' crude contraptions.


"Right-o, let's perform a collaborative assassination."

Leather starts to head towards the rubble that leads up to the buildings, looking to Pryce. "Care to spot me, should I stumble?"

[1d10] Climb

Roll #1 7 = 7


Flaming groans at the initial result of Journey's die, but looks over as Spark breaks free of her grip and knocks over the die, changing it to a 6. She smiles, beginning to laugh as she holds at her sides, "HAHAHAHAHAHA! H-hey guys, don't worry: it looks like we have a guardian dragon looking out for us who wants us to succeed."

She snickers, letting Spark do as he pleases for now as she looks up at Regina, "Thanks, Regina… and sorry about him, I think he's really hyper this morning for some reason. He usually sleeps in a little later." She picks up her die again as she groans, "It's okay, I'm sure I'll get up this time. Keep the pressure on him, guys, we almost got him! don't let him get away!"
[1d10] Rolling to recover

Roll #1 7 = 7



"Eh, it's not that weird," Amy says, waving a dismissive hoof-paw. "Anyone who wants to do the right thing will naturally team up."

"Even if we disagree… A lot," she adds in a sort of grumble.



"What are we doing here anyway?" Amy asks, looking around as if she's only just now noticed where she is.


As the others take care of the traps, Pryce turns to Leather and nods.
"You can count on me, I'll have you covered."
Pryce says, spreading his wings to fly and keeping a check on Leather while he starts up the mountain of rubble.
>Guide [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


"After raising up, Sheimy charges up her magical horn of flame once more to fire upon the thrall before it has a chance to turn into mist and escape! She shouts, 'Feel my fire, you meanie!'"
>Using Magic Bolt in lieu of getting up, keeping the 7
>Magic Botl lets me roll twice and keep the stronger result so here goes!

Roll #1 8 = 8


> "…How did someone like you ever get involved with Ecclesia?"
"Ecclessia are more begotten from sacrilege than what leads on. I should know, as I used to keep a congenial court with some of their founders before the firmament fell. Nay, I would not be surprised at all to find more people of Amy's ''caliber'' within their higher ranks."

Shei-Sher this speaking to both Amy and Gadriel

"I want to leave behind a garden that can supply ample staples for agriculture. That way when the doors to Tartarus open up and the demons run wild -well even moreso- amok the surface the goats will have a resource hidden away they can rely on. If circumstances become so extreme, they may even be driven to subterranean lives."


>Sheimy 5/5
The Thrall's claws flash amidst the darkness, nearly liberating the cultists' heads from their necks, but Sheimy's quick fireball pierces the black mist, and knocks the thrall's singed corporeal form out of the dark! He spins about, his body having accumulated many wounds over the course of this fight, and with a growl leaning on desperation, he begins to chant an evil incantation…

[1d10+2] Avatar: Vrykolakas

>"Not if we can help it!" Great Voyage calls, running headlong into a running tackle!

[1d10+2] Empower Weapon attack

Chester tries to get up again.


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


Though some of the looser bits of concrete and stone come loose and tumble under Cloak's hooves, Pryce points out stable landings where he can regain his balance. As such, he manages to get to the collapsed house's second floor without much trouble. You find a short staircase nearby, and after some experimental steps, determine that it's safe to take to the top.

Upon the rooftop, there's a short ledge, with a broken, overturned table and chairs nearby. From here, you can see some of the furniture warehouse where Pryce spotted the Scuttlebutts' meat slab of a chieftan, but a few other buildings between here and there partly obscure your view of the warehouse's windows. You could try a shot from here… but there are some nearby houses, if you're willing to risk a jump to another rooftop.

>In other words: A shot from here is DC 7 due to distance and obstructions, but if Cloak succeeds a DC 5 agility roll, the shot is reduced to DC 5.

"Now that kind of information is more than enough to get someone disappeared by the Spooks," Shei-perd warns gravely.

Shei-perd falls silent at Amy's response, looking pensive as she walks along through the busy corridors. She waits until the various passerby clerks and clerics get out of earshot. "I wonder what will happen when you and they disagree on what the 'right thing to do' actually is."

Gadriel gulps quietly.

Shei-perd eventually finds one of the darker, less-lit rooms deeper within the mountain's many caves. The drip of water echoes through nearby tunnels, and the ground underhoof is soft, suggesting an aquifer somewhere below. "Will this do?" she asks Shei.


"I'm going to jump over to this rooftop and get in position - should I not crash through the ceiling, mind making sure the others have a way to tunnel the crowds out of the warehouse now?" Leather says, readying himself and jumping between buildings to get into position.

>Assassinate: Recharge 4; On success, blends into a nearby crowd or suitable hiding spot. Once hidden, can take an Instant action to instantly kill one target. On a failure, your cover is blown. On a critical blending roll, the assassination autocrits. A critical assassination roll does the job so neatly nobody even realizes the target died.

[1d10+2] Blending Roll

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


You successfully maneuver across the rooftops, landing light and silent thanks to your advanced assassin's training as a Horror. Gegenschein was the one who taught you, and taught you well – he was quite familiar with the problems that bulkier assassins face, being about three or four times the size of a normal griffon himself.


Pryce nods, spreading his wings.
"I'll check on them and be right back to spot the leader."
Pryce says, humming a quick tune as he gives a fly-over of the 'escape' route.
>Limerick of Desert Mist [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9



"Hold on! What do you mean 'my caliber'?" Amy asks, looking to Shei with an offended girlfriend face. "That makes me sound like a bad guy!"


"I'd say things won't get that bad, but… even if everything goes right… It might still be a while before I can get the demons to listen…"


"We'll talk about it and then come to an understanding," Amy says with a simple smile.


File: 1577764178014.jpg (351.79 KB, 778x519, boys_1.jpg)

"I see him, just flash me a signal when you're ready to go."

Leather waves, laying on his stomach and setting up the massive rifle in front of him.


Flaming smiles as the fire knocks the thrall out of the black mist, wiping away at her forehead. "We have to keep up the pressure, it's definitely trying to get away by turning into mist. Everyone hit it with everything you got if you can, Box just keep t…. I mean, 'Chester! Keep trying to get up, Voyage and I can handle this thing!'"

"Sheimy powers up her strongest spell yet, and fires a full blown inferno at the thing!" She says, picking up a dice and praying silently to it as she rolls it across the table
[1d10] Storm Bolt, attacking 5 times (critfail 5-)

Roll #1 9 = 9


>"Now that kind of information is more than enough to get someone disappeared by the Spooks,"
"Right- I'll stop with it then."

"I had spoken earlier a few days ago with the Laity for reconnaissance and in greater regards to the nature of our works for this world's future. I would say fundamentally we are in disagreement, though our goals are the same. It seems to me we've implicitly decided to cooperate until cooperation can no longer be resumed."

Shei-Sher steps forward into the damp cavern and touches the silt soil. "Yes, this will do fine. Thank you Mother Shei." Shei-Sher lays a paper scroll on the ground and places a broken crystal artifice with it's shards strewn along the scroll parchment. He begins working the material into it's former glory.

[1d10+2] Alchemy to fix the druid's crystal
[1d10] Tinker, for another restoration roll

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 2 = 2


You turn translucent, and watch as Zjetya, River, Spitshine and Sugar carefully pick their way through the ruined roads below on their way to the long alley. They keep an eye out as they start moving south through that alley. Sugar takes the lead this time, directing the others in how they ought to hide them just out of sight. Under your vigilance, they rig the escape route into something downright abominable.


[1d10] Flaming perception

Roll #1 1 = 1


Seeing the route turned from a crude attempt to trap unaware trespassers into a truly torturous gauntlet, Pryce turns back and flies towards the furniture warehouse.


"Well you ARE Ecclessian, so it seems you are one of the bad guys. Whoops!" Shei says as if it were an error they managed to skip over

Shei-Sher turns over to pat Amy on the head "You learned what Subterranean, and for that I am proud of you. I said your vocab would broaden just simply being in my proximity. Who knows perhaps one day you'll wake up with a book in your hoof too."

Desperation roll


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



"Yeah, after you teach me how to read," Amy responds in a grumpy tone, obviously not appreciating being patronized. However, her tail wags despite herself. She can't help but wag when she gets head pats.

"Besides, I spent two thousand years underground. You really think I wouldn't learn eeeeeevery word that describes it in that time?"


You see that the Scuttlebutts' leader has moved from his initial position, and is currently clawing his way through several wrapped presents, principally of a red and green color, atop his massive pile of stolen loot and plunder.

Shei's attempts at repairing the crystal fail, but the fragments should still be enough to aid in the growth of certain crops here, if he sows them well.

"What if you end up wanting mutually exclusive outcomes, Amy?" Shei-perd simply asks. "A dispute over who should rule, who should live, who should die… things that can't be compromised on."

"You don't know how to read!?" Gadriel gasps, nearly stumbling backward.

"…Wait, have we been over this yet? I've had to learn so much in such a short timeframe. Should I be acting surprised or not?"


>You see Regina purse her lips at your amazing roll. She double-checks the rule-book, and one of the papers behind her screen. Her eyes bulge. She reaches for a quill, and makes some hurried scrawls upon one of the sheets, just out of sight. You suspect something's amiss, but you can't place it.


Sheimy's spell blows a massive hole in the thrall's chest, turning most of his physical body into ash. Yet his head hangs on, leaning to the side by no more than some vertebrae and hanging sinew. His black mist surrounds him, mingling with the smoke from his body as it grows and twists, turning into a massive bipedal silhouette, resembling a great and hideous beast, with clawed hands and feet, and two massive wings that might blot out the sun. As the thrall lays dying below the silhouette, the silhouette reaches toward you!

[1d10+2] Spirit Step

Great Voyage attempts to disperse the black mist with a head charge!


Chester gets up.


Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #3 10 = 10



"It doesn't really come up that much," Amy shrugs. "I doubt we've talked about it. That's basically why I don't know how to read in the first place."

"Seriously, is it really that weird? I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't know how to read!"


>forgot to tag you properly for Shei-perd's question in here >>730187 (see second response block)


Flaming pumps her hooves again and even gets up to do a little jig as she gets a stellar roll on an important attack, "Oh yeah! Uh huh! That's it!" She pauses as she looks back to pay attention to the game, her eyes bulging, "It's STILL not dead?! What's this thing made of!" She looks over at Regina, an eyebrow raised as she suspects something is up, but she pauses in asking for this round….

She snorts, determined to put it down for good as she grabs at her handy d10, "Sheimy shouts, 'Wow, this thing REALLY can take a beating! Voyage, gimme a moment to really heat up a spell, don't let him get away'! And then, she runs along the side of the room, charging her magic." She grabs at the dice and rolls it, steely gaze kept on it and the board
[1d10+2] Homing Attack

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


[1d10] Perception check on Flaming's part

Roll #1 6 = 6



"Why would we have to fight about any of those things?" Amy asks, screwing her face up in thought. "No one should die! Everyone should live! There's no reason we can't rule together!"


>When Regina's not looking, you lean back, disguising it as a stretch of your back and shoulders, and steal a glance behind her screen. You see that she's scratched out a lot of the text on one of the pages, including what appears to be some numbers.

You're illiterate of course so you don't know exactly what's going on… but you have a good idea.


"Work with me here," Shei-perd retorts. "For the sake of argument, let's suppose a fight does happen – between you and Ecclesia. You and the Choir. You and Gegenschein. What then?"


While waiting for the results, Flaming sneaks a peak around her shoulder, narrowing her gaze at the scribbled lines. "What are ya scribbling, Regina?" She asks innocently, trying not to let her know she's on to the game


>Without missing a beat, Regina flips over the page in question with a swiftness and smoothness that suggests she's had to deal with this before. "QM things. Don't worry about it, great and mighty Sheimy."



"Why are we fighting?" Amy cocks her head.


"If you're surprised that Amy is a savage -then yes you should be surprised.." Then Shei-Sher realizes he said that out, he turns to Amy "And it stokes the romance! In this poet's heart."

"Tch.. awww curses." Shei sighs as he seems unable still to repair the crystal after all this time. He instead cracks the jewel into many pieces and brings a piece to Shei-Perd. He puts it in her hoof and curls her palm to close over it "Here it is very important you hold onto this. Set time aside to inquire among the ecclessians familiar with Starchart plains. Ask if they know anything about a jewel of this nature. Used by Starchart plain's natives to sustain the crops grown in a land without sunlight."

He turns back sowing the crystal shards into selected patches of soil "I'll sow these here so they can do their work."

Shei-Sher then digs his hooves into the soil and begins seeding the terrain with a diverse micro culture of many staple foods, alfala, wheat, beats, legumes and vegetables of all kinds, fruits and more.
>Sapphen's Favor: As an extra effect to Phantasmagoria of Conquest without expending hitpoints Shei can create vegetation that is both tasty and nutritious to eat. All fruits and vegetables that are known to Shei may be produced including esoteric ones.

Roll #1 5 = 5



Amy's eyes narrow into a glare as she is called savage. Especially since he implied it should be obvious.

But, her face lightens up into a smile as she turns it into a compliment. She grins and gets close to Shei's face. She whispers, "I knew you like it savage."

She then lightly bites Shei's ear with her canine teeth.

Pun intended.


Flying back to the warehouse and see the scuttlebutt leader occupied with presents, they couldn't ask for a better chance to deal with the imp. Though being cautious, Pryce remains over the warehouse to keep an eye on the creature to watch the situation of what will follow. He takes off his bracelet, tilting it in the light to give a signal to Leather, as he's invisible and can't signal him directly.


Shei yipes, "Amy! Please, my mother is right there." He actually blushes


"Let's say… you can't agree over who should live, and who should die. Let's say it's Mudi, and Vizsla. The Choir won't want to let them succeed, much less live. What then?"

"Well it's crazy that someone in this day and age should be so poorly educated, so even if it's been established, I'm going to overreact anyway!" Gadriel says. "When I take control over all demonkind, I'll open public schools for everypony and every demon!"

Shei-perd nods, taking the crystal and storing it in a secure pocket. As you begin to work your divinely-blessed magic, small sprouts, curling vines, and the beginnings of bushes begin to sprout up from the ground, filling the air with the soft petrichor of plantlife. Many more are presumably growing underneath.

Gadriel produces a ruler from Shei-perd's bag and swats Amy's ear with it. "You heard the teacher! Improper conduct is going to get us thrown out, just like it got Shei thrown out of Lilane!"

Shei-perd turns, suddenly and very conspicuously becoming quite interested in an inchworm crawling across the cavern floor as this all goes on. "Did you say something, Gadriel?"


The misty vampire's claws rake down your side, and though they only make a shallow cut, the wound howls with a disproportionate, animal pain, almost double of what a wound that size should cause.

>Sheimy 1/5

Great Voyage disperses some of the vampire's misty form with his charge. Unlike the dying thrall, it shows no signs of regeneration in this state. When Chester gets up, the vanishing beast tries for another spell, spreading its mist throughout the room. The room rapidly gets darker, all lights dimming and dwindling under a heavy darkness…



Great Voyage runs cold, suspecting that a big attack is coming, and tries to heal some of his earlier wounds.

[1d10+2] Heal

Chester blasts his horn to try and rally you for whatever may come next.

[1d10+1] Inspire

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #3 6 + 1 = 7



"She had like a million kids, she knows how sex works," Amy waves a dismissive hoof-paw.


"I'll take care of Mudi and Viszla. Without killing them. If that's not good enough for them, then can try to do something about it. And fail. But, they won't die either."


"Excuse me," Amy says, turning to Gadriel. "What do you mean when YOU take over all demonkind? Are you planning to fight me already?" Amy laughs. Though, it's unclear how serious she is.


Amy whines and rubs her ear when it is swatted.

"It wouldn't be the first time I've been kicked out of somewhere for 'improper conduct'," Amy grins as she keeps rubbing her ear.


File: 1577767083547.gif (2.2 MB, 435x250, VeneratedUnkemptBoutu-size….gif)

Leather gives a short prayer over his higher caliber bullets before loading the rifle, looking into the scope to line up the shot.

"My gift to you."

Assassinate, instant action
>Elephant Gun: Blessed Ballista
[1d10+3] DC-2, Crit DC-1.

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


Flaming keeps a very keen eye on Regina, "Ooooookay…. was just wondering." She says, trying to watch out for any more funny business.

As Sheimy takes damage, Flaming rubs at her forehead. "THAT was close…. okay, as the darkness grows around them, Sheimy shouts in pain from her injuries: 'AAAAAAGH! That hurt! But no amount of shadows you summon can hope to pierce the light of my flames, or even great, the flames of friendship I share with my friends!'" At that, Flaming visibly cringes, "Err…. maybe she doesn't go THAT far into it, that's a little too much. But she sets her fireballs aflame and fires them all at that jerk mutated thrall!" She says, picking up her dice and throws them across the table, "Let's see him live through this!"
Fiery Magic Bolt, taking the stronger of the two

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 1 = 1


With Amy still hanging along his back getting nibble at Shei's ear, he tries to rise up erect despite the weight. "I am going to ignore you both embarassing me infront of my mother and See if I can raise this garden!"

Shei-Sher raises his hooves, coursing with the magic that is still new to him. Attempts to raise the growth of the agriculture further.

Roll #1 8 = 8



Amy stops. "I'm sure she'll be delighted to know you're in a happy relationship," she says seriously.


Indeed, the dying vampire's mist cannot blanket the great light that your flaming, fighting spirit endlessly kindles. Your battle cry, and lumpet's blast, greatly rally your allies to the cause, keeping a faint light in the room under the weight of the vampire's curse.

As the black mist dissipates more and more, the fading visage of the Vrykolakas looks down at the thrall, gently touching its face for a moment… before black scrawl starts to manifest all over his body. The thrall smiles, and reaches up with what's left of his good arm.

>"Roll dodge, DC 8," Regina says.

>LJ gulps, but grabs his die. "It's alright, I just healed! We got this!"
>"And I've still got my Mulligan!" Box says.

[1d10] GV
[1d10] Box

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 2 = 2


"I did just get a bunch of power from those Diskos that we recovered a couple days ago," Gadriel muses. "But I think I'll just take that title from you through a popular election. Absolute monarchy is the way of the past, but democracy will prove my way is much more popular."

Shei-perd tilts her head with a frown of consternation. Apparently that wasn't quite the answer she was after. But she nods with eventual approval. "Then that's an answer I can accept. Not as an Ecclesian, but as a fellow fool."

You manage to make the plants grow a little bit more, flourishing slowly as they produce the first buds of their fruit. Forcing it any more, even with divine help, may risk overgrowing or ruining them. They're not ripe yet, but you may wish to call it here.

Cloak lines up his shot just as the Scuttelbutt Chieftan begins experimenting with a strange colorful box with a crank on one side. He turns the crank, and a quiet jingle plays, reaching its climax not a moment too soon.

The second that the jack's head pops out, Cloak pulls the trigger, and the head shatters, diverting the bullet's trajectory just a hair, enough to make it richochet off the Chieftan's helmet. The helmet spins about until it's backwards, but the Chieftan's head is still attached to his shoulders. In his attempts to right the thing, he dives from his perch, falling to the ground with a crash.


Suddenly, the temperature drops drastically all about you. Billowing storm clouds force and stretch their way into existence above you, and a strong wind starts blowing, as if trying to make up for missing a cue. Snow starts to tumble from the sky in great clumps.

Scuttlebutts of various sizes, clothed in metal and cloth armor, wielding grisly spikes that are strangely adorned with red and green ribbons. They start running in Cloak's direction, flooding the streets as they look all about for him.


If they're not diverted soon, they'll definitely head past the trap.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6



"Ecclesia is too stubborn anyway. They don't like things that are good because they look like things that are bad. But, they don't bother actually figuring out the difference."

"Even worse, they do the same thing with things that look good but are actually bad. Which is annoying because it makes them not want to listen."

"How long do you plan on being with them?" Amy asks


"You want demons to try democracy?" Amy laughs. "Even I'm not that dumb!"


"Could you be a little more specific? That was kind of vague," Shei-perd says. "I'll answer when I have a better idea of what you mean."

"The world belongs to the people! Down with the rich! Down with the gods! Down with the castes! Goats shall inherit it all and eat the grass that grows from oppression's corpse!" Gadriel says.

Honestly though, sounds like he's really just pulling your legs at this point. But perhaps this is a sign that he's developing his own (albeit weak) sense of humor.


>[Yeah thats it, I just wanted one good roll for the night.]

Shei-Sher relieves his arms from the stretched out position. Letting his magic wane. He uncorks a vial of dark matter and pours it into the ground as an offering.
"Thank you Sapphen." He whispers.

Shei-Sher turns around a bit foggy in the head from straining himself. "Well it's all there. And it will be a fine harvest in short time that may replenish itself. In the meanwhile it would be wise to find more of those shards, or an entire cystal ball." He says as he faces his Mother now.

"I originally thought to maybe alchemize some salts and preservatives for the clan but it seems you are all well rationed in this cave. If there is not anything else I can provide Mother.. I suppose I'll be leaving now." with modest apprehension Shei wishes his mother may have something to keep her company just a little while longer as he waits for her answer.


She obviously picks up what you're putting down, even separated from you by many, many years of lost intimacy and bonding. "So soon, after a miracle like this? Are you always in such a rush?"


Leather closes his eyes and lets out a deep exhale, knowing not to grow angry at such a simple misfortune. Trying to get a good read for the situation, Cloak backtracks, trying to get further from the warehouse so he isn't discovered at the scene of the shooting.

[1d10] rooftop hop

Roll #1 4 = 4



"I mean, they just hate all demons because they're demons. I'm sure if I haven't helped them so much, they'd hate me too. Heck, I bet a lot of it is just because they don't know I'm a demon."

Amy looks down at herself. "I don't know what they think I AM, then," she laughs.

"And then, they like gods because gods look good. And, maybe they were nice to them at some point. But, they're obviously so bad for us now. But, they refuse to stop doing what they're doing because… gods? I don't know. I don't get them."


Flaming gasps as he manages to survive yet another fiery assault from her mage. "SERIOUSLY?! Just how much HP does this stupid thing have!?"

She groans, looking up as Regina orders them to roll a dodge. She takes a deep breath, calming herself. "Okay, okay… Sheimy looks on as the black scrawl starts to shift all over the creatre's body, and shouts, 'Everypony hit the deck'! And then… hits the deck."

She grabs at her die, breathing some luck on it as she throws it down on the table

Roll #1 8 = 8


Pryce looks down as the bullet misses from the chieftan playing with a jack in the box with the worst timing. He wonders if Leather will have time to make a second shot, but the swarming crowds of scuttlebutts below ensure that won't be happening soon. With how wild they're getting, he'll need to pull in their attention fast to try and regain some control of this situation.
Pryce flies from the warehouse over the large crowd. He pulls out the parcels of oil from his robe that he looted from their first venture into Threecoin. His horn lights as he tosses them into the air, lighting them with his flame magic to light up the sky with swathes of fire to pull their attention to a new threat.
>Telekinesis [Fire] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


Shei-Sher chuckles a bit as he sees Amy strain to convey Ecclessia's corruption to his mother.

"Well lets just slow down the routine there my little proletariat." Shei's having a hard time cutting the line between comedy and drama here but decides to put down Gadriel's paw with his hoof in quiet cessation.

"My race are a race of pushovers, pushing heroic ideas as such are more insulting than funny."

"Say! When was the last time you've had any cake. I happen to be a great cook. You should have the students covene and we can all have a time of it."



"CAKE!? I want cake!" Amy wags her tail vigorously.


As the thrall breathes his last, his body glows but once, and then explodes. Only you manage to dive for cover in time, but Chester and Great Voyage are both knocked away, slamming against the wall with burns of their own now, stunned and dazed.

>GV 5/3

>Chester 5/3

But once the smoke dissipates enough for you to see, and light returns to the room, you can see that neither thrall nor shadow are left behind. The explosion seems also to have knocked loose the machinery operating the small sun, keeping the corpse part turned to stone. You see the cultist's cloaks laying among the mess, but it's impossible to tell from here whether they're alive or dead.

>LJ and Box lean back in their chairs, sighing with relief.

>"If that was just the vampire's minion, we better not tangle with the real deal!" Box ecxlaims.


Some excited shouts and hollers from the primitive Scuttlebutts signsls to Cloak that he's been spotted, as he leaps from rooftop to rooftop. But before they can follow up on the sight, Pryce creates a series of plumes and blooms with flame, both terrifying and spectacular. His translucency wears off in the midst of it, but at least he's got their attention now. It's not ideal, but Cloak now has another opportunity to set up a shot against the distracted mongrels, or even their Chieftan.

Speaking of which, he climbs out, the plate on his helmet clamped firmly down. In one hand he grips a mighty staff, which is more like the trunk of a willowy tree, the upper half of which is crested with snow-covered pine branches, and a brilliant star-like tip. Magic surges forth from it, spreading frostbite over everything near the Chieftan as he surveys the fire.

"Well, perhaps it's your view that's somewhat outdated," Shei-perd gently counters. "Not that I can necessarily blame you, with how busy you seem to have been. They've been employing demon tamers more and more among the Vermilion Corps – the new mercenary wing for those who want to fight alongside us, but don't want to swear oaths of loyalty. But as for gods… that's starting to become murky and murkier as we take on more people from more faiths, more parts of the world. Refugees we take in, fallen kingdoms we recruit, they bring their gods with them. The results have been… messy.

"Some people are even talking about Schismatics among us. But that's a long story, not something to add to your plate when you have enough to deal with." She smiles. "I'd rather have cake on my plate, wouldn't yo–"

"Chocolate, it has to be chocolate," Gadriel cuts in.



"Demon… tamers…" Amy grumbles, disgusted by the concept. "I guess it makes sense… depending on the demon. Not that Ecclessia is good at drawing lines in the right places."

"Chocolate?" Amy whines. "I want strawberry! And vanilla!"


"I've never made a neopolitan cake. I could sure as well try, why not. Tis a humble abode though, I may be working with a limited larder." Shei lets his mother lead the way to the kitchen


Pryce hovers in the air over the crowd, relieved the flames worked to pull their attention. And now he should aim to keep it to give Leather another shot attempt.
"Happy… er, Holidays!"
Pryce shouts, projecting his voice to the crowd in a friendly manner to not draw immediate attack on himself. He pulls his bracelet off with the declaration, holding it up as he attempts to conjure forth a firework from it, with the resulting blast forming an image of their chieftain, hoping this will give them pause.
>Hat Magic [Firework of the Chieftain] [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


Flaming, likewise with her party members, lets out a sigh of relief. "I'll say, that was ridiculous! Though, at the very least we all do seem to still be in the better part of our health. 3 wounds each at least. We MIGHT be able to take a vampire but, I'd rather not chance it."

Flaming points to her little figurine, "With the thrall vanquished, Sheimy rolls out of the debris from the colossal explosion that followed in its wake. Shaking off the dirt from her main and flopping her pony ears to get them free of dust, she looks around the others and laughs. She says 'Woah! He really went out with a bang, didn't he? But at least we're all still here!' Then, she prances up to the corpse part, with the machinery destroyed, and uses her magic to conjure up another safe casing for this part of the Vampire."

"Rolling for magic hat…"

Roll #1 5 = 5


Taking a moment to look back and look at the chieftain, he takes note of his ray of frost coming from his staff. Cloak kneels and offers another prayer from afar, trying to temporarily jam his artifact.

"Bestill thy chill."
>Spellbreaker: recharge 2, ranged; Nullify a spell or magic effect

He also invokes a wordless plea to Hypomone to strengthen his resolve.
> I Dream of Strength: Instant; Recharge 1; Enhances the target's combat abilities until the end of combat. Every attack they land will do 1 extra hit of damage. Every attack made against them will do 1 less hit of damage, to a minimum of 1. This effect stacks with itself to a maximum of 3 successes.

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 7 = 7


You all take a brief rest to let the ringing in your ears subside, but just as you produce another small case to imprison the corpse part, you see the two cultists, looking battered and bruised, emerge from the heap of broken machinery, each holding one of the stone legs of the vampire. They turn and look at you with defensive glares, red eyes peering out from under dark hoods as they back away to put distance between you.

>LJ grabs for some dice, but Box puts up a hoof. "Hey, hold on. We're pretty injured, and so are they, by her description. Think we can get some social rolls going?"

>"Your path is yours to decide," Regina says. "I'm just the narrator."


Something about your pluralistic and non-specific holiday greeting seems to just annoy the Scuttlebutts, especially their cloaked, red-armored Chieftan. He roars, pointing his staff at you, and several of the Scuttlebutts produce makeshift bows of yew wood and flax string, though they look like they might break at any time.

What's not so amusing, however, is the fact that their arrows are tipped with broken shards of colorful glass bulbs. Now that will be actually quite painful.


You charge up strength within you, but as you try to break the magic coming from the Chieftan's staff, you feel a kind of resistance – it's like trying to push on a door that opens only when pulled. You see several lines of charms inscribed into the bark of the tree-staff. This too has come up in training – basic charms for resisting anti-magic. In laypony terms, it's like armor for a spell. You can still break through, but it may take multiple successes – or a critical one.

Shei-perd takes you to one of many kitchens available, and this one is in a higher cave of the mountain, and one that is well-ventilated. She procures a few bowls, some whisks and measuring cups, but after a little bit of motherly fussing, decides to allow you to take the lead, and have a chance at being a dutiful son.

Roll #1 3, 3 + 1 = 7


Noting that the staff has countermeasures for trying to disenchant it, Leather opts to just blow it up with a high-caliber rifle round.

>Shatter: recharge 2, weapon; Breaks the target's defenses, opening them up for attack. Any attacks against a Shattered target crit on a 8+ for two+1 rounds. Can be used against inanimate objects or armor to break and damage them efficiently.

[1d10+3] DC-2, Crit DC-1 (Targeting the staff)

>reload, instant auto

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


Flaming looks over to LJ, nodding enthusiastically, "Yeah, I think some good old fashioned negotiation is the way to go here. Sheimy *is* a princess afterall, she should use her words every once in a while."

Flaming looks up to Regina, "Okay, Sheimy says 'Halt! Please, please, please don't go anywhere with those, do you have any idea what it is you are doing?'"

Flaming pauses, "Uh, I think I roll for that or, do I wait for you to tell me?"


Pryce looks down at the armory's worth of bows all raised at him. He's glad that his distraction worked, but is a bit worried about being dead center of the imp swarm. He sings another song, flying up in the air to get some distance and turning his focus to the chieftan.
"I guess I'll return the favor then."
He mutters, his horn glowing bright as he fires a bolt of flame into the sky, attempting to form a large gate looming over them.
>Orbital Strike [Fire, Holy Feast's Gate] [1d10+1]
>Duration If Successful [1d10]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 5 = 5


>"I'll tell you when to roll," Regina says.

"Away with ye, cursed ones, sun-blind fools!" a cultist hisses. "You'll not stop us with honeyed words, if not even Death and malformation can!"
"Look, brother!" the second cultist says, gesturing to the legs. You can see that they are faintly stirring, like one who is trying to wake from sleep paralysis. "They've already obtained a corpse part!"
"Good, good! Give it to us, and we shall spare ye a painful death!"

>"I'm ready to strike whenever you are," LJ says.


>Forgot the song
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Self] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8


File: 1577773647672.jpg (201.79 KB, 800x1123, YEET.jpg)

The Chieftan's eyes flit toward you as you chamber the round, and his knees bend to dive, but he never stood a chance against your honed speed. The massive musket ball shatters the massive, magic pine tree, causing it to sag over on the opposite side, held together only by a few splinters bent backwards. The magic starts to fade, disappearing in a weak, dwindling glow. The snow that's already been conjured remains, but also doesn't get any stronger.

Growling, the Chieftan tears up a piece of fallen concrete from a shattered home, then rears back onto one leg, winding up for a massive pitch!


>Hymn succeeds
Dodging around the arrows, you make, with streaks of colored flame, a massive gate of fire, with doors flung open, and a star above them. Presents lay at the mouth of the gate, and foals and parents alike come to the gate to receive their heavenly gifts.

The Scuttlebutts stop and stare, but suddenly, the flaming presents start to drop down upon them! With shrieks, they try to run for cover.

[1d10] Dodge

The Chieftan stumbles back, fastballing some stone slabs at you too.


Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 10 + 2 = 12


"No," Flaming says, taking a deep breath. "We've barely tried yet. Amy wouldn't give… I mean, *SHEIMY* wouldn't give up that easily."

"Sheimy looks to the cultists, turning her head slightly to the side, and asks them, 'Why do you hate the sun so much? Did it do something to hurt you?'"

Flaming looks up, "Now do I roll?"


>"Hit it."


Flaming grins, grabbing at a dice and shaking it up good to get its mojo flowing. "Wish me luck!"

Roll #1 1 = 1


Flaming frowns at the resulting 1 with a wide eyed look of shock.


"There is no point in idle talk, as we have already made plain, lightdweller. Your kingdom and ours can never be in peace, so long as you keep the light to yourselves!"

They reach for their weapons–

"Not so fast!" Chester says. "We outnumber you, and you are far worse for the wear than we. Pray, confess your motives, or prepare to die and fail your cause!"

[1d10] intimidation

>After a few seconds, you feel a hoof on your shoulder. It's Tantra. "Vortigern wants you to watch your language," he whispers.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Pryce holds out his bracelet, flames extending from it to form a large staff, similar but much more refined than the Chieftan's.
>Conjure Weapon [Flare, DC5, Single, Great] [1d10+1]

As the chieftan throws stone slabs towards him, Pryce flies towards the chieftan, knowing his hymn will protect him as his horn glows, conjuring a wheel of burning snowflakes for additional protection.
>Homing Magic [Flare] [Snowflakes] [1d10]

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


>"Mulli–" Box sputters.
>"Sorry, that can't apply to critical failures," Regina says.
>"Great Voyage will stare them down threateningly, since words don't seem to hold any sway here!" LJ says.

[1d10] intimidate

Roll #1 2 = 2


>haven't been keeping track of ammo yet

Jumping down from the rooftop given the element of surprise being lost, Cloak runs to meet the troublemakers headon.


>Retaliate: recharge 3 after effect triggers; After three turns, you deal out damage for every hit you lost during those three turns. Going Helpless before the end of the three turns causes the effect to release instantly. Critfails don’t count toward the charge of this spell.


Roll #1 3 = 3


Flaming groans as she looks over both of their rolls, shaking her head, "Wow…. we are a REALLY unconvincing bunch of ponies." She takes a deep breath, "Journey, Box, you guys okay if I wait for them to attack first? I just don't think it's in Sheimy's character to throw the first fire blast, you know?"

She looks to Regina again, taking her voice higher, "'But we're not trying to keep the light to ourselves! We're trying to share it with everyone! Please, if you just tell us why you're doing this, maybe we can work something out? You see everything that's happened around you, do you really want it to happen more?'"

Flaming picks up the die, eying Spark from nearby. "Hey Spark, if this lands on a 5 or lower, you can play with it until it goes higher, okay?" She snickers, rolling the dice

Flaming looks up at Tantra as he comes over to interrupt their fun, she frowns. "Oh… sorry, I was just a little mad. But, I'm practically a full grown buffalo, can't I say a little curse?"

Roll #1 4 = 4


>"You can say shoot. If you don't like it, take it up with the big lady. I don't make the rules, you know. She's got us all on our best behavior, so it's not just you."

>Spark makes ready to influence the roll, but a stern smile from Regina is all it takes to make him sit back down meekly.

The cultists reach inside their cloaks, backing away from you as they position themselves for a fight. One more wrong word, and this whole room will erupt into chaos again.

"Even if we say it, it is meaningless. Those who control the light will always find those they want to keep out of it. The misborn, the cursed, those deemed evil by their birth, they shall always be out in the dark. But no more! With the vampire upon the throne of night, we shall finally have the revenge that you have all had coming for centuries!"