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Last time on HolyQuest…

Amy and Shei finished their discussion with the soul of the Bodhidharma. It was indeed possible to turn an angel or a demon back into a mortal, for both angels and demons are, in the end, naught but ascended souls with a new physical body. However, such an act was not mere transformation, but transubstantiation – the true conversion of one thing into another thing, not the simple adjustment of its shape or properties. To accomplish it, they would require the soul of a god, and the Ember of Jalandhara was the only such soul around. The fact that the soul was only an ember at this point would likely mean that using it for the purpose of soul transubstantiation would drain it of its remaining power, unless it could be somehow recharged.

Pryce and Cloak purchased a few weapons and upgrades from Meister's Metallurgy, and paid the near-deaf smith back by helping her train for the day. Cloak earned more than a few stinging bruises for his trouble. Pryce, meanwhile, did a bit of boxing practice with Spitshine, to Sugar's unspoken delight. Before leaving, River and Zjetya placed in a secret order, one that would take Meister until about sundown to complete.

Flaming finished her brief tabletop campaign with Box, LJ and Regina, and the trio showered their QM with praise for their adventure. In a change of pace for their date, they elected to leave the Library of the Sacrosanct behind and go out for a run to clear their heads and get some fresh air. The Public Gardens to the south held a most wondrous overgrowth of plantlife, and was thus a suitable location.
960 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


Flaming looks slightly disappointed before LJ points out the downsides in eating too much ice-cream, especially the day before a battle as big as the one they're about to go into. "I guess you have a good point, plus: we'd probably get really bad stomach-aches too." She chuckles, taking another lick of her ice-cream as she finishes it off. "Next time then, I don't like losing to Regina and Box! Now we're even for that race we won earlier."

Flaming looks down at Lockjaw, holding down a hoof to allow him a chance to climb up and join her.

Flaming puffs out her cheeks at Gabriel's comment, but looks on at the heart-felt display between the golden griffon and Amy and Shei, and finally starts to piece together who's talking. She gasps, smiling as she looks on at the affectionate display, and holds back, allowing them this final moment together as she relishes the idea of being in a similar situation, bidding a parent a fond farewell.

>"No, you're the whiny one, *I'm* the dramatic one, love. And, poo… I guess that is somewhat hypocritical of me when I need to share Shei with you too, isn't it?" She says to Punish in response, leaning down to nuzzle Shei and even Amy with her beak.

>"We'll see each other again one day, my darling Shei. But I'll be watching until then, so keep making me proud. I love you, my son, so much more than I can say. And Amy… please, take care of him when his mother cannot. I have the feeling you'll make a very fine wife for him indeed. Both of you, make your enemies in Tartarus quell before you, and come back to me so I can tease you both more."

>Ready to time-skip


Lockjaw hops up on the bubble, legs spreading out as he precariously balances upon it alongside you. He grips your horn with his teeth for balance, but his bite is very gentle, and doesn't hurt, barely registering.

>For Everyone

After Shei explains the situation to them, Volkama and Observer put their conversation on magic with _____ and Deriva on hold, clean up their dishes, and join your group. In total, Pryce brings along Zjetya, KP and River, and Flaming, seeing that everyone's getting going, comes along with LJ, and Cloak as well.

The Dark Corridor deposits your party some distance south of Fantasia's high scrap and stone walls, to where a long and winding river, having grown from a recent rainfall, runs through the meadows and fields, passing through a thick forest to the south, and from high snowy mountains to the north. As you set hoof down on the grass, you all, especially those of stronger spiritual senses, can feel an ominous sense of pressure, foreboding, and general displeasure, emanating from the river's dark waters. Shei feels it most of all, as well as a sense of cold, from the focus being upon him.



As with any presence, Amy's first thought is to befriend it.

"Hi!" she says loudly and excitedly, waving towards the river. "I'm Amy Thest the Inescapable Revelrous Friendmaking Heartthief Hugger! Who are you?"

[1d10] to get an answer!

Roll #1 5 = 5


Pryce gives pause a moment at Shei's first response, then stares a moment after the rest.
"How many times have you used it?"

Pryce steps out of the portal, looking out at the river, having expected it to be barren in assumption from Shei needing to apologize. Feeling the ominous presence confirms that it is indeed upset despite it's condition.
"You've had this meeting arranged I see."

KP floats out on his bubble, looking out as he feels the presence as well.
>"I wonder what the spirit looks like."


Shei-Sher puts an arm in front of Amy and gently pushes her behind him "I -et-teh-teh I think I should be the one to do the talking."

"Ahem. Ahoy! Fair Ruler of the River betwixt Fantasia. I have abused your waters for my own purposes. I am here to formally make things right."


"I think… Five -maybe six times? In all honesty, I did feel a little conscientious about using the river so much. But who was a harming. Water runs, fades, evaporates and goes where it needs to be. It was not as if I was permanently destroying a resource."



"I'm the BEST at making friends!" Amy objects.


"I will be on guard. Should the entity attempt spells I can also attempt to undo them."


Interested in what Shei is getting up to this time, Flaming follows behind on the group, feeling like Fantasia might be another good stop for their date as well as indulging her own curiosity of how it's been holding up since they left it several days ago. She looks up at the stone-walls, hopeful they'll continue to hold up as they follow along the way to the river.

As they reach it, she feels the sudden overwhelming pressure coming from the river, turning her head towards it as she lowers her horns, ready for battle. She moves close to Journey and Pryce, looking to them as she mentions, "Get ready, I sense something really… uneasy nearby. I dont know if whatever this spirit is likes us being so close, at least in such a big group."

Flaming chuckles as Amy just shouts with abandon towards the spirit, "Well, that didn't take very long. You know, you might scare him, Amy!"


"Maybe not, in this case, but opening a portal in a river that many times without warning could've caused more damage than you realized."


Amy's initiation of discussions yields no fruit, and it is only once Shei steps forward to speak that any response comes about.


The waters swell and recede, in a rhythm that resembles breath, each movement more pronounced than the last, until at last, small waves are breaking upon the river's banks, splashing over onto you with their cool spray. Suddenly, a great wave builds up in a sudden flood, rising up to wash over you, threatening to knock you off your hooves – but the waters part, breaking into many countless droplets, each of which takes the shape of a different species of fish, some tinier than your noses, others bigger than even Rus Tea.

This multitude of water-fish gather together, unifying without splitting apart their distinct forms, gathering together in the shape of a serpentine dragon with fins for wings, and beautiful rainbow scales, their rainbow made by the catching of the light. A colossal catfish constitutes the dragon's head, and it's about the size of your airship. Zjetya immediately bows her head in a sign of reverence, and River follows her lead, despite her disdain for the divine.

"Abuse? I'll say," the water-dragon says, speaking with a great many voices, young old, male, female, accented and plain, melodious and rough. "I was wondering what mortal thought he could get away with turning me into a weapon. Come to beg off your punishment? In my day, when I was but a rumor, things were that your kind knew the proper order of things. Ask permission, not forgiveness, from the gods. I don't know what smart-ass thought he could turn things around on us. I am the god of this river, and I want to know what you're going to do to keep yourself from being drowned."

Observer's eyes glow with fascination, while Volkama subtly prepares his spells. However, the water-god's eyes are only upon Shei.


"Yes but I am the most experienced with talking to enemies."

"That may not be the best impression to make right now Leather Cloak."



"It's totally a she," Amy states definitively.


"That just proves you're good at making enemies," Amy points out. "Which is like… the opposite of making friends."


"Hi, pretty dragon lady!" Amy says, waving vigorously from next to Shei.

[1d10] to get attention with compassion!

Roll #1 7 = 7


One of the dragon's fins flicks water droplets at you. These droplets turn into shrimp, which swim around you a little bit to get a better look at you, then swim off, dazzling the eye and delighting the senses with their beautiful colors all the while.


Pryce looks up as the river swells and breaks, forming into a menagerie of sea life to form it's draconic avatar. He bows his head a moment, to show some respect to help Shei's case. But for now he says nothing, letting Shei have first words.


KP mutters under his breath at seeing the big water-god dragon.



Amy giggles excitedly as the shrimp swim around her.

"I like her," Amy says looking to Shei.


Leather nods, waiting patiently.


"That goes for all of you too, if you plan to defend this one, and not leave him to his consequences," the water-god adds.


Shei-Sher braves the water spray, and manages to keep his footing amid the flood. When the Water spirit speaks, he gets the distinct feeling he's being let off easy. He finds himself thinking that Buiwong is much scarier than this spirit.
"Right. Had I realized I was stealing from someone I would not have been so care free with my use. Despite impressions, I am not a burglar. Had I known a spirit ruled here I would have come before you and exchanged favors like good souls do. I suggest having some shrines or statues built in your likeness so other do not mistake the elements here being without a ruler. Since I made use of you, it is only fair that you make use of me. I am an accomplished alchemist. Be statues to forge, or waters to purify I can achieve this in a couple hours time."


As the spirit calls the rest of them out to defend Shei, Pryce takes a step forward.
"I know Shei has disrespected your river, but he is penitent to any of his wrongdoings. Give him any task or punishment besides death, and you will see he will accomplish it without hesitance or complaints."
Pryce says, hoping to avoid Shei receiving a watery grave.


As the river rises up and splashes over the party, Flaming braces herself, lowering her head to let her horns catch most of the force of the tide and digging her hooves in to avoid falling over.

As she looks up to see the multitude of fish all flowing together, combining into one, glimmering serptine dragon with each unique fish a seperate scale on its magnificent body, Flaming looks up in awe, always put into a state of wonder whenever she beholds one of the ancestral dragons her clan worshiped for generations.

She lowers her head in reverence, both to it as a dragon and a spirit, and looks to Shei as he attempts to reason with the dragon.

"Forgive me for speaking out of turn, your river-ness, but, I think Shei has come to try and make amends for his disrespect towards you."
She utters under her breath, "For once…"

"It sounds like a boy…" she says under her breath, focusing on the male parts of its voice.



"But, she's so pretty!" Amy counters.


"Hey! I like ideas where everyone wins!" Amy says, her tail wagging.


"Boy dragons can be pretty too, you're gonna insult him!"


"See I am not so bad at making friends either."


"Hmph. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. See the fundamental difference in our perspectives, mortal? Because I did not have a sign posted, designating these waters as 'owned property,' a thing that cannot be taken without violating this or that law or market regulation – because I did not nail down every droplet of water and fish, stamping a trademark or a brand upon them, that one of your kind can just come along and twist it for his own purposes, wasting them for an unnatural end? Vile. Your eyes are blackened, that you cannot see the natural relationship of god and mortal. How about I 'use you' as fish food for a couple hours' time? How about I 'use' that kingdom of goats you imagine in your heart?"

The water-god bends its head down, examining each member of your party in turn, eyes full of hunger and anger. "Irreverent mortals, blasphemers, idolaters, seekers of false godhood yourselves. Only a few among you have a spirit of worship inside you."
"W-wait! Please!" Zjetya protests as the water-dragon rears back, beginning what looks like the opening salvo of an attack. "Would you kill the lot of us just because of one mortal's mistake? Is there no thúesthai we can offer to blot out one's iniquity?"
"…There is," the water-dragon says. "But I desire to see if you can come up with what is properly owed to a god, without me spelling it out for you. Use your imagination."



"Friendship," Amy states flatly. She does not form it in the form of a question or a guess. It is a flat statement of truth. "It's what everyone and everything is owed. It's the only thing we're owed. Anything else, and you're just being selfish. And, selfishness isn't very friendly."

[1d10+4] Mantra of Equality with Compassion

Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9


Flaming keeps her head lowered low, wincing as the river-spirit deems her a 'seeker of false godhood', though one part of her holds on to the hope that she is one of the few worthy of worship he mentioned.

She turns her head up at him, trying to think what would be properly owed a god without him having to spell it out. She raises her head, thinking back to what her people would dedicate entire dances and ceremonies and tournaments to Vir-can for, "A prayer?"


"I'm partial to hymns, but I'm not known to write them." Leather muses, ears perked at the mention of having the spirit of worship.


"A prayer or hymn does sound suitable."


Shei-Sher considers his words carefully, thinking on what the spirit has said. He waits for others to speak so he can consider their wisdom as well. "Then you are right, I am ignorant to the natural laws. If it is not worship that is owed a god, or service that is owed.. then what?" She grips his chin with a hoof "And you said you could eat me. Devour me as food. And using me to that end. That would set things right or is it simply showing me my own evils? Or both?" Shei asks this looking for a straight answer. He is genuinely trying to understand how to mend things.


Flaming looks at Leather, blushing a bit, "I'm… more of a dancer than a singer. A few days ago I was part of a really cool play even."
"My singing isn't really a lot to be proud of, though…

She smiles as they seem to like her idea, hoping she's on the right track.


The water-god looks to your companions for their answers.
"An object or icon to facilitate the worship of your devotees," Volkama suggests.
"P-perhaps a day designated to its attendance?" River adds.
"Th-that… and friendship," Zjetya says.
"I second those answers," Observer adds.

The water-god swims about you, leaving a trail of diamond-like droplets of water in the air, glimmering in a spectacle of beauty, as the long dragon circles all about and between you, as a predator surveys prey.

"You are swimming around the mark, swirling around it, but not quite finding it," the water-god adds. "The phrase 'danger past, and god forgotten,' exists for a reason. Mortals turn to gods in times of trouble for aid, but the moment that trouble passes, all reverence and worship dissipates. Those souls go back to their ordinary existence; they have no worship, only a desire for a transaction. Even the Fantasians, so snug behind their walls of tin and rock, think they are safe on their own power. No; they are safe because of the spirits of the land and sea and sky. Because of we gods who gird and nurture them.

"Mortals are born with an innate sense of curiosity and awe for the world about them, a sense for the spiritual and mysterious. This feeling can be clouded by unkempt ambitions, personal desires, pettiness, sins… and as it dies, reverence does as well. A mortal forgets his gods, forgets his origins, forgets his place in the world, instead putting his own gratification and pleasure above all else. If you should seek the Kindling through the Shekinah's rite, you will come to know and despise this problem, yourselves.

"Teach the Fantasians reverence," the water-god concludes, rearing up to its full height. "Make a shrine, and establish its pilgrimage cultus, naming feast days and practices. You will start with me, for you have offended me with the misuse of me and my domain. Then, you will honor the other gods of this land as well. That is how you shall make amends."



"Well, isn't that the gods' fault?" Amy asks boldly. "It's only natural for anyone to look for help from friends when they are in trouble. And, good friends help each other when they need it. But, good friends are also there to have fun and just be with each other."

"Gods don't do that. Of course mortals stop being friends with them. Gods aren't good friends."

"They leave. They watch. They act better than everyone else. Where's the playing? Where's the comradery? Where's the friendship?"

[1d10+4] Mantra of Equality with Compassion

Roll #1 6 + 4 = 10


"Spread your name to the Fantasians? That should be easy enough…"
Pryce comments in though. While he is adverse to this idea, this nature spirit spoke to them directly without a decree, only seeking retribution for disrespect, and is acting physically unlike the gods of the past. And if they truly are defending the city, praise might give them the added help in defense against the Treibehana they'd need.
"Where can we contact the other gods, and learn of their names?"


Flaming lifts her head up towards the river god, considering his words as she responds, "I understand… the gods need the faith of their followers, even in times of peace. Believe me, I get that! My clan worships the buffalo god Vir-can, and we perform countless rites in his name every year."

"If you can offer Fantasia's protection, I can guarantee I can offer you their prayers. But, who would they be praying to? Do you have a name?"


Shei-Sher turns his head to apologize to everyone present, who've been seated with such a responsibility. "Sorry about all this."

"Spirit of the River, It so happens we know the Mayor of Fantasia -Easy Doesit. I think that it is her title I cannot quite remember. I will speak with her and make arrangements of my own burden to establish these days of celebration for the gods."

"No Amy the gods are all around us. They are the soil, and water, fish, and forests. They live for us and we live for them, he's in the right. I was taking selfish ownership of something that belonged to an ecosystem. Establishing some yearly ceremony shouldn't be too much trouble seeing how acquainted we are with the rulers of Fantasia." Shei-Sher turns to speak to the Water Spirit again "But we do need a name at least, Great Spirit. the perception of mortals is not as holistic as the spirits, so is why we forget so often the spirits surround us. Can you give us your name, and the names of these other gods?"


"That is a mission I would be content to disembark on, keeping your name alive in the hearts of mortals. As a devout follower of one of the more minors gods, I know the importance of being remembered. I can pledge to spread your name."


"Friendship is incidental to one's duties as a god," the water-god says. "We exist to lead and guide, to serve as custodians and shepherds. Some gods choose that more sentimental route – those whose domains concern the mortal realm. Door gods, kitchen gods, household gods. I am a god of a natural place, a site here in the wilds. My duty is to these waters and how they nourish or withhold their life-giving."

"Seek them in grottoes and on mountain-tops, at the bottoms of the lakes and in the passing of clouds," the water-god says. "We're a touchy sort, so they won't come running to your side like dogs, but if they are sought with a clear eye, you will see them if they desire."

"We gods have little use for coming up with our own names," the water-god says. "I find there is no use in making my own name. My last one dwindled in power when my last devoted fell victim to plague, and so I have etched it secret in a hidden land, as naught but a memory. Let them give me a new name when they come and offer burnt sacrifice. A name given in that way will bind us closer."
"Fascinating," Observer says. "I will have to share this with Hafaza. I suspect she would wish to praise you as well. I shall be back anon with her."


"Very well. I shall see that the Fantasians and myself seek the nearby gods out to add to this new celebration."


Shei-Sher conjures a dark corridor toward the Fantasia palace "Well, shall we pay Easy Doesit a visit?"

[1d10] dark corridor

Roll #1 6 = 6


The water god reaches down and pats you once with one of his fins, in an uncharacteristically friendly gesture. "I am confident that a reverent one such as yourself will."


"He kind of still has a point, Amy. Gods don't need a lot from mortals besides their prayers, that's it. Is it really fair that they only give those prayers when they need something?"

"I… I guess I get that. So you let them decide your name for you?"

She pauses, looking down at the flowing river as she tries to contemplate this. "River god, I have a question to ask you. If… is it possible to become a god through worship? As in, start from something 'lower' and ascend through those means?"



Leather nods with vigor, "The fall of the Firmament is not the end of the age of gods as some have said, and gods like yourself have already known what it means to live below it. I have a great respect for your kind, and I am humbled for your trust in me."



"I didn't say you weren't being selfish," Amy shrugs. "I'm just saying that it's obvious why mortals forget about the gods. They're never around."


"But, mortals exist in the natural world," Amy points out. "We need water. We drink from rivers. It's not like you're all that disconnected from mortals."

"I get that you have a job to do and that that job comes first. But, that's also true for bakers and farmers and warriors and everyone. You don't see bakers hiding from the world. And, if they do, its their own fault when they realize that there's no one around to buy their pies. How are we supposed to buy pies from them when they've made it so that people don't even know they exist!? And, no one's going to want to buy a pie from a baker who acts like they're better than you."

"I want to be friends with gods. I want to be friends with you. You seem nice. And, you're really cool! Isn't that what worship is? Why can't we be friends?"


"No, you're right. It's also not fair to demand prayers when they're not around doing anything. It also sucks for the gods that they've decided that they can only do their duty and nothing else. Why can't they have some fun with mortals too?"

"Friends are around, when they are needed and when they aren't. Because they like to be around each other. And, that love IS worship. They can get the worship they need without even doing anything for mortals. Until it's needed, obviously."

[1d10+4] Mantra of Equality with Compassion

Roll #1 6 + 4 = 10


"Not for mortals, under most circumstances, but I said already that I was once but a rumor, a figment of imagination," the water-god says. "Your soul would require a brighter glimmer of the flame of creation to make that leap. Hence, the Kindling."

The water-god blinks with exasperation a few times, and seems downright baffled by the analogy of the baker. To settle this, he reaches out and pets you. "There. We're friends. Get on that establishment of my cultus, would you kindly."

The water god nods once more, and begins to sink back into the river, now that things are concluded.

With the negotiations settled for now, your companions reverently give their goodbyes to the water god, and make their way to Fantasia's central square, in front of the grand fountain down the road from its castle, via Dark Corridor. Things are busy as ever as the Ecclesian and Fantasian armies prepare for the possibility of an attack by the Treibheanna and another exodus of demons from Tartarus.




Amy smiles and wags her tail. She leans into the stroke.

"Yay!" she says excitedly. "Since we're friends now, I promise to come back and visit you soon! I'm kinda busy right now saving the world, but once I have some time off, I promise, we're gonna have fun together!"

"We can play games and eat fish together! Can you cook? It's alright if you can't, I can bring some friends who can. We can have a slumber party!" she gasps excitedly. "We can stay up all night talking about boys! We can share stories! Tell each other jokes! It'll be so much fun!"


You sense annoyance coming from the river, just as the malevolent pressure was coming from it earlier.


>Forgot to give him a name!

Amy smiles and wags her tail. She leans into the stroke.

"Yay!" she says excitedly. "Since we're friends now, I promise to come back and visit you soon! I'm kinda busy right now saving the world, but once I have some time off, I promise, we're gonna have fun together!"

"We can play games and eat fish together! Can you cook? It's alright if you can't, I can bring some friends who can. We can have a slumber party!" she gasps excitedly. "We can stay up all night talking about boys! We can share stories! Tell each other jokes! It'll be so much fun, Figgy!"


"Ahem-hrm! Please explain why boys, is plural." Shei has have a mind to call his mom.


Flaming smiles, "I didn't doubt it for a second. Put Amy in a room with any thing and she'll walk out with a new friend."

She pauses, "Figgy? Who's Figgy?"

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