Last time, on HolyQuest…245 posts and 10 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.
After recovering from their brief but dangerous confrontation with the den of toxic rats, the Saviors descended through the strange, two-dimensional labyrinth, down and down and down. They reached a torture chamber, lit by gemstones filled with demons that, by this point, must have been imprisoned for millennia. From there, they approached a chamber further to the right, but discerned, by the fact that their view was pulling out, that there was something waiting for them beyond. Instead of proceeding directly to it, they pursued a path on a slope leading diagonally upward. At its peak, they saw that, at the base of the chamber was the staircase leading downward… and so too were a pair of enormously long centipede demons, trapped in an eternal guard-dance surrounding the staircase. How they would deal with this, we shall soon discover…
As Shorthorns creates and maintains the Corridors to keep the same sequence as before going, she looks to Pryce with anticipation as he prepares the other shot. "Alright Pryce, just like before!"
Pryce nods to Flaming as she calls out for the setup. He levitates one of his two orbs in his magic, and tosses it at the Silver Dragon to set it off.>[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Leather prays quietly, offering his own health to protect Pryce's should things go awry.
>Protect: automatic instant, recharge 2 after effect ends; Takes all damage for a target for 2+1 turns. Neither can be rendered helpless in that time, but the knight becomes helpless after the effect ends if they would have become helpless during Protect’s duration.
Shei stands by his portal at the golden statue. He holds his guitar firm and waits in anticipation for the first
He times the next time the orb is blown back to Dark Corridor A and swings his Electric *Vector Guitar to knock the energy blast back at the Silver Statue.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Pryce's fireball unexpectedly curves, and collides with the orb as the two are bound for the Silver Dragon. The Dragon uses its airblast, and the two spheres are tossed about the room; the fireball peters out, but the energy orb bounces about erratically, richocheting off of every corner in a chaotic and unpredictable flurry. Cloak leaps to Pryce's side and narrowly blocks it as it heads straight for his head; the two are knocked into the ground from the impact, and Cloak can feel intense heat on the other side of his shield.
>3 Wounds negated by Vanguard
Shei manages to salvage the situation – the orb passes in front of the Silver Dragon by chance, triggering the airblast; Shei dives in, and slams the orb back at the Silver Dragon before the window of opportunity can close. It sinks in, and you gain another point. As before, all the Dark Corridors in the room vanish.
There is little celebration this time, as River and Zjetya run over to check on Cloak and Pryce.
Gadriel slumps back against the wall, his feathers standing on end from fright. "Nice save, Shei… that was close. C-can we take a breather before round three?"
"Amy was kidnapped by forces beyond our reckoning. Do you think she wants us to take a breather?" Shei solemnly responds to Gadriel.
Pryce's horn glows to try and deflect the orb as it goes flying towards him after going off course, until Leather jumps in aid to block it.
"Thanks Leather… That was a close one."
He says, getting up and offering Leather a hoof.>>741880>>741877>>741881>>741875
"The orb was faster that time. We'll need to be fully prepared this time before even triggering it again."
Shei looks to Pryce and Leather, seing they're wounded he gives Gadds' suggestion some consideration "On second thought a rest would be fine."
As the orb curves and the two orbs collide, Shorthorns lets out a gasp, watching as they start to bounce around unpredictably in the tight chamber as she dodges and looks out for the others' well being. As Shei manages to dive in and slam the orb right down the dragon's throat, she lets out a sigh of relief, stomping her hooves this time in celebration of Shei.
"YESS! THAT'S TWO! Now silver's in the lead!"
She pauses to look over Pryce as Leather protects him, saying to Leather, "Good save, Leather! Are you alright, Pryce?"
She nods in agreement. "Yeah, we can take a quick break to think that over. Pryce is right, that WAS going faster than it was before. I guess the game's learning at the same time we are." She looks at the silver statue, ears flapping down as she ponders. "Hey, kind of a weird feeling I just got: we're *SURE* Silver should win, right?"
"Waiting patiently and thinking this out means we can make it to Amy in the first place. Rushing things only means to cause us more harm and weaken the group further." Leather nods to Shei as he changes his mind, "I am unscathed, fortunately. I cannot say the same will be true if we rush things.">>741883
Leather pulls himself up with Pryce's help, "I am where I need to be."
Shei closes his eyes and smiles. He can't deny it, he's been caught being single minded again. He flaps his hoof repeatedly, dismissive but frantic "I get it, I get it, I get it." He ambles over to the both of you "Thanks for saving my friend's life by the way." And bends his torso down to says to Pryce unseriously "Are you still breathing?"
"Yea, I'm fine thanks to Leather.">>741889
"Fine, fine, no, you're right," Gadriel says, gulping and steeling himself for the last round.>>741883>>741884>>741886>>741888
River checks over the two stallions, but they seem to be alright. "Well, a rest is in order, anyhow," River says. "This confirmed my hunch that things would change between rounds. This time it was just the speed at which the orb flew, but if we're about to win, I imagine it's going to pull out all the stops, maybe even cheat."
"Cheat?" Zjetya scoffs. "Alright, that's a little bit of a reach. But, there'll definitely be something else awaiting us this time… say, what if we set up more defensively around our goal this time and see what's up? I don't think we should assume the same loop will work three times."
Upon further inspection, Shei realizes Pryce had gone unscathed.
"Funny, I saw you were surrounded by women so I figured you took up another scar." He jokes.
Shei-Sher holds out his cape to hang adjactenly from him like he were a matador. When he reels it back in, the fabric seems to flow along a rectangular surface. From behind his cape appears a refrigerator.
He opens the fridge and looks back to everyone "Anybody care for a refreshment?"
He gets himself a water.
"I agree with Zjetya. Maybe we just got lucky these last two times but if this game has any tricks left, it WILL pull them out. Let's fire a round and see what happens, just keep the golden statue covered and it can't score anyhow."
She turns, "You really think it would cheat though? That's not very fair, WE'VE played by the rules so far."
"If I am to guess, mayhaps we'll have to prepare for multiple orbs. I do not imagine they would just increase the speed again." Leather ruminates, "Perhaps we should utilize the side dragons more, rather than just creating a loop."
Shorthorns's tongue falls out of her muzzle as he pulls out a fridge, looking at it with bewilderment. "HOw did you…. uh, yeah, actually, I would love a water please. Make it ten."
Shei tosses ONE bottle of water your way.>>741892
On Shei's amble to his spot to sit, he drops a piece of chocolate on Gadd's head.
"I don't plan on adding any more scars than I already have."
Pryce says in jest.>>741892>>741894>>741895
"It wouldn't be surprising to make the last round the hardest. I can't imagine multiple orbs though would be contained with the number that'd fly about."
To be on the safeside, Pryce's horn glows white as he stands by Leather, the air shimmering around the two in a flash to grant a wall of antimagic.>Palisade [Self and Leather] [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
This was meant for you>Shei tosses ONE bottle of water your way.
>>741901>>741896>somehow misposted again
This for you >>741896
Shei tossed a bottle of water to flaming
"Okay, wait, hold up, watch this… watch this…"
Gadriel pops his head up, launching the chocolate into the air. He then points his head straight up, beak open, and catches the chocolate. Nearby, Lockjaw roars in acknowledgement of his victory.>>741895>>741894>>741893>>741900
"Multiple orbs, or different patterns," Zjetya says as she and River get their drinks.
"I wouldn't discount any possibility based on the idea that it might be unfeasible or unreasonable," River adds. "This is a crypt meant to keep the world above and the world below out, maintained by some of the strongest mortals the world had ever known 'til then."
"They sure seemed to like games of all kinds, though," Gadriel notes.
"Multiple orbs?" Flaming says, trying to think the best way of how to handle that. "We can only set up so many Dark Corridors at the same time… do you think they'd ALL have to go in Silver's mouth or just one of them?">>741902
As he passes her the water bottle, she nods her head in thanks, using one of her tiny horns to pull the cap off before slugging it down hard and drinking it quickly.>>741904
"Well… running another test round should be alright as long as we keep the Golden one's mouth covered. Why don't we try that and see what it throws at us, focusing solely on defense and keeping any of them from reaching the Golden one?"
Shei wears an amused smile "I refuse to believe you practiced that."
He takes a seat on the floor and begins strumming his guitar, as the respite has begun to make that infernal white noise return to the foreground of Shei's hearing. He doesn't offer any input to the conversation on strategy, instead focusing on the sound of his guitar.
"It should only need one. That is, if it even shoots multiple to begin with.>>741904
With his spell failing to take hold, Pryce hums one of his song spells, conjuring his flaming shield to play guard this time.>The Scroll of Seneh, the Wildfire Aegis [Auto]>Summons a floating shield as a minion with 20 HP. It can be assigned to any target, and will take all damage for them until it is defeated. After it has been defeated, it has a Recharge of 3 before it can be summoned again. The minion has access to the following skills
"We could see about letting the Silver dragon win a match to see what the final gimick is, while still testing. If we have not won with two points, neither should it."
"Nothin' but natural talent," Gadriel says as he savors the chocolate, taking no bites of it but simply allowing it to melt, just as his predecessor would have wanted.>>741905>>741908>>741909
River nods as Pryce drums up some more defense. "Set up your corridors about the Golden Dragon's mouth, and make sure the exit ends are pointed such that the orbs can't bounce around much. Nice, even lines, measured with a compass and a ruler if you can manage it… all these askew statues are quite vexing for my aesthetic sensibilities."
Zjetya raises an eyebrow at Cloak's proposal. "Well… tossing one round would
make it easier to see the whole rotation in progress, but do you wanna take that chance? I mean, we don't even know the consequence for losing this challenge. What if we screw up on the deciding round?"
Shei interrupts his guitar playing for a moment "Sorry, but I need a steady flow of oxygen to think." Shei's obviously not on board.
"Hence while still testing. I certainly do not want to press the buttons and let things go along as they are, but less standing-in-their-way should something terrible occurs again."
"We shouldn't toss a round if we can lock the orbs in a loop. As long as one corridor is in front of the Gold Dragon, the volley won't end until we act. We should set up again and see what comes."
"We don't have to toss it. We just don't have to intend to win it. We've done good on offense so far, it's time to see how good our Defense is. Think about it, how much choice do we have? We NEED to see what it's willing to throw at us this time, if we go in on offense without knowing what's coming, we might end up losing it all too! At least this way, we put our survival first. Besides, we're up by one now. We should have a least a little buff, right?"
Zjetya wrings her hooves a little bit with apprehension, but since you all seem to have a level head and a thought-out approach, she shrugs. "Okay, we do have a little leeway here. You want me on standby for anything?"
"Or me," Gadriel says. "I can give one of you a pretty handy barrier against flame, you know."
"That sounds fair to me. Just press the button and I'll immediately raise a corridor from the golden Dragon leading out the Bronze Dragon number 6
Shei-Sher readies to raise his Dark corridors so that the an entry portal is guarding the front of the golden Dragon and an exit portal is raised in front of the statue 6 aimed at statue 3
[1d10+1] Once the buttons are pushed an Entry Portal in front of the Golden Dragon and Exit portal infront of Statue 6 is conjured.
Shei-Sher plays a jazzier tone of elevator music to get everyone in the mood.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g84fUGg5mH4>Background Music: instant, stackable; the entire party gains +1 to all rolls for 2 turns, this effect is stackable for a maximum of +2; upon critical failure cancels all stacks of the effect, this skill cannot critically succeed. Effect duration of each stack refreshes after a successful use.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
/ Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8
"Thank you, Miss Shorthorns. I do not wish to risk a life in either case. We have some wiggle room, we shouldn't carelessly act to succeed at all costs knowing we could've planned things out more.">>741917
"Given I'm playing defence, I would not mind such a barrier at all." Leather notes, standing nearby but not directly in front of the golden statue.
"I will attempt to bash the ball away should it come for the mouth, but I will not risk putting myself in the way of it this
>>741917>"You should get that big wind blast of yours ready in case the statue tries any tricks around the corridor."
KP suggests to Zjetya, keeping behind her and River for safety.
Shorthorns nods in approval at everyone's readiness. She takes out her shield, readying it with a stiff hoof as she paces around the gold statue, trying to account for any openings that aren't covered as she prepares a Dark Corridor of her own, entrance in front of the other side of the golden statue while the exit is near the silver statue, hoping that should one pass into it and be directed towards their goal.
[1d10+1] Summoning Dark CorridorRoll #1 10 + 1 = 11
After setting up your defenses, you brace yourselves, and push both buttons in. Zjetya, River and Gadriel tense, hiding behind the array of defenses about the Golden Dragon. The dragons' eyes light all at once.
There is a brief pause, a moment of peace.
And then, chaos.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8oGDT_ZW3o
Every single one of the Bronze statues begins spewing orbs about the room. The Silver Dragon roars to life as its throat spews a constant stream of air, leaving a clear path in the middle of the room. The orbs are fast as they were in the second round, but something about their sheer volume has perhaps made them far weaker, for each orb only bounces about a few times before its small explosion. But it's impossible to track the trajectory of any single one, for the room is perpetually full of them.
>All actions now must be accompanied by a DC 9 dodge roll, unless you can find some way of clearing the room.
>Shielded by Wildfire Aegis>>741924
Pryce's head goes back and forth as all the statues begin to spew orbs, the worst outcome upon them. He looks down to the Silver Dragon as it makes a continuous stream of air, for sure block any possible incoming orb. An idea comes to Pryce, one to hopefully end the chaos quickly. He darts forward towards the Silver Dragon, waiting for one of the orbs to near it to give him a better timing window. He waits for an orb to be caught up and blown away, and with a flourish of his wings, he waves his flaming hoof before the Silver Dragon, using the opening of it's maw as a stand in for his bracelet, using it as a new exit for the mid-air orb.>Hat Magic [Orb] [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Shei-Sher holds his hoof out as if he were trying to grab onto something. He strains the spatial properties of the Dark Corridor in front of the Golden Dragon Statue to instead cause the orbs to stick to the portal entrance/to stand in place.
He then waves his hand down, the orbs of energy that end at the Golden Dragon's sticky portal coalesce and fuel eachother. Growing in power and energy as they merge with each other at the sticky portal>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session; Forge a small- to medium-sized object out of a natural elemental source, such as water or earth. If this object is a weapon, it carries the elemental properties* of the material it was made from and is +1 quality on a critical forging roll. Objects made with this skill disappear after a few hours. If this skill is used to make Bits or fake documents, they are obviously counterfeit upon close inspection. Keys made with this skill work just as well as their real counterparts, but break after being used. Forging an object requires access to an amount of source material equivalent in size to the desired object.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 10 + 4 = 14
/ Roll #3 2 + 1 = 3
Cloak prepares himself to destroy every orb with the power of his vengeance, should even one knock him down.
>Retaliate: recharge 3 after effect triggers; After three+1 turns, you deal out damage for every hit you lost during those three+1 turns. Going Helpless before the end of the three+1 turns causes the effect to release instantly. Critfails don’t count toward the charge of this spell.
[1d10] dodgeRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
As the dozen orbs all come out of the bronze statues at once, Shorthorns braces her self, raising her shield ready to strike at them as she tries to follow them all coming at every angle. "KEEP YOUR GUARD UP! If you can, deflect it back to the Silver, but for now just make sure they don't hit the Golden statue!" She shouts, keeping an eye out for any that come here way. She tries to deflect a few them directly into the Dark Corridor so they might come back out towards the other side going for silver
[1d10+2] Deflecting using her shield to bat any balls coming towards her
[1d10+2] DodgingRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7
"BATTER UP!!" Shei-Sher Yells with glee at Flaming and Leather
You run forward to try and magick the Silver Dragon's mouth, but as you get about halfway through the room, you swerve to dodge an orb that comes a little too close for comfort, and that brief loss of balance and composition lets the wind get the better of you. You fall, and are blown back toward the others, managing to get away with only a few scrapes.
>Pryce loses 2 Hits, 2 stored in Snakeskin Cloak>>741927>>741929>>741928>>741926
As Shei draws in the orbs to the entrance of one of the Dark Corridors, Flaming and Cloak herd the strays into the growing glob of aether that Shei has now gathered up. A few lone ones manage to slip through, crashing into the few openings that Cloak and Shei leave. Cloak manages to break down one bound for Shei, but the strike leaves him open – and a searing white hot pain flashes across his left side, searing a chunk of his armor against his skin. The pain is so great as to be brief, before all nerves and those surrounding them die.
>Cloak loses 3 Wounds; Shei uses Vanguard to avoid his, as does Flaming.
But now, there's a single massive orb before you, held in place by the mighty airstream of the Silver Dragon. The room slowly clears of orbs, but the Dragon's not giving you so much as an inch.
"Come on! You've almost got it!" River, Zjetya and Gadriel cheer.
[1d10+3] InspireRoll #1 10 + 3 = 13
Shei-Sher draws out his guitar as he gets into position.
"All at once? How about it!" He gleams a toothy smile clearly enjoying himself.
As the massive orb gathers in front of them, Shorthorns turns to Shei after she finishes beating away the last one she had deflected towards the silver statue. "On three! One… two…" JUST as she's about to say three, Shorthorns charges the orb with her shield, throwing it up in front of her horns as she prepares to use it as a ram combined with her forehead's natural strength to deliver a powerful punch to send it towards home base.
[1d10+4] All or Nothing
[1d10+2] DodgingRoll #1 7 + 4 = 11
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
Cloak grits his teeth through the pain, slowly turning it into a grin as well.
"The time for waiting has passed."
Rushing forward, Cloak uses the pain as fuel for a massive shield slam.>Talent: (Patience Rewarded; passive: After a successful use of a skill and completing its subsequent recharge, gain +X to the next time the skill is attempted, where X is the recharge of skill. Reductions in cooldown completely nullify the bonus gained.)
[1d10+5] ShatterRoll #1 8 + 5 = 13
On time with Flaming, Shei-Sher swings the flat side of his Electric *Vector Guitar at the massive ball of energy. Steel ringing loud like a tremor as it smacks their target.
[1d10+3] Batter UpRoll #1 4 + 3 = 7
River runs forward with her spear to add to the charge, and Gadriel clears a path by firing volleys of feathers that clear away nearby orbs from the path, while Zjetya bolsters the momentum of the orb with strums from her new lyre.
Together as one, you ram the huge orb forward, sending it hurtling back toward the Silver Dragon, completely overloading its air-stream once and for all. A magnificent light engulfs the arena as the orb makes contact with the Silver Dragon, and a brilliant explosion flings all of you back.
…Once the light and the ringing have diminished enough for you to see once more, you can see that there is no more silver dragon, nor even the walls beyond it. Both the statue and the two walls blocking your progress are gone, blown to rubble by the explosion.
You're gathered together behind what remains of Seneh, which is currently naught but a few embers floating away, having protected you from the blast.
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The crippling silence of the night goes on as Shei-Sher feverishly pours through pages of babble. The author's psychosis bleeds into Shei's studious temperament. Perhaps a sign of intellectual correspondance between reader and writer or the fatal chords of madness plucking at Shei!
Shei-Sher follows a segment about agriculture in Tartarus. He grapples to understand if growing something natural from the world of the living in Tartarus is possible, what are the effects, and if it can be done on Tartarian soil or requires raw earth. Additionally, the boy tries to understand if the author means there are any localized spots in Tartarus that can grow agriculture.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2