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 No.751376[View All]

Last time, on PirateQuest…

Cutlass, Alder and Cerulean went south through the jungles of Cuauhtemoc, seeking after Captain Bee Holder and her four first mates, to update them on the situation with the informant, and the investigation of Gullveig's attack. It wasn't long before they found them, as the Watchkeepers seemed to guard the southern regions of the island far more jealously than the northern ones, and Bee Holder's party were forced to turn back after surviving encounter after encounter.

Cloud aided Mallea, Thessaly and Godot in collecting medicinal plants to restock their supplies following all the intense battles that had plagued their stay on this mysterious island.

Meanwhile, aboard the Thunder Serpent, Captain Kukulcan and his own trusted inner circle raised an automaton of their own – but not one of the Watchkeepers, over whom Kukulcan supposedly had authority as a god of the island. Rather, it was Two Tons, a sapient construction purchased on the Black Market. They were not expecting any manner of intelligence from the robot, so rather than press it into indentured servitude, Kukulcan negotiated for the robot's loyalty in exchange for fair wages, living accommodations and mutual aid.
278 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


Cerulean gives a brief smile and nod to the two, letting the two wonder how much she heard, but then looks serious.
"Answers," she plainly responds, "and real ones. No beating around the anemone or that nonsense like it feels you you have been. We can speak somewhere less crowded, but honestly, I learned some things in the temple that has me questioning you…a lot."


Cane nods. "A good night's rest sounds in order, even if it's a mite early. We've got much to plan for."
"I'll update the Beesting on what we've discussed," Bee Holder says via Cane's conch, before hanging up as well.

Two Reeds gasps. "I was not aware you could sleep. My apologies for neglecting to assign you a room, but to be fair, you were cargo until just recently. I shall make arrangements for you anon."

Kukulcan furrows his eyebrows, then the King nods, and heads away toward the Thunder Serpent.

Kukulcan gestures for you to follow, then heads for the perimeter of the jungle, his hands folded behind his back. "What can I answer for you, then, dear Cerulean?"

Juniper shakes her head. "Not at all. Consiering the circumstances, I'm surprised you all trust me to the degree that you do."

The three of you head into the ship's infirmary, where you see Droplet, Paraiba and Prisma, as well as the mooks. They seem to be doing alright.

Droplet smiles as you enter. "Well, well, another visit. Have we been missing much?"

"Indeed," Mallea says.

She begins to relay to the three of them everything suspected about the informant, including the attack on Gullveig, and the blood test.


"I hope so."

Cloud pauses.
"Huh, yea. I guess getting him would probably make things easier on you…"
He mutters, trailing off.


"Anon? No my names Two Tons." he said with a laugh "I mean yeah I sleep, everybody needs to sleep now and then. I think it was mainly so I didn't bother Dubya too much."

He nodded again "I think he'd like you. He likes neat people. And you're pretty neat."


Cerulean follows Kukulcan and gives a sigh. So far, so good.
"You claim to be the Thunder Serpent, right? Or the incarnated form or whatever it was you said. However, I meet with a being called Thunder Serpent in the depths of the temple. It wasn't you. So tell me: why are you pretending to be a god, or as the 'real' Thunder Serpent called himself and the others with us there, a force of nature? Who, or what, are you really."


"Aw, thanks."
Cloud says, the compliment lifting his spirits a bit before he heads off to the infirmary.

"You look pretty in control of yourself. And I can't blame you for all that demon stuff when you didn't ask for it."
Cloud says as they walk to the ship.

When they reach the infirmary, Cloud looks over the trio.
"You guys all ok? Nothing weird going on here?"


Alder hesitates for a moment or two, before giving the bat pony a soft, quick hug.

"Mmm. Very well, then." he chirps, finding somewhere to settle in. He considers grabbing an instrument to play, but now might not be the best time.


Cloud is a little surprised by the quick hug, but returns with a pat on the back before heading to the infirmary.



Cutlass nods and steps away so that she can talk on the conch in peace. She calls Miss Sunshine.


Two Reeds nods. "This Dubya of yours would have made for a fine Mechpriest, if only he had been born long ago upon this island."

She then heads out to find you a room aboard the ship.

"Well, if his proof is to be believed, then I kinda did," Juniper says. "I don't recall dying, but… apparently, I wanted to forget it, and continue living, even if I had to do so, possessed by a demon."

"Nope," Droplet says once Mallea is done. "All seems to be in order down here. Not like you guys, by the sounds of things. I mean, we've got some unwanted attention, and of a violent sort to boot…"
"Well, it goes without saying we'll cooperate," Paraiba says. "We're almost well enough to head out, anyway."
Mallea nods, and begins to withdraw equipment from her bag for the drawing of blood.

Kukulcan listens, his expression turning to one of confusion, and of a genuine sort. "… I know not the meaning of this. The Skull Temple abounds with methods for testing and teaching its challengers… On Cuauhtemoc, there were priests – the Mechpriests – who would ritually adorn themselves with the clothing and mannerisms of the gods, taking on their roles and powers for a brief time, particularly for a ceremony or other major event. You must have encountered such an obstacle in the Temple, intending to test the faith of the Mechpriest, making the unworthy fail, and the worthy stronger."

While Alder and Two Tons chill, Cane Shuga decides to walk about near the lake shore, while Make Believe and Schnitzel speak with Sir Diamantaire.

Miss Sunshine picks up within a few rings.

"Captain, do you think I'm ugly?" Miss Sunshine says. She sounds like she's been doing her share of moping. "Or a creep, or a loser? Or poor?"


"He does make a bunch of things… but he really doesn't like rules too much." he responded before watching her go.

Seeing Cane Shuga he shrugged and hopped off the boat with a hard thud into the sand and moved to walk with them.


"Don't think anypony would want to not continue living if given the chance," Cloud comments, trailing in thought. "Guess there's not much point dwelling on all that."

"Violent attention?" Cloud questions, then looks to Paraiba. "Good, sounds like we need to get you guys back as quick as we can."



"I- what? Huh?" Cutlass stammers before she groans and regains her bearings.

"Of course you aren't ugly! I'm… not really into girls, but I have to say that you're the prettiest girl on the crew. I don't even know where you'd get the idea that you are a creep or a loser from. You ARE poor, though. We all are."


>changing the last line

"That's good to hear," Cloud says, hearing things have been fine so far. "At least getting you guys back soon will take away one worry, with how things have been going here."


Cerulean has a face like she's not convinced.
"I don't think so, because at first, it actually did look like you at first. But when I told them you were claiming to be the real Thunder Serpent, they called you an imposter, and their appearance changed to something else. In fact, their appearance changed a couple of times as I talked with them. If the test was having faith that you are truly Thunder Serpent, then I should've failed. Yet I have the staff, as well as tools used to build the Watchkeepers."

"Not to mention: why would you have to proceed through the temple and face the challenges if you are what you say? We saw you fight before and how close you were to becoming chum. From what I saw of that, and what I went through in the temple; its more reason for me to think you're not really what you say you are."


Alder stretches out a little bit, and takes a moment or two to try out his detachable talons again. He'll pop off his… right! talons, and let them walk around the camp for a little.

Alder flicks his ear, and listens intently.


Cane Shuga is a near-black earth pony stallion, and looks to be a pensive sort. He glances over as you approach, then turns to face you. "You're the new guy, aren't you?" he asks. "Good to be working with you. Name's Cane Shuga of the Beesting. You've already met Cloud, Alder and Cerulean, and of course Cutlass, one of our ship's allies. Bee Holder and Etch will want to meet you, I imagine."

Miss Sunshine sighs. "It's just one of those days… I wish I wasn't so poor. Anyway, what'd you call for…"

Once Mallea finishes taking all their blood, the trio sit and think for a bit. You notice that Prisma pecks a bit at a yellow feather sitting on the nightstand next to her bed. Mallea arches an eyebrow with concern. "I hope I didn't cause that."
"Oh, don't mind her," Paraiba says. "She seemed to have got it off Alder's head awhile ago, and she's been keeping it since, always playing with it."


Kukulcan appears more and more concerned as you go on.

"Then who…?" Kukulcan mutters to himself. "This… warrants further investigation. I know who and what I am. I have not lived this long and survived the loss of home and divinity to be undone by mere suggestions. Tell me: Is this entity you encountered still down there? I shall see and question him myself."

Your hand walks around on its index and middle fingers, enjoying the cool grass upon them.

It is now that you recall the notebook the Crimson King was writing in, shortly after Cutlass accidentally revealed his identity.


He nodded "Yeah probably. It's fun to get to meet some many new people. Wish that it was like… normal instead of waking up under the ocean but not underwater. That's kinda weird ya know? Then again I'm a metal pony… sort of. So who am I to judge what's normal and what's weird."


"When I left, they were. Though they looked very old and probably would've fallen apart if I hugged them," she idly remarks, as if hugging stuff was her normal thing.
"However, I don't think we're going to have that time to check, since the Vault should be opening soon, right? And plus right now, between having the Crimson King do some weird body stuff, and now this stuff with Magoja; how do I know you won't try and do something to them, especially since they're probably still fixing the damages I caused?"



"You mean like right now? Or is this some baggage from some other point in your life?" Cutlass asks, sounding genuinely concerned.

"Anyway, we have a plan of attack for tomorrow. There's a port on the west side of the island. It's too dangerous to sail now when night is approaching. But, once there's sunlight, sail around to the west side of the island and dock there."

"From there, you're going to assemble a good chunk of the crew push toward where we will be fighting. Then, we're going to push an attack all the way to the vault. If everything goes well, we'll ALL be much richer."


"Do your blood tests normally dye fur… er, feathers?" Clouds jokingly questions Mallea. Cloud then looks back at the feath after Paraiba mentions Alder. "Wait, off Alder? But he's not yellow, are you sure it's from him?"


"Hrm… he frowns to himself a little, before snagging his talons and slipping it back on to his wrist with… no noise, surprisingly. He wiggles his talons to test a couple of times, before looking around for Juniper.
"Uhm, Miss Juniper- where is Cycle Kick, if you do not mind me asking? Back on Kukulcan's ship?"


"Well, we are still underwater," Cane Shuga says. He gestures upwards at the dome of clouds which cover all of Cuauhtemoc. They are currently a sunset-red, and the source and summit of the color is a long, golden-red serpentine dragon flying down over the western end of the island, past its surrounding waters. "My guess is that the two serpents up there – the other, being the Moon Serpent – are keeping an air bubble around us through their power."

He shrugs. "This whole situation is weird. The Ribcage is weird. You're one of the more normal things I've run into on this whole trip. So don't feel like too much of an outcast."

"I shall pass along the plans to Two Reeds, Sir Diamantaire, Magoja and the rest of the ship's leadership. I trust them enough to let them run things in my stead. As for these peculiar beings… I can give you my word I shall do no harm to them. But, I can sense that mere words are not enough. Shall entrusting you with collateral suffice, if I let you name your desired collateral? You understand that I must see to this matter as quickly as possible, owing to its grave nature."

"Yes," Miss Sunshine says.

As you move on, she sighs again. "Yes, captain. I'll let everyone know… and I'd better get a Vice-Captain's share."

Mallea leers at you.

Paraiba nods. "She pecked him pretty good yesterday, and this fell out, though I don't think anyone but Prisma noticed until much later."
"Doesn't match her feathers or his, or anyone else's," Droplet says. "You got any idea?"

Juniper turns as Alder enters the infirmary. "Sorry, I don't quite know. He must be around here, with it getting so late… oh, well, depending on which one's in control now, he could be in Kukulcan's office to see the proof of our agreement. Or, he usually likes to fish a little in the Dreamer's Moon, just before bedtime. Try those places."



"Of course you will. Just like last time."

"And…" Cutlass pauses for a moment. "If you want to talk about it later, I wouldn't mind."

With that, Cutlass hangs up.


"Aww, you're a nice guy." he said with a few laughs before he sighed "I hope this goes good. I don't wanna see people getting hurt if I can help it ya know? Maybe it's that part of me that just wants to make sure everyone's happy."


"What?" Cloud says as Mallea leers at him, the witch glare making him a bit wary as he turns to Dropletto focus on the mystery.
"I… No," Cloud says, realizing he cannot ask Hmm about this feather. But then an idea comes to him. He quickly turns back to Mallea. "Mallea, can you test this feather, see if it matches any of the blood, or the blood left where Hmm was attacked later?"

Cloud turns as Alder enters.
"Oh, hey, Alder! Do you recognize this?"
He asks, pointing to the feather.


"Ah! I will try those two places, then. Thank you, Miss Juniper!" he chirps, offering a bow before stepping out.

"Oh! I, hmm…"
>Memory roll? Master Thief? [1d10]
"I am… is that why she was pecking at my head?"

Roll #1 5 = 5


"That's what Paraiba said. Have you been around any yellow birds or gryphons lately?"


"I…don't know how to answer that one. All this negotiation stuff is really not for me," she says plainly and with a shrug.
"Honestly, all I really know is something isn't adding up right. You said the gods were swallowed by the Vault and all, yet there I was talking with them. So its just……I don't really know now. I wanna believe you, but everything just isn't adding up right."


"Depending on what kind of feather it was, most likely not," Mallea says. "But, I can try."

She produces a petri dish from her bag, and holds it out for you to enter the feather.

Cane hums. "You are pretty weird; I take it back. That's hardly the attitude a pirate has. Wherever we go, someone's bound to be upset. Though as far as any of us are concerned, they either deserve it, or else we're basically indifferent to it all. Who made you? A fellow pirate?"

Alder recalls seeing a similar feather before… the last time he came down here to visit the Thunder Serpent's infirmary. Neither he, nor Splendid knew what to make of it, as it didn't match the colors of any griffons on the Beesting or Hidden Dagger. Prisma must have pulled off multiple, for Alder took one, and she has this one.

Miss Sunshine mutters something before you hang up, but you can't make sense of it. Probably more moping.

You notice Kukulcan and Cerulean having an intense discussion near the jungle's edge.

"Many gods, young and old, were worshipped in this land," Kukulcan says. "In the confusion and chaos that followed the Vault's appearance, it is possible that other gods hid elsewhere, even as the majority of the elders charged in, in their ill-fated endeavor to destroy it… but I remember what I remember, and I know what I know. Before I can call myself a leader to any, I have a duty to see this discrepancy through to its source. Let me enter the Skull Temple, and I pledge that I will only seek the truth, and nothing more."


"I don't think he's a pirate… but he also does do jobs for stuff that I find… weird." he said as he tried to hide the mild hurt he felt at the weird line, though his eyes still darted down for a moment.

"My friend Dubya made me when he was a kid. I've been with him ever since."



Cutlass takes a seat somewhere nearby that seems comfortable. She keeps Cerulean and Kukulcan within view. She's not trying to eavesdrop. She's just trying to make sure Kukulcan doesn't try anything.


"Let's hope it is."
Cloud looks down at the feather, picking it up with the tip of his wing to minimize any contamination and sets it in the dish.
"We'll get this back to you in a jiffy Prisma."


"Hmm… a second feather! It certainly does not belong to anyone on either of our ships… maybe on Cutlass's ship? Or, one of the previous islands… hrm."

"Hrm… does it seem familiar to you, perhaps?"


"Honestly, its probably the best thing for now. Still, I'll see you keep to your word, at least until I hear what you have to have about them."


"No. But Hmm was attacked by a gryphon, and we have a mysterious feather here. It doesn't hurt to check."


"Oh, I see, a civilian," Cane says. "A mechanic of some kind? Well, heed my warning anyway; wherever pirates venture, misfortune follows in their wake. Hopefully, the misfortune afflicts the wicked. We're not what you might have heard of pirates; on this voyage, we've freed an island from genocidal monarchs, helped a town clear out some pests, and sort of exorcised a house – alongside a host of other small deeds. I think I heard something about our crew fighting an evil scientist shrimp… but they'll have to relay that tale to you themselves."

On the contrary, full glad does she seem to be to get rid of it, because once Mallea seals the dish, Prisma relaxes, then leans her massive chicken neck over Alder.

Paraiba and Droplet rise from their beds, stretching out after the long rest they had there.

"Apologies, but you'll be back in there soon," Mallea says. "We're spending the night. You see…"

She explains the content of Kukulcan's plan.

At the end of it, Droplet smiles. "Nice… bout time we got going on this Vault thing."

"Cutlass better share!" Paraiba insists. "Or else I'll just steal from her if she tries to hoard it all."

Kukulcan nods, and bows, his hand over his heart. "As I have attested, so I will act. Let me convene with my command, so that they may be able to spearhead the operation in my absence."


"Heard she changed the deal to a 50/50 split for our crews," Cloud assures Paraiba. "Course, a little more wouldn't hurt for what we've been through."


Alder warbles a little as Prisma leans her neck over him, weighing him down quite a bit! He hums softly to the Accompass bird, before gently rubbing at her neck. "Hmm… you deserve a chance to relax a little, yes? Feeling better?"


"I mean if you're pirates, you could just be lying to me to make yourself sound better." he said shooting some sass back at him "Besides it's not like me and Dubya can't fight. The two of us can do a lot of damage when we need to. Mostly collateral but the point stands." he said sitting back with a grunt "I know… not everything he does is legal. And I have come to terms with that, so long as he doesn't do anything really bad… I know his hearts in the right place. Plus he kinda dresses like a pirate, with the coat and all."



Cutlass continues to keep an eye on Cerulean.


"Alright. Sorry about the news, but yeah, I think I better get back with the others as well," she says, giving a few nods before heading back to the others.


"Exactly," Paraiba says. "I don't see how we're going to pay for Zerk's medical expenses and recovery procedures without it."

Prisma clucks softly, then preens your feathers and fur a bit, giving you a nice scratching before she sits back in her bed again, watching you with her chicken eyes.

"Heh! Now you're starting to get it," Cane says, taking a shine to your sass. "Well, this Dubya guy, we'll help you find him as soon as we can. Figure we should help one another so long as the relationship's good and the money is gold."

Kukulcan nods and bows, before heading off to speak with Two Reeds and Sir Diamantaire. Schnitzel and Make Believe exchange some words with the three, and then head off to the camp's perimeter, unpacking their bags to make ready their tents and sleeping cots.


Alder flicks his tail happily as Prisma preens his feathers, and takes a moment or two to return the gesture as she settles back into her bed. "Anything I can get you, Prisma? A little water? Some music, maybe?"


"Bu-gawk!" she squawks.


Alder hums a little bit, before giggling. "Ah! Of course. Well, I will play a little something, and if you would like me to stop, peck me on the head once or twice, yes?" he suggests, before taking a seat and pulling out his guitar. He takes a moment or two to tune it, before strumming out a short song!


The mechaniquine grinned back at him and gave him a punch to the foreleg playfully with one of his own "Well I try to be nice but being sassy is fun too." he replied as he sighed "Who knows, maybe being a scoundrel will be a nice change of pace for me."


Prisma leans back to enjoy the music, and Juniper departs briefly, coming back shortly with a large water bowl, from which Prisma drinks with gratitude.

"You'll probably like it a lot more than being a square," Cane says. "We have far more fun than do-gooders, who have to clean up our messes."


"I have plenty of fun. Fun is what you make of it. You don't gotta go and do mean stuff or go and get messed up to have fun. Granted it's not like I can get drunk… I think. It's not like I've tried to be fair."


"Thank you, Juniper! I hope you are enjoying the music as well- do you play any instruments, out of curiosity?"

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