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Sir Pent slithers off of your arm and crawls over to Sparkler, and bumps his head against her arm until she relents and gives him a pat. Sir Pent soon bites off an old scale, one already on its way to falling off, and holds it out to her. Curious, Sparkler takes it, and after some deliberation, starts to mash it in a pestle while her healing takes its effect.

*Click click* the beetle continues, patiently awaiting your questions with its forelegs folded up together in a professional posture.

Your shark senses tell you there's something worth taking in this room… but it might be a nap.

Juniper flings herself into the pool outside the room, and Cycle follows suit. Juniper then climbs out and steps through the doorway with no issue.

"Looks like the Mechpriests would have had to purify themselves with a ritual bath before entering here," Juniper says. "But for our purposes, just stepping into the pool is enough to enter one of these kinds of chambers, I suppose."

"Yeah…" Chiu mutters, but she does not sound very sure.
172 posts omitted. Click reply to view.



Sir Pent listens anxiously about the fate of his pony.


The two sides fill one another in on what transpired in the others' absence. Splendid explains the town plagued by the theft of its very self, and the selves of its inhabitants, and Droplet catches the crews up on the gist of their failed mission, and the loss of Captain Cutlass, Two Reeds, Ossie, Sparkler, and the two Ninjador, Hollow Promise and Auspicious Sign.

"Now," Colobok says. "You mentioned you were attacked on the way here?"

"Yeah," Squatz says. "By a Watchkeeper, but it didn't look normal. Then a normal-looking one pounced on it, and we split while they were fighting."

"Was the attacker all coated in dark, mucus-like crust, by any chance?" Colobok asks.

"That's the one," Puddin says.

"Perhaps not just one," Colobok continues. "Come, show us to the site of the attack."


"You saw more of those grungy machines? Feels like this island is getting worse by the minute," Cloud comments, not feeling keen on hearing more of those odd watchers are about.



Sir Pent is visibly nervous about returning to the site of those big things. But, he also seems to feel safer knowing that he is protected by the Crimson King.


"Yeah. After some giant laser beam thing got us separated from Cutlass, there was a giant one of those guys. But it was all covered in this cloth that made him able to be around in the sun until it got pulled off. Had me grabbed something fierce, too."

"Hehe, well except for the big guy I just mentioned, everything else was breaking apart with a good smack of my tail."


Willow seemed to be content with his work on Two Tons as he turned and looked to the others

"Seems these things are quite nasty."

He looked to his spectacles and nodded seeing he had managed to finish them.


"Good! As able a warrior as ever- I should not have presumed otherwise!" Alder remarks, getting to work mending her injuries once he's been set down by Splendid.
>Using Natural Remedy and Medic's Knife.

"A great number of losses… concerning. Are they, ah, gone? Or simply out of reach for now?" He asks, worriedly.

"A-And, yes- the attacker was much as you expect. Here, the site was over this way."


"I worry the answer may be the both," Colobok says to Alder's question. "We may find hope, at the site of the attack."

Spurred by Colobok's urging, your groups pick back through the jungle, following their fresh trail as best they can, and at times, stopping to erase the trails on Droplet's advice. Though this slows you somewhat, it is not long before once more you see the great clearing where the amalgam of insect Watchkeepers quite literally fell upon you. Shattered trees, gashed, crushed rocks, and pooling water from the disturbed water table mark the site of a fierce melee… but neither combatant is anywhere to be seen.

You look to the south, and see that the clearing has been extended… by the outline of something that was recently dragged away.



Sir Pent slithers into the underbrush, searching for signs of danger.

>Survival: spot check rolls +3. Can create and forage for basic supplies like rope, bandages, tents, torches and low-quality meals. Can see far into the distance and can see if dim or night light.


Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13


"Sounds like we don't got much to worry about from these if you took out a giant one," Cloud says with some assurance as Cerulean mentions her fight with one of the machines.

Cloud keeps on alert as they work their way back, not wanting to get caught up in the crossfire of the Watchkeepers or ambushed by new ones. When they find the clearing to be empty and a path leading away, Cloud looks out in the direction of the drags with caution.
"After falling that far, it just pulled itself away since it couldn't walk, right?"


"Mmm. Concerning- I would not like to lose any more, Cutlass especially." Be says, hurrying after the others.

>Master Thief: [1d10+1] Just in case I can get a hunch about anything!

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


"No, you still do. Remember how I said that these things were taking my memories and stuff when I was in that temple? Same deal here. They almost got Cycle Kick."

Cerulean looks around the clearing in her typical, curious manner.
"Woah…yeah, somethingdefinitely went down here. But where is everything?"


There, Sir Pent finds much wreckage of obsidian and brass… wreckage that is clean of the dark gunk. It appears to be that the victor was the aforementioned abomination, the amalgam of insect-watchkeepers…

However, it looks like there's far too little wreckage for this to have been the site where their battle ended… together, with the obvious dragging marks to the south, suggests that the gunk covered amalgam's goal was not destruction of its foe, but rather, capture.

Alder reaches much the same conclusions… what lies to the south, then, the selfsame direction that Cutlass seemed to be taken via the underground tunnel…?

He suddenly recalls the name: The Ruby Round.

Colobok and Droplet convene briefly, whispering to each other, before splitting to address you all.

"If the Metal Men were all capable of covering themselves in this gunk to protect themselves from the sunlight," Droplet begins. "Don't you think they'd have overrun this island by now?"


"Perhaps it's a third party that has taken some of the metal men as it's own minions."


"…Maybe it doesn't last long?"
Cloud says, trying yo find an upside.



Sir Pent points his little snout insistently in the direction he concludes his pony is in.


"Eh, hrm… south, perhaps? I imagine it was capture, not destruction." He suggests, before pointing off in the right way. "Ah.. ah! The Ruby Round?"

"Perhaps this gunk is something special- it needs to be made. Or, it is as Willow suggests."


"Yeah, but we at least know where Cutlass sorta is…kind of. Its just the way to her is blocked off by a big…clog of that gunk junk."

Cerulean keeps an eye over the area as the others look and talk, not wanting to be caught off-guard again.


"Hey Willow I think the snake wants us to go that way." Two Tons said as the large metal equine clomped over towards Sir Pent.

Willow for his part raised a brow and glanced in the direction Sir Pent was looking.


"That's a hopeful theory, Mr. Wisp, but I don't think it holds up," Droplet says. "It looks too much like the gunk they've been able to use against us, just solidified and treated… like it needs to be, for lack of a better term, forged, or crafted, or manufactured. Something that takes time and focus, and a base of operations. Something that can't be done to all the Metal Men or their captured victims, leaving them to prioritize the best among them."

"Spit it out already!" Puddin growls.

Droplet picks up Sir Pent and wears him like a hat.

"Everyone we lost at the Temple of the Heart?" Colobok begins. "They've been taken to the Ruby Round, just as this Watchkeeper has, to where they make this gunk armor to block out the sunlight. Our allies shall become just like them."


"W-Well! Let us not waste time. We ought to go save them as swiftly as we are able." Alder says, his fur and feathers ruffling up.


"Unpleasant." he said as he placed his specs on for now and was prepared to scan the area.


"Then lets go to this Ruby Round thing and break it open, then break everyone out," she says as her tail already looks rested and ready to break some more things.
"I don't wanna fight our friends all crusty and stuff if I can help it."


"You're saying they're going to turn Cutlass and the others into more of those Metal Men?" Cloud questions, the images already flashing through his head.
"How far away is the Ruby Round?" Do you think they got there already?"



Sir Pent continues to stare in the direction of the marks.


"Let's regroup to the ships, then," Splendid suggests. "The other team – Sir Diamantaire, Schnitzel and Make Believe – they were heading for the Round, last we heard, in't that right? If…" she stops and shudders. "If nothing's befallen them, they'll have at least scouted it out and gauged the danger, yeah?"

You start to rush your way back to the docking location of the ships as you talk – and after some more grueling time in the sweltering brush of the jungle, they at last come into view between the last of the distant trees.


Willow calmly scanned the area looking for anything out of the ordinary as they did so. He didn't want to get hit with an ambush.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 2 = 2



Sir Pent remains on Droplet's head.


"Mmm… p-perhaps it would be best to regroup. I would wish to pursue them, but it would be better to plan than go in without being truly ready."


Cerulean gives an exhausted sigh from the heat and walking.
"Jeez…its too hot. Are we there yet?"


Cloud keeps silent as they head back to the ships, worried now about going into the heart of a processing plant of enemies that'll purge your memories or turn you into one of them. Once the ships come into view, Cloud goes for a bee-line to them, being the one safe place on this island.


Your allies are all on the guns, and scan the horizon behind you as you hurry aboard. The moment the last of your groups has climbed onto their respective ships, the crews yank up the gangplanks, weigh the anchors, and conjure winds with the aid of the winged crewmates to get as far from the cliffside and the malevolent forces ashore as quick as they can.

Your groups have little time for a reprieve, before they split up, to start catching up the rest of the crews on the news. As you set a course for the south, Miss Sunshine takes it upon herself to call up Schnitzel on the conch, as she fervently paces back and forth.


"Schnitzel!" she gasps into the conch. "You're al– whoa whoa whoa, slow down… what? …I see… then you probably won't find this surprising, either: The Captain's in trouble… … … So, be on the lookout… okay, wait, let me get something to write this with… go on… … … Okay, I-I think I've got all of it. Don't get yourself captured too, alright!?"

She hangs up, and flops down into as close a state to gelatin as a vertebrate can be, helpless from stress.

"Guuuuys… cross-crew meeting, again… Schnitzel gave his report."



"They're not captured it sounds like… so is it good news?" Cloud asks.


I have a feeling that it will not be good if your trepidation is anything to go by."


"We will, ah… endeavor to not be caught, yes."


Cerulean looks with a slightly-tilted head and awaits the report.


Bee Holder and Miss Sunshine direct the crews to disembark from the island, taking their chances on the choppy waters near the southern half of the island to get more distance between themselves and any more possessed Watchkeepers. Once you're at a safe distance, Bee Holder has a gangplank extended to the Hidden Dagger, and Miss Sunshine crosses it, caller conch in hoof, so that everyone can hear her – including the crewmates still on the guns.


"Okay… here's what Schnitzel said," Miss Sunshine begins.

"Him, Make Believe, Sir Diamantaire and a few others have scouted out the Ruby Round. It's late afternoon, so it's still safe for them to talk, but that will change soon, so ask your questions now.

"It looks like the Ruby Round has been converted into some kinda drydocks for the Metal Men. Live Metal Men drag their wounded comrades there under the cover of night, in order that they may be repaired, so long as the Sun Serpent's light isn't there to temporarily erase their existence.

"It looks like the Metal Men have also been experimenting with a few different types of 'living being'. That being wild animals, Watchkeepers, and living mortals captured from the crew of the Thunder Serpent.

"The wild animals and living mortals have undergone unspeakable procedures to become like Metal Men themselves… while Watchkeepers prove harder to convert. It seems that the dark gunk which the Metal Men harbor in their bodies can possess a 'living thing' completely voided of its memories, embodied in those spherical crystals which fall out of someone who touches the gunk.

"The Watchkeepers can also be possessed because the crystals that make up their power-cores also have a kind of life-force. However, almost everything else in a Watchkeeper's body is just rock and metal. Thus, Watchkeepers can go berserk when they're in a Metal Man's possession to cause as much damage before the gunk can reach their core. So, the Watchkeepers aren't very popular among the Metal Men for possession.

"It also seems that the Metal Men are starting to find means of augmenting themselves against the sunlight. When the dark gunk is hardened by some process – which Schnitzel and the others haven't discovered yet – they gain a temporary resistance to sunlight, but it doesn't last long."

"And how many of the Metal Men have donned this armor?" Doctor Godot asks.

"Not many."

"My theory grows stronger…" Godot notes.


Cerulean listens to all this and seems amazed in intrigued.
"Woah…so thats why the stuff did what it did to me and Cycle." She shivers a bit from remembering the growingly-cold feeling.

"So is there any way of breaking it or something? Besides explosives and using my tail. Pretty sure I still felt my tail going numb whenever I touched it."


"Is the gunk-armor re-usable? Or, is it damageable?" Alder asks, cocking his head to the side. "Hopefully they do not get better at it soon- I would rather try something during the day… but, if we wait, Cutlass and the others might be endangered. Hrm."



Cloud listens on grimly as it already sounds like the conversion process has been going for a bit now.
"So this gunk stuff is the real issue. Is there an easy way to deal with it?" Cloud asks.

He then looks to Godot. "What theory?"


Miss Sunshine relays your questions into the Conch, then awaits Schnitzel's answer.

"Sounds like they haven't really tried, but Cerulean, I mentioned your experiences to them just now. If you had some success fighting them off, they say that should be safe…ish. Physical attacks aren't ideal, but if killing a Metal Man who has stolen away part of someone's self works, they're all for it. Just keep your distance."

"Just as Colobok speculated," Godot says. "If the Metal Men were capable of this gunk-hardening process en masse, this island, and all its inhabitants, long-standing or temporary, would have been captured already. It must take considerable time and, I imagine, resources for it to be accomplished. Miss Sunshine, what does the area surrounding the Ruby Round resemble, geographically?"

Miss Sunshine relays the question before speaking again. "Very rocky, and near a river and a mountain."

"Eureka," Godot deadpans. "They may be harvesting rare minerals of a sort – perhaps a counterpart to the Godray Crystals which have been our protection come nightfall…"

"So this Ruby Round's got to be our next target, posthaste," Bee Holder notes.


"Sounds like they're making some sort of moon crystal," Cloud comments to the theory.

"…Is there anyway to tell who those memory crystals belong to when they come out?"


Willow was quiet for some time as he pondered upon this "Do they have any info as to what the gunk is made of or any other properties such as flammability or reactivity?" he asked after a bit.

"If it's naturally capable of exploding or bursting into flames or anything else it will simplify it's removal and annihilation quite a bit."


>"Hmm… fair point. Well, hopefully we can deprive them of it and rescue the others at the same time- I shudder to think of any more of them than there already are."


"It seems they can be picked up by anyone they DON'T belong to, but when the one they DO belong to touches them, they're immediately drawn back into that person."

"None of them want to chance touching it, even the hardened material, but it pretty much explodes into fire once sunlight touches it, so sunlight and fire seem like solid options, if you've got either of those on hoof."

"What of tonight, then?" Droplet asks.

"These waves are rocky, unnaturally so," Bee Holder notes. "Getting near the Ruby Round by sea is a lost cause, and I wager, deliberately so."

"The Vault might be influencing the waves," Miss Sunshine agrees with dread. "Well they've got a Godray Crystal they've been charging… if we link up, the light from ours should be enough to help keep things away. Are you all up for getting close to them by nightfall?"


"Mmm… I suppose we have little other choice. We ought to strike tonight maybe, yes."


"With enough time I might be able to rig up something that weaponizes sunlight. Or something." he glanced to the sun quietly as he looked to see how long he had to do just that.


"Well if we can figure out whatever that stuff is, maybe we can find some way of breaking it then. And hopefully soon. Sir Pent was leading me somewhere blocked off by the stuff. Hopefully Cutlass is okay…."


"We can't afford to wait much longer if we want to save Cutlass and the others. We'll have to go tonight."


The Captains nod, and give twin signals to their crews. A great tension fills the pirates, but they obey, rowing the oars and sending wind into the sails to steer the ships back to this dark, sweltering grave of an island. When the ships are close enough to land, the gangplanks extend again, letting you and those who accompanied you last time run back onto shore.

"We'll want to save as much power as we can for the magitech flying-engines," Bee Holder says. "In case we need to flee in a hurry. But if worst comes to worst, fire your flare guns, and we'll come flying in to shoot down your attackers. We'll only be able to do that once… be wise about it."

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