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File: 1581622468621.jpg (80.72 KB, 918x871, The Crimson King.jpg)

 No.732421[Last 50 Posts]

Somewhere, in a distant time and place, a young sailor hurries back to his room.

The going has been hard. The storms have not been kind, for they are headed into waters that have remained uncharted for a good reason. Not even the stormtamer mages that the captain hired from the Shaka mage's guild have been able to quell these winds, and they have had little choice these past few days but to let themselves be tossed at the sky's mercy. The rations have been thin and tasteless, for they know not how long they must endure this wait. The colt's sole comfort has been that most curious logbook…

He crawls into bed, where the book awaits him. Flipping to his bookmark, he genuflects, making the Mark of Virtue, tracing a diamond shape over his head and heart. It's a good enough prayer for now, he reassures himself. He would make a more formal one once he reached the end of this Act. Just as Act 1 had ended with an excerpt of what happened to the villainous Bee Queens, so too must this Act reveal what happened to the dreadful Auntzi, and he had been eager to find out, all throughout the day.

He reaches his bookmark, and flips past the blank page to the epilogue…

But there are no words upon the page.

At least, none that can be read.


On the contrary, the page is full of words, or so it seems. The edges of words can be seen near the corners of the page, but the main body of the paper is completely covered by some kind of… doors. An otherworldly, lifelike illumination of a colossal pair of marble doors; an almighty Vault. Its face is embossed with seemingly endless, intricate designs of monsters and mortal races, and it awaits at the end of a long, crystalline path, guarded by ten thousand stone soldiers, but it all pales in comparison to the doors of the Vault.

The longer he beholds the door's designs, the more he finds there is a strange, random logic to their flow. They are not to be read from left to right, nor right to left, nor vertically, but intermittently, sporadically, disappearing in one place only to reappear in another. No mere decorations, but some kind of tale, an endless epic, concerning a great multitude of generations… and the closer he looks, the deeper he presses his face into the page, unable to have his fill of that winding fable, the more and more layers he beholds, finer and finer details, smaller than even a period, smaller than the dot on an "i."

And then, something clicks for him. It is not a realization or epiphany; it hits him on a level below rational understanding. It is a flash of base and animal fear, of holy terror. The path of the story on the Vault's face is not random at all, but imitates the winding path of a certain beast…

But before he can complete that thought, the doors of the almighty Vault grind open.

Somewhere, in a distant time and place, a young sailor vanishes from his ship.


Last time on PirateQuest…

It has been one week since you arrived on Agyl Island. The crews of the Beesting and Hidden Dagger have spent their time in recovery of the body, mind and soul from the damage inflicted by Auntzi's haunting of Mallea de Valle's manor. Vice-Captain Plague has been laid to rest, and Mallea has taken his place aboard Cutlass' ship, replacing Thessaly as the Secret Assassins' resident Witch.

The first two days after the events in the manor passed by rather uneventfully. With most of the crews injured, there was little else to do with their time but shop, eat and sleep. On those two days, there were no further dreams of that dark and forgotten land, those dreams that had plagued you in the buildup to the events at the manor.

But on the last night, the night before the beginning of Kukulcan's expedition… those strange dreams, lived through borrowed bodies, passengers in alien minds, came back.

And in those dreams, you are a people wandering in a dark light, a people in feverish anticipation. The sky is a watery mirror, bending the light of the manic stars. They are coming. They are coming and you are not ready. They are coming and there is so much more to be done, always so much more to be done. Priests in feathers and robes of _____ hand you chisels. Hammers. Black knives of sacrifice. Someone panics, breaks the line. The stars are coming and we will never be ready. An earthquake sunders the temple. Thousands of stone beasts, bats, jaguars, serpents, hounds, break into rubble.

Now is the time.

Ready or not.

We must meet them.

And the temple's doors, a colossal pair of marble doors, an almighty Vault, grind open.

The dream ends there.


Each of you is woken by the sound of someone knocking at your door. On the Beesting, tired mooks groggily announce that breakfast is to be held on the deck today.

As for Cutlass, she's woken by the sound of many voices from outside. It sounds like there's a great gathering of a sort taking place on the docks.


File: 1581642789119.png (3.04 MB, 1544x2048, thessaly3.png)

She awakes with an unhappy frown, blinking and rubbing her eyes, her head still reeling from the strange dreams. Dragging herself out of bed, she makes sure all her things are still with her, as is her custom, before heading off to find Bran first, then up top to the gathering.



In the two days of rest they have before the expedition, Cloud spends the time doing light exercise after picking up some books on the subject, starting himself on the path to better fitness while he recovers from the damage Auntzi inflicted.
>Spending 2 EP for 1 Wound

Cloud wakes as they knocking comes at the door, sitting up with a groggy yawn as the dreams have returned. He gently nudges Chiu awake, hopping out of bed to get dressed, his pirate outfit having been repaired by his pocket spiders over the past two days.
"Hey, did you have one of those weird dreams last night?"
He asks Chiu, putting on his eyepatch and saying a thanks to the gryphon statue before heading with her up to the deck.


>Spending 1 EP for a hit, and 2 for a wound as Cerulean gets more used to taking multiple/big hits

Cerulean wakes up with a slight groan and rubs her face in her hooves as she tries to wake up more. She looks over to Roger and Tabasco.
"Hey guys, c'mon. Breakfast is ready," she says and gets out of bed, waiting for the other two to wake up before heading to the galley with them.


Alder wakes up with an uneasy groan, the return of the dream being rather unsettling. He tries to drift off back to sleep, but it's not particularly long before a crewmember comes by and wakes him up again. He grumbles something to himself, before stretching out and giving Splendid a curious poke "Time to wake up, it seems."


You find Bran where he spent almost all of yesterday: In his little dirt pen. As part of the installation of your new room aboard the Beesting, Bee Holder had Etch, the resident smith, shipwright and carpenter, make your room extra large. A portion of that extra space was dedicated toward building a dirt-filled enclosure for Bran. It looks almost like a great wooden box, and comes up a little above your eye level. It has a doggy door and some air holes, but is designed to let in as little light as possible, allowing Bran to burrow and get as much darkness as he likes.

Chiu was all too eager to help coach you through the exercise, offering pointers and encouragements whenever you ran into a snag in your training. "Push it to the limit" became somewhat of a catchphrase for her during that time.

Chiu grumbles as you wake her. Yawning, she nods to your question, and informs the grifoness statue that she'll be back with some food soon.

Your pets are as groggy as you are, and are simply content to ride on your back up to the deck.

"Damn them and damn this whole…" Splendid begins, before yawning away the rest of her incoherent thought. Deciding against going back to sleep, she has little choice but to accompany you to the deck.

As you reach the deck of the Beesting, you find that most of the crew is in a similar condition. Though plenty of coffee has been brewed, you have a strong feeling that there will be a shortage soon. Kling-Klang, Bent Scales and Cane Shuga are in charge of bringing up many trays of food from the galley below: Plates of hayggs and haycon, and eggs and bacon for the meat eaters. Sides of spinach, mushrooms and kale are in no short supply either, as are carrots and spreads of ranch and a curious concoction that you learn is called "marmite."

You see that another ship, one of a remarkably quality make, has docked in the bay next to the Beesting, between her and the Hidden Dagger. It is a ship of relatively modern design, a magnificent carrack, but modified to have the sail types of a schooner. On both bows is a long and winding design, carved all of teal wood, with electric golden highlights – twin carvings of mighty serpents. The two serpents' bodies meet at the prow, where they share a single head, which comprises the figurehead.

Atop that ship, you see Kukulcan talking and giving what looks like a very rousing speech to his crew. You can't hear much of it, but it looks inspiring, judging by his big gestures and magnificent strutting.

"He'll be here shortly to give us some things to help navigate," Bee Holder says. "I've already been briefed on the operation of that magitech engine he installed on our ship – the Chiccan, it's called. I'll give a few of you the gist of it once we're ready to depart."


She beams for a moment as he sees him comfortable in his pen. After playing with him for a bit, she coerces him to come out and join her for breakfast.

As she helps herself to some carrots, slipping Bran some rashers of crispy bacon under the table, she looks over to Kukulcan with an impassive expression. "Grand," she comments. "This should be an interesting change of pace."

"By the way," she says to Holder, pulling out her coinpurse. "How much do I owe you? For the pen, that is. A thousand? More?"



Cutlass rolls out of bed (literally, she hits the ground with a dramatic thud) when the noises become to loud for her to continue to sleep. She groggily gets up and stumbles out the door of her quarters. She rubs the sleep out of her eyes as she telekinetically grabs her hat and puts it on her head to cover her bed head.

A plus side of having an invincible dress that literally can't come off is that you always look well dress even when you just got out of bed. She shields her eyes as she comes out on deck. As she looks around to take in the scene, she dramatically huffs and leans against the railing of the deck.

She takes all of this as a sign that they'll be heading out out he expedition soon. "Everyone, get ready to set sail… or something," she mutters loudly enough that hopefully SOMEONE around her can hear her to relay her message.


Cloud gets a plate for Chiu and himself, finding a good spot for them to sit at. He looks over at the new ship docked next to them, likely Kukulcan's given how he's speaking on it.
"He really is a flashy one, ain't he."

"So how does it work? Can this whole ship dive down underwater now?"


Alder giggles a little bit, hopping out of bed and stretching "Thank goodness you are willing to get up when asked- I do not think I could force you to." he chirps.

"Excuse me, but… magitech? I do not believe I am quite familiar with the word. I suppose I should save that for the explanation later?" he asks, between bites. He mostly opts for meat, but makes sure to grab a little bit of other stuff too.


Cerulean and her little posse enjoy a nice, big, meaty breakfast with the others of the crew. She has a mouthful of food as Bee Holder speaks, just nodding along for now so she isn't rude.


"Put your money away, girl," Bee Holder says. "Lodging is an investment. If you wish to repay me, do it by pulling your weight."

By the way, that Hearth's Warming present you received from that mysterious captain turned out to be a little action figure of a unicorn witch, bearing a striking resemblance to you. Her hair can be made to float, and the eyes can be set to glow via a switch on her back. She would look menacing, if she weren't so smol.

>Witch Toy: Passive; Increases the critical hit range on Exequy by 1

"In short, yes," Bee Holder says. "It works along the same lines as the magitechnology used in the Esper. She'll be able to dive without taking on water, and we'll have a steady supply of fresh air so long as we take good care of the engine."

"Looks like Cloud's trying to get a mite tougher. You're probably going to have to do the same if you want to share a bed without me kickin' you off to the corner," Splendid teases.

When you get out onto the deck, you see that most of your crew looks rough and ragged, like they've gotten no sleep, or at least no good, restful sleep. Mallea de Valle is in the middle of serving coffee and oatmeal with bananas and berries with Sparkler and Droplet.

As word gets around, you see Sir Kukulcan flying over with two sealed cases in his possession. One, he presents to you with a flourish. "Captain Cutlass. Without further ado, I present to you a genuine potsherd from the sunken Cuauhtémoc. It will serve as your primary guide toward the island on this journey. As for the means by which your ship will go underneath the deep blue waves, my crew has already finished installing the magitech engine, called the Chiccan, necessary for such a trip. I will show you the steps necessary for its operation when you are ready."


If you haven't opened your presents already, they are little wooden action figures that resemble you, painted and carved of high quality.
>Cloud's increases crit range of earthen grasp by 1
>Cerulean's increases crit range of hakarl by 1
>Cutlass's increases crit range of Whisper in ear by 1


Alder nods a little in response to Bee Holder, before humming and saying "I hope someone else can take care of the engine- I think something like that is a little out of my comprehension."

Alder flushes a little bit and puffs his chest up, before deflating and letting out a short giggle. "H-Hard to argue against that, I suppose. All the limberness in the world will not save me from being pushed out of bed." he says, before trying to give Splendid a peck on the cheek.

>Updated Sheet: https://pastebin.com/HZDtCp5g


Cerulean eventually opens her present, looking excited at the little action figure and giving 'herself' a hug.

"Oh, yeah! I remember them talking about this during that big, fancy sushi lunch we had the other day! This'll be cool. It'd almost be like me showing you guys my home…though its not really my home, but still!"


"So we don't have to worry about anything in our cabins getting drenched then."
Cloud comments, taking a bite of his hayggs.
"What about searching this island then, are going to be watching over it from the ship or does he have some fancy diving equipment too?"

Cloud opens his present, taking out the little wooden bat pony.
"Hey, it's a little me."
He says with a smile, showing it to Chiu.
"Think you could tell us apart if I shrunk down?"



"Ah, Mallea," Cutlass says drowsily as she takes notice of her. "Are you joining my crew, then? Or is this just a courtesy?"

When Kukulcan comes over, Cutlass nods. "Yes, show me how it's done. But, my Vice Captain should be here for this as well."

"Miss Sunshine!" Cutlass shouts out across the deck.

>on a side note, spending EP to go up to 8 hits

>spending banked up BP to get an additional +1 to Whisper in your Ear


She blinks. "If you insist," she nods, putting it away. "I'll do what I must to repay the debt."

As she munches on a carrot, she eyes Kukulcan in the distance. "Can we trust him entirely?" she asks Bee Holder, lowering her tone. "The enemy has eyes and ears in all sorts of places. He doesn't seem the truly reliable sort, but appearances can be deceiving."


>a few days ago
She turns the little toy witch over in her hooves, examining it from every angle. They can never get the likenesses right on these things. "Curious," she mutters, and puts it on her shelf of knick knacks alongside the homunculus, the spiders and the snow globe.


"Two Reeds and Sir Diamantaire, two of Kukulcan's hench…men?" Bee Holder trails off, pondering the appropriate group noun for Krikral and Elemen. "Anyway, those two taught Etch the procedures, along with giving us a manual thicker than a dictionary on its maintenance. I made 'em bookmark the important pages, so I wouldn't worry too much."

Roger and Tabasco both make sure to sniff and study the action figure Cerulean, so that they don't confuse her with you.

"That's going to be provided as well," Bent Scales adds. "I hope you don't mind us giving over your measurements."
"When'd you take our measurements!?" Chiu gasps.
"You're heavy sleepers," Cane Shuga says.

"That's…" Chiu double-takes at the toy, and pulls back his eyepatch, revealing a tiny blue bead. "Woah, he's even got the azure eye. How did that mare know…?"

"I don't back down from any agreement, whether or not it was made in haste or in an emotional time," Mallea says. "Witches don't last long if they go back on their word. I am yours to command, though I am best suited to a role in the surgeon's room."
Miss Sunshine trots on over, fully decked out in a frilly maid's costume. "Yiiiiis?" she asks.
"Good to meet you!" Kukulcan says. "You will find it hardly more different than operating the ship like normal, so I will focus on showing you the ins and outs of the engine itself to help keep it in good condition."

Kukulcan spends about 20 minutes showing you how to operate the ship while the magitech 'Chiccan' engine is active. It's not overly complicated, but it's best to have the sails furled rather than unfurled for underwater travel.

"About as much as we can trust the Crimson King," Bee Holder answers Thessaly. "And by the sound of it, that's still up in the air. Kukulcan's in his service, though I don't know how much their interests align. Cerulean, you spoke with the King on Kaco. What do you think?"

While Kukulcan teaches Cutlass how to use the ship for underwater travel, two figures make their way over to the Beesting. One of them is a purple-pink moth krikral, about as long as a griffon and a little shorter than a pony, with her head-fluff being cut in a cute black bob. The other is a strange figure, resembling a vaguely humanoid figure, all made of sand and dust, swirling around a number of crystals near his chest.

Alder recognizes them as Two Reeds (the moth) and Sir Diamantaire (the Elemen), and they introduce themselves to you as such.

"We're getting ready to depart soon," Two Reeds says, presenting Bee Holder with a small case, containing a broken obsidian potsherd. "Here's what you'll need to reach Cuauhtémoc."
Bee Holder accepts it with a nod.


Cloud coughs on his food, taking a moment to catch his breath.
"I mean, yea, these past few days were pretty exhausting. …That's the only time you guys came into our room, right?"

Cloud looks down at the figurine when Chiu checks and finds a proper eye as well.
"Wow, everypony seems to know about my eye."
He says, pondering a moment.
"When I saw the bounty, I was thinking of keeping my eye covered up. They don't have a picture on me yet so I figured if I kept it covered it'd keep anypony from knowing that that bounty was me. What do you think?"

Cloud turns as Two Reeds and Sir DIamantaire bring over the tracking treasure for them to locate Cuauhtémoc.
"So how far down is this island?"


"Well, Crimson King I think is maybe…slightly misunderstood? See, he only has so much influence cause he got all bored of sailing around and stuff, but while his power goes off of money, he was just kinda empty inside. Like a conch shell with no hermit crab living in it," she explains to Bee Holder, "but after a bit of egging him on and stuff, he's now sailing again and his crew are super happy about it. He even gave us a head start. I'd like to think I left a good impression on him if my wanted poster is anything to go by."


"Ah, right! I remember them." he says, bobbing his head a little bit and smiling. He offers a wave to the two of them when they approach, and gives the potsherd a curious look before saying "I believe most of us are ready, but it would not hurt to check and make sure everyone is okay."


"Grand. So we're in the company of a servant of our enemy. Why are we working with him again?"

She eyes the new arrivals with a hard, suspicious stare, put even more on edge than usual by the news of their alignment. She cranes her neck to take a closer look at the obsidian piece. "For our Accompass, I presume," she comments.
[1d10] Perception if needed

Roll #1 10 = 10



"There's no need for that," Cutlass responds to Mallea. "In fact, it defies the entire nature of being a pirate. I never asked for your service. Just a reward for services rendered."

Once Kukulcan leaves, Cutlass turns to Mallea. "You're a witch, right? Does he strike you as a demon?" she asks, gesturing to Kukulcan.


Bent Scales winks.
"She's just joshing us. The Wetnurse would kill them if they tried it," Chiu tries to convince herself.

"Yeah, that's for the best. Plus, keeping Hmm a secret would make her a much more effective ally," Chiu says.

"It's on the upper end of the Abyssal Plain," Two Reeds says. "Around 3,200 meters down. Don't worry; the Chiccan is designed to withstand depths even deeper than that. Water pressure won't be an issue with it active. Just make sure you don't turn it off."

"His expedition is the only means we have right now of finding the Heart of Gold," Bee Holder says. "The obsidian vase you obtained from Queen Toko, the vase that the King wanted to take for himself, is from this 'Cuauhtémoc' place, as Two Reeds and Prisma demonstrated about five days ago. Both of them, blindfolded, independently checked the vase and some pottery from Kukulcan's collection, and identified the same direction – southwest, around the sea floor. As for the Heart of Gold? If the King gets it, it'll give him enough gold to be able to put all of the Ribcage under his total control, thanks to his gold-manipulating abilities.

Bee Holder grunts as Cerulean offers her perspective on the King. "Well, if the places that are currently under his control are anything to go by, him getting the Heart of Gold means the conversion of islands into nothing but factories, quarries, and industrial farms, siphoning entire countries dry in the name of production, consumption, and capital. Freedom and adventure drying up in the name of business. Peace and sovereignty subverted by him engineering wars on islands, and funding and arming both sides of the conflict."

The potsherd is a beautiful thing, a small slice of the night sky, sheer black, freckled with white spots of marble, like stars. It is marked with a number of intricate runes, carved with might have been some jagged tool, as they resemble claw marks.
Two Reeds nods to Thessaly, giving her a small, u-shaped smile despite the stare. "I'm the Accompass for our crew, by the way. I'm still a big chicken, though."

From up in the crow's nest, Prisma squawks.

"Are you telling me to hit the road?" Mallea asks. She looks over at Kukulcan, studying him for a little while. "If he is, he is of a subtler kind than those who allow their magatsuhi to radiate freely from their souls. To my spiritual senses, he looks like naught more than any other mortal. I don't think you were here for that part, but I was the first one to see the demon that Chiu has with her, even before Thessaly could see it. If Kukulcan is hiding something, he's hiding it good.

>When you are ready to go, say so. Cutlass and 1 person from the Beesting needs to roll 1d100


NORTHwest, not southwest

Cuauhtémoc is to the northwest



"I'm telling you that you are free to join my crew if it is what you wish to do. I don't want anyone conscripted into service. You've proven yourself to be capable, I'd be honored if you joined us. Also, it'd be nice to have someone with a bit more class around," she says as she looks around at the rest of her crew and rolls her eyes.

"Hmm," Cutlass mulls over what Mallea said about Kukulcan. "Have you ever had the 'privilege' to see the Crimson King in person? Did he strike you as a demon?"

"Set sail, Secret Assassins!" Cutlass calls out across the deck.


Roll #1 69 = 69


"Yea, you're right. If we had any peepers we'd be waking up to their leg being broken."
Cloud says in agreement.

"Would anypony be able to tell this is anything more than a fancy replacement? I don't think Hmm would be known unless we start telling ponies."

"That's quite a ways down. Is there any plan for when we get there, or are we just going on our own whims to search the place?"

>Ready to go


"True, and I do have a bet with him to find it before he does. So more reason for me to beat him," she says with a playful grin.



Roll #1 48 = 48


"But why would a servant of the King lead us to the very thing he covets? Perhaps he simply enjoys the competition," she thinks out loud.

She nods stiffly to Two Reeds. "Intriguing. What is that like? Being able to discern where to go just on a touch? Indulge me, if you will."
>ready whenever


Alder nods a bit, before looking up to Prima and sticking his tongue out. "You are still the better chicken, Prima! Do not worry!"


"Then I'm telling you that, since a certain stray cat has left my house uninhabitable, and that you lot had a role in all that, I'll be squatting here whether you like it or not," Mallea says. "I may take suggestions from a certain pony who has a captain's hat, but I don't follow orders."

She pauses after a few seconds of a deadpan stare. "Am I doing this pirate thing right?"

As for your second question, she snorts. "Rarely have I ever concerned myself with worldly affairs and leaders, but there was a time, before my exile, that he visited the coven of the Wild Huntresses. He seemed to me then as a demon, but… how would I put it? There was a certain reluctance and practicality to his magatsuhi. He gave me the distinct impression of a 'demon who was very nearly a mortal,' or a 'demon trying to retain his humanity'. He did not seem to be cultivating his demonic self, as other demons so love to do."

"Depends how good this spy is at identifying magic items," Chiu says.

"We'll explain it further once we get close enough for our exploration vessels to reach the island proper," Two Reeds says. "Right now, our focus is on actually getting there."

"From what we've seen so far, his Court is quite possibly the least orderly thing around," Bee Holder whispers. "Leading to my inkling that Kukulcan and the King aren't totally on the same page."

"I can't stand it," Two Reeds says, her u-shaped smile becoming a w-shaped one. "Just once I'd like to enjoy being lost somewhere, even if it is a stereotype about us ladies. Plus, everyone always nags me for directions to places, shoving things in my face. Wanna trade powers?"


Kukulcan give a mighty squawk, and the crest atop his head flicks up like a knife, causing his captain's hat to fly off. He catches it with an expert's hand, and Two Reeds and Sir Diamantaire return to their ship, as do the rest of his crew. The Thunder Serpent leaves port, and begins to sail northwest around the coast of Agyl. Your ships do as well. It takes about half an hour until the three ships get far enough from Agyl, leaving it a small hill in the horizon.

With the ships out over dark waters, Kukulcan gives a signal to Bee Holder, Cutlass and Miss Sunshine. Recalling his instructions, the captains activate the Chiccan magitech engines, and the mooks make sure to furl up the sails.


The three ships begin to sink in a controlled, even descent below the waters. From ports on the magitech engines, wispy shapes resembling hippogriffs float outward, flying around the ships in wide radii. Where they swim, a sturdy bubble of fresh air appears, leaving the ships unharmed by the waters surrounding them. The sea below you is an endless expanse, full of schools of fish, constellations of coral, and fanciful illusions cast by the light playing on the waters above.

Kukulcan starts a group call via conch with Bee Holder and Cutlass. "And there you have it! Simple, yes? But there is little telling what we'll encounter down here, so keep a keen watch out! Follow us if you can, but in case of danger, don't hesitate to break off and follow us using the potsherds once it's safe."


Cerulean decides to stay on the ship and watches the event occur. It wasn't often she got to see a ship willingly sink down into the water and NOT be a wreck for her to fight over. She looks out at everything going by, looking more and more excited to be back in the water.


"I can only hope you're right, begorrah. Otherwise we're going to have a lot more on our hooves than we're fit to handle."

She tilts her head. "I always assumed it was something that could be switched on or off at will. Curious."

She stiffens a little at that last offer, not being much for japes. "Not particularly," she simply answers.

As the ship starts going under, she makes her way to the railing and watches the sea around her. Despite herself, she can't help but marvel at the sight, taking in the views of the ocean from a new, unseen perspective. As the ship moves forward through the waters, she starts singing a shanty to herself quietly, contemplating the vistas.



"Right. We should keep it secret as long as possible then."

"Isn't it just a dive down to get there?"
Cloud asks, momentarily oblivious from the early wake-up to all the dangers of the depths.

Cloud finishes up his breakfast as they sail out from Agyl Island. When the signal to descend is given, Cloud looks across the horizon as it grows higher and higher until they sink below the waves, drifting down in their small bubble of safety.
"I know we did this with the Esper, but this is still a crazy sight."
He walks up to the railing, gazing outward into the sea as they carry on towards their sunken island, taking in the sights.



"The motivation is better," Cutlass says with a nod. "But, pirates DO follow the orders of the captain. Unless they'd prefer to swim with sharks."

"Not that that's been a remote problem here."

"So, Kukulcan doesn't feel like the Crimson King? Interesting. They have some similarities to them."


Cutlass looks around with reluctance at the open ocean around them. "This is far more unsettling than I thought it would be…" she mumbles.

"Don't get separated," Cutlass orders whoever is at the helm.

[1d10] if necessary

Roll #1 6 = 6


Alder lets out an excited chirp in response to the Accompass bird, and waves excitedly.

Alder looks around worriedly as they sink below the waters, and ruffles his wings before saying "I do not think this will ever not unnerve me. But, things seem simple enough. We will remain watchful though, yes."


"Swimming with Cerulean doesn't sound so bad," Mallea attempts to joke, cracking an awkward smirk. Her mouth's bend resembles a broken twig. "I brought my swim… suits… yes, I'll admit I lost track of where to go with that one."

"You've seen more of him than I," Mallea says. "What similarities do you see?"

In an attempt to calm their nerves, the rest of the crew starts to join in on Thessaly's shanty, but as the dark waters enclose around the ships' mizzenmasts, leaving them at the mercy and power of the great bubbles that enclose the ships, they cannot help but grit their teeth with apprehension. A pirate's place is above the waters after all; the sea's depths are naught but a grave in their reckoning.

The Thunder Serpent and the Beesting separate from the Hidden Dagger somewhat to provide a buffer space in case sudden evasive maneuvers are necessary. Bran nervously breaks away from Thessaly, seeing himself to her room (Etch installed a doggy door there too) so that he can retreat to his dirt box.

The ships sail onward for around four hours, taking a very even downward-sloping route so as not to upset the stability of the air-bubbles of the magitech engines. The crews trot about the ships, extra-vigilant in this new environ, checking the ratlines and masts and even the railings on the bow when everything else appears shipshape. Eventually, the tension of the quiet descent breaks when you come within sight of the tops of a great, sprawling kelp forest. It extends in many directions, and you cannot see its bottom. Schools of fish periodically swim between the great stalks, some of which are as thick and as tall as any sailor.

Since there doesn't seem to be any way around it, the Thunder Serpent progresses onwards, as does the Beesting.

>roll perception


As the ships sail for as long as they have been, Cerulean can't contain herself any longer as she goes about the proper ways of exiting the bubble to swim in the ocean with Roger. She leaves Tabasco behind, pretty sure he wouldn't enjoy being in the water again. She swims closely with the ships, like some guardian shark.

>Electroception is applicable


Roll #1 3 = 3


She frowns a little as even Bran loses his nerve. As they approach the kelp forest, she squints to see in the gloom, peering through the massive undulating fronds to keep her bearings.

Roll #1 4 = 4



"There's a…" Cutlass pauses then chuckles. "Well, I'd say there's an aura about him, but I suppose that idiom has been rendered obsolete. He just has this way about him. Like he's planning something. But, just like the Crimson King, there just seems to be a piece missing. I don't trust him. Keep an eye on him."

"Keep with them," Cutlass orders the helmsman. "Everyone be on guard."

[1d10] perception

Roll #1 6 = 6


[1d10] Perception
Alder keeps an eye out for anything in particular that he can- he can't help with taking care of the engine, so watching for objects of interest can't hurt!

Roll #1 3 = 3


As the time passes by, Cloud grows bit by bit more nervous. Not from a fear of being under the ocean, they have the Esper as a backup if anything fails, but from realizing with how long the journey is taking, his magic and abilities will be vastly limited down in the ocean.

He peers over the railings when they come upon a kelp forest, feeling a bit eased at the plant-life. Though as they continue on through it, he feels as if this isn't he best idea. Visibility is their only aid in the ocean, as they can't fight outside their air bubble in their condition. Still, he tries to keep his eye alert for anything through the reeds.
>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


Given the vastness of the air-bubbles, it requires a mighty leap for you to get free of the bubble's radius, but make it you do, you find the cool water refreshing and crisp. Roger stays close as kelp dance around you, very much threatening to obscure the path back to the ships.

"It seems like many people are keeping an eye on you, Red Dress," Mallea says. "So it's only fair that we do so as well. I shall brew a subtle familiar suitable for learning more about him."

The kelp forest is dark, catching the light from above and hoarding it for itself. With the dancing, swaying shadows they cast, and the great multitude of strands, the forest is hard to keep focus on, as it all swims about you. As the air-bubbles pass through the forest, the strands part ways, pushed aside by the powerful air.

But, as the others keep an eye for what things might be lurking in the forest, Cutlass and Cloud notice something… a minute, near-imperceptible slowing in the pacing of the ships. The two look around, and at first see nothing that would be the cause… but a bad feeling spurs them onward. They look over the railings of their respective ships, and it is there, attaching to the rudder, and to the hulls, are a number of kelp-strands. Unlike the others that got out of the way of the air bubbles, these strands have pierced the bubble, and are in the midst of creeping, winding their ways around your ships.

>Pause, continue RP


Naza looks to Puddin, who raises his glass. "Go ahead, I don't need anything else at the moment. If you need me to say it, then I order you to go find Miss Sunshine so she can explain the whole financial independence bit to you."
"Yessir," Naza grunts, scooping up his bag to go look belowdeck.

Schnitzel and Puddin then nod in response to your question. "It was Splendid's idea to use that prayer book as the cipher," Schnitzel says. "While I was the one who puzzled out all the solutions."
Puddin ignores the obvious lie. "That was one of the things that nearly split me off from the rest of the group. They wanted to hide it as much as possible, to be subtle and oblique in their hints. An experiment we ran after we got wise to the 'looping' gimmick proved that Auntzi could take away help that we laid out if she was aware of it at the moment that the loop rewound itself. I took the opposite approach. I tried to make as much damage as I could in the manor to make it a pain in the ass for her to reset everything… and while that served as a distraction, I set up things like the masks and the raincoats, and the stuff in the tool shed."



Cutlass nods with a smile. "It's as I said originally. I needed you both there for your unique perspectives and clever ideas. I know it was a difficult experience, but I'm glad I had you both there."


"Don't make a habit of bringing people if they're not cut out for it," Puddin' grouches, stuffing his hands into his coat. "What the hell is some guy whose thing is recruiting others gonna do in a situation like that?"
Schnitzel winces, gritting his teeth. "Don't blame the captain for that."



"If you're unable to rise to a challenge, then you have no business being a pirate," Cutlass responds to Puddin flatly. "And, if you have no business being a pirate, then you have no business on my crew."

Then, she puts a reassuring hoof on Schnitzel's shoulder. "And, you both have proven yourselves to be worthy of being in my crew."

>Whisper in your Ear to satisfy and inspire them both [1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


Puddin sneers, but casts his gaze off to the side. A bitter response bubbles up from behind his teeth, but with an exhausted snort, he suppresses it. "Gonna go spend some of this shit," he grumbles, walking off with the money you just gave him.
Schnitzel sighs. "Classic Puddin'. He'll just need a day or two, I think. And that's not a lie. It might be too early to say for sure, but I feel like getting Aura has helped me get my lying under control! But I'll probably go back to my old ways soon. Say-est-la-vee."

You notice that a small aura manifested around his mouth during that last couple of sentences, alternating colors between white and black.



Cutlass is about to express her disbelief before she notices his aura. Then, she sighs and puts a hoof to her forehead.

"Don't tell you me you wasted aura on giving yourself self-control…"


"Ooh, ooh! Is this the part where we get to narrate our abilities? They always do that in the comics!" Schnitzel says, beaming with enthusiasm. "Okay, it took me a while to brainstorm this, but my ability is called 'Fictional Truth!' Everyone I talk to starts second-guessing every decision they've ever made in their lives, becoming wracked with indecision and self-doubt!"

>Fictional Truth: Can cleave; Recharge 4; Makes the targeted enemy reroll any and all successes they got that turn, taking the second result regardless of whether it's higher or lower. On a critical hit, they must take the lower result between the original and reroll.



Cutlass laughs. "No wonder it doesn't make me feel any different! That's how I always feel."

Then, she pauses and blushes. "F-forget I said that…"

"A-anyway," she stammers, eager to change the subject. "Don't let Puddin get you down. That's an impressive power. Keep up the exercise, and I'm sure you'll be a powerful combatant."

She gives Schnitzel one last scratch behind the ears, then leaves him.

"Ossie?" she says in a normal volume, assuming that wherever she is, she can hear Cutlass. She looks around as if she anticipates her to materialize out of thing air.


Ossie appears by sticking her neck, and her neck alone, out of your shadow. Even when only revealing her neck, she towers over you. "Orders, captain?"



"I told you you don't have to guard me when we're just on the ship," Cutlass says, jumping slightly. "You're allowed to have a life too."

"Speaking of which, this is yours," she says, telekinetically holding up the money bag labeled for Ossie.


"Forgive me if I'm feeling over-vigilant after what happened," Ossie says, stepping out of your shadow. She takes the bag, tossing about a few coins with a satisfied smirk at their jingle. "But, I suppose it's not out of the question to let Droplet or Colobok have a turn at babysitting. If you don't mind, I have a few things I would like to stock up on myself. Or did you want to learn my new ability as well?"



"In a second," Cutlass says distractedly to Ossie's offer.

"First, there's several other things I want to address in there. First, I don't need a babysitter when we're on the ship - scratch that! I don't need a babysitter at all! I need a bodyguard! And, again, not when we're on the ship. I'm fine."

"But, on that note…" Cutlass sighs the sigh the kind of a sigh a supervisor sighs when their employee has disappointed them. "What happened? How did we get separated again?"


Ossie sighs, rubbing her head against one of the masts. "That was… entirely my fault. If you're asking me this question, it signals that you don't remember one of the earlier loops that we went through during those three days. There were numerous permutations of our party that we went through. Auntzi seemed to be mixing and matching from between the two groups with each loop, as if we were variables in an experiment.

"I was with you on the first loop, and I decided to conceal my presence as much as possible when I saw that we were missing several people from our number. I concluded that either Auntzi couldn't take me out of your shadow, or simply didn't choose to take me on that first separation. So, I waited, didn't respond when you tried to contact me during that first loop, and when Auntzi revealed herself, down in that final area… I went right for the throat, as she presented her false 'offer.' In a single hit, I took her head off… and then came the ten thousand others, drowning everyone and everything in that memory-stealing tar of spite. As for me… she killed me herself. Only, I woke sometime later, in that study on the first floor. Only this time, you were nowhere to be found, and I had to take refuge in Splendid's shadow."



"Hmm," Cutlass says once Ossie is done. "I don't think that's ENTIRELY your fault. It's not your fault her power was able to separate us in, what - different realities? At some point, we need to find a work-around for that…"

"On that note, because I can tell you're very excited, what IS your new power?" Cutlass says with an amused grin.


"I weighed your suggestions from during our voyage to Xallan, and while I don't want them to go to waste, in the situation that we were in, I decided to take another route. Schnitzel wouldn't shut up until we all gave ours names, so I decided to just go with something basic. Mine is called 'Shadow Guardian.' It's essentially a refinement of Shadow Piggyback Ride. If my host gets attacked, my body automatically reacts, through an electrical impulse sent into my nerves, and I lash out at whoever attacked my host."

>Shadow Guardian: Passive; While riding in someone's shadow via Shadow Piggyback Ride, if her host is attacked, Ossie can make a free basic attack against her host's attacker. Can activate up to twice per turn.



"What a great idea!" Cutlass approves. "And not just because it benefits me. I'm mostly impressed with the idea of an aura power which enables action without being slowed down by the concept of choice. Probably a self-deprecating power in most circumstances, but when in the safety of a shadow, there's a lot less danger involved."

"Plus, it has plenty of room for compounding powers. Any aura power you make at this point which activates upon hitting someone can also activate from those impulse attacks. Forget every suggestion I've had before. Abuse this to it's fullest potential."

"Though, on a more self-serving note, it WOULD go well with my own new aura power," Cutlass adds with a grin. You know, if you still wanted to do something which made it so that your own attacks also work like mine."

"I call it Soul Slicer," she says proudly. "Like I described before, my knives can now sever one's soul from their body. Eventually, they will be dead with none of those obnoxious avenues for revival or healing. Plus, it seems to have the unexpected side-effect of weakening them physically the more I separate their soul from their body."


"I'm not so sure that I even can," Ossie says. "At least, on my own. You see, I spoke with Make Believe… well, to be more accurate, he hounded all of us when he learned that we'd developed new abilities without his knowing. He seems obsessive to collect all the details. At first, I found him quite annoying, but his talk was useful, in the long run. Through all the questions that he presented, we learned that I have three Aura types to draw from: Amnis, Kamer and Dyn. So, while I don't have Maso to let me interact with a soul directly, Amnis and Kamer allow me to create seals, and interact directly with aether, that is, raw, untapped magic. This would hypothetically allow me to make, say, a seal that binds a soul that you've hit with Soul Slicer. Unfortunately, I can't make it a physical object, like a phylactery, because I lack Themel.

"A team-attack ability like that would be useful so long as we're together, but if we're ever separated, I would only have my other abilities to rely upon. Depending on how much time and effort I have to put into making this hypothetical soul-seal, it could result in me falling behind all the others in the event that you and I are apart… a potentially fatal outcome."



"Hmm, you're right. That would be an unnecessary combination. What you're doing already is impressive enough. I've already planned on eventually getting a power that will allow me to seal away souls for those who are still stubborn enough to survive being separated from their bodies."

"Anyway, go relax. Stop guarding me. I'll be safe. We won't get separated here."

Cutlass gives her a nod and begins to walk away. But, then she stops in her tracks and turns around for one last message. "By the way," she says, taking out Ossie's lockpick. "I'm keeping this," she says with a grin and a wink. "You know… pirates."

With that, she goes to find Miss Sunshine.


Ossie frowns when she sees you taking her lockpick set. "Well, I left it out in the open for a reason. Still, you'd better take care of that, or we'll see who's got the stronger aura."

With that, she departs.

You find Miss Sunshine with Naza and a few of the mooks in the galley. Naza and the mooks are in the middle of helping Miss Sunshine clean and organize the galley, picking out the last bits of trash tucked behind barrels and under tables, which more or less comprise the last of Plague's mark on this world. Miss Sunshine opens a cabinet, only to find that it's full of empty boxes, wrappings, and all other sorts of food containers that you only realize are empty once you pick them up. "AAAAGH!" she cries. "Why didn't he ever throw anything away!?"

She snorts and fumes like a wild beast for a moment, then spins about when you step near. "Hallo hallo, Captain. Payday, right?"



"Indeed," Cutlass says with a smile as she telekinetically gives Miss Sunshine her share.

She also gives Miss Sunshine the remainder for the mooks. "Also, find a way to distribute this to the rest of the crew. As Vice-Captain that sort of logistical thing is your duty, after all."


The mooks assisting Miss Sunshine shout with glee when they see their money before them. Without needing to look, you can tell that each of them is thinking about taking a little extra off the top if they can… but Miss Sunshine drives them back, holding up a number of receipts. "Don't make me, 'cause I will," she threatens them, then looks back at you. "You got it… wait, I've been promoted? Uh… I'm honored, I guess. Just wish this could have come as a result of my predecessor being promoted to fleet captain, and not an untimely end to his journey. But alright– OOH! Does this mean I get to bunk with you in the captain's quarters!? …Wait, did Plague bunk with you in the captain's quarters!? How risque…"

"I've heard no sssssuch gosssssssip about that," Monty says. "I'll have to add thissss to my lisssst of rumorsssss."


The mooks assisting Miss Sunshine shout with glee when they see their money before them. Without needing to look, you can tell that each of them is thinking about taking a little extra off the top if they can… but Miss Sunshine drives them back, holding up a number of receipts. "Don't make me, 'cause I will," she threatens them, then looks back at you. "You got it. So, is there going to be another co-Vice Captain, or have I been promoted to being the solo Vice Captain? I'd hoped to climb the ladder before, just wish this didn't have to come as a result of my coworker ending his journey prematurely. Hey, hey, as the solo Vice Captain, does this mean I get to bunk with you in the captain's quarters? Ah, but then people would talk, wouldn't they?"

"Oh I can sssssspread a lot of gosssssssip if you do, sssssso I would recommend it," Monty sssays.



"First of all, if you spread ANY rumors about me, Monty, I will change your name to Buttplug and find the dirtiest pirate on the crew and make sure he uses you as your new namesake."

"Second, that's disgusting," Cutlass says flatly in response to Miss Sunshine (though she also can't help but crack an amused smile). "I am a pure maiden. I also don't swing that way."

Cutlass blinks as she realizes this is a relatively large fact that she doesn't know about one of her coworkers - friends? Whatever they are. "Do you?" she asks awkwardly.


Monty is silent for a while. Then – "Alright, I was just trying to have some fun. If you're gonna be like that, call me when fun is actually welcome around here."

The eyes in the snake amulet go dim. Miss Sunshine shuts her eyes, and if her aura related to memory, she would probably be in the middle of blotting out that entire exchange. She opens them again, and holds up her money bag. "I have pay to hand out. I've also been struck with a sudden desire to pass the time spending all of mine."



Cutlass sighs. "I'm sorry," she says to both of them. "I thought that WAS an attempt at having fun. No one taught me how to have fun! I'm doing my best!" she says increasingly defensively as she 'apologizes'. "But seriously, don't spread rumors about me," she adds to Monty.

"Really, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," Cutlass says to Miss Sunshine with a bit more desperation than she wanted. She blushes as she hears how she sounds. "You know, I'm just barely getting over my touching problems, and then you suggested… THAT… It's a lot for me to cope with… Please don't take it personally."


Miss Sunshine shrugs. "Yeah, I understand. You went from sheltered to runaway, so I never take it to heart. Just – you know that voice in your head, the one that always makes you wonder if what you're about to do is a good idea? Don't listen to it too much when you act, but when you talk, you should give that voice some more voting power up in your head. Hell, give it veto power."



"Right…" Cutlass says awkwardly and much more quietly. "Sorry…"

"I-if you DO want to talk, you know how to find me…"

With that, she goes to the med bay to find Godot.


In the surgeon's room, you find Godot and Sparkler, chatting about nothing in particular as they check on a number of patients. Quite a number of mooks were injured in their attempts to simply endure, rather than put down the rioters outside Mallea's manor yesterday. Sparkler appears to have produced some kind of sweet-smelling incense from a concoction of shadows, and is using that to soothe the injured while she and Godot change their bandages, applying ointments and salves.



Cutlass watches for a moment from the doorway until she's regained her leadership confidence. Then, she walks into the room.

"Please don't tell me any of my crew died trying to spare that angry mob…" she says in an annoyed tone.


"Of course not," Sparkler says. "The Gates of Justice are trained to properly handle riot control, minimizing damage while also de-escalating. What do you think we are, coppers?"
"The worst of it was bruising, some scratches and hurt feelings," Godot says. "The former two are simple to handle. Sparkler can wring out the rest. You should try it some time. It's very nice for removing stress and lingering ruminations."


Last time, on PirateQuest…

The long-awaited expedition, spearheaded by Captain Kukulcan of the Thunder Serpent, finally began. Both the Hidden Dagger and the Beesting were outfitted with a Chiccan-class magitech engine, operating much like the similar engine aboard the Esper. By releasing wind elemental spirits from within, the engine was capable of enabling any compatible ship to dive underwater.

Two factors would make their journey there lengthy. For the sake of not overloading the Chiccan engines with too much depth pressure too quickly, they could not descend in a straight line to the bottom of the sea. And, for the sake of maintaining internal stability and balance, the ships could not angle themselves too far downward on their descent. Thus, they would need to spend most of the journey angled only slightly downward, which would allow the wind elementals to acclimate to a gradual increase of pressure and avoid tossing around each ship.

While that was all well and good, there were still issues to be resolved with Sir Kukulcan himself. He and his associates are servants of the Crimson King. He seems to be a mortal, as Mallea de Valle, with her heightened spiritual senses, could not sense any trace of magatsuhi about him. In addition, he knows the crew's pirate titles – since they were bestowed by the Crimson King via their bounty posters, that would imply he also knows about their role on Kaco Island and how they disrupted the King's plans. Despite all of that, he has shown no hostility toward them, and is in fact happy to work with them.

Whether Kukulcan is truly an ally or an enemy remains to be seen, but his voyage to the sunken island of Cuauhtémoc is their best clue right now for reaching the Heart of Gold before the Crimson King can find it for himself.


Given the vastness of the air-bubbles, it requires a mighty leap for you to get free of the bubble's radius, but make it you do, you find the cool water refreshing and crisp. Roger stays close as kelp dance around you, very much threatening to obscure the path back to the ships.


"It seems like many people are keeping an eye on you, Red Dress," Mallea says. "So it's only fair that we do so as well. I shall brew a subtle familiar suitable for learning more about him."


The kelp forest is dark, catching the light from above and hoarding it for itself. With the dancing, swaying shadows they cast, and the great multitude of strands, the forest is hard to keep focus on, as it all swims about you. As the air-bubbles pass through the forest, the strands part ways, pushed aside by the powerful air.

But, as the others keep an eye for what things might be lurking in the forest, Cutlass and Cloud notice something… a minute, near-imperceptible slowing in the pacing of the ships. The two look around, and at first see nothing that would be the cause… but a bad feeling spurs them onward. They look over the railings of their respective ships, and it is there, attaching to the rudder, and to the hulls, are a number of kelp-strands. Unlike the others that got out of the way of the air bubbles, these strands have pierced the bubble, and are in the midst of creeping, winding their ways around your ships.



Cloud looks around the kelp forest, peering through the strands as best he can on their slow descent. He double takes when he sees some have gotten through the bubble barrier around them. At first he's worried of them losing air, but then he notices they're starting to grasp ad entwine around the ship.
"Hey guys? I think we have a problem here!"
He alerts to the crew, eye glowing as he tries to get the kelp under control himself before it gets worse.
>Earthen Grasp [Animating Kelp on the Beesting] [Crits 9+] [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


She spins around as Cloud points out the kelp, frowning. Remembering the Sea-Servant's Ring she acquired, she slips it on and focuses on the grasping kelp.

"What is the meaning of this? Release us, fell creatures," she demands sternly.
[1d10+1] Intimidate, spending 1 TBP

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Cerulean swims around with Roger among the kelp, looking like she's right at home with places to hide and ambush from. She looks over back to the ship, thinking she could see Cloud saying something.


Roll #1 4 = 4


She shrugs, but still seems to notice the kelp going after the ship. She swims back towards the ship and tries to use her jaws like a big pair of shears to cut it.

>Great weapon attack


Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Alder warbles uneasily, and looks to the others. "Maybe we should ready the Esper and go out? Just in case."


>Readying! (Automatic)


The spell fails, but you can sense something off in the way it does. For magic-users, failing a spell you could have succeeded at creates a small sense of dread and confusion, akin to the feeling of losing your grip on a glass of water you thought you were holding securely. This feels like you couldn't have succeeded at the spell – a feeling akin to trying to pick up an entire building. But as far as you can tell, these are genuine kelp strands, and as such, you should be able to animate them…

As you attempt to commune with the "kelp," there is at first, only silence. And then, a cold, slimy sensation is born, beginning at the base of your horn, spreading its stark chill throughout your skull, dripping into the crevices of your mind, each wrinkle of your brain, spilling its frigid ichor until it starts to leak down your spine…

Food should not talk back.

Thessaly's body shivers, her hooves and tail spasming as Cerulean's jaws bite down on one of the strands hooked onto the rudder of the Beesting. The cold slimy feeling invading Thessaly's mind dilutes, releasing her from its paralyzing grasp. Down in the water, Cerulean sees dark red, near-black blood spilling out of both ends of the "kelp" strands that she ripped clean in two with her bite. Four more strands remain still hooked onto the Beesting's hull.

With a nod, Splendid helps Alder untie the Esper from where it waits near the lifeboats, on the starboard bow of the ship. Just as they get it rigged up to be lowered into the water, both of the ships shudder suddenly, shaking and creaking as their descent is slowed to a halt… but then, it begins anew, only, in the opposite direction. The two ships are now sinking to the unseen depths below, pulled down by the strange "kelp" that were not pushed aside by the air bubbles protecting your vessels. Instinctively, the crews run for the cannons, but when they reach them, they find that there's no way to aim the guns that far down. A muted panic starts to fill the air, and shouts start to overlap.

Bee Holder fires her pistol into the air a few times to get attention. "Five of you get to the Esper! Nobody leave the ship but her pilots! The rest of you, shoot! Shoot!"

The mooks on deck run to the portside railing to get clear of the Esper, and aim down at the "kelp" strands, firing with whatever guns happen to be closest at hoof.


Roll #1 5, 10, 3, 2, 3 + 1 = 24


She feels a terrible chill, stumbling backwards with an involuntary gasp at the revelation. "Nathair…"

Disturbed, she hurries to the Esper with the others, pausing briefly to fire an orb of deep purple energy at a tendril.
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] Magic Bolt

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10


Alder warks a little bit as they head for the Esper. He worked on getting it ready, so it shouldn't take them long to get it into the water!
[1d10+2] (2 TBP) Let's get moving!

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Cloud looks down into the water, shaking his head at how his spell was seemingly rejected on this kelp. He dismisses it as the others get the Esper ready, eye glowing as he goes to join them while trying to shrink the kelp to hopefully weaken it's grasp.
>Wax/Wane [Shrink Kelp] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


"C-Come on! Just stay calm, we can handle it!" he says, seeing the crew panic a little. He puts a little more force into it than he realizes.
[1d10+1] Rallying Cry

Alder steadies the unicorn, and frowns a little bit. "Miss? Are you okay?"

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Seeing the kelp somehow bleed, Cerulean gets more of a feeling of urgency. She goes to another one of the invading kelp, but follows it down towards the depths to see where it is coming from.


She gratefully accepts the help. There is a rare trace of genuine fear on her face. She gives a little nod, taking a deep breath to calm herself.


You only manage to shrink one of the tendrils, causing the descent to slow by a little, but not by a significant amount.

Thessaly, Alder, Cloud, Kling-Klang and Cane Shuga hop into the Esper as it's lowered to the bottom of the Beesting's air bubble. The small vessel shudders and thrashes as it struggles to exit the larger air bubble and produce its own, but Alder's expert handling brings it within sight of the four remaining tendrils. Gunfire shoots down from the other side of the ship, and all but one of the shots misses. Thessaly, now within range, directly blasts the wounded strand, leaving only three more that cling to the ship.

Cane Shuga readies a repeater pistol, dumping its rounds into one of the other tendrils.

[1d10+2] Marksman Shot

Kling-Klang looks at his collection of weapons ill-suited for water combat, trying to improvise something that might work…


You swim past the others, tracing the path of one of the psuedo-kelp down to its bottom. The water gets steadily warmer, and much more bubbly,more sulfuric, the deeper you go. Even though the thick kelp forest above should obscure all the incoming light, there seems to be a deep glow coming from further in…

And not a moment too soon, you stop yourself just short of running into a massive dark mass below you. As the strange luminescence illuminates it, you behold a deep green blob, a swarming tangle of kelp-like tentacles. It looks like an upside-down jellyfish, with a great maw full of razor teeth dominating its upper half, while its lower half is fat and gluttonous. It is the progenitor of these fake kelp strands, seeming to be some kind of distant relative of a venus fly trap.

It makes no actions against you for now. Perhaps it is not aware of your proximity.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3


She narrows her eyes, taking in the sight of the tendrils. She whispers under her breath as she tries to brand one of the tendrils with a mandala.
[1d10+2] Exequy

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


Closer and not needing to rush to the ship, Cloud focuses on the remaining tentacles, attempting to shrink the rest to free their ship.
>Wax/Wane [Shrink Kelp] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5



"Damnit, cut that kelp loose," Cutlass orders the crew, assuming that the problem is mostly mechanical at this point. It's conceivable that it just got tangled when going by.

[1d10] ranged attack to cut kelp

Roll #1 9 = 9


>Remember, everyone gets a +1 this round! A little late though, sorry ._.

Alder, not wanting to leave the controls for too long, tries taking a shot at one of the tendrils with his pistol (If it's possible, that is!)
[1d10+2] Ice Bullet

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


Cerulean doesn't know what this thing is, but she's pretty sure whatever it is isn't friendly. Especially since its going after the ships like it is. Cerulean takes the opportunity to take advantage of its lack of noticing her and immediately swims at it to give it a tail slam at its teeth.

>Slam, crit 8+, DC -1, take better result


Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12


Thessaly and Cloud blast one of the tendrils with their combined Aura and Magic, causing it to wither and shrink, cramping up as it retracts from the Beesting. Weakened though it is, it tries to swipe at the Esper in retaliation for your attacks.

[1d10] auto critfail

You shoot one of the two remaining tendrils attached to the Beesting. As the ice bullet meets its target, it erupts into frost, and the impact causes the brittle ice to snap, filling the water with grotesque black blood.

"You need to get yourself a goddamn weapon already!" Cane Shuga snaps at Kling-Klang.
"Fuck off, I'm too busy doing my actual job on the ship to bother poring over guns all day like you do!" Kling-Klang barks back, getting up in Cane Shuga's face.
As they argue, Cane Shuga points over Kling-Klang's shoulder at one of the tendrils attached to the Hidden Dagger.

[2d10+1] dual attack

You cut one of the kelp-strands free with your knife, and you see dark red blood bursting from the wound into the surrounding waters – it's not kelp, whatever it might be. You're hailed on the conch by Bee Holder, but she's so loud as she screams from her deck that you can hear her without it: "CUT THE ENGINE! LET IT PULL YOU OR IT'LL RIP YOUR SHIP IN HALF!"

Rallied by Droplet, the mooks of your ship run to the railing, guns at the ready.


Both ships shudder again as Cerulean slams her tail down onto the blob-shaped beast that produced these fake strands and slid them into the kelp forest. Grisly teeth, as big as your eyes, fly into the water in a spray of black blood as she slams down upon it, but its grip still holds fast. Water propels from apeture-like pores on its underside, launching it upward as it tries to bite down on Cerulean.


Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 6, 3 + 1 = 10 / Roll #3 8, 5, 3, 10, 1 + 1 = 28 / Roll #4 7, 4 + 3 = 14



Cutlass squints when she sees the kelp bleed. Upon being called by Bee Holder, she quickly calls out, "Cut the engines!" she calls out. "Fast!"

Meanwhile, she keeps her on on this kelp. Her eyes glow silver.

>Soul Sight on kelp


Cloud exclaims as the kelp strand Alder focuses begins to ooze black.
"This thing is alive?!"
He doesn't have time to dwell on this thought, turning his focus to the last tendril on the Beesting and attempting to shrink it to free them.
>Wax/Wane [Shrink Kelp] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


As the tentacle tries to grab them, she meets it head on with a lashing whip of her own, an almost black tendril bursting from her horn and trying to coil around it to sap the life from it.
[1d10+2] Lifestream

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"I-It is?" the griffon says, looking at it worriedly.
[1d10] Perception to try and get a better look at whatever it is!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Not one to be outdone, Cerulean launches herself downward at it and tries to bite it as well!

>Great weapon attack


Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


The creature is a simple enough beast. All it wants to do is eat, and eat and eat. In its dream-vision, between graphic scenes of it chomping down on whatever its camouflaged strands can draw into its mouth, you see it getting larger than other members of its species – and that alone is perhaps the more important information: It is not the only one of its kind down here.

Two more of the kelp strands are cut free from your ship as Cane Shuga and your crew fire upon the tentacles, leaving only two clinging to your ship, and one clinging to the Beesting.

While the mooks stop to reload, Colobok readies a highly modified rifle he didn't have before:


As you try to ready more attacks, the tendril that swung at the Esper collides with the tiny ship, breaking its air bubble and knocking the vessel spinning through the waters. It is largely unharmed, but the bubble flickers and phases in and out after being struck, and water invades your lungs. After a few seconds of nearly drowning where you sit and being drenched with warm, sulfuric water, the air-bubble reforms, pushing out the sea's water… but those aboard the Esper look about, and find no Cloud with them.

>Everyone aboard the Esper lost 1 wound, Cloud lost 2

Cloud has been knocked free of the ship, dazed and weary from the impact. The tendril reaches out toward him to entangle around his body.


Kling-Klang hisses and leaps out into the ocean to try and grab him first.


Cane Shuga shoots at the remaining tentacle binding the Beesting.


After Alder gets his bearings from the impact, he looks down and sees Cerulean embroiled in bloody combat with the kelp tangler. She chomps down on it just as she's drawn into its great, bloody maw, and the two monsters are locked in an embrace of all-devouring bloodlust.

>Cerulean loses 6 Hits and 1 Wound

As Alder gets a good look at the creature, he identifies a deep gash from what looks to have been an earlier strike by Cerulean. If he can just land a good shot there…

>Alder gains +2 to his crit range on the next attack against the kelp creature

The kelp tangler continues chomping down on Cerulean as its blood and hers darkens the waters.


Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #2 10 = 10 / Roll #3 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #4 1, 4 + 1 = 6 / Roll #5 6, 6 + 3 = 15


>Cloud is helpless from the impact


Alder lets out a startled squawk as his studying is cut short by the impact, and glares at the 'Kelp'. He decides to try and use Aura, reaching out and lashing at it!
Spectral Claws [1d10+2] (Healing Cerulean, +2 TBP)

He'll quickly turn to try and help Cloud Shear back to his senses with a quick, potent salve. "T-This may sting a little, apologies."
[1d10+2] Natural Remedy (+1 TBP)

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9



"Hmm…" Cutlass contemplates for a moment. If all of this 'kelp' is from a single creature, then that means this will hurt ALL of it!

>Turning on Soul Slicer

>Dance of Blades on the remaining Kelp strip

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

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #3 6 + 1 = 7 / Roll #4 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #5 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #6 9 + 1 = 10




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

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #3 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #4 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #5 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #6 8 + 1 = 9


She reels and leans on the deck, nauseous after the momentous collision. She coughs and retches, spewing up some seawater overboard. After taking a moment to clear her head and recover from it, she hisses sharply as she sees Cloud in danger. Muttering in Gaeilge, she throws one hoof out, conjuring out a mass of black tentacles to meet the kelp tangler head on, trying to restrain the appendage trying to grab Cloud.
[1d10+3] Shackles, using another TBP

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


Cerulean writhes her head around, both in pain and trying to tear a piece of this beast off. But the teeth are taking priority as she slams her tail around to knock more of its teeth out.



Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10


Cloud's eye widens as the tentacle slams into the Esper. The moment after that is a blur, water floods his face, everything spins, and he finds it hard to breathe. When reality begins to return to him, he sees himself looking at the Esper from a distance, causing him to panic, and the approach tendril adds onto that as well. He flails his hooves in the water to try and right himself to swim back to the ship.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3


Alder's spectral claws emit waves of talon-shaped energy from his own, scoring deep gouges on the kelp tangler's existing injuries. Then, from the point of impact, ice blue energy spreads to Cerulean, restoring some of her injuries.
>Cerulean took 8 damage from the attack, healed for 12, healing takes priority, so she doesn't go helpless and ends with a net of +4 hits

What follows is a blur of chaos and madness. Perhaps the sulfur in the seawater you inhaled is messing with your minds. But Colobok's rifle shot narrowly misses Cane Shuga, causing him to fall back onto Thessaly. As they try to get up, the shrunken tendril wraps around Cloud and slams him down onto the Esper's deck, nearly knocking him unconscious. Then, as Thessaly produces a slew of tentacles to defend them, the kelp tangler's tendrils start to shudder and quake themselves. Thessaly looks up, and with her magesight, sees a spectral light start to emit from the kelp tentacles that cling to the hulls of the ships. It's a ghostly blue afterimage of the kelp tangler, and it starts to emit from the rest of the tangler's body too. Whatever Cutlass has done, it seems to have disrupted its ability to attack.

Cerulean sees it as well thanks to her own magesight (granted from her demonic essence), and takes advantage of this lull to pulverize the kelp tangler's vulnerable body into a bruised, bloody mass of darkened green flesh.

In the end, as Alder starts to tend to Cloud's injuries, all the remaining tentacles slacken, and the kelp tangler's corpse drifts away into the sulfuric light coming from deeper below.



Cutlass shakes her head, a little woozy from how much she just exerted herself.

"Well done, everyone," she announces to her crew.

She then proceeds to call the Beestings via conch. "Is everyone okay over there?"


"Too early to say," Bee Holder responds grimly. "Lost sight of the Esper a few moments ago. Heard it taking some bad hits down there. You see where the Thunder Serpent has gotten off to?"


She breathes a sigh of relief as the tangler begins to sink, watching it with slight vindictive pleasure. "Good riddance to bad rubbish," she comments to herself. She peers out into the gloom of the kelp forest, watching for any other possible threats.
[1d10] Big look?

Roll #1 3 = 3


Cerulean questions what she saw after beating it up, but shrugs it off as she decides to tear off some of the flesh for a quick snack. In a fit of curiosity, she decides to swim around the area a bit, wondering if this beast might've been a 'messy eater' as it were.

>Looking around for possible wreckage


Roll #1 2 = 2


All you get as you glance out at the dense kelp forest around you is a vague sense of dread, and of slimy, slimy gazes settling not upon you, but upon your mind.

With how thick the kelp forest is, it's hard to see your immediate surroundings, let alone any treasure it might have dropped. You realize from experience that the light from below is probably caused by underwater vents. If you're willing to risk being burned, you might be able to find something down there.


Knowing she can take a little bit of heat, Cerulean dives down deeper to investigate the light, moreso now that the beast isn't around.


Alder lets out a soft sigh, and turns to the others. "I-Is anyone else hurt severely? I think I should be able to tend to any injuries, while we have the time."



Cutlass looks around with dismay at realizing she's ALREADY lost track of the Thunder Serpent. "Fuck," is her response to the question.

"Who was on the Esper?"



Roll #1 4 = 4


She grimaces a little as she doesn't see anything, and retreats from the railing, waiting for the Esper to return to the ship.


Cloud coughs and gags as the tendril slams him back into the Esper, back in a breathable terrain but without any air in his lungs. He lies there inert as his vision blurs and spins, trying to get some semblance of awareness back.

He looks up at Alder as he applies some salve to his injuries, starting to come to a bit.
"Th-Thanks bud, you're really saving my tail a lot lately."


"Cloud, Thessaly, Alder, Cane Shuga and Kling-Klang," Bee Holder answers. "I'm not moving on until they come back or we trawl the waters for their bodies."

You swim further down, and in the rocky floor below you, there are a number of great, deep gouges in the earth, which look mostly to have been formed by tectonic shifts, judging by their gouge-like shapes and the rocky overhangs covering some. Pillars of sulfuric yellow jut out from the gouges, pouring a vile fume into the waters. Some of them glow with a brilliant light, but from experience, you know that even getting near them could be dangerous. You scan about for anything of value, finding mostly only chunks of ships, long since picked clean of anything worthwhile. In the end, you do find one intact crate. It's fairly heavy, so it may be worth prying open later.

Cane Shuga and Kling-Klang seem to have been affected more by the unexpected dip than the battle. In fact, the Esper seems to be the worst off out of you all. It won't be taking on water, but it has been battered and its mast cracked, and some of the railing has been broken off. You hear very tiny voices sniffling with pain – it seems that the elemental sprites inside the engine are a bit worse for the wear themselves. It'll need some intensive repairs before it's shipshape again.
Kling-Klang looks over the railing. "Once Cerulean's back, take us up Alder. I wanna get the hell out of these waters as fast as we can."


Cerulean takes a moment to admire the sight, as it isn't often she comes down this deep, and even longer since being in her home turf in general. She grins at the sight of the crate and grabs it before swimming back upwards where she last saw the ship.


Cane Shuga and Kling-Klang hail you with relief when they see you back safe and sound – and with some goods to boot. "Get back to the Beesting!" Cane Shuga orders. "We're out of here, we're not dealing with another one of these fuckers!"


Cloud sits up, trying to not break or worsen any of the damage on the boat as he leans on part of it for support.
"We'll need to be careful with this ship, it doesn't look like it can take much."
He says, looking to the engine.
"I don't like hearing those sprites in pain either."

Cloud thinks a moment, lifting up his eyepatch.
"Hey Hmm, is there anything we can do for these little elemental sprites to help them a bit when we get back?"


She frowns as she sees the state of the Esper, making a mental note to lend a hand with the repairs when she can. "Just our luck to have the boat damaged in the middle of an expedition," she gripes to no one in particular. "Why would anything good ever happen…"


"Rawk!" Hmm replies. She seems to have recovered quite well from since the last time that you spoke. "Only those who specialize in elemancy are aware of this, but when treating a distressed elemental, it helps to expose them to their element's complement. For water elementals, provide them with a little bit of soil to relax in. For wind elementals, let them hang out around some small candles."



"What the fuck are they doing?" Cutlass groans.

As she waits for an answer, she takes out her potsherd. She doubts anything will happen, but it's good to be cautious in the few ways she can with this thing.

>Soul Sight on potsherd (mostly to ensure that it is indeed non-sentient)


"Please, no need to thank me. You are like family, Cloud. I would not lose you so easily."

>Heal/Natural Remedy on Cane, Kling, anyone else that's injured!

"Yes, I will return us as soon as I can. This is all rather unnerving."



What… what was that?


Cerulean nods and swims towards more up the bubble so she lands on the deck of the ship instead of trying to make another jump.
"I'm more surprised it was comfortable down there. That thing was on some pretty warm vents and stuff down there," she says as she drops off the crate.


"Not sure if we have any dirt on board, but I know we have some candles. Guess I'll need to find a decent substitute in the meantime."
Cloud mutters in thought.
"Thanks Hmm."

"A good doctor deserves some praise now and then."



Cutlass stares at the [madeupword] with a concerned and unsettled expression on her face. She shakes her head and puts it back in her dress.

Cutlass goes looking for Mallea.


Alder pilots the Esper back to the Beesting, and the mooks send down some hooked ropes to help haul up the battered vessel onto the deck. Once she's back in place, Etch comes out to inspect the Esper's damage, while Bent Scales comes out with some towels for you to dry yourselves with.

"Done?" Bee Holder asks. She gestures to Cutlass. "Get yourselves cleaned up, and we'll be off. Any damage to the ships?"
"Superficial at most," Cane Shuga answers. "You and Cutlass killed the engines in time. What has been done doesn't appear to be much worse than usual wear and tear. Shouldn't be hard to patch up."
"My concern is whether we'll get enough time and safety to patch up…" Bee Holder grumbles. "We'll want double the lookouts down here."

>When you're ready to move on, Cutlass and 1 person from the Beesting roll 1d100.

You find that Mallea is in the surgeon's room with Sparkler. The two are in the midst of cleaning up a number of vials, ampules, jars and syringes that fell during the sudden descent into the depths. Chemicals and powders are spilled everywhere, and the two are dressed in white and wearing masks, gloves and head coverings. Both raise their hooves as you enter, signaling for you to stay back.
"What is it, Captain?" Sparkler asks. "Injured?"


"The ship's alright, but the Esper's a bit of a dog's breakfast," she comments as she dries herself off. "If there's elementals involved in it, I may be able to help fix it."

Roll #1 100 = 100



"No," Cutlass answers Sparkler. "Well, yes - a little. But, that's not why I'm here."

"Mallea," Cutlass says as she pulls out the [broken piece of ceramic material, especially one found on an archaeological site]. "What do you make of this? I'm getting a… strange vibe from it. Kukulcan gave these to us so that I could use it on our acompasses."


Cerulean bring the crate to her room for the epic lootbox opening later when things are safer. She heads back up on deck, stretches out a bit, and takes it easy for a moment on deck. After that scuffle, she feels like just watching on the deck for right now.


Cloud steps off the Esper, taking a towel thankfully to dry himself off.
"Didn't think we'd run into a sea monster that quickly. The Esper's a little banged up, not sure if we can use it again for a bit. Also, do we have any dirt?"
Cloud asks, going to fetch some candles and then dirt if there is any for the sprites.


Thess spends a portion of the next leg of the trip fetching some dirt from Bran's pen, offering it to the elementals that power the Esper.


Alder lets out a soft huff, but smiles a little bit regardless and offers a short bow.

"Lookouts sounds good, yes. Monstrous see plants are not something I want another encounter with if we can help it." he says, shaking himself out "I-I seem to have piloted the Esper well- maybe I should practice it more in the future."


Mallea gingerly takes the potsherd in her grasp, slowly turning it over and examining it from several angles, holding it up numerous ways against the light. She dabs at one of the sharper corners with a swab of cotton and rubbing alcohol, then presses it experimentally against the outside of her hoof. No matter whether she presses light or hard, or even scratches at her skin with it, it does not cut her in the slightest, not even on the most upper levels of skin.

"It is like a piece of the night's tapestry," Mallea concludes. "It cannot hurt me, and though I am reluctant to experiment, I somehow doubt that I could break it myself, either. But I sense no spiritual energies from it – neither aether nor magatsuhi."

"As best as you could under those circumstances, anyway," Bee Holder says. "Hmm… A small vessel like that, especially one that can fly, is ill-suited for armor plating. It'll have to be made into a dodgier boat, if anything."

She wanders back to the helm, mumbling ideas to herself.

Over on the deck of the Hidden Dagger, you see Make Believe's tiny self waving to you with a smile.

When Etch hears that you want to tend to the sprites contained in the engine, he shows you the way to his workshop, deep below the Beesting's deck. It is a spacious garage of sorts, with tools of numerous sizes and calibers on the walls, several cabinets full of scrap and components, and a large, adjustable workbench and staging area where small vessels such as the Esper can be hung.

He removes the engine, and opens it up. Inside, you see the crystal where the sprites usually sleep when they're not in use. He urges them out, and after some encouraging, they come out. The water sprites immediately gravitate toward the dirt, and the wind sprites seem to enjoy the candles that you set up.


Cerulean excitedly waves back to him, obviously much bigger and still having a bit of her 'snack' still on her face a bit.


Getting any closer to developing your new power? Make Believe asks. Don't worry, I haven't spilled so much as a single bean.



Cutlass blinks slowly. "Let's pretend for a moment that I don't know… anything about magic. Could someone use this for some sort of communication or something?"

"And before anyone says it, yes, yes. Haha I know, it's so funny," she says sarcastically and defensively. "The unicorn doesn't know anything about magic."

For now, Cutlass gives the order for the Hidden Dagger to follow the Beesting's ship. But, she doesn't show Sir Pent the potterybarn for now.




Roll #1 68 = 68


She watches the sprites flock to her offerings pensively for a while before relegating herself to the top deck with the rest of the crew. To pass the time, she pulls out her new pipe and starts having a smoke, watching the scenery with more apprehension than before.


Cloud smiles as the sprites move to their counterpart elements, looking to enjoy the little set-up area. After a few moments, he heads up to the deck to keep a watch on their travels, and rest after the pummeling from the kelp.


Well, not with that thing, she thinks back to him, not wanting to just suddenly blurt it out herself.


"Hmm… we may need to keep that idea in mind, yes." he says, frowning a little bit. "What should we do now? Just remain watchful?"


Bee Holder nods. "I'll add you to the watch rotation. A few hours each shift. Make sure you get some sleep between yours. It's going to be impossible to see the sunlight eventually, with how deep we're going."

"In theory, any object could be used as an object of sympathy for variable scrying–" Mallea catches herself partway through the use of esoteric terminology. "Er… if someone had the rest of the pot that this potsherd came from, they could, given enough magical power, use that pot to focus their magic, allowing them to spy on us. But scrying is an extremely difficult art even under ideal conditions. It's why demons that offer scrying services stay in such good business. For this potsherd to be useful for scrying, the owner of the pot would need an extremely powerful emotional connection to it… and basically nobody gets that worked up over pots."

She clears her throat. "In short, the answer is 'effectively, no,' Captain."

Hey, maybe you could write some songs about our travels! You could write the next great Ribcage epic, you know. Cerulean's Odyssey! That'd make for something you could sing.

The wanderings through the kelp forest are slow-going, and fraught with caution. Sentries take turns through the night, and the ships wander near the ever-glowing sea floor as much as possible during nighttime in order to conserve on torches and lantern oil.

In total, about a full day passes like this.

Your dreams are strange and restless, but unlike before, you remember none of them. The image of the Vault you saw at the end of last night's dream clings at the edges of your memory, occasionally fading into the mind's eye when you catches yourself daydreaming. Bee Holder rations out the ship's food suppl–

The rations are thin and tasteless, for they know not how long they must endure this wait.

Every now and again, you find yourself mildly zoning out, minds fixated on one or two sentences that just don't seem to go away.

It is the afternoon of the second day of your voyage, and at long last, after many vigilant hours, a close call or two, and several false alarms when it seemed that another kelp tangler had grabbed you, your ships finally get free of the kelp forest. Any attempts made to call Kukulcan have gotten no response, and the Thunder Serpent has never come back into view. Gullveig still hasn't reached out to Thessaly, and Thessaly has not seen beak nor feather of her since last they spoke.

As the last of the kelp forest passes by you, one of the lookouts in the Beesting whoops. "Hoy! Wrecked ship ahead!"

Indeed, in the distance, you can see through your spyglasses the ruins of a wrecked ship. It lays in front of a great cliff face. Its apex rests at the boundary of light and shadow, and near its base, you see an immense opening. Light comes from within, provided by glowing crystalline veins. According to Prisma, this seems to be the proper direction to keep on going.


Cloud grows a little restless over the day, not thinking this kelp forest would be so large. He tries to occupy himself with his work out books, but they only last for short bursts before his mind settles back to the long dive.

He steps up on deck when the lookout calls out. He looks to the wrecked ship and the glowing light, curious to how long this ship has been down here.
"What do you think is making that light?"



Cutlass calls Bee Holder. "Are we taking some Espers into that ship, then?"


Her pensive mood is shattered abruptly by the calls of a nearby shipwreck. Looking up with curiosity, she snaps the Animarum shut and walks over to get a closer look. "Hm… Perhaps I could try this spell from the book…" She finds a seat, gets comfortable, then takes a few slow, deep breaths, attempting to depart her body for a time, attempting to place herself near the shipwreck in order to investigate.
>Astral Projection: spell; You project your spirit, leaving your physical body behind as you send yourself to a distant location. While projecting, your body is unconscious and immobile, and you are unaware of anything that happens to it unless you are in its vicinity. Your spirit is intangible and invisible, but can still be detected by magic or other spirits, and it cannot manipulate or pass through physical objects. Wherever your spirit travels, you can hear and see everything around you in the physical world. Returning to your physical body is automatic.

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3



Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


Well…maybe, yeah. Though I'm not all that good with my writing. You should see my library card.

At hearing about a shipwreck, Cerulean perks up and looks back to Make Believe.
Welp, would like to keep talking, but got a big thing to go check out. She waves to him before taking a short running leap with Roger back into the ocean to check out the ship.


"Thank you, Captain!" the griffon chirps, offering a little bow.

Alder isn't particularly keen on the time they spend underwater- to someone as used to the open sky, the water and claustrophobic setting of the boat is more than a little unnerving. He does his best to stay aware, though.

When he finally hears of the wrecked ship, he rouses himself from his little nap with a startled chirp before zipping to a window to take a look out!


[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Unless you have a few more in your pocket, this is the only one that we have," Bee Holder says. "But, I spoke with Etch. It's possible for him to uninstall and reinstall the engine onto other vessels, or even to convert it into a hoof-held machine. We should generally try to keep it onboard the boat for mobility purposes, though. Do you want to take it for a spin?"

Your meditations are interrupted by Bran, not realizing what you're doing, crawling into your lap and burrowing around in the fold of your dress to get comfortable. The insatiable little beast, more persistent than any demon, will have to be appeased through the most arcane of rituals first.

>by rule of dubs you can just have the success

Chiu scopes out the seascape ahead through her spyglass, as does Splendid. The sharp-eyed Alder doesn't quite need one here to see the glint of valuables in the wreckage. It looks like it hasn't been picked over all that much yet. Cerulean swims out to the ship's exterior with Roger. Giving it a once-around, it looks like there's nobody around outside. The inside remains to be seen, however. Given how little the ship has been disturbed, it's likely that there's some good stuff inside.

>to expedite things, give a perception roll before next session



In true shark fashion, Cerulean quietly swims/stalks around the ship carefully before checking out the inside. While treasures would be nice, she still keeps her senses open for living movement.

>Electroception is applicable


Roll #1 5 = 5

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