No.753511[Last 50 Posts]
Seven months ago, five drifters arrived in the far flung pocket of reality known to the outside world as the Echoes. With nothing save for their names and the clothes on their backs, they carved out a living for themselves, beginning a journey across the foreign land, gaining new allies and new enemies alike. The winds swept them across the wilds, bringing them to a forsaken desert known as the Shifting Sands, where they met someone they did not expect: a being long thought myth, known to many as Discord. Wisely opting not to free him, or retrieve the artifact he coveted, they moved on.
In Braildorn, one of the great cities built in this world, they crossed their most mortal foe of all: Lysander, a dragon of great renown and a collector of rare and magical items. They bested him, claiming his ship as their own, and were marked as his enemies forevermore. This caught the attention of an unusual couple: Dawn Chorus, a great magician, and her knight Carabas. Mortal foes of Lysander, they joined forces with the drifters, explaining the object of his desire: the Cuckoo's Egg, a harbinger of dimensional annihilation, and the very same artifact they had discovered in the Sands. Lysander wished to claim it in the name of an entity that haunts the Echoes, known only as the Oneiromancer. With the help of Cecile Grosvenor, Lady of Braildorn, these three would stop at nothing to claim the Egg for themselves.
Fate carried them across the plains, back to the fiery Shifting Sands. There, Discord was freed, and Lysander was on his way to retrieve the Egg for himself. Not only that, but he had betrayed the Oneiromancer; he rejected the entity from Outside, wanting the Egg for himself and claiming some of the Oneiromancer's powers. A great battle ensued, and Carabas was lost amidst the sands, but the Egg was wrenched from Lysander's claws, safe with the drifters, for now.
While traveling with the Egg, the party was subject to several fortunate and misfortunate adventures including the return of the Oneiromancer to the corporeal plane. The question remained of what to do with the Egg from here; after much deliberation, a plan was hatched. They would set sail for the Isle of Glass, a forsaken, beast-infested rock far removed from the rest of the Echoes. Here, they would challenge Lysander to a decisive combat, and determine the fate of the Echoes once and for all. On the eve of their final voyage, two of their number abandoned them to pursue their own goals: the warrior Hermodur, their ally from the start, and the great warlock Black Pudding. The latter departed with a nebulous promise of his return ere the end of their ordeal.
Now, the drifters prepare for what the dawn will bring. Lysander's ship lies ahead. Below, a great volcano. Above, the stars align for a celestial event. Behind, a great storm brews, and the skies blacken over the mainland.
The stage is set for war, and to the drifters, fate's finger beckons.
You jolt awake at dawn to the blare of a great horn echoing across the water. Four times it sounds, each one rattling the clouds with its deafening battle roar. A declaration of war.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nee8KfUtLBA
You and the rest of the crew gather on the deck. The horn blasts again, threatening to blow away the Fortune with its thunderous blast. It's coming from Lysander's ship, visible now up close.
The vessel is gargantuan, a metal leviathan that towers over your ship in both height and width. This engine of destruction is a floating fortress, armed to the teeth with cannons, scorpions, turrets of some description, and many other things besides. Crewmen, small as ants from your point of view, run about on the multiple layered decks, preparing the ship for battle. Two black iron smoke stacks rise from it, belching vantablack clouds to stain the sky. At its rear, a great metal wheel turns, churning the water into a frenzy. The cruel, pointed hull is painted in hues of incarnadine, and across its bow, the name "VINDICATOR" is emblazoned, glittering silver against the frothing waves below.
This is no mere ship. It's a war machine.
You see a winged figure depart from the Vindicator, flying towards your ship with unknown intent. Your companions look shaken by the magnitude of the vessel, but steel themselves for what's to come nonetheless.
Aegis stood firmly at the edge of the Ship's deck, armed with her shield and dream wine staff at her back, plus the Bell of revealing tied around her neck, ensuring that wherever she went, the bell would ring and reveal anyone who dared hide with magic
As the flying being approached, she readied her magic, but did not attack right away
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 4 = 4
I stand on the bow, quietly looking down at Lysander's ship as it approaches. One of my hands is tucked into a pocket, nervously turning the Good Luck Charm over in my fingers. This is a long time coming, but even so there's a chance Lysander himself isn't even here. Pushing that thought away, I go over the opening plan in my head. It isn't much. Hit them hard out of the gate. Damage the bow of their ship -if that floating island can even be called a ship- as much as we can manage. Take out as many of their crew as we can before actually boarding. That is if anyone but me boards.
Now that the ship is closer I pull my spyglass out again, trying to get a good look at what the deck looks like. If any of the crew are above deck. Any extra nugget of information I can glean before they get in range and the battle finally starts.
"I have everything set up," I tell everyone. "It won't last forever, but I need people manning cannons and scorpions.
My Butler and a Servitor will pass out ammo as needed. You can't see him, but you can ask Gawain. He's real, and he's helpful. Aim for the bow. We wanna stop them from getting closer, and if cutting through the water causes them to start taking on water then hopefully that should slow them some.
If there are any crew on deck aim the cannons at clusters, but otherwise we're trying to damage the ship itself. Not much hope in destroying it with what we got-" I pause and tuck my spyglass back into my pocket. "Not from here, anyway. The bolts have jars of something called Witchdust attached to them. It ages stuff it touches, so it should soften the steel so the cannons can blow holes in the bow easier. Even though we probably ain't gonna sink it we can still slow it down. Should give us a good window to pick off crew members with normal cannonballs and scorpion bolts." I turn around and qirk an eyebrow. "If anyone has any input, ideas, or comments now would he the time. If not I'm gonna go finish gettin geared up. Aegis, I need the Mournwing Cloak back. And Silvy- you mind handing that potion over now?"
"Oh. And one more thing. You probably wouldn't, but there's a giant barrel of compressed Viridust right below deck. It has a big, white smiley face painted on it. Pretty sure it's either the last of -or close to the last of- our Viridust. It's a little surprise if we end up in too tight a spot, so I'd appreciate if nobody touched it until it was absolutely needed."
As the flying figure catches my eye, I take a step back and pull my dart crossbow, loaded with a Stoneskin dart. "Maybe we should all go below deck? If whoever that is is bringing the fight to us already it might be a good idea to have them in a tighter space so they can't fly as easy."
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
''It is yours'' Aegis floats the cloack, neatly folded and smelling frssh ''Looking back, I suppose shouldnt have bothered cleaning away your scent from it yet, you have been giving it more use than I had''
Aegis raises a hoof as Norv suggests heading below deck ''Wait. It might just be one of Lysander's messengers''
"What need do we for communicazion - we learned all we needed to by hiz zhreat a few dayz back and hiz prezenze here now. He haz not come to zurrender or give up, any approaching iz an enemy, no?" Zunden says, wearing the armor she entered the Echoes with, chainmail clinking slightly, "Now iz not ze time to afford any advantage to ze enemy. Clip ze wingz zo zhey might zwim back, but do not allow zhem to get clozer.">>753516
"Ze magic of zhiz trinket iz not very ztrong, zo you may end up in ze ozean if you end up uzing it - Ze clozer you are to ze Fortune when uzing it, ze better. Allow me to bind it to you." Zunden offers the trinket for Norv to wear and then invokes one of her frozen runes to attune it to him.
>Using Frozen Union (6)
[1d10+1] Thaumaturgy to immediately replace it
Norvegicus gains RETURN BRACER >[A simplistic bracer made of cloth and with a stitched design of the Return rune. On use, destroys the object and returns the recipient to the bound destination with it's capabilities equal to the rolls used to create it (RETURN: 6, UNION: 6. Bound User: Norvegicus. Destination: Below Decks on the Fate's Fortune]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
"Thank you." I take the cloak and slip it on over my coat. "And if it is wouldn't it make more sense to have them cornered instead of giving them a chance to get away and join the fight again? We have the option of immediately removing one piece from the board. We should take it.">>753519
I smile and nod. "Thank you, Z. Here's hoping I end up back on the ship instead. Good to have as many backups as we can manage."
''Hm. I misjudged your intents then. Very well, lets go. If Lysander really wants this message delivered, his messenger will follow us in''
"I can probably do cannons, easily enough- they're just like a big gun, right? I don't know if I can work any of my magic on them, but I'll try." the stallion says, touching at the bracer Zunden gave him the other night. "Below deck might be fine for now though, yeah- I'm not really a strategist, though."
"I agree with Zunden," says Marisol. "This is the fight of our lives. We're not here to listen or negotiate." She pulls out her flintlock pistol, taking aim at the approaching figure. Etrigan summons a trio of Servitors to defend from the interloper, while the others move to start getting below deck.>>753516
You take a look at some of the crew through your spyglass. They seem to consist of varied mercenaries, many of which seem to be covering themselves from head to toe, with nothing visible. They move around rather stiffly. Mechanically, even.
Taking a look upwards towards the figure in flight, it takes a minute to recognize them. A large hippogriff approaches, clad in dark steel armor. One claw appears to be replaced with a mechanical prosthetic, grasping some sort of bag, while their face is concealed by a heavy jousting helmet.It's Carabas.
I grin. "Oh, wow. Seriously? Like you do with your bow and stuff? Alright. Yeah. You do that. Use normal cannonballs and leave the bomb shells for everyone else."
I feel the blood drain from my face and I almost lose my footing. "What?" I look again, but, obviously, nothing changes. I don't like the look of that bag, either. Is that really Carabas? We were told he wasn't gone.>>753522
"Don't shoot yet, but don't let down your guard either. It's- It's Carabas. But something doesn't seem right. He's holding something. We need to try to get whatever it is as soon as he gets close enough. I have a bad feeling about it. It's either a weapon, or worse." I swallow and take a step back, keeping my dart gun aimed at the figure. "My money is on worse."
"Right. Here's hoping it works like I want it to, ehe… I ought to be able to put a serious dent in them with enough work.">>753525>>753523
"I… t-they… he died, didn't he? T-This can't be good, but I'd like to believe it's him."
''…What? Are you certain about this, Master Norvegicus?'' Aegis readies her shield and stands near Norv ''It could be a trap of some kind''
Zunden scowls as she tries to come up with an explanation in her head of how this scenario could have come to happen, holding up a claw "Ready weaponz and allow me to uze ze rune entruzted upon me by Black Pudding'z mentor. In truzh I waz zaving zhiz for ze Oneiromanzer itzelf wizh how powerful zhiz rune iz, but we muzt not allow anyzhing to take uz offguard. I will uze Zight to zee into ze true nature of zhat who approachez uz."
Zunden then crushes the brightly glowing Sight rune in her claw, gazing forth as she gazes into the true nature of the approaching figure.
>Frozen Sight (critical 10)>Peering into the true nature of approaching entity - their true identity, lingering magical effects on it, and (if possible with the power of the crit) the possessions are currently carrying
[1d10+1] replacing the old Sight rune with ThaumaturgyRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"It looks like him, but like I said. Don't let down your guard. I wanna believe it too, but he has metal bits and he's coming from Lysander's ship, so not a good sign.">>753527
"Pretty sure. Almost definitely a trap, though. Nothin really changes. Treat him like he was a normal messenger from Lysander, because honestly? He probably is."
"The crew is weird, too. Honestly this whole thing is giving me the same feeling as the Keepers in Last Hearth. I'd be ready for something like that."
"If zhey are reanimated, zhen I have even lezz qualmz about zinking Lyzander'z zhip to ze bottom of ze zea."
Dawn turns to stone, staring blankly towards the encroaching sound of beating wings. Etrigan hisses sharply in disbelief. "No… no, it can't be…"
Aurora looks stunned, and the others prepare themselves.
Zunden invokes the rune. Her pupils glow and change shape, the symbol of Sight imprinting itself on her vision as she gazes out at the approaching hippogriff. She sees nothing but death and defilement in him. Whatever happened to his corpse, it's not him anymore. An empty shell powered by something alien and malignant.
Marisol lines up her shot as she approaches. She takes initiative, firing a warning shot. He ignores it, and you hear a faint metallic ping as it glances off his wing. Carabas only seems to be emboldened by this, approaching the Fortune at breakneck speed. Marisol starts hastily reloading, unnerved by the experience. Aurora and Gawain seem to have the same thought; they both take to the air and perch on high ground at the crow's nest, ready to intercept if he attacks. Dawn just stands numbly frozen in place.
Aegis quickly moves to stand between Dawn and Carabas, her shield glowing as she charges up a spell, ready to stop Dawn if she tries anything
'1d10' homing magic, ice''
''Stay behind me Master DawnRoll #1 7 = 7
"Zhey have reanimated and defiled hiz corpze, fire every round." Zunden sasz resolutely, casting her own runic magic to start the process of decay again by returning him back to the corpse he once was.
>Frozen Return (non-critical 10), returning his body to the state of natural decay
[1d10+1] replacing the used orbRoll #1 9 + 1 = 10
"Honestly? I'd sink it if I could, and I'm damn well gonna try. But that thing is metal island. It won't go down easy, if it goes down at all.">>753532
I sigh and put my dart gun away. "So much for poisons. Whole crew is probably like that." I unsling my rifle, slot my scope into it, and shoulder it. I put my finger on the trigger and line up a shot with his face. >>753531
"Is there a reason I shouldn't pull the trigger right now?"
"It's… it's not him anymore, is it." he says, his voice a little small." the stallion says, readying his firearm.
>Ranged Attack (Shock): [1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
"I zaid fire every round, I do not want it to even touch ze zhip.">>753532
"Etrigan, evasive maneuvers and prepare is to circle back to begin our fight.
"Got it." I sight in as close to his head as I can, breathe in, and pull the trigger.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Dawn quietly complies, too shaken to act.
Aegis conjures two crystalline spheres. Rabi, Norv and Marisol open fire, but Carabas turns at the last moment, wrapping himself in his wings and shielding his entire body. You can see now that his real wings have been removed, replaced with steel prosthetics that fold up into a protective cocoon. Zunden's invocation seems to weaken him; the undead griffon shudders as if hit with a sledgehammer and begins to fall, righting himself in midair. His flight becomes lopsided and awkward as he begins to crumble in his armor.
Nevertheless, Carabas persists, flying directly at you then turning sharply upwards at the last minute, releasing the bag and spiraling to return in the direction of the Vindicator. The bag hits the deck with a heavy thud. Marisol takes initiative and pokes at the bag, opening it. She recoils with horror, looking disturbed by its contents.
Aegis takes a couple steps ahead after Gawain turns, firing off a barrage in an attempt to stop the gryphon corpse from returning
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'2d10' Magic bolt, iceRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 10, 3 = 13
"I will not allow ze drake to continue to puppet Carabas, Dawn. Entruzt me zhat zhey will not be uzed zhiz way any longer."
Zunden uses the Return orb she just summoned to finish the job, continuing to rot Carabas' corpse midflight.
>Frozen noncritical 10 Return
[1d10+1] replacing it again
"Everyone elze, ready weaponz. ZI didn't truzt Zprig to begin wizh, zo ultimately it iz one lezz looze end."Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
I stay silent for a long moment as I stare out at the ship and the husk of Carabas spiralling back toward it. Finally I swallow and, without turning around, say, "Etrigan. If anyone is manning the cannons or even near them fire the first Viridust shell at the deck. Then we can start the battle."
''If he was not trustworthy or has any emotional attachment to anyone here, then someone throw his corpse out of this ship. At worst its a bomb, at best it will just make the deck smell bad''
"I-I…" he trails off, shivering a little bit. He tries to stave it off, heading below deck to ready the cannons.
He doesn't seem to be making an effort to return. He turtles behind his wing-shields as you open fire, blocking most of it, but you manage to damage his armor to a degree before he flies out of range.>>753542
You're not sure Dawn heard you. She seems to have completely folded in the wake of what transpired.
As Carabas departs, you invoke the rune. You see him spiral out of control and begin to corkscrew down onto the Vindicator's deck.>>753541>>753542>>753543>>753545
Etrigan grimly nods at Norv's instructions. Everyone starts mobilizing for the battle to come; as you do, however, you hear the roar of cannons from the Vindicator!>brace for impact
Aegis quickly gets away from the Deck's edges and hops back to the center, trying to hold on while refilling her magic artillery
'1d10+2' homing magic, ice
'1d10+2' bracingRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7
'1d10+2' Potent potionRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
I grab onto the edge of the deck, trying to keep myself from going to the floor. So much for leading the attack ourselves.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Zunden braces for impact, using her main action to make sure Dawn is safe as well.
[1d10] Help Brace Dawn/get her below deckRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
>>753546>>753550>Using crit to whisper some supportive words,
"When zhiz iz over, I can make Return hiz body to ze zhip and we can give him a proper funeral. Let uz fight for what he fought for.
As the cannons begin their barrage, I dive onto the deck for cover, before rushing down to the cannons below.
[1d10] BraceRoll #1 8 = 8
You conjure a pentagon of glowing ice orbs.>>753547>>753548>>753550>>753552>>753553
The ship lurches as a cannonball tears across its bow, reducing the front of the ship to splinters. The Fortune rocks from the impact, throwing everyone off. Gawain, Silver, Aurora, Aegis and Norv manage to get to safety, while Zunden rushes to protect Dawn. A piece of wood flies off and strikes the saurian in the process, leaving a painful wound on her back. Violet is knocked over, hitting her head painfully, while Marisol stumbles and nearly falls overboard, clinging to the railings and hauling herself back on board, fueled by adrenaline. Rabi stumbles, and his leg gives way, causing him to fall and quickly recover.>Rabi takes 2 hits>Zunden takes 4 hits
The Vindicator blasts its horn once again, and smoke billows from its stacks as it begins to move inexorably towards your ship. A flag is raised: black, with a draconic visage leering at you, as if daring you to take a shot.
Etrigan begins to spring to action, Servitors springing into existence in an azure flash as the ship wheels about to meet the Vindicator in combat while they prepare their next shot. "To arms! To arms! Get to the weapons! This is it!"
Violet, Gawain and Marisol heed the call, scrambling to join Rabi below deck and man the cannons!
Dawn snaps out of it, mumbling thanks to Zunden, and starts conjuring homing magic of her own to repel potential boarders.
Aurora flies over to Zunden with concern, seeing her hurt. "Are you okay?" she asks, her voice shaking a little.
Once I regain my balance I rush to the guns. I decide to man one of the scorpions, loading one of my modified bolts. I take aim at the bow just above the water line, thankful that at least the giant ship means a giant target. Silently praying it'll work out how it did in my head, I fire.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Aegis joins Dawn in defending the deck, ready to fire away at any soul trying to come close
''Be ready Master Dawn. Today we will finally put an end to Lysander and punish his actions, but do not let yourself be blinded by rage'' She warns the mare covering her flank
"Nozhing my own magic cannot heal Aurora, worry not. Would you like to be in charge of healing ze cannonneerz belowdeck and returning zhem zheir giftz wizh interezt? I can handle healing top deck if you wizh."
Zunden uses her healing orb to patch herself back up, then uses the burst of reinvigoration to try and re-up her Sight orb.
>using healing orb to get back up to 6/4
[1d10+1] Thaumaturgy: Frozen SightRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"R-Right! Here goes!" the stallion shouts, willing a bit of his magic into the cannon and firing off a lightning-infused cannonball!>Cannon (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
'1d10+2' persuasionRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
I nod grimly. "Very well. I'll be mindful with my shots, every round will count if we're to cripple the sails."
Fishing through my bag, I gather my potions and pass them to the assembled crew.
>High Snailgut: Gawain>Ichor of the undying: Norv>PyreFuel x2: Norv
"These as well." I add, passing the two vials of opaque liquid along with the inky black potion. "Pyre fuel. All it needs is a little flame and It'll burn like wildfire. When I found the ingredients for it I knew just the dog who could put it to use." I add with a wink, before continuing to pass the potions along.
>High Aqua Vitaex5: Norv, Rabi, Gawain, Violet, Aurora
Dodging the explosion of wood from the bow, I Gallop down the stairs to position the cannon for a shot. Heeding Norv's guidance, I take aim at the Warship's mast, lighting the pre-loaded cannon's wick!
[1d10] CannonfireRoll #1 3 = 3
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 6 = 6
Gawain, Violet and Aurora take the potions gratefully, slipping them away. "Thank you, good lady," Gawain says, trying to remain optimistic.>>753555>>753558>>753560
It's hard to miss such a large target. Norv's bolt hits its mark; you see the impact zone weaken slightly, steel turning to rust where it strikes.
Rabi's cannonball impacts the side of it. A surge of lightning passes over the Vindicator's hull; apart from a significant dent in the side, however, nothing else happens. This ship is much, much bigger and tougher than yours. It'll take much more than that to damage it.
Silver opens fire. Her shot misses, but tears a hole straight through the draconic flag, tearing down Lysander's wretched symbol.
Gawain and Violet's shots go into the water, but Marisol hits them square in the side of the hull.>>753557>>753561
Aurpra nods. "I'll go help them if need be. You, Aegis and Dawn hold the fort up here if anything comes, alright?" With that, she flies off.
You notice movement near one of the upmost decks of the Vindicator. It looks like the crewmen are assembling something, but you can't tell what.>>753556
Dawn trembles, her horror and grief giving way to quiet, seething rage, giving you the smallest of nods. She is firmly rooted in place, a halo of magical spikes around her head, ready to lash out at anyone who dares cross her.>>753555>>753556>>753557>>753558>>753560
The horn blasts once again as the Vindicator's cannons roar! This time, Etrigan is prepared, and coasts alongside it in an attempt to avoid impact!
[1d10] ManeuversRoll #1 7 = 7
'1d10' bracingRoll #1 1 = 1
"There are crew erecting a weapon or effigy on their upper deck - if you're aiming for the deck anyways, take out the crew and what they're building.
" Zunden speaks through Etrigan's connection.>>753562
Zunden uses her other action to help brace Aegis and keep her healthy.
[1d10] Help Aegis braceRoll #1 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
"Right- here goes, then!" he shouts, taking another shot with the cannon.>Cannonfire: [1d10+1]>Brace: [1d10]Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
Stamping a hoof as the shot goes wide, I dive away from the window as another barrage sails towards us!
Once the impact clears, I rush to the next loaded cannon, taking aim at the Crew's suspicious movement!
[1d10] Fire!Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
I hold my breath as I turn the winch to cock the scorpion, loading another one of my bolts.
[1d10]BraceRoll #1 10 = 10
As the wick burns and fate prepares it's Deadly turn, a familiar tune makes itself heard..
[1d10+2] SonataRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
The ship pitches and yaws as another cannonball tears through wood like paper!>>753565>>753564
Zunden manages to get to cover, grabbing Aegis and borderline wrestling her to the floor in the nick of time to avoid the impact.>>753566
As you go to fire the cannon, the ship buckles and groans from the blast, causing the cannon to roll backwards and slam you in the side. It hurts like hell.>Rabi takes 4 hits>>753568
You reload the scorpion, then hurriedly curl into a ball, avoiding getting hit by anything during the blast. You're safe.>>753567
You fly to safety, holing up in the ceiling as the Fortune shudders and shakes. Once it's over, you go to fire. The wick sparks, and you hear a deadly hiss as the cannon misfires->>753569
And then it doesn't. Time seems to suspend itself for a moment as the cannon begins to explode, first in slow motion, then in reverse. You watch as a viridian cloud of flame appears, shattering the cannon's metal frame, then shrinks out of existence and the cannon reseals itself. Instead, you get a square cannon shot on the crew on the Vindicator's upper deck, taking out several, leaving a fiery green trail in its wake. It seems to have slowed their construction and caused some havoc on deck, but not for long.>>753569>>753568>>753566>>753565>>753564
As the debris settles, the ship jolts as Etrigan moves it upwards, trying to fly above the Vindicator where cannons can't reach. While they're busy dealing with the aftermath of Silver's shot, he rapidly flies into range. "Fire again!">>753564>>753565
As Etrigan does this, you hear a casting sound from nearby. "Peekaboo."
[1d10+3] AutocritRoll #1 8 + 3 = 11
''Thank you Zunden'' Aegis says under the Saurian ''But please get off, your spikes are poking my arm''
At the sound of the unknown voice, Aegis jumps into action, searching for its source, while at the same time ringing out the bell of revealing
I swing the scorpion around, aiming as close to the first shot as I can, trying to spread the dust further while overlapping the first shot.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
>>753570>Accounting for damage from last round, Helpless!>Arabian Endurance: Recover Automatically
Rabi lets out a wheeze as he's slammed by the cannon, before working himself back up to all fours and readying the cannon again.
Zunden turns around, one of her orbs going out behind her as she links herself to the unknown attacker.
>Frozen Union (10)>Making so whenever the attacker deals damage or causes Zunden to have a negative effect, the same damage and effect happens to the attacker.
[1d10+1] rolling to immediately replace the Union orbRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
As if from a dream, the cannon's explosion was averted, and in a blink the ball sails onto the enemy deck. Blinking in confusion, the continued sounds of battle draw me back to the Fight around us.
With the cannon still intact, I search for another Viridust cannonball to carefully load into the cannon.
[1d10] ReloadRoll #1 7 = 7
"The bow!" I shout. "One of you fire on the rusted part of the bow! One of you onto the deck! Rabi, can you hit the deck with one of the light shots?!"
"UNderstood, Aiming for the bow!" I shout back, peeking out from the firing port.
A volley of knives fly out, skewering Zunden, Aegis and Dawn!>Zunden takes 4 hits>Aegis takes 5 hits
Dawn gasps and hits the ground hard. Flying above and behind you is a bone-white pegasus in a black coat, covered in scars from head to toe, a maelstrom of knives, crossbows, and other deadly weaponry floating behind him. From the description, this can only be the assassin Gavrilo that Rabi encountered in Withick. He looks down as a widening red stain on his chest appears. It seems to only invigorate him as he realizes what Zunden did, grinning from ear to ear despite the pain. "Clever girl. Good to see you again, toots," he adds to Aegis.
Some of the cloud of blades disappears, replaced by floating shields to protect him. Dawn struggles on the ground, breathing shallowly. Etrigan manifests by her side, conjuring some Servitors to flank the two of you. "Lovely day to die, innit."
Without warning, two repeating crossbows fly out of his coat and unleash hellfire on Aegis!
You reload and fire. The rust spreads, weakening the bow even more. It'll still take a beating, but it's starting to falter slowly but surely.>>753574
You reload the cannon and line up a shot.>>753576
You reload and take careful aim at the Vindicator's bow.>>753578>>753577>>753571>>753575>>753574
Looking down at the Vindicator, you can see what they are assembling. It appears to be some sort of turret, like a cannon but with multiple slender barrels mounted on a series of rings. A belt of ammunition dangles from the central chamber. Flanking this are scorpions with what look like giant harpoons. These fire on you, trying to latch on to the ship and tether it!
Etrigan's attention is split between this and the interloper on the top deck, trying clumsily to pull maneuvers!
[1d10-1]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #3 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #4 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #5 2 - 1 = 1
Etrigan is too slow to react. The ship is impaled by half a dozen harpoons on its underside, thick rope and chains restraining it from moving anywhere!
With nobody helping me, I pull my bell and ring it. "Butler!" I shout. "Load the scorpion so I can fire faster!" I crank the winch and load the next bolt.
Rabi channels light magic into his cannonball, and takes a shot at the deck of the ship- using Zunden's orb for good measure!>Healing Orb: +1 Wound, +1 to Hit>Cannonfire (Light): [1d10+3]Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13
Gingerly packing the volatile shell into the cannon, I make the final adjustments for the shot, lining it up with the Rusted bow of the ship, before firing!
[1d10] CannonRoll #1 1 = 1
[1d3+2] link turn length
"It iz a zhame, we releazed ze lazt azzazzin zhat boarded zhiz zhip and he died due to Lyzander abandoning him to die. Knowing the arroganze in your field, I imagine your reaczion being compared would only to zpout zomezhing uninterzting about not being az foolizh az zhem before immediately committing ze zame error."
Zunden pauses for a moment to charge up her healing magic.
>Bask: Healing BondsRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Aegis gasps as knives impale her, thankfully most of the damage is stopped by her armored robes, but the others barely leave her standing
She turns around to greet her assailant, blood spilling down her face from a nick on her ear
With a mental command, Aegis pops Zunden's healing bonds orb, which floated in the center of her pentagon of orbs>Healing bonds
But she also whipped up a sharp shard of ice, firing it in an attempt to pierce Gavrilo's defences
'2d10+1' Magic bolt, iceRoll #1 4, 1 + 1 = 6
The terrifyingly familiar hissing of a failed shot rolls out of the cannon, and without a tune to save myself I try to leap away!
Leaping away, I gather my thoughts enough to psychically shout"ZUNDEN, CANNON, TEMPERANCE!"Roll #1 7 = 7
Having extra time in her turn, Zunden quickly reacts to the psychic message by balancing the hoof of Silver.>(XIV Temperance[TR]) automatic instant, once per day; When invoked, this card imbues the target with the virtue of Temperance, turning a failed or successful roll into the bare minimum for a success or failure, respectively.
"Yes, sir." Butler steps out from the shadows and loads the scorpion in one swift motion. The rope draws back, allowing you to line up a good shot.>+1 to the next Scorpion roll>>753582
A blazing cannonball glowing like the sun slams into the deck, buckling the metallic frame. Some of the less fortunate crewmen are obliterated instantly by its radiance, while others scramble to get away. You notice that not all of them seem to be undead automata like Last Hearth's Keepers; some are just ordinary mercenaries. The ones that are covered up seem to be more mindless drones.>>753583>>753586>>753587
The cannon hisses dangerously, but with a slight fizzle, the wick regenerates slightly, then burns out. Silver gets another shot at it.>>753584
"Yeah, I've heard the story. Clawson was an idiot and tried to bail on Lysander. How stupid do you think I am? I'm good, maybe not the best but up there. And I do have half a bloody brain cell. You know I know the little hex you put on me, right? I work for Grosvenor. I see it all the time. All I have to do is wait, and then, I'm going to make you scream." He takes a drink from a flask, seemingly curing his injury.>>753585
He does a mocking sort of curtsy as you say his name. One of the shields flies up, swiftly batting aside your magic bolt. >>753585>>753587
Aegis gets shanked brutally in the leg, causing it to buckle and give way, knocking her to the ground!>Aegis takes 4 hits, helpless
"Enjoying the show, Zunden?" Gavrilo mocks. Dawn gets back up, gritting her teeth. Wordlessly, she unleashes a barrage of attacks at him!
[3d10] Homing Magic attacks
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] Magic Bolt
Gavrilo smirks and flies higher, conjuring an enormous javelin that goes flying in Aegis' direction!
Below, the crewmen complete construction of the turret!
The harpoon scorpions start turning, reeling the ship in like a prize catch! "All cannons fire! Fire!"
Etrigan shouts desperately.
Behind you, the black storm clouds start to move. You hear a faint rumble, and the wind starts to pick up…Roll #1 2, 10, 3 = 15
/ Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #3 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #4 1 + 2 = 3
Correction: Aegis manages to heal the wound left by Gavrilo's blade. He looks annoyed. "Hurry up and die, luv. We're both on the clock here!"
Rabi's cannon blows the turret to smithereens, setting the crew back significantly. A few more start gathering around the remains, starting over.
My heart nearly leaps from my throat as the cannon hisses for a moment more, before reversing and extinguishing itself. Nervously getting back to my hooves, I try to gather my thoughts, before the sudden pull downward of the ship draws my attention. Moving back to the cannon, I realign the cannon before, with great hesitation, relighting the wick once again.
[1d10] Fire!Roll #1 6 = 6
Aegis grits her teeth and groans, the pain breaking through her usual emotionless demeanor>>753589
''You wwasted your chance to kill me. You wont get another'' Aegis breathes in and tries to stabilize, looking up at Gavrilo before hoping backwards and away from him, trying to get some distance and a good cover
'1d10-1' get the fuck outRoll #1 4 - 1 = 3
"Aha, I see zhat my ztatuz az fortune teller goez unmarred, you have zaid juzt az I predicted." Taking advantage of Gavrilo's struggling shooting the javelin, Zunden crushes her Creation rune to shoot out a thread of Gavrilo's jacket to tie around the javelin he just threw.
>Creation (7) using material from Gavrilo's jacket
Zunden casts out healing to the three combating Gavrilo, "You notized ze moment I cazt it and zaid az much, I did not intend to hide my actzion. Pleaze do wait zhough, it givez me time to heal my alliez and undo all you've done. Zhey are not az limited az I am."
[1d10+3] Dawn (non-orb), Zunden & Aegis (orb)Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7
I swallow and look frantically between the construct and the hull. Making a snap decision, I fire the bolt at the construct, hoping to destabilize it some. Hopefully us being drawn closer makes it an easier shot.
[1d10+1]ImproviseRoll #1 8 + 1 = 9
Aegis feels the magic imprint from Zunden's spell resonate through the air and through her, attempting to keep it fresh in her mind
'1d10-1' spellcatcher on Healing bondsRoll #1 5 - 1 = 4
"It looks like some of the crew's normal mercenaries- my light magic'll do a number on the ones that aren't, though!" he shouts, taking aim and loading the cannon>I need to do this first, right? Or do I fire? [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Aegis finds yourself unable to concentrate enough to capture the spell. She tries to get away, but the pain from the wound causes her to falter. "What's the matter?" Gavrilo asks in a baby voice. "Getting tired? I'll take you to bed!"
He rears back to throw the javelin, but it gets yanked away by a thread manipulated by Zunden. He grins. "You're a tricky one, aren't you. I respect that. I've only just been warming up, you know. In a few moments, the spell's going to be broken, and th-"
He doesn't manage to finish his sentence as he gets completely blownaway by a barrage of magic from Dawn, hurtling through the air like a ragdoll. "Enough," she grunts, recovering via Zunden's magic. She turns to both of you. "We should warn the others. He'll be back soon, and stronger than before. And he won't be the only one.">>753593
You fire and shatter the construct once and for all. The corrosive magic does a number on it, preventing it from being able to be wheeled about, little more than a few barrels.>>753590>>753595
You combine cannonfire with Marisol, Violet and Gawain. Your cannon blasts put two nasty dents in the deck, sending crewmates flying and running for cover. You're definitely getting somewhere with this assault. This feels easy. Too easy.>>753595>>753594>>753593>>753592>>753590https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZD7Rg0PgHc
You've caused noteworthy damage to the Vindicator at this point, but there's still a long way to go. And it doesn't look like you'll be able to get anywhere now. The scorpions pull the Fortune deck to deck; you can't fire the cannons without damaging your own ship in the process. You see the crew starting to mobilize, grabbing all manner of weaponry, preparing to board.
A cloud of cuckoos flies from the other side of the ship through a window and up into the air, before coming down and starting to swirl around the deck, forming a sort of vortex. They start to come together and merge into a hulking form with a flurry and flutter of countless wings. Several crewmen come to its side, setting up in a military formation, guarding it with rifles pointed at your ailing ship.
Before long, they are gone, coalesced into the form of your worst enemy.
Lysander has grown exponentially since last you met. Gone is the sniveling dragon with a Napoleon complex; the monster that stands on the deck is at least 15 feet tall, pale white with scales like armor. A brown fur coat drapes his form, and two small lilac eyes glare from a skull-like draconic countenance. Enormous wings, spanning almost the whole deck, flank his titanic frame, and his thick, snake-like tail coils around his powerful clawed feet. His left arm, long gone, is replaced by a crackling claw made of pure blue energy.
As his crew assemble, Lysander reaches into his coat and lights his pipe, enjoying a smoke while staring out at your hapless ship. Next to him lands Carabas, seemingly healed of Zunden's destructive spells, while on his other side, Elaina emerges from the floor, phasing through the metal and manifesting. All three of them stare up at you, Lysander's eyes glittering with predatory hunger. He bares his teeth and speaks."Shall we discuss your surrender?"
"As if surrender even an option at this point- you'll try to kill us no matter what." He says, huffing a little bit and trying to shake off as much of his unease and nerves as he can. He locks eyes with Elaine, a tinge of sadness flickering over his face.
Aegis gives Lysander her usual neutral glares, only her mane moving inthe winds as the orbs of icy magic float around near her
''You will die or we will, Lysander, There are no terms to be discussed. Stop faking tame and civilized when your form is of a monster, its unsightly''
As the ship is brought abreast to the steamer, I dash back up to the deck, Stopped by the massing of birds into the form of Lysander.
"We all know what the stakes are, Lysander! We cannot allow you access to the egg!" I shout to the towering form ahead of us.
"We'll fight you to the last, lest this realm and the Dominion meet their ends through your avarice!"
Zunden squints at Lysander, then chuckles, "I am zurprized it took zo long for your body to catch up to your ego, did you know we already fought you in zhiz zhape when we took control of your Fulcrum? We are not needing anozher zhip zhough. How of your two ezcortz, ze ghozt and ze ozher cat. Am I take it zhey are zmart enough not to get involved in your petty needz zhat gainz zhem nozhing really of interezt?"
Zunden readies herself, drawing runes in the air for preparation and glancing over at Elaina briefly before returning gaze to Lysander, "I'm quiet zurprized zhey're even lending you merzenariez for zhiz - you remember how zhiz all ztarted becauze you were angry at your ex for… making sure you didn't die on an exzpedition? I zhink zhat waz it, it waz a very dumb reazon to kidnap her in ze firzt plaze iz all I remember."
>>753831>Zunden readies herself, drawing runes in the air for preparation and glancing over at Elaina
actually doing this
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
My jaw tightens as Lysander shows his face way sooner than I'd expected. "Not sure if I can say you're braver than I gave you credit for when you only showed up after you'd outgunned us." The corner of my mouth twiches. "But I'm gonna be completely honest. Draggin us in like this instead'a just leavin it a war of ships? That actually did take either more stones than normal or fewer brain cells. Maybe even both. You probably had us in the air, but you actually wanna fight us man to man? How noble."
I tuck one of my hands into my coat and idly play with the spring on my striker, at the same time willing magic into my other pockets.
[1d10]Summon Minion into one of the pockets x2Roll #1 1 = 1
Elaina meets your gaze with an unreadable expression, then sinks into the floor, out of sight for now.>>753833
Purdue nudges you as you grab him, trying to get your attention. "It's time, brother. Take me to the island."
He gives you a meaningful look, as if to say 'trust me'.>>753824>>753827>>753830>>753831>>753833
He grins like a Cheshire cat, taking a few steps forward. The Vindicator trembles with his every step. "'How noble!'" he parrots belittlingly. "Ugh, do shut up. You talk too much. All of you do. I don't think you really understand the situation."
"My crew and I have been holding back this whole time, if you hadn't noticed. If I wanted to I could turn my cannons on you, blow you to sawdust and kill you all right now. Or I could go on there myself, and pull you apart limb from limb. Give me the Egg and surrender, and I'll make it painless. You have my word. Keep trying to resist, and you'll scream until you vomit blood."Fly. T-Take the Egg and fly. I'll hold them off as long as I can. Get to the lifeboats and- AAAAGHH!!!
Lysander raises his crackling blue arm, the hand replaced by a glowing Severance rune. You feel a rush of energy flowing through the Fortune, and blue streaks begin to pass through its wooden surface, as if Etrigan is being pulled out of it. Inexorably, the Fortune rumbles, as Etrigan's essence pulses out of the ship into Lysander's arcane limb.
"How much longer are we going to go back and forth on this?" Lysander asks impatiently. "Last chance to give it to me willingly." A couple of mercenaries and automatons start spreading out, slowly making their way aboard your ship. Behind you, the clouds gathered in the northwest begin to crawl across the sky. >roll Perception in addition to your actions this turn
''Never'' Aegis is the first to fire, Hitting Lysander with a barrage of arcane magic to face, wings and neck to stop the dragon
'2d10' Magic bolt, ice
'1d10' perceptionRoll #1 8, 3 = 11
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
As a hail of ice shards fly out from Aegis behind me, I take to the air, Flying up and around the action, searching for a place to hide my approach to lysander.>bounce
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
My heart races as we're surrounded. I swallow, and my head swims a little. It seems like it's been ages since I've felt like this, even though I know it hasn't been that long. This terrified rush. This excitement. Playing the odds. I barely even felt excited since we brought Vi back, but right now? This is more like the first time I sat down at a card table.
I take a deep breath through my nose, pull my striker out, and flick my coat open, revealing the belt of seven viridust grenades around my waist. "Alright," I say, walking toward Lysander, using my free hand to pull my mask a little further down. "No more talking, then. I just have one question."
Reaching into the bag of holding, I pull out the ship in a bottle. Depressing the spring of my striker, I bring it down and pinch one of the fuses between it. My heart races as I take a step toward Lysander, my vision tunneling in on him and ignoring the rest of his crew completely. I lick my lips, and my face splits into a broad grin. "Do you know what a dead man's trigger is? Stop whatever you're doing. Now."
[1d10]perception if he's not too focused on Lysander.Roll #1 9 = 9
Zunden summons her own rune in orb form, the glowing powerful Return orb created earlier.
"You will get exzactly what iz owed to you, not what you came her wanting. We will begin wizh ze phyzical."
Zunden returns Etrigan to his place in control of the ship.>Frozen 9+1 Return
She outreaches her hand in gentle motion, focusing proper healing magic to start having Etrigan's flesh take over his magical replacement.
>Mend: spell; A target regenerates grievous injuries such as lost extremities, damaged vital organs and internal bleeding. In combat, it can also be used to remove all afflictions on a target.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
"It's not like we'll get a better outcome if we hand it over willingly. I'd rather not." the stallion says, planting his Greatbow on the deck, funneling in a wide bolt of light magic, before firing it at Lysander- and, a few nearby animated corpses.>Dragonslayer Yumi (Cleave 3, Light): [1d10+2]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Aegis' magic bolt hits him in the face, while Rabi's blast seems to injure some of his crew, causing them to recoil and kneel. Lysander flinches ever so slightly, but nothing else happens. Not so much as a mark. He looks more offended than hurt. "Are you dense?" he calls incredulously.>>753836
You take advantage of the distraction to sneak aboard the ship, flying low and landing on the aft end. You can see a few crewmen about, but they seem to be busy either waiting for the signal or working the ship. It won't be easy remaining undetected. You're about a dozen feet away from Lysander; it won't be easy sneaking up on him. Not at all. He's flanked by Carabas and the firing line of automatons, all trained on Norv at the moment.>>753837
Violet does a double take as you walk out. "What are you doing?" she hisses. Marisol moves to stop you. Gawain looks confused.
"Who are you again?" Lysander asks, tilting his head slightly. The firing line of automatons train on you.
As he sees your explosives, his expression hardens. "This can't seriously be your plan. What, you're going to make some noble sacrifice? You'll blow your friends up to smithereens. Again. Don't be ridiculous." >>753839
Lysander bares his teeth as you attempt to reclaim Etrigan. He unsheathes his claws, anchoring himself to the ground. You feel a tremendous pulling sensation as you invoke the rune; it takes you a moment to realize that Lysander is redoubling his efforts. You are essentially stuck in a game of tug of war with Lysander for Etrigan's soul. "Do you really think you stand a chance here?" he asks mockingly.>>753841>>753839>>753838>>753836>>753835
You notice two things:
First, the clouds have a distinct purple tint to them, with flashes of green.
Second, a silver door closes behind you, and Dawn is nowhere to be seen.
As you begin your attack, Lysander grins. "If that's how it's going to be!" Continuing to hold Zunden off with his magic arm, he forms a fist with his other arm and thrusts it upwards. His eyes glow lilac, and Norv is yanked off his feet by some unseen force, hurtling upwards into the sky!>Norv roll to break telekinetic grip
His forces open fire on your ship!
Several automatons cross the gap and start attacking you, uttering instructions in their garbled, emotionless tones!
[3d10] vs Aegis, Zunden, Rabi
Violet and the others spring to action, beginning to attack the intruders!
Lysander redoubles his efforts, the Severance rune glowing as he keeps trying to absorb Etrigan!
Carabas takes flight!Roll #1 4, 6, 8 = 18
"Back off!" the stallion shouts, trying to tumble out of the way while he readies the magic again. >Dodge: [1d10]
"Holler if you see Elaina! Remember, she can phase through almost anything…"Roll #1 4 = 4
Aegis ignores the slow automatons for now, redoubling her efforts on bombarding Lysander now that he took to the air, firing all of her magic at the dragon
'5d10' Homing magic, iceRoll #1 3, 7, 5, 8, 3 = 26
Landing quietly aboard the ship, I Proceed closer to Lysander, Readying my shivs and calming my nerves as I dodge the occasional crew member working the ship.
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 6 = 6
As well as immediatelly refreshing her charges once she spends them
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 2 = 2
>>753842>automoton's 6 i assume is absorbed by Reptilian
Zunden simply bats the Automaton aside with her tail, simultaneously creating new runes while expending old ones.
"It dependz, can one arm multitazk? You zeem to be trying too many zhingz at onze."
She first expends an orb of severance to cut off Lysander's connection to the ship in the first place.>Frozen Severance (7)
She then works to create yet another frozen Return rune.
[1d10+1] Return ThaumaturgyRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
I snort and then let out a quick, hyena-like cackle. "Plan." I shake my head. See, that's where you're wrong. You're going to kill us anyway. You said as much yourself. You want the egg. You said as much yourself. So I'm taking a gamble. There's a huge number of explosives on our ship. You know what Viridust is, right? If not I'll give you a hint. It's the stuff those little cannonballs were stuffed with. My friends aren't the only ones who would be blown to smithereens. You think you're far away enough? Or your crew? Or-" I lick my lips and my eyes widen a little, the grin never leaving my face. "The egg? I'd wager-" My voice cuts off as Lysander hoists me into the air. Oh? That's how it's going to be. I struggle against his telekinesis.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
You get clipped by the automaton's sword swing as you try to dodge.>Rabi takes 3 hits
It swings its arm-blade again!
You block the automaton's crossbow bolt and unleash a barrage of missiles at him. He just laughs and shrugs them all off. "It's cute how much you try. Come on, hit me!">>753845
As all hell begins to break loose, you fly from corner to corner, sneaking up on him. He's even larger up close; you might as well be attacking a house.
From the shadows, you see a spark of silver magic. Dawn seems to have had the same idea, waiting for the right moment to unleash her strength.>>753847
You avoid a blow from a spiked mace, invoking Severance. It seems to work, to an extent; Lysander falters for a split second, and the flow of energy starts moving more in your direction. "Clever girl," he breathes. "I might actually remember you!"
Weakened ever so slightly, he redoubles his efforts to wrench Etrigan from your grip!
You manage to wrench free of his grip as he focuses more on Zunden. Problem is, now there's nothing suspending you in midair. Your stomach takes a vacation as you begin to plummet in freefall, the cruel, choppy waves rushing up to meet you!>>753847>>753846>>753845>>753843>>753848
"Who are you talking to?" A horribly familiar voice rings out as a cruel jagged knife soars through the air towards Rabi!
"Attack her, you idiots!" Lysander bellows, pointing at Zunden. Two of the automatons turn to Zunden, falling on her with harrowing blows!
Marisol and Aurora are locked in single combat, while Violet and Gawain take down two automatons. They start falling back, down towards the lower decks. "Forget the ship! Let's get out of here!" Violet calls as another automaton starts fighting her. "We should fall back and regroup!" Gawain calls, beheading another automaton in the process.
The ship rattles and shakes from the strain of Zunden and Lysander's conflict, wood cracking and splintering!
Carabas lands on the deck, making the floor shake with his arrival. He looks around slowly, then starts inexorably trudging down below deck, accompanied by a contingent of automatons!Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11
/ Roll #3 9 + 3 = 12
/ Roll #4 4, 2 = 6
Rabi turns towards the sound of the voice and drops his bow, hefting up his rifle to take a shot in the direction it came from!>Copperhead Rifle (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Aegis is about to respond to Lysander, but she spots Carabas from the corner of her eye and immediatelly rushes to stop him, intercepting the gryphon with a powerful swing of her ice-coated shield ''Not one more step, Carabas''
'1d10' Earthen strike, iceRoll #1 6 = 6
I let myself freefall, feeling my guts in my throat. As I do, in one swift motion I pull the grenade I have my striker against, release my grip, spark the fuse, and lob it right at Lysander.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Also using one of Zunden's orbs to heal
Zunden again swats the automatons away, continuing to cast runic magic.
"Etrigan, if you're still able to communicate - Lysander is currently trying to absorb your form, might I create a bond of Union between us so that he'll have to pry you out of me first? I already have a connection to the ship, so it should be easier then our struggle with the Oneiromancer
Seeing as Lysander's arm is more capable of casting runic magic, she tries to Balance out their levels of capability.
>Frozen Balance (7) to balance out our roll modifiers on creating runes
She works on creating a frozen Return rune with the boost of the expended rune.
[1d10+1] Return ThaumaturgyRoll #1 6 + 1 = 7
I evoke the devil to make the roll a 10. Quietly, I mumble, "Just make sure when you mess with me it's funny."
Given his size, I apply a healthy dose of the potent midnight oil to my shivs, eying a space thing enough to pierce, before making my incision!
[1d10+2] potent Sleep serumRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
"W-We might not have much other choice but to abandon ship, but… w-what about Etrigan? We can't just leave him here!"
''Not quite'' Aegis says as she runs past Gawain ''Running now wont do us any good. You must be prepared to win here and now'' She stops near Violet ''Fight on. We have no where to go but neither do them, this is our chance to end Lysander's efforts'' Aegis points to the ships glued together
You feel a sudden impact as the blade pierces your gut. Teetering in place, you try to shoot, but are met with a hoof to the face. Gavrilo is standing over you smugly, and gives you a kick in the chest while you're down. "Eyes and ears up, mate. …Nice gun." He takes your Copperhead rifle and tucks it into his coat, where it disappears!>Rabi takes 8 hits, helpless>>753851
You intercept him with an icy strike. There is a ring of steel clashing on steel. The undead hippogriff stops dead in his steps as you rail against his thick armor plating.>>753852>>753856
As you hurl the grenade, you swear you hear a snicker of laughter from somewhere. You spin through the air in freefall. The waves rise up around you, and you know no more.You are in a chair. You can't quite make out your surroundings, but it looks like the interior of a room. Everything around you seems to shift and warp, as if reality isn't real. Faint laid back piano music can be heard from some unknown source. Sitting across from you is a familiar serpentine form, with a goat-like head and mismatched body parts.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI6YgHidevk"So Norv, what did you think of The Return?">>753855
No response from Etrigan.
Lysander roars and pulls, but your Balance rune takes away his advantage, and weakens his grip. He almost won for a moment, but you pull it just out of his reach.>>753857>>753859>>753855>>753850
Gawain and Violet's exit is blocked as Carabas arrives. They nod to Rabi and Aegis, joining the latter in fighting him!
Carabas lunges mechanically to grab Aegis by the throat!
Gavrilo leaves Rabi for now, flying into the air and lining up a shot with the Copperhead, aiming at Zunden!
[1d10] Surge Shot
Silver and Dawn act in unison; Dawn's horn lights up and places Lysander in some sort of momentary trance, while Silver buries her blade in his back. The double attack makes him groan, stumbling sluggishly. His grip on Etrigan weakens even more. There is a small clink as Norv's grenade hits the deck. Lysander looks down at the sparking orb at his feet, and his face turns to stone.
Breaking off the bond with Zunden, he tries to take to the air to avoid the imminent explosion, slowed by Silver and Dawn's attack!
Dawn hurriedly opens a Door for herself and Silver back on board, as two automatons open fire on both of them!
[2d10]Roll #1 10, 2 = 12
/ Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #3 8 = 8
/ Roll #4 1 - 1 = 0
/ Roll #5 2, 2 = 4
Aegis tries to avoid the gryphon's deadly talons, rolling backwards and producing a sharp icicle to counter his advance
'2d10' magic bolt, iceRoll #1 2, 1 = 3
Wrenching my shiv free from Lysander's back, I barely have time to consider my next move before the clatter of a grenade and a hail of gunfire herald my success. Spotting the shimmer of Dawn's door, I take flight, leaping through the opening before we meet the grenade's blast head-on>bounce
"N-Not so fast!" the stallion shouts, taking aim with his bow and shooting a wispy blue, ethereal bolt at Gavrilo as he lines up the strike. It's charged with lightning, for extra measure.>Astral Strike (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
[sp]I press a palm to my eye and groan. My heartrate somehow seems like it's eased up? My head, though. "Jeeze. What- what happened?"
Quiet, smooth jazz piano music almost eases the headache, and I open my eyes. Discord? Oh. So either he saved me or I'm dead. I ease back in the chair a little, trying to relax. "Return? Return to what?"[/sp]
Taking advantage of the distraction, Zunden prepares a Union rune for Etrigan.
>Spending healing orb to put myself back up at 6/4
[1d10+1] Thaumaturgy: Frozen UnionRoll #1 10 + 1 = 11
"Yeah. Then I blew his scaly ass to bits if I managed to aim the grenade right. Wish I could've seen it before-" I look around and knit my brow. I can't really seem to make anything out around me. "Well, before whatever this is. Am I-" I gulp. "Am I dead? How can you be here if I'm dead?"
Before you can cast, Carabas grabs you, lifting you up with one hand. His wicked metallic claws dig into your face, drawing heavy blood. He continues to hold you in a vice grip, exerting unbearable pressure on your skull!>Aegis takes 1 wound, grappled>roll to break free>>753862>>753861>>753863>>753866
Rabi and Gavrilo fire at the same time. Zunden conjures a Union rune, only to get knocked off her feet immediately after using the orb, sent across the deck by a powerful magic bolt to the chest. Before he can gloat, Gavrilo is struck by Rabi's arrow, causing him to crumple to the deck momentarily as he is knocked adrift in the astral plane.
Silver and Dawn appear back on board. Moments later, a deafening explosion rings out, aas powerful as the cannon shots you've been using till now. This portion of the Vindicator's upper deck is engulfed in a burst of green flame and smoke and debris. You are rocked by the explosion, struggling to keep your footing!>roll to remain standing, instant
When it settles, Lysander is nowhere to be found.
Zunden holds herself in place with her staff, using a Sight rune to try to get swpernatural understanding of where Lysander is.
[1d10] SightRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
Aegis gasp and chokes, glaring down at the gryphon and coughing blood as she struggles against him with her gentle hooves, trying to knock off his helmet and hit his face
'1d10-1'Roll #1 7 - 1 = 6
Buffeted by the shockwave, I struggle to stay upright as the heat from the blast soon follows.
My elation is short lived, as the lack of Lysander's body leaves me greatly concerned.
"No.. He couldn't have.." I trail off, scanning the deck for any sign of him.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
"T-Tie Gavrilo down or somethi- ack!" he shouts, trying to hold on.>Remain standing: [1d10]
He'll also try to nail Carabas in the back with an arrow of light, in an attempt to help Aegis.>Magic Bow (Light): [1d10+2]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
I laugh, and I'm honestly not sure if it's dry or if I'm actually amused. "Yeah. Shoulda guessed that killed me. Wasn't exactly a short little dive into the pool." I smooth my hair back. "I'll have to ask Purdue about this, then. Plot contrivance is kinda a weird way to put it, but-" I shrug. Idly I look between Discord and the bottle of booze. "Think I can-" I let the sentence hang there, nodding toward it.
As he leans forward it's all I can do not to lean back. Still kinda scared of the powerful chaos god. Good. Was starting to question my sanity. "I keep secrets all the time. What's one more between friends?"
Silver flies up, avoiding the shockwave, while the rest of you get knocked around some.>Rabi and Zunden take 1 hit
Looking around, you don't see any trace of Lysander, save for a few stray feathers floating down. He must have gotten away in the chaos, but he can't have gone too far to lick his wounds.
There's no time to celebrate, however. There is still Carabas, and about half a dozen automatons on board your ship. Maybe more. Plus your ship is still tethered to his.
Carabas continues to crush the life out of Aegis - it takes a well placed shot from Rabi to stagger him, causing him relinquish his death grip. The mare falls to the floor, wounded and bleeding from her head.>Aegis takes another wound, helpless
The hulking hippogriff turns to Rabi. His wings unfold, forming a steel greatshield protecting him from most attacks. He extends his robotic hand, which closes into a fist and dislocates at the wrist, revealing a coiled chain within. Turtling behind his wing-shields, he spins the claw-flail menacingly before thrashing it at Rabi!
Gavrilo begins to stir, coming to from the shot…
The automatons continue to attack anyone in sight!
[3d10] vs Zunden, Silver, AegisRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 10, 1, 8 = 19
Aegis spits out a fair bit of blood, trembling to get up
'1d10' recoverRoll #1 10 = 10
My search is halted as more automatons charge our position, drawing my shivs and joining the fray, slicing the legs of my attacker!
[1d10] MeleeRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
"I need to check on the egg- I'm worried Elaina went after it! We need to handle this first, at least." he says, fumbling for his Splinterwood Arrow, imbuing it with a spark of lightning and firing it at Carabas!>Splinterwood Arrow (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Seeing the heavy swing coming from the automoton and sensing danger, Zunden pulls her bottle of Ashbrandy and downs it.
>Ashbrandy; automatic: the next two attacks that would send you helpless leave you at 1 hit remaining instead.Roll #1 10 = 10
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 4 = 4
You pull yourself up, head spinning but still in the fight. You could do this all day.>>753878
You dodge its swing and slice it at the knees. Sawdust and sparks pour out from it as it collapses, and you stab it in the back for the finisher.>>753879
The Splinterwood arrow clangs off of his shields, causing him to falter momentarily. He unfolds them and lashes out in one swift movement, slamming you in the chest with the flail. You feel your breath leave your body as you are knocked off your hooves.>Rabi takes 5 hits, helpless>>753881
You take a hit to the chest, but barely manage to keep your balance. You down the thick potion in one forced swig, feeling hardier already.>>753878>>753879>>753881>>753876
Gavrilo flies up and unleashes a torrent of knives, cackling madly!
[1d10+2] vs Silver, Aegis, Zunden
The remaining automatons continue to fight mechanically!
[3d10] vs Rabi, Aegis, Zunden
Zunden senses danger from below, and a pair of feline claws phase through the wooden deck in an attempt to grab her!
[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 3, 9, 6 = 18
/ Roll #3 5 + 1 = 6
"N-Not good…" the stallion wheezes, trying to get back to his hooves>Recover: [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
[sp]I smile back and raise my bottle in a toast before throwing back a large glug. After, I lean forward myself, resting my arms on my legs and letting the bottle dangle between my knees.[/sp]
[sp]As Discord talks, however, my smile falls. My grip around the bottle tightens, and I tense up. "Damn it. I guess hoping I'd just either killed or severely wounded him just now was too much." Shaking my head, I fall silent again and continue listening. The tension doesn't leave as he talks. I'm supposed to trust Discord here. I know that he's at least telling the truth about being able to get rid of the egg without releasing the cuckoo. There's no way he isn't at least that powerful, and I still think it's in his best interest to not destroy the egg. Even then, he did try to get Vi to break it that first time we met him. Back then he probably thought -and likely thought correctly- that it would also release him. If he can exist here in this world then what's stopping him from just leaving the echoes without destroying the egg and risking both realities. He even could've helped Lysander or O-man, but he didn't. He's here. Talking to me.[/sp]
[sp]And all it'll take is me murdering my best friend. But even that isn't true, is it? He died centuries ago. His soul is just trapped where it is right now.[sp]
[sp]Looking up at Discord, I nod. "This helps both of us, but I want something else. Some kind of boon or something. Call it a show of good faith. As a mutual show of good faith, I'll leave it up to you to decide what it is." I take another swig of the bottle and hold my paw out. "Agree to that and we have a deal. The hardest part will be convincing the others unless finding you will be a problem."[/sp]
the flurry of knives too great a volume, I try to dive away from the worst of it, Finding something to break line of sight with Gavrilo
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
Aegis stands back up and somehow maintains her cold demeanor and posture, the blood over her white coat and eyes giving her an even more menacing glare as she sighs cooly and brings up a storm of icicles, firing them at Gavrillo
'2d10+2' Magic bolt, iceRoll #1 8, 5 + 2 = 15
'1d10+2' potent potionRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
>>753884>Gavrillo attack absorbed by Ashbrandy>Automaton attack absorbed by Reptilian
Instead of conventionally dodging, Zunden instead pops the Return rune on the claws coming up from the wood, trying to return Elaina (or at least as much as she can) to the physical world, catching her in place before she can be grabbed.
>Frozen Return (7) [should beat a 6 i hope]
She pauses to catch her breath>Bask: Healing Bonds>+1 held over from Return rune for next roll
Aegis also spots something she missed for a while now. Gavrillo's magical imprint when he controls the knives
'1d10+2' SpellcatcherRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Against my better judgement, my medium judgement and
my worst judgement, I extend my paw a little more and shake his hand.
Rabi manages to get back up. Silver takes a knife to the shoulder, knocking her to the ground. Above, Gavrilo laughs mockingly.>Silver takes 5 hits, helpless
Zunden weathers the blows, the Ashbrandy's effects protecting her from the incoming barrage of blades. As Elaina burst out to try and grab her, Zunden casts her rune. She plummets back through the floor, foiled temporarily.
Gavrilo reels as he is hit by a magic bolt from Aegis, righting himself in midair and snarling. "See something you like, luv? Take a pic, it'll last you longer!"
He pulls out a pair of pistols and shoots at both Aegis and Zunden!
Carabas fights off Gawain and Marisol before running forward, configuring his wings into a sort of spiked battering ram, charging at Zunden!
One of the remaining automatons attacks Rabi!
[1d10]Roll #1 8, 5 = 13
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
/ Roll #3 5 = 5
Thrown to the deck as the pain from the knife lances through my shoulder, I brace myself to pull it out, before getting back to my hooves!
[1d10] RecoverRoll #1 4 = 4
>>753893"YES!" He shakes your hand enthusiastically, and the world seems to whirl and melt around you. "Gee willikers mister, you sure do have a good eye for business! See you soon, Pen-naaaay." He winks dramatically, and seems to just, melt out of existence. All that's left is his hand and his eyeballs, and then, not even that.
You feel numb. Comfortably so. Your eyelids feel gummed shut; it takes you a moment to open them. As you come to, and adjust to your surroundings, you find yourself back on the Fortune. Sounds like your friends are still fighting up above."I'm guessing you accepted his proposal."
Purdue's lying next to you, looking pensive as ever. "I'm okay with it, don't worry about me. I've been so many things before. Conjurer, jester, stargazer. Who knows what'll come next?…"
Aegis does not respond to Gavrilo's banter, instead getting her magic ready while trying to dodge his attack
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 10 = 10
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 4 = 4
Zunden takes a deep breath, passing out healing to her allies as she braces for the pain of Carabas charge.
[1d10+3] Healing Bonds (all frozen) Aegis, Rabi, Zunden
[1d10] perception to see where Lysander snuck off to.Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
Aegis is feeling sharper than ever, and captures the magical imprint of Zunden's spell as well
'1d10' spellcatcherRoll #1 6 = 6
Slowly, I sit up. My body feels heavy, but if it's the guilt from my agreement or just what it feels like to come back I'm not sure. "It sounds like you don't think it was a bad idea, then." I sigh. "I- honestly I can't think of another way. It seems like when I come up with something it falls apart somehow. This feels like it's it. I can't say it feels right
, but it makes sense." I knit my brow and look down at him, suddenly noticing how foggy everything seems. "I'm sorry, brother. I-" A sob chokes out my words. "I was going to try to bargain for for your life, bur now we're here." I wipe the tears from my eyes and take a deep breath. "Whatever you did, thank you."
Looking up, I try to pull myself to my feet. "I guess it still isn't over. I should go help them."
Rabi uncorks one of the vials of High Aqua Vitae, and downs it quickly>Full Hits, Full Wounds
"I'll fire off one or two more shots up here, then I'll run down after Elaina! I want to help more, but… we can't let her slip away."
>>753901"There's no other way,"
he answers serenely. "Now go. Help them."
Heading topside, you find a chaotic scene. Carabas, Gavrilo, and a bunch of automatons and mercenaries are locked in a ferocious battle with your companions. Things don't look good for them.>>753895>>753897>>753899>>753902
Silver doesn't manage to recover from the blow just yet.
Aegis conjures 5 icy orbs to surround her, poised to strike, and memorizes Zunden's incantation.
Zunden barely manages to pull off her spell before getting slammed by Carabas. She only just manages to stand her ground, the effects of the Ashbrandy waning rapidly.
Rabi downs the potion, feeling his aches, pains and wounds pass instantly. He feels better than ever!
As Norv heads above deck, Gavrilo notices him. "So you thought you might like to go to the show!" he calls in a sing song voice as he manifests an enormous sword. It plunges towards him at breakneck speed!
Carabas continues to focus Zunden, lunging at her to grapple her to the ground, fixated on the Egg she carries!
Aurora struggles to fend off an automaton, weakened by the raging combat!
Gawain sees Silver in trouble and swoops down, trying to help her up!
Another automaton loads a crossbow bolt and fires at Rabi, while another pummels Aegis with a mace!
You hear a loud thunderclap that seems to disturb the waters…Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #3 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #4 8, 3 = 11
Aegis winces as she's pierced by a bulled, dropping he to her knees, but she grits her teeth and musters the strenght to stand
'1d10+2' recoverRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Rabi, instead of dodging, scrabbles around for the Splinterwood arrow and nocks it back into his bow. He wreathes it in light and takes aim, before launching it at one of the automaton!>Splinterwood Arrow (Light): [1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
I give Purdue a somber nod, pull the mournwing cloak tighter around my shoulders, and try to sneak up to the deck. As I do, I pull my dart gun out and load a Stoneskin dart. Looking around, I deadpan, line up a shot as best I can, and fire it at the only enemy on deck that probably even has a chance of being affected by poisons.
[Cheap Shot]Automatic. Autocrit if Stealth works. If not, I aim it and try to fire it at his chest as he lunges at me, backpedaling in hopes of avoiding the blade.Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Suddenly realizing all her foes are undead, Zunden makes use of her magical ring and the determination to give her allies some time to breathe to flash out light to stun Gavrilo and damage those attacking herself, Aurora, Rabi, and Aegis.
"Let your ze miztakez of your pazt be illuminated by ze light of ze zun!"
>The Chariot: automatic instant, once per session; When invoked, this card fills you with determination from beyond. Your next roll, or that of one of your allies, counts as a critical success, no matter what the result. Further attempts to invoke the power of the Chariot will result in your next roll counting as a critical fail instead.
> Flash: spell, recharge 3; Emit a burst of magical energy, attuned to Light. Affects enemies all around you, but does not deal damage unless on crit, instead debuffing them with the effects of the Light element. (The target is momentarily blinded, suffering +1 DC to all rolls on its next turn, or +2 on a crit. This damage type deals twice as many hits versus undead enemies. Radiant spells can be used to illuminate the environment, providing a dazzling light source.)
Critical flash (means it does damage in addition to DC+2), double damage to all undead enemies
Still dealing with the pain of the dagger spray, I try to pull out the blade and get back onto my hooves once again.
[1d10] recoverRoll #1 3 = 3
You manage to roll to the side and avoid the mace bash and get back up, despite the searing pain in your flank from the wound.>>754185
It glances off and is lost somewhere on the deck. Your armor protects you from a fatal blow from the crossbow bolt, though it still leaves a burning wound.>Rabi takes 3 hits>>754186
You shift to the side rapidly, avoiding being impaled by the giant sword, suffering a minor graze to the arm. In retaliation, you hastily aim a shot at the vicious sellsword. Direct hit. He makes a horrible strangled sound and corkscrews to the deck, paralyzed momentarily.>>754188
You fail to get back up. An automaton advances on you, blade drawn…>>754188>>754187>>754186>>754185>>753904FWOOM
Zunden thrusts her fist into the air, engulfing the Fortune in a burst of radiance. Most of the automatons are incinerated on the spot, while others are forced to retreat in the wake of the wave of pure light. Carabas' lunge goes wide, and he plummets overboard and into the waters below.
When all recedes, you see the deck cleared of intruders. The only one you can see is Gavrilo, blinded and paralyzed, struggling and mumbling incoherently amidst the throes of venom. He has surrounded himself instinctively with a storm of slashing knives, warding off any attempts at getting too close.
Gawain lands on the deck, thoroughly exhausted and wounded somewhat from the skirmish. He uses his sun to heal his wounds, as do the others. "W… we did it," Violet breathes. "For now," Marisol points out. "They'll be back soon enough."
There's nary a moment to rest, however. You feel a sudden jolt as the chains binding the Fortune are released. With no Etrigan to control it, the ship is suddenly sent into freefall to the raging waters below!>roll to brace for impact
Zunden tries to sneak out a frozen Return rune before bracing for impact.
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: Frozen ReturnRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
I clench my jaw as I look down at the mercenary. I really doubt he could stop a rifle bullet from only a few yards away. That would be one major problem taken care of right there. Even if it wasn't still somewhere else on the ship, though, I don't know- For now, I load another dart and level it at him. Before I can pull the trigger, however, the ship lurches and I drop to one knee, struggling to stay upright.
[1d10] braceRoll #1 6 = 6
Catching myself, I quickly fire off the dart as I go down, trying to make sure we have time to deal with him before he does anything sly. My stomach tumbles a little as I think about the approaching storm, but I don't know what I can do about it right now besides try and be ready for something I'm positive I'm not ready for.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Just barely managing to pull the dagger out and I'm sent dropping to the deck as the ship plummets! Falling too fast to risk catching the air with my wings, I opt for gripping the banister to brace myself.
[1d10] brace!Roll #1 7 = 7
>>754189>Frozen Light: Full Hits
Rabi, not wanting to let himself get banged up too terribly much, braces himself, and uses the Frozen Light from before.>Brace: [1d10+1]Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Aegis takes in the imprint of Zunden's spell while she tries to hold on to the closest steady object she could find on the deck. Suddenly an idea hits her, She bites down on Gavrillo's knife that was stabbing her through the thigh and forcefully pulls it out with a pained grunt, then stabs the floor of the deck with it and uses the handle as a pole to hold on
''Zunden! The rings!'' She shouts, spitting a little blood
'1d10' braceRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
Zunden turns, distracted and not able to brace herself properly, "Which ringz??"
Aegis shuts her eyes and groans in pain, trying to think clearly after losing all that blood ''The necklace… Aurora! Where-'' she coughs up some more blood
You manage to conjure a powerful Return rune to use for yourself.>>754192
You manage to knock out Gavrilo with a well placed Sleeper dart after steadying yourself.>>754190>>754191>>754193>>754194>>754195
Aurora concentrates and does her best to slow the impact of the ship's fall via her connection, but it's not enough. The Fortune slams against the waters with an almighty crack; Aurora's efforts are barely enough from stopping the ship from sinking below the waves. You all manage to brace for impact and survive in one piece, save for Violet, Rabi and Zunden. The former two are thrown about painfully, suffering minor injuries, while Zunden is sent head over heels overboard, barely managing to cling to what's left of the ship's railing.
There is a blast of the Vindicator's horn, and the enormous metal hulk begins to weigh anchor and move towards the Isle. It seems they have new orders…
Zunden tries to pull herself up from the side of the ship, panting nearly breathlessly.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
>>754198>-2 Hits from Impact
"A-Ack. Everyone alright? They're, uh… they're ignoring us. I don't like the look of that- there's something up with that island, I bet… something they're looking for there. We oughgta deal with Gavrilo and try to figure it out."
''My guess is that they are going to rendevous with Lysander or what was left of him after that blast''>>754199
Aegis approaches Zunden in an attempt to help the saurian up the ship but stops as she sees her recover on her own
''Zunden, I will not be satisfied until I see Lysander's cold dead body with my own eyes. We must go after them''
Surviving splashdown relatively unscathed, I look over the railing to the steamer quickly moving for the island.
"Retreating? No.. there must be some other reason, the island is far too hostile to fall back to..">>754200
"Ah, excellent idea, though I'm not so sure we could pull the information out of Gavrilo.."
"What of our ship? Can we still move to pursue?"
My eyes widen a little. Purdue… "I need to get to the island. I don't know why, but Purdue says I need to take him there. You guys don't have to, but I need to leave. Right now if they're headed there. Either we need to get going while we figure this-" I wave my hoof in Gavrillo's general direction. "Out, or I need to find a way to leave." I look down at him. "Probably don't gotta tell anyone to make sure to keep his stuff, though. Probably got some neat gear with Lysander's investment."
With great exertion, you manage to pull yourself back onto the deck. You see Gawain flying over, but not fast enough to help you. "O-oh. Apologies, Lady Zunden. I hope you aren't harmed?…">>754199>>754200>>754201>>754202>>754203
"We can't stop to rest," Marisol says firmly in agreement with Aegis and Rabi. "Lysander's still out there. We need to follow the ship."
"What about him?" Violet asks, motioning at the still incapacitated Gavrilo. He's still surrounded by a storm of blades. "He might know something. And it's not like he can go anywhere."
"Wh-what of Etrigan?" Dawn asks, trying to hide her voice shaking with worry. "Is he… is he alright?…"
Aurora, who's been sitting at the prow trying to control the ship, opens her eyes with a grim expression. "Bad news," she responds to Silver. "The ship's taken a lot of water in the brig. I can make it fly, but we'll be slowed to a crawl. And it'll take more time than we have to fully fix all this mess."
"Hum. What about the lifeboats?" Gawain asks. "We could fly them to the island instead, and leave the ship somewhere safe while we intercept. It'll be harder for them to attack us if w-"
He is cut off by the familiar BOOM
of a cannon from the Vindicator. The ship rocks as a violent wave surges up over the prow, crashing over the shattered deck and dowsing you all in frothing salt water. A warning shot, or a taunt, or both.
Correction: Gavrilo's defences drop as he succumbs to the Sleeper poison. The knives clatter to the floor and vanish.
''Are you certain you can trust Purdue?'' Aegis asks, using Zunden's orb to heal shut some of her wounds
''More than that, why are you so determined to make it there even if on your own, Master Norvegicus?''>>754204
''I say kill Gavrillo outright. It will take time to wake him up and question him, and even then he might not aswer. While Aurora flies the ship to somewhere safe from the Vindicator's cannons, we take the lifeboats and give chase while Lysander's crew tries to recover''
"Get ze zervitorz to ztart bilging and anyone elze not confident to fire cannonz can join zhem, now zhat I am not fighting to zurvive I can focuz all my energy on making zure Etrigan iz zafe."
Zunden reaches out with her claw and crushes her critical Return orb, bringing back Etrigan in whatever weakened state he may be.
>Instant, Return Orb (critical 10)
[1d10+1] Creating another Return orb with ThaumaturgyRoll #1 7 + 1 = 8
"W-Well, he's certainly aware of our presence. We ought to park the ship somewhere safe, rather we go on the ship or on a lifeboat. As for Gavrilo… he's pretty slippery. Tying him up might be hard…"
"Hmm.. the lifeboats would allow us space to remain hidden while we pursue them to the island. While their cannons remain active it would be safer to move the ship away from their line of fire. The last thing we'd want would be more holes through the structure while the servitors bail the water out
"Even if he knows something he ain't gonna talk for any reason short of us torturin him. Even then it's a pretty slim chance he'll tell us anything. We had his type on board before, but even then that was just a guy doin his job. This guy is a psycho. There's no reason to keep him alive and every reason not to.">>754206
"I trust Purdue more than just about anyone else. I feel like I need to get there before they do, but even if that's not true I know need to get there before the worst of the storm."
I look around. "I'll be right back." Running back below deck, I grab Purdue and hook him to my waist.
''I suppose the only viable torture method would be the Maiden of Woe, if we still had it. Gavrillo didnt seem to respond much to pain when we were fighting, so I doubt conventional torture methods would work at all. Killing him now is our best choice.''
"Hold on," says Marisol at the talk of killing Gavrilo. "I've known him longer than all of you. He's insane, but he's not stupid. He'll know when he's beaten. I think he can be of use to us if we let him live, whether he decides to talk or we pry something out of him. I say we throw him in a cell for now and figure out what to do with him later."
Aurora nods at Zunden's instructions, while Gawain looks a bit incredulous. "I say, you're not suggesting we fire back? We're crippled enough as it is. We engage them again, we'll be torn to shreds!"
"The lifeboats seem like our best bet," Dawn agrees. "I could try to use the same trick with the Doors I did to move the ship closer the other day. I… I think I'm starting to regain some of my old strength."
Zunden's Return rune begins to work. Your companions watch curiously as she starts trying to Return Etrigan. The rune wheels and flashes, and a bluish white mass of energy begins to manifest. As it expires, though, nothing more happens. You don't hear his voice. Gawain cocks his head. "Is that…?"
"It's what I feared," Dawn says grimly. "Etrigan's been removed from the ship by Lysander's grasp. He's… he's here, in a way. But only his essence. His soul, if you will."
She looks to Zunden. "I don't think there's much more we can do for him right now. Better to keep him safe, until we can find a suitable vessel."
The Vindicator begins to move out of your range. Overhead, the skies begin to darken. You feel a few raindrops start to fall. "Just what we needed," Marisol complains quietly.
"I-I… right. I'm just glad some part of him is here, at least. I hope we're in a position to help him later. Anyways… if you really think he'd be willing to talk, Marisol, we could give it a chance. It'd be dangerous to leave him here alone, so we'd need a couple watching him…"
''If you are so sure, then'' Aegis opens her bag, pulling out a fancy-looking necklace of pearls and levitating it to Marisol ''Put this on him as he wakes, it will strangle and burn him until removed. A little less reliable than the Maiden, but its the only other torture device I have. Between the strangling and the pain I'm certain he will have trouble trying to escape''
I head back above deck with Purdue at my waist. "We need to get going. Are we gonna just leave the egg on the ship? Is that going to be alright?"
I look down at Gavrillo and shake my head at Marisol. "Alright. If everyone else actually thinks it's worth the risk then sure. But-" I look up at the rain and clench my jaw. "Purdue, how much time do we have?"
"So, Lysander still holds Etrigan within his power.. It was too grand a hope the explosion was enough to finish him, but perhaps it might have been enough to swing this fight in our favor.">>754215
"I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps Lysander suspects we hid the egg on the island after all? it would buy us time to ambush them inland if so."
"My lazt prepared rune iz ze ztrongezt, I can return him to a form if need be. We do not need to zhoot back, but bilging iz I find far more important. Let me attempt zomezhing."
Zunden activates the Return runes she placed below deck to try and shoot cannonballs back at who fired them, instead trying to return water outside the ship to help remove water from the ship.>Activating set return runes
"Alright. Well, I'm taking some of my gear and taking a lifeboat if you're working on here for now. If anyone is coming with me now would be the time to let me know."
''I would advise you not to go, Master Norvegicus, but if it is something you must do for Purdue, I will not stop you. Here'' Aegis unties the Bell of Revealing on her choker and floats it to Norv ''You know how to use it, dont you?''
Norv looks down at Purdue. The familiar gleam in his emerald eyes is gone, but he still speaks. "The storm is here. The Conjunction is upon us. Time is short."
"That doesn't sound good," says Violet uncomfortably.
As Norv begins to set off, some of the others volunteer to accompany him. "I'll come with you," says Violet. "I feel… I feel like I should." "As will I, if you'll have me," Dawn joins in. "That island is fraught with danger. My spells should be of some assistance." Gawain also steps forward, eager to join the first party to leave. They look around at the gathered group to see if anyone else will come along.
As the Servitors begin to bail water under Aurora's command, Zunden's runes activate, flushing out much of the water. It's slowing the intake significantly, but you're just going to keep slowly leaking water until repairs are complete, a process which will take hours if not days.
Marisol nods and takes the necklace from Aegis. She gives Gavrilo a sharp kick in the ribs to stir him. "Get up, snake," she growls.
He comes to, lifting his head groggily and flashing her a crooked grin. "Afternoon luv. What do I owe th-"
He's cut off as Marisol puts the necklace back on him. A horrible searing sound is heard as it works its twisted magic, strangling and burning him. He kicks and squirms helplessly, until she pulls it off him. Ugly red markings are left around his neck. Despite the pain, he breaks out in wheezing laughter. "Heeeeheeheheheee… More!…"
"If you really need to leave, then… be careful, Norv. I don't want to lose anyone else." he says, whinnying a little bit and looking to Marisol and Gavrilo.>>754220
"I… don't think that's going to get too much out of him. Maybe we can just talk it out of him? Or, try to be reasonable?"
I nod. "Yeah. I used it before, actually. I thought I told you about the mournwing nest I blew up. Thank you.">>754220
I study Violet for a second before looking to everyone else. "Alright. Thank you, guys." I smile and rub the back of my neck. "I'll be honest. Expected to have to go on my own. It'll be nice having backup going with me." I clear my throat. "Right. Let's go." I start heading toward one of the lifeboats, bringing the crate of three cannon shells with fuses in them. Glancing down at my six remaining grenades I feel like I should offer. "Anyone, uh… anyone want any bombs or anything? Got five or six healing potions. A couple endurance strengthening potions. A wand of Haste with a charge and a wand of Prayer of Healing with three."
''Yes, I imagined this would have happened. I doubt we can reason with him, so…''
Aegis walks up to Gavrillo and lowers her head to get to eye level with him ''You either tell us what you know and you can keep living your days as an assassin, or we kill you here and keep all of your trinkets. That's the terms''
As she speaks, Aegis uses one of her icy orbs to freeze Gavrillo's legs and lower body, then applies frigor to further spread the ice and completely immobilize the stallion from the waist down
Zunden gets to work repairing the ship alongside the Servitors, using Creation runes to speed up the process.
[1d10] CreationRoll #1 8 = 8
"Well… isn't it better to try, at least? We've barely waited for him to wake up."
"-Wait, if more people are going zhan juzt you, you will need a way to get back to ze zhip in caze of an emergenzy. I will come along and Return any of zhoze zhat are following."
"Hmph. I feel it would be unlikely that we could glean anything of note from him." I say, eying the reaction from the necklace's effect.>>754222
"I'm with you, Norv. As purdue mentioned, time is short and, well, I'd fare better ambushing Lysander's men than trying to patch the ship, given my luck with the cannons." I admit with a chuckle.>>754223
As I leave to join Norv, I pass Aegis the Black Pearl Necklace from before. "I leave this with you, Aegis. Perhaps this could serve some leverage, unless he is simply too mad to care."
Your Creation rune helps speed along the worst of the construction. It should be enough to have the ship ready by sundown at this rate.>>754222>>754227>>754226
You set off to the Isle in two lifeboats: Dawn, Norv and Violet in one, and Zunden and Silver in the other, going side by side. Gawain chooses to stay behind instead, in case things get rough back on board the Fortune. It'll take a while to get to the mainland.
Looking over to the Vindicator, you can see it's moving due northeast, circling around to the far end of the island. It looks like you'll arrive at more or less the same time at this rate. "Should I try and speed this along?" Dawn offers, raising her voice over the howling wind. Something seems to be on Violet's mind during the trip.>>754221>>754223
As the others depart, Gawain chooses to stay behind with you and Marisol, in case you need help. "Well you only had to ask," Gavrilo retorts, unphased by Aegis' icy handcuffs. "I'm not an idiot. I know when I'm in a bad spot."
"Where's Lysander?" Marisol demands.
"Better question would be what's Lysander at this rate. Not mortal, that's for sure. You can't beat him the conventional way, you know. I've seen you fight. Not even combined could you take him on. He's protected, see. So uh, good luck with all this. Your only hope would be to invoke Yol."
''He's awake enough'' >>754227
''It was definetly one of my considerations, Master Silver'' Aegis nods
"Yol? I, uh… don't think I'm familiar with that one. Care to tell us a little about it?" he asks, cocking his head to the side.
''Yol? Is that another type of Rune?'' Aegis questions the pegasus
A huge grin spreads across his face. "Yol mama."
Marisol slaps him.
"Really though, I don't know his weakness. But, he does have something carved into his chest. Some sort of symbol, rune, thing. Your spiky friend was showing it before."
He manifests a knife and carves it into the ice. Severance. Or an approximation of it.
"That's about all I know. He really wants that Egg of yours, you know. I would've turned it into an omelette by now. What's the deal with it anyways."
"Eh… it's best we don't crack this egg- I don't think that'd fix the problem, sadly." he remarks, looking at the rune curiously. "It's… a lot like one of Zunden's runes, that's for sure. Anything else you have that could be of use? Aside from bad humor, that is."
"What are your zhoughtz on ze matter, Violet? Do I recall correctly zhat you do not have memory of our prior encounterz wizh Lyzander? You zpoke to uz about your hiztory wizh him before." Zunden asks, summoning runes as she rides aboard the lifeboat.
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: SeveranceRoll #1 2 = 2
Aegis is not amused
''The egg holds something which could destroy the Echoes and the Dominion. Lysander wants it to hold power over all and become a tyrant, but is ignorant of the oblivion it could bring''
I knit my brow. "If you think you can manage it. If it'll strain you then don't. As it is it looks like we got some time. We might need your portals on the island so it'd be nice, but if it'll take too much outta ya then no use using em if we don't gotta."
I lean against the side of the lifeboat and force myself to look over at Vi. I open my mouth to say something, but close it again. Taking a deep breath, I decide just to go with, "Bit for your thoughts?"
"Hm. You're an idiot if you think he doesn't know what he's getting himself into," he retorts to Aegis.
He makes an exaggerated thinking face at Rabi's question. "Hmmm… Let's see now…"
There's a sudden lurch that rocks the ship to its foundation. Some nearby Servitors vanish out of existence. He grins again as you hear something rushing upwards from beneath your feet.
"Think fast.">roll to dodge
Keeping my head down as the wind picks up, i nod. "If you can, it would grant us time to hide and assess the situation."
"It's likely the bulk of their crew is still capable of fighting, so we will have to approach with caution."
Aegis stumbles momentarily, and tries to be quick on her hooves while giving Gavrillo a sharp piece of icicle on the shoulder and arm
'2d10' Magic bolt, ice
'1d10' dodgeRoll #1 6, 9 = 15
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 5 = 5
"I thought I had," Violet says in response to Zunden. "But… in the last few days, I've been getting… dreams. Small snippets of visions in my mind's eye. I… I think they might be from before what… what happened. It's odd though. I remember bits, here and there, but I don't feel connected. You know what I mean? It's like it happened to someone else." She gives Norv a strange look.
Dawn purses her lips in thought. "How odd. Mastery over life and death was never my area of expertise, but this doesn't sound like an uncommon phenomenon. I suppose in a way it did happen to someone else. You'll never truly live those memories you're experiencing."
"Yeah. I don't know what it means. Or what to do with it. I'll need some time to figure things out, I guess.">>754239>>754236>>754234
"Alright. Let's be quick about it. I can't hold it open for too long."
Dawn concentrates, her horn shimmering silver. Before long, a Door appears in front of you; passing through it in the lifeboats takes you to one of the black sandy beaches of the Isle of Glass. No Mirodan around, fortunately. Your boats are aground, but should be easy enough to get moving again. Dawn closes the Door and takes a moment to convalesce. "I can still do it," she says with quiet confidence.>>754238>>754240
Aegis flings an icicle at Gavrilo, piercing his shoulder. He hisses and laughs. "It's not me you should be angry at, luv!"
Elaina bursts out from beneath, moving through solid wood like water. Rabi only barely manages to dodge, while Aegis is not so lucky. Razor sharp claws dig into her back legs, raking down and leaving deep terrible gouges.>Aegis takes 4 hits
Elaina surges upward and onto the top deck, her teeth bared and hackles raised. Even in her physical form, she seems able to float, hovering a few feet above the ground. "Where is it?!" she demands furiously as she flies at Aegis to bring her to the ground!
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] Claws
Marisol stands frozen for a minute, while Gawain draws his weapon!
Gavrilo flings daggers at Gawain and Rabi, then manifests a pickaxe and starts chipping at the ice bindings!
[2d10] DaggersRoll #1 9 + 1 = 10
/ Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10
/ Roll #3 6, 8 = 14
"I-I about expected that, actually- never saw where she got off to." he says, trying to duck out of the way while conjuring up a bolt of lightning to incapacitate the captive Gavrilo.>Magic Bolt (Lightning): [1d10+2] [1d10+2]Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
Avoiding Elaina's sudden attack causes your lightning bolt to backfire, electrocuting you and knocking you to the floor. Gavrilo laughs. "Having trouble getting it up?">Rabi takes 5 hits, helpless
"I know at one point you kept a journal, iz zhat ztill in your pozezzion? When you were onze replazed by a changeling hired by Lyzander when he firzt kidnapped you, it waz uzing it to try and emulate your knowledge."
Zunden keeps working at orb summoning as they beach.
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: SeveranceRoll #1 10 = 10
My jaw tightens a little and I glance away. "Yeah. Guess it makes sense. I-" I glance over at the beach as we approach. "Sorry," I say a little more quietly.
I look over at Dawn and nod. "Great. So that's one more point in our favor. How you feelin? I kow you said you can manage it again, but you gonna be alright?">>754397
I scoff. "Not that it did that much good. It led us to the Tiger Clan, who were just red herrings, remember? Finding her with Lysander was because of the compass." I sigh and stand up, preparing to hop onto the beach. "Anyway. I can't see how reading about em would be any better'n remembering em but not feeling like they're yours. Just like reading a normal book, only the main character has the same name as you."
"Anyway. Last call. Anyone want any potions, wands, bombs, or gadgets? Still got that unending mead warhorn if anyone needs a drink. Or it might doot in your face. Depends on how it feels."
Rabi pops back up with a pained whiney, before readying himself. He ignores Gavrilo for now, looking to Elaina with a frown.
"Can't we just… I don't know, talk this out?"
A squeal of pain and surprise escapes Aegis's lips as Elaina's claws rake her legs, but she has little time to manage the pain. Seeing the ghost felid flying towards her. Quickly, she tries to hit Elaina with a swift strike of her ice-spiked shield
'1d10' Earthen strike, iceRoll #1 5 = 5
"I will take one of ze healing pozionz and an enduranze pozion, zo zhat I may live to continue to heal you all."
You conjure a powerful Severance rune.
"I… I think so," she answers. "I'm still sorting through all my things, to be honest. I don't even know how I got these swords. They're good though!">>754398
She shakes her head. "It's in the past. Just have to keep on rolling."
Dawn stands up. "I should be," she nods. "Ever since the Sands, I've been struggling to maintain the Doors open for too long. …I think I'm starting to recover, though."
At your offer, Violet and Dawn look up. "I think I should be alright," says Dawn. Violet seems more eager. "What do you have on hand? We'll need every advantage we can get to jump these guys.">>754398>>754397
You disembark, stopping to organize. The Vindicator is out of sight now, on the opposite end of the island. If you want to keep an eye on them, you'll have to find a way up without being spotted, either by them or the native wildlife. Dawn looks around. "I'd offer to open another Door, but I don't really know this place yet," she explains. "Maybe if we could find a vantage point?…">roll Perception
"Honestly, I'm a bit worried about the others back on the ship," Violet pipes up. "We shouldn't be split up for too long. …Hey, Dawn, you think you could open a portal to the ship?"
"Not right now, no. It's too far. I don't have the energy to cover such a distance. If I had some other source of strength, perhaps, but otherwise, no.">>754399>>754400
Gavrilo's knives meet their mark; Gawain flinches and gets a cut on his cheek, while Rabi gets stabbed in the leg.>Rabi takes 3 hits
Rabi's words catch Elaina's attention. She wheels around to face him, completely ignoring Aegis as her attack passes through her. She floats towards him with bared teeth. "The Egg. It's not here. Does the saurian have it? Tell me!"
Gavrilo starts freeing himself steadily. "Not a good way to get what you want, luv. You have to have some leverage."
Marisol just stands there, frozen at the sight of her sister.
Gawain does what he knows best and charges at Elaina. She phases through him, then with one fluid movement, thrusts her ethereal hand through his armor, holding him in place. The same way Rabi saw her hold Clawson back at the Sands. He gasps at the shock, but is unharmed, too afraid to move. Elaina glowers at you all, flexing her ghostly claws through Gawain's breastplate. "Tell me," she snarls. "Or I'll burst his heart."
>>754402>Vitae: Full Hits, full Wounds>0/2 remaining
Rabi freezes up a little bit, gently loosening his grip on his bow. "I… fine. Let him go, and I'll tell you."
Aegis just glares at Elaina, orbs of magic menacingly floating around her ''We dont know. I trusted the others with the keeping of the egg so I always kept information of it out of my mind to prevent it from being stolen'' She says in deadpan. She does a swift stomp on the ground and tosses a few orbs his way without looking at the pegasus's direction, as well as increasing the potency of her freezing magic
''You stay still''
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'1d10' homing magic, ice
'1d10' frigorRoll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
Potent potion on frigor
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
''Freeze'' Aegis says to Gavrillo with a biting cold in her voice as a faint radiance emanates from her
I think for a moment. "I have a bunch of healing potions -I think, like, four regular and two stronger ones-, a potion that makes you heal easier and hardier but also slows you down some, a couple pyrefuels, a wand that heals everyone but takes a lotta energy to work (Prayer of Healing, 3 charges), one that makes everyone faster (Haste, 2 charges), and-" I pause and briefly glance down at my coat where my grenades are. "And a bunch of other stuff, but that's probably all you'd be interested in.">>754401
I nod and pass her a High Aqua Vite, a normal Aqua Vite, and a Snailgut.
"We zhould be careful, we are now wizhout ziege weaponz wizh ze drake'z locazion unknown."
Zunden creates a frozen sight rune next to see about scouting on lysander.
[1d10] Frozen SightRoll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
Gavrilo breaks himself free and soars up triumphantly. "Finally. Now where were w-"
Aegis freezes him instantly again, making a rather ugly ice statue. He thunks to the deck again.
Elaina fixes Rabi with her furious glare, refusing to let up. She seems to solidify her grasp on Gawain. He grunts in pain and grits his teeth. "Tell me first, then I'll let him go."
"Don't… tell her!" Gawain manages to say. "It's not… worth…" He groans again as she continues to dig her claws into him.
Marisol speaks up, looking on feebly.
"Please don't do this."
Elaina's expression falters for a moment, but is quickly replaced by a mask of seething rage. "I am
this," she spits. "Because of you."
"LAST! CHANCE!" She bristles and sinks her claws into Gawain again. He cries out and spasms in pain, almost passing out. "Rabi! Say it! NOW!">>754407>>754408
Violet thinks. "Hm. Could you pass me two of those healing potions. I think I could use them."
Dawn looks over to Zunden. "Hmm. You don't suppose there's a rune you could use to empower me? I feel like we should have a link to the ship."
Zunden conjures a rune and notices a path leading forward through the coastal shrubland, and up towards the slick glassy slope that gives the Isle its name. It seems to be a popular track for the native Mirodans. The path seems to spiral all the way up the side of the caldera, leading around the mountain and up to the other side of the island. Violet remarks on the discovery. "If we go up that way, we could try sneaking around and spying on them. We'd have to be careful though. Could be more of those blue tongued monsters about.">>754403>>754404>>754407>>754408
The rain starts to fall even harder. You steadily begin to get soaked from it. There is a loud rumble of thunder, and a flash of lightning illuminates the sky. The light from it is emerald green…
"T-They left the ship. In a lifeboat."
I sigh as I squint up through the rain, the water clouding the lenses on my mask. Green. "Yeah, it's her. Shit." I wipe my lenses and pull out two more of the regular Aqua Vite to pass to Violet, keeping one Vite and one High Vite for myself. "Purdue. Where do we need to go on the island? Do you know?"
Aegis remains quiet, her emotionless eyes shifting from Gawain to Elaina
''Why are you doing this? Do you think Lysander can fix you? Do you think he will?''
"A conneczion for communicazion, or for eaze of zummoning portalz zhere? I could do eizher, but Return and Union are two different runez."
Zunden points out the path, summoning more runes as she waits for Dawn's response, "I zhink it iz ze bezt choize we have, better zhan being too out in ze open."
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: CreationRoll #1 3 = 3
She hesitates for a moment, looking out to sea, then surges forward. She passes through Gawain and towards the deck. He collapses with a soft exhale, his armor clattering as he hits the floor.
"Ask my sister," she answers Aegis. Marisol looks on.
"Elaina, I wanted to-"
The spectral felid rushes toward her with claws bared. She rakes her claws across Marisol's face, throwing her to the floor. "You wanted to what! To what?! She tortured me for weeks! And YOU! JUST! WATCHED! YOU! LET! ME! DIE!" Years of suppressed rage explode all at once as she continues to rain blow after furious blow on Marisol.>>754411"To the top."
His voice is barely audible. Hoarse, choked. It's like he's slipping away."From the top, to the bottom. Throw me. Please."
"What's up with that?" Violet asks, mildly lost. "Norv? Is there something you're not telling us?" >>754413
"To open a Door," she clarifies. "If we run into trouble, or if they do, we should have a way to connect both places. I can't open a Door like that alone.">>754411>>754413
You creep forward on the path, beginning to creep around. The path is slippery here, but you manage to press on. As you move around the foot of the caldera, the plants begin to grow more and more sparse.
You begin to notice something out of place. Violet voices it.
"Wasn't this place crawling with monsters? Where are they all?"
There's not a Mirodan to be seen.
Off in the distance, you hear the sounds of mechanical footsteps, and shouted orders. Sounds like they're coming ashore.
Aegis rushes to Marisol's aid, tossing out bolts of magic energy towards Elaina in an attempt to force her to move away>>754410
''Master Rabi, you can stop her, right?''
'2d10' magic bolt, iceRoll #1 8, 7 = 15
I swallow and nod. "I told you," I tell Violet a little more harshly than I mean to. I keep my eyes locked ahead and continue without looking back at her. "Purdue told me he needed to get to the island. That's where we are. I asked him where he needed to be on the island. That's where we're going.">>754414
I look out at the barren island. "They probably know what's coming. That storm alone isn't natural, but with everything else-" I turn back toward the path and continue toward the top. "I need to get to the top fast. They're coming. If I can make it there before them then maybe we can finish this."
Not sure how much I can actually say about it, I fall silent again.
"Return it iz, I have one prepared to link you at a moment'z notize to empower your portal."
Zunden bites her lip. "I will try and zhrow zhem off our zcent. If Black Pudding waz unaware of ze rune zhat would be uzed to track uz, zhen zo till will hiz forzez."
Using the critical severance orb from before, Zunden creates a shroud that blocks the party from undead detection.
>Severance (critical 10) on action said above
[1d10+1] replacing it with another ThaumaturgyRoll #1 8 + 1 = 9
Rabi looses his readied, spectral-blue arrow, aiming it at the Felid's chest>Astral Strike? (Lightning): [1d10+2]>>754415
"H-Hopefully!"Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
"To the top? Well, we've come this far, I suppose Purdue has some form of plan to risk the trek, right?"
The combination of your attacks throws her off. Rabi's arrow especially seems to have an adverse effect on her, causing her to "glitch out" and phase through some debris unintentionally. It takes her a moment to recover. She growls and unsheathes her claws, moving to pounce-
"Then finish it."
Marisol turns her head to her sister, bloodied and beaten. Elaina looks back, pausing for a moment.
"If it'll make you happy, then finish it. I've only… ever wanted to save you. And if… if this is what'll save you, then so be it."
Elaina stares, her face a mask of conflicted emotions. She stands there for a moment, then runs towards the edge of the ship and jumps off, slipping fully into the astral plane. Doubtless searching for the others.
Gawain groans and sits up. "That was unpleasant. …The others. We have to warn them! And where's Aurora?"
The ship lurches and tilts slightly then, leaning to one side. It's still in bad shape after the shootout; you feel everything shift downward slightly. Like it's sinking.>>754416
"But why?" she presses. She seems to sense she won't get much from you, though.>>754416>>754417>>754419
Zunden casts a spell to shield you from their detection. It seems the crewmates, at least, won't be able to spot you.
You continue a bit further up. You come to a slight lookout point, a small rocky plateau overlooking the beach. You're rather high up at this point. Looking down, you can see the Vindicator anchored, and many crewmates disembarking and fanning out across the island, like swarming ants. Above the great steel warship, a small group of cuckoos circles. Less than before, you notice. It looks like Lysander isn't at full power since Norv did a number on him.
Violet describes the scene to Dawn. "Hm. I don't think we should continue alone," she muses as her horn starts glowing silver. The frame of a Door starts appearing behind you. "Zunden, if you'd do the honours?…"
"I-I'll go after her- it's my fault, after all." the stallion says, before sighing a little bit. "I'm… sorry. I just- I couldn't let her do that. I've seen her to it before- I'm not going to let her do it again. Not to someone I care about."
He looks around the ship as it rocks, before saying "I'll, uh… get my body somewhere better than this before projecting. I don't want you to have to lug me around while trying to fix it."
Zunden releases the Return rune, tying it to Dawn's magic to create an accurate portal to Return to the ship.
>Spending frozen Return (8)
[1d10+1] replacing it with ThaumaturgyRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Aegis nearly falls from stumbling as the ship lurches
''Master Gawain, you are no doubt the fastest flyer among us. You have the best chance of delivering the warning. Can you do it?''>>754418
''Master Rabi. Can you stomach killing Gavrillo? If so, do it while you wield this'' Aegis says, floating a collar of black pearls
''If not then I will do it''
With that, Aegis's shield glows, and a wave of blue light emanates from it, chilling Marisol, Rabi and Aegis herself in a comforting cold that magically heals their pains>Healing bonds on Rabi, Aegis and Marisol
''Marisol. Can you move?''
"I can't right now- I need to go after Elaina." he says, helping Marisol up.>>754420
"I'll… go do what I have to. Sorry." the stallion manages, before finding somewhere safe to settle.>Astral Projection
"No. You guys can go back, but I have to keep moving. I'm almost there." I look out at the ship. "Unless you're bringing the others here. Which also might be a bad idea, but I guess better than going back."
As everyone else waits, I continue on, trying to keep out of Lysander's group's direct line of sight as best I can. Can't believe he's literally made of cuckoos or something. That dragon is a dang loon. My lip trembles a little and I snicker, quietly, but still audibly, mumbling, "Cuckoo," to myself as I walk away.
[1d10+2]StealthRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
"Norvy.. You've your reasons to keep your plan a secret, but I expect you to return alive, understand? I've had my fill of brushes with death, adding yours to the list simply wont do."
I watch grimly as Norv steps away from the portal.
''Very well. Then Master Gawain, try to search the ship for Aurora. I will ensure Gavrillo will not trouble us no longer and will then help keep the ship afloat. Please hurry'' She says, glaring up at the gryphon before approaching Marisol. She stares at her for a moment before speaking ''Lend me your blade, Master Marisol''
"I'm… I'm alright. It's not your fault," Marisol assures Rabi as she struggles to sit up. Her face is bloodied, and her left eye and arm seem to have suffered damage. She holds her cape up to it and stands up, teetering in place. She regains some of her strength as Aegis heals her. "This is an old wound I have to mend."
Gawain nods at Aegis' instructions, heading below to try to find Aurora. Marisol hands Aegis her blade limply as the ice encasing Gavrilo begins to crack.>roll Perception>>754425>>754425>>754426
"I'm staying too," says Violet firmly. "I need to see this through." She gives Norv a meaningful look.
Dawn begins to concentrate, sitting down in a meditative position. Her horn sparks and she trembles slightly from the exertion as a Door opens, bridging the island and the ship.
Down below, you see clouds gathering above the Vindicator, crackling with green lightning. You get the feeling something's about to happen.>>754425
You move on, unseen by any save for Violet, who creeps behind you. There's an uncomfortable silence as you continue the ascent; there's no sound, save for the wind which is beginning to howl, and the constant rainfall.>>754421>>754423>>754422>>754425>>754426
Dawn opens the Door to the deck of the ship, where most of the crew are now.
You slip into the astral plane. No visions assault you this time.
Looking around, you can see - no, sense - a trail left by Elaina. It leads overboard and across the water. She's covered an extreme distance already.
Aegis swiftly and unceremouneously moves in to stab the defenceless frozen Gavrillo in the heart, and then sever his head
'1d10' perceptionRoll #1 10 = 10
'1d10' kill moveRoll #1 7 = 7
I look down at Purdue and gently place my paw on top of his skull. "It's coming, isn't it? Right now." I try to gauge how much longer it'll be before we get to the top. "I don't know if we can make it, but we need to try."
I glance back at Violet while I walk, trying to talk over the wind without being loud enough to give myself away. "Vi… Why? You should've gone back to the ship with the others. You don't have to come with me. You don't owe me anything." I shake my head. "No. Not just that. You shouldn't have come with us at all. Why are you risking your life -risking everything
when our closest ties are all the way back at the monestary?"
Zunden prepares runes, heading into the door after speaking. "I will go and get ze ozherz, I feel we are all needed here."
Zunden heads back onto the ship and calls out, "Aurora, Rabi, Marizol, Gawain, Aegiz. It zeemz we are to have our final battle on ze izland."
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: Frozen ReturnRoll #1 1 = 1
''The ship is nearly flooding, Zunden'' Aegis notes ''What have you discovered?''
"I zhought it in a zteady condizion when we left, what haz changed zinze? Lyzander iz wounded but prezumedly preparing a fel ritual zhat iz ze cauze of ze ztorm and ze oracle zkull fortellz we muzt be zhere to counter it."
As Zunden steps through to gather the others, I watch the gathering storm with increasing worry. "I feel as though I'm out of my element at this stage.. What good will poisons do against this?" I sigh, taking a seat on the stone nearby.
You run Gavrilo through with the blade, ending his wretched existence for good in one stroke.
You notice a faint bubbling in the water, and ripples moving away from your ship. Something has been lurking underwater. Whatever it was, it's gone now. Moving towards the island.>>754432
You keep following, but she's outpacing you easily. All of a sudden, the trail seems to just… stop. There's no sign of where she could have gone that you can tell.>roll Perception>>754433
"Because you're hiding something," she answers frankly. "I know it, Silver and Zunden know it, everyone knows it. You're not a stranger to hiding secrets from people. Whatever you're up to, I need to know. It's not too late to be honest and tell me. No one else is here."
"What are you doing?">>754436
"Elaina," Marisol grunts. She's bleeding heavily, but she's not mortally wounded. "She ambushed us. Nearly killed us. She… she must have done something to Aurora. Stopped her from overseeing the repairs.">>754436>>754437>>754435
"Be quick," Dawn calls from the other side. "I… I can't hold it much longer…"
Gawain returns from below deck, carrying Aurora in a fireman's lift. She's out cold, and wounded. You notice Ganzen is with him, looking skittish. "The cat must have ambushed her," Gawain explains. "It broke her control of the ship, and-"
The ship lurches again, and you all struggle to keep your footing.
"Zunden. Listen to me," Marisol says earnestly. "Elaina knows you have the Egg. She's on her way to the island right now. Whatever happens now, you're going to have a target painted on your back. Our main priority now is to protect you."
"What are we going to do about this?" Gawain asks, looking nervous about the sinking ship.
The Door begins to waver and flicker in and out of existence.
"Zhen what if I zat wizh ze zhip where Elaine doez not expect it? I can zlowly lurch it to a more advantageouz pozition while ztaying out of Elaine'z pazh and keeping the egg izolated from attackerz. I can even uze runez to expediate ze prozezz of fixing ze zhip."
Zunden says calmly, reaching out to Aurora to cast healing magic to her, herself, and whoever else is most wounded on the ship.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
You hear a soft sighing sound that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. The necklace seems to grow hot in your hoof, and one of the beads begins to show a sort of swirling pattern in a color you can't quite name. It seems to have worked.
Aegis makes sure to pass the information of the odd movement in the water to everyone
''Elaina attacked, and I fear she might have done something to Aurora. I do not see her anywhere and I sent Gawain to find her''>>754438
''We see the ship is fixed. It might be too late to save it completely now but we might still be able to make use of it. I will see if I can patch up some holes and block away any more water from filling in'' With that, Aegis retreats to under the deck, trying to help with the flood by freezing any holes in the hull she can find>>754437
Aegis tosses Silver the necklace as she passes by the mare, only giving her a brief nod without words
'1d10+2' frigorRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
I finally take a moment to stop, turn, and stare at her behind the cloudy lenses of my featureless, rodent-like gas mask. I want to tell her everything. Every last thing that's happened since the monestary. Everything I had planned for the future. Worst of all I wanna tell her everything going on now, even knowin I can't. "Why do you think I kept any'a those secrets? You don't gotta rush in and save me. Not anymore. I proved that over and over. If that's not why then that just means you think whatever I'm doin is worse than whatever Lysander is doin, and if that's true then why're you even still around me? Better yet, why ain't you stoppin me?"
My hands ball into fists and I try to wipe the rain from my cloudy lenses. There's gotta be a way to keep these things clear. Seems like no matter how hard I try everything is still blurry. "I don't want you to die because'a me, Vi." I blink and, for some reason, the fog clears a little. My voice catches in my throat, coming out as a hoarse croak. "Not again."
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 4 = 4
With Dawn's focus wavering, I wave through the door with a wing. "Quickly now, everypony! The door is closing fast!">>754442
Catching the necklace, I examine it for a moment, before nodding back in acknowledgement.
Curious of any changes, I take a moment to fasten it around my neck.
Aurora stirs as you heal her and Marisol, and Gawain gently puts her down. "Ugh… What happened? …The ship!"
"It's alright!" Gawain assures her. "You had a nasty runin with Elaina, but everything's under control now. Somewhat."
The ship lurches again. Aurora raises an eyebrow.
Marisol thinks. "So you and Aurora stay here, the others and I go ahead?"
"A diversion!" Gawain chimes in helpfully. "We draw attention away from it while you work on repairing the ship! …Hm. Is there a way we could stay in touch?…">>754442
The condition below deck has only worsened since Aurora got attacked. You stop any more water from coming in, but it'll only hold for so long.>>754445>>754444>>754439
Gawain and Marisol nod at Silver's urgency. The former picks up Rabi's body. "Time to improvise?" he suggests as he starts moving through the Door.>>754440
You notice the trail goes down into the water. You go to investigate-"Get out!!"
You are suddenly struck by a blow from behind as Elaina pounces you, raking you across the back. You wheel around to face her as she floats above you in the astral plane, still brimming with rage. She lunges towards you with bared claws again!
She freezes as you rail at her. "I… I'm not going to die. But I can't let you keep hiding in the shadows like this. Of course I don't think you're doing anything worse than he is, and I want to trust you like the others do, but… But I can't. Not after everything that's happened."
She takes a step closer, looking at you earnestly. "There's no one else here. I couldn't tell anyone else if I wanted to. Please, Norv. I'm begging you. No more secrets. Tell me why we're here. …Why can't you do that for me?…"Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9
"Not going to die? You almost died at least three times since we started this little adventure. You actually died once, and even if I hadn't tossed that bomb chances are everyone would still be back in Hearth filled with sawdust and gears. Meanin you still woulda died. I almost died countless times, and actually experienced dying twice. But you can confidently say you ain't gonna die? Vi…" I reach up, peel off my gas mask, smooth the sweat clumped fur on top of my head, and study her through the rain with glistening eyes. "Vi, I know you ain't that naive. You're strong and brave, but you're also smart. That's one'a the reasons I fell in love with you to begin with." I can't even imagine how I look, standing there in the rain. Unkempt. Scarred. What she sees is probably a far cry from what she remembers last.
"You should turn back. It ain't worth riskin yourself just because I'm hidin somethin. It ain't like I'm gonna betry anyone. I'm still on your side." I chew my bottom lip and rock on my feet a little, thinking for a moment. "I wanna tell you, but I can't. It-" I swallow. "You know what? Ain't like this part ain't somethin you already know. We had a last resort plan, remember? In case everything went to shit. Well-" I wave my hand in the direction of the storm. Of the Vindicator. Of the birds. "It's gone to shit. I don't think it'll be a problem if I tell you I'm falling back on our last resort." My lips curve into a broad smile, even though tears still fill my eyes. "I'm takin a hell of a gamble, but the potential payoff?" I pull my gas mask back on and adjust my coat. "Well, probably a good idea to brace yourself, Love. Shit's gonna get a little chaotic."
Without giving her any more time to distract me, I turn back toward the path to the top, take a deep breath, and break into a sprint.
Rabi tries to tumble out of the way and turns to face Elaine, before leveling his rifle and firing a blast of lightning at the Felid.>Surge Shot (Lightning): [1d10+2]Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
"Yez, I'll zhoze here in contact wizh eachozher. It will be az it waz wizh Etrigan - Zhould I have extra time after getting ze boat back in order, I will work towardz zolving zhat zituation." Zunden says, crushing her powerful Union orb and bringing the party back into telepathic communication.
>Spending Union orb (10+1)
"Now get going, zhe portal iz clozing and zhey will need your help." She says to the others, before turning to Aurora, "Do you require any more healing? If you are feeling ztrange in any way, I can try and zee if I can return any of your zpirit to you in caze Elaina haz zuch powerz."
She starts working on creating Creation orbs to help repair the ship in the meantime
[1d10+1] Thaumaturgy: Frozen CreationRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
''I would advise against leaving you Zunden'' Aegis says as she goes past the Saurian ''I hope you are certain you can keep the Egg safe. I'm trusting my family to you''
With that she breaks into a jog for the portal Dawn is holding up
"It would seem so. Whatever Norvy has planned, it seems the only thing we can
do is make sure he has time to do it.."
"Norv… I don't know you anymore."
You start sprinting up, but it's slow going. It's a steep upward slope on uneven terrain, and there's still a long way to go before you reach the top of the summit. You can hear Violet galloping after you, easily gaining on you. "What are you hiding from us?!" you hear her call.>roll to outpace her>>754667
You miss the shot. Elaina rushes toward you, raking you twice across the jaw, then kicking you in the chest before rushing again and grabbing you by the throat, sinking her claws in."I'm letting you go this time,"
, she growls. "Don't make me regret it."
With that, she throws you across the astral plane, sending you into a freefall as she surges forward, leaving you disoriented and wounded.>Rabi takes 6 hits, helpless>>754668
"I'm… I'm alright," says Aurora. "She just knocked me out. Bit dizzy, but I should be good to go."
You hear some movement from behind you. Looking over, you see Ganzen gnawing on the metallic limbs of one of the automatons. You notice that they seem to be more machine than the Keepers; there's no bone or flesh to them, as far as you can see.>>754668>>754667>>754669>>754670
As Zunden invokes Union, the others depart, and Dawn's portal closes. You all feel a sudden wave of intrusive thoughts as Zunden links your minds, but it soon passes over.Oh, my head… Was that your doing, Zunden?
you all hear Marisol think.Is everyone connected?
Aurora asks. It seems so.
Dawn's thoughts this time. Is Rabi alright? Where do we go from here?I'm hungry,
>>754671Master Rabi went after Elaina in Astra projection. He will at least be able to slow her down from causing much more trouble
With that Aegis gets a look around to see whats the current situation likeI was hoping you'd know the aswer to that, Master Dawn
My lungs burn, but I keep pushing myself. Something is going to happen if she's there. I know it. Why is she pushing so hard? What does it matter? I haven't done anything to make anyone think I'm working against the group, have I? Trying to keep her voice out of my head, I focus on the storm, the path, and what's at the end of it. It'll be over soon. It has to be.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
>>754671>>754673>>754672>>754670We'll be working towards fixing the ship, Elaine is targeting me but thinks I'm on the island. We are playing cat and mouse, as ponies would say.
Zunden thinks, moving down below deck to help with repairs and bilging. With the two of us focusing all our efforts on repairing the ship, it'll go much faster than just having the Servitors work at it. Hopefully, we'll be able to swing around at an opportune moment.>>754671
Zunden gets to work summoning orbs to help her make repairs.
[1d10] Thaumaturgy: Frozen CreationRoll #1 4 = 4
Rabi lets out a choked gasp as Elaina claws across his jaw, throat, and chest. He lets himself fall long enough to not be as dangerously close, but catches himself fast enough to take a shot a second shot at the cat as she surges off.>Magic Bolt (Lightning): [1d10+2] [1d10+2]>>754671>>754672"Not well- Elaina knows the egg's not on the boat. I'll try to keep her attention on me, or take her out!"Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4
Mentally waving away the distracting thoughts, I look to the summit further up the path.
"Norvy mentioned needing to travel to the summit further up, though to what end I'm not sure. It was important enough that he refuses to share his plan outright."
Turning to check the ship and their crew below, i try to pick out movement from our position.
"Should we pursue? If Lysander's crew has a similar idea, we may need to hold them back, though I've not seen movement thus far.">>754675You're facing her alone?! Are you alright?
you hear echoing from a concerned SilverRoll #1 8 = 8
You look around. The storm seems to be gathering around the Vindicator; on the beach below, dozens and dozens of automatons are disembarking to sweep the island. There's a lull for now, but it won't be long before a fight breaks out. Your only advantage that you can see so far is that you have the high ground, for now.>>754673
You outpace her, taking a moment to go off the path and clamber up some rocks. "Norv!" you hear her call from somewhere below. "Norv, wait!…" She seems to be looking for you down below."Keep moving."
The voice comes from Purdue, but you're not sure if it's his. >>754674
Aurora follows you, and you feel her concentrating and joining you in manipulating the ship. Having less experience, it takes all her willpower to do this, and is unable to act independently. More Servitors appear, courtesy of both of you, as you work to keep the ship afloat. It's no easy task; the heavy damage has made it take a lot of water. The entire cargo hold is a foot deep in seawater.
You sense some movement on the sides of the hull, but you're not sure if it's the Servitors or something other.>>754675
Your shot misses. Hm? Rabi, it's me, Gawain! Just so you know, your body's safe and sound with us on the island, and Zunden's on the ship! That dastardly cat won't find it here. Maybe it's best if you return to us? As long as she doesn't return to the ship, we should be able to handle whatever she throws at us!
Zunden crushes another orb of hers as her eyes glow and her head turns directly towards the direction of the movement, sensing it's very location with Sight.
>Using Sight Orb (8)
>replacing with a Creation Orb using Thaumaturgy
[1d10+1]Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
Aegis squints as she looks over the scene Where is Master Norvegicus then? I dont doubt we could climb down there and storm the Vindicator and strike Lysander while he's weak. Stopping that ritual is our first priority, so I'm certain Master Norvegicus will appear sooner or later to join our efforts. What do you say we sneak past the automatons and take Lysander by surprise, Master Silver?
I gasp for air and start to slow some. Briefly looking down at Purdue, I knit my brow. I know I'm being manipulated, but even so it has to be worth it in the end, right? And if Purdue says it's the only way- I keep moving forward.
"Hmm.. They've disembarked and seem to be searching the island..">>754680Indeed. We've no time to hide while Norvy scales the rocks, approaching them while they've dispersed onto the island would make this our greatest chance.
"What of the rest of us? Should we head to the ship, or hold position here?" I ask the others, turning to Dawn and company
You reawaken back on the Isle, surrounded by your companions minus Zunden, Aurora, Norv and Violet. They seem to be discussing the plan of action. Down below, the storm continues to brew, and Lysander's army sweeps the island.>>754683>>754680>>754682
Gawain speaks up. I say we should head higher. Mr Black knows something we don't, and he could be in trouble.
Marisol shakes her head. Whatever's happening down there, it isn't good. Maybe we can find some way to fight them from here, or sneak aboard and see about finding Lysander.We'll have to stay on our toes,
Dawn points out. Elaina is coming.What if we split up?
Gawain suggests. Some of us head higher to join Mr Black, and the rest of us could see about investigating below?…>>754679
There seems to be something on the hull of the ship, coming up from the water. Something large and heavy.
The ship lurches as the Servitors continue to work. The ship is almost afloat again.>>754681
You continue to climb. You're almost at the top now. The wind's howling, and the rain shows no signs of letting up. Somewhere below, you can still hear Violet looking for you. You catch a glimpse of her. She looks scared, and determined. You'll have to be careful if you're going to make it to the top without her noticing.>roll to hide
I grit my teeth. Really? Just go back with the others, you idiot! If they see you here- Maybe the others will find her first. I hope the others will find her first.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
''It would be very risky to spread out now, but since we have the advantage of communicating regardless of the distance, it is the best risk we can take. Master Gawain, you come with me and Master Silver. Marisol and Master Dawn go up the mountain trail and help Master Norvegicus if you find him''>>754683
''Master Silver, lets see to get into the ship and slip past Lysander's minions. If we are found out, Master Gawain and I will create a distraction to allow you to sneak through and investigate on your own. Do you agree with this plan?''
"Linked as we are, I at least would be able to respond to an emergency, should we split up.. Very well, we'll move forward the plan, Aegis."
Not wanting anything to impede their travel, Zunden severs the grasp of water creature is hitching a ride.
>Held 8 for Severance
[1d10+1] making a frozen Union orbRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"I'll, uh… need a minute. She tore me up kinda bad. Let me be, though."
You hide amidst some boulders and watch and wait. After a while, you hear her swear in frustration and slump to the ground. Seems she's given up, for now.>>754686>>754687
"I'll come," Marisol offers. "Gawain can fly up the mountain and cover ground faster than I ever could." "I'm… not very good at not being seen," Gawain adds sheepishly.>>754686>>754687>>754689
"Settled, then," says Dawn. "You three go down and see what you can do, and we'll stay up here and see if we can join Norv. Though, please, be careful. You're walking into the lion's den." "If you need help, just call for us!" says Gawain cheerily.
Dawn turns her attention to Rabi with concern. "Are you alright?" she asks with a bit of worry. Gawain offers to help you stand when you're ready.>>754687>>754686
Heading down off the path, you start approaching the black beach where the Vindicator is docked. You see several automatons, accompanied by mercenaries that look like they might be Mummers, swathing through the undergrowth at the base of the island, using pyromancies to burn their way through indiscriminately. You recall that Silver is protected from detection by the machine-men, through Zunden's rune, but Aegis and Marisol are not. You'll have to be careful to avoid detection from here.>>754688
Marisol thinks all of the above to you, keeping you up to speed on the plan.
You invoke Severance. Whatever it is is removed. There's a moment of peace and quiet.
Then, he soars up on metal wings. The automaton that was Carabas bursts out of the water, back with a vengeance. You seem to have damaged his metallic exterior with the Severance rune, but this won't stop the clockwork husk. Ganzen rears up and hisses, and Aurora sharply breaks out of her trance, causing the whole ship to lurch again.
Carabas' metal arm unhooks and shoots out on a chain to grab you from above!
Aurora flies up and unsheathes her saber to intercept him!
[1d10]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
''Very well. Master Gawain, protect them with your life if you would, as Master Dawn, please do not let Master Gawain fall''
With that Aegis leaves with Marisol and Silver
Aegis hides behind a bush and access the situation ''I hope Master Norvegicus is making good use of my Cloak'' She mutters and tries to slowly sneak past the mercs not looking their way
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
"I'll be… I'll be okay. I don't think she tore me up too badly. I'll need to take a bit of time to mend later, but I should be good enough to continue. My Astral form wasn't, well… messed up like it had been before." He explains, taking the help to get up to all fours.
Zunden thinks to use her Channeler's Ring but hesitates when she realizes it might act as a beacon for Elaine, instead imbibing a Whale Ale so that she might pull down Carabas once the chain lands.
>Consume Whale Ale which i think is my full action
While insulated from the machines thanks to Zunden's Rune, I nevertheless maintain a low profile, to avoid any wandering living crew.
Seeing Aegis move into the sight line of a nearby Mummer, I try to pull her back before she's spotted!
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 4 = 4
My stomach sinks and I can't help but hang my head in guilt. If I just step out now -just tell her what's going on- she'd understand, right? If I hadn't been told not to tell anyone she would understand why I'm doing this? "I'm sorry…" I whisper. Taking a moment, I take a deep breath and try to summon two rats to stick near her in case she gets into any trouble. Turning, I head back up toward the mountain.
[1d10]Summon MinionRoll #1 2 = 2
[1d10]NavRoll #1 8 = 8
"By my troth, I will not let them fall!" he proclaims dramatically.>>754691>>754694
Marisol creeps along behind you, grimacing as she sees the Mummers and automatons working together in Lysander's service. "I knew those mercs must've come from somewhere. This isn't good."
She shoots up a nearby tree in a fluid motion as a patrol approaches. Aegis manages to hide behind a bush as an automaton walks past, but rustles it. Mechanically, one of them breaks rank, surveying the landscape readily.
You get up. Dawn attempts to cast a healing spell. "I'm not as good at this as Zunden or Aurora, but hopefully this will make things better…"
Once you've recovered your strength, the three of you start heading upwards, following in Norv's footsteps. It's not easy going; the terrain is slippery and uneven, made worse by the heavy rain. "What do you suppose Norv is up to?" Gawain wonders. >roll Navigation
Thinking fast, you down some of the brew. It tastes like nondescript liquor. A moment later, you feel your heart pounding and strength coursing through your body as Carabas grabs you with his chain claw, reeling you in.>Zunden takes 2 hits, grappled>roll to break free, autocrit due to Whale Ale
Aurora catches him off guard, piercing a gap in his armor. Sawdust spills out. His black helmet turns, and he soars towards her, lashing out with a wing as he keeps you in tow!
[1d10] Aurora Dodge>>754695>>754696
Your head is spinning from everything that's happening, and you can't muster the concentration to summon anything.
You head higher, reaching the rim of the caldera. Rain buckets down, obscuring your vision momentarily. A vast, neverending abyss yawns below you, waiting for your next action."Do it.">>754695>>754694>>754693>>754692>>754691
As the rain intensifies, there is a sudden flash of lightning across the sky, leaving an emerald streak. Following it is a peal of rumbling thunder that threatens to shake the foundations of the earth. The sun is blotted out by the rain clouds, and instead, you see two piercing lights appear in the sky, shining around the island like hungry eyes.
One is a deep navy blue, and the other is a brilliant iridescent purple.Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 10 = 10
/ Roll #3 4, 6 = 10
/ Roll #4 1 + 2 = 3
/ Roll #5 2 = 2
Zunden pulls herself free, yanking the chain down to see about also bringing him down crashing into the deck. (critfail fluff?)
[1d10] Autocrit break freeRoll #1 4 = 4
"That did the trick, yeah. Thank you." He says, offering a smile.>Navigation: [1d10]
"Hard go say- he's been really, really cagey. More than usual."Roll #1 3 = 3
>>754697Watch your step, Aegis! We're nearly there.
I call mentally to the Hidden Crystal pony
With the patrol turned in the complete opposite direction, I take the chance to lead the others around it and closer to the ship.
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 2 = 2
Thinking fast, Aegis tries to make a distraction by tossing a little rock with magic, making it fall and roll away from them to grab the attention of the one Automaton
'1d10' divertRoll #1 3 = 3
I slow as I near the caldera. Slowly, I catch my breath as I close the last few steps to the edge. My heart races as I unhook Purdue from my waist. Pulling off my mask again, I look him in his eyes. For a long moment I don't say anything.
"I'm sorry," I say. "I- If I had any other way I would-" I sniffle as my eyes slowly fill with tears. "Out of everyone I've met you've probably been my closest friend. I know why he wants me to do this. It isn't just because it's funny or entertaining. It's so he can have the last of his power back. But if that means he can do what he says he can do, then-" I choke out a sob and wipe my eyes with the back of my paw. "I had so many plans. I was gonna see if Z could use one of her fancy runes to connect you to a body so you could get around. Once this was all over I was gonna bounce from library to library and place to place so you could get a better feel for the stars. Even if I set out on my own we were gonna be a te-" I sob again. "A team."
A cold, mirthless chuckle passes my lips. "Jeeze. Haven't cried like this since I split my soul in half." I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and calm myself as much as I can. "Just- If you can do me a favor… If you see a couple mutts named Cab and Penny Black, let 'em know their little mouse ain't so mousey no more, would ya? And-" I swallow the lump in my dry throat. Dry in spite of the sheets of rain falling on me. Kind of ridiculous. "And I hope they ain't to dissappointed in me." Looking over the edge into the blackness, I can't help but feel weak. I gently lower myself onto the edge, dangling my legs. "Anyway, it was an honor to call you a friend, Purdue. From beginning to end."
I hold up the skull in one hand, letting it set precariously in one palm with nothing else supporting him. I close my eyes, focusing on the hiss of the rain. For several moments I hold him there, not saying anything. Giving him a chance to respond. Finally, if he doesn't say anything back or after he's done, I whisper, "I'll see you on the other side, brother. Good night." and slowly let my paw tilt forward.
Aurora flies up to avoid Carabas' wing strike, losing her focus and spiraling out of control for a moment. You yank the chain with all your might, hauling the undead warrior down into the deck. Planks splinter as the clockwork behemoth crashes down from the full brunt of your enhanced strength. You feel the Whale Ale quickly wearing off, but not quite gone yet. Through all that, his iron grip is still on you, restricting your movements.
Aurora rights herself in midair!
Carabas throws out his chain hand, and there is a clanking and rattling as he reels you in again like a fish, one of his wings extending over his shoulder into a massive blade to impale you on!
Ganzen springs to action now that Carabas is grounded. He throws his head back and lets out a monstrous roar before lunging with bared teeth at Carabas' chain arm!
You feel your wounds heal, and your energy return. Dawn looks surprised, and a little proud of herself. "You're very welcome," she says with a smile.
The three of you continue onward. It's slow going with the rain beginning to pour; before long, you find yourself beginning to shiver from the rain. Dawn conjures a sort of barrier for you all from her horn, essentially making a magical umbrella. Doing so takes up her concentration, and it falls on both you and Gawain to help guide her.
Eventually, you hear someone moving about up ahead. While at first you think it might be an enemy, it turns out to be quite the opposite; a very soaked Violet emerges from the glassy boulders, looking fraught with concern.
"Rabi, Dawn, Gawain! Didn't think you guys were coming. Listen, something's going on with Norv. I don't know what, but I really can't trust him. I get the feeling he's going to do something terrible. We're not far from the top, if we hurry maybe we can catch up to him. …Where's everyone else? What's the plan here?"Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7
/ Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12
Aegis' diversion fails; the husk scout continues to march towards you. In the chaos of the skirmish on board your ship, you hadn't managed to get a good look at them, but now you're up close and personal. Their bodies are humanoid, made of tarnished bronze and steel. Their faces are featureless, save for a single eye like a camera lens, the aperture twitching every so often to adjust to the surroundings. Their torsos are marked with a symbol of three white clawmarks on a purple circle. Seems Lysander even made himself a symbol. You can hear an occasional rhythmic thump mixed with the familiar ticking of clockwork. The flesh and bone of Last Hearth's Keepers seems to have been a weakness that has been solved. There is nothing organic to them, save for a heart within them. They're empty robotic husks.
The Husk approaches, pausing only a foot or two away from your hiding spot. Its neck telescopes upward, raising the camera head, which rotates 360 degrees as it continues to surveys the surroundings. At first, you're not sure if it knows you're there; then, the top of its head opens up, and a powerful black alarm horn emerges.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24WDlrQFBRM
A deafening blast leaves your ears ringing as it signals the others!>>754702
For a moment you're not sure he'll answer. You don't know if the command you just heard was from him or something else. Or if it happened at all. Then, his emerald eyes shine a little, and he muses:"Well, I guess it's about that time again. I mean, this is hardly the first time I've died. Heh. …Listen."Things are about to change. The pieces are all set. The Conjunction is coming. I can't know how things will turn out anymore, but I do know that you, and all the others, will find a way to make things right. This isn't the ideal scenario to start that from, but, well, you work with what you have, right? I know you always do."So, if we've said farewell and hello again before, I think it's reasonable to say we'll cross paths again. Somehow. Maybe even while you're still alive. Nyehehe."…Yes, I think it's inappropriate to say goodbye. Too final. So… see you later, brother."
One emerald eye glints in a wink, and then he's gone into the dark.
''Dammit… Master Silver!'' Aegis raises her voice, trying to be heard through the blaring horn as she whips up a spell
'1d10' homing magicRoll #1 5 = 5
For a long moment I watch the darkness, barely even registering the pouring rain. Everything seems distant. Almost bland, even with everything going on. Slowly, I wipe my eyes, pull my mask on, and stand, turning back toward the ship and storm. "So I guess I actually have to get the egg, now. Probably should've thought that part through, huh? Didn't really have the time," I say to the air.
I tuck my hands into my pockets and sigh. Well, at least the hardest part is over, I guess. The Conjunction. Not an ideal spot to make things right from. I don't really like how that sounds. Guess we'll have to deal with that. I have a feeling I know where this is going, and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it.
I shake the thoughts from my head. Something to worry about later. Right now? Vi. Hopefully she isn't too far off. I head back toward the path to try and meet back up with her in case Lysander's group is still on its way.
Deafened by the machine's alarm, I reach out to the others with my mind as I make a break for the trees away from the ship!
[1d10] Stealth>>754887Blast! There are too many to Face head-on, fall back into the treeline!
you hear though your mind, barely audible even then over the contraption's horn.Roll #1 9 = 9
Zunden tries pries herself from the chains with the last of her imbibed strength.
[1d10] AutocritRoll #1 7 = 7
"Yeah, we'd just been talking about that- and, I think the others are heading for the ship right now. I, uh… think. Sorry, a little scrambled right now. Did he have that skull with him?"
Marisol agrees with Silver as she dashes backwards, grabbing Aegis' shoulder in warning. Don't!
she thinks to her urgently. We can still get away before more of them come. Run for it!
Both she and Silver manage to put distance between themselves and the Husk, hiding amidst a nearby rock formation. The scout stands motionless as a few more break off from the group to join the search. Marisol urgently beckons for Aegis to join them in hiding before it's too late.>>754888
You start numbly making your way back down. Nothing seems to have happened. No big dramatic explosion, no big beam shooting up, no Discord descending from the heavens. It's all rather anticlimactic.
You hear voices from down the path. Sounds like Violet, Rabi, and a few others. You can't quite make it out.>>754890
You are sent flying forward towards the cruel blade. It plunges forward towards you; then, Carabas is thrown to the deck by Ganzen's vicious attack. The balaur throws itself atop him with a howl, clawing and snapping at the arm with animal fury. With a last ditch effort, you throw yourself backwards, wresting yourself free of the claw. The wing slices your shoulder, dealing a painful wound, but not enough to knock you down.>Zunden takes 1 hit
You feel the inhuman strength leave you.
Ganzen continues to attack Carabas blindly!
The enormous hippogriff weathers the blows with little reaction, retaliating with a cleaving swing of his chain claw, using it as a flail to strike you both!
Aurora brandishes her sword once more and starts flying towards Carabas, rejoining the fight!>>754891
Violet takes in the information, and nods at your question. "He seemed to be going to use it for something. Where is that thing from?…"
Dawn blanches. "A fragment of the Old Chaos. Discord."
"Meine Götter…" Gawain seems to turn to stone. "You don't think he…?"
"Don't say it!" Violet lets out some swears under her breath and starts running back the way she came. Gawain and Dawn quickly follow.>roll Perception>>754891>>754890>>754889>>754888>>754887
The blue and purple lights in the sky shift, as if drawn to something in particular. They seem to shine on the Isle now. You have the feeling something dreadful is about to happen.Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
"Let's hope if we're too late, nothing bad'll happen." he muses, before hurrying along with the others.>Perception [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Aegis does follow the mentally communicated plan, jumping in to hide with the others near the rocksNow what? I could set up a diversion and get their attention if we are caught again. If that happens, you could run towards the ship and stop what Lysander is planning
Tired of the distraction, Zunden brandishes her staff at the base with both claws and swings at Carabas as if it were a baseball bat.
>HARRIDAN'S ARCHSTAFF: Spellcasting Catalyst, Great, +1 to Basic Attack Rolls
[1d10+1]Basic Attack, Critfail 2, Crit 9Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
Watching the splinter group begin to fan out from amongst the rocks, I watch their general movements before choosing to circle back the long way towards the ship, avoiding their search the best I can.
[1d10] Navigation>>754894They'll be on high alert now.. We haven't the time to take the long way but rushing from this angle would see us killed
I commune from my hiding space.It's all we can do at this stage. Perhaps they'll be occupied searching our last angle to find us..Roll #1 5 = 5
>>754896Very well. I will follow your lead on this then
'1d10' navRoll #1 8 = 8
I continue toward the voices, only stopping when the lights shift to the isle. I clench my jaw and stop to watch. Well, this ain't gonna be fun. Focusing, I try to summon four rats, expending Z's sun to help.
[1d10]ImproviseRoll #1 1 = 1
>>754897>>754896We can't stay here,
Marisol agrees. We need to keep moving and not stop until we're well clear of them.
She examines the landscape quickly before following your leads.
Aegis manages to navigate a clear path to avoid the searching Husks, heading steadily downhill. Visibility is low, and you are all soaked to the bone, but it seems to work in your favor. They don't spot you at all.
You arrive at the beach, exiting some undergrowth and peering out at the Vindicator. It is anchored just off shore, and there are several dozen lifeboats run aground. You can see three Husks standing guard over them, while the rest have left to search the island.
Marisol surveys the situation. "Hmmm… If we could take out those guards, we could have a clear shot at stealing a lifeboat. But how are we going to get across? This storm's going to make it impossible to get to the ship in one piece, let alone undetected…">>754895
You swing at Carabas. The staff barely registers as a threat, clanging off his dark plate armor. He is slowed momentarily, but quickly recovers. You might as well have struck a wall.
Ganzen has more success; his prodigious claws rake the knight's metal body, leaving dents. In retaliation, the flail pummels both of you; Ganzen is bowled over, and you hear a nasty crack, while you take a monstrous blow to the chest that knocks you backwards and leaves you gasping for air.>Zunden takes 3 hits
Ganzen struggles to recover, bleeding pale green blood from the wound!
Aurora yells fiercely as she starts bombarding Carabas like an angry magpie! "Get- off- her!"
Carabas ignores her and continues to focus you, grabbing a huge nearby piece of wooden rubble and hurling it at you like a javelin!
You try to conjure up some rats, but it's hard to concentrate with everything that's transpired, and the rain doesn't help either. Four appear at your feet, scrambling around before giving you some angry ankle bites, skittering off into the undergrowth before you can retaliate.>Norv takes 2 hits>>754893>>754898
You eventually unite further along the path; Norv runs across Rabi, Violet, Gawain and Dawn. None of them look too happy to see the former.
"Ah, there you are." Gawain's usual cheer seems to have faded.
"Mr Black. What have you done?" Dawn asks calmly.
Violet just stares numbly, lost for words.Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
/ Roll #3 2 + 1 = 3
"Hey, Norv. Care to explain a litle bit about what's going on?"
Rushing over to Carabas, Zunden attempts to scratch the Return rune into his undead flesh to try and undo the necromancy holding him together and return him to his natural death.
[1d10] SeveranceRoll #1 5 = 5
"Heck." I stumble back a bit and, frustrated, kick at the ground. These magic rats are ridiculous. Forgetting it for now, I continue back toward the group.
As I meet back up with what seems to be most of them, I blankly look from one to the next. I swallow. "What needed to be done," I tell Dawn. "There weren't really any other options anymore. So? I went with plan Z." I let out a quiet snicker, and my entire body visibly shivers. Fear? Apprehension? Excitement? I'm not really sure, but I do know I don't like it. "Or maybe it's more like the big plan D, yeah?"
I take a deep breath and compose myself. "It doesn't even matter what I did. Purdue's power has been fading for a while. Dumb to assume it hasn't been fading back to its source. So what if it happens a little early? This was part of the game. It just turns out that playing the comes with at least some perks." I tilt my head a little. "Where's everyone else?"
>>754899I am not a good swimmer, so trying to swim under the waves is out of question, especially with potential threats under the water. The ocean water is also too violent for me to even hope to freeze it. I can see no other way
Aegis thinks as she tries again to prepare a spell
'1d10'This time I will get them to chase me. Master Silver, you and Marisol get in the ship once they leave, and dont worry about me, I can run for a decent enough time and I will not make it easy for them to give chase. Ready?Roll #1 9 = 9
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 5 = 5
"Uh… maybe explain it just a little better?"
"Could we even disable them in time? If even one
sounds the alarm we're likely to be swarmed.."
"We'll have to chance it. Get closer and attack from hiding, if we're quick we should harry them enough to prevent an alarm.">>754904Should the alarm sound, we'll take your distraction, aegis.
"'Fraid that's the best I can do. Part of the game, I think. Doubt there's an actual reason, but-" I shrug. "As far as I know it's just to give you guys a reason not to trust me. Maybe even make me seem a little nutty. From the look of things it's working out, too. On top of that, kinda seems like I don't have to explain much better either. Everyone else gets the idea. Just-" I rub my forehead. "This is the only option we got, Rabi. The only thing that might end this for good."
You manage to avoid the huge wooden spear hurled at you, ducking as you rush forward. He bats you away with a metal wing.
Aurora's attacks do nothing against his steel shell. Off to the side, Ganzen gets back up, visibly injured but determined to keep fighting. He rushes at Carabas with a snarl!
Carabas looms over you and shoots one claw to pummel you into the ground!
"Stop. Dancing. Around it."
Violet speaks up. Her voice trembles.
"You're summoning him, aren't you. Discord."
"If you are," Dawn says quietly, "we need to know why. What do you know that we don't, Mr Black?" Her horn starts glowing slightly. You get the feeling she's going to find out one way or the other.
Gawain just looks uncomfortable, like being invited to a friend's house and having them argue with their parents. "…Surely there's a peaceful solution to this?…">>754907>>754904
Aegis manages to summon 4 homing magic orbs. Marisol nods and gets into position. All three Husks are standing motionless in a row over by the lifeboats, only a few feet away.Silver, you're still protected by Zunden's rune. You fly over there and take out the farthest one. I'll take the closest one, and Aegis, you fire everything you have at the middle one. We have to time this perfectly, otherwise they'll sound their horns.Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
/ Roll #2 10 + 3 = 13
Zunden tries her best to unmake Carabas again using Return before going down, closing her eyes as she carves the rune.
Return [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Aegis gets into position, and prepares to fire off as soon as the sign is given, ready to shred the husk into frozen bits at the command
'4d10' homing magic, ice
'2d10' magic bolt, ice
Roll #1 7, 7, 9, 6 = 29 / Roll #2 9, 9 = 18
'1d10' potent potion on magic boltRoll #1 7 = 7
Hearing Marisol's direction, I take flight, drawing my Tanto as I fly towards the furthest husk, the trio oblivious to my movements.>bounce
From the air, I prepare to strike downward at the head of the third.
[1d10+1] MeleeRoll #1 3 + 1 = 4
"The peaceful solution," I say, "Is that we continue about our business. It doesn't matter now. Right now-" I point to the storm and the ship. "That's what matters. So stop trying to pick a fight, would ya?" I snort at Dawn. "If that charm Z gave us kept O-Man from rootin around in my noggin too bad I ain't scared of you. I'm on your side. I have been since we got here. If I wasn't, with the sheer amount of explosives I've had on deck, easy access to the floor under your beds, and an easy escape route, would any of you still be alive? Honestly if I had to betray you, or if any of you betrayed me for that matter, I'm pretty confident I don't have anything to worry about. Not anymore."
Please. Don't do this. Not right now. I'll explain after everything, okay?"
"You know, just the slightest bit of an explanation could help. I don't think you're trying to screw us all over, but you're just… distant. Jumpy. Just tell us a little, why don't you?"
I pause. "I didn't see this kind of reaction from you guys when Z gets paranoid, distant, and jumpy. Or Hermodur, who literally tried to betray us once. But if it'll make you feel better and get you guys to stop focusing on me and start focusing on the fight-" >>754910
I pull out the roll of endless sinew and toss it to Dawn, holding my hands out in front of me. "I surrender. One of you wanna disarm me? Give me a patdown"
"I was concerned for Zunden, and I've never really liked Hermodur- I guess you weren't seeing as clearly as you thought, Norv." he says, tilting his head to the side.
"Not just you. The others, too. Do you not hear them grilling me like a murder suspect?"
"Not just you. The others, too. Do you not hear them grilling me like a murder suspect?"
You try to invoke the rune, but are slammed into the deck headfirst by his ironclad fist. The world spins and dances around you, and you're vaguely aware of a bloody gap in your mouth.>Zunden takes 7 hits, helpless
Carabas trudges towards you, placing a metal hoof on your chest to prevent you from getting up, and reaches to grab the Egg from you!
Aurora and Ganzen rush to your aid, attacking him with everything they've got!
Marisol rushes forward as the plan comes together. Silver brings the blade down, slicing into the Husk's head and splitting it with two powerful blows, warping the brass and copper. Gears, lubricant and wires go flying. Aegis unleashes a torrent of icy missiles, mercilessly pelting the middlemost Husk, its joints freezing up and shuddering. As for Marisol, she rushes at the automaton, wrapping her claws around its neck and bringing it down with the full weight of her lunge. Grappling its head under her arm, she holds it in a headlock and wrenches, ripping the head off messily.
All three husks fall almost in unison, obliterated by your combo attack. Marisol tosses the severed head aside, breathing heavily from the exertion. She nods. "Good job," she says out loud.>>754915>>754916
"Nobody wants to hurt you," Dawn says calmly. "We just want answers. We can still fix this."
"Straight answers," Violet adds. "Stop playing Discord's games." She takes an accusing step forward. "Maybe you think you're doing the right thing, but all you're doing is making things difficult!"
"Um… friends?…" Gawain calls your attention, breaking the tense moment. "What's… that?…"
The colored lights in the sky have converged. They shine down on you, like the spotlight on a stage, bathing you all in harsh indigo light. Gawain backs up slightly in trepidation, while Dawn is set on guard. "What is it? What's happening?" Violet draws her blade, confused at the sudden occurrence.>>754914>>754913>>754911
You see the blue and purple lights starting to come together at the top of the island, shining a beam down on… something. The clouds shift and warp, moving away from the Vindicator and towards the converging colours.>>754912>>754914
Marisol turns her attention to the celestial occurrence. "…Should we be concerned about that? …Never mind. We have to take one of these lifeboats and get aboard the Vindicator. Maybe we can sneak on somehow…" She looks away from the lights and back out to sea, thinking about the next course of action.Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11
Forgot Carabas' roll: [1d10+1]Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
Landing, I breathe a sigh of relief as I sheath my Tanto, before rushing to the nearest lifeboat.
"Fine work. Now, climb aboard! We've no time to spare, the ritual looks to be nearly completed!"
Reaching out into the strands of fate, Zunden lets the melody of the Moonlight Sonata rewrite recent history and empower the Return rune she failed to carve earlier, to try and ensure Carabas is too weak to get the egg.>>754911
[1d10+3] rewriting fate with the Moonlight Sonata: Return
Carabas's body to death
[1d10] Get upRoll #1 4 + 3 = 7
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
>>754921Dont speak when this close to the enemy
Aegis chides Marisol mentally as she gets on to a lifeboat with the felid>>754923Fly on ahead Master Silver, see if the coast is clear, I will cover you with magic while me and Marisol take the lifeboat
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 10 = 10
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 8 = 8
Aegis calls forth an immense barrage of magic, radiating and faintly reflecting their light on her coat I will ensure nothing touches you
I deadpan and, realizing they can't see my expression, keep my voice as flat and monotone as I can manage, channeling Aegis as best as I can. "See?" I gesture at the clouds looking at us. "We could've avoided this." I sigh. "Welp. Not totally sure what to do from here besides maybe…" My shoulders slump, I pull a grenade, and toss it to Rabi, leaving me with 5. "Just in case." Guess I still need to make sure I get the egg anyway. Plus it'll be nice having a few extra options if I can manage to grab some more shells, or especially Big Momma. Lifting my hand and activate Z's Return rune.
Nodding to aegis, I spread my wings and take flight, keeping low as i can to the water on approach to the ship.
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 4 = 4
"Well, a lot of them don't really… know you as well as some of the rest of us do. I can't speak for them- I'm just concerned, re- uh… what's with that, anyways?">>754928
Rabi takes the grenade with a bit of a whinny, and tucks it away for later. "I don't think I'll need it, but… thanks."
He snatches the Egg off you with a single swipe, wrenching it from your robes. He spins around and takes flight.
Then, as you invoke the Sonata, you perceive an otherworldly melody. Things come to a standstill, and then begin to flow in reverse. His wings follow an unnatural rhythm as he descends, placing the Egg back on you, the rent fabric reaching out to itself and stitching back together. As his motion is undone, Carabas stumbles backwards, reeling from the attack. He seems weaker, less stable. A horrible rattling breath comes from within his helmet.
This opens him to attack for a moment. Ganzen lays into him again, tearing off parts of his armor in a frenzy. Carabas flinches, then looks up and starts taking off again, retreating from the fight and starting to fly off lopsidedly into the rain, swiping at Aurora in the process. She takes a mean hit, but shrugs it off.
Aurora lands next to you. "Zunden! Are you alright? You're bleeding… Should we go after him?" She starts casting a healing spell on you.
Aegis conjures 10 frosty orbs, which gather around her head like a floating crown of ice. Marisol wastes no time pushing the lifeboat out to sea and taking up one of several sets of oars. It's uncomfortable for those in it, to say the least; the rain, waves and wind all work against you to slow your progress. You can barely see where you're going. I've done some sailing in the past. This isn't going to be easy. Rough weather, hard to see… Silver, help me navigate the waves, and see if you can find an entrance to the Vindicator. Aegis, can you row as well? And maybe with that ice magic you could keep the worst of the waves at bay.
Before you can act, though, things take a turn for the worse.>>754931>>754928
Violet looks at Norv with an unreadable expression. "This isn't over."
Gawain just looks uncomfortable at the conflict, while Dawn looks frustrated. "I want to trust you," she says. "Let's hope whatever madness has gripped you is for the better."
Then, as Norv goes to invoke the rune…>>754931>>754930>>754929>>754927>>754924
As the lights converge on Norv and Rabi, the sky suddenly lights up brilliant green, followed by a peal of thunder that threatens to crack the sky itself. A great voice booms across the ocean, reaching everyone for miles around, as if spoken by some ancient god:"NORVEGICUS BLACK. WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. HEARKEN TO MINE WORDS."
It sounds like two voices speaking as one: the growly rasp of the sorcerer Black Pudding, and something… other. Feminine. Familiar to all (save Aegis) even after all this time."I AM BERRENGAITH. THE BELDAM OF DURENWOL. REBORN KEEPER OF THE FEN. AND THY TRANSGRESSION WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED.""NO SUCCOUR OR CLEMENCY SHALL BE LENT TO THEE. ALL SHALL BE SWALLOWED BY THE TEMPEST. AND THOU SHALT ATONE FOR THINE INVOCATION."
Another deafening thunderclap as a colossal lightning bolt shoots down from the firmament, striking the Isle itself, shooting down through the caldera and into the abyss, causing the whole island to rumble ominously. Out to sea, the winds begin to howl and roil, stirring the ocean into a frenzy, tossing the little rowboat Aegis and Marisol are in like a children's toy. And below the waters, faint glows of blue and purple begin to glow…Roll #1 7 = 7
>>754932>assuming healing gets me up or I'm up after combat
"It iz bezt we take him down in caze it iz able to relay information of ze locazion of ze egg, I do not know why elze it would retreat."
Zunden carves into the deck and invokes Return, trying to wrench Carabas back to the ship forcefully.
[1d10] ReturnRoll #1 7 = 7
>>754932I can row, but I doubt my magic will do much to stop the waves, even if I used all I have
As the waves go wild on the little Rowboat, Aegis tries her best to stabilize and hold on to it, or to ensure Marisol doesnt fall
'1d10+2'Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Bracing myself against the boat as the sea threatens to drown us all, I spare a glance back at the caldera before turning my attention to preventing our capsizing.My word! He's invoked the Berrengaith?!
Looking above the side, I try to glean direction through the wind and rain, searching for a place to dock along the Vindicator.
[1d10] NavigationI haven't the slightest how he managed to call her from the fen, but it sounds as if whatever he did hasn't worked!Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
"I… hrm. I definitely don't like the sound of this- I take it whatever you did didn't work, Norv? Or, uh… or is this part of the plan?"
I stumble back a couple of steps. "What? But I was literally the only one who wanted to help
her until I found out BP murdered her! Unless Pudding is the one in control here I don't know what kinda transgressing I did, and even then I didn't do anything to him either.">>754936
I shake my head. "This wasn't me. Unless this is part of the damn game, which wouldn't surprise me, this is something else. A bunch of crazy powers comin together on this island all at once by their own will or whatever."
"Also wanna point out that that was around before I even did anything. Vi can vouch for that even if nobody else can.'
"Ah- well, shoot. It might be for the best if you hang with us for the time being- I don't really like the idea of this thing trying to whisk you away mid-return."
>>754933>Zunden heals full hits and 1 wound
Aurora's healing lends you the strength to get back up, but your mouth still hurts like nothing else. Feeling around, you find your prior suspicions confirmed: Carabas knocked out one of your front teeth. It's nowhere to be found now. Aurora grimaces and hands you a wadded up towel to help with the bleeding.
As the voice rings out, Aurora flinches, covering her sensitive ears. "What in Luna's name was that?" she asks out loud. "What did he do?"
You invoke the Return rune again, trying to tether Carabas to the ship. Between the intensifying storm and your spinning head from the blow you took, though, it's hard to make it powerful enough to fully bring him back. He is dragged backwards through the air, closer now to where he was before, but still out of reach.
Ganzen limps towards you, nudging you with his head before sitting at your feet, exhausted from the ordeal. Before he can get too comfortable, the ship suddenly rocks and lurches as it is battered by a rogue wave, rocking to and fro!>roll to keep your footing, instant>>754934>>754935What was that voice? What's the Berrengaith?
Marisol wonders. Nothing good, obviously…
Aegis helps Marisol row, keeping the boat steady. Between the rising waves and the howling wind, it's impossible to know which way you're going; Silver can't see anything over the storm, and the two on the boat barely manage to keep it steady. You see lights in the waters converging on your ship, as if of creatures below the waves coming towards you…>>754937>>754936
"He's right," Violet says begrudgingly. "That storm's been brewing for days. Seems we're all in for it now." She gives Norv a pointed look.
The island starts to rumble again. You see a faint orange light starting to glow somewhere in the depths of the caldera. Rabi recalls the vision he had when he was cast through the island in his astral form briefly.
"W-well, we shouldn't stay here," Gawain points out. "What do we do now? Should we reconvene with Zunden? O-or go and find Silver and Aegis?"
Another lightning bolt shoots down into the abyss, deafening you with a clap of thunder. It's like the storm is targeting the island itself. "Whatever we do," Dawn points out, "Gawain's right. We should probably move."
Zunden continues to beckon out amidst the storm, shouting over the wind to Aurora, "It wazth a creature we found onzthe before, but I hear Black Pudding'z voizthe in it too - we can only hope he temperzth zthe zthorm. Put a Zthervitor on zthe balliztha and take down Carabazth before we lozthe him to zthe zthorm."
Return [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
Aegis tosses out a couple pieces of her crown down into the water, hoping the glowing orbs will discourage or at least distract the creatures below.
Putting in all the strenght she can, Aegis begins to also furiously row the boat away from the monsters>>754935Master Silver. I will fire off my magic in every direction in a circle. I want you to fly up and see which one of them will stop, that will be where the Vindicator most likely will be. Dont lose track of it. Ready?
With that, Aegis breathes in and releases all of her magic into a burst that flies from the rowboat to 8 different directions
'8d10'Roll #1 6, 4, 8, 3, 10, 6, 4, 10 = 51
>>754940The Berrengaith was a spirit in the Fen around Black Pudding's old home. She was powerful enough that Black Pudding could do naught but hold her within the fen, tasking us with removing her. To hear her this far from her origin.. Norvy must be truly playing with fire now.
My thoughts are interrupted by another rogue wave crashing into the lifeboat, obscuring my vision briefly before clearing enough to spot the lights rapidly approaching our boat.>>754943
Looking back to nod, I take flight, watching for the lights of aegis' magic.>bounce
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 1 = 1
"Could just be me, but also a little weird she called herself Berrengaith. That was the monster she was trapped in, wasn't it? Maybe I'm wrong, but can't imagine that'd be a name she'd wanna hang on to." I stumble a bit as the island rumbles. "Alright. Yeah. We gotta go. You guys know how far off the ship is? If it's still in good enough shape we really ought to cut and run." I look to Dawn. "And if you still trust me enough and got enough power to open up a little portal about this big-" I gesture about the size of a cannonball. "Above the middle smokestack on The Vindicator we can even leave Lysander's crew a little parting gift on the way. Really gotta try and learn how to do that. Real useful."
"R-Right! Uhm, in the caldera, there's huge cavern of magma- lava? whichever it is." he says, shrugging "I-It's likely not a good idea to stay here with the lightning striking in there."
You stumble, but throw your hand out and catch yourself on some ratlines.
Aurora nods and concentrates, closing her eyes. Your invocation slows his escape; then, you hear the twang of a scorpion bolt from nearby.
Unfortunately, firing projectiles at a target in a storm is easier said than done. The bolt flies off course, but luckily manages to clip Carabas' metal wings, damaging one of them. His flight crippled, he corkscrews out of the air and plunges into the bubbling ocean all around. Aurora hisses and pulls out of control. "Sorry. I think I lost him. It's this storm-"BAM
The deck is illuminated by a lightning bolt from above that strikes only a few feet from where you are. A surge of electricity courses through the ship, conducted by the rain on the ship's surface, threatening to fry the three of you!>roll to dodge>>754942>>754944
A flash of lightning disorients Silver, causing her to fail to spot where Aegis' barrage of magic missiles go. Most of them vanish into the storm, but Marisol points some of them out. "Oh no. Look…"
The shots have hit the sources of the lights in the water you can see; one of them is slain by the shots, while others are merely wounded.
Mirodan. Dozens of them. Closing in on your location. Controlled by the Berrengaith.
Before you have time to fully process this, however, another huge wave comes coursing towards your little boat, threatening to smash it to splinters!>Aegis roll to navigate over it, instant action
[1d10] Marisol navigating>>754945>>754946
"It sounded like him talking," Gawain points out. "Perhaps they've… merged, somehow?" He interlocks his fingers to make the point, even though it's perfectly clear what he means.
"I have my own theory, but I need more," Dawn replies shrewdly. Whatever that theory is, she keeps it to herself for now. "My magic can hardly reach that far," she answers Norv. "Not now, at least. And certainly not in this weather."
Violet grits her teeth at Rabi's warning. "Sounds like this place is a ticking bomb. We're going to need a pickup, I reckon. Do we have a way to contact Zunden?"
"Here, do you need to use my phone?"
It's him. A towering vaguely draconic figure comprised of a congeries of different beasts. Discord's standing right in front of you, blocking the way down. He's holding a bright pink umbrella with cat ears. He flashes you all a Cheshire cat grin.
"Well done, Norvy! Well done indeed! You made the right choice bringing me here. And just in the nick of time, too. Things are starting to get very, very interesting."Roll #1 9 = 9
Aegis wordlessly makes an attempt to keep the boat steady, radiant a faint blue light while multitasking this deed with firing off a bolt of magic, barely refined into a sharp shard of ice, and tossing it at the nearest Mirodan threat
'2d10+2' magic bolt, ice>>754944Master Silver, try to find land or the Vindicator, whichever's nearest, we will go towards itRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #2 8, 1 + 2 = 11
Wide-eyed at the site of so many mirrodan, My stunned pause is interrupted by Aegis' message>>754948The Mirrodan.. I shall try to find a way away from them, be ready!
Struggling to circle around the ship though the pounding rain, I try to spot land or ship from my elevated position.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
Aegis and Marisol have the same idea: the lifeboat gets steered toward the wave, coursing jerkily over it and to the other side in one piece. You're safe, for now. One of the Mirodan gets hit by an ice bolt, but this seems to only anger it more.
Silver scouts ahead, buffeted by the wind and rain, and almost hits a solid wall of metal. The Vindicator. It's right in front of you. You can see a huge iron chain protruding from the water, swaying in the tempest wind. Anything?
Marisol asks, struggling to maintain control over the lifeboat.
A Mirodan comes up from below and rams the boat!>Aegis roll to maintain footing
[1d10] MarisolRoll #1 7 = 7
course correcting at the last moment, I look up at the towering ship for a moment before returning to the lifeboat, holding nearby to direct them.It's the vindicator! We're right next to it!Quickly, this way!
Aegis grits her teeth as she steers the lifeboat and tries to maintain her focus and footing, her colors becoming much more faded as her concentration momentarily slips away
'1d10-1'Roll #1 9 - 1 = 8
Marisol and Aegis hunker down as the lifeboat lurches violently. You hear a telltale crack
from under your feet; the hull's breached. It doesn't look like the boat will last much longer.
The ship comes into view for everyone now. Marisol looks around in a panic as water begins to seep in. What now? How do we get on board?>roll Perception
Another Mirodan starts surging forward to ram the boat!
>>754953Calm down Marisol. Row us out of here while I plug this leak, quick!
Aegis says as she attempts a quick fix by freezing the area around the crack to stop more water from flowing in, tapping it with a frozen hoof and letting the ice stick to the surface
'1d10' earthen strike, ice (Very gently)
'1d10' perceptionRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
traveling the length of the ship, I try to find some means of climbing aboard!
[1d10] PerceptionAlmost.. Hold them for a moment longer, else you'll have to climb the anchor chain!Roll #1 6 = 6
You manage to freeze it to the best of your abilities, stalling the water from coming in, but it won't hold for very long.>>754955
Bad news all around. The Vindicator is just a solid wall of steel all the way up. A true floating fortress. It looks like the only way out of this is to risk climbing the chain.>>754954>>754955
Marisol tries to fire her flintlock off at one of the Mirodan, but it gets wet and fizzles in the rain. She curses. Looks like we don't have much of a choice there…
She starts steering the boat towards the chain, clearly intending to climb to safety!
The Mirodan rams the lifeboat again!>Aegis roll to brace again
It only has to hold for a few seconds
Once approaching the chain, Aegis gets ready to jump to grab it, but notices the approaching mirodan, and braces once more for impact
'1d10+2'Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
Flying near the boat, I try to assist the two in grabbing hold of the chain.
[1d10] AssistRoll #1 6 = 6
Roll #1 3 = 3
As the Mirodan approaches, Aegis tries to brace, but isn't quite fast enough. She and Marisol are sent tumbling forward by the impact as the hull splinters. Thinking fast, Silver manages to catch Aegis, helping her get a grip on the giant iron chain. Marisol manages to grab it, but hits her head in the process, being left stunned momentarily. Below, the Mirodan converge on the remains of the lifeboat, thrashing wildly and tearing it to shreds. No going back that way now. Climbing the chain won't be easy, especially with the winds, and there's no telling how far up it goes…>roll Navigation
>>754960>>754958Thank you Master Silver
Aegis says through the mental link as she works on climbing up before the wind and the storm knock her into the water
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
I snap. Yeah, I didn't think she could reach that far. "Dang. I was gonna drop a loaded cannon shell right into their central coal stove. Maybe start a chain reaction in their boilers. Trap everyone else on the island when it blows. Oh well. It was worth considering, at least.">>754947
I look up at Discord and let out a relieved sigh. A reaction I never expected to have upon seeing him, and one I'm honestly not even sure is appropriate yet. "Yeah, you're right on time. Can I tell everyone what's going on now, then? I assume you're not gonna welsh, at least." I turn around to look up at the mountain. "Talk on the way to the coast. Not partial to a lava bath. The rain on its own has me smelling bad enough. Burnt dog probably doesn't smell much better than wet dog." I gesture down the path behind Discord. "May I?"
"It'zth fine, juzth focuzth on-" Zunden is interupted with the lighting bolt, causing her to jump.
"We'll focuzth on getting zthe zhthip moving, we can't zthay at zthea wizth zthe wavezth growing."Roll #1 6 = 6
Aurora takes flight, and you and Ganzen manage to scramble to higher ground as the lightning courses through the ship, narrowly avoiding getting fried on the spot.
Aurora nods and flies over. "Let's just take a m- oh gods Zunden, your face…!" She hurriedly tries to cast a reconstructive spell.
The ship rocks violently as waves crash against it, threatening to hurl you all overboard!>roll to remain standing, instant
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Correction: Aurora nods and flies over. "Let's just take a moment to patch you up. You don't want to look in the mirror right now. Gods, that's a lot of blood…" She tries to cast a reconstructive spell. >casting Mend
"Zthe zthorm doezthn't care how I look, and nor do I -" Zunden catches herself and tries to remain still.
"Zthe oztherzth are going zthrough zthe zthame zthorm, main goal izth zthill to make zthure we do not zthrand zthem on zthe izthland."
She attempts to summon a Return orb for future use bailing water out or returning from being overboard.> Thaumaturgy:Frozen Return
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
The sudden slam of the tidal wave knocks Aurora off balance, interrupting her spell. It doesn't seem to have helped much. You manage to conjure the Return rune to help with the ship.
"Well you can't stay like this," she says stubbornly. "Let's get out of the rain at least." She offers to help you get below deck where it's less chaotic. Ganzen limps over to you with a soft growl, affectionately headbutting you. He seems hurt.
Zunden runs her claw alongside Ganzen's back as she makes her way to belowdecks with Aurora, "Proud of you boy, let me patztch you up."
Zunden pulses out more healing magic to Ganzen and Aurora, using her healing orb only to replenish it despite being topped off herself.
>Healing Bonds (spending orb only for the +1)
"I know not how to counter a zthorm like zthizth or if Lyzthander izth going to uzthe it to hizth advantage. In eizther cazthe, we zthould try and reezthablizth contact with zthe oztherzth."Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
You head downstairs, making your way to the mess hall. It's barely recognizable after everything that's happened; the door to the kitchen has been smashed in by some fallen debris, and the table has been broken in two. Most of the chairs are reduced to splinters, and there's a hole in the roof. Aurora grimaces at the state of the place. It's a far cry from the cozy dining room you've sat at time and time again.
Nevertheless, you sit down. The exhaustion from the whole ordeal is starting to catch up with you; you begin to ache all over and shiver uncontrollably from the cold of the rain, and your face throbs and smarts. Aurora seems to be coming down from the adrenaline as well; she concentrates for a bit and summons a Servitor, who she puts to work making tea. It'll be a minute before it's ready.
She nods at your proposal. "Yeah. Can't imagine they're doing too well. Try and think to them, I'll focus on fixing you up."
[1d10] MendRoll #1 4 = 4
Seeing Aurora's dismay at the destruction, Zunden tries to offer some comforting words despite her adrenaline fading. "N-neizther of uzth are zthrangerzth to lozthing zthe p-plaze we call home - we are exthpertzth at putting zthingzth b-back togezther, no?"
Upset she doesn't have her bag of holding to pull out her warmest set of clothes from, she instead pulls Ganzen close to try and share some warmth between the two coldblooded species. Wanting to assist the struggling batpony, Zunden weaves her healing magic with Aurora's, wanting to help her start the process rather than outright healing herself without help.
[1d10] Mend>>754940Is everyone okay? The ship is getting hit bad by the storm and we have some injuries but we're trying to get it in condition to fly again. What is the situation with Lysander?Roll #1 10 = 10
"Ah. Well, I guess that's… another player. And, yeah- we ought to be able to get in touch with Zunden, if everything still works.">>754941
"Hey, Zunden. Can you hear us?"
>>754961>>754960Not a problem, Aegis.Now, careful climbing the chain, you two! You likely won't have a second chance to grab hold.. N-not that I doubt you'll be fine, of course!
Taking one last glance down at the smashed boat, I focus my efforts into helping the pair climb the chain, fighting the wind and rain all the while.
[1d10] AssistRoll #1 10 = 10
Your companions don't react nearly as kindly to Discord's sudden rather unceremonious appearance. Violet yells and scrambles backwards, while Dawn freezes and lights up her horn. "That voice…" Gawain's feathers stand on end, and in sheer instinct he swings his sword at Discord. The draconequus catches it and twists it into a balloon animal with the flick of a wrist. It's a tiny rubber Gawain.
"Temper, temper. Now, let me explain. I know this looks bad-"
"Don't listen to him!" Dawn commands, her voice trembling. "This was your plan?!" Violet says to Norv in disbelief. Gawain just stares in disbelief at the balloon animal, which deflates with a comical sound and turns back into his sword.
Discord frowns. "Can I at least-"
"No." Dawn isn't letting him get a single word in. "I know what you are. You lie as easily as you breathe."
"Fair enough. But-""ENOUGH!"
She blasts him with a gigantic silver nova, blinding you all with its radiance. Pearlescent flames engulf Discord for a solid minute.
When it dissipates, he's brushing the magical energies away with a feather duster, raising an eyebrow. "Rude."
Dawn stumbles backwards in disbelief. Seems fighting won't solve much here.>>754961>>755129
Marisol and Aegis crawl on the chain. It's painstakingly slow progress; the wind and rain blind them to their progress and threaten to hurl them off into the waters below, but with Silver's guidance you manage to keep going in one piece. At one point, Aegis slips and nearly falls, but Silver manages to catch her. You're about halfway to the end of the chain; in between bursts of torrential rain, you can see a railing. If you just keep crawling forward, you can grab on to the railing and haul yourselves onto the ship.>>755127
Ganzen is surprisingly warm; balaur seem to be warm blooded, despite their reptilian appearance. He coils around you and rests his watermelon-sized head on your lap with a heavy sigh.
Aurora nods. "I suppose. What is home, anyway, but where the heart is." As she reaches out with her healing magic, you focus inwardly and cast your own spell. The end result is more your healing than Aurora's, but either way, you feel a slight itching sensation in your mouth as the damage gets repaired. Much better.>>755129>>755128>>755127>>754961
As Rabi and Zunden call out through your mental bond, you all hear their voices in your heads.Not on board the Vindicator yet. Kind of in a tight spot,
Marisol thinks.Hm, we might be in a spot of bother ourselves,
Gawain thinks.Slight understatement,
Dawn thinks. We found Norv, but, well…
She trails off.
>>755199You've found norvy?
I send via thoughtspeak, in between struggling with helping the pair climb. While I'm glad he still lives, I do hope he knows what he's doing! We were very nearly torn apart by mirrodan on route, possessed by the Berrengaith of all things!We're just about aboard the vindicator, though I'm concerned their ritual is near completion! Any word on the egg?
I try to pinch the bridge of my muzzle but end up pinching between my mask's lenses instead. "Yeah, this is going about as well as I expected. But look. I know this looks bad," I repeat him. "But there's a reason for it. Fighting would be silly, especially when the place is about to blow. We need to go. Now
. You need to listen on the way, alright? We don't have another choice right now. Dealing with O-man is one thing. We knew he'd be a problem from the beginning. Have you seen Lysander now, though? I know we were on the same ship. I blew him up
, guys. Suppose it's a little late to ask, but if anyone has a better idea I'm all ears. If not then shut up and get moving." I try again to head down the path, but pause after a couple of steps. "So, uh… How we gonna get back? Please tell me the choice ain't "storm the Vindicator" or get toasted."
>>755199>>755282>>755281Everyone is alive though, yes? There are plenty of complications, I mostly worry the state of everyone's wellbeing. Egg is still in my possession.
Zunden gets back below decks, working on repairs, weaving wood back into holes with Creation runes.
[1d10] CreationRoll #1 7 = 7
"Yup. Still alive. We'll want to be careful on the island, though- it might erupt soon… I think? I had a weird vision of underneath the island when I projected."
>>755199>>755284We have not seen Lysander yet, but are closing in on him. We might be able to still get a surprise strike while he's vulnerable, I hope
Aegis says as she struggles to climb, trying to reach for the railingCan anyone explain to me what is this Berrengaith character? Wasnt Black Pudding the one supposed to appear and assist us?
Aurora answers Aegis' question. The Berrengaith was a nature spirit Black Pudding wanted to destroy. Last we heard, he'd succeeded.
Marisol does a double take. Wait, Discord? You're joking, right? THAT was Norv's plan?It's… complicated,
Gawain thinks back. Mr Black certainly seems to think it'll help. We'll stay in touch once we have answersI have a very bad feeling about this,
As if to hammer the point home, you feel another rumbling under your feet. A few rocks begin to loosen.
"I'd planned on returning us to Zunden once the Fortune got patched up and was able to pick us up," says Dawn, "but given all this, I don't think that's an option…"
"Maybe we could swim back?" Gawain suggests with a weak smile, looking nervous at the current situation.
"Ahem. Back to the ship, is it?" Discord chimes in, moving past a glowering Violet. "If you'd be so kind, I happen to know a shortcut!" He points at a rocky path that doesn't seem to lead anywhere in particular, and motions for you to follow as he strides off purposefully in that direction. You're dimly aware that there's a strange patch of clear sky above you all, as well as wherever Discord follows. Looks like he's stopping the rain from pouring on you.>>755284
You continue to patch up the damage done to the ship. It should be seaworthy again with a bit more effort, but most of the structural damage will take hours to fix, if not more.
As the mental conversation winds down, Aurora looks to you with a furrowed brow. "First Lysander, now this storm, and now Discord," she says out loud. "This is going from bad to worse. What do you make of it?"
Before you can reply, the ship shudders as another thunderbolt hits what's left of the mast, the flash of lightning illuminating even where you are below. In your mind's eye, you see splinters of wood go flying from the impact. There's no two ways about it; the storm seems to be targeting you and your companions.>>755287>>755281
Marisol presses forward, urging you all to follow her lead. The wind picks up in a sudden gust, threatening to knock you all off balance and into the waters below, while the rain blinds you periodically. You can only just see the end; it should be one final burst of effort to finish the climb. Luckily, the storm probably means you won't face much resistance on the Vindicator's exterior.>roll to keep moving forward
I stare at him for a second. "Wait. You knew this was going to happen? How long? Kinda hope you didn't just not say anything when I left. Would've been important to know I shoulda focused more on ways back off the island.">>755577
I huff. "Well. Not important now." I tuck my hands back into my pockets, spin on my heels, and casually stroll behind Discord. "Don't be so glum, guys. He's here to help. This time tomorrow we should be rid of all of this. Or at least most of it." I stop and turn back towards everyone. "And hey. Even if he doesn't then we're not in any worse of a position. You can only get so dead, yeah?" I turn back around and laugh, following Discord again.
"Besides, it feels like we ought to get off this island sooner rather than later- everything I saw below the surface looked… bad, to say the least. I don't think it's a good idea to be here when all of that comes to the surface." he explains, looking at Discord's route with confusion before stepping forwards after him.
>>755577If Master Norvegicus managed a way to somehow get the Chaos incaranate to assist us today, then I applaud him… At least Discord is not listening to our mental link is he?
Aegis breathes in and tries to get a good grip in to finish the last stretch of the climb
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"Az waz read from ze cardz - violent upheaval. Norvegicuz azked for a reading zhiz morning and ze cardz read our future holds juztice, which I interpret az ze world returning exzactly what we've put into it, pozitive or negative. All ze good or bad we've done will be returned to uz today, we muzt hold out hope we have done enough good."
Zunden tries to create a ward to shield the ship from lightning for the next hour.
[1d10] SeveranceRoll #1 2 = 2
The wind and rain continue to nearly throw us off the chain! Pushing my tired wings to their limit, I work to help pull the others the last few rungs up to the ship's deck.
[1d10] assistRoll #1 2 = 2
"You'd be surprised at how deep the death rabbit hole goes," Discord remarks in response to Norv. "The truth would probably drive you mad. Well, more mad. Suffice to say, double death is very much a thing, and that's just the tip of the iceberg."
You follow Discord along the rocky path - and suddenly find yourselves back on the Fortune. Dawn stumbles, disoriented, while Violet and Gawain take a moment to get their bearings. "What…?"
"Good shortcut, right?" Discord flashes a grin.>>755581
"Yeah. Here's hoping." Aurora doesn't seem very comforted by this.
You try to use Severance, but can't bring yourself to act against the storm. As if whatever power has invoked it is beyond your abilities to bind, even by the laws of reality itself.>>755579>>755578>>755581
You all find yourselves face to face all of a sudden. Aurora jumps slightly as Norv, Rabi, Gawain, Violet and Dawn suddenly appear in the kitchen. A familiar genteel voice echoes as Discord himself soon joins them, stepping out from behind the corner. "Pardon the intrusion, ladies," he says with a smile, doffing a top hat in greeting to Zunden and Aurora. The latter looks frozen at the sight of him. "Oh relax, I'm not here to mess with you. I mean I am. But you know what I mean."
He looks around. "Is this everyone? No. Hm. Well, it'll have to do. I have a proposition for you all, if you'll hear me out.">>755580>>755582
A sudden gust rocks the chain, blowing Silver away like a leaf. She barely manages to withstand it by grabbing on to a link, causing it to sway uneasily, throwing Aegis and Marisol off balance and impeding progress. The latter manages to steady herself quickly, due to her feline reflexes, and reaches out to help Silver get her bearings. "Are you alright?">roll again, DC lowered
"Even if you were not zummoned here, given ze circumztanzez I find it hard to imagine you would not zhow anywayz." Zunden responds while trying to fix the ship, undeterred from her task, "Not to imply you are predictable, zhat iz. You are a guezt on zhiz zhip, zo zpeak az you pleaze."
[1d10] CreationRoll #1 10 = 10
Aegis grits her teeth as she nearly falls off, but thinks fast and kicks the hull of the ship with a frosted rear hoof for stability, freezing over the surface of the metal hull around her hoof to use as a step
With a pained groan, she attemps to cover the distance lost and then make it to the deck once more
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
Clinging to the chain exhausted, I nod.Just need to catch my breath.
she thinks to the kot, sparing herself the trouble talking to take in gasps of air. I haven't flown through something quite this bad in a while.
catching my breath, I give my wings a momentary break, opting to carefully climb the chain with the others for now.
[1d10] ClimbingRoll #1 3 = 3
Rabi shakes his head, a little bit dizzy from the sudden change in location. "That's, uh… certainly a shortcut, yeah.">>755583>>755584
"Oh! I, uh… I hope we're not interrupting too much. Stuff on the island might be getting a little dicey, so we took a… quicker way back? Whatever it was he did." he says, looking to Discord. "And, uh, feel free."
I quirk an eyebrow. "More mad?" And double dead. Jeeze. That- "Yeah. Not gonna ask. Thanks for sparing me."
My head spins a little as we step from the island onto the ship without any kind of transition, but I manage to keep my footing, only stumbling a little. I peel my gas mask off, look up at Aurora and Zunden, and smil3. "Hey. I miss anything? Hope you don't mind, I brought company."
I tuck my gas mask into my pocket and patiently wait for the proposal.
The chain freezes over as Aegis secures a path to the ship, stabilizing it. It won't hold forever, but it should be enough for you all to progress.
Silver's grip begins to slip as a rogue wave crashes on the side of the Vindicator's hull, spraying you all and throwing you about. Disoriented, she loses a hold and begins to fall. Mirodan begin to swarm below, peering from beneath the waves with hungry glowing eyes…
Instinctively, Marisol throws one arm out, just managing to grab Silver by the back leg. She dangles off the chain with her other arm, gritting her teeth and groaning as she struggles to help Silver up. "Come on…!"
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"Well, you can thank Norvy here for me showing up. I wanted to come to the party earlier, but I needed that little bit of a boost he gave me by doing the deed."
Your invocation seems to be especially effective. The last of the seawater is flushed out, and the ship rocks slightly as you patch the worst of the damage. It still needs a bit more work, but you're almost done with repairs. "Good job," Discord comments. You feel something manifest in your pocket. >>755584>>755587>>755588
He snaps his fingers, and all of a sudden, those who were standing find themselves seated, with Discord at the head of the table. Zunden sits at the opposite end. It looks like she's of particular interest to him. All eyes are on him: some curious, some fearful, some hostile. He flashes a toothy grin at his captive audience as there's another peal of thunder outside.
"The way things stand, you've done quite well for yourselves so far. Despite everything, you do stand a chance of beating Lysander after all. But there's always the matter of that old curmudgeon that's been bothering you. Our mutual friend. Now that he's, well, here in this realm, he won't stop until he finds that little bauble there." He gestures at the Egg Zunden carries.
"So. Let's say you beat the Skylord and take that thing to who knows where. That's all well and good, but you know he won't stop until he finds it. Like yours truly, eternity doesn't mean much to him. Though it can be annoying. And unlike that belligerent homunculus Lysander, he's not someone you can exactly beat up until they say uncle. Effectively, no matter what you do or where or even when you go, that right there is a ticking time bomb. Inevitably, he's going to get his mitts on it. And when he does…" He makes an explosion gesture, mouthing a boom.
"What I'm trying to say is, you still have a problem even if you survive today. But I'm offering a solution. You see, it's not exactly in my best interests for this reality to be blipped out of existence. Not that it'd really affect me, but this is a convenient place for me. For now. I, as a nigh omnipotent entity that you could never really wrap your temporary brains around, could do something that would really get under the stick in the mud's skin:"
"I could destroy the Egg."
"No strings attached. Just deleting it for now until the end of time. All you have to do is give it to me, and all your problems will be solved. For now, at least. I'm sure something will come up later on. But you give me that, and this whole thing can be over just like that. No more Cuckoo, no more Oneiromancer, no more threat to reality. I think I'm offering a pretty fair trade, given the current goings on." He shrugs.
Dangling from Marisol's grip, I try to unfurl my wings and stabilize myself enough to take flight!
[1d10] FlyRoll #1 4 = 4
Making her way up to the top, Aegis gets ready for possible combat aboard the deck, calling upon another set of orbs >>755592Are you two holding up well? I made it to the deck, dont be afraid to hold on to the frozen chain, I have special ointment for ice burns here
'1d10+2' homing magic, iceRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
'1d10' potent potionRoll #1 2 = 2
I lean back in my chair and get comfortable. That still leaves Lysander we have to deal with, but O-Man seems more the paragmatic type, y'know? Pretty much the whole reason I-" I swallow and sink into the chair a little more, my smile falling. "Well, the whole reason you're here. You know my answer."
You make it on board and conjure 5 icicles in a neat star pattern. Visibility is low because of the storm, but you're on a railing connecting areas of the deck. Looking back, you can't see any sign of Marisol or Silver.>>755592
Marisol slips and almost falls herself under the added weight and loose grip, but with an almighty heave, manages to pull you back on top of the chain. She takes a moment to recover, exhausted from the ordeal. "Just… just a bit further," she breathes, gesturing feebly towards the icy chain path Aegis forged. It doesn't look like it'll hold much longer, but if you hurry, you should be able to make it across.>roll to navigate, DC3 due to the ice bridge
[1d10] MarisolRoll #1 10 = 10
"I dunno… that sounds risky. I mean, there's risk everywhere in this- but, just leaving the egg and trying to forget about it? I don't know…"
>>755596Oh, hold on
Aegis rushes to the edge of the deck to look down at the pairHere, this will give you some time
Aegis taps the ice path and ensures that it stays frozen as it is for the two
'1d10' frigorRoll #1 6 = 6
Hauled onto the chain once again, I keep low and crawl towards the ice bridge, using it to climb aboard
[1d10] ClimbRoll #1 4 = 4
"I, uh… I don't know. Would destroying it really just be… ya know…" he can't snap his fingers, so he stamps his hooves slightly. "Like that? Saying 'for now, at least' makes it a little less, ehhh… it makes it sound like a terrible idea."
"You will forgive me for being fatigued by dealing wizh immortal entitiez that hold domain over a conzept - could you not juzt play egg hunt wizh ze Oneiromanzer? We have juzt az little guarantee of your word zhan any ozher. Hiding ze egg waz already a non-permament zolution, we juzt wanted it out of our pozezzion and away from uz long enough for uz to zort out our livez."
Zunden breathes slowly, rubbing her temples, "We know not if ze Cuckoo holdz more importanze zhan juzt ze fact zhat it deztroyz worldz. Everyzhing and everyone iz here for a reazon. A wolf may eat a lamb, but to remove zhem entirely cauze far greater ramificationz."
Zunden pauses, before chuckling softly, "Ramificationz, unintended."
Aegis reinforces the ice, easing the crossing for her companions. Finally, you make it across, barely sheltering from the rain under an overhang from an adjacent structure. You are on a walkway connecting two areas, but with the dark and the rain, it's difficult to see where you're going. "We should probably get out of the rain," Marisol comments, folding her arms for warmth.>roll Perception
slumping onto the deck after the intense struggle, My gratefulness at making it aboard alive is replaced with a refocusing on the surroundings, searching for a way into the ship proper, or at least a way out of the rain.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 3 = 3
Aegis seems unphased as usual joining efforts into finding a way into the ship properBe on your guard. The sounds of rain dampens footsteps
'1d10' perceptionRoll #1 6 = 6
"So then we choose the thing we know is going to come back to bite us in the butt instead of taking a gamble on something that might, just might
give us some room and time to breathe? I don't know how much longer I can do this, guys. This was supposed to be our ticket to a chance to relax, but the first- the very first
place we try to hide the egg Lysander shows up. And that's just Lysander. Not whatever the hell the Oneiromancer is. So if we say no what's our plan. Run away and try the same thing again, hoping it works out?"
"I had no intention of hiding ze egg here, we were zimply leading Lyzander here to cauze him trouble trying to look for it. I do not zhink you are one to lizten to ozher'z planz az of late, zhough." Zunden says as she tilts her head.
"What ztake do you have in zhiz, Norvegicuz Black."
"I don't even really know if destroying the egg would really give us much time to breathe, anyways- I doubt Lysander or the Oneiromancer'd just start ignoring us."
>>755601Feeling the object that appeared in your pocket reveals he gave you a chocolate chip cookie for your efforts.>>755595>>755600>>755601
"Well when I say destroy, I don't mean actually removing it from all existence everywhere. Even I can't destroy an extinction entity like that. Just as far as all of you are concerned, it'd be out of your hair, and the O-Man's, forever. I think I'd send it to that one reality with those awful technicolour changelings…"
Reactions from the others are equally mixed.
"This seems like a bad idea," Dawn says. "But if this is a chance to be rid of it once and for all, then perhaps we shouldn't waste the opportunity."
"Oh, I'm not going to offer it again, don't worry," Discord remarks, to Dawn's discomfort. She looks at Zunden meaningfully.
"I agree with lady Dawn," Gawain comments. "If this is the simplest solution, however precarious, I don't think we should pass it up."
Violet doesn't trust him at all. "And what would you get out of it?"
"Peace of mind. Another name to cross off my list. I'm only here because we all want the same thing, don't we?"
She's not convinced. "I don't trust any of this. Everyone's heard the stories. You lie as easily as you breathe."
He looks offended. "Hey, come on! …That's true. But it wouldn't suit me to lie about any of this. I am, quite literally, your only hope of stumping the old bat."
Aurora speaks up quietly. "What's stopping you from just… taking it right now?"
He leans back and grins from ear to ear. "Absolutely nothing, my little pony."
"The only reason I haven't turned you all inside out is because you're alright in my book. Useful idiots, if you will. Especially Norvy here. Besides, you did me a good turn back in the Sands, if you recall. Think of this as me returning the favor. Even Steven!"
"So, what's it gonna be?" A clock starts ticking and a jaunty little piano tune echoes through the ship as you think of a response.
"No, I realize that. We were gonna fake him out, leave, and hide the actual egg somewhere else, right? But how well has that worked out?"
I rub my eyes. "Stake? The Zame ztake we all have, Zunden. My life, the people I care about, and my Sisters damned sanity. Something I'm pretty sure just about all
of us are slowly losing." I laugh, but it comes out a half sob. "An exterminator. I was a damned exterminator that played poker on the weekends before this, Z. I've done my best to help out in every way I could, and I'd like to think I've been a pretty huge help overall at some points, but what do you want me to do? I just want to be done, just like you."
"Lysander wouldn't. That much is for sure. He was a problem before the whole egg plotline. He'll be a problem after. The Oneiromancer, though? He's only after us because of the egg. Why waste his energy if we don't have it?"
You manage to feel your way around the metal structure. It seems like an entrance to the ship's bowels. You manage to find a door that leads to a stairwell, but it seems to be locked. Marisol fiddles with it for a bit, to no avail. "Hm. Should we look somewhere else, or try to force this?…"
"You wouldn't be here if my answer wasn't yes," I agree with just about everyone else. "So yeah. Get rid of it."
Rabi shrugs a bit, saying "I still don't know- I'd hope the Oneiromancer leaves us be, but we'd still be the ones that helped deny it from him for good.">>755608
"I… it might be good. I just feel a little worried about what might happen once it's gone."
Zunden scowls at Norv for imitating her accent crudely, "You zpeak zhe truzh, you were onze an exterminator. I am not zure what you are, now.">>755608>>755609>>755607
Zunden closes her eyes, "Norvegicuz is right too about wanting to be done. I am tired and in pain, I have lozt more friendz zhan zhoze zhat have died. I am tired of liez, and peaze of mind iz juzt anozher." Zunden opens her eyes and looks to Discord directly, "You could never offer me zhat in return. You are well aware zhat zhiz Egg haz cauzed me anxziety far beyond zhat of zhiz world."
"I feel az if I have been broken by the turmoil between outer and inner influenzez, and zhiz offer only preyz upon my tirednezz. I will not make a dezizion, nor will I ztop whatever iz to happen bazed on the dezizionz of ze ozherz prezent here. Whatever will be, will be."
>>755617That much is true
Aegis says, holding up her shield in the rain for a moment so the inner part fills with water before splashing it onto the lockLets see if it doesnt make much noise too
With that, the Crystal mare places her hoof on to the wet lock, freezing it over
'1d10' frigorRoll #1 5 = 5
My lips tighten and I lean forward on the table. "Yeah," I say. "Me neither." I bury my face in my hands. "I've done my best. I've died twice." I let my hands fall and try my best not to look over at Vi. "Two and a half if you count giving up half my soul, which -I guess now would probably be a bad time to mention- has affected me a good bit more than I expected. Nobody can say I haven't done my best to do what's right. Even when -or maybe even especially when- I have to go off the rails a little. So no. I don't know who I am." I look over at Vi finally. "It doesn't seem like anyone does." I turn back to Zunden. "But does it really matter anymore?"
Zunden is done responding, only looking down at the egg for however longer it remains in her possession.
I sigh, flop back down, and fall silent.
Frost spreads from Aegis' touch, encasing the lock in ice with a soft cracking sound. Marisol takes a step back, and follows it up with a powerful blow. The padlock shatters, and the door swings ajar. She steps aside to let you all in, bringing up the rear. Well done,
she thinks to Aegis.
The stairwell is dimly lit by magic-infused lanterns, and for the first time in what feels like forever, you're somewhere warm and dry. Marisol takes a moment to get comfortable, even in this cramped space. "Blasted rain…"
Moving below, you can see that the stairwell leads to four exits:
The first is the way you came, connected to the upper deck.
The second door is labeled "Cargo Hold 4".
The third, "Troop Maintenance".
The fourth reads "Coal Bunkers".
>>755622>>755617Perhaps the coal bunkers?
Aegis suggests Master Silver, what do you think?
>>755622>>755623A Ritual of this sort must require ample room, I'd assume. Perhaps we should check the cargo hold?
I broadcast to the others
"Oh, I meant peace of mind for me. I'm a chaos god, not a therapist.">>755614
"Would you rather be stalked and tortured for eternity by a nightmare made material until your mind is ripped apart and you're reduced to a gibbering madman, dooming the world as you know it to be destroyed in an instant?">>755615>>755614>>755612
Dawn nods in agreement with Zunden. "It's such a burden. If this is a way out… we should take it. And weather what may come."
Gawain looks uneasy. "The situation is dire indeed. If this is a gift, we should be prepared to accept it.
Violet doesn't look happy about it, but purses her lips and nods. Aurora doesn't seem to know what to think.
"Majority vote yes. Goodie gumdrops."
He reaches all the way over the table, plucking the Egg from Zunden's grasp. "Good girl." He holds it up, admiring the featureless, oblong object. "All this trouble for such a small thing…"
He closes his fist.
And just like that, it's gone. No rush of energy. No cataclysmic event.
"What, were you expecting an earth shattering kaboom? Relax! It's out of your hair! You made the right decision! Congratulations!" Confetti starts showering on you all. There's a lingering sense of unease, and the slightest hint of a whisper in the air. Norv feels the feather that's always been in his pocket disintegrate into nothing.
"Majority already said it, but… yeah, sure. We'll take what comes after this, but let's just dust it." he says, after a moment. >>755625
"That's… really it? Just like that?" the stallion asks, looking around and scratching at his neck nervously. "Something feels a little off, though."
I tense a little as he grabs the egg, but relax as nothing happens besides it disappearing. Even better, that feather is gone. Good. I was going to mention that next. I breathe a sigh of relief. "Good. I'll be honest, I expected you to destroy the egg without letting the cuckoo out. Almost sounded like this world was gonna blow, throwing everyone here back into the dominion. Just not creating another egg. Thank you."
Zunden remains unresponsive, even as the egg is removed from her person.
>>755624>>755626Whatever they were doing,
Marisol points out, it seems to have stopped once the storm started.
She takes a moment to reload her flintlock pistol before taking the lead. She flinches slightly as another lightning bolt strikes, this time attacking the Vindicator itself.
The cargo hold is a huge chamber containing stacks of iron crates branded with a familiar logo. You recognize it after a moment as the rune inscribed on the gates to the dark city of Last Hearth. Past them is a flight of stairs that seems to lead to other parts of the ship.
You can hear the footsteps of a guard on patrol. From the metallic sound, it seems to be one of the Husks you've been fighting so far.>>755627
"Just like that. Of course, this won't go over well with everyone, but, well, you chose this.">>755628
"It's another universe's problem now. Don't worry. You won't have to worry about the Cuckoo ever again. As for other things…">>755627>>755628>>755629>>755626>>755624
At this moment, you all hear the loudest sound you've ever heard in your lives. An ear splitting roar rings out from the heavens as what can only be described as the mother of all lightning bolts pierces the sky, striking the Isle of Glass. Then comes a faint rumbling sound, that seems to get increasingly louder. The volcano has awoken.>>755627>>755628>>755629
"Welp, that's my cue!" Discord shakes the table as he stands up. "I'll be around. Norvy has my number. One last thing as a token of good will:"
He snaps his fingers and the Fortune shudders. In her mind's eye, Zunden can see the ship being repaired in rapid motion, almost like a time lapse sped up dramatically. Before you know it, the Fortune is shipshape again. "If you ever want to chat or make a deal, give me a ring. Happy to be of service. Remember, your choices aren't made by you and nobody here actually exists!"
And with a puff of smoke, he's gone.
"…Now what?" Gawain asks bluntly. "Should, er, should we warn the others? Maybe help them somehow?…"
Another universe? I, ah… hrm." the stallion frowns a little, not sure how to feel about that. Gawain's comment snaps him out of it, and he says "Definitely. The island's going to erupt soon, and I don't think we want to be remotely close to it."
>>755630>>755624A guard. Lets rid of it the same way we did the others, isolate and swiftly destroy it before it can-
Aegis's thoughts are interrupted as the lighting strike throws her off…Before it can sound its alarm. Master Silver, let us rid of it swiftly
"Wait, warn the others? I thought you warned them already." >>755631
I knit my brow. "So you got the vision of the place blowing or whatever after they went but before we met up? When did that happen, anyway? Or did you tell us all about it and I miss the meetin?">>755630
"Yeah, we gotta warn Silver and pick her up somehow. Then get gone. Whatever is about to happen, we gotta make tracks as far from here as we can. Still don't think anyone told me where she went." I pause for a second before adding, "Oh. And Aegis, to."
Keeping low, i prepare to move into position to ambush the husk when the sound of the sky cracking throws me off balance.What was that?! Is everypony alright?
I broadcast to the linked others, taking cover behind a few crates in the meantime.
"You missed the meeting. When I tried to project, ah… things went really, really bad. Flung below the surface. I got a front-row seat to what's gonna happen, since I saw the whole thing heating up below.">>755629
"Zunden. I, uh… I'm sorry. I know there wasn't an easy way out of this. If there's anything I can do… please, let me help.">>755634Silver! You three need to get to where we can find you, and hop on. The island's gonna blow!
>>755635And miss this chance to end Lysander?
Aegis asks through the mental linkVery well, we can rendevouz. See if you can get close to the Vindicator and we can meet at the deck
>>755635>>755636With any luck his tugboat will drown with the rest of the island.. We're on our way!>>755630
With the change in plans, I turn and rush back out through the broken door and onto the deck!
Aegis tries to stealthily follow Silver, but doesnt dismiss her orbs quite yet
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 6 = 6
Violet curses under her breath. "They're on the Vindicator? That's just off shore. We need to move now, before the volcano explodes."
"I could try and open a portal," says Dawn, "but without knowing where they are, it's impossible…"
"Well, we should at least see if we can get close to them," says Aurora. "Maybe now that the ship's fixed, Zunden, we can attack them from above. …Zunden?" She looks at the saurian with concern, placing a hoof on her shoulder. "Are you alright?…">>755636>>755637
Marisol and Silver sneak out easily. Aegis is not so lucky; one of her orbs grazes the side of a crate, causing a loud scrape. You hear a telescoping sound as the Husk goes into search mode, and the sound of mechanical footsteps coming in your direction. Shit. We're going to have to take this one out before it warns the others,
Marisol thinks. How are we going to get out of here?…
Zunden remains inert and unresponsive to the touch, her eyes unfocused and distant.
>>755641We cannot have it begin a search. Until the other group comes to pick us up, we are stuck in the Vindicator. If the reinforcements come, we are likely doomed
She says through the mental bond while turning around and aiming her orbs and unleashing a brutal barrage at the Husk>>755640Master Silver, quick!
'2d10' Magic bolt, ice
'5d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 3, 10 = 13
/ Roll #2 8, 10, 10, 8, 5 = 41
Drawing my tanto, I quietly rush the Husk, slashing for it's head!
[1d10+1] meleeRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"I-I don't, uh… I don't know what's wrong. We should get out of here, fast. Let's get the others and go."
"On The Vindicor. Neat. So we gotta make our way through the storm that wants to kill us for whatever reason, stop long enough to pick them up, and get close enough to pick them up." I rub my brow and think for a moment. "I actually might have an idea to help with that, though.">>755645
"You still have one of the charms Z made for you? The return on? I still have mine."
As you rush the Husk, Silver slashes at the clockwork robot, only for her blade to glance off of its metal body. It stumbles backwards, its head configuring into the dreaded horn- then, Marisol comes in from behind and kneecaps it, bringing it to the floor, while Aegis blasts it multiple times, blowing its head clean off. A messy kill, but a kill nonetheless. It slumps over, destroyed.We can't stay here. Someone could've heard that. And we shouldn't go back to the top. The ice on the chain will be a giveaway if it hasn't broken yet. Maybe one of the other doors in the stairwell, or…
Marisol starts hurriedly looking for alternate routes in the cargo hold.>>755642
"Zunden, listen," Aurora urges, looking worried. "It's okay. It's gone now. We don't have to worry…" Ganzen tugs at your dress.>>755645>>755642>>755646
Aurora looks shaken by Zunden's lack of response, while the others look disturbed by her blank reaction. "R-right. I'll pilot, since Zunden…" She shakes her head and closes her eyes, trying to concentrate. The ship rattles and shakes, and steadily begins to rise.
"Wait! We can't get close to it," Gawain points out. "They'll blow us to pieces the second we're in view!"
"The storm and the volcano might cause enough of a distraction," Violet replies. "And we have Dawn's portals."
"We can't worry about the Egg anymore," says Dawn quietly. "And running isn't an option either. We only have one thing left to do here. We have to kill Lysander. Here. Now. Whatever it takes.">>755645>>755642>>755646>>755643>>755644
Another lightning bolt rings out, this time striking the Vindicator itself, leaving a noticeable crack in one of the chimneys. Aegis and Silver feel the whole metal hulk shake from the impact. It seems the storm doesn't choose sides.
"We also still have the return charms. So we don't even have to get close enough to make a portal for them to come through. We just need to get close enough to make one big enough for the charms. They get on deck, we portal the charms over, then boom. They use them. We can keep as much distance as possible that way, right?"
"Handing them the Return charms could work- as soon as they're back, we can leave. Between the storm and the island, I'm not sure it's smart to stay here."
Aegis took a moment maintained her balance as the ship shook from the lightningOur other options do not seem safe. Troop Maintenance will be swarming with Husks for sure, and I dont see how we can leave through the Coal Bunkers. But at least it should give us a place to hide until the Fortune finds us. If possible, lets be on the lookout for the Vindicator weapons, if we can disarm this ship, the Fortune can approach unharmed
With that, Aegis began to move, leading the way back upstairs and to the Coal Bunkers
"As much as I wanna deal with that damn ship once and for all and maybe get lucky enough to catch Lysander, I agree. It wouldn't just be dumb to stay here. I'd be actually insane." I rub my chin. "But I do
wanna deal with the ship… Maybe figure out a way to keep it anchored at the-" I shake my head. "No. No. We have to go. Buuuut…"
My attack misplaced, disaster was averted by the work of the others.
The husk barely hits the deck when the ship quakes from the strike of lightning! As aegis rushes to the coal bunker, i follow close behind, tanto readied for potential crew conflict
"Well we can't just turn tail now!" Gawain protests. "Our friends are on that battle station!"
"Maybe we can coordinate with them," Violet postulates. "If they can cause a distraction of some sort, maybe sabotage the ship's weapons, we could get closer to them."
"I'll…" Aurora looks a bit shaken. "I'll get Zunden somewhere safe." A couple of Servitors manifest and escort the hapless saurian away. Aurora doesn't talk much, focusing entirely on controlling the ship. >>755759>>755763Yeah. Best lay low and wait for news from them for now. We should get in touch and discuss the plan from here.
You enter the coal bunker room. It is a wide, dimly lit room packed with large containers, with a distinct dirty smell. The floor is caked with black dust. Nearby, you can hear a couple of hired hands at work, shoveling coal out of the containers and bringing it through to an adjacent room, presumably the ship's boiler. You hear one of them complaining quietly to no one in particular.Mummers. We should take them out,
Marisol urges. Their uniforms should be useful.
>>755764>>755763If we find sizes that fits us. But yes, no doubt we have to get rid of them. At least they wont sound alarms once they see us, but as always we should be quick. Master Silver, you know what to do
Aegis prepares another barrage
'1d10' homing magic, iceRoll #1 10 = 10
I knit my brow. "You gonna be okay? Kinda just assumed you were pouting, but we got stuff we gotta do. Like, you know, saving our friends?">>755764
"Anyway, let me think. We still have four or five of those witchpowder bolts, and I'm pretty sure the hull of the ship at the bow is still rusted all to heck from those shots I put in it. On top of that we have-" I think for a second. "Five cannon shells, and three modified shells that are basically giant grenades, six regular grenades, two jars of a spore that smells so bad it'll knock out anyone who smells it and cause one heck of a nosebleed. That last one might not be as useful in this storm, but that means we should still have a way to not only put a huge hole in the ship but give enough covering fire to get in decently close." I grin. "We also still got Big Momma. A barrel of a barrel and a half's worth of compressed Viridust that I can blow remotely. It's that one with the big smiley face on it just below deck. At least I assume it hasn't gone off yet since we still got a ship. So yeah. Ain't like we're helpless here." My smile falls. "Just can't overstay our welcome with Mount Pissed-You-Murdered-Your-Friend-With-Me about to blow. You got any juice left, Dawn? Don't know if you answered."
Nodding to Aegis, I creep forward towards the pair of workers, rubbing the Tanto in midnight oil in preparation
"I imagine it couldn't be too difficult to drop something off on the ship when we pick up our own party. Still, the focus is getting ours out.">>755767
"She's… I don't think she's going to be 'okay' for a while. We just need to keep Zunden safe for now- let's figure out how to help her later."
Aegis conjures five icicles above her head in a pentagram. Marisol extends her claws, and the three of you sneak around the coal crates to get a better look at your targets. There seem to be four of them; a griffon, two earth ponies and a Dog, all dressed in familiar uniforms marked with Lysander's symbol. You're in luck; the latter three seem to be a good enough fit build-wise for your group. The ponies are carting coal to the adjacent room, while the griffon and the Dog are on break.
"Bloody storm," the griffon gripes as you hear a rumble from outside. "Just won't let up already."
"Where did it even come from?" the Dog wonders. "Skies were clear before. It's not natural, none of it."
The griffon shrugs. "Least we're down here, and not getting soaked out there. Hopefully we'll be able to set sail again soon. Next port we make, I'm ditching this place. Maybe in Irontown or Broome. Sick of sea work."
"Amen. If I ever have to work these bloody furnaces again after today it'll be too soon." After a comfortable silence, they get back to work, rotating to let the two earth ponies take their break. They seem relieved, practically collapsing of exhaustion and wiping their brows. No one seems happy to be here.>>755771>>755767
"I should be able to conjure something," Dawn confirms. "But not for too long."
"That's quite an arsenal," Gawain comments. "Though, perhaps a more subtle approach would suit us better? If we could approach the ship unseen, we could extract our friends without kicking the hornet's nest, as it were."
Aurora continues to pilot the ship, though it seems to be getting harder and harder for her to do so. The wind and rain batter your ship, causing everything to shake ominously. "We're… almost in sight. I think… it's hard to see anything out there…"
"Yeah… I wish I'd seen the storm coming, but I'm not really prophetic." he remarks, before nodding "As far as subtle approaches go… I could try scouting things out Astrally, but it might take time- it could be faster to try and spot them while we slide up."
>>755773At your sign, Master Silver. I will spread the ice to soften them first, then you and Marisol finish them off
Aegis says through the mental link as she prepares to jump out of the crate and fire her orbs at everyone present, as well as jab a spear of ice at the gryphon's face>Homing magic, ice rolls
'1d10+2' pony 1
'1d10+2' pony 2
'2d10+2' magic bolt, iceRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10
/ Roll #3 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #4 4 + 2 = 6
/ Roll #5 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #6 2, 8 + 2 = 12
"Well, at least we should be able to get Silver the charm, then, even if we can't do anything else." I nod to Gawain. "If we can manage then yeah. You're probably right. If it was just the ship I'd probably just try to deal with it, but it's the ship, the storm, and the island. Just hard to let this chance just get away from us. Even if we don't kill Lysander, stranding The Vindicator next to an active volcano would have to be a huge blow."
I brace myself on the edge of the table. "Well. Guess it's just about time. You guys are keeping in touch with her somehow, right? Seems like it."
With aegis' commotion, I stalk up from the shadows to slice the distracted pony with my poison-laced blade!
[1d10] Sleep serum, Pony 1Roll #1 5 = 5
You spring out, attacking the laborers in quick succession. Aegis takes out the Dog with a volley of ice blasts, followed by the griffon. One of the ponies spots her ahead of time and instinctively ducks, only to be met with a slash across the chest from Silver, rendering him unconscious. There's only the other pony left, who scampers backwards in shock. He grabs a fire poker and brandishes it, only to get grabbed from behind and suplexed into submission by Marisol with a fierce growl. She stands up and dusts her hands, nodding in approval. "Good work, team," she says approvingly. "Let's not waste time though. Got to keep moving." She starts stripping the clothes off of the Dog, cutting the sleeves down to fit her, and motions for you to do the same with the ponies.>roll for looting if desired>>755776>>755774
"Scouting would be good," Dawn nods. "Just be careful if you do. We can't be too careful with Elaina around."
Aurora speaks up again, her eyes still closed in concentration. "I think I see it. We should be able to signal them s-"BOOM
A lightning bolt hits the ship, causing everything to shake and rattle ominously. Aurora quickly stabilizes the ship, then freezes in confusion. "…There's someone here. Outside…""NORVEGICUS."
The voice that rang out across the sky before is heard again. "THOU ART BLIND AND DEAF TO THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THY INVOCATION. FACE US, AND BE JUDGED."
>>755778>>755777A clean takedown, yes
Aegis says through the mental bond, undressing the two earth ponies.Master Silver, do you mind taking the larger one's uniform? The difference is small but it will likely fit you better than me
Aegis levitates the outfit magically towards Silver after rumaging through the ponies's possesions
'1d10+1' Looting, +1 from Lucky LapisRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
I swallow. "Alright, yeah. I imagine that's BP talking. I don't see the problem, though! He was already free, and I really don't think he would've had an issue just taking his power back from Purdue! Everything I did he could have done without me even playing a part!" I groan. "Whatever. Let's just- Let's just get this overwith." I stand up. "Outside on the deck, or outside in the storm?"
With the group dispatched, I clean my blade before moving to grab the uniform from them.
[1d10] Looting>>755779Now aegis, don't you know it's rude to assume a lady's size?
I reply with a chuckle, stepping around a crate to slip into the uniform.Roll #1 7 = 7
There is a slight pause, then relents with a small nodMy sister told me the same thing, but I thought she was lying. Forgive me
You hear another laugh from behind a box. Not to worry dear, just having a laugh.
"Right- Elaina's still a problem, and I imagine she'll keep dogging us until one of the two of us is, well… dea-" he stops himself and whinnies a little when Black Pudding's voice rings out, before frowning.>>755780
"Uh… be careful?"
Marisol rolls her eyes at the interaction. Ugh. This guy smelled bad…
The uniforms fit you quite well. No one should look at you twice with them on. Aegis doesn't manage to find much more than 20 bits, while Silver finds 50 bits, plus a crumpled up blueprint of the Vindicator. It's faded and hard to read, but you can get a good idea of the layout:
The ship consists of 4 levels:
Level 1 is the main deck, where you were before. It hosts the Mess Hall, the Captain's Quarters, the Lifeboats, and access to the Boiler Room.
Level 2 contains Troop Maintenance, the Officers' Quarters, the upper level of Cargo Holds 3 and 5, the Magazine, and the Crew's Cabins.
Level 3 is where you are now. It has Cargo Holds 1 through to 5, the Engine Room, the Boiler Room, and the Coal Bunkers.
Level 4 is reserved for ballast.
Marisol moves the bodies into a corner so they're not as easy to find. Alright. Where to next?>>755780>>755784
"Elaina thinks we're on the island, doesn't she?" Dawn points out. "We should be safe from her for now."
Before Aurora can answer Norv's question, you feel a rush of wind the lights in the room dim. You feel a sudden warmth as a presence begins to coalesce. Towering, and glittering emerald green, an entity in the form of a great doe manifests. Its form seems to billow and ripple, trailing behind it like the wings of some great dragon. One of its eyes is dark blue, and the other purple. In its presence, plantlife seems to grow on the floor and walls before dying again, flora blooming and dying in a rapid cycle. There can be no doubt about this newcomer's nature. This is a spirit of nature. The source of the raging storm.
"…Black Pudding?" Violet asks tentatively."NO LONGER. THE WARLOCK HATH REKINDLED OUR FLAME AND RELINQUISHED HIS EXISTENCE. WE ARE THE GROUNDS HE SOUGHT TO CLAIM, MANIFEST AS ONE, TO SPEAK WITH THEE NOW. WE SERVE NO FORCE BUT OUR OWN.""NOW. SPEAK YARELY THE TRUTH OF THE OLD CHAOS,FOR THOU HAST PERVERTED THE NATURAL ORDER IN HIS INVOCATION. HIS TAINT REMAINETH HERE STILL. CLAIMETH HE THE CUCKOO'S EGG?"
The entity sparks with lightning, demanding an answer. You feel the storm outside die down a bit as it seeks to parlay with you, for now.
Aegis uses frigor to freeze them all together so they'll have a harder time getting out once awakeHow about the magazine? If our plan is to sabotage the ship's arms this would be a good start
Aegis says through the mental link as she adjusts her hairdo to improve the disguise even further
I open my mouth to respond, but slowly close it again. "Wait," I say, not even trying to keep the confusion out of my voice. "You're actually the Beldam and not Black Pudding? My whole original plan was to politely ask you to take the egg and protect it, but BP told us he murdered you. "
Creature of old chaos. Pretty clear who she's talking about. "I, uh…" I clear my throat. "Well, maybe not in so many words. Claim is kind of a strong word. He kinda, sorta said he-" My voice catches and I sit back down. "Sent it away a little bit? If I'd known-" My lips tighten. "Hey! You coulda said something instead of threatening me! I gladly would've given the egg to you instead, lady. I thought BP took you over and was pissed at me for some reason, not the other way around!"
"For now, she does- it won't take her too long to figure it out, but she might've lost track of where we are." he says in response, before folding his ears back a little. "Ah… that's not
Black Pudding. That's much, much worse.">>755787"Could work- that's where they store ammunition, right? Could be explosive."
Pocketing the bits, i take a closer look at the blueprints.>>755787>>755789Hmm.. igniting their store of ammunition would likely send the ship sinking, though we'd be taken along with it.If we could find some means of a timed fuse, it could buy enough space to escape to a lifeboat.
>>755790"Me? No, nothing in particular- most of what I do's a little too direct to allow for an escape.">>755791
"That could work, too!"
>>755788>>755789"THE WARLOCK WAS A NAIVE CAITIFF. WE CANNOT DIE, NO MORE THAN THE SEA OR THE WIND. HE CHOSE TO RETURN OUR STRENGTH, AND IMPART HIMSELF TO US. WE ARE HE, AND WE ARE SHE WHO THINE ALLIES SPOKE TO. AND YET, WE ARE ALSO SOMETHING OTHER."
Her eyes flash. "HAD WE ARRIVED SOONER, WE WOULD HAVE BANISHED HIS WRITHING FORM AND CLAIMED THE EGG FOR OUR OWN. OUR EXISTENCE ART A FRAGILE THING. WE CANNOT MANIFEST FOR MUCH LONGER. WE HAD SOUGHT TO DESTROY THEE FOR THY ACTIONS, BUT NOW…"
The nature spirit that was once Black Pudding addresses the group at large. "THOU ART A FOOLISH LOT, TO ENTRUST SUCH A THING TO THE OLD CHAOS. BUT THE SERPENT IS TRUE TO HIS WORD. IT IS GONE.
NOW, THERE WILL BE LITTLE CONTESTING HIS REIGN. A GREAT CONJUNCTION IS NIGH. THE NATURAL ORDER WILL SHIFT, AND WE WILL RESCIND TO OUR BURROW. WHAT WOULDST THOU DEEM AN APT CONSEQUENCE FOR THY ACTION? TO PERSIST IN THIS ALTERED WORLD, OR TO FACE OBLIVION?">>755787>>755791To the magazine, then.
Marisol slinks off, following the map Silver found. You head up a flight of stairs in the boiler room to level 2, exiting through a door into Cargo Hold 3, which in turn connects to your destination.
To get to the Magazine will be easier said than done, though. You spot some movement on this level, both Husks and regular crewmates. They seem to all be heading off to a part of the ship to deal with something. It'll be hard to slip by unnoticed, even considering your uniform.
>>755793They are moving around to tend to the damage caused by the lightning. Here
Aegis levitates some crates and empties them out, then distributes them to Silver and Marisol If anyone asks, we are looking to load ammo into these boxes and to bring them to parts of the ship in preparation for a battle. Understood?
With that, Aegis takes the lead, lugging the stuff around as she makes her way to the Magazine, trying to blend in
"Well… I guess the consequence is coming a little sooner, isn't it?" I say, sighing a little bit.
>>755794>>755793Ah, an excellent idea Aegis!
settling a crate onto my back, I trot along behind the crystal pony, blending into the bustling crew.
"I don't understand how you think this is my fault, though. The curse that turned him to stone wore off on its own. He gathered his power on his own. The only thing I did was destroy the thing using his power to hold the spirit of a friend." I glare at her. "Something that I didn't just decide to do on a whim. There's no way you can tell me this is worse than the Oneiromancer getting the egg."
My glare falls away as she threatens to destroy me and I swallow a lump in my throat. "Uuuh…" I study her for a second before finally saying, "Persist?"
>>755795>>755797"AN ARRANT FOOL THOU REMAIN'ST, WHISPERER. THINE DESTRUCTION OF THE CHAOS RELIC HATH DONE NAUGHT BUT RENDER UNTO HIM THAT WHICH IS HIS. HE IS STRONGER FOR THY SACRIFICE, BEYOND THY COMPREHENSION. AND THE CONJUNCTION WILL OCCUR NOT BECAUSE OF THE NATURAL ORDER. BUT BECAUSE HE WILLS IT SO."
There is a pregnant pause as the implication of this begins to sink in. Violet speaks up. "…So what is the Conjunction, then?…""'TIS A UNION OF TWO WORLDS, BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE BANISHMENT OF THE CUCKOO'S EGG. AND THIS WILL NEVER BE UNDONE.""NOW. THE MOUNTAIN WILL AWAKEN. THE ECHOES WILL BE FOREVER CHANGED ERE THE SUN RISETH. FOR GOOD OR ILL, FOR ORDER OR CHAOS. AND THOU SHALT PERISH HERE, OR CONTINUE TO EXIST IN THIS WORLD ANEW."
There is another ear-splitting peal of thunder, and the room flashes brilliant white. When it subsides, the nature deity that was once Black Pudding has vanished, leaving only a scorch mark from the lightning bolt that just manifested in the small room, along with a faint cloud of pollen.
"…Well, that just happened," says Aurora awkwardly.
"I'm rather lost here," Gawain chimes in, looking uncomfortable. "I'm starting to feel like we're rather in over our heads…"
"Th-this changes nothing." Dawn looks shaken, but determined. "We need to focus on defeating Lysander. We should attack from the air if we can. I… I think I might have an idea of what to do."
"Right. Come what may, we still have a job to do," Violet nods with quiet determination. "We need to get Aegis and Silver out of there. Worry about this Conjunction thing later…"
You try to lift the crates, but it's extremely difficult to carry them with no effort. They're deceptively heavy for their size. Marisol opens one cautiously and peeks inside. Metal… For the automatons?… I don't know if your plan's going to work, Aegis…
Over at the small crowd of crewmates, your antics grab the attention of one of them, a tall, bony unicorn with a severe looking face. He looks important; doubtless a taskmaster among the crew. He breaks away from the group and starts making his way over to you with an inquisitive frown. "Oi! What are you lot doing!" he calls. "Who said you could be over there?"
I run my hand across the top of my head and let out a long breath. Welp. Why do I have the nagging feeling that this really is my fault? "At least it wasn't Kairon?" I say with a wry smile.
I take a deep breath and turn back around. "Alright. Yeah. We have other stuff we gotta do." I turn my attention to Dawn. "Wacha got?"
Aegis stops and stares calmly at the Taskmaster ''Sir. We're here to load these up with extra ammo for the guns and cannons. Some nonsense is going on out there and its better we are prepared to fight anything that comes our way''
'1d10' lugging rollRoll #1 2 = 2
"So… when they say both worlds, do they mean here, and back where we came from? I'm, uh… at a loss."
He shakes his head, before huffing "But, right. Let's go get Aegis and Silver."
"Indeed! Lightning and voices from the sky, whatever is going on above we'll need easier access to the munitions!" I reply, Saluting the taskmaster.
[1d10+2] PersuasionRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Marisol's words fail her, so she simply nods. The taskmaster stares at you long and hard. You're not sure if he's buying it or not.
"…Well, you're in the wrong place. Don't you know the difference between ammunition and repair materials for the Brigade? Now quit messing around and fall in line. Captain's ordered all hands on deck. We're moving." He starts stomping off to rejoin the rest of the bustling crew, looking back to make sure you're following.>>755817>>755815
"Here's my idea: we maneuver the ship above Lysander's, staying high above to avoid being spotted, and I open a Door for you all to the ship itself. Aurora and I stay behind while you make sure they're safe. We coordinate through our mental link, and once they're safe I open a Door again to retrieve them. I… also have an idea of how to deal with the ship once everyone's safe. But I don't think I should share it yet…"
Gawain thinks. "It's very risky. We're hopelessly outnumbered by his forces. We'd have to move as fast as we can. Coordination with them would be crucial."
"I don't have any better ideas," Violet remarks. "Whatever we decide, it should be quick. That island's going to blow any minute now." As if to prove her point, you hear a low rumbling coming from across the waves.
>>755819>>755818Lets go along with it.
Aegis calls out through the mental bond If we trying insisting it might be suspicious, plus we still dont have a solid plan of what to do once we are in the munitions room. Keep a low profile for now
With that, Aegis follows the Taskmaster. ''Yes Sir.''
"Yeah, any minute- it'll be really, really bad, too. Let's be quick."
>>755817>>755815We are currently moving to the Deck, surrounded by the enemy, but under a disguise, no suspicion yet.
Aegis's voice rings through the mental link.I would like it if you kept me informed on what your plan for getting us out of here will be.
I nod. "Yeah. Sounds like a plan. We should check and see if the storm is still goin. Might have an idea to keep the deck guns covered, at least. Doubt the rest are even able to fire at us if we're right above em. I imagine there's a reason you don't wanna say anything, so I trust you about that." I cock an eyebrow. "Mental link?"
>>755820>>755819'The captain'? you don't suppose he means Lysander?
"Yes sir!" I reply, following behind.Best to hide further in the back then, avoid anypony spotting us..
Marisol thinks to Silver. We should try to give them the slip.
You are shunted into the bustling group as they move out. It's stifling to say the least; the iron halls of the ship are cramped and uncomfortable enough without being pushed and shoved constantly by rough looking brigands and cold, metallic automatons, which the taskmaster referred to as the Brigade. He barks orders over the crowd, yelling at the grumbling group to get a move on. "Come on, move it you maggots! To the top deck! Captain's waiting for us! We don't have all day!"
As you move out of Cargo Hold 3, you pass a connecting hallway. Some signs indicate it leads to the cabins, as well as the magazine where the munitions are kept, the officers' quarters, and maintenance for the Brigade. Marisol gives you a meaningful look; it's going to be hard to slip away without someone noticing, given the circumstances. Maybe some sort of distraction?…>>755823
"Oh. You wouldn't have been privy to that. Zunden's connected our minds so we can communicate and coordinate. …I don't think we'll be able to extend it to you or Violet in her… absence. Sorry.">>755821>>755823
Aurora nods. "Let's do it."
She closes her eyes, and the ship moves out, soaring higher. The storm seems to have eased up, just a little, though the Berrengaith certainly doesn't seem to intend on making this easy for you. It's a bit easier to see, though. The Fortune moves upwards out of the water, and before long, from the upper deck you can look down and see the Vindicator below. It begins to strike you how massive the ship really is; more of a floating base than anything.
"Guess this is it," says Violet, sounding slightly nervous. "Let's do this as quickly as we can. I don't want to spend any more time down there than we have to."
"I'll start focusing on the Door," Dawn nods. Her horn begins to glow silver as she charges up her signature portal spell. "Someone please let them know we're on the way. It will be much easier for us if we can coordinate a meetup."
"Well. Shoot. Sounds useful, but I guess you work with what you got." I slip my mask back on and tuck my hands into my pockets, waiting for the door. While waiting I try to summon three rats.
[1d10]Improvise Summon MinionRoll #1 8 = 8
>>755824>>755824I have an idea. Master Silver, at my sign, begin moving. I will turn their heads while you make your way down the hallway. Dont worry about me or Marisol if we are not able to follow you, its much harder for us to slip by unnoticed. Now, ready?
Immediatelly after, Aegis performs a simple magic trick, producing loud banging metallic sounds and what sounds like gunshots, all coming from the opposite direction to the Connecting Hallway
Once the effects from Aegis' magic manifest, I step back and slink down the opposite corridor towards the magazine.
[1d10] StealthRoll #1 7 = 7
You summon a trio of large, bristly rats with glowing red and yellow eyes. They seem to obey your every command.>+1 to all actions with this minion>>755827>>755826
Dawn opens the Door; you see a silver glimmer appear far below, on the Vindicator's deck. Your companions prepare; Violet brings her swords together into a twinblade, while Gawain cautiously unsheathes his zweihander and adjusts his armor.
"We'll stay here and try to hold our own if they spot us. Be careful down there," Dawn urges. "And good luck.">>755828>>755830
Marisol nods in assent, waiting for the signal.
As Aegis performs her illusory trick, a great commotion breaks out as they all reach for their weapons and start to scatter like ants in confusion. A Brigadier starts sounding the alarm, and the crew begin moving in that general direction. Silver and Marisol manage to slip away in the sudden distraction, leaving Aegis to try and escape…
Aegis gives it her best attempt to slip through the crowd after ensuring the other two make it
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Aegis manages to join them. The three of you wait until the commotion dies down and the coast is clear. That was close. Good plan, Aegis. Now let's see what we can do in the magazine then get to a safe spot so we can get out of here. I have a bad feeling about this.
>>755833I as well. Lets get this over with quick before we are found
Aegis makes her way to the magazine with the others, relaying her location to Dawn as they go
Freed from the larger group, I follow Aegis to the magazine>>755834Excellent work, Aegis. But what of the plan now? Perhaps some long fuse and a mad dash to the door?
I sigh. "Times like this make me wish I had more weapons. The rain and wind are gonna really gonna limit what I can manage." I unsling my still primed rifle. "Welp. Let's do it."
"Right. Be ready for anything, everyone." the stallion says, stepping through the portal.
You enter the magazine. It's a spacious room with a very low roof. The walls are lined with stacks of cannonballs, crates of ammunition, disassembled artillery, and stocks of gunpowder. It is dimly lit; it's hard to see without a light source. Hmm. Let's see what we can find here…>roll Perception>>755836>>755838
You, Gawain and Violet step through, exiting onto the upper deck of the Vindicator.
Immediately, you are soaked by the unrelenting rain. The deck stretches on for several dozen feet, made of cold iron and steel. It'll take time to sweep this place. You can see several points of interest:
Along the sides here are what look like lifeboats, with rope and chain contraptions keeping them fastened and suspended.
Directly ahead, at the fo'c'sle, are the twin smoke stacks. There seems to be a doorway in between both that would lead downward into the bowels of the ship.
At the opposite end is a similar structure, only this one seems to lead to a large hall of some sort. A storage area, perhaps, or the mess hall.
Finally, directly behind you is a multi layered structure with an observation deck at the very top. The interior appears to be quarters of some sort, or some other room.
"Lady Aegis said they were hiding in the magazine," Gawain comments, puffing up slightly and hunching in the rain. "Perhaps we should find a way below deck? Towards those smoke stacks, perhaps."
"That big structure there seems promising as well," Violet comments, gesturing towards the layered construct directly behind you. "Seems important, at least."
Aegis conjures up a wisp of light to illuminate her surroundings as the group investigatesStay close to me
'1d10' percetion>>755838Be careful up there. There is a chance you might run into the crew, as they just recently began moving to the deck. They were all on edge too after an alarm sent them scrambling, so they might be searching.Roll #1 3 = 3
Near aegis' light, I try to peek through the crates for a fuse or something similar.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 4 = 4
"Yep. I like the idea of moving toward the smokestacks." I look around at the lifeboats and hum. Finally, I click my tongue and the rats each poke a head out of a pocket. "One of you stay here with me. Two of you stick around on deck. Go around to each of these lifeboats and chew a huge hole through the hull. Make sure it's shaped weird, not just a circle. Somewhere either impossible or at least really hard to fix up." I pause for a moment and rub my chin. "Leave one untouched." I look around and pick one completely at random, making a mental note as I nod toward it. "That one."
"Alright. Magazine it is." I begin walking toward the smokestacks as two rats jump out of my pockets and scurry to either side of the ship toward the lifeboats.
You don't manage to find anything of the like, but you do find a matchbox in a drawer. Should be good for causing some fireworks when the time comes.
From somewhere nearby, coming from outside, you hear a faint sound of clanking metal. It's not just the familiar groaning of the ship either; you hear slow, heavy, deliberate footsteps heading in your general direction. It sounds like someone or something very big on patrol. Marisol freezes and reaches for her shortsword, crouching out of sight.>>755841>>755844
Two rats squeak in acknowledgement and scamper off to do Norv's bidding, scuttling up the ropes to cause some mayhem. The third stays by his side loyally. "What are you sparing a lifeboat for?" Gawain asks with mild bemusement.
Violet looks over to Rabi as he communicates mentally. "What are they saying? Are we in trouble?"
You head towards the door in the smokestacks. It seems to be locked from the inside, unfortunately; Violet jiggles the handle to no effect. "Hm. Maybe we should try another way in. We could break the door down but someone's sure to hear it if we do."
"Guards- lots of them, coming up to the deck. We'll want to avoid them."
"In case something goes wrong and we need one," I tell Gawain. "Always a chance. I'll take care of it on our way out if we don't need it.">>755846>>755845
I deadpan. "Really? You guys are talking? Please, keep the rest of the class filled in, would you?"
I look over the door. "Maybe," I say. "But there is the storm still going on. Guess that wouldn't make a huge difference if we have to bust it down." The side of my mouth twitches. "Unless-" I pull out a grenade, toss it into the air, and look around. "H'mmmm…" Crouching down, I think for a moment. "Anyone got a match or something else you can light or spark with friction? Could use my striker but I'd like to hang onto it. I have an idea. Not a subtle or stealthy idea, but definitely one that should deal with some crew and cause some chaos and confusion. It'll take just a sec to set up."
"They say from where?"
>>755846That's likely a Husk. But why here?
Aegis asks through the mental bond as she tries to hide amidst
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
pocketing the matchbox, I duck for cover behind more of the boxes, listening for the heavy steps.>>755850Not nearly enough of a stir if they found the actual crew. Perhaps a standard patrol?
"Right, you decided not to hop in the mental link- guards from below deck. They're on alert, so we can't talk past them. They came through while they were heading to the magazine."
Holding action. If nobody has a match or anything I use a piece of unending sinew to tie my striker closed on the grenade. When the door opens the striker sparks the wick.
[1d10]ImproviseRoll #1 9 = 9
"Hey, I wasn't even there! I was-" I clear my throat and ease up a little. "Preoccupied.">>755846
After rigging the grenade I take a deep breath and yell, "Lysander is a cowardly fake mummer dragon!"
You get to cover. As the footsteps approach, you hear something else. Labored, rattling breathing, echoing from within a hollow shell. Soon enough, he comes into view; the mechanical undead creation that was once Carabas lurches past. He seems wounded, as if someone dealt him a heavy blow, yet you can't see any signs of damage. You hear the constant sound of small gears and clockwork whirring and ticking from within his black iron shell, metal creaking and rustling as his wings twitch and shift.
He seems to be going to one of the other rooms nearby; as Aegis shifts into her hiding spot, however, he changes trajectory. Shambling now towards the magazine, he extends his mechanical claw forward, almost like a zombie. It's like he can sense things through it. He seems to be searching for you, but can't tell where exactly you are.>>755847>>755853
Violet and Gawain check themselves, but shrug. Neither of them have anything on them that fits the description.
Norv rigs the trap and yells. Nothing happens. There's a bit of an uncomfortable silence. Violet raises an eyebrow and Gawain blinks. "I, er, don't believe they're coming this way just yet." He takes a step back and gets ready to try and bash the door down. "Perhaps the simplest solution would be the best. Shall we?"
I grumble and pick my stuff back up. "Woulda been neat if they walked through and popped it. Give us a nice little headstart. Won't be fair if they didn't hear me yelling but hear the door." I step back and let someone stronger than me do the honors.
"Bash it down, sure- Don't want to wait too long."
Aegis speaks through he mental bond as she remains still and holds her breath, attempting another trick as she creates a trail of small sparks, leading Carabas away from her and out of the room
It takes him two tries to smash the door off its hinges, opening into a long, winding stairwell. He dusts his hands, looking proud of himself.
Entering the stairwell, you can see that it seems to be connected to an area at the bottommost layer of the ship. The hissing and blasts of heat that emanate from it imply this connects directly to the ship's boiler. Violet shoots a glance at Norv; they seem to be thinking the same thing.>roll Perception
[Last 50 Posts]
Not risking moving even to ready my weapons, I hold still as this mechanical Carabas scans the room.>>755858Let us hope so..
you hear, Silver holding stock still nearby