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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O9XxaU0JCM

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.

 No.732422

>>732421
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.

 No.732423

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

>>732422
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.

 No.732424

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu

>>732422
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.

 No.732425

>>732422
>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.

 No.732426

>>732422
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."

 No.732427

>>732423
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.

>>732424
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.

>>732425
Your pets are as groggy as you are, and are simply content to ride on your back up to the deck.

>>732426
"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.

>>732423
>>732424
>>732425
>>732426
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."

 No.732428

>>732427
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?"

 No.732429

>>732422
>>732427

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.

 No.732430

>>732427
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?"

 No.732431

>>732427
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.

>>732427
"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.

 No.732432

>>732427
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.

 No.732433

>>732428
"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


>>732430
>>732432
>>732431
"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."

>>732431
"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.

>>732429
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."

 No.732434

>>732424
>>732425
>>732429
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

 No.732435

>>732433
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."

>>732433
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

 No.732436

>>732433
>>732434
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!"

 No.732437

>>732433
>>732434
"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?"

>>732434
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?"

 No.732438

>>732433

"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

 No.732439

>>732433
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."

 No.732440

>>732433
>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.

 No.732441

>>732435
"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."

>>732436
Roger and Tabasco both make sure to sniff and study the action figure Cerulean, so that they don't confuse her with you.

>>732437
"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.

>>732437
"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…?"

>>732438
"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.

>>732439
>>732436
"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?"

>>732428
>>732430
>>732432
>>732431
>>732439
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.

 No.732442

>>732441
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?"

>>732441
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?"

>>732441
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?"

 No.732443

>>732441
"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."

 No.732444

>>732441
"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."

 No.732445

>>732441
"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

 No.732446

>>732441

"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.

 No.732447

>>732442
Bent Scales winks.
"She's just joshing us. The Wetnurse would kill them if they tried it," Chiu tries to convince herself.

>>732442
"Yeah, that's for the best. Plus, keeping Hmm a secret would make her a much more effective ally," Chiu says.

>>732442
"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."

>>732445
"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.

>>732443
>>732445
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."

>>732444
>>732445
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.

>>732446
"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

 No.732448

NORTHwest, not southwest

Cuauhtémoc is to the northwest

 No.732449

>>732447

"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.

[1d100]

Roll #1 69 = 69

 No.732450

>>732447
"Yea, you're right. If we had any peepers we'd be waking up to their leg being broken."
Cloud says in agreement.

>>732447
"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."

>>732447
"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

 No.732451

>>732447
"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.

>Ready

[1d100]

Roll #1 48 = 48

 No.732452

>>732447
"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

 No.732453

>>732447
>Ready!
Alder nods a bit, before looking up to Prima and sticking his tongue out. "You are still the better chicken, Prima! Do not worry!"

 No.732454

>>732449
"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?"

>>732449
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."

>>732450
"Depends how good this spy is at identifying magic items," Chiu says.

>>732450
"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."

>>732452
"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."

>>732452
"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?"

>>732453
"Bu-gawk!"

>>732453
>>732452
>>732451
>>732450
>>732449
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.

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

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."

 No.732455

>>732454
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.

 No.732456

>>732454
"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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbAhU913SSk

 No.732457

>>732454
"Right. We should keep it secret as long as possible then."

>>732454
"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.

>>732454
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.

 No.732458

>>732454

"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."

>>732454

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

 No.732459

>>732454
Alder lets out an excited chirp in response to the Accompass bird, and waves excitedly.

>>732454
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."

 No.732460

>>732458
"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?"

>>732455
>>732456
>>732457
>>732458
>>732459
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

 No.732461

>>732460
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

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.732462

>>732460
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.
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.732463

>>732460

"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

 No.732464

>>732460
[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

 No.732465

>>732460
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

 No.732466

>>732461
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.

>>732463
"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."

>>732462
>>732461
>>732463
>>732464
>>732465
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

 No.732469

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."

 No.732470

>>732469

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."

 No.732471

>>732470
"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."

 No.732472

>>732471

"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

 No.732473

>>732472
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.

 No.732475

>>732473

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…"

 No.732477

>>732475
"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.

 No.732478

>>732477

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.

 No.732479

>>732478
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?"

 No.732481

>>732479

"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.

 No.732482

>>732481
"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?"

 No.732485

>>732482

"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?"

 No.732490

>>732485
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."

 No.732491

>>732490

"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.

 No.732493

>>732491
"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.

 No.732496

>>732493

"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."

 No.732499

>>732496
"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."

 No.732506

>>732499

"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.

 No.732508

>>732506
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?"

 No.732509

>>732508

"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."

 No.732513

>>732509
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."

 No.732516

>>732513
>Correction:
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.

 No.732517

>>732516

"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.

 No.732519

>>732517
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."

 No.732522

>>732519

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."

 No.732528

>>732522
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."

 No.732531

>>732528

"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.

 No.732532

>>732531
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.

 No.732534

>>732532

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.

 No.732535

>>732534
"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."

 No.732582

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.

 No.732583

>Cerulean
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.

>Cutlass

"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."

>Everyone

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.

 No.732584

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu

>>732583
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

 No.732585

>>732583
>>732584
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

 No.732586

>>732583
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.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.732587

>>732586
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

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.732588

>>732583
Alder warbles uneasily, and looks to the others. "Maybe we should ready the Esper and go out? Just in case."

 No.732589

>>732588
>Readying! (Automatic)

 No.732590

>>732584
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…

>>732585
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…

No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
Food should not talk back.

>>732587
>>732585
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.

>>732586
>>732585
>>732584
>>732587
>>732588
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.

[5d10+1]

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

 No.732591

>>732590
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

 No.732592

>>732590
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

 No.732593

>>732590
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

 No.732594

>>732592
>>732590
"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

>>732591
Alder steadies the unicorn, and frowns a little bit. "Miss? Are you okay?"

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.732595

>>732590
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.

 No.732596

>>732594
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.

 No.732597

>>732593
You only manage to shrink one of the tendrils, causing the descent to slow by a little, but not by a significant amount.

>>732591
>>732593
>>732592
>>732594
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VWZ8CotbXU
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…

[1d10+1]

>>732595
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

 No.732598

>>732597
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

 No.732599

>>732597
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

 No.732600

>>732597

"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

 No.732601

>>732597
>Remember, everyone gets a +1 this round! A little late though, sorry ._.

>>732597
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

 No.732602

>>732597
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

[1d10+2]
[1d10+2]

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

 No.732603

>>732598
>>732599
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

>>732601
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

>>732600
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.

[5d10+1]

>>732602
>>732600
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.

[2d10+3]

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

 No.732604

>>732603

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

 No.732605

>>732603
"Blood?!"
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

 No.732606

>>732603
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

 No.732607

>>732603
>>732605
"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

 No.732608

>>732603
Not one to be outdone, Cerulean launches herself downward at it and tries to bite it as well!

>Great weapon attack

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.732609

>>732604
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:

[1d10+2]

>>732605
>>732606
>>732607
>>732608
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.

[1d10]

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

[1d10+1]

Cane Shuga shoots at the remaining tentacle binding the Beesting.

[2d10+1]

>>732608
>>732607
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.

[2d10+3]

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

 No.732610

>>732609
>>732605
>Cloud is helpless from the impact

 No.732611

>>732609
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

 No.732612

>>732609

"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

 No.732613

>>732612

Moar!

[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

 No.732614

>>732609
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

 No.732615

>>732609
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.

>Slam

[1d10+2]
[1d10+2]

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

 No.732616

>>732609
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

 No.732617

>>732611
>>732615
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

>>732611
>>732614
>>732616
>>732615
>>732612
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.

 No.732618

>>732617

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?"

 No.732619

>>732618
"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?"

 No.732620

>>732617
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

 No.732621

>>732617
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

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.732622

>>732620
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.

>>732621
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.

 No.732623

>>732622
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.

 No.732624

>>732617
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."

 No.732625

>>732619

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?"

 No.732626

>>732623
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.732627

>>732622
She grimaces a little as she doesn't see anything, and retreats from the railing, waiting for the Esper to return to the ship.

 No.732628

>>732617
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.

>>732617
>>732611
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."

 No.732629

>>732625
"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."

>>732623
>>732626
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.

>>732627
>>732624
>>732628
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."

 No.732630

>>732629
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.

 No.732631

>>732630
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!"

 No.732632

>>732629
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?"

 No.732633

>>732629
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…"

 No.732634

>>732632
"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."

 No.732635

>>732629

"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)

 No.732636

>>732628
"Please, no need to thank me. You are like family, Cloud. I would not lose you so easily."

>>732629
>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."

 No.732637

>>732635


What… what was that?

 No.732638

>>732631
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.

 No.732639

>>732634
"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."

>>732636
"A good doctor deserves some praise now and then."

 No.732640

>>732637
>>732635

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.

 No.732641

>>732638
>>732639
>>732636
>>732633
>>732635
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.


>>732640
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?"

 No.732642

>>732641
"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."
[1d100]

Roll #1 100 = 100

 No.732643

>>732641

"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."

 No.732644

>>732641
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.

 No.732645

>>732641
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.

 No.732646

>>732642
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.

 No.732647

>>732639
Alder lets out a soft huff, but smiles a little bit regardless and offers a short bow.

>>732641
"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."

 No.732648

>>732643
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."

>>732647
"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.

>>732644
Over on the deck of the Hidden Dagger, you see Make Believe's tiny self waving to you with a smile.

>>732645
>>732646
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.

 No.732649

>>732648
Cerulean excitedly waves back to him, obviously much bigger and still having a bit of her 'snack' still on her face a bit.

 No.732650

>>732649
Getting any closer to developing your new power? Make Believe asks. Don't worry, I haven't spilled so much as a single bean.

 No.732651

>>732648

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.

 No.732652

>>732651

[1d100]

Roll #1 68 = 68

 No.732653

>>732648
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.

 No.732654

>>732648
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.

 No.732655

>>732650
Well, not with that thing, she thinks back to him, not wanting to just suddenly blurt it out herself.

 No.732656

>>732648
"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?"

 No.732657

>>732656
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."

>>732651
"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."

>>732655
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.

>>732654
>>732653
>>732656
>>732651
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.

 No.732658

>>732657
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?"

 No.732659

>>732657

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

 No.732660

>>732657
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.
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.732661

>>732660
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.732662

>>732657
Well…maybe, yeah. Though I'm not all that good with my writing. You should see my library card.

>>732657
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.

 No.732663

>>732657
"Thank you, Captain!" the griffon chirps, offering a little bow.

>>732657
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!

 No.732664

>>732663
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.732665

>>732659
"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?"

>>732660
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


>>732658
>>732663
>>732662
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

>Paused

 No.732666

>>732665
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

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.732981

Last time on PirateQuest…

There was something quite strange about the kelp forest strands that had gotten themselves mysteriously tangled around the rudders and hulls of the Beesting and Hidden Dagger, and as the party went in to investigate, they learned why – they were not mere kelp, but camouflaged tendrils of an ugly, hungry sea-monster: a kelp tangler! The mighty beast gave a tug, and both ships were yanked deeper and deeper into the sea, having to kill their own engines just to avoid being torn apart. Thessaly, Cloud, Alder, Cane Shuga and Kling-Klang had to dive down in the Esper to cut the strands free, while Cerulean plummeted into the dark depths to confront the beast alone. Eventually, through a combined effort, they got the ships free, and were able to proceed onward.

The Thunder Serpent got separated from them during the scuffle, but if what Kukulcan said was the truth, they were all bound for the same destination of Cuauhtémoc, and could be directed there through the aid of their Accompasses. The trouble was that the Esper, most mobile means of diving outside of the ships, had taken some damage during the battle with the kelp tangler. It would need some repairs before it could be shipshape again.

However, Bent Scales did say the day before, just before the expedition began, that Kukulcan would lend them some diving equipment. Perhaps she would know more about that.

In any case, a day of travel passed without much further incident. It took our crew that entire time to navigate the massive kelp forest, perhaps one of the largest forests that most of the crew had seen in their lives. Although they could not recall their dreams from that rest, the image of the hyper-detailed Vault clung at the corners of their minds, always waiting to appear when their minds turned to daydreams.

The next day, after getting free of the kelp forest, the party came within sight of a wrecked ship, and a massive cliff face, bearing a wide opening illuminated by crystalline veins. This seemed to be the proper trajectory, as confirmed by Prisma.

 No.732982

>Cutlass
"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?"

>Thessaly

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: Ear-scratching.

>by rule of dubs you can just have the success


>Cloud, Alder

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.

>Cerulean

The ship appears to have been a smaller model of galley, with no more than two floors in addition to the top deck. Several broken oars and gaping holes in the hull suggest that it had been assaulted by cannonfire, while what remains of the sails, tangled around the shattered masts, have many burn marks. You see that it was named the Robinson.

You make your way in through one of the larger holes, taking care not to get scraped on exposed nails and splintered beams. You find yourself in the middle of the ship's interior: to your right lies the prow, and behind you lies the stern. You can't tell if any signs of life might be nearby.

 No.732983

>>732982
She sits with her eyes closed as she tries to focus. As Bran comes to bother her, she pries open one eye, then the other. Begrudgingly, she obliges him, scratching him behind the ears meditatively as she focuses on trying to depart her body for a time.
>automatic success by DM fiat

As she projects herself near the ship, she adjusts to her new spectral consciousness, taking a moment to grow accustomed to the strange sensation of having departed her body. After doing so, she tries to move closer to the wreck, inspecting it for any signs of either treasure or danger.

 No.732984

>>732982
Cerulean keeps on swimming around, making a right to head towards the prow. She remains on edge as she explores, keeping Roger close.

 No.732985

>>732983
[1d10] Big look

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.732986

>>732984
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.732987

>>732982

Cutlass sighs with apprehension as she eyes the small sub-aquatic vessel.

"I'd like to avoid it if at all possible… But, I guess we'll have to do it eventually."

 No.732988

>>732982
"It looks as if it has hardly been touched, so we are bound to find plenty of value." he says, wiggling his talons a little in anticipation.

 No.732989

>>732987
>>732988
Bee Holder gives a holler to Etch and talks with him briefly, and he nods, going back to his workshop below-deck. He soon emerges again with the Esper's engine, whereupon he rigs it to one of the Beesting's three lifeboats. He and some mooks then untie the lifeboat, and lower it over the edge of the Beesting, set with several pairs of oars.

As all this is going down, Bent Scales and some more mooks come up from the Beesting's hull, carrying several diver's suits, proportioned for members of different races. They look to be competently made, composed out of a waterproof material, and equipped with large air tanks and solid breathing apparatuses. "Before any of you go, put these on, just in case we have a repeat of what happened yesterday. Are you all familiar with how these work?"

>>732985
>>732983
As you approach the remains of the Robinson, following after Cerulean, you mostly come across bits of skeletons, long since picked clean by bottom-feeders and erosion. Besides some colorful coral and rocks, there doesn't seem to be anything of note in the immediate vicinity surrounding the ship, and so you move on inside.

>>732985
>>732984
Cerulean feels a faint tingling on the back of her neck, and as she looks around for its source, she espies Thessaly's spirit catching up with her through the water.

As you make your way toward the prow, you notice that there's a shattered opening to the left, that is to say in the ceiling of this level, as the ship lays upon its left side. Beyond the gap, you see what looks to have been the ship's treasury, as there are a number of small lockboxes, the remains of an accountant's desk, and two larger chests. Signs of damage on the room itself suggest it may have been looted in a hurry before the ship went down.

Before you can have a look at what's inside, you both catch a glimpse of a strange sight: A small gang of crabs and lobsters, each about the size of a cat. Their shells are broad, spiked and colorful, unlike any crustaceans you have seen before. They seem to have some degree of intelligence, as they are fiddling with various lockpicking tools as they try to pry open some of the lockboxes inside.

 No.732990

>>732989
"I… believe I remember how it works, yes." the griffon says, tucking his wings in and looking at the diving suits. "I would prefer not having to wear it, but it is what it is."

 No.732991

>>732989
>>732988

"Well that makes me feel marginally better," Cutlass comments as she gets into one of the diving suits.

It's comically large on her, but that's alright. She DID have to fit it over he dress.

"Ossie!" Cutlass calls out, not that loudly. As always, she assumes that she can hear. "You're coming with us, obviously."

"How many can we bring with us?" she asks no one in particular.

 No.732992

>>732991
"The lifeboats can hold up to ten people and enough supplies to maintain them for a week," Bee Holder answers. "So, feel free to bring a friend."

 No.732993

>>732989
Cerulean looks back, equal parts spooked, yet relieved, that it was Thessaly.

Seeing the lobsters, and noting their intellect, she opts to leave them alone and investigates the bigger chests. She gives them a friendly wave, though, just to make it clear she wasn't going to try and eat them.

 No.732994

>>732992

"Alright, who wants to go?" Cutlass calls out to her crew.

 No.732995

>>732994
Ossie emerges from your shadow, and looks at the diving suits contemplatively. "Hrm. I've never encountered a situation in which I was in the shadow of someone underwater. We'll have to test that at a later time. For now, I'll put on one of these."

>>732990
>>732994
As Ossie slips on the diving suit, Colobok and Miss Sunshine step forward, taking two for themselves as well. From the Beesting, Splendid steps forward, peering over them. Bent Scales leafs through the suits, and at first it seems like there might not be one that fits the massive griffoness. However, at the bottom of the stack, Bent Scales does find one… though it looks like it was designed for someone much heftier than her. Splendid harrumphs, but sets aside the offense as she slides into the suit.

 No.732996

>>732993
She does a little bit of a double take. "You can see me? …Can you hear me as well?"

>>732989
Thessaly drifts a bit closer, opting to follow Cerulean for now, trying to get a better look at what may be inside the chests.

 No.732997

>>732995

"Hmm," Cutlass contemplates as Miss Sunshine shows up for the fun.

"We should probably find a second vice-captain soon. So someone can always be left in charge and you don't have to be trapped on the ship. For now, Godot is in charge," she announces to everyone. "I believe that's how ships normally operate."

 No.732998

>>732996
"Huh? Oh, yeah, I can," she replies happily.

 No.732999

>>732995
Alder pulls his on after a bit of wing-stretching. He still isn't fond of it, but he'll be fine.

He offers a nervous smile and gives Splendid a soft pat on the side to try and make her feel better.

 No.733000

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu

>>732982
>>732989
Peering out at the undisturbed ship and seeing everypony else prepare lifeboats to explore the wreckage, Cloud steps over as the diving suits are brought up.
"I've seen them before, haven't used one myself though."

 No.733001

>>732998
"Intriguing. And here I thought I'd be granted some privacy at last." She smiles dryly.

 No.733002

>>733000
"It's pretty easy, actually – Kukulcan talked me through how they're supposed to work," Bent Scales says.

She then takes some time to walk you through each of the diving suit's pieces, functions and proper maintenance. It takes a little while, but it's fundamentally simple, you find by the end. Chiu helps you to suit up, and while she looks at the suits with envy, she restrains herself and remains behind on the ship.

>>732999
Splendid clacks her beak experimentally against the reinforced glass on the inside of her helmet. "Oh dear, this is quite the cone my vision's been reduced to," she comments, and her voice is very muffled.

I can put you guys in a telepathic network, but it has a range about as long as earshot, Make Believe informs you both.

Splendid nods, giving him a thumbs-up. She then looks back at you. So how do I turn this on, eh? Will Alder be able to peer into my mind? Now that could spell disaster…

Make Believe snorts, deciding to not answer.

>>732997
"I find that I am quite the authoritative figure as it is," Godot dryly jokes. "Beware you do not spend overlong out there, captain. The power may go to my head."

>>732996
>>732993
As you float over to some of the other lockboxes (there are four lockboxes in total, alongside the two larger chests), the gang of crustaceans turn to face you, and it's at this point that you see some of them have knives. Thessaly, thanks to her charm, can tell that they're issuing a slew of insults and threats, but even without that ability, the sheer fact that they're waving knives around is enough proof for Cerulean.

>For Thessaly

Avast, ye filthy blaggard! a crab threatens. Darest ye to abscond our plunder, to jump our claim, to pilfer our pockets!? Dry thy arms, curs, or get thee hence!
Yeah man, we'll fuck you up! another crab with a butcher's cleaver says.

 No.733003

>>733002
Draw thy arms*

 No.733004

>>733002
>>732998
She blinks at the belligerent attitude of the enemy crabs. "They are quite the bellicose little wastrels," she observes. "Should we end them rightly and be done with it?"

 No.733005

>>733002
Cloud gives Chiu a peck on the cheek before he puts on his helmet, seeing her eye the suits herself.
"I'll be back before you know it. And I'll grab you something nice."
He says, heading to the renovated lifeboat to depart.

 No.733006

>>733001
"Yeah, I dunno either, but this is still nice to have another swimming buddy!" She looks quite happy.

>>733002
Cerulean looks to these crustaceans with an angry look.
"Hey, I was just trying to be nice! But if you wanna wave those," her angry face turns into an angry grin as she shows off her many knife-like teeth, trying to intimidate them that she 'has more knives.'

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733007

>>733002
"Will I? That would be strange indeed, but I do not think it would be the case, right?" I say, humming a little. "either way, I will simply be careful." he says, frowning a bit and tapping the sides of the helmet. "It will be restrictive, but… it will be okay, as long as we are careful."

 No.733008

>>733002

Cutlass rolls her eyes at Godot. "Yes, yes. I'll be sure to stage a coup when I get back to my own ship."

"Good luck to you all," she says in a more serious tone before getting in the lifeboat.

 No.733009

>>733004
>>733006
In a downright theatrical display, the crabs fall back when they see Cerulean flash her massive mandibles.
Hark! the leader cries, backing away while still brandishing the knife. We are outmatched! Woe, woe! What behemoth is this that we have angered? I sound the order: Retreat!
The crabs start to scuttle away, but not before one of them grabs one of the lockboxes under his arm and tries to make off with it. We'll remember this! Let's see how tough you are when our big bro's here!

>>733007
"RAWK!" Splendid gasps in surprise, nearly stumbling backward. "Ooookay. Sorry, Make Believe, but I'd like to put the telepathic network on ice. Can't have anyone readin' me thoughts now. It'd be like leavin' out me diary in the open."

But I leave my diary out all the time. Oh well. Fine, I can separate you two from the network and you won't have to worry about accidental telepathy.

>>733008
Godot laughs. "Now that would be an interesting turn: You leading the mutiny, instead of being mutinied against."
"Rude," Miss Sunshine interjects.

>>733005
>>733007
>>733008
With your suits on and double-checked for any leaks or gaps, Bee Holder nods to the mooks, who lower the lifeboat into the water. Ossie activates the repaired engine, and the sprites, energized through Thessaly's offerings, emerge, creating an air bubble around the lifeboat. The rest of the party sails over to the sunken Robinson. As they approach, they see a small gang of crabs and lobsters fleeing from the ship, carrying many knives and lockpicking tools; one of them is carrying a lockbox under his arm.

 No.733010

>>733009
>>733006
"They are routed. Huzzah," she says, unenthused. Unable to interact with the environment, she drifts aside and motions for Cerulean to take whatever loot is left. "Hopefully our valiant battle will avail us aught of use."

 No.733011

>>733009
>>733010
Her angry grin turns into a happy one. She can't help but giggle at what Thessaly is saying.
"Teehee, when'd you start talking all fancy like that," she asks as she goes about collecting what loot there is, wondering if there is a sack or cloth of some kind nearby to not have to make return trips.

 No.733012

>>733009

"Thank you!" Cutlass in a 'someone finally said it' tone in response to Sunshine defending Cutlass against Godot's comment.

>>733009

Cutlass does a double-take at the crabs and sighs. "I don't know what's more surprising to me: those crabs, or the fact that I'm surprised by them," she comments in a tone that is somewhere between amused and annoyed.

 No.733013

>>733011
She suppresses a smile. "It's a seldom spoken dialect. It has taken me time to unlearn it as time has passed. It was much more common in my youth."

She helps Cerulean carry some things via telekinesis.
[1d10+1] if needed

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.733014

>>733009
Cloud keeps his eye open as they sail towards the Robinson, not wanting to be caught off as they were in the kelp forest. He peers over the side, seeing the crabs and lobsters fleeing below them with a box in tow.
"Are those crabs looting the ship?"

 No.733015

>>733009
Alder lets out a soft giggle, and shrugs a little before saying "I personally do not mind much, myself. Let us hurry to the others, though."

>>733009
"Oh! It seems we are not the only ones here. I hope that there is still some left to take…"

 No.733016

>>733014
"I think so. they are even using lockpicks, it looks like?"

 No.733017

>>733013
"Huh…wait, how old are you again," she asks with a raised brow, "cause you sound like you're a hundred or something, but you don't look it."

 No.733018

>>733013
>>733010
>>733011
The crab with the coarse, modern vocabulary made off with one of the lockboxes, but there are three left, as well as two larger chests, each one being about the size of a pony. There are some scraps of cloth around in the form of tattered and torn curtains, but these have been worn down over the years or so it must have been since this ship sank. You'll just have to carry it by hoof, unfortunately. That said, between Thessaly's magic and Cerulean's muscles, you're able to get it all in one go, and you share in the sublime victory of everyone around the world who brings in all the grocery bags in a single trip.

>>733012
>>733014
>>733015
"You think those crabs might have killed Cerulean!?" Miss Sunshine gasps.
"No, no – look," Colobok says, pointing through one of the ship's windows. Inside, you can see Cerulean grabbing a few lockboxes of her own. Two chests mysteriously start floating behind her.

>>733015
>>733014
>>733013
>>733012
>>733011
As Cerulean and Thessaly emerge from the prow of the sunken Robinson, they find that the others are approaching the ship in the lifeboat, protected by the elemental sprites. It's hard to recognize them at first glance through the suits, but you get a glimpse of their faces through the glass in the helmets.
"Cerulean!" Splendid says. "You got quite the haul. Anything left for us in there, love?"

 No.733019

>>733018
>>733017
>>733013

"What's with the crabs?" Cutlass asks curiously.

 No.733020

>>733017
"Old enough," she answers vaguely. You lose count after the first century or so."

>>733018
Unable to be seen by the others, she simply continues to help load the loot onto the lifeboat, floating idly behind Cerulean.

 No.733021

>>733018
"Come on, do you think some small crabs could take her out?"

>>733018
>>733017
When Cerulean comes out from the ship with boxes in her hooves, Cloud waves from their lifeboat.
"Hey! Is there anything left behind in there?"

 No.733022

>>733021
"Those crabs had knives!" Miss Sunshine argues.

 No.733023

>>733020
Thessaly's vagueness has its desired effect as Cerulean has the look of 'that only raises more questions.'

>>733018
>>733021
Cerulean looks quite proud as she carries the lockboxes.
"Well, some crabs and lobsters with knives made off with one. But…I dunno. Didn't see much else myself. There doesn't seem to be," she says with a shrug.

>>733019
"Don't know, but they were mean and jerks, so I scared them off."

 No.733024

>>733018
"Goodness, please- I think Cerulean would make a meal of them before they even began to wound her." he says, giggling a little bit.

>>733018
>>733023
"If you scared them off, we should be fine- let us go ahead and start looking, yes?" he suggests, before glancing around for anything of note.
[1d10] (+1 if Master Thief applies)

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.733025

>>733022
>>733023
>>733024

"Why did they have knives, though?" Cutlass asks the obvious question, annoyed that no one else is bothered by this.

 No.733026

>>733025
"How should I know? But they were trying to break into these things for…whatever reason."

 No.733027

>>733019
>>733020
>>733021
>>733023
>>733024
Alder peers out over the ship, and through some of the windows on the stern side, he can see some rooms that look to have been mostly untouched by looters, despite the many years of damage that they've had from being at the bottom of this layer of the ocean.

>For the sake of time, each of you can have one roll to explore the remains of the stern for anything of value.


>>733025
"Because you can't really stab or slash with claws," Colobok says as if the answer were obvious. "You can pinch, and you can even bash if you're desperate, but the stabbing and the slashing are two basic types of kinetic damage. No fighter is complete unless he rounds out what he can do!"

 No.733028

>>733022
"Her teeth are basically the same thing, only she has more. It really isn't even a fair fight for them."

>>733023
>>733027
"Oh. Well if those crabs were the only things in there, might be easier to take a look around then."
With no threat of danger and everypony else all there as well, Cloud hops off the lifeboat to check out the ship himself.
>Search [1d10]

>>733025
"Probably needed better weapons than their claws down here."

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.733029

>>733026

"I saw one of them getting away with a box. Should we have stopped it?"

>>733027
>>733028

Cutlass glares playfully at Colobok and Cloud.

 No.733030

>>733029
"I mean, if you want to, I won't stop you. I would've just eaten them, but their shells looked spikey and I didn't want to hurt my mouth."

 No.733031

>>733023
She refuses to elaborate.

>>733027
Her work complete, she pulls out of the astral plane and returns to her physical form, waiting for the others to return back on board the Beesting.

 No.733032

>>733027
[1d10+1] Master Thief
Alder chirps a little to himself and begins to search through one of the rooms- maybe he can find something!

>>733025
"The same reason you or I would use a knife, I gather."

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.733033

>>733029
Colobok and Miss Sunshine look at you with raised eyebrows.

 No.733034

>>733029
"…What are you staring at?"

 No.733035

>>733032

"I just use knives because it's piratey," Cutlass shrugs.

>>733033

"What?" Cutlass responds defensively to their stares.

>>733034

"Certainly not you," she responds haughtily.

 No.733036

>>733029
>>733028
Going one by one so that they do not capsize the boat, the party turns the valves on their oxygen tanks, and disembarks. The cold of the water can only be faintly felt through the insulated diving suits, but the bigger challenge is moving in the suit to begin with. If walking with it on was cumbersome and awkward, then swimming is harder. Your movements are clunky and inefficient, as it feels like waking up in a body several sizes too large. However, you eventually get somewhat accustomed to it, as you explore the ship. The others split off from you, peering around corners and in cracks and crevices to find whatever hidden loot might be around.

>>733031
You awake to find that Bran has fallen asleep in your lap, curled up so concisely between your legs that he looks like a little spiral. He has your dress pinned down with his weight; moving him will prove a delicate operation.

>>733032
Inside one of the rooms, you find a flat-topped medium size chest of a significant orange hue, with gold and obsidian trimming along the edges. Unlike everything else inside the ship, it appears to have not been damaged by the significant period that the ship has sunk. It is locked, and the lock appears to have an ornate and complex mechanism – not something you've ever seen, and certainly not standard or common as far as locks go. It has a strange sigil on its top.

>>733028
You manage to jimmy the handle on a door that was jammed at first glance. After peering around inside for a little while, you come across a smaller chest. After a few shakes, you hear some rumblings inside. Perhaps coins, or some other small objects are inside.

[1d10] Splendid
[1d10] Miss Sunshine
[1d10] Ossie
[1d10] Colobok

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 3 = 3 / Roll #4 7 = 7

 No.733037

>>733036

Cutlass forgoes valuable and instead looks for the navigation area or the Captain's quarters for anything like a log book, maps, charts, or something special the captain may have had.

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733038

>>733035
Colobok looks confused. "You were the one staring at me! Is my suit on wrong? Am I ugly?"

 No.733039

>>733035
"But you just were."

>>733036
Cloud questions if they really were measured for these suits with how awkward it is to swim, but once he finally gets adjusted he swims on properly.
He pushes in the door, eyeing the chest left behind. He picks it up, hearing the nice jingle inside, and turns back, swimming to the lifeboat to check out what's inside.

 No.733040

>>733036
Cerulean heads back to the ship after talking and seeing the others go off so she can off-load her haul.

 No.733041

>>733037
As you look around in the captain's quarters, Colobok joins you, making sure to turn over furniture and test wooden beams in search of hidden switches, false panels, and the like. At first, it seems as though there may be nothing of value in here, but just as you're about to leave, Colobok taps your arm. You find that he has moved aside the bed – and there was a false panel underneath it, concealing a small bag of coins. However, there was a second false panel beneath that bag; it looks like the bag was only meant to be a decoy. He hands you the bag, as well as what was underneath the second panel: A small rectangular chest, almost like a briefcase.

 No.733042

>>733036
She frowns, but can't stay mad at him. She waits a while to see if he wakes up, and if he doesn't, she tries to gently lift him with telekinesis.
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.733043

>>733036
"Ooh… this is a find, alright." the griffon says, looking the chest over. He tries to lift it up and carry it out, making sure to avoid touching the sigil on the top. He'll open it when they return to the ship, if he can!

 No.733044

>>733039

"Must be that inflated ego of yours playing tricks on your mind."

>>733038

"No, no!" Cutlass responds. "Don't turn this around on me! I was just playing along with your absurdity, then you gave me a surprised look like that's the most absurd thing you've seen today!"

>>733041

"Good job!" Cutlass congratulates Colobok. She takes the briefcase and the bag of coins back to the lifeboat.

 No.733045

>>733044
>>733039
>>733040
>>733042
>>733043
Among your allies, Splendid and Ossie don't seem to find anything that they find worth salvaging, passing over rusted scimtars and spoiled foodstuff and ruined gunpowder. However, Miss Sunshine comes back with a very long case, about the length of a sword. When she gets back to the lifeboat, she clings to it greedily.

Once everyone is back on the lifeboat, you turn it around, and make your way back to your respective ships by rowing the oars in tandem.

>>733040
You return to the ship with your three lockboxes. The mooks help to unload the two chests from the lifeboat, placing them on the deck to let them dry off a little before moving them down into the cabins. As you head down to your room, you pass by Etch, the ship's carpenter. He whistles as he sees what you've got. "Nice find. Need any tools for getting 'em open?"

>>733043
You find that the box is all kinds of locked. Peering inside the lock at the mechanisms within, you see a very complex and unorthodox number of pins, tumblers, and even locking systems that you haven't encountered before. All of this strikes you as familiar – all thieves, of course, have heard of legendary puzzle boxes that only yield their mighty secrets to those they deem worthy after much struggle.

>>733042
Alas, he wakes even despite your gentle handling. He uncurls and stretches himself, yawning so wide that he might swallow the whole world. Grumpily, he looks back up at you. Perhaps some treasure, or maybe grubs, would be an appropriate apology.

>>733044
"What an absurd accusation," Colobok simply retorts.

>>733044
The bag holds about thirty gold pieces, and a couple of shiny-looking pearl earrings. As for the briefcase-like chest, it is locked; perfect time to practice with Ossie's tools.

>>733039
Chiu helps you remove the diving suit once you're off the lifeboat. When you try to open the chest, you find that it's locked. The lock is a little rusted, so if nothing else, you could probably break it open if you got huge.

 No.733046

>>733044
"Riiiight, I'm the one with an ego."

>>733045
Cloud sets the chest down on the deck, getting his suit off with Chiu's assistance.
"Man, that thing was uncomfortable. You'd think they'd be easier to move in if it's your only way to be out in the water this deep."
He looks back to the chest, checking over the lock. He could grow himself and snap it off, but he goes the easier route. He takes out his Tooth of Sa'eer and gives the lock a jab to turn it ethereal so it falls right off.
>Jab [DC 5] [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.733047

>>733045
"I hope everyone found something nice! I seem to have discovered a puzzle box. There could be something good in here, but it will take time and effort for me to work it open- I do not believe I have even seen some of these lock designs." he says, frowning a little bit.

[1d10] Perception, looking for anything else of note.

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.733048

>>733045

Cutlass feels dizzy at this reversal of fates from Colobok. She has to shake her head to shake off the confusion she now feels.

She spends the time the others row back to the ship by unlocking the box.

>[1d10] pick lock, Master Thief, Lockpick


Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.733049

>>733045
"Yeah, I think I might. I mean, I could always just use my mouth, but I might damage the stuff inside if I do," she admits with a slight laugh.

 No.733050

>>733045
She curses inwardly as Bran is awakened from his slumber. She gives him a little apology pet and goes towards the kitchen/mess hall to see if she can find something to placate him.
[1d10] searching if needed

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.733051

>>733048
You fail to get it open.

>>733046
"It's probably just something you have to break in by practicing movement. Like heels, or a tuxedo."

She clears her throat after that last part.

You fail to get the lock off. You probably didn't poke the right component to make it fall off.

>>733047
You recall Mallea's words about Shards of Wisdom, the component she'd need to make her magic awakening brew. The veins for that ore only appear underwater, at the boundary of light and shadow. Beyond the sunken ship is a cave mouth, and inside, you see veins of glowing crystal – could that be it?

>>733049
Etch nods, and looks over at the various tools strapped to his belt. "Hrm. They're not exactly lockpicks, but…" he eventually unstraps one of the pouches, and inside, you see several screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches. "Give these a try, see if these might help you."

>>733050
Inside, you see that Kling-Klang is in the middle of washing some dishes. He doesn't seem to mind, so you peer through the cabinets, barrels, bags and pouches in search of something that might satisfy Bran. There don't seem to be any worms or fresh bugs around… but that might be a good thing, considering where you're looking. All you can find are some nice dried apple slices. Bran looks up at you and licks his lips once he sees what you've found. Looks like forgiveness and ablution are not far off.

 No.733052

>>733051
Alder tries to look closer, leaning over the side of the boat in an attempt to get a better view.
[1d10] Lookie!

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733053

>>733052
Yep, those are crystals alright. Sure are pretty.

Splendid soon joins you, when she sees you leaning over the railing. "What? We miss something back there? Are those crabs coming back with guns this time?"

 No.733054

>>733051
She gives Kling-Klang a single wave in greeting and feeds Bran the apple slices, taking one for herself for good measure. As she hears the others having returned with the booty, she starts making her way there to investigate. Once arrived, she examines the crates before trying to pry one open with magic.
[1d10+1] Telekinesis

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.733055

>>733051
Cerulean looks a bit confused, picking up a tool and looking at the with a confused look.
"Uhh…like this?" She asks and proceeds to use a screwdriver and wrench like a hammer and chisel.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.733056

>>733053
>Th-Thanks
Alder points out the crystals, and says "It looks like something shiny- crystals, perhaps? It could be what we were keeping an eye out for." he mentions to her.

 No.733057

>>733051

"Rrrrgh," Cutlass grumbles in annoyance as the lock refuses to be picked. She tries again to unlock the briefcase as she steps back onto the Hidden Dagger.

>[1d10] unlock briefcase, Master Thief, Lockpick


Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.733058

>>733051
"If that's the case no wonder I didn't feel right."
He jests in response. When the lock fails to fall off, Cloud gives it another, more forceful jab.
"Probably should just snap this thing right off instead…"
>Stab [DC5] [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.733059

>>733056
"Shards of Wisdom!?" Splendid gasps. "Well, why not give it a closer look? We've still got the lifeboat rigged up after all, and it sounds like we'll be going that way anyway. This could be what we're after."

>>733057
You manage to get it open after a little bit longer. Inside, you find several old sheets of parchment – sea-charts, maps of island turtles and the like. What catches your attention, however, is a very strange piece of parchment. It appears far older than the others, but is strong, and not weakened with age. There is a sigil at each of the cardinal directions on the page, with each sigil being surrounded by some kind of beast, drawn in an old style. It almost looks to be some kind of star chart, or maybe an island chart with a broad scope, but you can't make sense of it. You see, the chart is full of holes, but the holes are not empty; rather, there is a thin, clear, almost gossamer-like material between each hole, that catches the light in a very curious way. Its purpose is unclear.

>>733055
You only manage to chip away at some of the edges on the lockbox that you work upon. Etch clicks his tongue. "Nnnnot quite. Easy on those tools now. Here, let me show you how it's done. You've got to be gentle with 'em. They're delicate, like me."

>Add +1 to your next attempt


>>733058
This time, you manage to turn the lock ghostly, causing it to fall off. The chest won't be good for much more than displaying things now.

Inside, you see a small cushion, upon which rest a number of crystalline baubles, round playthings and even a tiny princess doll, all fit for a filly. Beneath the cushion you see a few tattered and faded photos of a family of the Vellus race – Puroa, like Obstinance. In the photos, you see a father, a mother, and a few young daughters, all looking happy in quite a few scenes.

Chiu looks down at the pictures with a slight pain of grief.

>>733054
Taking advantage of the rust on the chest's rivets, you manage to pry open the larger chest. Inside, rather than gold, you find that there is quite a collection of silver plates and chalices, along with sets of knives, forks, spoons, bowls and even two candelabra. It's somewhat unorthodox as loot hauls go, but if nothing else, it could serve for a very wonderful dinner.

 No.733060

>>733059
Cerulean nods as she watches and learns. She tries to be a bit more delicate and her tongue peeks out of her mouth as she tries to concentrate really hard.

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

 No.733061

>>733059
"Sure, we can! I am just a little worried it might be something else… no sense in not giving it a looksee, yes?" he suggests. In the meantime, he'll settle the puzzle box away in his room.

 No.733062

>>733060
Whether your touch was not as delicate as you hoped, or whether the lockbox was more weak than it seemed, you manage to completely bust the latching mechanism on the first lockbox. It won't be able to close anymore, but at least it looks decently nice. Inside, you see a collection of earrings and bangles of gold. The bangles have adjustable straps, so even you could make use of them at your size.

 No.733063

>>733059
She blinks in slight confusion as she sees the silverware. She can't help but appreciate the craftsmanship. "Hmm. Too good to eat with, in my inexpert opinion," she says to anyone that might be listening - and if not, she says it to Bran. "It should fetch a fine price. It seems like quality metal." She keeps one of the candelabras - candelabrae? - for her own, examining the rest of the booty a bit more closely. Perhaps it has some enchantment, or she missed something on the initial survey.
[1d10] Big look

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.733064

>>733062
She gives a sharp inhale and quickly gives the tools back to Etch as she fears breaking his tools more than breaking the lockboxes.
"Ooo, pretty. Maybe these were all jewelry boxes?" Curious to find out, Cerulean opts to open another one, this time with her teeth and treating it like it was a big clam.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.733065

>>733059

Cutlass looks at the chart at all sorts of angles to make sense of it. She holds it up to the light as she notices the gossamer material. Maybe something will happen then.

[1d10] investigation

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.733066

>>733059
Cloud pops open the chest, eager to see what spoils they found, only for his face to fall at seeing what can only be child-like possessions, either a gift or to remember their family by. He picks up the photos, flipping through the happy memories of the previous owner.
"…Maybe they're okay. We'll just need to return this if we ever run across them again."
He says to Chiu, feeling her grief.

 No.733067

>>733063
>>733061
>>733059
"Miss Thessaly!" the griffon chirps, after tracking her down on the ship. "Would you mind coming with Splendid and I to check out the cave? I know we were headed near there soon, but I wanted to get a head-start. There is something that might be there, that is rather important to Splendid and I."

 No.733068

>>733063
It doesn't seem to be magical, and in fact it all looks like it's pretty mundane, besides the nice swirls and flourishes and trimmings of gold that have been engraved into the silverware. However, silver is regarded by all, from holy men to occultists, as a potent tool against the preternatural and the supernatural, against spooks, scares and ghouls of all types. Perhaps having a good supply at the ready can come in handy later, especially with the chances of the ship being scried upon.

>>733064
You lose quite a few teeth in attempting to chew this next one open, but that's a common occurrence for sharks, so it's not a big worry. Etch protectively puts back his tools. Inside this one, you find two necklaces, one with a sapphire on the end, and another with a ruby on the end. Roger slips one on around his neck. It's too long for him, but he does look nice with it.

>>733066
"…Yeah. I'm gonna make another offering to the goddess for their sake," Chiu says. "No father who loves his daughters enough to take this around would let himself be taken out so easily."

>>733061
>>733067
"Alright, you get a few others; I'll get the boat set up again," Splendid says.

>>733065
As you hold it up to a light source, you find that the gossamer strips in the parchment catch the light and amplify it, creating six colored beams that they then project onto the ship's deck in the shape of the sigil that marks the cardinal directions on the page. All colors of the rainbow, besides violet, are represented. Nothing happens after that, but it seems to you that this might be the key for some kind of mechanism.

You notice that Miss Sunshine, sitting nearby, has gotten her long, thin chest open. Inside, is an ornate saber, with a topaz in the hilt, making slight vibrating sounds as she moves it through the air. "Siiiiick," she whispers to herself.

>When you're ready to move on, timeskip is available. Everyone roll perception when ready to serve as you keeping watch during the journey

 No.733069

>>733068
"Thank you! I will look for one more aside from Miss Thessaly, maybe?" he says, humming a little bit in thought. "Perhaps Mister Cloud…"

 No.733070

>>733068
Cerulean bites the air a bit to adjust to her missing teeth, then gives a slight grin to Etch.
"Yeah, sorry. I was more concerned for your tools than the boxes," she admits, then sees Roger wearing a necklace.
"Aww, cute. A bit big, but cute," she says and looks at the ruby one.
"Oh hey, this one is perfect for Tabasco! But we got one last box…."
She proceeds to bite and chew this one open as well.

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.733071

>>733068

"Hmm," Cutlass mutters as she fails to make any further realizations about this mysterious chart. She puts it and the rest of the maps from the briefcase back into the briefcase.

She looks over at Miss Sunshine with a grin. "Be careful with that thing," she cautions. "You don't know what it does… yet."

Cutlass then goes to find Mallea. She shows Mallea the chart and the light show it provides. "Does any of this mean anything to you? Do you recognize these sigils or emblems?"

 No.733072

>>733068
She closes the chest with a bit of a sigh.

>>733067
Both she and Bran turn around on the spot to face Alder with comedic synchronization. She arches an eyebrow. "I suppose I can. I am not overly occupied at the moment. For what purpose?"

 No.733073

>>733071
>I assume I will be ready to timeskip after Mallea's response.

 No.733074

>>733072
"Ah- we are looking for a 'Shard of Wisdom', which is something Miss Mallea needed to create a concoction for Splendid's magic."

 No.733075

>>733068
"A good idea."
Cloud says, putting the photos back in the chest. Before he closes it, he gets a thought and lifts up his eyepatch.
"Hey Hmm, do you know who this is?"
He asks, holding up the family photo.

>Good to skip

>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733076

>>733074
She somehow arches her eyebrow even higher than what seems possible. "A Shard of Wisdom? That shan't be easy. But I suppose these are the ideal conditions to find one. Still pursuing her dream of learning magic, then, is she." She gathers her personal effects. "Very well. Lead on, then. I will help where I can."

 No.733077

>>733076
"I believe I may have spotted some, which is why I wanted to try for it early." the griffon says, before grinning excitedly and bowing. "Thankyou! This is the only ingredient we need to find."

 No.733078

>>733077
"Think nothing of it. You have saved us all many times over. For better or worse, I owe you this much at least."

 No.733079

>>733070
Hearing his name, Tabasco trots up, sniffing at the jewelry you've recovered. Once you pry open the last chest, you are greeted with a small hailstorm of jewels and coins falling out of it onto the table upon which you work. For some strange reason, it smells sweet – and when Tabasco licks one up, you realize that it's because it's all candy. Thankfully, the lockbox appears to have been water-tight, as it's all fresh, dry and uncontaminated. You recall there being some candy jewels about the Lilliput as well. Where does it all come from? The world may never know.

>>733071
"Ssshew, ssshew," Miss Sunshine vocalizes, making little sound effects as she swishes the sword around. "Shikigami, SFX! Heheheh. Don't worry, captain, I'll figure it out."

Mallea, whom you find in the middle of unpacking the dozen-or-so suitcases that she brought with her onto your ship, turns and studies the sigil as it's presented, looking at it from a number of different angles. She gasps after a while. "It's an old sigil, one that predates most systems of which I am familiar. But I recognize it through its later incarnation: "Sceacere, meaning Thief, or Theft. As for what it means here, I could not say."

>>733075
Hmm does not respond. However, your vision out of that eye is bright blue; it's not that she's gone, like she was in the manor. She's there, alright.

>>733069
>>733072
>>733077
You two and Splendid load back up in the lifeboat, and flick on the engine of the Esper, readying it for undersea travel again. The rowing is slower with only the three of you, but after some effort and time, you manage to bring the lifeboat close to the opening chasm of the underwater cliff face. You heard Bee Holder earlier talking about how, according to Prisma, your ships would need to enter the chasm. It only seems to go further and further into the earth.

You approach one of the crystal veins in the chasm's floor. It glows with a blue-white light, and dark shapes glow and fade within it, causing a slowly shifting luminescence, almost like the churning of lava.

Thessaly, from experience, knows that Shards of Wisdom are incredibly difficult to get out of the veins. The best way is usually to blast them out with some kind of controlled explosion. The Shards are plenty durable, so destroying them is of little concern.

 No.733080

>>733079
Seeing Tabasco, Cerulean smiles and puts the ruby necklace around him, tightening it up slightly so it fits on him. She does a similar adjustment for Roger as well.
"There we go. Now you two are looking nice and handsome."

She gets a big surprise by more jewels, but the fact that this is all candy doesn't dampen her spirits.
"Woah, candy! Hey, want some Etch," she asks as she tries a piece.

>good to skip whenever

 No.733081

>>733079
She eyes Splended as they travel to the chasm. "I am curious," she declares out of nowhere. "What drives you to seek magic through a Shard of Wisdom? Surely there are more expedient solutions to your quandary than… well, this."

As she approaches one of the veins, her eyes narrow as she susses it out. With a noncommittal shrug, she hurls a blast of magic in its direction to try and loosen a fragment.
[1d10+5] Magic Bolt, using all TBP

Roll #1 5 + 5 = 10

 No.733082

>>733079
"Hmm? Are you there?"
Cloud asks, trying to look around in the blue landscape that makes up half his vision.

 No.733083

>>733078
"Ah- you owe me nothing though, I promise!"

>>733079
"At least they will likely be here soon to pick us up. Goodness, though- I have never seen a cavern like this above ground. It is quite concerning, to say the least." the griffon says, watching as Thessaly charges up her horn.
[1d10] Perception to spot anyone, or anything out of the ordinary!

>>733081
"Well, apparently Splendid needs a 'Magic Spark' of sorts in order to properly harness her magic. We did look for another way, but this spark is hard to acquire otherwise."

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.733084

>>733079

"Hmm… Interesting," Cutlass thinks for a moment. Then, she puts it back in the briefcase. "Thanks for the help. Let me know if you need anything while moving in."

Then, Cutlass leaves. She puts the briefcase safely in her own room, hidden under her bed.

 No.733085

>>733084
You secure it away, but without the convenience and security of any secret panels. Sir Pent peeks out from the brim of your hat, then slithers down to sit on your shoulder for a change of pace. He seems to have put on some extra pounds in the past few days.

>>733080
Tabasco leans his head back and howls with approval, while Roger does a few twirls and loops; both evidently enjoy their rewards. As for Etch, he takes some of the gummy emeralds, chewing away. "Not bad. Thanks. Makes me wonder if those tales about there being a Candy Island aren't just tales, come to think of it."

>>733082
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9nocjg2OLI
"I… don't know," Hmm says. "I know who the daughters are, and I know who the mothers are. But him, the father… I don't know."

>>733081
"Possibly, yes," Splendid says. "But, Mallea said she would need one of these in order to help induce a magical awakening in me. And, even if there are easier ways out there, I want it to be Mallea and Alder who bring this power out, and to teach me in the future. That feeling of joy I felt as I got to do a little magic with them in the rec room is… I've never felt anything like it. I'd like to reach that feeling again, if possible, and maybe even share it with others someday, you know?"

>>733083
>>733081
With a great blast that creates a cloud of dust through the waters, Thessaly's spell knocks chunks of stone and metal loose from the vein, and as it clears away, Thessaly spots a good little sample of the luminescent crystal, a chunk of mysterious moonlight, as it were, with a color most mysterious and strange; colored and light, yet giving off no light, in contrast with the rest of the vein. As she sees it, Splendid gasps and dives out into the water, swimming toward the chunk of crystal to retrieve it. She beckons Alder to come with her and behold the mysterious gem.

 No.733086

>>733085

Cutlass lovingly strokes the snake's head. "Look at you," she says in a cutesy voice. "Getting all big and strong. Let's find you some dinner."

Cutlass goes to the supply room and lets Sir Pent hunt for rats.

 No.733087

>>733085
She gives both of them headpats, giggling in happiness that they're enjoying their gifts.
"A Candy…Island? Really?! Oh, I wanna hear more!" She had a very excited look on her face as she nibbles on a candy necklace.

 No.733088

>>733085
Alder blinks a couple of times, trying to wave some of the dust out of the way for whatever good it'll do. The griffon lets out an excited chirp when he spots the chunk of crystal. He swims after Splendid to get a closer look! "Is it… the right thing? It definitely looks strange."

 No.733089

>>733085
She listens to Splendid talk, nodding in understanding. "I suppose it can help, in the beginning, at least. If you do not possess the basic… framework… perhaps this Shard will help push you in the right direction."

"By the way. My view on magic is somewhat more ungraspable than Mallea's, but if you are ever wanting for guidance, or simply find yourself curious, I may be able to assist you. To a point. Not everything about magic can simply be taught as you would geometry, but I will offer what I can. What good is knowledge if there is no one to share it, really…"

As Splendid and Alder swim to grab the shard, Thessaly stays in the boat and tries to move it closer so the griffon can grab it for herself.
[1d10+1] Telekinesis

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

 No.733090

>>733086
Sir Pent licks your nose, then slithers off to go rustle up some grub while also keeping the ship nice and sanitary.

>>733087
Etch laughs like an old grandfather who's all full of stories. "Well, it's one of those legendary islands nobody is ever said to have set hoof on, but there are quite a few who've gotten damn close. You see…

>>733089
"You would be willing to teach me?" Splendid asks (before having leapt into the water). "Thank you. I'll try to learn whatever you teach. Mallea called me a Hummingheart – someone best suited to channel magic through song, dance, flights of fancy… things that are felt more than intellectuallized. Perhaps that might give us some common ground."

>>733089
>>733088
Splendid and Alder take the Shard of Wisdom in their claws, holding it for a moment like a holy thing, before coming back to the lifeboat so that they can go back to the ship.

 No.733091

>Paused

 No.733092

>>733085
"Huh, that's odd. Wonder why he's the only one you don't know."
Cloud comments in thought.
"So who are the others? Might give us some clues on where we can return this to."

 No.733093

>>733092
Hmm goes back to being silent for a long while. "This… this is weird. I know everything. So how come I can't recognize him…?"

 No.733372

Last time, on PirateQuest…

The party got the opportunity to explore the remains of the Robinson, a smaller model of galleon that had been sunk some months or years ago, most likely by a pirate attack, judging by the gaping holes in the hull and through some of the floors. Cerulean and Thessaly's projected spirit explored the treasury, which was currently being looted by a small gang of crabs and lobsters armed with lockpicks and knives. The crustaceans tried to chase off Cerulean and keep all the loot to themselves, but Cerulean scared them off with a mere grin. The crustaceans fled with a lockbox, vowing to get their revenge once they told their "big bro" what happened.

Cerulean got some jewelry and gem candy; Thessaly got a full set of silverware fit for a fancy dinner; Alder found a strange puzzle box with unconventional locks that not even he had encountered before; Cutlass found a case full of sea-charts as well as an unusual parchment scroll that seemed to resemble some kind of star chart, and when held up to the light, six gossamer strips within the parchment's "stars" produced six of the colors of the rainbow, in the shape of a sigil that Mallea identified as Sceacere, an ancient word from an olden tongue, meaning thief, or theft; Cloud found a box full of crystal baubles and dolls fit for a young girl, as well as a picture of a family of Puroa. When he asked Hmm about the people in the picture, Hmm said that she knew who the mother and daughter were, but not the father. How this could be was not clear, as Hmm knew everything.

Additionally, Alder and Splendid ventured with Thessaly into the mouth of the massive sea-trench cave that the Robinson's wreckage lay before. There, they found a vein containing Shards of Wisdom, and Thessaly loosened the stubborn crystal with a powerful magical blast. Alder and Splendid collected it, and so gained the last component that Mallea de Valle would need to finish the elixer that could awaken magical potency within Splendid.

 No.733373

Because all have agreed to a timeskip, skip we shall.

>Alder

After you and Splendid turned over the Shard of Wisdom to Mallea aboard the Hidden Dagger, she informed you that it would take about eight days to prepare the elixer, which she referred to as the Ambrosia of Maryamuni. Splendid was anxious about the wait, but thanked Mallea profusely until Mallea told her, as politely as possible, that she was becoming annoying. Splendid took it well and went back to the Beesting with you.

>Everyone


Following your successful and plunder-producing excavation of the Robinson, the two crews finished their brief break, and resolved to continue their journey toward what was believed to be the ruins of Cuauhtemoc.

As the Beesting set out, they initally attempted to pass over the great cave leading deeper into the earth, but a warning squawk from Prisma told them that that was not the right way to proceed. Prisma, being a chicken, could not explicitly tell them their error, but experiments in changing course revealed that Prisma intended for the two crews to enter that very yawning chasm that lay before you.

https://youtu.be/iooGw0HRuVM

The cavern was vast, and abyssal, a complete umbra save for the strange ore veins writhing in and out of the living rock, and the light they gave off waxed and waned, at times dimming, at times lightening, but always marred with streaks of shadow. Experiments with launching rocks into its depths gave off no sound, indicating that it went deeper into the earth than anyone could know.

There was no guidance nor contact from Kukulcan or Gullveig, and so, there was no choice but to proceed inside. Because the two ships still had rations good for another month at sea, and the Chiccan magitech engines could last much longer than that, Bee Holder gave the order for the Beesting to enter the chasm.

And so, the two ships descended within, the crews murmuring shanties and whispering tales to one another in the dark. Always, the veins guided the two vessels, keeping them from crashing into or scraping against the grooved walls, and when there came to be forks or splits of a kind, that divided the chasm into different veins, Prisma guided their course with a twitch of her beak one way or another. Besides that, the normally rowdy bird was utterly silent. Tabasco, Roger and Bran also stirred little, and made no sound.

Naught in the cavern could tell you the time, or the passage of days, besides your stomachs, which craved little food, and the pocketwatches of the crew members who owned them.

Six turnings of the moon and sun, you ventured through the dark.
Six nights and six days.

 No.733374

Until, finally, a light.
A faint light, from far, far, directly below, barely a pinprick, but a light, all the same.
The two ships descend directly downward via the advanced navigation options afforded by the Chiccan engines to reach the light so far below.
The further down into the depths of the earth and sea you go, the more you see that this light comes from a massive hole, an opening in, perhaps, the very bedrock of the ocean floor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7jdnU06ew

As the two ships exit from the gaping chasm, what they see beneath them is a near-indescribable spectacle; a mosaic of light and shadow.

There are countless churning stormclouds, fierce and disruptive, boiling and rumbling in a war of sorts with themselves. Their color gives them an oddly antiquated quality; they are a kind of sepia, if that sepia were imbued with a nostalgic golden afterglow of a sun on the verge of setting for a final time, that gold that appears just before the pink and rose of its death. From patches in the clouds rise great bubbles, holding captive that ancient light, fluttering up past you.

Within the stormclouds, one can occasionally catch glimpses of of sea-serpents and very wide, flat fish, leaping from bank to bank, squall to squall, in an erratic, almost random rhythm, animated by some restless spirit. As one cloud dissipates, a deep rumbling hums from further below, a volcanic rumbling, that shakes the bones of all who can hear it, and the smouldering of magma releases another billowing column of smoke and light.

The clouds cover almost the entirety of the ocean floor for miles in every direction; far away, at the boundaries of their luminescence, you see but endless shadows, occasionally broken by distant bubbles rising to places unknown.

The crews gather near the edges of their ship, eyes wide with awe, and some with fear, as they silently behold the buried luminescence below them.

>roll perception

 No.733375

>>733374

Cutlass stares at the bizarre sight, trying desperately to understand what she's seeing. She shakes her head. Above all the beauty and mystery, she is just confused. The size and distance coupled with the darkness of the past few days has left her questioning her ability to see. Or maybe it actually is hard to gauge distance after going so long without it.

She looks around for some anchoring point that can give her a point of reference for the scope of what she's seeing. Hell, she's not even sure if they are underwater anymore. Can you have storm clouds underwater?

[1d10] perception

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733376

>>733375
Glancing back up, you see the hole through which you entered this hollow in the earth's crust and the sea's vast bed. It's not much, but it seems to be the only anchor point nearby. The stone ceiling is devoid of the ore veins that lit your path through the long, twisting tunnels that you took to get here. But in its place are colossal, twisting stalactite crystals, some vastly taller than either ship. You notice that some of the crystals have taken on hues of rose and burning red, resembling the shades of a sunset. The bubbles seem to be attracted to the crystals, particularly ones that are gray, or lack color altogether.

"…Orders, Captain?" Miss Sunshine eventually asks, tugging on the sleeve of your dress.

 No.733377

>>733374
Cerulean gets done listening to Etch's tale of Candy Island. It was great, but at the same time made her hungry. She spent some time mostly resting up and making sure she doesn't eat ALL of the candy, as well as making sure neither Roger nor Tabasco do the same.

Cerulean looks down at the stormclouds, tilting her head a bit.
"Huh…don't think I've seen an undersea river like this one before," she remarks outloud and looks around.

>Electroception if applicable

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.733378

>>733373
Alder giggles a little bit, and tries his best to drag Splendid off and let Mallea work in peace.

He'd spend the majority of the six days either studying some of the music he bought with Splendid, or working on the puzzle box. As much as he'd like to get into the box quickly, the last thing he wants to do is force it- he makes sure to take it slow and steady instead!
[1d10+2] Master Thief (+1 TBP, DC -2)
[1d10+2] Master Thief (+1 TBP, DC -2)


>>733374
>I'll respond to this one when I get back! Sorry, gotta brb

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

 No.733379


 No.733380

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu

>>733373
>>733374
The days drag on for Cloud, finding himself wondering on the family picture he found and how this island could've gotten down this tunnel. The darkness doesn't bother him at all, his bat senses fit for the dark.

When they finally emerge from the chasm and find light, Cloud heads to the railing of the ship to peer over, looking down at the storming clouds and rising bubbles.
"What is this?"
He asks, though likely nopony would know the answer.
>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.733381

>>733090
She blinks. "I feel Mallea would be better suited to teaching. But I will counsel you where I can, yes. I feel you have some scantling of potential. I am… intrigued to see how you develop."

>>733374
She looks out at the view wide-eyed, passively smoking her pipe as the ship begins to approach the stormclouds. "Water dissolving, and water removing," she muses quietly. "There is water at the bottom of the ocean." She's not even sure where she heard that from.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.733382

>>733378
The puzzle box didn't gain its name for nothing, you learn. Its unconventional locks and trap mechanisms are far beyond any you're familiar with, and every breakthrough you make seems to be "rewarded" only by more complex mechanisms to challenge your wit and logic. However, after much trying, you manage to finish cracking the outer lock. When you open the box in triumph, you see inside a strange sight.

The easiest way to describe it is like a matryoshka doll, for within the puzzle box, you see a series of smaller, but otherwise identical boxes, all nested within one another, leading downward. There seem to be five nested boxes, and they seem like they descend deeper than the outer box could possibly hold; a paradox of impossible space. As you attempt to figure this out, the boxes shudder, and start to rise up. The end result is that the first of these five nested boxes rises up and locks in place. You find that you can push it back down to close the outer box, and when you open it again, the first nested box rises back up, allowing you to challenge or put it away whenever you wish.

 No.733383

>>733376

"Stay away from the gray crystals," Cutlass orders. "For now, that's all I have."

 No.733384

>>733381
Splendid nods, failing to suppress a faint trilling of excitement from the back of her throat. "I'd be here all day if I were to thank you as much as I want, love. I'll try not to disappoint or disprove your appraisal."

>>733381
>>733380
>>733377
>>733375
>>733383
"An understorm," Sir Kukulcan's voice says from nowhere. Many of the gathered crewmates leap with surprise, looking around every which way for where the captain could be. However, Bee Holder raises her hoof for calm, and in it, you can see that she has out her Caller Conch.
"Haven't heard from you in an age, Captain," Bee Holder says. She has a look of annoyance that her voice does not betray.
"Apologies, Captain!" Kukulcan responds. His voice is hard to hear, as the audio is muffled and full of gurgles. "Caller Conches have a set range under the best of circumstances, and underwater travel drastically reduces those ranges – not to mention the interference created by the living stones; certain wavelengths of natural magic can disrupt it as well.
"To get back to what I was saying, what you are seeing now is an understorm, an underwater weather phenomenon, created by a confluence of factors. Most commonly, they are created by hydrothermal vents releasing water heated by volcanic activity beneath the bedrock. Many species of ocean-based magical beasts can create understorms, such as the whyrlpool; a rare few are understorms themselves."

 No.733385

>>733382
"Well… at least I will not be idle anytime soon." the griffon says, chuckling to himself. "One down, five… or more, to go."

>>733374
"Clouds… on the ocean floor? How exactly does that work?" the griffon asks, utterly confused.

 No.733386

>>733385
>>733384
>I'm dumb and forgot perception [1d10]

"Understorms? How bizarre. I do not think I know what a hydrothermal vent is, though… so much of things ocean-related are just confusing. Is the ocean like this everywhere, or just here in the Ribcage?"

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.733387

>>733384

"Hmm," is all Cutlass says at this information.

She looks to the understorm to see with her soul vision to determine whether or not this one is a living thing.

>Soul Vision on understorm

 No.733388

>>733384
She raises an eyebrow at the conversation, but does not comment, simply digesting this new information passively.

 No.733389

>>733384
"Woah…that sounds neat. Very scary, but neat."

>>733386
"Its a vent that spits out very smelly and very hot water. But there are a lot of things that kinda live off them. They're…kinda odd, honestly. And usually very white or glowey."

 No.733390

>>733389
"Live off of smelly and hot water? How bizarre. Why do the things that live around vents look white and glowey?" he asks, cocking his head to the side.

 No.733391

>>733384
"It's just a storm? Well that's easy then, give me a few seconds."
Cloud responds as Kukulcan's voice calls over Bee Holder's conch. Cloud looks back over the edge, focusing on the storm to quell it and clear the way.
>Climate Control [Cam Waters] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.733392

>>733386
Kukulcan laughs gently. "Would you believe me if I said that Black-Book was right – that there really is 'water' at the bottom of the ocean? Brine pools, underwater lakes and rivers – some, entire seas, in their own right. The world is vast and strange, Alder the Surgeon. Never let yourself believe that you have figured it all out."

>>733387
The colossal understorm is not, but there are many sea-monsters within, that you sense as living. Most are simple, uncomplicated creatures, wanting nothing more than to satisfy their hunger or hoard various valuables or elements.

>>733389
>>733388
>>733387
>>733386
>>733391
Whenever you look back down at the voluminous, golden understorm raging far below, you occasionally espy a glimpse of a gap in those clouds. They most commonly appear when one of the sea-monsters writhing within jumps from one cloud to another, either to get at food or to challenge another sea-monster; the cloud they left gets dissipated by the impact of their leap. About thirty or so seconds after one of the clouds is annihilated by a jump, the volcanic vents from below cause another cloud to take the destroyed one's place.

The more perceptive among you start to notice a pattern forming in how some of the clouds dissipate. You focus on two sea-creatures in particular, which resemble long, frilled salamanders, their necks and tails curving like mirrored 'S' shapes. One seems to be pursuing the other at first, only for the dynamic to switch occasionally; the one that was being pursued stops and observes the pursuer, which has itself stopped in order to fight some other sea-creature. It seems to be some kind of bizarre mating ritual, flirtation mixed with a periodic flex of the male's strength to win over the female.

Cloud has a hard time focusing on a storm as large as this, but he manages to focus on some of the gaps created by the salamanders' leaping, holding them open for longer than they normally would be.

"So what we're after is beyond the storm?" Bee Holder asks.
"Indeed; you will have to pass through it, just as we have," Kukulcan says. "After you are through, contact us again, and we shall arrange a meeting based on whatever landmarks seem to be closest.

 No.733393

>>733390
"I don't really know the whole thing, but my mother always said 'life finds a way.'"

 No.733394

>>733392
"Wouldn't it be more sensible to travel around the storm?" she points out. "It would add a few days to our journey, but surely it's a safer option."

 No.733395

>>733393
"I suppose it does, yes." the griffon says, scratching his head a little.

>>733392
"I suppose it would only be fair at this point to believe you- the ocean is such a bizarre place." the griffon says, giggling a little bit. "I shall endeavor to remember that!"

>>733392
"I suppose we must measure the time, and then try to pass through when the moment arises? Do we go through one at a time, or both at the same time? I would be worried about too little space."

 No.733396

>>733392
Cloud holds his head a moment.
"This storm is bigger than I'm used to… Captain, if we're going through let's make it quick!"
Cloud says to Bee Holder, continuing his magic to hold open the gaps and keep the storm at bay.
>Climate Control [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.733397

>>733392
>>733394

"Every day we add is actually adding two days to our trip since we will have to make the return eventually. We're already about a week in. We can't afford to strain our supplies too much further."

 No.733398

>>733394
>>733397
"Although technically not impossible, I am afraid there is little chance of that, Black-Book," Kukulcan responds. "For the ruins of mighty Cuauhtemoc lie at the bottom of a valley, in the shadow, as it were, of many seamounts. Finding passage through the seamounts will prove a great challenge. But I am not your Captain, so I cannot dictate or forbid your actions. If you wish to risk those supplies or damage to the hull, that is your decision."

>>733397
>>733396
>>733394
>>733395
>>733393
"Ten days in, counting the four we spent getting from Agyl Island to the end of the kelp forest," Bee Holder corrects Cutlass. She watches as the stormclouds of the understorm escape Cloud's control and go back to their normal patterns. Pacing around the bow, her lips are pursed with thought, then turns back to the crew.
"It's too risky if we just rely on Cloud's attempts at controlling the storm," Bee Holder says. "But we can see plainly that the clouds of the storm part and cleave according to the patterns of the sea-monsters jumping around within 'em. If we can agitate or control them, we can make a safer passage to shoot through than just hoping Cloud gets a good grip on things."
"Are you proposing we attack the sea-monsters?" Godot asks.
"If it comes down to that, sure," Bee Holder says with a grin. "Or, do any of you have a trick or an ability to help us get through this?"

She looks toward the crew for their answers.

 No.733399

>>733394
"Maybe traveling around it would not necessarily be doable? Sort of like how there is not always two paths through a mountain, or the like."

 No.733400

>>733398
Cerulean looks around at everyone else a bit, then steps up slightly, though looking like she's trying to get past some nervousness.
"Well…I could try singing to them. See if I can make them friendly enough to help out for a bit."

 No.733401

>>733398

Cutlass mentally goes through her own arsenal of tricks and abilities and comes up short.

She looks to her own crew. "And of you have a new Aura power that would be useful here?"

 No.733402

>>733398
>>733397
>>733399
"We are quite literally surrounded by potential food sources," she points out. "But I suppose it's simpler to brave it instead."

She rummages around before pulling out the Sea-Servant's Ring, flipping it like a coin and showing it to Bee Holder. "This allows one to speak with sea creatures. Perhaps we could have them make way using it," she suggests.

 No.733403

>>733398
"Hey, I got this just fine. I wouldn't let any of you get caught up in my own mistakes. Just aim for one of their clouds and start going when they jump and I'll handle the rest."

 No.733404

>>733403
>>733402
>>733400
>>733401
As you all start to propose several potential solutions, Chiu and Droplet step forward as well.
"If you can get me close enough where I can see a shadow, I can try to animate it with Shadow Puppet Show," Chiu says. "That'd let me control the shadow of one of the sea-monsters."
"Funny, that's like the inverse of my ability, Shadow Mime," Droplet says. "Though, I haven't actually tested mine on non-sapient creatures."

The two then give a brief overview of their abilities.

>Shadow Puppet Show: Satire

Type: Dyn, Psi
-Chiu can animate a target's shadow to act autonomously; the shadow will act in an exaggerated manner, satirizing its owner. It can be detached and separated from the owner, and can speak. It has access to all knowledge, but not powers, of its owner.
-In combat, the shadow will act in a manner contrary to its owner. If the shadow remains connected to them, the shadow's contrary forces will work against them, reducing any combat bonuses they receive by 2 for 2d3 turns. If the shadow has been separated from the owner, it can attack them directly. This lasts for 2d3 turns, or until Chiu is knocked unconscious or leaves the battle. For this reason, this ability is unsuited for use on allies.

>Shadow Mime

-Shadow Mime: Recharge 3 after effect ends; If Droplet takes on a specific person's appearance using Shadow Balloon Animal, he can activate this to lock the other person into a forced pantomime with him. His victim is forced to imitate his every action until they fall helpless, or until Droplet is hit once.

"Let's save the forceful abilities for later," Bee Holder suggests. "Cerulean, Thessaly, I'm interested in what you two have to offer. Cutlass, you have the gift of the gab. Think you could make use of Thessaly's ring?"

 No.733405

>>733402
"R-Right! My bad."

>>733404
"Oh! That is an interesting pair of abilities, to say the least. There seems to be a good deal of light- even if there is not enough, perhaps we could iluminate enough to make one?"

 No.733406

>>733404
>>733402

"What does the ring do?" Cutlass asks, raising an eyebrow.

 No.733407

>>733404
"Fancy shadow stuff," she remarks with a smile, intrigued by the explanations.
"Well, I like the plan of Cutlass talking to it. Only cause you're good at talking to things and all."

 No.733408

>>733404
"We just need to get the creatures to hop, right? What if we just throw some bait down into a different cloud, or a big light or something to scare them away?"

 No.733409

>>733404
"Alternately," she suggests, "I could try to part the waters, and carve out a path for our budding fleet. I do not know how long I could hold them at bay, though."

>>733406
She gives her a bemused look. "…It allows you to speak to sea creatures. I just said so."

 No.733410

>>733408
>>733409
>>733407
>>733405
>>733406
"What if…" Miss Sunshine begins, wandering between the two ships via gangplank as she looks over at all of you. "Cerulean sings to get their attention, Cutlass explains to them our situation, while Chiu and Droplet control their shadows, while Cloud tosses down some bait, and then Thessaly parts the waters, and then we all go through!?"
She hops once to put some emphasis on the end of her grand scheme.
"Well, it would certainly make a case for all of the involved parties getting a participation trophy," Godot snidely remarks.
"Whatever the case, the rest of us are going to have our hooves full ensuring nothing goes wrong on the descent," Bee Holder says. "We're still passing through a storm here. Both our ships will need all hooves on deck to make sure we don't catch stray lightning or volcanic bubbles."

 No.733411

>>733404
>>733409

Cutlass returns the bemused look. "Forgive me," she says across the gap between their two ships. "It's hard to hear someone talking to someone else on another ship while I'm talking to an entirely different group of people."

"I've never spoken with animals before, so I don't know how much they can be manipulated. But, I can at least give it a try. Hopefully, even if I fail, it may not end up being hostile."

"On the subject of just manipulating the creatures, Make Believe, would your stickers work on them?"

>>733410

Cutlass looks down at the male of the two salamanders, her eyes glowing silver.

>Soul Vision on male salamander

 No.733412

>>733410
"In…in front of everyone," she asks and looks around at everyone.
"I mean, sure! I can totally do that!"

 No.733413

>>733412

"I believe in you," Cutlass says in an awkward attempt at being supportive.

 No.733414

>>733410
"I was suggesting bait for somepony else to do since I'm still going to focus on calming the storm, but yea all that should work together."

 No.733415

>>733410
"That… could work, perhaps!"

>>733412
"You can do it! If you are half as good at singing as biting, it will be amazing!"

 No.733416

>>733410
She nods. "That sounds acceptable." She waits for the others to begin the plan, continuing to observe her surroundings with curiosity.

 No.733417

>>733415
>>733413
"Th-thanks guys. I'll try my best." She looks a bit more relieved to have some support from others, but still seems a bit nervous.

 No.733418

>>733411
Sorry, but that won't work for two reasons, Make Believe says. I defined my ability during its inception as only working on living, sapient beings. By the way Droplet, you really shouldn't leave any part of your ability to whim or randomness. You have to think about all of its capacities and limits, or else, if you try to use it in a situation that would result in undefined behavior, it will act erratic, and may even rebound back to you, or hurt a bystander.
Droplet subtly gulps, then nods. "Got it. I'll get back to the drawing board."
The other reason is that my stickers are real stickers, Make Believe continues. Adhesive and everything. If you put some water on 'em, or try to put 'em on a wet surface, they slip right off. If we're under da sea, I'm basically useless. Might as well use me as bait, heheheh.

>>733411
You focus on the male salamander as he quite literally flexes and twists, performing acrobatic feats in the storm-clouds to show off for his potential mate. Your mind is assaulted by a heinous storm of images that quite simply do not need to be described in any great detail for the sake of good taste. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

In the end, you come away with a very good idea of the only thing that his primitive animal brain wants. But it looks like his would-be mate isn't too interested in him… perhaps some advice is what he needs.

>>733412
"Just think about all the albums you'll sell! You got this!" Miss Sunshine offers as encouragement.
"Do you need a backup singer?" Bent Scales asks. "I normally lead the shanties, but I don't mind playing second chair if you wanna take the lead."

>>733411
>>733412
>>733414
>>733416
>>733415
Bee Holder nods. "Alder, you can handle the bait if you aren't doing anything else. Everyone, hold tight. I'm going to bring in the Beesting closer to make things easier. Captain Cutlass, it'd be wise to do the same."
Miss Sunshine turns to Cutlass. "I'll control the helm while you focus on winning over our fishy friends."
As the Beesting starts to descend closer to the understorm, mooks of both ships go down belowdeck to retrieve barrels of chum, rotted foodstuffs, and other things that would serve as bait that could be tossed overboard.

 No.733419

>>733418

Cutlass grimaces as she processes the horrors she just saw. Her head twitches as she comes to the realization that will always be a memory she holds. She gags at the thought.

Then, she looks over at the female being chased. She stares for a moment, contemplating where her life went wrong that she is seriously considering subjecting her mind to similar horrors. But, she needs more info for this to work. She lets out a long sigh, and her eyes turn silver.

>Soul Vision on female salamander

 No.733420

>>733418
Cloud looks over to the chum barrels, eye glowing as he grows them a bit to be more enticing if they need to throw them.
>Wax/Wane [Grow Bait] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

 No.733421

>>733419
Like her male counterpart, the female salamander is mostly answering to her base instincts, although the visions you receive from her are not nearly as graphic as the male's. In fact, conjugal relations are an extremely minimal portion of what she desires. She wants a handsome, strong mate, one with a stable line of work that brings in a good haul of undersea treasure, and preferably one that has good taste in caves, and knows how to fix holes, and can bring home good-tasting bottom feeders and octopi for dinner, with the occasional exotic dish (such as freshly-drowned pirates) and some chocolate, and has a romantic and a funny side, and…

The list goes on.

 No.733422

>>733418
"Okay! What kind of bait do we use? Do I just… toss it out?"

 No.733423

>>733421
>>733420
>>733417
>>733416
>>733415

"Okay…" Cutlass announces to the rest of the party. "Potential problem number 1: among the things I just found out from their souls, I saw them eating SPECIFICALLY pirates… That's not great."

 No.733424

>>733420
>>733422
Bee Holder gestures to the chum barrels that the mooks draw out, as Cloud enlarges them. "Use those. I've seen you to be a steady shot and a good marksbird. Try to scatter it in a wide enough berth to get us a wide opening for the ships to proceed through."

>>733423
Bee Holder looks your way. "And?"

 No.733425

>>733418
"Albums? I really don't think I could go that far like this," she says, trying to downplay things a bit.

Cerulean looks to Bent and thinks a moment, then nods.
"Yeah…that would actually be nice."

 No.733426

>>733418
She focuses all her mental faculty into the surrounding water, calling on it to surrender to her will so she may command the ocean to give them a wide berth when the time comes.Máthair Aigéan, éist le mo ghuth… Géill do mo thoil… Géill do mo thoil…"
[1d10+5] Unholy Elementalist, spending all TBP

Roll #1 7 + 5 = 12

 No.733427

>>733424

"And, what?"

 No.733428

>>733425
Bent Scales nods, heading up to the prow as the ships slowly descend. She begins to perform some warm-up techniques, singing up and down through some of the major and minor scales, practicing her staccatos, fermatas, and even a few tongue twisters in both Equish and the language of the dragons.

 No.733429

>>733427
"And what, what?"

 No.733430

>>733424
"Okay! I will doo my best, Captain Bee Holder!" the griffon chirps, bobbing his head a couple of times.

>>733423
"C-Concerning, but as long as our bait is good enough, it will not matter, perhaps?"

 No.733431

>>733428
Cerulean doesn't have the musical training like Bent seems to, so she just focuses her aura and thinks of her mother's lullabies.

 No.733432

>>733423
>>733424
"Alright, we'll just stick some old clothes and pirate hats into the bait to trick them even more."
Cloud suggests.

 No.733433

>>733426
You bend a great circle of the waters below the ships to your will, leaving them to their own devices until the time to strike is ripe. As aether swarms from your horn and through your body, you feel a great sense of power and invigoration from bending the ocean itself, at least a portion, to your will.

>>733430
>>733431
>>733432
>>733427
The two ships eventually descend deep enough through the waters that the thrashing, tumultuous understorms can be heard clearly, even despite the ocean waters that muffle their sounds. You can see now a multitude of smaller sea-monsters in the clouds as well, strange abominations at once fascinating and unsettling in their strangeness, their many tentacles and appendages, frills and gills, many eyes or lack thereof, multiple mouths and tongues, and even some features that make some look downright like ponies…

But in a thrash, a great swathe of these lesser creatures are swept up into the maw of the male salamander as he cavorts and jives for the attention of his would-be mate, who watches from a distance, only giving him just enough glances to drag his interest along. You can see that the salamanders are each about half the size of the ships, and would be a potential threat by themselves if this were to go wrong…

As the ships get into range, Bent Scales looks to Cerulean for her cue.

 No.733434

>>733433

Cutlass waits for a chance to do her thing.

 No.733435

>>733433
Cloud steps back from the railing as they near and see the salamander snap up a swarm of creatures in one gulp.
"I'd try shrinking them to make this easier, but I think that'd just draw a lot more retaliation."
Cloud waits by for the others to begin the plan, waiting for his moment to calm the storms.

 No.733436

>>733433
Cerulean gives a gulp, but then looks to Bent and gives a nod.
"Alright. Let's give it a shot." Cerulean clears her throat and begins to sing out some notes out into the ocean to try and get the creature's attention in a friendly way.

>Spending a aura point

[1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

 No.733437

>>733434
>>733435
>>733436
The thing is that Cerulean's and Bent's singing actually does not, strictly speaking, fail. Rather it works quite well. their youthful, peppy, and cute pop tune does indeed draw attention to the two ships. As the two salamanders look over your way, their heads tilt, and you get the feeling that they think the lot of you are quite cute.

The thing is that they think you're cute in the way that an eagle thinks a woodland critter is cute.

The male salamander slithers up close to the Beesting, circling around it a few time, then with a glance at his female, the kind of glance that can only be described as a "Hey, check this out babe," kind of glance, he throws his entire weight at the Beesting, threatening to tilt the ship over, and sending mooks flying toward the ratlines on the port bow. Many shout with fear and cling to the mast and whatever railings they can get ahold of to avoid being tossed out to the sea.

"ALDER! THESSALY!" Bee Holder shouts. "Do it now!"

 No.733438

>>733437
She doesn't hesitate, curling the water around the salamander, forcibly dragging it away from the ship.
[1d10] Water attack

She follows up with a bolt of magic of her own to scare it off.
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] Magic Bolt

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #3 6 + 1 = 7

 No.733439

>>733437
"A-Ack!" the griffon chirps, trying to shove out the barrels as directed!
[1d10+3] (Using 3 TBP)

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.733440

>>733437
Cloud turns back as Cerulean and Bent begin to sing, finding it quite good, and surprised at how well Cerulean sings. When it draws the salamanders in too well though, Cloud turns back in a panic. Since they're alreayd being attacked, not much worse can happen now if they provoke them he figures, eye glowing orange as he elects to shrink the male salamander to stop it from flipping the boat.
>Wax/Wane [Shrink Salamander] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11

 No.733441

>>733437
Cerulean gives a bit of a yelp, then tries to change her tune in the tense moment. She changes from passive and soothing hums to trying to sound a bit more 'bigger' and tougher, giving some hard bites in the air for some beats before yelling out, "Stop it or else!"

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733442

>>733441
>>733438
>>733439
>>733440
Thessaly's bolt scorches off a good portion of the salamander's tail, but he seems more annoyed than hurt by it, suggesting an ability to regenerate limbs. As Bee Holder tries to right the ship by tugging the helm over in the opposite direction of the impact, Cloud shrinks the salamander down to about half its size. It tries to come in for another impact, but when Cerulean shouts at him, he pauses, allowing Bee Holder a moment to bring the ship back vertical. She punches the engine, causing the ship to descend even though there's no opening yet. But progress slows, and you can see that the salamander is clinging to the hull, trying to get it to stop.

From aboard the Hidden Dagger, Cutlass can hear the salamander shout, "Waaaait! Let me just have a few of you! Come on, I really like this girl! Come on, my parents won't stop nagging me about grandchildren!"

"Guns at the ready!" Kling-Klang shouts, and a number of Beesting mooks ready their firearms, making their way for the starboard bow to shoot the salamander off.

 No.733443

>>733442
Cloud pulls out his wand when the salamander refuses to let go of the ship, giving it a few twirls before sending a large gust of wind at it to blast it away and up in the cavern.
>Tamer of the Squalls [Whirlwind] [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.733444

>>733439
>>733442
Chum falls over the railing, but the salamander seems more focused on claiming the main prize – which as Cutlass mentioned earlier seems to be freshly-drowned pirate.

 No.733445

>>733442
She frowns and tries to drag the salamander away with the undertow again, continuing to try and dissuade it by conjuring a mandala and branding it. "Shoo."
>Exequy: spell, recharge 2 after effect ends; Thessaly places a curse upon an enemy, crippling them with dark magic. The target auto-critfails its next roll, and on a crit the target is rendered unable to attack on the next turn. If an enemy gets multiple rolls per turn, the first of those rolls is the one affected by Exequy. (+1 BP)
[1d10+2] Crits 9+
>[1d10] Elementalist

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.733446

>>733444
>>733442
Alder huffs a little- he hadn't quite aimed the barrel well enough! Hoping that a good shot might draw its attention, the griffon tries taking a shot at the barrel of chum with one of his electrically-charged bullets! The barrel might explode, or it might just be pushed further out- either could work.
[1d20+3] (+2 TBP)

Roll #1 11 + 3 = 14

 No.733447

>>733446
[1d10+3]
>I'm really stupid, ignore that 1d20! Someone was asking me about D&D while I was typing.

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4

 No.733448

>>733442

"Alright! Everyone, stop!" Cutlass shouts to the pirates and the Salamander.

"You!" she shouts at the salamander to get its attention (using the ring to make herself understood). "You're not proving anything with this. You're only going to make yourself look weaker. Then, she'll never want you. She wants more than just food and sex. She wants a salamander who can protect her and make a good cave for her."

>[1d10+2] Whisper in your Ear


Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.733449

>>733442
>>733448
With her part done, and Cutlass beginning the talks, Cerulean stops singing with a huge sigh.
"That…could've gone better, I think," she remarks to Bent, "sorry. Likely my fault."

 No.733450

>>733443
>>733449
>>733448
>>733445
>>733446
The crippling mandala seals the salamander as he begs for just a crumb of anything that he might be able to present this lady salamander that he's desperate to woo. He looks back at Cutlass as she tries to give him some honestly well-rounded relationship advice… but most of the thinking is now being done with his other head, and he turns back to the Beesting, making a last-ditch attempt to scale it and snap up some tasty mooks, when Alder shoots the chum-barrel that fell overboard. It bursts into many pieces, knocking the salamander into the churning storm below you, flailing wildly as he falls. "I still haven't even moved out…" Cutlass hears him cry as he drops into the clouds.

At the same time, just as Bent Scales is about to give Cerulean some musical advice, another problem arises. The force of the barrel's explosion, caused by the lightning bullet, has propelled the Beesting forward. As Bee Holder wrestles with the controls, the ship starts proceeding at an uncontrollable rate and a nauseating forward tilt toward the great gap in the stormclouds before you, beyond which lays a great drop into parts unknown.

>All aboard the Beesting, brace for impact.


[12d10] named occupants
[10d10] mooks

Roll #1 3, 5, 10, 9, 3, 3, 1, 1, 10, 8, 7, 3 = 63 / Roll #2 1, 1, 8, 9, 9, 4, 6, 10, 4, 6 = 58

 No.733451

>>733450
"Ahh jeez!" She yells out as she tries to grab on to the nearest, sturdy thing and braces herself.

[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.733452

>>733450
Cloud drops and grips onto the nearest piece of ship he can when it suddenly rockets forward from the explosion. His mind flashes back to the last horrid injury he got when they faced a storm, and grips tightly to not let that happen again.
>Brace [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.733453

>>733450
"Shite…" She teleports herself away from the edge, grabbing on to the mast and bracing herself. If Bran is nearby, she'll grab him as well.
[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.733454

>>733450
"A-Aieee! I did not mean to do such a thing! I apologize!" Alder shouts, trying to hold on
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733455

>>733453
She also bends the water to form a dense, protective cushion to stop the freefall.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733456

>>733450

"I can help you with that," Cutlass says quickly as she sees the Beesting drifting out of control toward the clouds. "But, first I need your help with something. Quickly, help that ship get through the clouds before they crash into them."

>Whisper in your Ear [1d10+2]


Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.733457

>>733456
>>733455
>>733454
>>733453
>>733452
>>733451
>"Across the many worlds," Magoja begins, gesturing to the ancient tome between him and his guest, "There are no shortage of places and phenomena must unusual and unexplainable. The Heart of Gold, as you came to ask about, would fall into this category, though where it fits precisely, even I cannot say. I don't know everything; only what I know. Finding out is the fun of exploring, isn't it?"
The guest asks something.
>"Examples?" Magoja asks. "Now, you should know better than to ask for what you can get on your own. But, you did pay a pretty hefty sum. Sorry, sorry! I won't play coy.

>"Say, then, for example… A hidden land… a place that none can see or visit except for a few souls; those who know the unknown words of entry for the gatekeepers, who know just the right way to step into hidden alleyways and enchanted copses – like the Sidhe, like fairy-lands and demon's realms.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6oBCiIWeY

>"And then there are those who fall in, almost completely by a combination of fortune, boldness, and accident."


As the Beesting starts to fall through the hole in the clouds, a most unusual and unexplainable thing begins to happen. At first, they see below them a dark, abyssal expanse, a deep sea-trench full of seamounts, at the center of which is a deathly valley full of dead island turtles – a colossal graveyard.

But in the next instant, the scene below them completely changes. They feel a sensation like glass shattering, and fragments much like glass fall away all around them, like when they defeated Auntzi. Now, what lays below them is a little slice of clear, beautiful ocean, turned a nostalgic golden glimmer by the setting sun.

The Beesting is falling through a sky, toward a cluster of island turtles, covered primarily in a thick and ancient jungle… and it's a very long way down.

A moment of awe gives way to terror as crewmates start to fall away from the ship. Alder, Thessaly and Cloud fall away, as do Bee Holder, Cane Shuga, Sickly Sweet, Kling Klang, Prisma, Paraiba and Splendid, and an unfortunate number of mooks.

Wordlessly, as if in shock, they all try to get ahold of the ship once more.

[7d10]

At the same time, the salamander that Cutlass spoke to rights himself, and he dives into the cloud bank…

[1d10+3] auto-critfail

Roll #1 4, 3, 9, 5, 6, 1, 7 = 35 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7

 No.733458

>>733457
Cloud stares at the changing scenery below as they begin to plummet, unsure if his eye is playing tricks on him or if the clouds were muddying the water that much. When his hooves lift, floating up as he's bumped from the ship in their free fall, he quickly struggles to reach his hoof out to grip the deck again to keep himself from parting from their vessel given he lacks wings to make a landing safer, pushing with all his force to make that connection.
>Spending 2 TBP
>Grab On [1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.733459

>>733457
Thessaly does a double take at the breathtaking landscape, but now's not the time for sightseeing. She reaches out to the water around her - above her? - and tries to command it to ensnare the boat in one last attempt.
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733460

>>733457
Alder lets out a startled squawk as the wonder of the ancient jungle wears off, and the falling begins! He tries to stretch his wings out and fly, and tries to grab at anyone nearby!
[1d10+1] Flying! (+1 TBP)

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.733461

>>733457
Cerulean keeps her grip she's got nice and firm, marveling at the sight before her in the process. The sight is a bit ruined by seeing crewmates go flying up, so she tries her best to help: she tries to call out her aura and throw out her hakarl chains to latch onto someone, or give someone closeby a lifeline to grab onto.

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733462

>>733460
Bee Holder!

 No.733463

>>733457

"Well, now or never, I guess," Cutlass says to Miss Sunshine. "Let's get through those clouds!"

 No.733464

>>733460
You get ahold of Captain Bee Holder before she can fall away into oblivion, but the others, as a result of the fall, their panic, and a great draft of easterly wind, go flying away.

>>733463
Miss Sunshine nods, and begins to fiddle with the Chiccan engine, switching its mode from "Dive" to "Flight," as the Hidden Dagger reaches the hole through which the Beesting just plummeted like a rock.

>>733461
>>733459
>>733458
>>733462
The surface of the water is fast-approaching, and all others are hanging on for dear life. Thessaly and Cloud manage to get ahold of the ship, but Cerulean is free-falling over the merciless water. A fall from this height is almost assuredly deadly. Bee Holder, the second she's caught, reaches into her belt and retrieves a small black gun, which she fires at the sea.

>The Captain's Orders

>Function: Automatic: Give an order to all those loyal to the Beesting. With this power, all in the Beesing's ranks will be able to hear you, regardless of distance, and will be filled with a storming strength, like the first wave of a tsunami crashing upon an island. They must obey the words of your order, and cannot resist.
>Description: A mysterious pistol with an old sea-charm placed upon it. In times of desperation, captains call upon this power to rally their crews about them regardless of the circumstances. Because of this, abuse or tyrannical application of the Orders almost always result in mutiny.

Suddenly, all of you are filled with an intense vigor, combined with a sense of extreme compulsion. Despite how far away she is, you can hear Bee Holder's voice clearly.

"THE ENGINE! SWITCH IT FROM 'DIVE' TO 'FLIGHT'!!!" Bee Holder screams.

>gain +3 to your actions this turn


Suddenly, you see all the mooks and crew who managed to get ahold of the ship crawling toward the Chiccan engine at the back of the ship near the helm.

At the same time, you see a curious pink and gold shape zoom toward the Beesting. It's… the salamander from earlier! And he's got clouds with him!

 No.733465

>>733464
She doesn't waste time, teleporting herself in short jumps all the way to the engine room and doing her best to switch its mode, despite having little experience with it.
[1d10+3] Engine switching if needed

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

 No.733466

>>733464
Cerulean starts to freak out slightly as she tries to get her chains under some better control and try to latch onto some part of the ship and pull herself back to safety.

[1d10+3]

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

 No.733467

>>733464

"See now, this makes more sense!" Cutlass exclaims as the world shifts and they're suddenly not in water anymore. "Clouds should be in the sky, not under the water!"

"Looks like they had some trouble down there…" she comments as the Beesting is nearly crashing into the ground. "Not much we can do from here…"

"Land her gently, Miss Sunshine."

 No.733468

>>733464
Cloud grabs hold of the ship, pulling himself onto the deck securely, though seeing some of the others not as successful and part farther and farther from the ship. If he only had his wings, he could've helped them.
But then the gunshot echoes in his ears, feeling a clear sense of energy flow through him, easing his nerves after the rough storm. He looks as the crew and Thessaly run to the engine room to set the ship to flight as The Esper can. With them caring for hte ship, Cloud looks up to their falling crewmates, taking out his wand and directing the wind above, flicking the wand along as if conducting the breeze itself to grab, slow, and steer them to safety… or at least not go too far off course.
>Spending 2 TBP
>Tamer of the Squalls [Wind Funnel] [1d10+5]

Roll #1 7 + 5 = 12

 No.733469

>>733464
[1d10+4] rallying Cry
Alder lets out a furious, aura-infused screech- if any of his friends are still in hearing range, maybe it'll help!
[1d10+3] Alder looks around to see if anyone else can be spotted, or caught- Splendid has wings, maybe she could have caught a couple?

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7

 No.733470

>>733467
>>733469
>>733468
>>733465
>>733466
Every one of the Beesting's crew that hasn't gone flying off to nowhere crawls, compelled by a force stronger than any of them, to the engine's main interface. Even Cloud moves as he goes for his wand to control the winds. Thessaly is the first there, throwing herself onto the main lever, undoing the safety locks. Many mooks join her in giving the lever a mighty wrench to the right, switching the engine from Dive mode to Flight mode. The hippogriff spirits that surround the ship release their air bubble, and instead start to gather below and to the sides of the ship, becoming a set of inverted wings.

As all that happens, the Hidden Dagger descends through the gap in the clouds slowly. The switching of the Beesting's engine provides a much-needed braking, but at first it seems like it isn't enough… until the salamander that Cutlass won over dives in below the ship, providing it with a cushion of clouds to break its fall some more.

In the last possible seconds, the Beesting slows enough to not avoid breaking into hundreds of pieces as it hits the surface of the placid ocean – the ocean at the bottom of the ocean. The crew is deathly shaken, but alive, breathing a sigh of relief – with the air at the bottom of the ocean.

>All lose 1 wound from the impact


>Paused


>

>
>

>"What's that?" Magoja asks, as the guest closes the mighty book with a thud, and tucks it under his arm. "…an interesting offer. I will undertake any job for the proper sum, but what of my apprentice, Walah? Surely, you wouldn't want her to join, too? An expedition like this requires personnel of certain experience, and she is far too green…

He gawks at his guest as he speaks again, then laughs.
>"Ahahaha! What cruelly sound reasoning. Very well – and I'll inform her myself. Actually, first, hand me some glasses from that cabinet, if you would. Where did I put that corkscrew…? …Hmm? Why, we simply must celebrate. After all, I just became witness and honored participant to a most rare event.
>"After all…"
>Magoja flashes a devil's grin.
>"They say that nobody has joined the Court of the Crimson King in over one hundred years."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-btE-a6NHo

 No.733792

My computer is having massive issues, struggles to turn on. Leaving this in a moment when something works. If I don't show, it's because of this.

 No.733793

Last time, on PirateQuest…

The two ships of the fledgling fleet wandered through dark underwater tunnels, guided by the faint light glimmering through mysterious ore veins that snaked in and out of the rocks around them, as well as Prisma's directions, for whenever the ships came to a crossroads in the labyrinthine tunnels. They had no sunlight or stars to mark time, but their pocketwatches told them that the journey took six nights and six days, bringing the total length of their trip to ten days so far.

At long last, they found another, brighter light, far below them, awaiting on the other end of a massive chasm in the rock. They descended, until they beheld an incredible sight – another sea floor, far below the bedrock through which they had just traveled. Upon that sea floor, there was an immense layer of stormy clouds – an understorm, in Kukulcan's words, apparently produced by gas produced from hydrothermic vents connecting to volcanic veins. Their destination, Cuauhtemoc, was on the other side of the understorm, requiring them to come up with some way of traversing the clouds, which on top of being stormy, were full of sea monsters of many sorts.

They devised a scheme to get the attention of one of the more dangerous sea-monsters, a great salamander, and beseech it for aid, using Cerulean's and Cutlass's aura abilities and Thessaly's artifact which enabled communication with non-sapient animals. The plan failed when the salamander decided instead to attack the ships in order to impress his would-be mate. Improvising, Cloud tore open a whole in the understorm, and the Beesting, knocked off-balance by the salamander's attack, fell through the gap.

The Beesting fell, rather than descended, because there was not water beneath the understorm, but rather, fresh air. Far below them was a massive island many miles wide and broad, covered with foliage, and it was surrounded, as impossible and illogical as it might seem, by an ocean of its own. With the crew and the ship falling to what seemed a certain death, Bee Holder used a magical gun to forcibly compel everyone to run toward the Chiccan engine on the back of the ship, and change its mode from "Dive" to "Flight." This, combined with the help of the salamander (for Cutlass was able to win it over in the end), allowed the Beesting to land safely in the nick of time.

 No.733794

>All
Every one of the Beesting's crew that hasn't gone flying off to nowhere crawls, compelled by a force stronger than any of them, to the engine's main interface. Even Cloud moves as he goes for his wand to control the winds. Thessaly is the first there, throwing herself onto the main lever, undoing the safety locks. Many mooks join her in giving the lever a mighty wrench to the right, switching the engine from Dive mode to Flight mode. The hippogriff spirits that surround the ship release their air bubble, and instead start to gather below and to the sides of the ship, becoming a set of inverted wings.

As all that happens, the Hidden Dagger descends through the gap in the clouds slowly. The switching of the Beesting's engine provides a much-needed braking, but at first it seems like it isn't enough… until the salamander that Cutlass won over dives in below the ship, providing it with a cushion of clouds to break its fall some more.

In the last possible seconds, the Beesting slows enough to not avoid breaking into hundreds of pieces as it hits the surface of the placid ocean – the ocean at the bottom of the ocean. The crew is deathly shaken, but alive, breathing a sigh of relief – with the air at the bottom of the ocean.

>All lose 1 wound from the impact

 No.733795

>>733794
Thessaly doesn't move for a while, shaken from the impact, clinging to the engine until she's absolutely sure the ship's stopped. Once it's over, she breaks away, dusting herself off with an impassive expression before heading topside to check on the rest of the crew.

 No.733796

>>733793
>>733794
Cerulean smacks onto the deck of the ship with a loud thud, making her aura chains break apart and disappear. She picks her head up with a groan, and thuds her head back down.
"Can we…not ever do that again? I liked it when we were in the water better."

 No.733797

>fixing H/W

 No.733798

>>733793
>>733794
Alder lets out a somewhat unsettled chirping noise as they make a soft-ish crash landing instead of a far more painful one. It takes him a few moments to clear his head, but he gets to all fours as quickly as he can- he's got to track down everyone else!

>>733795
>>733796
>>733793
Alder finds as much of the crew as he can (Captain included), and lets out a nervous burst of chatter before bowing "I-I apologize for endangering us. If everyone is injured, I could possibly help, but I believe we are missing several crew members!"

 No.733799

>>733795
>>733797
Your bodies remain stiff and awkward as you rise, and your movements are a little uncomfortable, as if you had just spent the last few moments as a marionette or mannequin. As you reach the top deck, you do a quick headcount – Kling-Klang, Paraiba, Prisma, Cane Shuga, and twelve of the ship's fifty mooks are nowhere to be found, having been tossed to the winds during the ship's near-deadly descent from above. Those still aboard the ship are in various states of pain, rubbing at sore sides and legs and administering basic first aid to many wounds sustained during the crash.

>>733795
>>733796
>>733798
Bee Holder, still held by Alder, comes down from above, sucking air between her teeth with worry. "Shit… first order of business! Anyone who's still shipshape, I need two teams – one to assess the damage we've taken, and another to get out there and find our missing mates!"

She looks to Alder. "You've got the right idea. Take point on the second team; you're one of the few not battered. Grab whoever you wish."

She heads to the prow to study the surrounding areas. You can see that the sky above is sepia, sunset-like, from the clouds of the understorm, which cover all the firmament to the horizon in every direction. To the east and south, you see endless waters, catching that nostalgic color, and to the north, amid this strange second ocean, you see a small rocky outcropping – and you realize that it is not simply an outcropping, but rather a whole port, made of stone. It appears to have been damaged quite a bit, with rubble choking its roads and thoroughfares. There are no ships there; no signs of Kukulcan or his crew, in other words.

To the west lies the great island you glimpsed on your way down, more vast than any you have seen so far. It is covered with many willowy tropical trees, and its surface is marked by high mountain ranges, surrounded, presumably, by deep valleys – not that you can see from here, for the sea-level is a poor vantage point for this island. The jungle is quiet and dark, and though a humid heat emanates from it, you cannot hear any monsters or critters wandering within, strangely.

 No.733800

>>733799
Cerulean eventually stands up, trying to get herself steady right now before she goes trying any big movements.
"So…where even is this?" She asks outloud, and calls up Roger and Tabasco to get ready for another adventure.

 No.733801

>>733799
"Should I take some time to look at the crew? Some might perhaps be injured severely."

 No.733802

>>733801
"I'll take care of that," Sickly Sweet offers. "The damage doesn't seem to be that bad. Besides, Godot and Sparkler are en route," he adds, gesturing upward to the slowly-descending Hidden Dagger.

 No.733803

>>733798
"You could have said nothing and no one would be the wiser that this was your doing," she says, her tone inscrutable.

>>733799
She nods to Bee Holder and wordlessly prepares to disembark and help with the search for the missing crew.

 No.733804

>>733802
"Ah, I understand. Again, I apologize for the trouble I have caused. I will try to round up those most fit to come along- I-I really have no idea what to expect." He'll say, hurrying off to find who he can.

>>733803
"I would have been the wiser- I would not lie to those of my tribe, and I would not lie to any of you." he says, folding his ears back a little.

 No.733805

>>733804
"Then you are a better person than many among us."

 No.733806

>>733800
"If Kukulcan is to be believed, this is Cuauhtemoc," Bee Holder says. "If you're heading out to look for the others, give him a call – it sounded like he was already on the island."

>>733798
"Stow the apologies," Bee Holder snaps. "We're pirates – danger is our eternal companion. If you're feeling guilty, bring back who ended up lost."

>>733800
>>733803
>>733804
As you make ready, some of the mooks prepare a lifeboat over the starboard bow, complete with oars. The lifeboats can seat up to ten each, so you have room to take a few others if you wish.

>Any Beesting member besides Bee Holder, Kling-Klang, Cane Shuga, Paraiba and Prisma can be chosen to accompany you at this time


Right now, the wrecked port to the north seems to be your primary means of entering the island, as the coastline is high, and there are no other obvious places for you to enter it. It is possible that there may be river mouths along the coastline, if you do not wish to dock at the port.

 No.733807

>>733805
Alder flicks his tail and chirps a bit in response. After a moment or two, he asks "Who exactly do you think we should bring along, Miss Thessaly? We have a few we could choose from."

>>733806"A-Ah. Understood, Captain! I will not fail you." he says, bowing his head again before puffing his cheeks out.

 No.733808

>>733806
"Good idea. For a loud and energetic guy, he sure knows how to stay quiet and hidden really good."
Cerulean will do just that: she takes out her caller conch and tries to get Kukulcan on the phone.

 No.733809

>>733794

While everyone else is sorting everything out, the Hidden Dagger slowly and gently floats down the long distance that they fell down so quickly.

"Well, that was easy," Cutlass says with a hint of cocky irony in her tone.

 No.733810

>>733808
It takes a while, but eventually you get a response. "Cerulean the Hungry, I presume!" Kukulcan greets you. "Pray tell – I hope that your crew made it through the storm alright? Where are you now?"

 No.733811

>>733807
>>733806
She shrugs, opting to go by herself. "If you wish to bring someone, that will be your choice," she says to Alder. "Perhaps your partner will be willing to accompany us."

She hops on a lifeboat and remains a passive observer for now, waiting to be rowed to port. She keeps an eye out for any signs of the missing crew, in case they landed in the ocean.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.733812

>>733810
"Yup, that's me!" Cerulean replies happily.
"And yeah. Hit some turbulent currents, but we're…mostly here. Just need to look for some overboard crewmates. And we're…in water somewhere. We think its Cuahtemoc?"

 No.733813

>>733811
"Ah- she has gone missing, I believe. I could only grab one person, a-and I chose the captain." he says, flicking his ears again.

>>733812
"Would you like to come along, Miss Cerulean?" he says, before humming. "Perhaps Bent Scales, too… or, Zerk?" he suggests to the others.

 No.733814

>>733813
Cerulean covers the conch for a moment.
"Yeah, absolutely. Lemme just finish this call really quick."

 No.733815

>>733812
"Indeed! Excellent work, making it through the understorm. Now, if you know not where you are, then let us meet at a location known as the Sundial Plaza. Head inland, and seek a great stone spire upon a hill. If you are outdoors, it is hard to miss; I am quite proud of it myself. I shall send some of my crew to meet you there and inform you of our location."

>>733809
As your ship lands next to the Beesting, you get the same view of the island and the surrounding waters as they do >>733799

Ossie then gestures to the lifeboat which is being lowered over the side of the Beesting. "Shall we disembark as well, Captain?" she asks.

 No.733816

>>733813
>Edited
>>733811
"Hrm… perhaps she could be useful- I will leave it up to her, though." he suggests, before looking around for/to Splendid for a response.

 No.733817

>>733815
"Sundial Plaza…stone spire on hill…got it! Alright, we might be a bit unless we find everyone quickly, so see your guys when we can. Bye!" Cerulean then informs everyone else of what Kukulcan said on he conch.

 No.733818

>>733815
>>733817

"Yes, drop the anchor and get the lifeboat in the water," Cutlass gives the order. "Who wants to come with us!?" she shouts out.

"Sounds like we know where we are headed, then?" Cutlass asks.

"North or west?" she asks, pointing to the two land formations in turn.

 No.733819

>>733811
>>733816
>>733817
Splendid comes over from where she was, assisting Sickly Sweet with aiding the injured from the crash, and she wears a guilty frown. "Let's get going. I panicked and only managed to grab Sickly Sweet as he fell near me, so I need to help find the others!"
Squatz wanders over to the lifeboat, sitting down without another word. His expression is dark, and a bit miserable-looking. He sets his things aside, takes the oars in his hooves, and waits for the others to hop in. Splendid takes her seat on the opposite end of the lifeboat, avoiding his gaze.

>>733818
Godot, Ossie and Droplet step forward as you call for volunteers. Meanwhile, Miss Sunshine sees to dropping anchor in a suitable location to secure the ship.

>>733818
>>733817
>>733816
>>733811
The two lifeboats are then lowered into the water, leaving you free to row to the port. It takes a little while, but before your arms get too tired from the effort, you manage to reach the port, where Splendid and Droplet produce lengths of rope to secure the lifeboats. The port consists mostly of square adobe buildings, of a style similar to that which you've seen in Manenhi, Gecko and Xallan. However, there is not a soul around, and the place lies mostly in rubble, a state of total disrepair. Roads are cracked, houses lie in heaps, and the three main roads, one to the northwest, one to the west, and one to the southwest, are mostly blocked with debris.

 No.733820

>>733819

"Really?" Cutlass expresses her shock. "Only three people want to explore a subterranean tropical island? "Here I was thinking that I'd have to choose who got to go."

"Oh well, congratulations," Cutlass concludes with a shrug. "Let's go!"

>>733819
>>733817
>>733816
>>733811

Cutlass looks around with fascination. "Huh… I can't tell if there was a civilization down here that made this or if this place somehow fell down here…"

Cutlass looks around for any signs of this place having previously spent a long time underwater. Seaweed or algae or anything where it seemingly shouldn't be. [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.733821

>>733819
>>733820
"It could go either way," she comments as she steps into the ruined port, surveying it with an impassive expression. She starts searching the area for any signs of life; specifically, that of their missing crew.
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.733822

>>733819
>>733820
"I'm pretty sure fell. During my lunch with Kukulcan, he said this was supposed to be a turtle island graveyard of sorts," she says as she takes out her totally non-lethal laser rifle. She then fires a shot or two around at anything that might reveal some more information.

>Information Rifle the place

 No.733823

>>733822
>>733821

"This place seems a little small for an island turtle… And that one too large," she says, gesturing to the other. "But, I suppose they could just be a juvenile and elderly ones."

Cutlass eyes Cerulean's rifle. "What in the world is that?"

 No.733824

>>733819
"Ah! Zerk and Bent Scales could stay behind, yes." he says as Squatz and Splendid join them in the boat. He gives Splendid a reassuring pat, before saying "Grabbing even one is better than none at all. Let us look for the others, yes?" he asks, before looking to Squatz. "Are you sure you would like to come along? I would not refuse the help, of course."

>>733820
"It is hard to say, to be quite honest. I do not know what to expect any longer… though, it looks to be in a terrible state. We need to be careful, either way."
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.733825

>>733823
"Oh! Its a fancy doohickey thing I found when beating up this talking evil shrimp. I just shoot stuff with it and I learn stuff about it!" She explains excitedly.

 No.733826

>>733820
"I think that strangeness is what's keeping most of them on the boat," Droplet offers. "This is perhaps the last of what any of us were expecting."

>>733824
Squatz takes a while before he responds, and you get a glimpse of his chin wavering. He clears his throat, suppressing tears. "Zerk's paralyzed, and Paraiba's gone missing," he says in a deadpan tone. "Am I supposed to sit around, doing nothing?"
"He- he didn't mean it like that," Splendid gently says.
"Right, sorry…" Squatz says. You've never seen the normally cocky thief act like this before.

>>733822
>>733821
>>733820
>>733824
https://youtu.be/mDCnZpyblPI
As you poke around the abandoned port town, you find quite a few strange sights. It is actually more vast than you previously saw, but the nature surrounding the town has hungrily reclaimed most of the landscape, making it seem smaller; foliage has crawled over a great wall that secures its western border, practically hiding it from view. A great number of houses have been practically swallowed up by vines, and trees blatantly grow in the middle of houses and vehicle lots, pushing aside all that is in their way.

It's like the earth is reclaiming the town.

Now, something stranger still. Though there are no souls about, it is as though they all simply vanished from the place mere moments before your arrival. In a house, you find tea that is still hot, despite the cup itself, and the furniture surrounding, being covered with dust. In other houses, plates of food remain half-eaten, but still fresh as the day that it was prepared.

>>733822
As you fire at the things around you, you notice something odd. Every burst of information that comes into your mind is half-formed, incomplete. For example, a shot at a plate of what are clearly mangos and apples provides practically no information about them: "[redacted] fruit."

Shooting at a tapestry hanging from a wall, depicting what is clearly a jaguar, results in only: "[redacted], a [redacted] of jungle cat, primarily nocturnal and preying upon [redacted]."

 No.733827

>>733823
"Perhaps it is not sunken at all," she suggests. "It could be some sort of… mirror… of the world above. We are under the sea still, after all. It could be the reflection in the waters given form. Such things are possible, from what I have learned."

>>733826
"And this would lend credence to the theory," she comments, observing the strange state of the nameless town. Her curiosity gets the better of her, and she takes an apple from a table, taking a dainty bite from it just to see if anything happens.

Otherwise, she will continue to search for the others.
[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.733828

>>733826
"Ah- I apologize, Squatz. I did not mean it in such an insulting manner." the griffon says, bowing a little.

"I… uhm, I will do what I can to help. I apologize for making things worse."


>>733826
"Something about this is… strange. It is as if every one here simply left the moment we arrived." he suggests, cocking his head to the side.
>>733827
"A mirror? A curious thought, but it could make sense. As much sense as anything else." he says, looking around.
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733829

>>733827
The sensation is unsettling, otherworldly – as you bite into the fruit, you can taste the apple's sweetness, and its moisture, but there is no texture, no physicality, no density to speak of. It's almost like you're biting through air, but it still takes you some time to complete your bite, and the chews afterward, as though you were still biting through something physical.

You notice something glimmering outside. A merchant's cart has spilled to one side, strewing its contents (mostly old scrolls) onto the flagstones. Among them, you see small black disks, about the size and thickness of a Bit each. They have four holes near their center, and they seem to be composed of a black crystalline substance. They possess a mysterious magical buzz to them. You count them up; there are about 230 of the obsidian coins.

 No.733830

>>733826
The first shot has Cerulean wondering if it got damaged, but the next ones kind of confirm that it isn't the rifle.
"Uhh…guys! I think there's something really weird about this place…words are just kind of missing," she calls out loud, trying to keep everyone alert for possible weird voodoo going on here.

 No.733831

>>733829
She sees no reason not to help herself. She takes 50 of the strange coins, examining them a bit more closely, as well as inspecting one of the scrolls.
[1d10] Insight/Perception/whatever you want to call it

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733832

>>733825

Cutlass blinks a few times then slowly shakes her head. "I don't know why I bother asking you anything," she says conclusively.

>>733826

"Well, that's exactly why I'm excited to explore!" Cutlass responds with enthusiasm to Droplet.

>>733826

As Cutlass finds all the oddities as if this place was JUST abandoned, Cutlass gives a puzzled expression. "Is it too early to call 'weird time loops' again? Because, I'm calling 'weird time loops'."

>>733827

"Oh darn," Cutlass says as Thessaly comes up with her theory. "I like that better than 'weird time loops'. Still, 'weird time loops' has a 100% success rate for me so far!"

 No.733833

>>733832
"If we're stuck in another time loop I'm going back to the ship," she deadpans. "I never want to hear about that gods-awful shite again."

 No.733834

>>733828
Squatz just nods. The bags under his eyes, and his dead expression, suggest he's not capable of more than that.

>>733831
The scrolls' contents are written in a language that you cannot read, but that you have seen before; they resemble the small scratches on the potsherd that Two Reeds gave to the Beesting and the Hidden Dagger's crews to enable them to find Cuauhtemoc.

Without a translation key, it is impossible to make sense of any of the scrolls. However, you note that a good amount of them are marked with a waxen seal, depicting a great sundial. Perhaps they are some kind of official document, or something else requiring an amount of authority to approve, such as a receipt of transaction.

>>733832
>>733830
>>733828
>>733833
"I don't know about this being a time loop theory," Droplet says. "The others filled me in on what went down in Mallea's manor, and things don't quite match up here. Look at the plants and trees surrounding the place. They're clearly living and dying at their own rate, while the rest of the town appears to have been… preserved in some way."
"And a time loop wouldn't explain why Cerulean's rifle is failing to provide complete information," Godot says.

>>733828
As you look about, you end up flying to a higher elevation to get a better view, and in so doing, you glimpse a stone structure, far to the west – a massive, slanted stone shape, composed of carved ivory stone, magnificent and beautiful. It looks like the gnomon of a sundial, in fact, as you recall the information that Cerulean relayed earlier.

 No.733835

>>733834
"Perhaps we should go towards that structure in the distance, if we exhaust ourselves of other options? It does look rather… peculiar. Sort of like part of a sundial?"

>>733834
"Is it possible that magic has somehow hidden the people here, Mister Droplet?"

 No.733836

>>733834

"Not just a time loop," Cutlass corrects them. "A 'weird time loop'. Not everything is looping at the same rate."

Suddenly, Cutlass has a thought. She looks around the shoreline. Where has the giant salamander gone?

[1d10] for giant salamander spotting

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.733837

>>733834
She pockets the scroll and coins for now. They might be useful later, if she can find someone to translate. Even if it's nothing mind-blowing, it'll sate her curiosity at least.

>>733835
>>733834
She pauses in doing so, however, as she looks up from the scroll depicting the sundial, to the actual sundial in the distance. She shows it to Alder wordlessly, along with anyone else who's nearby. "Seems we have our heading."

She starts trotting purposefully towards the sundial.
[1d10] Navigation if needed

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.733838

>>733835
"Oh, yeah, that's where Kukulcan said to meet up with his guys so we'd find out where he is," Cerulean explains as she hears that.

>>733834
"Yeah, which is weird. Cause I've never learned of a jungle cat called 'Redacted' or anything else called 'redacted.' But it was being used as much as I go through teeth on a daily basis."

Though curious at what Droplet said, Cerulean gives a shot to the plants that seems to be alive, wondering if the result will be the same.

 No.733839

>>733836
You see the salamander clinging to the side of the Beesting. He's still been shrunken by Cloud's magic, so he poses little to no threat at this point. You hear him whining about how he helped them, so they should help him back. They respond by poking him with oars until he falls off into the water, only for him to desperately climb back up, accusing them of being jerks just like his dad.

>>733838
You shoot several of the nearby vines that are growing around and over the abandoned city. "Climbing vines: These vines gain nutrients by attaching themselves to surrounding structures to get higher, thus reaching more sunlight."

And, when you shoot some of the trees that are growing in the midst of the flagstones – "A perennial flowering tree colloquially called a palm tree. Their fronds find use in several religious rites in Equestria."

Not a word of it is redacted, you notice.

>>733835
>>733838
>>733837
"Redacted, hmm?" Droplet repeats. "Reminds me of sneaking into Schwartzewelt's office to read mission reports from higher up. Well, that would lend some credence to your idea, Alder."
"But then if they're hidden, where did they go, and how?" Splendid asks. "We haven't been able to find any trace of them or any tracks in or out of the city."
"If no clues remain here, I suspect we'll have to try elsewhere," Godot says. "Come, let us be off. Thessaly's got the right idea."

As Thessaly heads west through the port town, followed by Godot, she finds that navigating the plantlife that has overtaken the roads makes travel rather difficult. The further that she goes west, the larger that the plants grow, and indeed, in the distance, up a hill, where the major roads in and out of the city convene and become the central thoroughfare, the plants reach colossal size, with some flowering trees becoming as high as the mizzenmasts of the ships.

There appear to be three exits out of the port town: one to the northwest, one due west, and one southwest. Each of them is blocked with a certain degree of rubble and vines and roots of great trees, so all seem roughly the same in how difficult it would be to overcome.

 No.733840

>>733839
The quickest path is to go in a straight line, she reasons. She keeps going on the western path, trying to carve a path through the obstacles with her magic by blasting it out of the way.
[1d10+2] [1d10+2] Magic Bolt, spending 1 TBP

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11

 No.733841

>>733839

Cutlass can't help but laugh at the salamander's cute antics. "You know how to swim!" she calls out to the salamander. "Get down from there!"

 No.733842

>>733839
"Okay, yeah, there's something strange going on with this place. Those plants came through just fine," she explains to the others, feeling might be best for the bigger brained ponies to know as much as they can, cause her head is already hurting from the mystery.

>>733839
>>733840
Cerulean sees all the obstacles and rubble, and Thessaly trying to clear it out.
"Ah! I can help with this," she says, waiting for Thess to finish her magic before she goes in to slam some rubble and other things into powder.

>Slam

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

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 3 + 1 = 4

 No.733843

>>733839
Alder hangs back and allows Thessaly to take the lead on blasting the way clear- she's done similar things before, so he trusts her to handle it.

"It is hard to say… magic is strange." Alder offers, before shrugging. "At the least, this place is quite impressive."

 No.733844

>>733841
The salamander, huffing and puffing, turns when he hears your voice, and hops off the boat, swimming over to you. He climbs up onto shore, then approaches you. Droplet raises a hoof, preparing to take his head off, but Godot stops him, seeing as you were talking to the salamander earlier.

The salamander, ignoring them, looks to you. "Make them help me, you promised!"

>>733843
>>733840
>>733842
The bolt partly clears the way, sending dust and chunks of fallen rock flying safely away from you with a satisfying explosion. Cerulean then steps up, knocking aside the chunks of rock that are left to let you past. Squatz wanders past you up the hill, his head hung low.

>roll navigation and perception, two separate rolls.

 No.733845

>>733844
[1d10] Navigation
[1d10] Perception (+1 from Master Thief, if the insight would play into this any?)

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

 No.733846

>>733844
She nods in satisfaction at her own handiwork. "Hm. Tá ag éirí go geal liom," she comments to herself, and keeps pressing on towards the giant sundial.
[1d10] Nav
[1d10] Per

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 8 = 8

 No.733847

>>733844
Cerulean goes up to Squatz, looking a bit worried for him.
"Hey, I know things are looking darker than the bottom of a trench, but I'm sure we'll find Paraiba. And Zerk? With all the strange stuff in the Ribcage, and Cloud even getting a new eye, I bet we'd be able to fix him up. So don't worry, okay?" She says, smiling to him reassuringly and resting a hoof on his shoulder.

>Perception, electroception if possible

[1d10]
>Navigation
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.733848

>>733844


"I promised I would help you," Cutlass corrects the salamander. "I never said they would."

"What do you think they have that could help you, anyway?"

 No.733849

>>733848
"If I could just have like… one or two of them, I could have a great dinner with my gal!" the salamander says. "C'mon, a bunch fell out of the sky, so can't I have a couple?"
"How did he even get down here to begin with…?" Godot wonders aloud.

 No.733850

>>733849

"You don't need food. That won't impress her. You need a nicer place to live. That's what she wants. Someone to take care of ALL of her needs. With comfort."

[1d10+2] Whisper in your Ear

Cutlass looks to Godot. "He just… you know… jumped down and… How DID you slow them down?" Cutlass asks the Gekko.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.733851

>>733850
"Have you SEEN the prices on caves these days!?" the salamander declares, exasperated. "They've only ever gotten worse since the cave-in bubble popped! How am I supposed to afford a place like that? I can hardly afford my clouds!"

He gestures then over to the Beesting, and you see a foundation of clouds resting beneath the ship. "I rode down on those, then sent them flying toward the ship and bailed out so that I wouldn't get crushed."

>>733847
"…Sure hope so," he manages to say, his eyes distant and not focusing on you or anything else for that matter.

>>733847
>>733846
>>733845
https://youtu.be/1Tw-7kMf4jg

After clearing the massive boulder, you ascend to the top of the hill overlooking the port town. There's no single clear road out here; any that might have been has now long since been overturned, as you can see. Where there was once a flagstone road, you see that it has been uprooted, ironically, by roots growing underneath, resulting in small jagged spires and little pits where nature has conquered architecture.

Combined with the fact that that the ground is hilly and winding, you set off over the rough terrain, barely navigating around tripping hazards and holes in the earth. Quite a many smaller paths diverge from the main one you're on, but a little forward scouting down them reveals that these are fruitless dead ends, and so you avoid them.

After about half an hour of steadily ascending up the mountainous landscape, you hear some voices calling for help from above. Scanning the massive treeline above you, you notice a tangle of mooks, three in all, hanging from a mass of vines a good distance off from the path.

The cluster of trees that they're in is tightly bunched together, so you can't exactly fly directly there. You stand on a rocky outcropping, and between you and the trees from which the mooks hang, there is a steep dropoff about a quarter of a mile long, and who knows how deep.

 No.733852

>>733851

Cutlass stares at the salamander with her jaw hanging open for a moment. "I'm sorry, you have an economy? No," Cutlass says, putting up a hoof immediately after asking. "More important question. What does that phrase mean? 'The cave-in bubble popped'?"

 No.733853

>>733851
She frowns as she sees the redshirts pirates stuck in the trees. "Hm. Precarious." After assessing the situation, she tries reaching out with telekinesis to one of them, trying to wrench him free of the vines and float him over to the party's position.
[1d10+2] Telekinesis, spending 1 TBP

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.733854

>>733851
"Ah! I can see a few from here, I believe! Though, hrm… it looks like it will not be so simple as to fly there. Maybe we could, but it would maybe require taking some time to try and gauge a good path."

 No.733855

>>733852
"Sea-monsters have an economy!?" Godot repeats.
"Cave-in…" Droplet ponders. "Could it be a pun on 'housing'?"
"Now that's just stupid," Ossie says. "They're not even homophones."
The salamander shrugs. "I don't get it myself. I studied underwater biology, not economics or finance. All I know is I can't afford anything."

 No.733856

>>733851
Cerulean looks at their predicament, the gears in her head turning slightly, then seems to come up with an idea.
"Hey, if anyone else can do what Thessaly is doing, I could make some water and then they can just hop into it like a bowl or something."

 No.733857

>>733856
>>733854
Squatz perks up slightly. "I can manage that… possibly."
Splendid seems relieved when the little guy gets some energy back. "Right, let's try that. Maybe Alder and I can hover some distance below, just to act like a safety net in case one of them falls?"

>>733853
You pluck one of the pirates, wriggling and upside-down, out of the snarl of vines before he can fall, and bring him over to you. However, rather than thank you, he looks over the edge at the foliage far below. "…There was one more of us, but he fell when he tried to get to a tree and shimmy his way to the ground. We were arguing about what to do, and I think I angered him. L-lower me down there, I have to look for him! Before a monster can get him!"

 No.733858

>>733855

"Well, you're in luck," Cutlass says encouragingly to the gecko, a grin plastered on her face. "You're talking to pirates. We don't care about what we can afford. We just take it."

"So, what kind of places are you looking for?"

[1d10+2] Whisper in your Ear

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.733859

>>733858
"Well, if I'm gonna take your advice from before, it'd be a big cave in a nice neighborhood, with competitive schools of fish – obviously, we'll have to eat good if we're going to have a healthy family. It should be comfortable too, with a good view of the trenches and seamounts."
"Please tell me we are not recruiting this thing," Godot says. "I am not a veterinarian. I cannot operate on animals in good faith."

 No.733860

>>733857
"That sounds like a good idea, yes- it saves us the trouble of trying to find a safe path, if we can just hover under them."

 No.733861

>>733857
>>733860
"Alright, then let's give it a shot!" Cerulean winds up her tail, but seems to hold back as she doesn't go for her usual forceful slam and just enough of one to get her watery aura up and flowing for the others to TK grab.
"Alright, you guys are up."

 No.733862

>>733857
"You're welcome," she snarks, and proceeds to acquiesce to his request, lowering him a bit. She also moves a bit closer, keeping a wary eye on his whereabouts, ready to yank him back up if anything comes up. Essentially, she's keeping a telekinetic tether on him.
[1d10] Perception if needed

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.733863

>>733861
>>733860
[1d10]
>wait for followup

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.733864

>>733859

"We're not recruiting him," Cutlass responds to Godot. "We're just helping him find a home so we can fulfill our end of the deal. But really, if he ever DID get hurt while he's with us, there'd be no need to help him. Not when we could just eat him instead. I'm sure - Oh dear Celestia, we lost our chef…" Cutlass cuts herself off as if she's just made the horrifying realization.

Though, that realization is quickly drowned out by the one that follows it. "Oh dear Celestia, I've been eating food made by Plague," she says as she physically wretches.

She turns back to the salamander to take her mind off it. "If you're looking for a home with a good view, little competition for the best food, and plenty of space for growth, then you should find a home down here. There don't seem to be a lot of predators to compete with. The two of you can live complete, happy, comfortable, romantic lives. So, come with us, and I'm sure we'll find a good place for you soon enough."

[1d10+2] Whisper in your Ear

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.733865

>>733860
>>733861
>>733863
Squatz grabs the water in his telekinetic grasp, shapes it into an orb, and then floats it out toward the entangled pirates. Splendid carefully hovers downward below it, with some degree of difficulty given how large she is. When the two pirates still stuck in the trees see that the water's below them, they begin to shake themselves back and forth, essentially creating a swinging effect to loosen their limbs. Then, once they're freed enough, they wait until their swing is at its zenith, then disentangle themselves, leaping for the orb of water…

Only for it to not hold, and for them to pass right through, falling toward the ground.

Splendid squawks with terror and moves to grab one. [1d10]

>>733862
The pirate looks around as he's lowered a little past the foliage near the forest's floor, clearing away the surroundings with his sword… but his look turns to confusion. "He's… not here. I see some flattened grass and a gap in the branches where he fell, and a little blood… but not much else."

You look about at the forest floor, but you see no tracks, nor a corpse, nor any predators, or any other clue that might suggest as to where he went.

>roll again?


>>733864
"I'm world-renowned for my barbecuing," Droplet says.
The salamander then nods. "Alright, but no more funny business, okay? Last time there was funny business, I got suckered into buying some self-help stone tablets. I have too many of those as it is."
"If we shrink him down further, we could just get him a fishbowl," Ossie suggests.
"I think Sir Pent would get jealous if Cutlass collected more pets," Godot jokes.

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.733866

>>733865
She frowns. “Nothing at all? Curious.” She risks a few steps downward, taking a closer look at the scene.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.733867

>>733865
"Ack! Not good, not good!" the griffon squawks, attempting to grab one of the falling pirates!
[1d10+2] Catch! (+2 TBP)

[1d10+2] Rallyinf Cry (+1 TBP)

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8

 No.733868

>>733865

"Stop being so normal," Cutlass says, pointing to the salamander accusingly. "It's throwing me off."

Then, she looks to Godot. "Does anyone have a fishbowl? Someone else can carry him. Sir Pent is the only pet for m-" Cutlass suddenly lets out a loud gasp.

"Sir Pent! Do you understand me!?" She asks, looking up at her own hat.

 No.733869

>>733865
"Oh no! Roger, quick, let's do the thing!" She says and and hugs Roger, fusing together with him. The now sleeker and more fin-covered Cerulean does a backflip to start 'swimming' through the ground straight down, hopefully fast enough to get to the bottom before the mook does to catch him.

>Friends, Not Food

>Using Earthly Affinity and Sprinter to race to the bottom

 No.733870

>>733868
Sir Pent looks down and pecks your cheek with his snout. He says nothing, and makes no gesture of understanding. Perhaps he does not meet the ring's criteria, being a land critter himself.

But… there is that glimmer of intelligence in his eye.

>>733867
>>733869
Splendid manages to catch one pirate, and while the other is much heavier than Alder anticipated, causing him to fall, the wind knocked out of him, Cerulean manages to position herself underneath Alder, breaking his fall with her now and improved form. She sinks a little into the earth, but breaks the fall entirely, saving them both.

>>733866
It takes a moment, but – no, the pirate was wrong. Seeing it is a bit like a mental self-trick, like getting your brain and eyes to process an optical illusion one way instead of the other. There are, indeed, no tracks in the grasses, nor in the branches or leaves. There are, however, depressions in the massive roots of the great trees which cover this land. Deep indentations they are, heavy and broad, of a vaguely cylindrical shape, with markings on one end, somewhat like claw marks.

However–

They do not appear anywhere except upon those roots, and on those parts of the ground, which are covered with shadow. When a breeze moves the plants and flowers above, changing the shape of the shadow, those monstrous footprints appear and disappear, dancing with the flitting darkness.

>Paused

 No.734092

>>733794
Cloud slams into the deck when the Beesting impacts the water, feeling the shock run through his legs and his stomach make about four or five flips from the free fall's sudden end. He rises up, wobbling a bit, eyes thenwidening as he turns and runs below decks.
"CHIU! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!"
He shouts as he goes to check on her after that very, very rough landing.

 No.734093

>>734092
When you run down through the barracks and reach your room, you throw it open to find… quite the strange sight. For starters, despite the rough landing, most of the furniture in the room seems to be where it was before, not broken or tossed about as one might expect. In fact, nothing is knocked over. Secondly, all the blankets, pillows and laundry has vanished – but it's clear why.

In the center of the room, you see a great dark sphere, held in place by shadowy cross-beams that connect to the ceiling and floor. After a few seconds, the sphere starts to dissipate, and the shadows that comprised it go back to the parts of the room from which they were taken. Out falls another sphere, this one composed of blankets. It wriggles like an egg, then falls apart, and you see Chiu bundled up inside. You see that she has made a third layer within the blankets, composed of pillows and laundry, concentrated mostly around her stomach.

She blinks a few times in shock, then snorts, readjusting her glasses. "Well that was terrifying," she jokes… but you can see that she's shaking like a leaf in a storm. "So how are you?"

 No.734094

>>734093
Cloud is silent at the elaborate display waiting in their room, watching the sphere open, unfold, and unwrap to reveal Chiu bundled up protectively. He laughs bit, from both relief and the method, and walks over to help Chiu up and give her a tight hug.
"My legs are feeling a bit like jelly, but I'm doing great seeing that you're okay."

 No.734095

>>734094
She grunts with a bit of discomfort. "Ugh, I've got the willies. You heard Bee Holder's voice give that order right? Well, after I heard that, all the way down here, I started to run to the engine, even though I had come down here after the salamander attacked to keep our foal safe. But a moment later, I heard this… really gross biting and crunching sound, and then I was free to bundle myself up like this. I think the Wetnurse broke Bee Holder's spell, right?"

 No.734098

>>734095
"Yea, I heard it and felt myself get pulled towards the engine too."
Cloud says, followed by a shudder at the descriptive sound.
"That or Cerulean did."
He jokes, pausing for a moment. He looks back to the door, then walks over to one of the side tables.
"I picked up this little thing at the store back before we went the Mallea's manor. I thought it might come in handy sometime, but now I'm curious."
He takes out the Ghost Hunter's Incense, lighting it and setting it aside so the smoke isn't directly on Chiu.
"It said it reveals invisible things, and I figure I should be thanking this Wetnurse face to face at least once for all it's doing."

 No.734100

>>734098
As the bitter incense rises, the smoke clusters around a massive shape perched upon Chiu's back, turning it visible with a gray-blue veneer wavering over it. Your stomach turns as you behold the Wetnurse in all her grotesqueness, and she observes you as both predator and prey with all thirty of her myriad eyes. Chiu looks up at the Wetnurse, gulping and shivering. "…Obstinance could see that, and he still held out his arm to 'test' it…? We're attracting some insane cats."

She waits a beat, then makes a familiar sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRs0OqV4uSc

 No.734103

>>734100
Cloud looks up as the Wetnurse comes into view, feeling his voice caught in his throat at first from seeing the horrific form over his mare. But then that fades as realization sets in.
"Wait, I saw you in my dream that night before that mess at Mallea's started."
He then snickers at Chiu's pun.
"Guess we should change our plans from a farm to a zoo."

He looks back to the Wetnurse, feeling a bit worried that it invaded his dream, but grateful that it's gone to such lengths to keep Chiu and their foal safe.
"Thank you Wetnurse, truly."

 No.734104

>>734103
The Wetnurse makes no response, and it's not clear whether it heard or understood you. But after a moment more of observation, she leans back, coiling her neck up like a serpent, and straightens out some of Chiu's mane, which got disheveled during the fall. "I want to thank you too," Chiu adds, but the Wetnurse doesn't react. "Hmm. Not too chatty, huh? Works for me, but if you're going to be helping us, you can't scare our kid when he or she comes along, alright?"
The Wetnurse just keeps on tidying Chiu's mane. Chiu shrugs, and starts to pick up the blankets and pillows she commandeered to make the bed. "Get the laundry, willya?"

 No.734108

>>734104
"I think she understands us."
Cloud surmises as the Wetnurse goes to tidying Chiu's mane. He goes to pick up the laundry and help pick up the room to clean up Chiu's makeshift cocoon.
"Gotta say though, she really fits in if we end up making a Nightmare Night themed ship."

 No.734109

>>734108
"Maybe we can petition our unknown goddess for another demon for you?" Chiu suggests. "You get a demon, our kid gets a demon, everyone gets a demon." Then, she looks over at the statue sitting upon the shelf. "Hey… go check a couple of the other rooms if you can find any that are open. Go see if they're a mess or if they're still kind of orderly, like ours."

 No.734113

>>734109
"I'll think on that. I'm good with one demon as a bodyguard, but seeing what Thessaly's gone through, more might be a little harder to handle."
Cloud nods, stepping into the hall to check the other rooms.

 No.734115

>>734113
Most pirates of the Beesting keep their doors unlocked, as there is a degree of trust among the crew that is not observed in many other crews. As such, you're able to peek into the other rooms, where you find that for the most part, they're all doing just fine. What little furniture the other rooms has is mostly in place, or at most only slightly disheveled, despite that steep fall and the crash landing that followed.

 No.734117

>>734115
"Huh…"
Cloud mutters as he checks the other rooms.

"They're all fine. Guess those elementals keep things sort of stable, aside from all of us."
He says to Chiu as he walks back.

 No.734120

>>734117
"I don't think so," Chiu says. "They seem to be mostly focused on keeping the air bubble around us intact. I think we have someone else to thank for keeping things nice and tidy." She gestures to the statue of the goddess. "At least, that's my hunch. Wouldn't hurt to be on the safe side, right?"

 No.734121

>>734120
Cloud looks to the statue, smiling.
"She must not want anything to happen to her new home with how well we've treated her. That's a good sign."

 No.734123

>>734121
Chiu bows to the goddess statuette and finishes putting together the bed and straigthening out what little parts of the room are out of place. "Let's make sure to give her a little extra from now on. I've noticed that the food we've left her has always vanished, so I think that's a good sign."

 No.734124

>>734123
Cloud bows his head as well.
"I'll pick up something nice next time we pass a market. If we get that garden set up I can set a special spot aside for her as well too."

 No.734126

>>734124
"She's a mother goddess, so we definitely need to stock up on chocolate, but you'd better hide it from me, else I'll eat it all first," Chiu says. She looks back at the statue and shrugs. "Sorry but it's the truth."
The statue is impassive.
Chiu then looks back to you. "So I take it you're going to go explore the island, huh? As happy as I am that I've got our kid on the way, I don't wanna just stay here. Make sure you report back if you find a safe place I can hang out!"

 No.734131

>>734126
"I'll stock up on double then for the both of you."
As Chiu mentions the island, a wave of panic suddenly hits Cloud.
"The others! Some of them are still out who knows where when we fell!"
He blurts out, remembering the few that where flung off board.
"I'll clear out a nice safe path for you babe. You're all alright then, right?"
He asks, not wanting to run off before assuring she's all cared for.

 No.734134

>>734131
She gives you a quick kiss, then trots you out. "Yeah, I'm good. Bee Holder will need plenty of help to get the ship sorted out after that fall we took. Now go out there and bring the others back, alright? Hustle, hustle!"

 No.734135

>>734134
"I'll bring them all back, plus some tropical souvenirs too."
Cloud says, giving a Chiu a peck on the cheek for a 'see you later' as they head up deck.
"Captain! Is there any more boats?!"
He shouts out to Bee Holder, ready to catch up in the search for the missing crew.

 No.734137

>>734135
Bee Holder clicks her tongue with annoyance that you left late, and has some mooks rig up another boat for you. The mooks inform you that the others left a little while ago, and that they headed for the docks to the north. They help to row you out there so that they can retrieve the lifeboat instead of having two of them left out at the dock.

 No.734163

Last time on PirateQuest…

The Beesting, as it often happened during this voyage, had sustained damage around her hull owing to the emergency crash landing that followed after they fell into this otherworldly, underwater realm. While Bee Holder and most of the crew remained behind to assess the damage and attempt some basic repairs, the party set out from their ships in order to explore what seemed to be the remnants of Cuauhtemoc.

They docked at the ruins of a port town. At first it seemed quite small; upon closer inspection they found that it was much larger than it had originally appeared, but had been partly consumed by the blooming jungle, which had crept over its walls and had grown all over the houses, streets and carts, suggesting that it had remained in this state for quite some time. However, when they went into a few of the houses and buildings, it seemed as though it had been abandoned just recently; cups of tea and coffee were piping hot, and fruit and other food that had been set out was as fresh as the very moment it was prepared.

This led to hypotheses of temporal loops, like what they had encountered in Mallea's manor. However, this did not account for two bizarre phenomena: When Cerulean used the knowledge-seeking laser gun she obtained from Professor Shrimp, it only provided partial and redacted information on the objects it scanned. When she tested it on the plants that were growing like normal around everything, it provided completed information. And, when Thessaly sampled some of the apples lying around, she found that they were devoid of texture and crunch, and it was as if she were chewing through juicy, apple-flavored air.

Whatever the case might have been, they still needed to find their missing allies – Paraiba, Kling-Klang, Cane Shuga and Prisma were nowhere to be found, and twelve mooks remained unaccounted for.

They found three of the mooks tangled in some vine-covered trees west of the town, and one of them said that there had been a fourth, who had gotten himself untangled and fell to the jungle's floor. But, when Thessaly helped one of the mooks float down to the ground to search for him, the missing mook was nowhere to be found…

 No.734164

>Cutlass
Sir Pent looks down and pecks your cheek with his snout. He says nothing, and makes no gesture of understanding. Perhaps he does not meet the ring's criteria, being a land critter himself.

But… there is that glimmer of intelligence in his eye.

>Alder, Cerulean

Splendid manages to catch one pirate, and while the other is much heavier than Alder anticipated, causing him to fall, the wind knocked out of him, Cerulean manages to position herself underneath Alder, breaking his fall with her now and improved form. She sinks a little into the earth, but breaks the fall entirely, saving them both.

>Thessaly

It takes a moment, but – no, the pirate was wrong. Seeing it is a bit like a mental self-trick, like getting your brain and eyes to process an optical illusion one way instead of the other. There are, indeed, no tracks in the grasses, nor in the branches or leaves. There are, however, depressions in the massive roots of the great trees which cover this land. Deep indentations they are, heavy and broad, of a vaguely cylindrical shape, with markings on one end, somewhat like claw marks.

However–

They do not appear anywhere except upon those roots, and on those parts of the ground, which are covered with shadow. When a breeze moves the plants and flowers above, changing the shape of the shadow, those monstrous footprints appear and disappear, dancing with the flitting darkness.

>Cloud

After the mooks make their way back to the Beesting with the lifeboat, you spy the Hidden Dagger rowing its way to dock at the port. Some of Cutlass's mooks inform you that they last saw Cutlass and the others heading up the great staircase leading out of the town directly to the west. They report that it has been at least thirty or so minutes since they last saw them, so you'll want to go soon if you want to catch up with them.

 No.734165

>>734164
>>733869
>>733867
>>733868
She frowns as she spots the footprints in the shadows, pointing them out to everyone else. "An ominous portent. We should find the missing crewman and be done with it before whatever that thing is decides it doesn't like him. Or us."

She sits down for a moment and tries to focus, projecting her spirit out towards the forest floor in order to scout for signs of the missing pirate without coming to harm.
[1d10+1] Astral Projection

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

 No.734166

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu

>>734164
"There's a town here?"
is Cloud's first response when the crew of the Hidden Dagger informs him of where the others went. He hops off the lifeboat when they pull into port, and heads into the town.

 No.734167

>>734164
Cerulean gives a big sigh of relief as she looks at Alder and the mook.
"Phew, you two alright? Sorry, that plan worked a lot better in my head."

 No.734168

>>734165
>>734164

Cutlass catches up to the others as he converses with her crewmates. She arrives as Thessaly points out the footprints. "Hmm. Footprints in a deserted area. That's either good news or the ones responsible for all the disappearances. Even if it is the latter, that means we now have an idea of where they went. Which is still a good thing to know. Good find."

 No.734169

>>734164
>>734167
"G-Good save, Miss Cerulean! I suppose he was heavier than anticipated, ehehe…" the griffon rubs at the back of his neck, before slowly fluttering back towards the rest of the party.

>>734165
Alder settles down next to Thessaly, and watches curiously as she takes a seat for… some reason!

 No.734170

>>734166
You find yourself in the stony ruins of a port town that looks to have been ravaged long ago by an earthquake, as almost every building is either collapsed or partly collapsed, carts and wagons lay overturned in the broken streets, their contents spilling out over shattered flagstones, or fallen into great cracks in the earth. Countless vines, foliage and plantlife have swamped most of the area, covering it all and making it look like an ancient ruin.

>roll perception


>>734165
Before you project, the mook you've got continues looking for his lost companion, and signals to you to keep him down here a while longer, floating among the foliage.

As you project outward onto the jungle floor, you espy more of the subtle and vanishing footprints proceeding deeper into the jungle, concentrated mostly on the roots. You notice that the path of the footprints is somewhat erratic; the footprints are sticking to places that are most likely to be covered with shadows, that is, the bases of the trees… almost like whatever made them must stick to these places. The jungle gets more dense the deeper one goes, becoming thick with darkness.

>>734167
Splendid deposits the mook on the cliffside where you were a moment ago, then lands near you. Squatz says nothing, his head hung and off to the side with shame. The mook straightens himself out, chuckling with passing thrill from the fall. "Right as rain, love! If one of you could give me a lift back up the cliff, I've got a captain to report back to."

>>734168
As you approach, Squatz and the rescued mook eye the salamander that follows with you, and the mook raises a gun. The salamander skitters behind you for protection.

>>734169
The mook you caught bows his head in gratitude, then trots down the road, mentioning that he's going to go report in to Bee Holder. Then, you see Cutlass and her entourage – including that orange salamander that attacked the ship – approaching from the east.

 No.734171

>>734168
>>734169
She nods to Cutlass. "I shall depart my body for a time to investigate. I trust you will not let it come to any harm." With that, she sits down in a loaf position and focuses on her astral projection.

>>734170
She drifts along through the jungle, eyes narrowing as she notices the footprints adhering to the shadows. Like this thing can't exist in the light. She keeps following them, keeping an eye out for any signs of the missing pirate.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.734172

>>734171
"O-Oh! I will take excellent care of your body then, Miss Thessaly!" he says, somewhat panickedly. The griffon plants himself down next to the mare, and waits attentively.

>>734170
"Yesyes- report back, and take care."

 No.734173

>>734170
"Yeah, no problem," she says and sinks into the ground a bit to go up the cliff, but still sticking out enough for the mook to hold onto. Once up and safe, she hops out and unfuses from Roger, with her landing on solid ground and Roger floating over to check on the mook. Cerulean looks to Squatz, looking like she wants to say something to him, but also feeling like anything she says might hurt him more.

 No.734174

>>734171
The deeper you get into the thickening jungle, the harder it gets to make out the prints, as they are increasingly covered by ever denser layers of foliage and fronds, and several branching streams that pass between the roots of the great trees make tracking the strange path a fool's errand. Above, you can see the light of day receding. If your hypothesis proves correct, then nightfall might make tracking near impossible, as the one who left them will have free range of movement.

>>734173
The mook briefly thanks you, then excuses himself, heading back to the Beesting alongside his companion.

 No.734175

>>734171

Cutlass nods.

>>734170

"Hey, he saved all your lives," Cutlass says defensively when they point their weapons at the salamander. "You should be thanking him, not threatening him."

>>734172

"What's with the nerves?"

Then, she grins. "Are you scared of Thessaly?"

 No.734176

>>734175
"J-Just a strange thing to do- departing ones body. It sounds dangerous!"

 No.734177

>>734174
She grinds her teeth in mild frustration, then pulls out of her astral form abruptly to report.

>>734174
>>734172
>>734173
>>734175
Her eyes abruptly open, and she gets back up, dusting herself off. "The jungle is too dark. It's impossible to make out anything in there. And night will fall soon. This creature appears to only be able to exist in shadows, so it will be able to move about freely soon. What should we do?"

 No.734178

>>734175
The mook sets his pistol back into its holster after a few more seconds of scrutiny. "Yeah, but only after endangering those lives."
"The long and short of it is that there was a… misunderstanding," Droplet says, making up something quick, as even he isn't quite sure how you managed to win over the salamander. "We're cooperating now."
The mook tilts his head with disbelief, then shrugs and trots down the road once more. "Whatever you say. I must be off; the captain needs me."

 No.734179

>>734170
"Guess this place fell apart from the fall down here." Cloud mutters to himself as he walks along the road through the town.
>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.734180

>>734179
You traverse over stone and vine as you make your way through the town, often having to cross through the ruins of many abandoned houses, for lack of a clear path. As you pass on through, you find many signs that suggest that the houses were abandoned just recently; warm drinks in simple wooden cups sit on tables, hot as the moment they were served… but vines grow over everything in the house, and dust lays upon everything the plants do not cover, suggesting that things have been like this for a long time. You see also plates of fruit and other food, left either untouched or half-eaten. Yet, despite the signs of age, the food looks fresh, devoid of any mold or decay.

 No.734181

>>734176

"I'm given to believe that it's fairly common magic," Cutlass shrugs. "I've never really understood magic, though. It's frustrating, but I just don't let it phase me."

>>734177

"Camping out on a dangerous mysterious island? Sounds fun."

>>734178

"Winning people over is what I do," Cutlass says proudly. "I don't know why people are still so surprised about it. Do I give off some sort of image?"

It's unclear whether she's being sarcastic.

 No.734182

>>734177
"A-Ah! You have returned, then! IT would be dangerous to travel at night, but it would not do to leave the crew member alone…"

>>734177
>>734181
"I-I simply do not know much of magic. Removing one's spirit sounds quite complicated!"

 No.734183

>>734182

"I have many cousins who would disagree with you," Cutlass laughs.

 No.734184

>>734177
"Oh, if its shadows that are a problem, I could have Tabasco light up some fires or something. Those give light."

 No.734185

>>734181
"You could get a great career in public speaking, if this piracy thing doesn't work out," the Salamander chimes in. "They make a killing on tickets!"

>>734184
>>734177
Tobasco woofs in agreement. Splendid nervously taps her claws together. "We've got two shadow masters with us, don't we? We might be able to track it if they're up for it."
Droplet scratches his chin. "Tracking a target I know nothing about…? Could make for a fun challenge, actually. But we might not like what we find, if our quarry proves to be strong."

 No.734186

>>734183
"A-Ah! I will take your word for it, then." he says, bobbing his head a little bit.

 No.734187

>>734185

Cutlass does a double-take at the salamander. "What did I say about being normal?" she retorts to him.

>>734186

"Now you've got the right attitude!"

 No.734188

>>734187
The salamander winces, averting his gaze apologetically.

 No.734189

>>734182
"It's not so complex," she shrugs. "More a matter of focus and aptitude in the mystic arts. I'm sure you or Splendid or anyone else with a scantling of magic to them could learn it easily."

>>734181
>>734184
>>734185
She nods thoughtfully. "This creature abhors the light, and we happen to have a fire breathing demon with us. Plus, we number many. I am confident this creature would be of little consequence to us. I say we pursue it and retrieve our missing crewmate if we can."

>>734187
>>734185
She also does a delayed double take, noticing the salamander for the first time. "What is it still doing here?" she asks, with a slightly demanding tone.

 No.734190

>>734189
Splendid nods, as do Squatz and Droplet. "Sounds right to me," Splendid says. "Think we should say anything to old Kukulcan?"

 No.734191

>>734188

"No, no," Cutlass says in a semi-panic. "Damnit! I'm bad at this whole 'being playful' thing. I'm sorry…" Cutlass trails off. "Do you have a name?"

>>734189

"In return for him helping us, I promised to find him a good home to impress the girl," Cutlass explains as if that's normal. "He DID save your life."

 No.734192

>>734191
"Yeah, you can call me–" the Salamander then makes a series of hissing and trilling noises, a sequence which lasts about ten seconds. You can feel every second tick by as you listen to each incomprehensible syllable.

 No.734193

>>734189
"Oh, I do not know if I could- my magic is quite minor. It is definitely an interesting trick, however! I am glad you have such knowledge, Miss thessaly."

 No.734194

>>734185
"Well, if its tough, then we'll just solve it like we always do," she says with a grin and a wave of her tail.
"Unless it can talk like that salamander thing."

 No.734195

>>734192

"Well there you go," Cutlass says in an approving tone. "That's totally not normal."

"I'm going to call you Squeaky."

 No.734196

>>734190
She simply nods, but does not act on it, not having Kukulcan's number to inform him.

>>734191
She looks the salamander over skeptically. "As long as he doesn't intervene in our affairs," she says simply.

 No.734197

>>734195
'Squeaky' narrows his eyes at the backhoofed compliment. "That's… one way to abbreviate it. "What do I call you?"
"Squeaky, eh?" Godot muses. "Squeaky… squeaky-clean. Alright. If you end up keeping him, have him be the swab. We'll need one to clean up Plague's legacy."

 No.734198

>>734196
>>734195
"So, more on topic… I think it may be worth risking the dark to search for this missing one. If we leave them out alone, they will be in trouble for sure, yes?"

 No.734199

>>734198
She shrugs. "We're here already. We may as well search for it. Otherwise this sojourn was completely pointless."

 No.734200

>>734199
search for him*

 No.734201

>>734196

"He's a good boy," Cutlass says, patting him on the head.

>>734197

"Oh, right!" Cutlass says, with a laugh. "How rude of me! My name is Cutlass. Captain Cutlass."

>>734198

"That's a good point," Cutlass shrugs. "But, it's not my crew. It's not my call."

 No.734202

>>734201
"I'll call you Cut. Nice little abbreviation, huh?" he asks. It's not clear whether he's being sarcastic or not. Seems he's as awkward as you with playfulness and small talk.

 No.734203

>>734180
Cloud looks over the houses as he passes through them, pausing when there's food and furniture that looks recently used. The sights nag away at him, but he presses on to catch up with the others. But it gets too much, and he flips up his eyepatch in curiosity.
"Hey Hmm, what is this place? Not this island or town, but we dived down underwater for days, and it feels like we're back up on the surface."

 No.734204

>>734203
You hear Hmm gulping, her wings fluttering as she hops around in your eye, her expression troubled. "…I don't… it's… Cuauhtemoc. A town in Cuauhtemoc. It'll come to me eventually."

>For the sake of time…


You travel through the town west as the mooks informed you you should. You come within sight, eventually, of a shattered boulder, singed recently by some kind of magic blast. Beyond it, you find the vine-covered stairway that leads out of the town west, and follow it for a good distance. The stairway leads to a hillside splitting a thick jungle, and higher up, some distance up the winding hill trail, you see the others talking among themselves.

 No.734205

>>734202

"Hmm…" Cutlass contemplates. "I think I see your point."

"Alright, how about Axolotl?" she suggests. "I just literally can't pronounce your name."

 No.734206

>>734204
"No no, I meant in the general sense. Like how is there light and air and all this down here at the bottom of the ocean?"
Cloud says as Hmm is troubled at figuring the name of the town.
"Don't worry about this town, it's kinda giving me a bad vibe."

Cloud continues along the path, keeping an eye on his surroundings and the others. When he stumbles upon a shattered boulder, he figures it must be the others, and follows along that path. When he spots the others up on a hill before, he quickly runs over to rejoin the others.

 No.734207

>>734205
"Wh– well, hold on, I wasn't complaining about 'Squeaky!'" Squeaky protests.
"Just pick one," Ossie gripes.

>>734206
"I… I would tell you if I knew," Hmm says, sighing with defeat. "This is the third time in… well, just about as long as I can remember that this has happened."

>For Everyone


After Cloud catches up with everyone, Splendid retrieves the Conch from her saddlebag, using Kukulcan's Conch Code to reach him. She ends up reaching Two Reeds instead, who briefly explains that Kukulcan himself is quite busy investigating a ruin of sorts that they've reached. Splendid, keeping the details sparse, informs Two Reeds that some of their crewmates have gone missing as a result of the hard landing the ship made, leaving out the missing mates' names, and the footprints that Thessaly discovered. Two Reeds doesn't seem phased, and simply wishes the lot of you good luck, and good hunting, before hanging up.
"Good hunting?" Droplet asks, and grins. "Now that's a grim way to put it."
"I didn't mention our quarry at all," Splendid says. "Maybe she already knows?"
"Could be, or she could have meant our missing friends," Droplet says. "You might just be overthinking it."
"Enough gab. Daylight is sparse," Godot commands as he flies down to the jungle floor.

The rest of you who cannot fly will need some way of getting down to the jungle's base, as the cliff is high and steep. Then, once that's settled, roll for perception as well.

 No.734208

>>734207

"I like Squeaky, it's cute," Cutlass says with a smile.

"But, I'm not cute," the tiny unicorn adds in a more significant tone.

[1d10] to climb down

[1d10] perception

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

 No.734209

>>734206
"Oh. You're still alive. Good for you," she says in her usual dry fashion.

>>734207
"He knows," she says, as if she knew this for a fact. She doesn't waste time in attempting to descend the cliff gingerly, catching herself with telekinesis where necessary.
[1d10] Navigation

When this is done, she takes a good look around, squinting slightly in the gloaming.
[1d10]

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

 No.734210

>>734207
Not wanting to overexert her's and Roger's energy, Cerulean opts to try climbing down the cliff.

>climb

[1d10]

>perception

[1d10]

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

 No.734211

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.734212

mlpg this is not spam pls let me post [2d10]

Roll #1 4, 10 = 14

 No.734213

>>734207
"I will carry down whoever I can- it is best we hurry, yes?" I say, trying to get a good idea of where to go!
[1d10] Perception

>>734209
"P-Please, let me help you, Miss Thessaly. The path is precarious.
[1d10+3] (+3 TBP) Help down!

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

 No.734214

>>734207
"Maybe it's just the new connection between us. …Hopefully it isn't more magic or whatever like at the manor, cause I don't want to go through stuff like that again so soon."

>>734213
>>734210
>>734209
>>734207
>>734208
Cloud stops, catching his breath after he catches up to the group.
"Hey guys, sorry I was running a little behind. So what did you find so far, find any of the crew yet?"

 No.734215

>>734208
Droplet bites his lip but says nothing. Heedless, Squeaky/Axolotl shrugs. "Up to you, pick whatever you want."

You descend without incident, and your handy dress avoids getting dirty.

>>734214
"Oh man… your tiny brain is dragging me down!?" Hmm exclaims.

>>734209
>>734210
>>734213
>>734214
>Cloud needs his rolls as well
As the rest of your group climbs down as best they can, Splendid carries Droplet down, while Squatz climbs down by himself. On the way down, Thessaly feels her stomach fly into her throat, as unstable rocks give way beneath her, threatening to send her tumbling to her death at the base of the great cliff. Alder reaches out to her, but she just barely escapes his grasp, spinning out of control as she plummets, air whistling past her. Squatz gasps and shouts, and his horn flashes with light; Thessaly is surrounded in his telekinetic grasp, which slows her fall and redirects her to a flowering bush. She lands in a heap, getting leaves and flowers all tangled up in her clothing, but none worse for wear.

But, with a hard crunch, you see Squatz fall to the ground. He didn't fall as far as Thessaly would have, but he lays there, face twisted in pain all the same.

 No.734216

>>734214

"No doubt, while we were busy, you were off doing some sort of uncouth deeds," Cutlass rolls her eyes.

 No.734217

>>734214
"Ah! We have found most of them, but we are missing one of them. We have gone to look!"

>>734215
>>734209
Alder winces a little as Squatz takes the fall in Thessaly's stead, and hurriedly drops to the ground to try and do what he can!
[1d10+2] Natural Remedy! (TBP +1)

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.734218

>>734215
She bites her lip and lets out an instinctive "Shite!" as she tumbles forward. She pulls herself out of the bush with a groan, mumbling unspeakable Gaelic curses, brushing greenery off of her. Unbeknownst to her, she has a flower in her hair.

As she notices Squatz lying there, she trots over to him with thinly concealed concern. "Are… are you alright?" She tries to help him up with telekinesis.
[1d10+2] Spending 1 TBP

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.734219

>>734215
Cerulean gives a sharp inhale as she hears Squatz goes crunch. With Squatz being tended to, she goes around to make sure everyone else is okay.

 No.734220

>>734217
[1d50]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.734221

[1d4]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.734222

>>734215
"Hey! My brain isn't tiny! You're just not used to being an eye instead of jewelry."
Cloud retorts.

>>734216
"If you mean checking on my mare and future kid, then yes, I was very uncouth."

>>734217
"You found them all already? Wow, good job."


>>734215
Cloud peers over the mountain as the others climb down. He looks down the cliff face, gauging his climbing ability. Getting an idea, he grabs some nearby vines. Red aura flows from his hooves into them as he grows them, turning them into a climbing rope as he rappels down.
>Master Farmer [1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.734223

>>734222

Cutlass simply grumbles.

 No.734224

>>734222
"All but one!" the griffon says, with a soft huff.

 No.734225

>>734222
You rappel down for most of the cliff's distance, but the vine snaps as you near the base, causing you to drop about six feet. Not a fatal distance, but enough to stun you for a few moments with pain.
>You lose 2 Hits

>>734222
"Okay your brain might not be tiny, but it's definitely occupied with a bunch of inappropriate images," Hmm says. "That I know for a fact. I know everything."

>>734217
>>734218
Squatz just lays there, pain giving way to an emotionally distant squint as he takes in the shock and lets you examine him. You check for fractures and sprains, but there appear to be none, just some severe bruising. Alder applies some ointments, and after a moment to catch his breath, Squatz is able to stand with Thessaly's help. "Yeah. Yep," he mutters, dusting himself off. "…Let's get going."
Godot and Splendid watch him go with some concern.

>>734217
>>734218
>>734219
>>734222
After Squatz gets back up, it seems that everyone else is doing alright (the mook Thessaly rescued went back to the Beesting to report in), and so you make your way west to search for your companions. Working together to comb every root, branch and blade of grass, you follow the strange footprints through the jungle, stopping only for Squatz and Droplet to cut down foliage too dense to pass through. You hop over small streams, climb over great roots as thick as your heads, and help one another traverse over rock and between gaps in close, tangled-together trees.

The footprints, all the while, wind through the shadows, always avoiding gaps of light created by breaks in the treeline. The more dense the trees get, the more clustered the shadows become, and the more that whatever left them is able to move freely through the darkness.

As you proceed further in, you note that you're entering a kind of shallow swamplike terrain. The water only goes up midway to your calves, and the place is dense with trees. Light filters in from above, swaying with the breeze, and at first it seems like the trail has gone cold… but then, from ahead, you hear some panting and gasping. A group of three mooks comes running in from the north, accompanied by Kling-Klang, who's fiddling with Cane Shuga's gun. The lot of them run southward, stumbling over everything in what looks to be a panic. They don't notice you straight away.

 No.734226

>>734225
She spares Squatz an occasional glance to make sure he's doing alright. Eventually she notices the flower in her hair, but decides to leave it as a fashion statement.

Her eyes widen as she sees Kling Klang and the pirates nearby. She shoots some harmless sparks with her horn to get their attention. "Over here!" she calls, beckoning them over.

>>734219
"I think now would be a good time to risk some more light. If your fox would be so kind as to produce some flame, I may be able to twist it to our needs."

 No.734227

>>734225
"I have some visuals I like to keep in mind, sue me."
Cloud jests.

>>734225
Cloud follows behind the others, assuming they're trailing the missing crew member that was mentioned. He feels a bit at home as they mark through the jungle and start to enter a swamp. The area is more overgrown and rough that his home but it's close enough to give him those nostalgic feelings.
"Whoa, guys! It's us, what's going on?"
Cloud calls out to Kling-Klang and the others, waving them down to try and calm them.

 No.734228

>>734225
"I apologize for causing you to drop. I hope you are feeling better, Mister Squatz." the griffon says, packing his supplies away and helping him up.

>>734225
"A-Ah… hmm. I, uh… I do not like this." the griffon says, flapping his wings awkwardly and reaching for his gun!

 No.734229

>>734226
>>734225
"Yeah, good idea," she says and gathers up some nearby plant things into a pile.
"Alright Tabasco, let it rip!"

 No.734230

>>734225

Upon seeing the pirates running in a panic, Cutlass looks around for an advantageous place to fight. Of course, running may be even more disadvantageous. Her main concern is getting surrounded. If it's just one thing, she thinks they can take it, no matter what it is.

"Is it one predator or a group of them?" Cutlass calls out to Kling-Klang.

Also, [1d10] perception for any danger or anything that could be useful in a fight

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.734231

>>734229
>>734225
"Géill, lasair, géill…" She attempts to take control of Tabasco's flames for her own.
[1d10+2] +1 TBP

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

 No.734232

>>734231
>Evoker: When Thessaly conjures a minion via Unholy Elementalist, roll an additional 1d10 on a success. On a pass, the minion is raised with an additional 2 hits for a total of 5/3. On a crit, the minion gains 1 hit and 1 wound, bringing it to 4/4. On a critfail, the minion is hostile and gets no bonuses. (Amnis: +1)
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.734233

>>734227
"Don't, because I could," Hmm retorts. "I know everything, including law."

>>734228
"Yeah, I'll probably feel better later," Squatz mumbles. Most anyone could tell that that's a fib.

>>734226
>>734227
>>734229
>>734230
Tabasco lights the kindling that Cerulean gathers, and from it, Thessaly summons a mighty elemental, full of vigor and fight.

The group don't stop running as you get their attention, instead only turning your way in a mad dash to get over to you. "Five!" one of the mooks calls out to Cutlass.
"Don't panic, it's just three for now!" Kling-Klang shouts. "One of those machines stayed behind to fight that… that thing. "We've got time, so let's get someplace that's sunny–"

As Kling-Klang talks, Cutlass hears a strange sound, a faint, high-pitched vibrato, a kind of strange trilling, like something very thin very rapidly dancing through the air.

"DUCK!" Kling-Klang suddenly cries, diving for the ground. Without question, the others hit the deck, covering their heads with anything they can get their hooves on.

>roll dodge, DC 4 due to Cutlass' success


[2d10] Mooks, Tabasco
[1d10] Squatz
[1d10] Droplet
[1d10] Godot
[1d10] Splendid

Roll #1 6, 3 = 9 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 5 = 5 / Roll #4 7 = 7 / Roll #5 8 = 8

 No.734234

>>734233

Cutlass immediately dives down to the ground, but keeps her head up to see what kind of attack they are dealing with.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.734235

>>734233
She doesn't question it and hits the deck quickly. The elemental follows suit, flattening itself into a fiery disc.
[1d10]
[1d10]

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

 No.734236

>>734233
"Too bad you're in a pirate crew, otherwise I might be worried."

>>734233
When Kling-Klang shouts to duck, Cloud drops into the swamp to cover his head, taking the advice after the panic they ran with.
>Duck [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.734237

>>734233
Cerulean hears to duck and she tries to do just that.

>goose!

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.734238

>>734233
Alder would say more, but hardly has time! He tries to duck out of the way with a startled chirp.
[1d10+1] (TBP)
[1d10+1] Rallying Cry!

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11

 No.734239

>>734238
>>734237
>>734236
>>734235
>>734234
Tabasco briefly panics, seeing that there's nothing but water beneath him, which poses a problem for the flaming fox, but Squatz reaches out to him, grabbing him to try and pull him down, but it comes just a hair too late–

A thin wave of force, so thin that it is like the edge of a sword, swings out from an unseen source to the north. In a second, it radiates in an arc pattern for about fifty meters in every direction, slicing through the thick trunks of the many great trees that comprise this swamp, cutting entirely through them without slowing down for a moment. As the arc of force swings out toward you, Squatz flings up his thin blade to serve as a defense, and the arc collides with him, knocking him and Tabasco a good ten meters away into the water. Squatz's sword is broken, and he lays there, inert, with Tabasco bruised and cut, laying atop him.

The rest of you are unhurt. As you peek up, you can see that the source of the attack is a very tall automaton, perhaps fifteen meters in height. It is a work of technical and mechanical beauty, boasting a body all of pure, glimmering obsidian stone, which serves as a kind of exoskeleton. The stone is all connected by a vast network of bronze metallurgy, favoring artistry over defense, it seems, as ball joints and criss-crossing internal structures can be seen all through its design. The automaton is shaped principally like some kind of mantid, and two ruby-like eyes glimmer in its great head. Its forearms are like jagged blades, thin and curving. As they waft through the air, that quiet trilling can be heard from them. The automaton glances across the area slowly, its head scanning from right to left in a slow arc.

After a few seconds, trees start to slide from their positions, collapsing on top of one another, creating a criss-crossing triangular canopy above you. There are so many trees that they don't collapse on top of you, instead effectively imprisoning you in a tight network of narrow gaps between the partly-fallen trees.

"…You said there was three of those?" Droplet asks with amazement.
Kling-Klang gulps and nods.

 No.734240

>>734238
>>734239
>because of the critical success on rallying cry, everyone adds +2 to their next actions for the turn

 No.734241

>>734239
She stays low, observing the automaton from afar. "You said they were fighting something. What?" she asks. "Is it what's been leaving those footprints in the dark?"

 No.734242

>>734239
>>734241

"There's no reason for this thing to be favoring the dark," Cutlass points out. "We also can assume that it's not native to this area considering we'd see more destruction similar to this. Honestly… I have some suspicions. This timing seems fishy."

>Soul Vision on Automaton to see if it has a soul (also I guess to know what it wants if it does)

 No.734243

>>734239
Cloud keeps low in the water, stunned by the wide sweep the force cut through, and the tall automaton that marches out as the source. He glances back, now that the trees have formed an almost cage around them, and focuses on one of the tree trunks, using his aura to accelerate the growth to form a split tree to provide an opening as it pushes the others up above it.
>Master Farmer [1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

 No.734244

>>734239
"Tabasco! Squatz!" Cerulean looks at the odd automaton and charges it with her tail at the ready to inflict some hurt onto it. After the impact, she does a bounce off to launch herself by Squatz and Tabasco.

>Slam with Ranged tag from Arabian Agility

[1d10+3]
[1d10+3]

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10

 No.734245

>>734239
Alder squawks a little as the trees collapse, and he tries to patch up Tabasco as best he can. He doesn't want to leave anyone on the ground for now!


[1d10+3] Natural Remedy!

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9

 No.734246

>>734241
>>734242
You notice that the obsidian machine has the four hind legs of a mantid as well, narrow and thin with long, clawed tips. It could not have possibly made the footsteps that you were following until now, which were elliptical, and walked with a bipedal pattern. As Cutlass points out, it also seems capable of standing with sunlight, as the sun glimmers off its black carapace without causing issue for the automaton.

>>734241
Kling-Klang nods. "There were a couple others, shaped like different bugs. The others must have fanned out when we gave 'em the slip. A bigger one we saw was fighting this… this… giant, if I had to put a word to it. It was all metal and cloth, stood up like a minotaur, had on some kind of big… almost like a massive tube, or some kind of metal drum surrounding its body, all covered with pipes and gizmos."

>>734242
If a soul can be likened to a book, then what you see now is like a screen of code, or a list of simple instructions. You do not see any visual metaphor or representation that you have in the past, but rather sense only a simple, unthinking desire to exterminate intruders from Cuauhtemoc.

>>734243
The tree's bark starts to split, and begins to bleed. Thick, dark red blood leaks from between gaps in the bark.

>>734245
You quickly restore Tabasco to full condition, but he turns and yaps at Squatz with concern; Squatz groans, then gets up, looking at his shattered sword with a hollow gaze.

>>734244
You charge, leap and bounce off the machine's hull, and launch yourself back with a mighty beat of force, retreating to the side of those in need. The automaton turns your way, raising its claws…

>Vanish, Automatic Instant


And as it brings its claws down upon the open air, its black shell turns transparent, and it vanishes from top to bottom, as if a curtain had fallen down before it.

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.734247

>>734246
Alder tries to patch up Squatz next, giving him a soft jab with the knife!
[1d10+2] Heal
"If you would like, I can lend you a bow."

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.734248

>>734246
"Well. That's certainly cause for consternation. We'll have to press on to try and find the other crewmen. Any idea where they are?"

She notices Cerulean being engaged in combat, and nonchalantly flicks her hoof, sending out grasping ropes, tendrils and chains towards where the automaton last was.
[1d10+4] Shackles, +2 from Inspiring Cry

The fire elemental charges forward mindlessly, aiming to impact on the automaton's surface, possibly revealing its location.
[1d10] Attack

Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7 / Roll #2 3 = 3

 No.734249

>>734246
"Wh-What?"
Cloud mutters as the tree starts to bleed.
"Hmm, why is that tree bleeding?"
He asks, horrified a bit at the sight. He turns as the machine fades away from view partway through it's attack. He starts to worry they won't be able to run away from this… thing, easily. His eye glows, focusing his magic on himself to grow himself to be a better match for the towering construct.
>Wax/Wane [Self] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.734250

>>734246

"Huh…" Cutlass mutters to herself. "Code feels like a simple soul. How interesting. I wonder if this will work."

>Soul Slicer on


Cutlass runs toward the automaton and slices at its feet with her knife. If Soul Slicer does work, then this should have no physical interaction.

[1d10] Single attack

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.734251

>>734246
Cerulean looks around confused, not sure where it went and its movements don't seem to be giving off electricity for her to pick up on. But first things first: she quickly looks to Tabasco with a smile as he's back up.
"Alright, how about we melt this guy wherever it shows up," she says to the fox demon, picking him up to combine with him and transforming into a mix of pony and fiery fox.

 No.734252

>>734248
"Further north, by some kind of strange obelisk," Kling-Klang says as he gets the hang of reloading. "Damn thing… we were in the midst of a rescue attempt of Cane Shuga and a couple others from that metal man, when four of those automata attacked us. One remained to tangle with the metal man, and the rest kept chasing us."

>>734249
After a few seconds, the blood stops, and the parts that broke open as a result of your spell seem to seal themselves back up. As the last of the blood drips out, dyeing the water red, it seems almost as if you imagined the whole thing. This throws off your focus, disrupting your next spell.

>>734251
As you turn and meld with Tabasco, the automaton suddenly manifests before you, having covered a distance of many meters in a mere instant. It slashes at your face, scoring cuts across your forehead and right cheek, and the wounds cough forth a torrent of blood, which spews down into your eyes and into the water.

>Cerulean 1/6, afflicted with Blind (Rogue skill)


>>734247
"It… it…" Squatz mumbles, his gaze intensifying as he looks at the broken edge of his sword. He then stands, his eyes darkening, and releases a raw scream.

>>734250
>>734251
>>734248
Upon seeing the Obsidian Guardian manifest again, this time in your midst, directly before Cerulean, you spin, readying your attacks. Cutlass paralyzes one of the automaton's hind legs with her blade, while Thessaly chains it down with her shackles. It is quite large, and so it is still able to move its forelimbs, but it is unable to advance, and the mooks back away, reaching for their guns.

[3d10] Mook shots
[1d10+1] Kling-Klang gulps and tries firing Cane Shuga's pistol.

"I'll kill you!" Squatz swears, running at the automaton with broken sword raised.

[1d10]

The Automaton jabs at Cerulean again.

[1d10+4] Rupture

Roll #1 3, 6, 4 = 13 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #3 10 = 10 / Roll #4 9 + 4 = 13

 No.734253

>>734252
Cerulean gives out a slight yell in pain, covering her face from the pain of the slash and her blood getting in her eyes. Although she has a flaming fox tail now, she begins to swing it blindly in the hopes of maybe hitting the odd construct.
"Where'd you go?!"

>Slam, but now with Fire element

[1d10-1]
[1d10-1]

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

 No.734254

>>734252
Alder lets out a panicked squawk as it jabs at Cerulean, and reaches out with his Aura to protect her! His aura takes the form of soft-looking, golden feathers.
[1d10+1] Feather Shield (+1 TBP)

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

 No.734255

>>734252
[2d3] Shackles duration, retroactive

"Calm yourself," she tells Squatz before turning swiftly with concern towards Cerulean, spurred more into action seeing her injured. She mutters some arcane words and brands the Guardian with a mandala.
[1d10+2] Exequy, crits 9+

The fire elemental surges towards the automaton's head in an attempt to obstruct its rampage.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2, 2 = 4 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #3 3 = 3

 No.734256

>>734255
> Exequy: spell, recharge 2 after effect ends; Thessaly places a curse upon an enemy, crippling them with dark magic. The target auto-critfails its next roll, and on a crit the target is rendered unable to attack on the next turn. If an enemy gets multiple rolls per turn, the first of those rolls is the one affected by Exequy. (+1 BP)

 No.734257

>>734252
Cloud shakes his head, putting aside the sight as disorientation from his fall. They need to fight off this machine and he can't let the others go on without him. He stands up from the water, eye glowing as he tries to grow himself again.
>Wax/Wane [Self] [1d10+1]
He focuses on the machine, unsure if it has any life he can drain, but it's worth a shot with how strange things in the Ribcage have been so far.
>Leech [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10

 No.734258

>>734252

"Oh, it does work… Good," Cutlass grins.

>Dance of Blades with Soul Cutter


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

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

 No.734259

>>734258

More damage.

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

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

 No.734260

>>734259

MOAR DAMAGE!

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

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

 No.734261

>>734253
You barely graze the automaton's exterior, and with how hard it is, it's hard to imagine that you did much damage to it, if at all. Conversely, it scores a deep gouge across your side, opening a vein, which rewards it with a spew of your blood. You fall into the low swamp, steam spewing forth from the water as you burn much of it.

>Cerulean 0/4; the Obsidian Guardian deals 1 extra wound when it knocks someone helpless.

>1 turn left on Blind
>2 turns left on Rupture

Splendid runs to your side and tries to help you up. [1d10]

>>734254
You had managed to cover Cerulean with a protective Aura, but with a shock, you see that the Obsidian Guardian's slash broke right through it, dispelling the energy contained therein.

>>734257
>>734255
>>734260
Like a kitten on a rampage, Cutlass cuts up the Obsidian Guardian, slashing wildly, all while doing no apparent physical damage to its hull or any of its components, until she reaches her limit, her body red and stinging from rapid blood flow as she collapses into the water.

>Cutlass 0/4


The Guardian's movements slow, and Cloud, surprisingly, is able to leech away some of its energy, causing it to collapse. However, its eyes are still aglow, indicating it's capable of more.

[1d10+1] Helplessness Recovery, auto-critfails

As the mooks and Kling-Klang take a second to reload, Squatz is heedless of Thessaly's warning, diving straight onto the automaton to drive the broken edge of his sword into its gears.

From the north, you can hear the rustling of movement in the trees…

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

 No.734262

>>734261
As she hears the rustling, she spares a glance toward the treeline as she charges up a blast of point blank magic, aimed at the automaton's head.
[1d10] Perception
[1d10+2] [1d10+2] Magic Bolt, +1 TBP

The fire elemental continues to buffet the automaton with flaming fists.
[1d10]

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

 No.734263

>>734261
"Ahh! Ow! Stupid big thing!" She yells out as she struggles to stand up and shake herself off of the swamp water, bleeding out more as she does.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.734264

>Bloodbank [1]

>>734261
Cloud stretches a bit as he rejuvenates himself, now standing tall with his larger height as well. His ears perk up as the trees rustle, possibly more of these machines approaching them. He looks down at the fallen machine, and again leeches away at it, red aura ripping from the construct to Cloud as he drains not just it's life force but it's size as well.
>Vampiric Leech [1d10+2]

He then glances back, focusing again on the trees to grow a trunk to make an opening for them to flee out of if needed.
>Master Farmer [1d10+2]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6

 No.734265

>>734261

"Wow, that's quite a soul you have there…" Cutlass huffs as she gets back up.

[1d10] recover

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.734266

>>734261
"Ack!" the griffon says, rushing to Cutlass's side and trying to help patch her up.
[1d10+1] Natural Remedy

>>734261
Seeing as the feathers didn't work, the griffon will try lashing out with his aura, instead.
[1d10] Spectral Claws (helping out Cerulean!)

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 2 = 2

 No.734267

>>734263
Your many wounds sting and bleed, and even with Splendid's help, you're unable to stand back up again, instead falling back to the ground with a splash. Splendid groans, trying to help you up once more.

[1d10]

>>734262
You and the elemental pummel the Obsidian Guardian, smashing and busting its hull and gears open with a spew of metal and stone.

>>734265
You rise again, and Sir Pent does a little flip to add some flourish.

>>734266
>>734265
Afterwards, Alder heals Cutlass' exhaustion with a sip of potion, restoring her lost wound.

>>734264
>>734262
As Cloud drains more of the machine's life-force, he grows to minotaur's height. The Guardian rises one last time, raising its claws to rake across Thessaly and Cloud, but Thessaly's eldritch mandala enflames itself with green light, which spreads down all throughout the Guardian's body, glowing in crack-like formations. It shudders once, then bursts apart, falling in a spew of stone and metal.

>>734266
>>734265
>>734264
>>734263
>>734262
Not a full moment after defeating the first of the Obsidian Guardians, you see two more approaching from the shadowy banks of the north. One of them, much larger than the first Guardian, resembles a great horned stag beetle, perhaps twenty meters in height, and quite bulky, looking thick as a tank. It simply shoves aside trees in its path, uprooting them with mere steps. The other, six meters in height, floats between trees, in the shape of a gentle butterfly, able to fly despite being made all of stone.

Your allies crouch, and Cloud takes a moment to bore a hole facing southward through one of the fallen trees nearby. The two newcomers do not seem to have seen you yet.

Droplet hums to himself, taking no heed of the newcomers, as he plays with the shadows of the remains of the first Obsidian Guardian.

Squatz, meanwhile, is still snarling and fuming, stabbing at the ruby eyes of the slain automaton's head, acting out some futile revenge for having broken his sword.

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.734268

>>734267
>>734266
>>734264
>>734263
>>734262

"Thanks, Alder," Cutlass nods with approval at the timely heal.

"I say we fight them," Cutlass suggests. "Better to have them dead now than to have them showing up later causing more trouble."

 No.734269

>>734267
>>734263
Alder gives Cerulean a soft jab with the medic's knife.
[1d10+2] (+2 TBP)
"O-Oh, dear. More of them? I do not like the look of this…" the griffon says, stepping in place nervously.

>>734265
>>734268
"Apologies I did not tend to you better- I am glad you feel well."

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.734270

>>734267
She ducks away as the other Guardians come into view, throwing her fire elemental out both as a distraction and as a potential deterrent for the unknown shadow beast. She lashes out with Telekinesis and tries to drag Droplet and Squatz into the undergrowth with the rest of them. "Fools!" she hisses. "Do you want us all to get killed?"
[1d10+1] Telekinesis
[1d10] Perception

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

 No.734271

>>734269

Cutlass laughs. "I am in peak condition. You literally couldn't have done better!"

 No.734272

>>734267
>>734269
Cerulean makes sure to lower the flames of her mane as the two ocme over and help, making sure not to burn them.
"Thanks you two," she says and wipes the blood from her eyes, looking slightly more pumped up, even with the injuries.
"Won't be like this much longer so," she tenses her body up and brings up some flames, spitting out a little fireball at the butterfly one.

>Ranged Magical attack, Fire

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.734273

>Bloodbank [2]

>>734267
>>734270
Cloud feels immensely energized as he grows to new heights from his new aura ability, though finding it a little difficult to adjust to the bigger size. He looks u0p as the guardian raises it's claws, ready to jump, until Thessaly blasts it apart to end the job.
"Phew, nice one Thess."

When two more come into view through the entangled trees, Cloud crouches as well, though not nearly as effective in hiding himself given his height.

>>734268
"We got the jump on that one easy enough, but there's two there. Unless we can drop them both quickly I don't think that'll go well."

 No.734274

>>734273
"Likewise," she says politely.

>>734272
She looks over to Cerulean. "Are you alright?" she asks, noting her injuries with unveiled concern. "Those look quite grievous."

 No.734275

>>734273
>>734272
"A-Ack! We may not have the chance to do much else, now- perhaps they will not be as strong, at least?" he offers, making a nervous noise.

 No.734276

>>734268
>>734270
>>734269
As Thessaly sends her elemental out to attack, it runs forth, jumping and kicking its heels, and making all kinds of pantomimed ruckus, punching at the air and generally being a nuisance to get the attention of the next two Guardians. The two approach it slowly, their ruby eyes trained upon it with caution, unlike the first Guardian, which charged unthinkingly into the fray.

>>734270
Squatz gets yanked back, but Droplet sturdies himself, and you find that you cannot move him. He puts together a shadow, and places it upon himself, taking the appearance of a smaller mantid Obsidian Guardian. He turns your way and presents his guise. "So whaddya think? Do I look cool or what?"

>>734268
>>734269
>>734270
>>734272
>>734273
Cerulean's flung fire narrowly misses the obsidian butterfly, but it doesn't seem to have revealed your location. The fact that Thessaly sent out her flame elemental, combined with Cerulean using a flame attack, seems to have obscured the fact that you're all currently hiding behind the canopy of collapsed trees. The butterfly and the beetle exchange a look, eyes flashing in patterns that seems to suggest a degree of communication. Then, the beetle starts to back away, retracing its steps, while the butterfly starts to rise, floating over toward your position in a very high arc, precluding all but ranged attacks…

"Is it going to dive-bomb us?" Kling-Klang whispers.
"I think so!" Splendid hisses. "What's the plan?"

 No.734277

>>734276
"Perhaps we could take cover? I do not know if they are magic, but I could try taking a shot with my Witchkiller bow… unless someone else would wish to take the shot."

 No.734278

>>734274
"Yeah, I'm good," she says and checks on the wound on her side, "a bit rough, but nothing I can't handle."

>>734275
"Well, they don't have those slashy bits, so maybe."

>>734276
Around this time, the fusion between Cerulean and Tabasco ends and they defuse, Cerulean holding Tabasco with her front hooves so he doesn't make contact with the water.
"Well, I'm a bit up close and personal, but I don't think I can jump high enough to reach it."

 No.734279

>>734276
Cloud slowly shuffles back towards the treeline around them, to avoid being in a direct path if the robot does dive bomb them. He then focuses on the covering of trees that was formed by the early construct's attack, pouring his aura into the trees to have them grow together and intertwine to form a thicker barrier to hopefully slow the new enemies down.
>Master Farmer [1d10+3]

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

 No.734280

>>734276

Cutlass throws a knife up at the butterfly. [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.734281

>>734276
>>734278
>>734279
>>734280
"I could, ehm, perhaps try to hinder them. It would be quite loud, so it would give us away."

 No.734282

>>734276
"Passable," she says coldly. "Now get back here before they step on you."

"For now?" she answers Splendid. "Duck." She proceeds to do so, while also commanding the fire elemental to hurl a chunk of itself at the iron butterfly.
[1d10] Take Cover
[1d10] Fire Ranged Attack

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 1 = 1

 No.734283

>>734281
[1d10] Screech!

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.734284

>>734277
>>734278
>>734279
>>734280
>>734282
Thessaly's flame elemental gives her a thumbs-up, and lobs a fire projectile up at the butterfly at the same time as Cutlass' knife flies upward at it, plinking off its carapace. As you all gather under the canopy of fallen trees, Cloud accelerates their growth, causing the canopy to grow quite large, losing all gaps and completely covering the lot of you like a great dome of protection.

As your allies breathe a sigh of relief, taking a moment to formulate a plan in whispered tones, Thessaly hears a faint crackling from above. It starts to get warmer in the canopy. She looks at the flame elemental, whose expression goes from one of nonchalance to one that can only be expressed as– Whoops

>Paused

 No.734285

>>734283
You find that you haven't warmed up, and your shriek begins horribly sharp– better to give that one another try once you manage to run through some scales first.

 No.734693

Last time, on PirateQuest…

Whilst exploring the dense, overgrown jungles of Cuauhtemoc, the party made the decision to put off their rendezvous with Kukulcan's forces, which Two Reeds, Kukulcan's accompass, navigator and go-between, was fine with. After Cloud caught up with the party, they went off the beaten path, descending a steep cliffside to reach the floor of the jungle so that they could track the monster that most likely captured the lost mook. Night would soon be upon them, and with it, the monster's freedom to move about as it pleased within the darkness, so they needed to move quickly.

Proceeding deeper in, they came to the outskirts of a shallow, clear-water swamp, where they discovered Kling-Klang and three mooks running south to get free of a mantis-like automaton, made of obsidian stone and beautiful metalwork. With a great swipe, it cut down a wide swathe of trees in the jungle, causing them to fall in on one another and create a complex of sorts, greatly injuring Tabasco and Squatz in the process.

The party retaliated and defeated the mantis just before two more automata – a butterfly that shouldn't be able to fly, and a horned beetle the size of a fortress. They needed to get past these automata as well; according to Kling-Klang, Cane Shuga and a couple other mooks had been caught by a "metal man" – a giant wearing a peculiar diving suit – further north. Kling-Klang and his group attempted to intervene when they were beset by a group of five automata. One remained behind to fight the metal man, while the rest chased Kling-Klang.

 No.734694

>All
Thessaly's flame elemental gives her a thumbs-up, and lobs a fire projectile up at the butterfly at the same time as Cutlass' knife flies upward at it, plinking off its carapace. As you all gather under the canopy of fallen trees, Cloud accelerates their growth, causing the canopy to grow quite large, losing all gaps and completely covering the lot of you like a great dome of protection.

As your allies breathe a sigh of relief, taking a moment to formulate a plan in whispered tones, Thessaly hears a faint crackling from above. It starts to get warmer in the canopy. She looks at the flame elemental, whose expression goes from one of nonchalance to one that can only be expressed as-– Whoops

 No.734695

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu
>Bloodbank [2]

>>734694
"Am I glad we're out in a swamp and not stuck inside a mansion again."
Cloud sighs in relief as he forms the trees into a safe barrier. He looks around, thinking of what to do next, until he feels it getting warmer, and hears the crackling of burning wood. He looks up, grumbling a bit as his eye glows, bringing forth some rain to put the fire out before they're trapped in a burning dome.
>Climate Control [Rain] [1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

 No.734696

>>734694
She looks up and pales as she sees the flames starting to spread. She quickly desummons the elemental before it can do any more damage, reaching out to the water at her hooves to try and bend it to her will.
[1d10+2] Unholy Elementalist, spending 1 TBP

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.734697

>>734695
>>734694
Sensing that the next few moments will likely be important, the griffon tries to give everyone a burst of energy with a (only somewhat panicked) rallying squawk!
>[1d10+2] Rallying Cry (Instant, Recharge 1): You let off an Aura-infused cry, which invigorates your allies. They gain a +1 to all rolls next round. (+1 from TBP)

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

 No.734698

>>734696
Unholy Elementalist: recharge 2, spell; Can animate natural elemental sources such as fires or bodies of water. Minions raised this way carry elemental properties as per Elementalist, but are otherwise relative in size and power to normal raised minions.

>>734695
She turns to him about to say something, only to find he's thinking ahead and doing exactly what she was going to ask. "Ah. Thank you, Cloud. Good thinking. I don't know what else I expected from that oaf."

 No.734699

>>734693
>>734694
Cerulean sees the flames start up and opts to try and splash water up at the flames like a foal in a pool.

 No.734700

>>734698
>One TBP to be restored next round, another going on cooldown

 No.734701


 No.734702


 No.734703

>H/W: 5/5
>TBP: 4 [Max]

>>734695
>Climate Control: Spell; Through your deep connection with nature, you can change the climate in your local area, albeit for a short amount of time. Attempting to summon major storms or other cataclysmic events may backfire horribly. In most cases, using this indoors only affects the climate outside.

>>734698
"Didn't think these trees would catch on fire. Guess we can't play it safe down here."

 No.734704

>>734693

"Okay, who's the idiot that started the fires?" Cutlass asks in an annoyed tone. She has nothing to put out fires. Instead, she looks around for a safe place to get away from the fire while also avoiding any potential incoming attacks from the automata.

[1d10] perception

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.734705

>>734696
Before the flame elemental can vanish, it gives you an annoyed shrug, as if to say, Whaddya expect? It's what I do. His replacement, a water elemental, offers you an apologetic look, cognizant of his predecessor's errors.

>>734695
>>734699
A light rainfall begins to pour from above, dripping through scant cracks in the tree-canopy that you've taken shelter under, and Cerulean dampens the ceiling of the canopy from below, helping to reduce the burning of the ceiling. You can smell smoke, but since the fire was concentrated on the ceiling, its effect on you down here is very minimal.

>>734697
>>734696
>>734695
>>734699
>>734704
However, just as one crisis is averted, another starts in its place. Through the gaps between the overlapping branches and leaf coverings, you can see a bright, ruby-red glow fill the golden air. The obsidian butterfly has dropped a bright red orb of magic like a bomb, hurtling down toward your makeshift shelter! Alder's rallying cry jolts energy into your bones, filling you with emergency vigor.

>Roll dodge, DC 5 due to shelter, instant; all rolls this round gain +2 from rallying cry


[7d10+2] In order: 3 mooks, Kling-Klang, Splendid, Squatz, Droplet

As the others try to find stable portions of the canopy to duck and cover under, Droplet instead runs outward, still disguised as a smaller form of the Obsidian Mantis. "I'll distract them while you guys work your magic," he hisses as he skitters out on six legs.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 10, 10, 9, 5, 3, 3, 2 + 2 = 44 / Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5

 No.734706

>>734705
[1d10+2] Dodge!

Alder scrabbles out of the way as quick as he can manage, before feeling around for his Witchkiller Bow. Since the creatures seem to be using magic, he'll try that!
[1d10+2] Witchkiller Bow (+3 Hits to Enemies who know magic.) (+2 TBP, 0/4)

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

 No.734707

>>734706
>Add a +2 to the bow shot from Rallying Cry

 No.734708

>>734704
She just points at the vanishing embers of the fire elemental. "I don't know what I expected."

>>734705
She hisses as she sees the magic nuke coming towards them, hurling an orb of her own to counter it in midair before ducking for cover.
[1d10+2] Dodge
[1d10+3] [1d10+3] Magic Bolt

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #2 10 + 3 = 13 / Roll #3 9 + 3 = 12

 No.734709

>H/W: 5/5
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [2]

>>734705
Cloud ducks back towards the edge of the dome, finding his large size rending trying to outright avoid it difficult.
>Dodge [1d10+4]

He peers up through the cracks, spotting the butterfly. Now that it's attacking, there's no sense in trying to wait for it to leave. He focuses on it, leeching away at it's energy as red aura flows from the construct.
>Vampiric Leech [1d10+5]
>Instant, Maso; Drains life from a target, dealing damage and healing Cloud's hits by an equal amount.
>passive; When Cloud is at full hits, instead of draining health Leech will drain away size in addition to dealing damage. It will shrink the target and grow Cloud as if applying Wax/Wane. When Leech would use this effect, Cloud cannot use Wax/Wane normally.

Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9 / Roll #2 8 + 5 = 13

 No.734710

>>734708
>Magic Bolt: recharge 2, spell, ranged; Fire a volatile bolt of magic. Roll two dice and use the higher roll for results. If one of the dice is a crit fail, then the spell crit fails regardless of the other roll.

The elemental surges up to try and take the blow, protecting the gang from the impact.
[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.734711

>>734705

Cutlass throws a knife at the butterfly. [1d10] ranged attack

Then, Cutlass ducks for cover. [1d10]

>reminder that Soul Slicer is on


Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.734712

>>734705
Cerulean makes a mad dash to get away from this magic bomb. Seeing the butterfly still fairly low, she tries to get up a tree and attempt to jump and latch on to the butterfly so she might be able to reach it.

>Dodge

[1d10+2]

>Jumping grab/ride/grapple?

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4

 No.734713

>>734706
The butterfly, perhaps best simply labeled as an Obsidian Mage, staggers in the air as the arrow strikes a joint, but remains floating in the air. Unfortunately, as you hit the deck, the tree-canopy above shudders, and large branches break off as the magic orb explodes upon contact with Thessaly's elemental and magical bolt. Wooden chunks batter your chest and head, but no serious injuries arise. You see Droplet, Squatz and Splendid similarly hurt, but not seriously.

>you lose 5 Hits

>Splendid 0/4
>Squatz 1/6
>Droplet 1/6

>>734708
>>734711
>>734710
>>734709
>>734712
The rest of you manage to take shelter, looking up as Thessaly's elemental and magical blast create a kind of pincer counterattack against the Obsidian Mage's magical bomb. Thessaly's counterattack absorbs most of the impact, but the bomb is powerful, causing much of the canopy's branches to break off. The canopy shudders, and owing to its unstable construction, it looks like it might collapse at any second.

The Obsidian Mages readies another attack, but Cutlass' dagger throws off its focus, allowing Cloud enough time to steal 8 Hits from it with his Aura. The Mage's body slackens and starts to fall through the air, falling toward the treeline. Cerulean runs out from below the canopy and heads for the nearest tree to climb up it, but she is unable to find a good hoof-hold anywhere near her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT3vGqG6_BY

However, as Cloud becomes larger from the drained energy, he can no longer hide under the canopy, and is forced to bail out from it. As he does, the colossal beetle, the tops of its horns nearly level with the treeline, charges forward, ignoring Droplet entirely in his distraction attempts, and attempts to crush the lot of you.

[1d10+4] Quake
[1d10+3] Horn attack vs Cloud

The Obsidian Mage attempts to right itself before it can crash land.

[1d10+2]

Splendid attempts to get up!

[1d10]

Droplet rushes to cripple one of the beetle's legs.

[1d10+2]

Squatz applies poison to his broken sword, and jams it into one of the beetle's joints.

[1d10] sleep serum -2

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

 No.734714

>>734710
Your elemental re-gathers itself, although it is weakened from the self-sacrificing move. (0/2)

 No.734715

>>734713
Kling-Klang turns to the mooks, some of whom show injuries from previous scrapes. "Hit the road, get back to the ship! We'll handle this!"

The mooks nod, before bolting to the south, zig-zagging between trees. Kling-Klang then takes forth a vial of spices, inhales them, then spews fire from his mouth at the falling Obsidian Mage.

[1d10+1] Alchemist's Fire

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.734716

>>734713
She commands the elemental to recover, while she conjures an eldritch symbol and brands the beetle with it.
[1d10] Elemental recover

>Exequy: spell, recharge 2 after effect ends; Thessaly places a curse upon an enemy, crippling them with dark magic. The target auto-critfails its next roll, and on a crit the target is rendered unable to attack on the next turn. If an enemy gets multiple rolls per turn, the first of those rolls is the one affected by Exequy. (+1 BP)

[1d10+3] Spending another TBP, crits 9+ from Toy Witch

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

 No.734717

>>734713
Alder covers himself to avoid the worst of it, but unfortunately not everyone was so lucky! The griffon decides to hold on to the knife for now, opting to try treating Splendid with one of his salves.
>[1d10+1] Natural Remedy(Recharge 1, Ranged); You use an unpredictable tincture to fully restore a target’s hits to full and restore one wound, or removes status effects. Crit on 9+ restores 2 wounds, but crit fail on 2- deals a wound of damage.

He'll also lash out with claws made from Aura, trying to leech some of the Mage's essence and feed it into Squatz.
>[1d10] Spectral Claws (Instant, Recharge 3): Lash out with your aura manifested as claws at a target. The essence you rake off is transferred into an ally, which heals them for the damage dealt.

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

 No.734718

>Evoker: When Thessaly conjures a minion via Unholy Elementalist, roll an additional 1d10 on a success. On a pass, the minion is raised with an additional 2 hits for a total of 5/3. On a crit, the minion gains 1 hit and 1 wound, bringing it to 4/4. On a critfail, the minion is hostile and gets no bonuses. (Amnis: +1)
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.734719

>>734713
Cerulean huffs as she can't seem to beat land gravity this time. Then an idea strikes her. She takes out her info-rifle and shoots the harmless beam at the butterfly, wondering if she can maybe find something out about it that could help her smash it or something.

 No.734720

>H/W: 5/5
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [3]

>>734713
Cloud ducks under the canopy so he doesn't lift it or push it away from the others, feeling confident with this surge of energy coursing through him that he should be fine in the open. This feeling is soon quickly tested as he hears the beetle charging towards him, turning to face the creature. He lowers his head, ready to take it head on.
"Alright, let's see if all this aura I've drained pulls through."
He opens his mouth first, leeching away this beetle's life force too.
>Vampiric Leech [1d10+4]
>Instant, Maso; Drains life from a target, dealing damage and healing Cloud's hits by an equal amount.
>passive; When Cloud is at full hits, instead of draining health Leech will drain away size in addition to dealing damage. It will shrink the target and grow Cloud as if applying Wax/Wane. When Leech would use this effect, Cloud cannot use Wax/Wane normally.

His eye then glows orange, connecting to the swamp to loosen the ground below the charging beetle to cause it to sink in to halt it's charge.
>Earthen Grasp [1d10+3]
>Earthen Grasp: recharge 1, spell, ranged; Summon vines, stones, or quicksand to trap an enemy and render them helpless. Large enemies may only be immobilized. Effect lasts until the enemy breaks free or is released.

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

 No.734721

>>734713

Cutlass takes the opportunity to put more hurt on the butterfly. Her silver aura flares up and she slashes with two daggers.

>using 3 TBP


[1d10+3] [1d10+3] dual attack

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

 No.734722

>>734713
Splendid shrieks as the Obsidian Giant's attacks dislodge sharpened branches from the canopy, which stab themselves into the small of her back.

>Splendid 0/3


Droplet and Squatz hammer one of the Obsidian Giant's legs, slowing its assaults, but only slightly.

Kling-Klang burns the Obsidian Mage, but fails to destroy it.

The Obsidian Mage attempts to get up again.

[1d10+2]

>>734717
The falling debris prevents you from being able to tend to Splendid, but you steal 3 Hits from the Obsidian Giant, restoring Squatz's health.

>>734718
Your elemental regains its shape, that of a large fish with a pike-shaped nose, ready for battle.

>W. Elemental 5/2


>>734717
>>734716

>>734719
You learn the following:
Obsidian Mage
9/5 H/W (maximum)
0/3 H/W (current)
43/45 soul points
Capable of using Mage skills with +2
Crystal Absorption
Natural Weapon: Claws (see: https://pastebin.com/eyZAE3bD)
Hive Mentality
Weak: Blunt
Resist: Slash
Immune: None
>An automated warrior of Cuauhtemoc, released in a panic when the celebrants of the new year were beset upon by the sudden opening of the World-Serpent's Maw.

>>734721
The Obsidian Mage flaps its stony wings rapidly as it lays upon its back, struggling to get up. In the process, it swipes you twice with the beautiful stone.

>Cutlass 6/5


>>734716
>>734717
>>734719
>>734720
>>734721
The Obsidian Giant crashes and thrashes through the landscape in its onslaught, ripping up trees and overturning swathes of swampland in its assault, effectively carving a river-like channel in its wake, as it meets Cloud head-on, jamming its horns into his chest. The rush knocks each of you onto your backs, pain radiating from the point of impact.

>Cloud 5/3 (took 11 Hits, regained 6 from Vampiric Leech, which is applied last due to healing having last priority)

>Cerulean 7/5
>Thessaly 0/4
>Cutlass 0/4
>Alder 0/5
>Splendid 0/2
>Squatz 0/5
>Droplet 0/5
>Kling-Klang 0/5

However, the Giant then falls to the ground, sunken due to Cloud's magic. It struggles to get free as Thessaly affixes her seal to its head.

[1d10+1] helplessness recovery, auto-critfails, -1 due to earthen grasp

The Obsidian Mage tries to get up too.

[1d10+2]

Your allies struggle to recover.

[4d10]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #3 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #4 4, 9, 2, 9 = 24

 No.734723

>>734722
She grunts as she falls into the shallow water, splashing about as she tries to right herself with telekinesis.
[1d10]

The water elemental charges forward, piercing the Giant like a living rapier as it recovers.
[1d10]

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

 No.734724

>>734722

Cutlass groans with exertion and pain as she gets back up. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.734725

>>734722
>>734721
You realize, as you see the whole group knocked over by the Obsidian Giant's attack, that Godot is nowhere to be found. You're distracted from this by a black, lightning-covered shadow leaping out of your own, appearing to dance and spin in a chaotic frenzy at the Giant as it falls into the muck of the swamp.

[1d10+2] Shadow Guardian free attack

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.734726

Alder lets out a panicked squawk as the Obsidian Giant knocks him, and several of the others back. He tries to get to all fours again, sliding his Medic's Knife over to Thessaly in the meantime.
>Recovery: [1d10+2] (Spending 2 TBP, 0/4)

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

 No.734727

>>734722
Cerulean gets bombarded with this information, then grins a bit before she's sudden hit by the thrashing butterfly.
"Ow, that hurt!" Seeing it on the ground, she winds up her tail and runs at it, looking to give it a tail smack it won't forget.

>Slam. Crits 8+, +1 from Arabian Agility, Single weapon tag (-1 DC), take better result

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

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

 No.734728

>H/W: 5/3
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734722
Cloud stumbles back as the horns impact his chest, his large form the only thing keeping him from being completely impaled. He groans a bit in pain, but smirks as the beetle sinks into the ground from his magic.
"Not so tough now… are you?"
He says between breaths, putting on his Gripper Gauntlets as to not risk his knifes on a hardened construct. He steps over to the beetle and swings his hoof down on it's head for a devastating blow.
>Strike [DC-1] [1d10+4]

Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7

 No.734729

>>734723
>>734724
You fail to recover, and the Water Elemental fails to find an opening for an attack, retreating before it can be counterattacked.

>>734726
You, Squatz and Kling-Klang manage to get back up just as the Obsidian Giant worms its way out of the muck, and the Obsidian Mage manages to get up too. Kling-Klang runs to Thessaly's side, and Squatz makes for Splendid, trying to help the two back up.

[2d10] assistance for Thess & Splen

>>734724
With the automata focusing on Cloud and Cerulean for now, Ossie hops out of your shadow, lending you a hoof for recovery.

[1d10]

>>734727
With a great gust of wind, the Obsidian Mage knocks you back before you can strike it.

>Cerulean 5/5


Before you can attack again, the Obsidian Mage's eyes glow, and magical energy concentrates around you in a bubble-like sphere–

[1d10+2] Teleport, DC 8

>>734728
You see small cracks spread through the obsidian chassis from the impact. The Giant is undeterred, bowing its head to try and get its horns under you so that it can try to fling you away from it.

[1d10+3]

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

 No.734730

>H/W: 5/3
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734729
Cloud slams his hooves down on the beetle's horns, aiming to snap them off as it tries to fling him away.
"Nice try bud, but this is a lot of new muscle you're trying to toss."
He brags.
>Stomp [DC-1] [1d10+4]

Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7

 No.734731

>>734729
She utters some curses that would make even the most hardened sailor blush, practically hurling the elemental towards the Giant as she tries to recover again.
[1d10] Recover
[1d10] Elemental attack

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.734732

>>734729

Cutlass does another dual attack on the butterfly. [1d10] [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 2 = 2

 No.734733

>>734729
Alder lets out a soft huff as he tries to get to Splendid's side, but stops himself upon seeing Squatz handle it. He'll instead turn to Thessaly and make another attempt with one of his healing salves.

>[1d10+2] Natural Remedy (Ranged, Recharge 1: Crits on an 8+, Healing two wounds. Critfails on a 2-, dealing a wound of damage. (+1 TBP: 0/4)


Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.734734

>>734732
>>734729

"Thanks, by the way," Cutlass says to Ossie.

 No.734735

>>734729
As Cerulean gets the bubble placed around her, she charges the bubble a few times in an attempt to pop/shatter it. And in doing so, she keeps the momentum up to try and bite the butterfly.

>Great weapon attack. Crits 9+, critfails 2-

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.734736

>>734730
You're tossed backwards into a nearby tree, but not before you can break off some of the outer portions of the beetle's horns.

>Cloud 2/3


>>734730
>>734731
>>734733
Cloud's stomp causes the beetle to lash out, flailing as it falls again into the swampy divide that it created in its initial charge. With one of its flailing limbs, it kicks Thessaly and Kling-Klang into a tree, sending them hurtling through the elemental in the process, and Thessaly feels a snapping of at least one, maybe two of her ribs from the impact. Before the pain can sap her focus, Alder tosses her a healing salve, restoring her health.

>Thessaly 6/4

>W. Elemental 3/2

[1d10+2] Obsidian Giant recovery

Kling-Klang coughs with pain, peeling himself off the tree, and runs to help up Droplet, who endeavors to get up himself.

[2d10]

>Splendid 5/2

>Kling-Klang 2/5
>Squatz 6/5

>>734730
>>734731
>>734732
>>734734
>>734733
>>734735
Cutlass goes in for the attack, but as she swings, the Obsidian Mage leaps atop her, pinning her to the ground, and she can see its face in all its gruesomely intricate detail – butterflies, when viewed up close, are quite the horror show. It unravels its proboscis, making a grisly clicking noise in the process, and jabs her several times in the chest, wreaking havoc on her skin and muscles, much to Ossie's horror.

>Cutlass 0/3


Cerulean knocks the Obsidian Mage back, but it begins charging up a magical attack, its eyes glowing ruby red.

[1d10+2] Chain Magic vs Cerulean

Ossie runs forward to kick its head off.

[1d10+2]

Squatz and Splendid assault the flailing Obsidian Giant while they have the chance.

[1d10+1] Splendid stabs its with her new Qiang spear

[1d10] Squatz attempts Sleep Serum with his broken sword

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 7, 7 = 14 / Roll #3 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #4 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #5 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #6 3 = 3

 No.734737

The Obsidian Mage's magic bolt arcs through Cerulean, leaping to Cloud nearby!

[1d10+2] 1/2 damage vs Cloud

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

 No.734738

>>734736
The ruby-red eyes makes for a tempting spot as Cerulean tries to smash its face in with her diamond pickaxe-I mean, tail.

>Slam, same stuff as before

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

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7 / Roll #2 3 + 1 = 4

 No.734739

7/5, 1/4 TBP

>>734736
Alder huffs a little to himself and snatches the Medic's Knife back off of Thessaly, hurrying over to Cutlass to try and get her back on her hooves!
>[1d10+1]Medic's Knife (Recharge 1): Casts Heal. Crits on a 9+, Critfails on a 1. (1 TBP, 0/4)


Alder, tired of having to patch everyone up, lets out an aura-infused screech at the two guardians!
>[1d10] Screech (Instant, Recharge 1): Let out an aura-infused screech that rattles your foes, inflicting a -1 on all their rolls next round.

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 5 = 5

 No.734740

>H/W: 2/3
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734736
Cloud pushes himself up off the tree, rubbing his back where he hit it.
"Lucky shot, you won't be getting another one."
He says, focusing himself as he locks his gaze onto the beetle as it thrashes about. His aura flows through him, pumping him full of energy as he runs forward. He opens his mouth to drain away energy from the beetle, before stopping as he jumps into the air to slam down his hoof onto the beetle's head.

>Leech [1d10+5]

>Vampiric Leech [1d10+4]
>Instant, Maso; Drains life from a target, dealing damage and healing Cloud's hits by an equal amount.

>Smack [1d10+4]


Roll #1 9 + 5 = 14 / Roll #2 4 + 4 = 8 / Roll #3 3 + 4 = 7

 No.734741

>>734736
>>734733
She coughs and groans, slowly recovering from the blow, sparing Alder a side glance as she manages to get back up. "…You've saved me again," she states plainly, as if commenting on the weather.

She commands the water elemental to attack the Mage, aiming to spear it in the eye, while she charges up a conflagration of dark magic and hurls it like a baseball at the Giant.
[1d10] Elemental attack
[1d10+2] [1d10+2] Magic Bolt, spending another TBP

>current TBP left: 2

>1 TBP on cooldown: 2 rds

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #3 9 + 2 = 11

 No.734742

>>734736
>>734739

"Ow," Cutlass groans. "I'm gonna need a heal soon."

[1d10] to get up

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.734743

>>734742

>TBP:1

>Cooldown: 2 remaining

 No.734744

>>734738
Your body convulses and shivers as the bolt strikes you, sending magic jolting and zipping and zapping all throughout your nervous system, but you press forward, rewarded with a satisfying crack as you slam against the Obsidian Mage's head.
>Cerulean 3/5

>>734741
>>734739
>>734742
The Water Elemental spears the Mage's head from one end, and Ossie strikes it from the other, and the combined attack knocks the Mage backward, freeing Cutlass. Alder's on her in an instant, healing her recent wounds.

>Cutlass 8/5


The Mage still has some fight left in it, so as Ossie dives back into Cutlass' shadow, it instead puts its focus upwards, flying upward out of your reach, and it fires a magical bolt even higher above.

[1d10+2] moving to aerial range, instant; succeeds regardless but if this roll fails you can make a melee attack before it's out of your range. if the roll succeeds it's unable to be hit with melee this turn
[1d10+2] Orbital Strike

>>734740
You drain 9 Hits from the Obsidian Giant, and even join Splendid in stomping it down, but even through a great many cracks appear all along its sides, still it rises, stomping and stabbing its claws through the earth to stabilize itself, knocking Squatz back.
>Squatz 3/5
>Cloud 5/3
>Splendid 5/2
>Kling-Klang 2/5
>Droplet 6/6

It braces itself for an attack, then just as it did before, it stampedes through the area, stamping down on everything unfortunate enough to be in its way, which is to say, everyone.

[1d10+2] Stand Firm, Instant
[1d10+4] Quake
[1d10+3] secondary basic attack vs Cloud

>other NPC actions to come next post


Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #3 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #4 8 + 4 = 12 / Roll #5 8 + 3 = 11

 No.734745

Kling-Klang attempts to shoot down the Mage with Alchemist's Fire.

[1d10+1]

Splendid attempts to get clear of the Giant's rampage.

[1d10] dodge

Squatz keeps slashing at the Giant, snarling in a rage.

[1d10-2]

Droplet tries to get onto the Giant's back by zipping up and kicking off from a nearby tree.

[1d10]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 3 - 2 = 1 / Roll #4 10 = 10

 No.734746

>>734744
>>734741
>Nix the Orbital Strike altogether; the Mage is helpless now, revising post

The Mage attempts to flutter away, but Thessaly catches it with a pursuing bolt, which knocks it to the ground.

>orbital strike's 4 being replaced with helplessness recovery, fails because it's a 4

 No.734747

>>734744
>>734733

"Thanks," Cutlass nods to Alder before turning her attention upwards.

"Where do you think you're going!?" she shouts at the butterfly. [1d10] ranged attack

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.734748

>>734744
Her eyes narrow vindictively as the Mage falls, and conjures a black and purple whip to coil around its head, draining energy from it.
>Lifestream: recharge 1, spell; Saps life from a target, leaving it a rotting husk. A critical hit drains all the life in an enemy, killing it instantly and leaving a corpse for raising or other use. You may use the sapped life to restore hits equal to half the damage done (rounded up) to one of your minions or party members on any success. (+1 BP)
[1d10+3] Spending 1 TBP

>current TBP left: 1

>1 TBP on cooldown: 2 rds
>1 TBP on cooldown: 5 rds

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

 No.734749

>>734744
Cerulean grits her teeth as she tries to walk off the magic. Fueled by the crack, Cerulean tries to keep it up and sink her teeth into wherever any cracks formed to try and crack it like a nut.

>Great weapon attack

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.734750

>>734748
She then tries to get out of the way of the Giant's rampage.
[1d10]

The Elemental goes for the Giant next, trying to pierce a weak point in its armor before surging into the waters below.
[1d10] Attac
[1d10] Dodge

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 9 = 9

 No.734751

>H/W: 5/3
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734744
"How strong is this thing?"
Cloud mutters as the beetle doesn't break yet. As it charges forward, Cloud jumps to the side to avoid it, leeching away more life as it passes.
>Dodge [1d10+4]
>Leech [1d10+5]
>Instant, Maso; Drains life from a target, dealing damage and healing Cloud's hits by an equal amount.

Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #2 7 + 5 = 12

 No.734752

>H/W: 7/5
>TBP: 1/4
>>734742
>>734747
>>734741
Alder chatters to himself in his native dialect, before shaking it out and offering a somewhat strained smile. "O-Of course. It seems as if we are beginning to turn the tide, at least."

>>734744
Alder tries to form his Aura into a protective shell around Cloud; it looks like a blanket of feathers!
>[1d10] Feather Guard (Recharge 2): Halve the next instance of damage the target takes.

For what it's worth, he lets out another aura-infused chirp to rally everyone in the final moments!
>[1d10+1] Rallying Cry (Instant, Recharge 1): Let out an Aura-infused cry to bolster all allies in range, granting them a +1 to all actions next round. On a crit, it instead gives a +2.

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11

 No.734753

>>734747
>>734748
>>734749
Cerulean keeps the Mage from escaping by slamming it against a nearby tree, after which Thessaly drains the last of the Mage's power, gaining 7 Hits to distribute as she pleases. To add insult to injury, Cutlass pierces it with a dagger, nailing it to the tree as if it were in an entomologist's research study. The Mage twitches, then dies.

>>734747
>>734748
>>734750
>>734749
>>734752
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ6i_7d--Ds

Squatz charges forward, but the Giant spins about, goring him on one of the broken fragments of its horns, throwing him clear across the swamp.

>Squatz 0/3


"Squatz!" Kling-Klang gasps, running to his side.

[2d10] Squatz recovery, Kling-Klang assist

Splendid manages to dive for cover, but is still side-swiped by a passing leg of the Giant.

>Splendid 3/2


Droplet flips in mid-air as he lands upon the Giant's back, and readies a strike to the back of its head.

[1d10+2]

As for the rest of you…

Thessaly fails to get out of the way, and is trampled under the Giant's rampage along with her elemental.

>Thessaly 0/3

>W. Elemental 0/1

Cloud is stabbed in the side, getting pushed into the fallen canopy, which shatters beneath him into chunks of splinters and timber. As he feels his consciousness slipping from him, Alder steadies him with protective Aura, enabling him to leech some of the Giant's health.

>Cloud 5/3 (took 3 Hits, regained 7 Hits)


However, the Giant's rampage isn't yet done, and it lashes out at the rest of you before it finally grinds to a halt.

>Alder 0/4

>Cerulean 0/4
>Cutlass 1/5

The Giant stumbles, and you see the great collection of cracks and dents it's collected in its chassis. Metal joints are twisted, stone is breaking, and yet the machine continues to peter on, stumbling and staggering though it is.

As you start to hear some commotion from further north, the Giant prepares another attack, sweeping its great horns through the air!

[1d10+2] Cleave vs Splendid and Cloud
[1d10+4] Slam vs Cerulean

Roll #1 3, 5 = 8 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #3 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #4 6 + 4 = 10

 No.734754

>all gain +2 this round from Rallying cry

Splendid runs to Alder's side, braving the Giant's attack.

[1d10+2] helplessness recovery

Droplet continues to attack the back of the Giant's head with rapid strikes.

[1d10+4]

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 2 + 4 = 6

 No.734755

>H/W: 5/3
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734753
Cloud falls over as the beetle stabs into him, holding his side as he is barely able to hold on from Alder's shielding aura. He slowly stands up as the beetle swings it's horns about in the air. Aura pumps through him, energizing him as he rushes forward and swipes up with his gauntlet as the beetle's head, while draining away what life force it has left.
>Spending 2 TBP
>Uppercut [DC-1] [1d10+8]
>Leech [1d10+9]
>Instant, Maso; Drains life from a target, dealing damage and healing Cloud's hits by an equal amount.

Roll #1 2 + 8 = 10 / Roll #2 1 + 9 = 10

 No.734756

>>734753
>>734752

"Alright, Alder," Cutlass says in a cocky tone. "I say let's finish this. Give me that potion."

>turning off Soul Slicer


[1d10+2] to do nothing this turn!

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

 No.734757

H/W: 7/4
TBP: 2/4

>>734754
>>734753
Alder gets back to his paws and gives Splendid a grateful smile, before flicking his ears and turning to take a look at Cutlass.

>>734756
"Yesyes!" he chirps, fishing out one of his vials and passing it to Cutlass. "Drink, mind the smell."
>[1d10+5] Natural Remedy (Ranged, Recharge 1): Use an unpredictable mixture on a target, healing them. Crits on an 8+, Critfails on a 2-.
>Emboldening Vapours: Incoming Damage halved for 1 round on a target healed with Natural Remedy.

Roll #1 1 + 5 = 6

 No.734758

>>734757
[1d3] Mistie Flower: On a Critfail for Natural Remedy, roll a 1d3. On a 2 or 3, the Natural Remedy will not critfail.

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.734759

>>734753
Cerulean goes down with a grunt and tries to pick herself back up.

>Recovery

[1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.734760

>>734744
She focuses, feeling her injuries reconstitute as she absorbs the life energy, standing back up as if nothing had happened. "Hmph. Such a flawed creation," she comments, looking at the defeated Mage.
>spending heals to recover

Seeing the water elemental struggling, she dismisses it rather than giving her enemies the satisfaction of defeating it.

>Current TBP left: 1

>1 TBP on cooldown: 1 rds
>1 TBP on cooldown: 4 rds
>1 TBP on cooldown: 5 rds

 No.734761

>[2d4]

Roll #1 1, 4 = 5

 No.734762

>>734755
In its wild thrashes, you and the Giant trade hits, with its jagged, broken horns scraping a deep gash all down the outside of your right hoof, exposing muscle as a deep current of red pours out. You manage to knock it back, spreading cracks all through its face.

>>734755
>>734756
>>734757
>>734758
>>734759
>>734760
As Alder heals Cutlass to full, the Giant's horns flash through the air in a perfect, thin arc, almost as artful and narrow as the cut that the Guardian made through the line of trees– cutting clean through Cloud, Splendid and Cerulean.

Cerulean perhaps gets off the easiest, simply having a great gash opened up along her side.
>Cerulean 0/4

But for Cloud and Splendid, that is not the case… for Cloud's right arm comes clean off, followed by Splendid's left hind leg. The two limbs fall free, just as the Giant collapses again, twitching and grinding as it tries to get up.

>Cloud 0/1

>Splendid 0/1

[1d10+2] Giant recovery

Suddenly, a great shout of voices echoes up from the jungle all around you – the voices of your allies… including those of Cane Shuga and Godot, who come from the north: "DIE!!!"

[6d10+2] All-out attack

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #2 9, 7, 7, 7, 9, 7 + 2 = 48

 No.734763

>>734762
Her breath catches in her throat as she sees Cloud and Splendid get brutalized by the Giant. Without thinking, she rushes forward, conjuring up a concentrated beam of raw energy to obliterate it, fueled by pure adrenaline.
[1d10+5] [1d10+5] Magic Bolt, spending 2 TBP, +2 from Scraw

>Current TBP left: 0

>1 TBP on cooldown: 3 rds
>1 TBP on cooldown: 4 rds

Roll #1 8 + 5 = 13 / Roll #2 5 + 5 = 10

 No.734764

>H/W: 0/1
>TBP: 4 [Max]
>Bloodbank [4]

>>734762
Cloud sharply inhales as the beetle cuts open his hoof, but continues to fend off the beetle. That is, until his right foreleg falls from his body. He stops as he feels himself fall slightly forward from the lack of balance. He looks down, and his face goes pale in horror. He slowly falls forward, mind blanking, and the only thing he does is reach out for his severed limb.

 No.734765

>>734762
>>734758

"Thanks," Cutlass says with a grin.

Being energized by the potion, Cutlass proceeds to launch a barrage of knives at the remaining automaton, attacking it physically.

>Dance of Blades: recharge 5, weapon; Turn a single blade into a flurry of strikes. Following a successful hit, keep rolling until you go helpless from a critical miss or from counterattack damage. This entire process only takes one turn, and always ends with you being helpless, this helplessness cannot be prevented. All modifiers only apply to the initial hit, after that all rolls are standard d10’s with no bonus and at DC6.


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

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

 No.734766

>>734765

MOAR!

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

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7 / Roll #3 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #4 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #5 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #6 4 + 1 = 5

 No.734767

>>734762
Cerulean gives a sharp inhale and grunt as she's hit while she's down. While she doesn't mind some new scars to show off, it'd be nicer if there was a good and exciting story to them. That helps her try and push herself up to get back into the fight hopefully.

>Recovery

[1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.734768

>>734767
>>734765
>>734764
>>734763
In a hail of gunfire, blades, hooves and magic, you and your allies so thoroughly annihilate the Obsidian Giant, crushing stone and blasting superheated metal, that soon nothing is left but dust and ashes. Godot, Cane Shuga and one mook appear among the wreckage, themselves looking bloody and torn up as if they'd just come from a recent fight. But focus is not on them; rather, it is on Cloud and Splendid, the latter of whom crumbles, eyes white, as she immediately drops into shock from the trauma of having lost her hind leg.

Godot flies forward toward Splendid, catching her and turning her on her back. He lifts her remaining leg about a foot above her head, digging in his bag for medical supplies. His expression is distant, professional and jaded.

>any healer without Mend must roll at DC 8 to reattach a severed limb and stave off necrosis; functionality can't be restored, and the limb will need daily treatment until someone with Mend can fix it

>this attempt gains +1 from Godot's presence

Meanwhile, Squatz limps toward Cloud's severed foreleg, but the fact that it's so much bigger makes it a fool's task to lift. "Shrink it… shrink it down!"

>Paused

 No.734769

>H/W: 7/4
>TBP: 1/4

>>734762
Alder lets out a panicked shriek as he sees not just Splendid, but Cloud lose limbs from the Giant's swing. He rushes over, trying to do what he can to help both of them. He starts with Splendid first, trying to bring her back from the brink.
>[1d10+1] Medic's Knife (Recharge 1): Casts Heal. Restores a Wound and Full Hits, and two Wounds on a Crit. Crits on 9+. (+1 TBP)

>>734764
>>734768
Without as many options to help both of them out, the griffon stammers something out before turning his own aura-infused claws on himself.
[>[1d10] Spectral Claws (Instant, Recharge 3): Lash out with claws made from aura, damaging the target and healing an ally for the damage dealt. (Cloud Shear)

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

 No.735237

Last time, on PirateQuest…

The party did battle with two more of the Obsidian automata: the Obsidian Mage and the Obsidian Giant, machines made in the image of a colossal butterfly and an even larger stag beetle. Masterworks of complex bronze mechanisms and brilliant stonework– full of nothing but blind programming, designed for nothing but violence and destruction, tearing apart the jungle about them to cut down the party. The battle pushed the party nearly to their limits, and they ultimately prevailed, but not without lasting damage. The Giant's final stroke cut clean through Cloud and Splendid, severing his right foreleg and her hindleg.

Time was short, for if those limbs could not be reattached soon, cell death would set in, rendering them gone forever. Without anyone in the party capable of using the Mend spell, those limbs would still be functionally useless until someone with the spell could tend to them. To make matters worse, nightfall would soon be upon them…

 No.735238

>Cloud, Thessaly, Cutlass, Cerulean
In a hail of gunfire, blades, hooves and magic, you and your allies so thoroughly annihilate the Obsidian Giant, crushing stone and blasting superheated metal, that soon nothing is left but dust and ashes. Godot, Cane Shuga and one mook appear among the wreckage, themselves looking bloody and torn up as if they'd just come from a recent fight. But focus is not on them; rather, it is on Cloud and Splendid, the latter of whom crumbles, eyes white, as she immediately drops into shock from the trauma of having lost her hind leg.

Godot flies forward toward Splendid, catching her and turning her on her back. He lifts her remaining leg about a foot above her head, digging in his bag for medical supplies. His expression is distant, professional and jaded.

>any healer without Mend must roll at DC 8 to reattach a severed limb and stave off necrosis; functionality can't be restored, and the limb will need daily treatment until someone with Mend can fix it

>this attempt gains +1 from Godot's presence

Meanwhile, Squatz limps toward Cloud's severed foreleg, but the fact that it's so much bigger makes it a fool's task to lift. "Shrink it… shrink it down!"

>Alder

In your haste and panic, your trembling fingers drop your knife into the water, where you lose sight of it among the billowing mud. With your other hand, you attempt to carve out some of your own life force with Aura, but the moment you retract your claws, the life force disperses in the winds.

>Alder 2/4


With his free hand, Godot slaps you with the back of his claw, jolting you into a painful, but clear reality, cheek stinging red and raw. "FOCUS!" Godot snaps, going back for his medicine. "She's going into shock. Pay attention and we'll make it out of this."

Droplet runs to your side, and you see that he's grabbed Splendid's severed hindleg. The veins on his forearms bulge as he clamps shut the wound to prevent the loss of blood. He extends his free hoof to your side. "Use me as a life force donor. Keep your own."

 No.735239

https://pastebin.com/w7vFkeLu
>H/W: 0/1

>>735238
Panic is setting in, Cloud lies in the swamp, finding himself unable to move, everything feeling like it has frozen. Squatz's words only faintly reaching him in any intelligible way. His mind dwells on his aura, his magic, having lended no aid in protection against that beetle. His mind fills with that moment, repeating over and over.
>Fluff roll
>Can Cloud focus enough to return to normal size [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.735240

>>735239
You and your severed arm both shrink down to normal size, but it takes significantly longer than you do to complete its shrinking. Cut off from your body, it must be losing its magical and life force at an alarming rate. Seeing Godot and Alder tending to Splendid as she goes into shock, Squatz shreds off a section of his cloak with what remains of his broken sword, and ties your severed arm back onto the stump. The black cloth immediately soaks with blood, and Squatz pants haphazardly with fear and indecision.

 No.735241

>>735238
"Agh…unngh…what happened?" She mutters as she finally gets back up after the fight. Her nose starts sniffing.
"Ohh, what's that smell?" She looks to the smell, and instinct gets shot down hard at the sight of Cloud and Splendid.
"Uuuuhm…." She backs away from the medics to give them more space with a very concerned look on her face. She opts to dig around in the dust and ash, wondering if there might be something that didn't completely crumble away.

 No.735242

>>735240
As Squatz ties Cloud's foreleg back to his body, Cloud's first impulse is to stand up, seeing his limbs back in their rightful place, almost unaware that it was just severed.
>Fluff roll
>Attempting to physically stand up [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.735243

>>735238
The victory rings hollow for her, and she just stands there in despair, being powerless to do anything about either Cloud or Splendid. She looks utterly helpless, and genuinely fearful for their lives. She tries to keep it together, trying to think of something - anything - she could do to help in this situation.
[1d10] Insight

>Current TBP left: 0

>1 TBP on cooldown: 2 rds
>1 TBP on cooldown: 3 rds
>2 TBP on cooldown: 5 rds

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.735244

>>735241
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.735245

>>735238
Alder stammers a little and looks back to Godot, before taking a few moments to try and steady his breath. The damage he did to himself breaks his focus for some time, but he's eventually able to stave it off. He takes a deep, careful breath, and tries to get to work with his medical equipment.
>[1d10+3] Natural Remedy: Recharge 1, Ranged; You use an unpredictable tincture to fully restore a target’s hits to full and restore one wound, or removes status effects. Crit on 9+ restores 2 wounds, but crit fail on 2- deals a wound of damage. (Spending 1 TBP)

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.735246

>>735245
[1d3]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.735247

>>735243
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.735248

>>735243
As your eyes settle on the mangled stump of Splendid's hind leg, your entire mind goes blank, full of nothing but the horror of bone, blood and muscle, mangled and shredded… but though your brain goes numb, you can see a thin gas leaking from your bag, sliding out between the pages of the Liber Animarum toward Splendid…

>>735242
Shakily you rise to a sitting position, and as you flip yourself upward, you feel the cloth around your right shoulder droop as your severed foreleg starts to fall off once more. Squatz holds up the pommel of his sword, a manic look in his eye betrays his crazed, desperate thought– knocking you out to make sure you don't move. Kling-Klang shoves him aside, then pushes you back down, almost into the water pooling around you. "Pick him up! Slowly, now," Kling-Klang commands. Squatz gulps, wordlessly floating you onto Kling-Klang's back, applying a gentle pressure to keep you in place.

>>735244
You rip through the machines, and recover the large rubies that constituted their eyes, gaining four in total. You dig a little deeper through the shattered obsidian chassis, and find an exquisite skeleton within each of them, made of fine bronze metalwork, the likes of which make the science of your world seem like nothing but a child's crude craftsponyship. Inside their cracked heads in particular, seems to be an elaborate mechanism of bronze metalwork, golden wiring, and crystal components, an elaborate brain-like machine, humming with magical energy.

>>735245
You feel a strange sense of disconnect, as if your consciousness were slanted, disoriented, reconfigured so that it no longer quite fits into your body, into your senses. A sense of cold dread sinks down your spine, all through your bones and into your guts. Something… something is going terribly wrong. Splendid's life-force continues to slip from her body, and you can feel it drifting away, like smoke, helpless in the wind, weaker and weaker as the flame of her soul dwindles and dwindles.

https://youtu.be/7QN16sfrxQ0

As you think these things, you feel time growing slower and slower, different than how it felt in Auntzi's twisted realm. You feel a presence beside you, warm and comforting, but you cannot see its source. A voice, calm and feminine, speaks–

"It's not working, but if you'd like, I could make it right."

Out of the peripheries of your eyes, you see a number of colorful shapes sidle in, as if they were props being wheeled out by stage crew for a strange play. Some are polka-dotted, spotted, striped, diamond-shaped, a rainbow of colors.

 No.735249

>>735248

Cutlass grimaces as she overcomes her own momentary exhaustion from her last attack. She looks around at the injured being tended to. Her heart skips a beat when she sees Cloud on the ground with a severed limb next to him. Though, she quickly realizes he's still alive. She doesn't react further.

Instead, she looks around for any signs of further danger, going off on her own. [1d10] investigation

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.735250

>>735249
Recalling that Cane Shuga and Godot just came from the north, and that the two are themselves injured (though not to a major degree, mostly consisting of scrapes, minor gouges and a few dozen tiny cuts) you forage to the north, keeping your eyes peeled for danger as you follow the great trail of carnage that the Obsidian Giant left in its wake, poring over all kinds of trees.

You proceed north, until you see a kind of shadowy copse, where the swampy jungle's trees grow closer together so as to blot out the sunlight in a small space. You see dozens of inch-long creatures of obsidian – they look like ants, upon closer inspection, of a make and material similar to that of the Mage, the Giant and the Guardian. The ants are surrounding the copse, stomping around it as if patrolling or guarding its entrance. You see dozens more of the ants scattered around the area, squished and broken. Many of these slain Obsidian Soldiers lay in deep, circular craters– the footsteps that you were following earlier.

 No.735251

>>735248
She freezes as she sees the book begin to stir. She grimaces. "Eascaine. No. Not today." She fumbles to pull it out and snap the book shut, forcing the clasp closed in an effort to stop whatever demon is trying to assert itself.
[1d10]

>>735245
Thessaly's eyes flash green with Aura, and you suddenly hear her voice in your head from across the area. "Beware. The book is stirring again. Do not heed anything it may say."

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.735252

>>735248
"No! No, no no no no no!" the griffon shrieks, tearing up, dropping his salves, and shaking the larger griffon desperately. He almost doesn't hear the voice, but the sudden presence next to him snaps him out of his panic. He looks around for the source of the voice and the presence, only finding odd, colorful shapes. Regardless, he doesn't hesitate before saying "Yes! Yesyesyes! P-Please, make it right- I-I do not want to lose her!"

 No.735253

>>735250

"It looks to me like these things got pissed off that something started killing them. Whoever or whatever came through here before us is probably responsible for that fight we just went through. Which means we might be safe as long as we don't kill more of these little guys," Cutlass observes to Ossie. "Thoughts?" she asks, hoping that Ossie's more professional eye and mind might pick up on something she's missed.

Cutlass follows the trail of hoofprints with her eyes to see where they go. [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.735254

>>735251
Alder flicks his ears and looks around a little, but can hardly focus long enough to spot out the source of the muffled voice.

 No.735255

>>735252
"Um?" the voice asks. "Wow, that was a little quick. I didn't even get to do my intro… and you did say the words…"

The voice gets closer, leaning over your shoulder. "I'll make it right. That's my name, after all. While I work, will you do me the most modest of favors, and get her to open up that book?"

You feel your head turning to where Thessaly stands, as if someone had gripped your head and turned it around. Your eyes settle on the Liber Animarum. "Open that book for me as a favor, if you would be so kind."

 No.735256

>>735248
Cloud drops as Squatz strikes him to knock him out, not even giving a reaction to the pain aside from his eyes closing. He lies on Kling-Klangs back as they move him and keep him restrained. He moves slightly against the force, not in a way to fight against it but almost like an instinct to walk away, but otherwise he doesn't make any other drastic move.

 No.735257

>>735248
Cerulean looks utterly lost at the sight of its insides. Granted, it looked very nice and pretty and shiny, but she sure as hell doesn't know much more beyond that. But she readies the rifle and fires around to hopefully glean some insight on it.

 No.735258

>>735255
>>735251
Alder shakes his head a little once it's turned to focus on the book, and starts for it almost immediately. He glances to Thessaly and folds his ears back, before saying "I-I need to open the book. I-I need to, apologies." He doesn't wait for a response, and instead reaches to open it.

 No.735259

>>735254
>>735255
>>735258
Thessaly keeps communicating with him telepathically, looking apprehensive. "It's a trick. Whatever this thing is, it's only taking advantage of your situation. You'll be forced into a bargain you cannot keep." She takes a step away from him.

 No.735260

>>735259
"I-I killed her- she will die, if I do not accept. I-I do not have a choice, Miss Thessaly. P-Please."

 No.735261

>>735253
As you take a few steps closer to the copse, the ants that surround it all turn toward you as one, eyes flashing red as they size you up. There look to be more than 20 left. However, they do not advance, and from here, you can see a massive shape, humanoid, its body a combination of cloth and metal, but of a distinctly different kind than that which comprised the Obsidian machines. It looks like a kind of primitive diving suit, cylindrical in shape, baggy and full of pipes and tubes connecting to this place or another. The thing's head is roughly circular, with three holes, two for eyes, and one almost resembling a mouth. It seems to be either dead or unconscious.

"Given how quick they turned on us, I think they don't quite care who or what we are, or what we're up to," Ossie says. "We should make ourselves scarce."

>>735257
You learn that these mechanical brains are just that– artificial brains of a sort, constructed in a past age, by the Mechpriests of the northern Skull Temple, designed to guide their Obsidian Warriors to protect Cuauhtemoc from any and all foreign invaders.

>>735256
>>735257
>>735259
>>735258
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ3iqPfkFQA
Kling-Klang looks to the lot of you. "What're you doing!? We need to get them back to the ship now! Sparkler and Sweet can–"
"Quiet!" Godot snaps at him as he tries, desperately, to save Splendid from slipping closer to death. "We must make camp no more than a few meters from here. Nightfall is coming, and neither of them can be moved!"

 No.735262

>>735261
>last round:
>Current TBP left: 0
>1 TBP on cooldown: 1 rd
>1 TBP on cooldown: 2 rds
>2 TBP on cooldown: 4 rds

>>735261
>>735260
Her glowing eyes flit desperately from Alder to Splendid. She takes a deep breath, bracing herself for the worst as she slowly opens the book, handing it to Alder.

 No.735263

>>735262
Alder freezes up a little as Thessaly hesitates, blinking in surprise once Thessaly offers him the book.

"I… t-thankyou. W-Whatever consequence I face, I will suffer it- m-my punishment for failure."

 No.735264

>>735262
>Current TBP left: 1
>1 TBP on cooldown: 1 rd
>2 TBP on cooldown: 3 rds

 No.735265

>>735261
Cloud stirs as he hears Godot's voice faintly through his limited awareness.
"C…C-Can't…"
He mutters, again trying to move and walk upon hearing a declaration to camp here.

 No.735266

>>735261

Cutlass doesn't approach any closer when they all size her up. She observes the strange thing.

"Are they protecting it or are they holding it hostage…" she ponders out loud. "It looks like it's hurt…"

[1d10] investigation

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.735267

>>735261
While Cerulean doesn't fully understand everything she just learned, it still feels better than not knowing. Cerulean looks to the others, looking a bit lost as to what to do to be helpful right now.

 No.735268

>>735267
>>735265
>>735263
>>735262
As the book opens, a sudden volume of the shapes that Alder saw earlier erupt from the pages, in a grand stream. Flowers, puffy clouds, diamonds, cards, sweets, cakes, bandages, dollhouses – there is no rhyme or reason to any of the shapes, save for that they seem to be what one might expect to see in a coloring book for foals. After a moment, they stop streaming forth, and you can see that the page is opened up to a two-paged spread, which looks almost precisely like a coloring book for foals.

Before you can study it further, the shapes that poured forth from the book sweep over Splendid. Godot gasps in alarm and stabs at them with his scalpel, to no avail. They cover over Splendid for a few moments, criss-crossing and shuffling about, while you hear a chaotic, yet pretty twinkling of what sound like the keys of a xylophone.

Soon the shapes disperse once more, and Splendid lays unconscious, but stable in front of Godot. Her leg has been re-attached, all covered with girly-looking bandages and sealed with the imprint of a kiss. Godot is dumbstruck, and looks to the cloud, before turning to Thessaly and Alder. "What… what did you do?"
Squatz hops with sudden hope. "Hey, now do C–"
Droplet steps behind Squatz and claps his hoof over the thief's mouth. "Ah-ah-ah. We don't know what we're making requests of."

>>735266
As one, or perhaps as two by two, the ants take a step toward you, antennae swirling about, mandibles clacking in a threatening display. They look like they don't care for your investigation in the slightest.

 No.735269

>>735268
>Current TBP left: 2
>2 TBP on cooldown: 2 rds

Thessaly doesn't look impressed by the display, looking haggardly in Splendid's general direction. "Name your price, demon," she simply says out loud.

 No.735270

>>735268
Cerulean sees the display, and seems to be another demon. Remembering her past encounters with them thus far, she approaches the scene closer, but obviously cautious and wary of it.
"Please tell me we're not going to get back stabbed again, or thrown into another weird house of scary stuff again…."

 No.735271

>>735268

Cutlass backs off and heads back to where the rest of the party is.

 No.735272

>>735268
Cloud gives no response or reaction to the exposure of the demon, eyes feeling heavy and cold.

 No.735273

>>735268
"It… i-it worked! S-She is alive!" the griffon cries out, gently pressing a hand against Splendid's side to try and feel for her breathing."

>>735269
"N-Now that the, uhm… t-the deal is done, knowing my punishment would be nice."

 No.735274

>>735273
>>735271
>>735272
>>735269
>>735270
The shapes gather again, crossing over one another, until they disperse and go back in the book. Where they crossed over one another, you see an otherworldly zebra mare with a neatly kept mane, wearing a gaudy kind of tuxedo-dress hybrid, made of what seems to be eleven different kinds of fabric, all patterned differently. Her body has an outline, seemingly made of black crayon– in fact, overall, she appears not as any of you do, but as though she were sketched with different crayons. She has a snazzy cane, which twirls and upon further inspection is a piece of red licorice. Her eyes are golden painted eggs, which periodically spin about in her crayon head.

The demon purses her lips at the lukewarm reception she has, but rolls with it. "I'm Miss Make-it-Tight. Hi, nice-to-meetcha. By the looks of you, I'd say this isn't your first time making contact with a demon. Kiiiinda dull, not-gonna-lie. Normally, I get a lotta 'what-are-you!?' kinda reactions, not the 'not-this-again' kind. I'd like some enthusiasm, but we can work-on-that for next time."

She floats down, and taps Alder with the tip of her licorice cane as he cradles Splendid. "You and her made a request of me in your hour-of-need. So I'll make a request of you in my hour-of-need, okay? You can ask anything of me, so I can ask anything of you."

The eggs that comprise her eyes spin in contrary rotations, clockwise and anti-clockwise.

"Oh, and if you want me to do anything for this one," she says, gesturing to Cloud. "Just ask me to make-it-right, and I will."

 No.735275

Miss Make-it-Right*

 No.735276

>>735274

Cutlass arrives back just as the demon manifests itself. Practically instinctively, she uses Soul Sight on it, hoping she can pull it off before the demon notices her doing it.

>Soul Sight on Make-it-Right

 No.735277

>>735274
Cloud stirs slightly, but his efforts to leave have stopped.

 No.735278

>>735274
>Current TBP left: 2
>2 TBP on cooldown: 1 rd
As the situation becomes a bit more secure for Splendid and Cloud, she begins to regain her composure, eyeing Make-It-Right with mild curiosity. She starts leafing through the Animarum for information on their new acquaintance, occasionally glancing up at her. "You don't look like the others," she remarks. "I take it this isn't your usual form. Or name."
[1d10] Insight if required

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.735279

>>735274
"N-No, I do not think there will be a need… I think that I should be able to save him… I-I, uhm, I think." the griffon says, before setting a hand to his chest. "I may come to regret this later, but… t-thank you for helping me."
With that, the griffon will get up off of Splendid's side and begin searching for his dagger.
[1d10] Search
"I-I do not feel confident trying my own remedies on Cloud. I… I-I do not want to hurt him. Please, help me find my knife. I-I have another method, but… I-I do not know if I feel comfortable hurting someone to do this."

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.735280

>>735277
>[1d10+3] Heal (Requires Medic's Knife. Ranged, Spell, Recharge 1): You restore all of a target's Hits, and one Wound (Two Wounds on a Crit, one Wound of damage on a Critfail). You may also use it to cleanse a target, removing all status effects.

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.735281

>>735274
"Well sorry, but with the last couple of demons we came across, I kinda had to help turn into chum," she briefly explains as she stares warily, "so kinda tough to be excited about seeing you when…ya know…we've kinda been getting the bad end of deals."

 No.735282

>>735276
Miss Make-it-Right looks your way, her painted egg eyes spinning in contrary directions. As you feel the beginnings of your Soul Sight begin their study, she simply waves her cane in a tut-tut-tut motion, and your power breaks off prematurely, yielding nothing. She gives you a smile reminiscent of Magoja's.

>>735278
"On the contrary, miss," Miss Make-it-Right says. "You'll find my papers are all in order."

You find that the Animarum is open to the fourth section, and that the third is actually still blank, since that one has its own mechanisms by which its magical locks are undone. In the fourth section, which doesn't even have a name yet, only her pages are available. The whole section, a two-page spread, looks like it was all drawn and written by a foal, drawn in crayon, with stick figures, and even stickers and glitter.

>Demon Name: Miss Make-it-Right

>Gender: Female
>Appearance: Most often a zebra mare in a gaudy tuxedo-gown hybrid of many different fabrics and materials.
>Required offering: Desperation
>Sigil shape: None used
>Services Provided: There appear to be no limits on what she can grant, but every request she grants is repaid with a similar request of her own, proportional in size, and inverted in effect (ie, a request for riches is followed with a request from her to give all of one's money to the poor; a request for victory in combat is followed with a request to intentionally lose the next battle).
>Personality: Bouncy, sweet, disorienting.

>>735281
"Sorry to hear that. I'll get out of your hair soon," Miss Make-it-Right says. "If you have no other requests or questions, I'll be off. I know that you're in a bind right now. That arm of his has little time to spare."

>>735280
Your hands continue to tremble as you attempt to work on Cloud, but Godot's claw settles gently on yours. He gives you a look of solidarity and understanding, which helps you to calm down a little. He begins to work alongside you, walking you through the process.

>Assistant roll: [1d10+3]


Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8

 No.735283

>>735282

Cutlass snorts at the description in the book. "Damn," she says as she looks to Miss Make-it-Right. "How does it feel to have the word 'gaudy' written into your own description of your outfit?"

 No.735284

>>735282
Cloud remains motionless as Alder and Godot being to work on his leg.

 No.735285

>>735282
Alder lets out a shaky breath and smiles a little to Godot, before trying to focus more on his work. He seems to manage it a little better, and succeed in reattaching the stallion's leg.

"T-Thank you. I-I cannot trust my hands right now."

 No.735286

>>735282
She arches an eyebrow. "Curious," is all she says. "This was my friend's doing. I have no desire to deal with you. I am already indebted to others of your ilk."

 No.735287

>>735283
Miss Make-it-Right shrugs. "I can't say that it's not accurate."

>>735284
>>735285
>>735286
"Very well," she says to Thessaly. "Keeping track of debts is a bit difficult, so I'll try to keep-things-simple."

Seeing that you've had just about enough of her, Miss Make-it-Right gives you all a smile, before settling her eyes on Alder at the end. "I'll let you know when I want to make my request. So, until then, I'll see you later."

She spins, scattering her shapes and colors everywhere, until she disappears, with the last of the shapes fluttering into the Liber Animarum once more. Meanwhile, Cloud is stabilized, his arm at last attached with Alder and Godot's help. He gradually awakens once more, but all his pain to him, and the last few minutes have been nothing but an incoherent blur.

Droplet releases Squatz, and Cane Shuga falls to the ground, sighing with relief now that it's over.

 No.735288

>>735287
Cloud groans as he is returned to a stable state and no longer losing blood, though his breathing is still heavy and labored from his weak condition. His eye weakly looks around, trying to take in where he is now, but looking as if he'll pass out any second.

 No.735289

>>735287
>>735286
>>735285
>>735284
>>735281

Once Miss Make-it-Right is gone, there is a brief moment of silence before Cutlass interrupts it with, "I like demons," she says fondly.

"Anyway, I think I found those source of those brutes we just fought."

 No.735290

>>735287
She remains silent until MIR leaves, after which she exhales quietly. "Demons," she grumbles. "Who thought it was a good idea to start dancing with demons."

>>735289
"That one isn't as bad as the others, I suppose," she comments, "but I still wouldn't trust her. Or any of the others. Not by a long shot."

She looks a bit intrigued at the mention of the source, but shakes her head. "We're in no shape to press on," she points out. "I say we turn back and meet up with the others. I for one value my limbs."

 No.735291

>>735287
Alder packs away his equipment and settles in to sit for a moment or two, trying to quit shaking long enough to try and relax.

>>735290
"I-I… sorry for the trouble. I would prefer we turn back for now, as well."

 No.735292

>>735287
Cerulean visibly relaxes once the demon is gone, looking relieved as she's even feeling too tired enough to not want to get into another fight.

>>735289
"Oh, you already found the Skull Temple of the Mechpriests," she asks, the line of information sounding a bit more like she's repeating something than her usual, natural way of talking.

 No.735293

>>735290

"Oh, that's precisely why I like them," Cutlass explains. "They're so untrustworthy, it's like a breath of fresh air. There's a sense of safety in knowing that you don't even have to figure them out. They're never on your side. So, you can just have fun with them. And, they do enjoy that role. And, there's a strange sort of infectiousness to their fun."

"Have we found all the missing crew?"

>>735292

Cutlass blinks slowly. "What?"

 No.735294

>>735293
"Yeah. Apparently these things were made by these Mechpriest guys so they could guide these things called Obsidian Warriors and protect Cuauhtemoc from outsiders." She meets Cutlass' slow blinking with a big 'I'm helping' smile.
"So if you found the source, then that means you found this Skull Temple place, right?"

 No.735295

>>735292
>>735291
>>735290
>>735289
>>735288
With the situation with Miss Make-it-Right tabled (for now), Kling-Klang looks to you. "I'm with Alder and Thessaly. Let's get going back to the ship, or at least as far as we can make it with these two injured," he says. "We'll make camp if need be since the sun's going down."
"Not yet!" Cane Shuga protests. "We had one more with us, but the metal man– one of our crewmates was captured by it. We need to track it down and get him back!"

 No.735296

>>735294

"I don't know if I found a temple exactly," Cutlass says slowly, struggling to decide what question she wants to ask first.

"I may have found one of those mechpriests, though. Do you know what they look like?"

 No.735297

>>735291
"None of this is your fault," she says, with an uncharacteristically reassuring tone. "Do not linger on it."

>>735293
She grimaces. "Not yet. Paraiba is missing. So are five others, if I recall."

>>735295
She grinds her teeth quietly, torn between helping the injured and pressing on to find the others.

"…Perhaps we should part ways," she suggests. "Half of us get the injured to safety, the other half press on. I volunteer for the latter. Don't ask me why," she adds, a bit more quietly.

 No.735298

>>735295
"Ship…. Please…"
Cloud says between breaths, aware enough to voice in since he can\t carry himself.

 No.735299

>>735295
"I'll help carry them. Its the least I think I can do to help right now."

>>735296
"Nope, but if you show me whatever you found, I could find out if it is or not."

 No.735300

>>735297
>>735295

Cutlass frowns. "If it was me, I'd forge on ahead until I'd found them all. But, it's not my crew. It's not my call."

>>735299
>>735295

Cutlass considers this for a moment. On the one hand, she feels much safer with Cerulean's strength around. On the other hand, she's not the most cautious 'pony'.

"Come with me," she says as she comes to her conclusion. "But, please please please be cautious. We don't need to fight more of these monsters right now. And, is is surrounded by ants made of the same rocks. We can decide what to do after we figure out what it is."

 No.735301

>>735295
>>735297
"I-I, uhm… I suppose I forgot, given all the stress. I would like to go looking for them, I-I just…" he lets out a sigh, before shrugging. "W-We need to get the injured to the ship before anything else."

>>735297
Alder flicks his ears a little when Thessaly reassures him, but can't manage much more than a nod.

 No.735302

>>735295
>>735300
"Alrighty. Hey, I'll be right back, just going to check out Cutlass' neat thing, then I'll be back to help carry, okay?" Cerulean then looks to Cutlass with a nod.
"Alright, lead the way."

 No.735303

>>735302

"I am uncomfortable with that wording," Cutlass states flatly as she leads the way.

 No.735304

>>735301
>>735300
>>735299
>>735298
>>735297
"Alder, Thess has the right idea," Kling-Klang says. "You me and Squatz, let's take Splendid and Cloud back with the fellas here," he says, gesturing to the two mooks. "That should be enough horsepower to get us back safely in case we're attacked. The rest of you can search for the others as long as you feel it's safe to do so."
Squatz, rattled from all he's seen and experienced today, looks exhausted and old. "That's fine with me…"

 No.735305

>>735304
>>735297

"I, u-uhm… v-very well." he says, sitting back up. He'll stop long enough to hand Thessaly the Medic's Knife- blade pointing towards Thessaly, due to the weapon's enchantment- and says "H-Here. Perhaps it will serve you well."

 No.735306

>>735304
Cloud closes his eye, feeling himself start to drift off from exhaustion.

 No.735307

>>735303
"Huh, why," she asks with a tilt of her head as she follows Cutlass.

 No.735308

>>735305
>Medic's Knife: This Dagger allows you to use the Heal Skill. Any bonuses to an attack roll apply to your Heal roll. The Medic's Knife can still inflict damage, but only when the hilt is used as the 'weapon'.
>Heal (Requires Medic's Knife. Ranged, Spell, Recharge 1): You restore all of a target's Hits, and one Wound (Two Wounds on a Crit, one Wound of damage on a Critfail). You may also use it to cleanse a target, removing all status effects.

 No.735309

>>735307

Cutlass glances at Cerulean with a confused expression. "Where DID you grow up?" she asks in a combination of confusion and exasperation.

 No.735310