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File: 1627816437480.png (2.04 MB, 1920x1080, The Conjunction.png)

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The Echoes are changed to their core.

Skylord Lysander is dead. The veil of the Cuckoo's Egg is lifted, revealing a new and altered world. The old chaos runs rampant. In a distant land, the flame of ambition is lit in a woman's heart. And somewhere, sometime, the drifters who were at the heart of it all awaken, amidst the ash and rubble of their former home.

Runes of Union hang in the sky, radiating their primordial spell. The world is unmade and remade again. Beyond the scope of the light they knew, and beyond the reach of the terror and dark, the drifters tread now, peering through the fog of the Conjunction, in search of answers…
174 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


"Just lookin for some supplies. Gonna do a little scouting for the marshal, but a we just sorta drifted in without a whole heck of a lot to work with." I casually look around the store, just to get an idea of what he actually has before setting my mind on anything specific.


"A pleasure to meet you, Morris." I reply with a slight curtsy "I am Silver Song. Dalliance pointed us here for supplies prior to the scouting mission."

While introducing myself, I take a look at some of the mounted weapons for sale, feeling the empty sheath of my missing shiv shifting under my dress.


''We need supplies'' Aegis states bluntly before she starts browsing about ''What do you have that you think could interest us?''


"O-Oh, uhm… g-geez. Sorry, friend. I could pull back closer to the ground? I just wanted to make sure, you know… you got the right view you needed. Sorry." he offers, rubbing his neck a little.


"Oh, the marshal sent you? A-are you here to get us out of here then?" He sits up straighter. "Well, I'll do what I can! Don't have much, but I'm sure I can be of some use, some assistance. Just say the word."

Looking about, you find the following for sale:
>Rations: Feeds one person for 3 days. 5 bits each.
>Camping equipment: Includes a tent and 2 bedrolls. 10 bits each.
>Firestarter: 10 bits
>Rope: 5 bits/3 feet
>Climbing gear: For steep inclines and such. 10 bits.
>Torches: 2 bits each.
>Aqua Vitae: Healing potions. Heals full hits and 1 wound. 20 bits each.
>Medicinal herbs: For curing common ailments such as poison and non-magical diseases. 10 bits each.
>Wards: Brittle stones with enchanted symbols, crushed to purge ailments of the magical sort. 15 bits each.

He also offers you free mapping equipment, which Marisol graciously accepts, and 50 bits worth of free gear for the cause.

You find a set of paired daggers among the other weapons. They are short, with wide curved blades. They seem suited for slashing more so than stabbing. You can tell that they are intended for combat, while also having an ornate, eye catching design.


"Don't worry about it," she answers as she recovers. "Definitely going to be useful in the future. How do you do that?"


>End Astral Projection
"I… hrm. Well, it's kind of like a magic piggyback ride? I help someone temporarily leave their body- it's kind of like that Astral Strike thing, but a little more…gentle? Willing?" he suggests, shrugging a little.

"It's kind of playing with what I know, and seeing what I can do. I've been working at other things, too- like… well, visions of the future."


Eying the ornate daggers with great interest, I flag morris down with a wing.

"These daggers here are quite lovely, what can you tell me about them? How much would they cost?"


I nod, rubbing my chin as I look the stuff in the shop over. "Yep. That's the idea, anyway." I glance back at the party. "Should definitely buy a few Aqua Vite. I can fit four doses into a canister, so I can medium range spritz heal four times before I have to reload. Right now I got two doses of the regular stuff and one dose of the superjuice left. Could definitely at least use two more if we can swing it."


Marisol does a double take. "Of the future? I didn't think it was possible… What do you see?"


"It's… hrm. I didn't think it was possible, either. But, I kept thinking about those memories I'd get when I'd Astrally Project before. They were, well… visions of the past. and if you can get visions of the past, maybe you can get visions of the future, right? It's… hrm. It's really hard to describe how I got it to work. It's really brief- a few seconds or so brief- and it's typically not super far in the future. For the most part, I tend to see what I'd see." He explains, before humming a little. "It's not perfect, though- and I doubt it ever will be. It's got a… hrm. I'd call it a flaw, but I don't really think it is."


She listens intently. "Not a flaw at all," she agrees. "Being able to see things before they happen is a rare gift. We're lucky to have you on our side."

Her expression changes suddenly. "…Before?… You mean, you can't see her sister anymore?"


"Nono, I meant- it's not perfect. I can see what's probably going to happen. I've been trying with little things here and there. Most of the time, what I see happen is what happens. Though, not always. That's why I've kinda limited myself to stuff that's going to happen soon- if I look at something way far off, it's harder to know how likely it really is." he explains. "And… thanks. I'm just happy that I can help." he says, nickering a little and flicking his ears.

"And… yeah. I haven't gotten any visions of her since the whole Union thing. I don't feel the same changes that were happening. Maybe the link broke, somehow? Someone else might've found a way?"


She bites her lip in worry. "Then she's either dead, or Grosvenor actually did it… Shit. Gods know what's happened in the last year. Still trying to wrap my head around that."

She pinches the bridge of her nose in quiet frustration. "Nothing we can do about it right now I guess. Let's just join up with the others." She's very terse all of a sudden.


"Wait… what did Grosvenor do to her? Was there something she had planned? He asks, biting his tongue almost immediately after and folding his ears back. "I, uh… sorry. I didn't mean to upset you, Marisol."


She looks away. "She… After our parents were killed she took us in. Raised us like daughters. She made us into her slaves. Trained us to kill since we were six years old. If we dared to disobey she'd beat us. And worse…"

"Elaina tried running away once. When she was caught, Grosvenor used her in her arcane experiments. Turned her into… that. She said if we ever disobeyed again, we'd be stripped of ourselves. Remade into meat puppets. Like those… those clockwork things…"

She swallows. "Elaina was meant to kill me back there," she says, her voice quavering slightly. "But she couldn't. And now I don't know what's going to happen to her. I need to save her from whatever she's become. …And if I can't, I need to avenge us."

She wipes her eyes. "I-I'm sorry. You don't have to listen to this. We'll figure things out when we get to them. Right?"


"No, no no no- if you need to talk more, it's okay to." Rabi says, pulling the Felid into a soft hug and settling on to his haunches again. "I'll… I'll keep trying to find her, if I can. I'll do everything I can to help you save her, too."

"And… I'm sorry you had to go through all of that at such a young age. I can't say mine was perfect, but… at least I never had anyone trying to do that kind of thing to me. Trying to take away what made me… me. I promise, I won't let Grosvenor hurt you, or your sister."


She tenses up as you hug her, looking uncomfortable with being touched. She pulls away instinctively.

"…Th… thanks," she says after a while. "For helping, I mean. I'm sorry you got dragged into my problems, but I'm glad I met you." She manages a smile, then stands back up after a few moments, heading towards the shop where the rest of the party are. "Come on. They're probably wondering what's taking so long."


"Hey- everyone here's like family, in a way. I wasn't 'dragged in' to your family problems, 'kay? I'm happy to help, no matter what." he offers, letting her free from the hug once he notes the discomfort and offering a friendly smile. "And… right- let's get on back."


>[-2EP]Analyst:Lucky Number Seven: passive; Rolling a 7, disregarding any and all modifiers, counts as a natural crit.


''Then we'll get a couple Aqua Vitae. We shouldnt pass them up If you can multiply their worth. I suggest at least one magical ward might be useful as preemptive measures. Never know what we will be dealing with in the future, so we'll have to expect the unexpected''


"Hm?" He waddles over. "Oh, these things. Picked them up in a bulk deal from a foreign caravan years ago. Back when we actually got traffic. Been gathering dust ever since. Still sharp though! Reckon they'd do right by you. I'm not much of a fighter. Never have been."
>Keen Twindaggers: single/dual, crits on 9+. Gives access to the Backstab skill.

"Good thinking," Violet nods as she browses the shop. "Especially if we're going up against those giant sky snakes. How many should we get?"

Morris does a double take. "Whoa, wait, hold on. You're taking those monsters on? That's suicide!"

"Well, someone has to do something," Marisol points out. "We might not be able to fight them head on, but maybe there's another way…"

"A conundrum for the ages," Gawain chimes in. He doesn't have much more to add.


>Purchase: Rations, 3x


''I will leave the decision to Master Norvegicus and Master Silver, as I have no more bits to contribute'' Aegis says, stepping to the side and giving the weapons on display a brief glance before turning to Morris ''Tell me, where have your gotten those Wards from? Do you know who makes them?''


"Hey, everyone- we got that scouting taken care of for the maps. Got to try out a neat new trick, too… what's everyone gotten so far?"
>Purchase: 1 ration (4 total), 2 Aqua Vitae


''A ward or two should be good… And we might need some camping equipment, enough to share among all of us, though I still have mine. Havent had the chance to use it yet, but now that we have lost the Fortune…''


"Scouting first. Snakes second. From the look of things fighting them might be off the table, but yeah. Someone has to do something." I think for a moment. "Well, at least six would be nice. That way I can have two full canisters if we don't pass any around, but still have a full tank if we do. Don't want to spend all of our money on just those, but we definitely at least gotta keep some on hand. Honestly up to everyone else if they wanna keep some on them just in case. I can only hit one'a you at a time." I look up at the shopkeeper. "Oh, you got any tools? I think mine are scattered somewhere out there. Just normal buildin or craftin tools and stuff. Don't gotta be anything fancy."

I run my hand across the top of my head and hum. "Maybe we should grab a few torches too. We been usin the lights from Z's spell, but as long as she's out we can't really do that…"


''Very well pointed out Master Norvegicus. I have my own lights as well, but I cant give those to you like Zunden could''
>buying 5 torches, 2 wards, 2 medicinal herbs


"Excellent, I was just looking for a replacement!"
>-60 bits

taking hold of the daggers to test their weight, I make sure to grab a ration pack before heading to the counter with the few items.

"I don't believe we'll be gone long, but I suppose you can't rely on space and time as a constant these days, better safe than sorry."


>6 Aqua Vite
"So the tools, the potions… Oh, and any kind of lantern oil or anything?"


"Hey! Glad you got some replacements, sweetie. Do they feel right enough for you?" Rabi asks, nuzzling against the mare softly.

"So… map-making. How do we do this, Marisol?"


"Make them myself!" he says proudly. "Or… I did, at least. I used to be pretty good at magic, but over time I've just… lost the knack, I guess. And the tools. Tools are useful. Heh. But mostly just the spark's gone. Can't really explain it any better. Ever since the sun vanished, I just can't do it anymore…"

Morris thinks. "Hmmm… Nope, don't have any tools. The torches come with oil to light them, though. Could use that," he suggests.

"Well, I can do most of the actual mapping. I'm good that that. I'd just need you to actually scout when we're out there, and do your magic… thing." She seems lost for words at the moment. "What you did before to show me. I don't think it'll work if we're just sitting around out here though. An overhead view is useful and all, but if we're not in the field ourselves testing our skills against the wilds, then we won't have much to report to Dalliance other than the basic geography. Know what I mean?"

Aurora clears her throat at the mention of Zunden. "About that. We've been talking, and I think it's better if we both sit this one out. Zunden and I, that is. We'll stay here in town, at the inn. Seems like a good place to stay awhile and help out."

-5 rations - 25
-5 torches - 10
-2 wards - 30
-2 herbs - 20
-8 heals - 160
-twindaggers - 60
-total: 305 bits, -50 credit: 255


Morris goes around and gathers your things, putting everything into neat little bundles for you to gather. "Thanks, good chums! Always good to have new faces around here!"


"Right! We'll just have to keep up with it. I'll, ya know… limit it- I don't want to make you sick again."


"That's fine, Aurora. Take care of her- please. We've lost enough as this has all unfolded… I don't want to lose anyone else." he says, rubbing at his neck. "We'll try to come by and visit- I will, at the least."


I sigh. "Darn. Maybe I can ask around, but not many people to ask. Alright, thanks anyway. And yeah, that should do the trick." I grab my potions and put them away.

I look up at Aurora and knit my brow, not sure if I should actually say anything. After a moment, I finally decide and clear my throat. "She, uh… How's she doing?"


Aegis's expression is unchanging ''That is awful. I hope you recover your passion some day''
Then she turns to Aurora
''Very well. If anyone can keep her safe it will be you, Aurora. Please dont forget what we learned together and keep training whenever you have the chance. We might be lucky and find another Harbinger to stay in touch''


She takes a moment to unsheath the daggers, feeling the weight out and giving a few test motions, before nodding.

"Oh yes, these will do just fine, dear." She replies, returning the affection.

"Not a problem, Morris, a pleasure to meet you as well!" I reply, taking my bundle with a nod.

I pass between zunden and Aurora a knowing look, before nodding.

"For the best, it seems. We'll be certain to relay what we find as soon as we return, you two."


"I will. Thanks, Rabi. Don't be a stranger."

She can't seem to find the words at first. "……She'll get there. Eventually."

"Well, this isn't goodbye!" she explains. "Just see-you-later! You guys are coming back, after all. I'm sure there's nothing out there you can't handle."

She nods back. "We'll be around. Someone needs to liven things up around here."

With your provisions sorted, you head for the gate leading out of town. Aurora and Zunden follow you to the exit, and say their farewells there. You see Dalliance making the rounds in the distance. She takes a moment to salute you as you go to leave.

"Do you think they'll be okay on their own?" Violet asks. "Zunden and Aurora, I mean."

"They're in good hands!" says Gawain. "Zunden just needs some time off, is all. And Aurora is stronger than she knows. We'll be together again before we know it!"

The three circular runes in lieu of a sun hang above you as you exit the seaside town of Moonhollow. The craggy hills ahead loom ominously, yet even in the gloomy setting, there are little glimmers of beauty to this place. It's almost comfortingly open and quiet.

There are three paths you could take to explore:

Off to the left, the hills turn into cliff faces, forming a set of rocky gorges, ravines and caves. Difficult to traverse, but not impossible. Mapping this place would be essential for anyone looking to leave Moonhollow, as it is essentially a natural maze.

Ahead, the vegetation grows more sparse, giving way to a series of rock formations connecting with the ravines off to the left. It would be fairly easy going, were it not for the plethora of rocky spires and boulders obstructing the path.

Ahead is flatter terrain, sloping gently downward into a dense woodland region. This is the way you arrived from, though it is now covered in a layer of dense fog. You could retrace your steps and take in your surroundings more properly now.


"I won't. Promise." He says, giving Aurora a hug. He holds it for a few moments, before pulling away and sighing. "I wish I could've helped her more."

"I'm… hmm. Maybe the hills and cliff faces? Between Silver and I, we can spot out the right way to go. I don't know how I feel about the fog…"


''It might be harder without the both of you. I hope the world will be kinder to us than in the past'' Once at the gate, Aegis gives Aurora a curt bow before leaving. 'Indeed, Aurora has a strong will and a natural talent, she only needs to confidence to use them''

''Well, any path we take will have ways of avoiding the Serpent's sight and wrath, so I agree on the Cliff faces. A good place to start''


I just give her a nod. On the way out I take the time to pour two of the Aqua Vite into my potion canister to fill it up, seal it, and lock it into my bandolier. I do the same with a single oil canister, actually locking it into my sprayer.
>1 Aqua Vite canister [4 Uses]
>1 High Aqua Vite canister [1 Use]
>1 Oil Canister
>3 Empty canisters

"I say we either start with where we came from or over at those rock formations. We probably shouldn't mess around with the caves and cliffs without climbing gear. Should probably grab some back in town before going out there."


"Ah, excellent point. I might be able to avoid the fall, but the others wouldn't be so lucky.. perhaps the spires are a safer option for now."


''I suppose'' Aegis says flatly, ready to follow into the Spires.


"Not like we can't just check the other way if this turns out to be a bust anyway. Just seems like the safest option, and probably also the quickest to rule out." When everyone else starts moving, I head to the rocks.


"Seems reasonable enough," Violet nods. Marisol brings up the rear, taking in the landscape and filling in the map as you go along.

As you leave Moonhollow, there is a faint rumbling. Looking skyward, you see the clouds moving unnaturally fast. Closer glimpses reveal slender reptilian forms shifting within the clouds. The serpents are watching you.

You approach the rocky region. It is bereft of any plantlife, save for the occasional shrub or struggling sapling. The terrain is plain, consisting of dirt and stone. All around you are the stone formations you noticed, boulders for the most part, but occasionally you see what can only be described as spires. These odd formations are like huge stone spikes, towering upwards for dozens of feet, culminating in a sharp, pointed tip. You are reminded of the central hive in the Shifting Sands.

"How curious," Gawain comments as you pass the third one of these. "Do you suppose they're natural formations?"

"Not like anything I've ever seen," says Marisol. "Then again, given the circumstances, I don't think anything here is natural."

"Are we going the right way?" Violet asks uncertainly. "I think we went in a circle. I swear I've seen that boulder before."
>roll Navigation


''What if we marked the spires with something? It would help ensure we dont get lost and would be a guide for anyone traversing here in the future''
'1d10' Navi

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Probably not natural," I agree. I shudder a little as I think of the hive. Maybe I should try to get a better look. I pull out my spyglass and level it at one of the spires.

[1d10]Perception, Improvise

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


"Natural? Hard to say, really… weather can do crazy things on its own, but there's plenty of supernatural stuff here that could add to that, I wager. As for the right way… I unno, lemme try guessing it out…"
>Precognition: +3 to the Navigation Roll. Crit on a 9+ [1d10+3]

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


"The serpents are aware of us, yet they've opted to leave us be, for now.. How curious. perhaps they really are only after the village.."

[1d10] Navigation

Roll #1 6 = 6

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