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 No.731327[Last 50 Posts]

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.


"That'd be more of a seven legged race, which is possible for you and me, but not them," LJ says. "She'd be swinging Box around like a bracelet at his size."
"I could shrink myself again," Regina offers.
"Where's the fun in that?" Box asks. "Surely you or another witch can make me huge, right?"
"That is not outside the question, but it is more than likely to leave a trail of destruction in our wake."


Lockjaw leans against you, nearly knocking you over as he comes in to get all warm.

>Pryce, Cloak

"The details are a surprise, but River and I were talkin' yesterday about us not exactly being the toughest of customers," Zjetya says. "We're looking to get some stronger armor, plus a couple of custom weapons good for keeping foes away from us. That Vector Peculiarity she talked about looked like the perfect linchpin."
"I bet we'll be her employees for a week to pay off the costs for this…" River complains.

>Amy, Shei

With that, the vision fades, and your group awakes in the ship once more, a bit stiff from having laid there, inert, for a while.


Flaming looks up at Regina, nodding, "It's fine, we'll be able to take you on at that size no problem!" She says confidently, looking towards Journey with her head put out, akin to a fist-bump but with her skull. "Climbing Fires can take on any challenge, right?"

She snickers, "Just, be careful not to step on anyone while you do it. That'd probably be bad."



"A surprise?"
Pryce says curiously, intruiged as to why they'd hide it from him.
"You don't need special weapons for that. I won't ever let a foe lay a hoof or blade on either of you."
He states with confidence, looking to the both of them.

"Maybe we can offer another trade to keep you two from manual labor."
Pryce comments to River's complaint.

KP puts a hoof around Lockjaw to help warm up the deviljho quicker.
>"There ya go buddy. I'll need to watch my new acts with that staff around you."


"Yeah!" LJ adds, knocking his head against your own. "You guys will need the hooficap if you want to even stand a chance against us!"
Regina examines her paw, wondering how applicable that terminology is, then glances at Box. "May I?"
"Please do!" Box says with excitement.
Regina's tail reaches out, and twirls all around Box, curling this way and that. At last, it completely encloses him, then as it pulls away, his body exceeds ten times its normal size, until he's about on par with Regina. She gestures with her tail again, and dark cords appear around her right forepaw and his left foreleg, as well as around LJ's right foreleg and your left one, getting you ready for a seven legged race.

Box draws a makeshift starting line in the dirt before you with a hoof, then they all take their places.

"Ready, set…" Regina begins, and then the sound of a cannon pops off. "GO!"

[2d10+2] Regina and Box begin their race, at an advantage from their great size.
[1d10+1] Journey legs it!

"Hey, hey, don't get all offended," Zjetya chides. "We took some pointers from the illustrations of that 'Monster Island' module you ran from yesterday. We can't let you be the only one looking stylish."

"Perhaps, but it'd be best to save our money for those who won't accept the Witches' curious labor-trading system," River says. "And experience at a forge won't hurt to have, either."

Hopper croaks at Meister, who nods. "OH YEAH, ONE SECOND."

She leaves and returns with a ceramic cup filled tea leaves, to which Hopper adds water from his staff. She takes it and places it over near the forge for about a minute, then when it's grown warm, she brings it back over and places it before Lockjaw. He gladly begins to drink, getting the cup stuck on his nose.

Roll #1 5, 9 + 2 = 16 / Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6


Flaming looks down as her foreleg is tied to LJ's with a dark cord, her face turning a tinge redder as she's brought closer to her date. She smiles, trying to stay confident, "Okay, if either of us trips up, they have to give the other one something to make up for it. That sound fair?"

As Box grows to abnormal sizes, Flaming turns her head upwards, shouting, "REMEMBER, don't step on anything! Regina I trust, but you can be a little clumsy Box! Make sure you keep an eye on him!" She shouts to the sphinx, chuckling as they get ready at the starting line.

As the cannon sound goes off, Flaming does not deter, quickly running to keep pace with Journey towards their goal around the garden, looking at the scenery as she does so
[1d10+1] Race!

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


"If you put it that way, I understand why you'd want to get some new gear."
Pryce pauses a moment.
"…Are you going to turn yourself into your character?"

He looks to River.
"It would, but I don't know if we can afford you two working here for the next couple of days… We'll need to plan based on what this all costs later."

When Meister brings over a cup of tea, and Hopper helps to make the drink for Lockjaw, KP smiles at the teamwork.
>"Thanks Meister!"
He says to the smith.
>"And how kind of you too Hopper. We're a great team, aren't we?"
He says, patting Hopper. He looks down at Lockjaw as he gets the cup stuck in his quick drinking, laughing at the sight.



Now separated from Shei, Amy goes to find Fairy Castle to see if she can provide her any guidance on unlocking more of her witch powers.


Shei-Sher blinks his eyes open. He rises and picks the bodhidharma's Core. As he passes Mirror Image and Chorazin on his way to the lab he thanks them "Thank you again Mirror, Chorazin. I know we hadn't done much but you can never be too prepared. You are free to leave, but we are going to Acapella City next if you wish to stay." He says the last part as though to tease their interest.

With the tools available in the Lab Shei-Sher gets to work fabricating a seat inside the chasis of his Witching lantern for the Core to sit in. If there is left over angel scrap lieing around he uses it to create a circuit between the core and the lantern. He refurbishes the burner to be an electrolyte basin to carry the ember of Jhalandra.

tinker roll
alchemy roll

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6


Out of range of the Meister's forge, Leather lets out a little sigh, looking over his refurbished shield a little forlorn. "Suppose I could've waited a little while longer to fix up the shield. I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't break on me in Tartarus.. The dents and scratches meant something for me though."


>fuck early post cont.
Cloak chuckles, not frowning despite a little frustration, looking back to his cloth wrapped body,"Hence why I asked her just to check it over anyways. I'm covered in a good deal of scar tissue at this point, but I wouldn't want that undone. They hold their own stories. Silly thing to be upset about I suppose."


"NO," Zjetya barks. "…Maybe."
"What was that?" River asks.
"Hmm?" Zjetya murmurs.

River shrugs, then laughs. "Meister proved more than reasonable on what we got from her just now. I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

Hopper judgmentally watches as Lockjaw gets tea all over himself, then turns away with grumpy disdain. Meister helps to get Lockjaw unstuck once he finishes his tea. He licks his lips with appreciation, before heading out with the rest of your group.

"Silly, huh?" Zjetya asks. "Nnnnnah, I think you had it right the first time. Old wounds aren't something to wish away, least of all when they make you stronger."
"If it's any consolation, I'll bet you'll get a number of fresh dents in there," Spitshine says with a twinge of jealousy.

As you make your way across town in search of Arthuria's Antiques, you pick up on the sounds of metal guitar strings being plucked, picked and strummed, at first quietly, then growing all the more intense and rumbling. You find yourselves being drawn to it, as if by magic – not quite involuntarily, but all the same, without even meaning to, the Antiques are put away in your thoughts, in favor of finding this irresistible song and its mysterious player.

Before you know it, you've turned down another street near the Temple. The tall spires of the neighboring clerics' offices steep the stones in shadow. There, obscured in the dark, you hear that alluring, bedeviling, menacing guitar growl coming from an unseen source… the others tense as they slowly realize what's happened to them, and thoughts race wildly as they wonder what coudl be before them.

"Wait a sec…" Spitshine mutters, before darting ahead into the dark.



Regina and Box take the lead, but their pace is a little awkward and hobbling, owing to Box's very wide, but not long proportions. Because his body is longest from side to side, instead of forward to back like other quadrupeds, he has trouble keeping a good pace with Regina.

You follow after them with Journey, almost instinctively coming together with a perfect, synchronized rhythm right out of the gate. Journey occasionally laughs with his breaths, and you can see that the deep exhaustion that haunted his gaze earlier in the morning is wearing away.

The public gardens are an overgrown mess of twirling, blooming life, tangling over everything and everything that it can get a grip on. The path ahead narrows because of this, and Regina and Box occupy the totality of the dirt path with their great size. However, you notice a very tall and sprawling tree off to the side. It's leaning forward, and looks to cross over the path. With some luck, you could possibly run up it to see where it leads…

"Where to!?" Journey breathes.

[2d10+2] racin'
[1d10+1] racin'

You get to work on modifying the lantern. Vizsla's metallurgy is stubborn and resists your attempts to mold it, making progress slow.
Chorazin tilts her head. "That place? 'Tis been abandoned for a great while, having scattered its refugees mostly to Zha after the waves of demon attacks. The place may yet be occupied. What do you intend to find there?"

Shei produces a Dark Corridor for Amy's use, which deposits her back in the Library's central study-well, where you last got a glimpse of Fairy Castle this morning before you departed for breakfast. From asking about, Amy learns that she's in the Observatory once more, and Amy then gets on her broom to find her.

Inside the Observatory, you see Fairy Castle sitting before a great number of divinatory tomes and catalogues of star-charts, some of which are bigger than her head, as she cross-references the charts with their divinations. "Ah, Amy, what brings you back here? Time is precious."

Roll #1 4, 5 + 2 = 11 / Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8



"Doesn't that stuff like… help you tell the future or something?" Amy asks with a sly grin as she is questioned by Fairy Castle on why she is here.


While not unsettled, Leather makes takes heed from his learning in the ranks of the Ecclesian army, offering a small benediction and making penitent symbols of the hourglass with his hoof across his chest. "No song nor words sway me from patience, let our minds clear before we continue forward."

>Spellbreaker: recharge 2, ranged; Nullify a spell or magic effect


Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Shei nearly breaks a sweat forcing the metal to his will, but he does finish.

"It is?" He responds to Chorazin "Well, I heard a rumor the Diamond Dogs developed a sort of cooling device for preserving food. I shouldn't be surprise the city is in ruins. Let's go scavenging!"


Flaming runs at the same pace as Journey does, huffing in time with him as she looks over to see herself and him stampeding in perfect harmony. She finds herself very much lost in the moment, looking at him as they charge onwards through the garden, but quickly tears herself away from looking at his soft, but strong features of his muzzle lest he catch her. As she looks around the garden instead, she smiles, appreciating the overflowing life abundant here compared to the wastes that might be found across Accorsia.

As Journey points out the tree leaning forwards across the path, she nods, turning first to match his direction. "Yeah, that looks pretty cool! Let's see where it leads." She says heading for the tree, knowing the path ahead will soon be too narrow anyhow.

[1d10+1] keeping pace

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Shei-Sher draws open a Dark Corridor leading to outside the Ecclessian goat village. He plans to fly from there.

"Is everyone coming?"

Roll #1 6 = 6


"That's not silly at all. Scars are memories of battles or trials. It's good to keep them around, even if as a reminder."
He says, gesturing to the burn on his horn.

Pryce gives Zjetya an intrigued look, but doesn't push the topic further.

"Hopefully it won't involve any work-out regimens."
Pryce comments.

Pryce feels himself drawn off their path by the guitar playing, not even thinking on it until their scenery is now of the Temple rather than the marketplace. When Spitshine suddenly darts off, Pryce quickly follows.
"Wait! Don't just run off!"
>Chase [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6



As soon as Cloak finishes his prayer, you find your heads bobbing and hooves tapping as the phantom player adds more of a steady rhythm to his playing. From behind you come small groups of witches, lost in the music, wandering toward is unseen source. Zjetya and River, upon realizing that Spitshine and Pryce have run ahead, curse and follow after them, though they aren't faster than Sugar, who has gone white with worry as she chases Spitshine.

Up ahead, your eyes adjust to the towering shadows cast by the buildings, and find a scarred, middle-aged diamond dog playing a rune-engraved guitar, gilded with magical silver. He sits on a crate outside of a weathered old ministry office, which has since been converted into a sprawling antique shop full of bits and baubles, and a good deal of furniture. His music has attracted quite a number of new patrons to the shop, which is quite a good deal away from the rest of the shopping district.

Naturally, Pryce recognizes the dog as Onion. You tear your eyes away from his hypnotic plucking, and notice the sign above the doorway – Arthuria's Antiques.

Some of the Witches try to offer him various currencies that you don't recognize, but he simply shakes his head, gesturing with his elbow to the shop.

Spitshine comes back toward Cloak. "Oh right, you haven't met this guy yet. I guess he left breakfast early. This is Onion. Another one of my dad's warriors. You can see why he made it big as a slaver."

"Indeed it does," Fairy Castle grumbles. "Though, as with all divination, looking for specifics, instead of accepting what you come across, tends to obscure your vision. I am trying to foresee the outcomes of what must invariably come of your journey, but my results are few and unhelpful. How goes the development of your Craft?"

"Let's pick up Observer and Hafaza," Mirror Image suggests, reaching for her conch. "We'll want the extra bodies in case we are jumped, and those two would kill to get an opportunity like this, so it'd be better to take them along before they actually start trying to."

Whatever your decision regarding those two, Gadriel, Chorazin and Mirror Image accompany you to Commontown's outskirts via the corridor, making ready to take flight for the north in search of Accappella City.

You and LJ run up the sloping tree, digging your hooves into the grooves in the bark to keep your balance up its surface. This great, sprawling tree leans over the track, and you see Regina and Box stumbling over vines below you. The tree's branches, though tangling, actually intertwine with those of neighboring trees, and are extremely springy and bouncy under your steps. Their flexibility and tensile strength helps you to leap across them to cover greater distances. There's a break in the treeline ahead, where this road ends.

"Let's jump on the ends and spring ahead!" LJ calls.

[1d10+2] LJ's jump, +1 added from springy branches
[2d10+2] Box and Regina keep running

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #2 3, 3 + 2 = 8


Flaming looks down over the other path, noticing Box and REgina tripping up on their vines on their way. "Hahahah, I think we made a good call, Journey! This will be much easier than trying to get around those two." As they feel the extremely springy bounce in every step of the vines, Flaming is at first caught a little off guard by the sudden change, but quickly adjusts as she spots the jump ahead coming up along the tree path.

"Sounds like a plan! On my mark, one… two…. GO!"
[1d10+1] JUMP!

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Leather grumbles, internally blaming the unblemishing of his holy symbol for the unanswered prayers, despite also realizing the process to be irrational.

"While I have not met the individual, I'm well aware of the meddling that can be caused by melody, there are literal warrior poets amongst the ranks of Ecclesia. At the very least, we are where I assume we were planning to arrive at."



"Well… I can steal spells…" Amy answers thoughtfully. "That's kinda cool!" she adds with a hopeful hint.

"But, it's not completely what I want it to be. I want to take away people's powers, not just use it. I want to stop people from being able to use it entirely."


Shei-Sher is agreeable to the idea of Observer and Hafaza coming along. They wait for them to arrive before shoving off. Shei takes this time to put away some of his books to lighten his load. He heaves the witching lantern into his bag instead of carrying it by his waist. "Umm for time's sake maybe we should omit our plans for the Bodhidharma's core from conversation when Observer is present."

It would probably be dangerous to actually use the witching lantern to control demons, but shei intends to bring it along only to transport demons they may encounter to mfanyiabishara.

At the outskirts of commontown, Shei asks if everyone is ready before flapping his wings to take flight. Once they are all in the air they head north.
[1d10] search roll

Roll #1 8 = 8


Pryce follows after Spitshine and the music, ignoring the witches also being tugged along until he sees Onion strumming along on his guitar. Finding themselves at the antique store as well, Pryce stops, a little confused.
"Didn't expect to run into you here Onion," Pryce greets, "Saved us some time from wandering and asking for directions though. Is this for something you purchased here?"


LJ mistimes his jump, and nearly sources the whole plan when he loses his balance, but you brace yourself to prevent from being pulled down with him. You bounce off the branches, and are launched forward over the path. Regina and Box suddenly come up from below you, but you prevent an emergency crash landing by aiming for Box's lid. He flicks it open, propelling you forward past him.

"What was that!?" Regina squawks.
"S-sorry, force of habit!" Box says. "Ordinarily I'd be helping 'em."
Regina snorts, undeterred, and presses forward with great speed. You see her tail wriggling mischievously behind her – without warning, the path ahead seems to utter a deathly cacophony of slithering and rattling. Among the bushes and vines, you see a great deal of snakes – the horror of any quadruped, but especially of the buffalo, for they are the cursed outcast brethren of the noble dragons.

>roll perception DC 5 in addition to running; failure on this roll results in a -1 penalty to your run.

LJ gulps, looking for any possible alternate path he can find.

[1d10+1] running
[1d10+2] PER

[2d10+2] Regina and Box keep booking it

"If that is what you truly desire, then it will come to you in time," Fairy Castle says. "Though, some training to draw it out won't hurt, either. Some Shekinah prescribe meditation, askesis and isolated contemplation to their disciples. Myself, I can't stand the thought of being cooped up in a dry cell when there's food and sires about in the Dawn season air. Come along."

She leads you out of the Observatory, returning to a portion of the Library's Garden that you did not visit in your past visit. On the outskirts of the mushroom village, there is a kind of park, with a number of tall mushroom-trees, small caves, rock walls and hills and dips in the landscape. In other words, there are a number of places to run and hide here. She hums briefly, and a small red rubber ball appears in her hoof.

"Try to take this from me," she says, showing off the ball.

Onion nods curtly to Pryce, silently surveying Cloak. He holds out a fermata on his song, then cuts off, releasing the listeners from his mild spell. Some of the Witches seem annoyed to have been enchanted in that way, but others take it in stride. Onion pats Spitshine's head with love.

"Howdy, newcomer," Onion says to Cloak. "Ain't a slaver no more, for what it's worth. On a different mission now, though still loyal to Banana Splitz all the same. That gonna be a problem?"

Onion's eyes are kind, but he watches Cloak carefully. Zjetya and River back off, signaling to Pryce that they intend to look at furniture and antiques, rather than disrupt this strange male social ritual going on.

You fly with the others, and Hafaza and Observer transmogrify wings to speed up their travel. The going is smooth and silent for a while. Some clouds fill the sky, and the landscape awaiting you is rocky and hilly underneath. The further you go ahead, the taller the spires of stune become, forcing you to ascend past the high stones. Great clinging lizards and armor-plated mammals fill the mountainous terrain below you, though no demons accost you along the way.

>roll 1d100

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #3 2, 9 + 2 = 13


Flaming grunts as she feels LJ's mis-step start to pull her back, but pushes through with all the determination of a chief and a god as she pushes past, bringing Journey back to bear as they land on top of Box's lid, showing down her thanks as he habitually flicks them onwards into the lead.
"THANKS BOX!!! Owe you one!"

As they land ahead, she pulls up to Journey's side, almost touching cheek to cheek. "Come on Journey, horns in the game! We're in the lead so-"

As she watches the path up ahead fill itself with snakes, Flaming's eyes bulge wide open, instinctive fear of the buffalo's most hated enemy appearing en masse along the path ahead. "S-sn-snaakeess!" She shouts, almost skidding to a stop before she finds herself unable to change her momentum. "Ah, ah, AH!" She shouts as she tries to avoid them along their path, scattering her hooves among their bodies frantically and panicked. "Run, run!"

[1d10+1] Running
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10


"The mountain air is so brisk!" Shei is enjoying himself, he flies closer to Gadriele, and speaks in a louder volume as their soar through the windy sky. "Can you feel the wind chill? Your coat is entirely metal, I've been curious for a while now."


Roll #1 22 = 22



Amy slowly blinks as Fairy Castle explains how some draw out their witch powers.

"I don't know what half those words meant," she says flatly as she follows Fairy Castle to the garden.

Amy's tail starts wagging instinctively when the rubber ball appears. She drops down in a dog's ready to play position. But, when Fairy Castle tells Amy to take the ball, she cocks her head to one side. Still in her ready position, she contemplates how to approach this.

And then she gets bored of that and tackles Fairy Castle. [1d10] to tackle Fairy Castle and get ball

Roll #1 3 = 3


Leather Cloak adjusts his wrappings, looking up at the signage of the shop rather than look at Onion as he speaks to him, "Tell your story to everyone who walks by?" Leather chuckles, "Don't expect any fun abrupt outbursts from me, I'm afraid I'm a wait-and-see sort of stallion. Besides-" Leather turns to Onion, "Anyone entering a witch's town should be prepared for a little bit of advertising that's more than just engravings on wood. Don't let me interupt you from performing, Sir Onion."


Pryce nods to River and Zjyeta as they head inside, looking back to cloak and Onion.
"Onion's been travelling with us for a while. You don't have to worry about his music influencing you in any negative way."


"Faintly, yeah, but my core's Dhyana adjusts to the weather conditions," Gadriel says. "It warms when it's cold out, and cools when it's hot out."

The further you fly onward, the more that the clouds overhead clump together and darken. Eventually, a warm rain begins to fall, and a light mist blankets the ground below. Mirror and Chorazin immediately produce white noise barriers, most likely in anticipation of lightning.

"Strange," Chorazin murmurs. "Are we not in the north, on the last days of Dusk Reverie? Should this rain not be frigid?"
"The answer might lie in this mist," Mirror says. "Look. It's colored a fine blue shade. That doesn't look quite normal. Oh, what's that?"

Mirror gestures down to the tip of a roof, nestled in the hillside behind a canopy of curling pine firs whose needles are a number of shades of violet and blue. The roof belongs to a squat, but fat cottage, built half-underground and round like an onion. A light is on within, and shadows move within the windows.

"Wanna stop in and check it out?" Gadriel asks.

Onion shrugs. "It's better to be open, especially with Ecclesians. Sorry, didn't mean nothin' by it – but with the stories some tell about Ecclesia's methods, I prefer to play it safe. I'm at your service, just the same as Pryce here or the rest of our family."
Spitshine laughs. "You're overthinking it. You get some stuff for the airship?"
Onion nods. "C'mon in, there's plenty that looks good. I'll speak with Arthuria. I should be square with her on my own purchases, but I have all day to play if it'll get you some discounts, even freebies."

The snakes' presence slows you greatly, allowing Box and Regina to recoup their lost ground and get the lead once more, but something feels amiss. As you step on the head of one snake, only for your hoof to pass clean through without any impact or crunch, you realize that not one of these snakes is real. Some bite at you, to no effect as they pass right through.

Ahead, you see a gazebo and many picnic tables and playsets in a clearing, signaling the halfway point of your race. Regina and Box have to run around it, owing to their size, but LJ presses forward straight through. "C'mon…!"

[1d10+1] LJ
[2d10+2] B&R

Your tackle meets only the empty air, as Fairy Castle vanishes. Something hits the back of your head – you turn and see that Fairy Castle has reappeared atop a high rock, and beaned you with the little red ball, which magically returns to her hoof. "Sorry, I wasn't clear. I mean for you to take it by any means necessary, since that's what I'll be doing to keep it. Kill me, if you have to."


Fairy Castle leaps back off the rocky perch, and flings the ball at a nearby stone face.


Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7 / Roll #2 9, 7 + 2 = 18 / Roll #3 5 + 3 = 8


As Flaming's hoof passes through one of the snakes, her eyes catch it dead in the act, leering in to get a better look at the hissing fiends as they plow their way through the path. "Wait a second… they're just illusions?! REGINA!" She shouts after the sphinx, snorting angrily as Journey points out the picnic area short-cut that'll let them cut ahead of Box and REgina again.

"Good eye, Journey! Come on, that cheater thinks she can pull a stunt like that… let's leave them in the dust!" She shouts loudly and determined, tugging Journey ahead as she tries to match his pace to let them maneuver along the abandoned tables effectively

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


"Yes I do, whoever lives inside might help us find our bearings." Shei-Sher descends with Gadriele to the cottage's doorstoop or whatever serves as one.


"Ecclesia's actions are and have been necessary in order to restore some semblance of order after the Firmament's breaking." Leather leaves little time to respond to the succinct statement, walking into the antiques store without a turn of the head.



Amy scratches at the back of her head where the ball hit her. She watches Fairy Castle indignantly as she throws the ball again. As it flies through the air, she gets an idea. She starts running to where the ball will collide with the stone face. As she does, she wills away the ball's rubbery nature.

>Jahna of Uprooting Poison to remove bounciness from ball [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Thank you Onion," Pryce says as he speaks of playing for discounts for them, "If there's anything you wanted in particular, let us know."
He then steps in with KP, looking to see where Zjetya and River went, or what have picked out already.


You hear Regina laughing from up ahead, but not in the villainous, smug way she did yesterday, but rather a girlish, youthful laugh full of play and mischief. The snakes vanish soon after, but Regina and Box have still taken the lead by far.

"If that's how they wanna play, that's just fine with me…" LJ grumbles as he surveys the area. "We need to get closer for this to work!"

LJ double-takes as he sees a small gap in some nearby trees, concealing a hidden copse. "Come on, this just might work!"

He tugs you along through the gap, squeezing up against you to try and get through.


It seems that your jhana has changed somewhat since the advent of your Craft. There's a very tasty chewy feeling in your mouth, almost like someone tossed in a stick of gum without you realizing it. The ball clatters against the stone, then falls flat to the ground. Fairy Castle dives for it, staff first, to try and punt it away.


The cottage opens, a bell on the other side ringing as it does. The cottage is snug, but seems to be larger on the inside than on the outside. It's a quiet hostel, with a number of adjacent, bulbous rooms connected to a circular central area. Satyrs and a number of diamond dogs and other beastfolk resembling forest cats and mice fill the rooms, eating drinking, and quietly whispering rumors and tales of adventure.

One of them, a tall lean satyr with a long beard and a robe, bids you enter. "Peace, wanderers. What do you seek?" he asks.
"Some drink and food, if we can have it," Gadriel says.
The satyr gestures to some empty places at the table.

Onion makes no retort as you enter. The antique shop is as neat and orderly as it can be, in contrast with the other witches' more discombobulated shops, but it has a serious want of space, as it is packed. Vases, clocks, statuettes, icons, drawers, cabinets, bookshelves, tables, desks, chairs, stools vanities and all number of odd curios are available for sale. Rugs, mats, tapestries and curtains hang from racks in the back. Crystal balls, cauldrons and maps of the known world feature prominently near the center of the room.

>You can take up to 3 freebies each from among those listed below:

>Standard furniture, small: 1 small favor or 100 Bits

>Standard furniture, medium: 2 small favors or 150 Bits
>Rug, carpet, mat, tapestry, curtains, any color: 1 small favor
>Display Case, Trophy Rack: 1 small favor or 50 Bits
>Painting, any subject: 1 small favor or 50 Bits
>Censers, candle holders: 1 small favor or 50 Bits for 10
>Lighting system: 2 small favors or 100 Bits

>Data-Mirror: 2 small favors or 150 Bits; displays past victories in battle

>Memorarum: 1 small favor or 50 Bits; a photo album that animates the pictures placed within, adding context to the snapshot
>Vivarum: 3 small favors or 250 Bits; a small metal square that, when twisted, opens a portal to a small, room-sized pocket dimension. Multiple Vivarum can be connected together to make a bigger pocket dimension. Can be enchanted in various ways, including to prevent unwanted entrances.

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5


Flaming snorts again as she hears Regina laughing up ahead. "Oh she thinks it's THAT funny? She is so in for it when we catch up…!"

She say angrily as LJ points out the hidden copse up ahead. As he recommends getting closer, a moment of embarrassment courses through her, but it's quickly suppressed by the urge to win. She blushes as he squeezes side by side, but she pushes into it, getting cheek to cheek to slide right through the copse and on their way to victory. "Ri-right, let's try it! Here we go-!"


Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5



Amy is briefly distracted with the rubbery sensation in her own mouth. But, she quickly refocuses as she sees Fairy dive for the ball. She also dives for it, aiming to grab it with her paws. She giggles excitedly, having fun with the game. [1d10] to grab ball first!

Roll #1 2 = 2


Shei bows his head modestly as they are beckoned inside. he says to the Satyr "Fermented milk if you have it. And please, let our barmaid be someone familiar with the lay of the land."

Shei-Sher tips the greeter three bits, before taking his seat with everyone else.

"I must say. This is all very cozy. The least of my expectations here in the fringe." Shei snugs up into his own arms as he leans onto the table he is seated at.


Leather spends a good deal of time just browsing the store, not picking out much besides a quilted blanket he thought looked comfortable and a nice gift for Glass.


Pryce walks in, feeling almost at home like the old storage wagons his family used when moving from village to village.
>"Wow, they have so much stuff here. It's like a maze!"
"Don't get lost now, or stuck in any cupboards."
Pryce and KP work their way through the labyrinth of antiques, looking for their own gains. Pryce first looks for a larger bed, a proper one for them instead of the simple one he conjured for himself weeks prior. And secondly he goes for wardrobe now that they're gathering an assortment of outfits, as well as possible future garbs with KP's eager talk of future shows. As he passes by a Memorarum, he pauses, looking down at the album. After a thought, he grabs one.
"River, Zjetya! Have you found anything yet?"
He calls out for the two mares, walking towards the back for the rugs to get their opinion on what color they'd like.

KP settles for very little, going for a nice pet bed for Lockjaw since Hopper has his own aquarium and feels he shouldn't leave him left out.


Turns out that his plan wasn't quite as smart as he thought, as the two of you are a bit too beefy to squeeze through the copse smoothly. You and LJ and up tangled and squished together between trees and vines, a buffalo sandwich with extra dragon. The two of you pop out on the other end, having caught up somewhat with Regina and Box – and you would have lost without that help. You see the two coming near to crossing the line that Box drew earlier, but this only emboldens LJ, who tenses his muscles for a pounce.

"Flaming, jump, then strike where I land!" he shouts, leaping into the air.


Regina and Box continue to run, totally unaware.


Fairy Castle slaps the ball away with her staff, though it gets away from her again. She doinks you on the head with her staff, before running after it once more. She looks to a new sight in the Garden – a cluster of bees and butterflies, new arrivals since Regina's opening of her heart. Fairy Castle hums, gesturing with her staff to the insects, and you see tiny strings of magic flow from the butterflies to the ball, tying around it in the shape of wings. The insects seem unaffected, but the ball starts floating away in the erratic pattern of bee and butterfly flight patterns, rising up toward the treeline.

Fairy doesn't pursue it, but raises her staff, eyeing you to prepare for a counter.

River and Zjetya are busy examining a pair of Vivarum, which look like little golden puzzle-cubes with curious interlocking grooves smelted into their corners and faces. "These could be good," River says. "Little homes-away from home, and a hiding place if we need them."
"Maybe we should get one for the other half–" Zjetya begins, before cutting herself off. She sighs, looking to Pryce after nearly spilling his secret.
Spitshine and Sugar each pick out some extra blankets and pillows for their beds. Lockjaw sniffs the plush bed curiously. KP gets the feeling that he may need to put this bed in his own.

In short order, a modestly dressed barmaid, a wood mouse nearly one foot high, comes over, holding up a large tray over her head. Miraculously, or perhaps through much experience, she hops up onto the table without so much as disturbing the drinks and food atop it. She passes out buttered potato wedges, apple porridge, light beer, fried fish and tea and fermented milk, as you asked. The others waste no time digging into their food, despite you being the only one here who actually requires any.

"I heard you wanted directions?" the tiny barmaid asks as the others chew and chomp.

Roll #1 8 + 5 = 13 / Roll #2 8, 3 + 2 = 13



Amy starts drawing in power from the world around her.

>Prayer of Enlightenment to learn Child of Gaia

Amy leaps up and bites at the magical butterflies.

>Hungry Like the Wolf [1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


Pryce examines the tiny puzzle-cubes, reading their description after Zjetya looks to him.
"…That does sound like a good investment. We can get just the one for now, we can always come back for more later."

KP pats the bed.
>"Give it a try Lockjaw, see if you like sitting in it."


Leather shrugs. "I will not be requiring such amenities, so decide as you will." Leather Cloak is content to explore further back into the shop as he waits patiently, looking at just how strange of furniture pieces he can find.


Flaming huffs as they both wind up stuck between the trees, 'oof'ing as she and Journey wind up a little too close for comfort. "Urgghh…. good thing you have so much cushion, otherwise this would be REALLLY uncomfortable!" She wiggles her way out with Journey, letting out a huff as she spots Regina and Box pulling on ahead. She worries, thinking victory may be lost, before Journey comes up with his crazy idea.

"Strike where we land?! I… I don't know what that'll do, but I guess it's worth a shot!" She shouts, agreeing to jump up into the air along side him, intending to strike the ground where he lands. "You sure you can take this?! REady or not, here it comes…!"

[1d10+5] Striking the ground

Roll #1 2 + 5 = 7


Shei squints bracingly as his taste buds fight with the sour of the fermented milk. He takes another swig and appears more pleased with the taste.

Shei speaks to the little mouse as he serves himself a couple potato wedges.
"Fair maid, our entourage are enroute for Acapella. I have caught rumor of a cooling device that can preserve food -peddled in Acapella before it were ruins. Do you have any clue how we might find such a device?"


Fairy Castle makes ready to strike you, but as you bite down upon the flying not-rubber ball, she relents and puts her staff back at her side.

>Butterflight obtained; functionally the same as Flight, but more erratic in its patterns, often resulting in zig-zag movements.

You drop to the ground as the ball dissipates, and reappears in Fairy Castle's hoof. "There, that should do for the basic movements. Let's get a little more advanced, now that you should have something to use."

Fairy Castle winds back her arm, then flings the ball straight upwards, watching as it becomes a tiny solar eclipse. "Think you can catch it before me?"

Lockjaw clambers into the bed, but he looks a little lonely as he sits there by himself.
"He's probably the strangest deviljho to have ever been born," Sugar comments as she strokes Pucchini's head-frills.

Besides the Vivarum, River notes the display numbers on a dresser and a Data-Mirror, while Zjetya taps a table and a chair.
"Let's not be too greedy; poor Onion will be there day and night at this rate," River cautions.
"He did offer, though," Zjetya says. "Buuuuut I do have some pocket change left over from the past week, just in case."

River and Zjetya make their way to the line, where an older sheep ewe, squat and old and covered in golden fleece, waits. "All finished, dears?"
"We are, yes," River says. "I'll have this and a Mirror."
"Yeah, we're with the guy out front, did he mention us?" Zjetya asks.
"He did," Arthuria answers. "Rest assured, I won't work him overlong. I'm out of the way, so business tends to be poor, but the customers he's brought in have already paid for his purchases. I can tell he's the type to insist, however, so I'll provide a little meal for him soon."

"The scavengers coming back from there have reported fewer and fewer good things," the barmaid says. "It's sounding like the best stuff's harder to come by, now that scavvers have had their pick of the place. You just might find one if you head nearer to the city's soul-core, but that's demon territory now… but I've heard with a bit of know-how with magitech, you just might find some components left in the outer ruins to build your own."

"Speaking of which–" Hafaza says, pulling the plate of potato wedges closer to herself to hoard them all.

As you hit the ground, the warrior-icons on LJ's tunic glow,and a great split erupts in the earth, spreading from where you stand, all the way to where Regina and Box run. They stumble and wiggle as a small earthquake throws them off balance, preventing them from running onward. LJ braces himself and sprints for the finish line. "Now's our chaaaaaance!"

[1d10+1] LJ runnin'
[2d10-1] Box and Regina notice his sprint at just the last second, and make a break for the finish line themselves.

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 1, 4 - 1 = 4



"Ha! That's what *I* should be asking YOU!" Amy says with a competitive sparkle as she jumps into the air and begins to fly. She doesn't take her eye off the ball.

>using Butterflight

>even though it's automatic, here's a roll to get there first [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


KP sits down next to Lockjaw, giving him a scratch under the chin.
>"He's the bestest deviljho to have ever been born."
KP corrects.

"We can help with some favors to lighten his load."
Pryce says as the mares pick their orders. He leads to the counter, nodding with them as the ewe asks if they found everything.
"A large bed, a wardrobe, a memorarum, and a rug."
Pryce lists his purchases, putting down his last 50 bits to cover the memorarum after she mentions business being poor usually.
>"And this bed!"
KP adds in, shouting over as he hears the others checking out.
"Yes, and that bed too."


"A single quilted blanket as well." Leather Cloak says, adding, "It has a cute pattern."


Flaming looks down at the ground as the great fissure emerges from the split earth, watching the quaking ground throw off Regina and Box from their game and tossing them off balance. She smiles widely, looking towards LJ and shouting, "I take back ANY comments I ever made about your head being full of fluff, that was great!"

"Okay, now's our last opening, let's make it count!" she says, gripping LJ's hoof in hers as she makes a mad dash for the finish line, fast as she could ever go

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


Shei lets Hafaza take the lions share of potato wedgess as she seems to have something to offer. "Oh? And you have some magitech accumin. Taught from Observer no doubt."

Shei-Sher takes another swing from his mug of sour milk and sets it down "These demons. Have you heard any stories? I'd like to know their culture. Particularly if they roam in hordes or if they are antisocial."





k sorry I'll stop


"It's a fact, though–" Sugar continues. "Deviljho are nomadic, and almost always solitary outside of the hatching season. If too many are near one another outside that season, they fight over territory, and with their size and power, they can annihilate entire ecosystems. But he's practically docile around you, and seems so keen to keep our company."
Lockjaw rolls over, legs and arms scratching at the open air as he enjoys himself.
"Who wouldn't want to keep our company?" Spitshine asks.

Arthuria checks the catalogue numbers on the furniture requested, then nods. "I'll have one of my assistants wheel it out for you."
"Actually," River interrupts, and gestures at the many customers that now fill the shop, which includes Ecclesians at this point. "It's looking like you're about to get some peak hours. If you don't mind us taking a dolly, we can take it ourselves and bring back the equipment once we're done."
"Not at all!" Arthuria exclaims, with a bit of relief. "It'd be better to have the help remain here."
She raises up the counter's door, and wheels out a dolly with a handle and brake for you to use. River takes it and wheels it over to the requested furniture, which Arthuria marks as sold.
"Colts, it's time to flex some muscle," Zjetya jokes. "It's why I love being a mare."

Just in time, you and LJ dive across the finish line a hairsbreadth sooner than Box and Regina can recover their bearings. It might be a close victory, but you unmistakably win. Regina and Box lay on the ground for a few moments, catching their breath, but LJ springs in place, bouncing with you. "We did it! We won!" he laughs.

"Don't you worry one whit about me," Fairy Castle says, humming and raising her staff once more. Though you fly up to the rubber ball, preparing to chomp down, the ball erupts – and six more fly out from it like projectiles from an explosion, completely obscuring which one was the original. They fall toward you, as Fairy Castle starts to fly up on her broomstick toward you.

>roll 1d7 for a random chance, 7 is the original. Or roll perception to try and tease out the original's trajectory.

Hafaza's mouth is stuffed, so she only nods profusely.

"Their power struggle seems to have come to a halt for now," the barmaid continues. "Instead of being able to coalesce under one ruler, like what usually happens, they've split off into a number of gangs, fighting mostly over territory and hunting rights for scavvers."



Shei listens intently to the barmaid. Laying back into his seat with cross arms the goat seems to decide on something. "Right then. Friends the table is on me." Shei-Sher pulls a fat coinpouch from his coat pocket and spills out about 50 bits, with 100 remaining from his scavenging in threecoins.

"Please barmaid, bring us more fish for the angels, and a small hill of potato wedges for my friend. And a bottle of the best wine you carry." Shei says to the barmaid as enthusiastic as he is loose with his money. He address his comrades "Have your fill and more! We go in Acapella and leave with a strong demon as well."


Last time on HolyQuest…

Pryce, Cloak and their entourage went to go do some furniture shopping, when they were caught in the midst of a hypnotizing, menacing musical spell, played upon some enchanted guitar. Unable to resist, they were drawn toward its source, whereupon they found the player: Onion, former caretaker of Spitshine and former slaver of Banana Splitz. It turned out he was playing a song outside of Arthuria's Antiques (conveniently, their destination) to pay off some purchases of his. He and Cloak got off to a tense start, but it didn't end in a fight, thankfully. They finished their purchases and got a dolly to wheel back their purchases to the airship.

Flaming and LJ had a seven-legged race through the Public Gardens against Regina and Box. They were at a disadvantage because Regina had made Box larger with her magic, and thus their pace naturally outstripped their own. Not only that, but Regina attempted some illusory trickery to slow them down. But since turnabout is fair play, LJ and Flaming retaliated at the last moment with an earth-rending stomp, throwing Box and Regina off balance long enough for the buffalo to bolt to the finish line, stealing the win.

Amy split off from Shei to go train with Fairy Castle in an attempt to draw out more of her fledgling Craft. She caught Fairy Castle in the middle of some astrological divinations, but the Shekinah was happy to set those aside to help her student. Fairy Castle took Amy back to the Library's garden, and challenged her to a game of keep-away with a rubber ball. Fairy Castle proved to be crafty and speedy for her age, but Amy wrestled a win out of her. Round two began, and Fairy Castle decided to kick it up a notch.

Shei went off with Mirror Image, Chorazin, Gadriel, Hafaza and Observer to the ruins of Acappella City, departing from Threecoins for Commontown by Dark Corridor, whereupon they decided to fly the rest of the way. Midway through their flight, they happened upon a cottage nestled in a mountainside, surrounded by curious blue mist that seemed to color and twist the landscape around it. Inside, they found a small hostel peopled with explorers mostly of the Vellus race, where they got information about the situation in Acapella from a barmaid. As it turned out, the city was now divided between a number of demon gangs, who controlled the rights for scavenging and were none too friendly to mortals who came looking for resources.


>Cloak, Pryce
"It's a fact, though–" Sugar continues. "Deviljho are nomadic, and almost always solitary outside of the hatching season. If too many are near one another outside that season, they fight over territory, and with their size and power, they can annihilate entire ecosystems. But he's practically docile around you, and seems so keen to keep our company."
Lockjaw rolls over, legs and arms scratching at the open air as he enjoys himself.
"Who wouldn't want to keep our company?" Spitshine asks.

>Cloak, Pryce

Arthuria checks the catalogue numbers on the furniture requested, then nods. "I'll have one of my assistants wheel it out for you."
"Actually," River interrupts, and gestures at the many customers that now fill the shop, which includes Ecclesians at this point. "It's looking like you're about to get some peak hours. If you don't mind us taking a dolly, we can take it ourselves and bring back the equipment once we're done."
"Not at all!" Arthuria exclaims, with a bit of relief. "It'd be better to have the help remain here."
She raises up the counter's door, and wheels out a dolly with a handle and brake for you to use. River takes it and wheels it over to the requested furniture, which Arthuria marks as sold.
"Colts, it's time to flex some muscle," Zjetya jokes. "It's why I love being a mare."


Just in time, you and LJ dive across the finish line a hairsbreadth sooner than Box and Regina can recover their bearings. It might be a close victory, but you unmistakably win. Regina and Box lay on the ground for a few moments, catching their breath, but LJ springs in place, bouncing with you. "We did it! We won!" he laughs.


"Don't you worry one whit about me," Fairy Castle says, humming and raising her staff once more. Though you fly up to the rubber ball, preparing to chomp down, the ball erupts – and six more fly out from it like projectiles from an explosion, completely obscuring which one was the original. They fall toward you, as Fairy Castle starts to fly up on her broomstick toward you.

>roll 1d7 for a random chance, 7 is the original. Or roll perception to try and tease out the original's trajectory.



>"Yea, what Spits said. who wouldn't want to spend time with us?"
KP says as he gives Lockjaw a bellyrub when he rolls over.

"We'll have it back before you know it. And thank you for your service."
Pryce says to Arthuria as River takes the load off the shopworkers. He walks to where they found their furniture, horn glowing as he starts lift them onto the dolly for transport.
"Good thing we have your corridors, pushing all this across town would take half the day."
KP picks up the little bed Lockjaw tested and puts it on the cart as well.
>"So how much of the ship are we redecorating?"


Sugar opens her mouth to retort, but when she sees Lockjaw rolling back and forth like a puppy in the soft little bed, she laughs and shrugs. "Guess he fits right in."

Once you lift the goods onto the dolly, River leads the way to a clear space outside, opening a dark corridor that leads back to the airship. Lockjaw remains in the bed as KP puts it up there, happy to get carried like tiny royalty.

"We don't have too much, but we should spruce up the common areas and maybe some of the bedrooms," Spitshine says.
"Yeah, but let's save a couple things for that Vivarium we got too," Zjetya says.
"Speaking of which, should we test that out?" River asks.


Pryce pushes the dolly on through the corridor, the group coming out by the ship.
>"I should find a nice little space to set up for Hopper and Lockjaw with all these pet supplies I got now. Is there any free space?"
"I'd imagine there should be somewhere. We can take a look around."

Pryce wheels the dolly up into the ship, stopping it in the barracks as they discuss what goes where.
"We should, to see how much room is in there. Open it up and let's have a look."
Pryce says to River.


"Whether it be now or later, I can provide my help with rearranging furniture. Only need to say the word." Leather nods, curious to see the devices activated.


As it turns out, that strange magical puzzle-cube came with some instructions, in the form of a small pamphlet, which River unfolds and looks over. Zjetya peers over her shoulder, looking quite interested in the little pictures on the pamphlet, and not so much the actual words. River sets the cube on a nearby bed for safety.

"To enter it, you must place your hoof upon this little screw-shaped circle here, and imagine yourself entering a room," River says, gesturing to a raised circular shape on each of the Vivarium's faces. "Any one will do. So let's just go ahead and…"

She touches it, and the Vivarium produces a beam of translucent blue light, which scans over River. She disappears as it does, and the light retracts into the cube. The same repeats for each person who follows the instructions.

Once you are inside, you find yourselves in a small room, no bigger than a bedroom. The interior color is a dull brass shade, illuminated by light coming from outside. There is nothing within, and no distinct features. There's something peculiar about the inside – although each side of the Vivarium's outside has a circular opening, you can only see an opening on the ceiling, or the top side, which is the same side that each of you used to enter the cube.


As the others focus on the cube, KP goes to stroll through the ship, looking for a nice room to set up his pet supplies and maybe storage for Hopper's aquarium and Lockjaw's bed.

Pryce is a little surprised by the process to enter, having expected a portal of some sort. When they enter the small bedroom, he looks at the empty cube and the only window outside above them.
"This is smaller than I thought it would be… Though it might service well enough."
He turns in place.
"I wonder if it just shrunk us down inside it."


"That would be novel, little doll house and all." Leather notes and responds to Leather, running his hooves along the sides of the wall. "For our safety I won't dare try and dispell the magic while we're inside."


River looks a little unnerved by the process, but Zjetya looks to be enjoying herself. "A quaint little thing," River says, backing away from the walls to get to the center of the room as much as she can. "To escape the cube, all we must do is imagine ourselves leaving it, and will it to happen. A similar rule applies for when we want to bring something not carried on our bodies into it – it's all about your focused intent."

KP sets up his things in one of the unused rooms. A few remain, since the airship was once built to be a weather factory for a crew larger than even your sizable clan.


As she and LJ fall from their stomp-boost into the air, landing across the finish line jsut in the knick of time, Flaming eagerly bounces along with LJ's prances, just as eagerly matching his energy as she dances around with him in celebration.

"WE DID! Hahahahahaha! That was AMAZING Journey, what gave you that idea at the end?! She said, spinning around in a circle with him in tow. "It's official, when I'm chief, you can be my right-hand strategist!"


"Hmnn, I wonder if that applies to bringing in an individual who is unconscious as well. Seems less useful for emergency medical evacuation if it prevented the incapacitated from entering." Leather strokes his beard, thinking the situation over, "Though it would make an interesting prison should you manage to keep somepony unconscious within at all times. As long as they were not waking, they could not will themselves out."


River exits the Vivarium, turning into a blur of blue light, near the end of your line, but she wasn't looking at you, instead looking quite uncomfortable. You get the feeling it had little to nothing to do with you. Zjetya looks up at the ceiling's opening with a little concern, then back to you. "When River asked one of Arthuria's employees about it, I heard that it could be customized with enchantments that might be good for that kind of stuff – seals and charms that only let certain people in, or let some people in but not let them out. I'd like to keep one of these to be an emergency shelter, but a second one would be good to try that stuff on. Like a pocket prison!"
Zjetya awkwardly looks at the opening again, but before she can leave, Spitshine raises his hoof. "I'll go check up on her."

He vanishes in a blur of blue light.


Journey smirks. "Regina herself. If she's gonna try and trip us up with a ground canopy of snakes, I figure a little earthquake won't hurt anyone. Probably just like a little rattling at her siz–"

Regina suddenly looks up at him with a deathly glower, which causes him to freeze in place, turning pale. However, the glower vanishes as quickly as it appeared, and she rises up from the dirt with a goofy grin, as does Box. "Well-done, my opponents," Regina says. "I don't mind being beaten by those crafty enough to cheat."
"Yeah, all the smart people cheat all the time!" Box says.
LJ laughs nervously. "Y-yeah, that's what I figured we were going for."
Regina dusts herself off. "What a refreshing diversion. I really shouldn't have spent so much time in my Library, though it's only now that I can see why."


"A thought only driven by the thought that there may lie in Tartarus beings that cannot be killed by ordinary means. Incapacitation may prove more useful in such cases."

Leather practices the moving in and out of the rooms as well, willing himself out, then back in.


"I can't imagine what would happen from that, if this cube is that durable or not."
Pryce comments on the possible outcomes.

"It seems easy enough to enter or leave then. Seems like it'd make effective travel if you rotate who stays outside them to carry this."

KP picks one closer to the barracks, so he won't sleep too far away from them at night. He sets down Lockjaw's bed, and then doubles back with the aquarium, shakily carrying it in his magic without emptying it, and leaving only a few minor spills in the hall.
>"There, we got your new room all set up."
He says to his two pets once their new stays are set.


Seeing River leave suddenly with an uncomfortable look, Pryce's though on the cube trails off.
"I should see what's the matter. You guys can keep experimenting with this."
Pryce says as Zjetya and Leather discuss the enhancements, willing himself and tracking down River.
"Are you alright?"
He asks with concern when he does.


Hopper looks displeased with having to lodge so close to Lockjaw, but doesn't make a big deal out of it. He hops off, hanging his partyhat on a nearby shelf, and goes for a quick dip in his aquarium once the water settles down. Lockjaw busies himself with sniffing around the room, getting a feel for it all.

River has moved back to the dining hall, where she fetches a towel for the spill. Rather than clean it herself, she makes sure to hand it off to KP, and gesture for him to clean it. With that, she turns to you and Spitshine. "…Do you recall when I told you what happened to me after the battle within Saint Providence? How I returned to earth after the Rapture and the One Night War?"

Zjetya shivers at the thought. Like before, she looks like she wants to say something more, but cuts herself off. She leaves as well, leaving only Sugar with you as she practices using her will upon the Vivarium.

At some point, Sugar glances over at your weaponry. "…Mind if I take a look at that gun?"

Mind you, she's about Spitshine's age, and probably a quarter of your height and a fifth of your weight.



Amy looks between the balls like a dog frantically trying to understand something beyond her comprehension.

She picks a ball at random and bites it. [1d7]

If it's not the right one, she also eats the magic out of it.

>Hungry Like the Wolf to suck out the magic that made it multiply [1d10]

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


Flaming smiles, "Really? Well, nicely done! Adding in that little bit of 'jump' to it from the impact was a nice bit of genius too though, you didn't just hinder her, you 'helped' us!"

As Regina gives him the death glare, she turns to look to her with a smirk, knowing it's a bit in light-hearted play. "Well done to you as well, Regina. But I don't think we cheated! We merely played by the rules of the game that were put forth. That is to say, there weren't any so we weren't breaking any rules." She says with a wide, knowing grin.

"Anyways, that gave us a pretty good view of the garden. It's so beautiful. How long have some of these trees been toppled over like this, they must be old."


"With a smart little mouth and a conniving wit like that, you'd have made a fine witch," Regina says. "But you'd need a scoop more of brains."
She looks about the old garden. "It's hard to say, but it was in this state when I arrived and took the city all those months ago. Even our witches of botany and alchemy have ultimately done little to influence its growth. For a people so intent on destroying or forcibly converting those like me, they had an odd sense for what they should let live without influence or controlling."
"Wanna wander around a little bit, see what we can dig up now that we're not busy running around?" LJ asks.

As you chomp down on a ball, it dissipates, leaving you with a sizzling, popping feeling in your mouth, like drinking a fizzy soda. As you process the magic within, you suddenly realize that you're in quite the precarious situation.

>Effect gained: Kinetic Blast: Spell; Recharge 1; On a success, this spell imbues a random series of kinetic vectors into the target, bouncing them around like a pinball along the course of those vectors until the magic runs out.

Suddenly, instead of free-falling, three of the balls launch themselves your way.

[3d10+1] Kinetic Blast rolls

Roll #1 6, 8, 2 + 1 = 17


KP smiles as the pets get a feel for their new room. When River comes up and hands him a towel, he looks back at the mess he left.
>"Eheh, oops."
He says, a little embarrassed as he goes back to clean it up.

"You came back on a shuttle, that got damaged on the return back."
Pryce answers, recalling the little story from when the met back in Fantasia the first time.


Leather looks down to Sugar, taking the rifle off his back and unloading the ammunition within the rifle in a fluid practiced motion, switching the safety on as he props the rifle up on the floor with bipod down.

"Sure thing, just know it isn't a toy. Since I am not practiced in the ways of magic, this is the other way you can make people disappear." Leather sits on his flank, watching Sugar inspect the rifle. He takes the bullet he unloaded out for her to inspect as well, displaying how it's larger than even his own hoof. "Bigger than some of the cutlery you might have used before, eh?"



Amy marvels at the carefully laid out trap that Fairy Castle catches Amy in. But, traps falter under unexpected conditions. And, what no one expected was for Amy to cast Kinetic Blast on herself!

>Kinetic Blast on Amy Thest, automatic

Now, with the added momentum of the Kinetic Blast combined with the fact that she is still capable of flight, Amy bounces around the room like a (hopefully) controlled pinball. She zooms toward another ball, hoping this one is the correct one.

[1d6] for correct ball

Roll #1 1 = 1


River nods. "Perhaps it is silly, given how at home I feel upon this airship, but something about that Vivarium is strangely reminiscent to that cramped shuttle. That shade of brass, the lone light from the opening which we used – such things made ghosts of that nightmarish occasion come back. And then, from there, the deeds I did for Orcus. I am one to get lost in memories, after all. It's why I bought that Data-Mirror."

She sighs.

Sugar seems surprised that you allowed it. She smirks, and takes the time to study the weapon over. She generally keeps her distance and handles it with care and respect. "Didn't think you would actually let me do it. Thanks, but I've already done most of my observations from afar. Not much more I could do without actually firing the thing, but that's not an option for multiple reasons – mostly that I can't physically do it."

She lays down and looks through the scope at the wall. "Most people recoil when they see me reach for weapons or learn that I want to fight. You might be the first person who seemed to actually respect what I wanted."

Your unexpected maneuver shakes off two of the balls, and you spin around, clamping down on one of those aimed at you, crunching it away into tasty magical dust. One of them still manages to graze you, and you bounce about through the air until you plummet toward the ground, landing upon your side, though largely undamaged.

With five of the rubber balls remaining, Fairy Castle draws them back toward herself with a hum and a raise of her staff. Once they come back down, she starts juggling them with magic, and makes a break for another part of the garden more dense with clusters of mushroom trees with low visibility.


"It doesn't sound silly at all."
Pryce says, stepping to her side and putting a consoling hoof on her back.
"I understand you wouldn't feel comfortable in a small space like that, especially if we were shrunk down into it. At least we won't be the ones using it, so you won't need to worry about being in there long."



Amy giggles with excitement as the game continues. She runs after Fairy Castle. [1d10] to catch up

And, if you'll allow it and if she does catch up: [1d5] for another ball attempt

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 4 = 4


Flaming looks up at Regina quite pleased with herself as she hears the mighty witch pride her on her wit and tongue…. but when she mentions her being short on brains, her smile turns to a scowl. "HEY! I was smart enough to out-wit you!" She argues, ignoring how that was mostly Journey's doing.

As the topic turns to the garden, she turns towards the grass, still tugging Journey along on their hoof-bond as she sniffs some of the nearby flowers and rubs her muzzle in the grass. "I love it. So little chance to see THIS much green these days, it reminds me of home. I'm glad it's starting to get a little out of control"

She turns to Journey, snickering, "I'm up for a look around, but," she holds up their hooves. "Think we should take this off first?"


River slowly nods, then looks back to the Vivarium when Cloak stops manifesting out of it. "Do you think we should tell him soon?"


Journey rubs the back of his head as he walks along with you. "I-it's not the worst problem to have," he says, voice trailing off toward the end. Regina smirks. "Maybe not, but you might find that affection growing weary without a little personal space."

She flicks her tail, and the magical cuff vanishes, setting you free. LJ rubs his wrist, but sticks by you, even without it. "Hey, some of this stuff looks like it'd grow in the Highlands. Funny, huh? It's like we're really not too far off from there, huh?"


"I was planning to tell everypony tonight. But… I'm not looking forward to it."
He says with some worry, looking to the Vivarium.
"I can't imagine how they'll react."


Flaming snickers at Journey's flustered reaction, getting exactly the sort of response she was hoping for out of the buffalo, but looks down at the cuff as it vanishes, freeing her hoof from Journey's. She looks to him, smiling as the short-horned buffalo sticks close to his side, trotting aside him at a comfortable but steady pass as he points out some of the wild life.

"Yeah, it sort of does… which, is really weird, we're DEFINITELY a ways away from the Highlands. I mean I guess it's not out of the question that it'd grow here too but, still, almost looks like a bit of home was brought here." She smiles, taking in the whiff of a flower. "Can't remember the last time I actually had time to stop and smell the flowers"


Leather chuckles softly, "It's a poor idea not to allow the young or otherwise to familiarize themselves with weapons in this post-Firmament world. What good does leaving my kin helpless should they run into trouble. Yes fleeing is usually the safer option, but I know Glass and I would prefer they know their way around a knife should they be cornered."

Leather shrugs, rechambering the rifle and slinging it over his back once again. "It is an unfortunate reality, but not one I will willfully ignore and risk unnecessary harm."


You rush up behind her as she runs off, biting another one out of the air. You note that some of your muzzle vanishes along with the ball, but rather than dissipating, it seems that it temporarily turned invisible as a result of chowing down on the magical sphere. But because you weren't using your Craft, you don't retain the spell for yourself.

Fairy Castle spins about, and as she does, not one of the four remaining balls can be seen. Whether they're invisible, or whether they're hidden somewhere upon her, you cannot be sure. Perhaps you might try reaching out with a preternatural sense to find it…

When you bend down to sniff the flower, you find that it was not a flower at all, but a cluster of gathered butterflies, which float away into the treeline. Journey smiles, then looks like he gets an idea. At this point, Regina and Box are wandering off by themselves, allowing you two a bit of time to yourselves. Journey doesn't seem to notice, busy scrounging around in the undergrowth, and in wherever looks like a corpse, a hidden grove, or someplace hidden from light.

"It's a bit of a long shot, but if we're in a similar climate…" he mumbles to himself.

"In that case, think you'd be willing to show me how to use a gun?" Sugar asks. "Not something like that huge rifle. I've seen much smaller guns on most Ecclesians. I'd take care of it, and polish and oil it every day, I promise I will," she adds with a deadpan tone and a dry smile.

River looks down at Spitshine, who looks very much conflicted on the whole matter.
"There's still that chance to change your mind," he offers. "They'll need you down there. Me, Flow already forbade that, and there's no way I could get through to him on it."


She shoots back in surprise as the gathered butterflies scatter at her nose's touch. She looks at them fluttering away, hoping she didn't seem too cowardly at her reaction to their sudden appearance, and quickly turns her attention towards Journey as she dashes through the greenery, watching him start to scavenge through the undergrowth. She digs in with him, pulling aside branches and pulling herself through (being careful not to scratch her dress) as she asks, "You look like you're lookin' for something. Are you lookin' for something?"



Amy looks around as the balls disappear. She thinks back to when she was able to see magatsuchi and other such forces. She squints and tries to see them that way.

[1d10] to see balls

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Yeah, it should… maybe over here… Flaming, wherever you see a spot close to the ground that's covered by vines or flowers or leaves, pull it up, will ya? The darker and more wet the soil, the better!"

He continues sniffing and digging around in the dirt like a child at play.


"No… I've already made my mind up on it."
Pryce says with a shake of his head. He is silent for a moment, as if dwelling on an explanation he's already said too many times. He looks to Spitshine after he mentions Flow forbade him from going.
"Besides, there's ponies up here that'll need me too."


Fairy Castle stands there with a total poker face as you look her up and down. The world turns dark as you squint and concentrate on seeking magical energy. You find that you have the most success when your eyes are totally shut – then, in your mind's eye, you behold Fairy Castle's shape, in the form of a ghostly mix of green and gray energies. Behind her, in her poncho, is one ball, signified by a hollow red outline. Above her and to the left, in the branches of a tree, is another ball. A third ball lies somewhere off to her right, hidden behind a rock.

But, there's no fourth ball anywhere to be seen… until you feel a prickling near the back of your neck. You spin about, and see the fourth ball. This one is full, and bright green instead of red, like the color of Fairy Castle's magic. As you behold it, it flies off down the road, bouncing along the ground.


"Fine then, I'll stop pressing the issue," Spitshine says with a sense of finality. "Sorry, not tryin' to get rid of you or anything."
River affectionately messes with his newly-trimmed mane. "Of course not. We all just want what's best for our clan, even when we must be apart."



Amy runs after the ball like a good dog! [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Ask Pryce I suppose," Leather shrugs, "There are greater rifleponies in the Ecclesian ranks, I've had intensive training for a few months but nowhere near the years of practice some of the others have. The Choir member Freischutz, for instance, is rumored to be able to fire a bullet that can turn corners to seek out it's victim."


She perks up an ear and an eyebrow at his particular request, but shrugs, moving down to grab up some vines that she spots nearby in her teeth, biting into them and pulling up with all her might, loosing some nice soft dirt underneath as she pulls away at the plants.

"GHrrrm…." she grunts, taking another vine in a mouthful as she helps him dig away at the earth. "Okay, you're DEFINITELY lookin' for something, right? What is it, why we digging?"


"You don't need to apologize. This whole mission… tomorrow will be a rough day, even if we were all going together."
KP steps back into the dining hall, having finished wiping out the water and listening to the conversation from afar.
>"Oh yea, I was talking to Sugar about this earlier too. She was pretty upset about who's staying and who's going, and wanted to know too."
Pryce looks over to the cube, silent in thought.
"…Maybe we should talk about it, with those we have right here at least."


As you chase it down, the ball's invisibility dissipates, and you are able to chase it down normally. It pulls no further capers or tricks, and after a good, quick run, you catch up to it, finding that it makes a pleasant squeaking when you bite down, reaffirming that it's the real deal after all.

Fairy Castle trots down your way, not showing any signs of being winded in the slightest after all that hoo-hah earlier. "Such a good dog. If I had a harness and a leash on me… though, I suppose that'd be more the domain of your goat. So, you learning anything from any of this or am I going to have to hit you with some more balls?"

Sugar clicks her tongue, and affects a spoiled filly's big, pleading eyes, apparently changing tactics for some that might be more effective on a soon-to-be father. "Ask Pryce…? He's a spoilsport when it comes to that sort of thing. What if he says no? Couldn't you introduce me to this Freischutz, pleaaaaaaaaase?"

In truth, you cannot. You know that all six members of the Choir who are bound for Tartarus (Gegenschein, Doctor Galton, Ichimonji, Holy Hours, Living Saint Zoantharia and Freischutz) are in the midst of a secret meditation until the moment of their departure, and are not to be disturbed. However, their Spooks are busy acting on their behalf to resolve last minute business. Anzu, who serves Freischutz, might be available. And, you do have her conch code…

"You want I should call him up?" Zjetya asks, gesturing to the Vivarium.
"If you're sure you want to go through with this," River says.

As you too search the undergrowth, you both happen to bump heads – a common enough thing for buffalo – as you search one particular grove near the entrance to a narrow copse. Underneath a stone with a curious shape, you find a cluster of low, wide, flat mushrooms, that glow a most marvelous pink neon hue. LJ looks a combination of surprised and disappointed. "Blushrooms!"

Blushrooms were a rare delicacy in the Highlands, though the ones that grew there mostly were a series of blue and sometimes even yellow shades. But despite the change of color, these definitely are the same kind of mushroom. LJ starts to pick a few. "C'mon, you ever have shroomsap made with these? I know a good recipe."



"That would ALSO be the domain of my goat," Amy responds with a wink and a laugh.

"But, yeah. I think I figured out how to see invisible stuff. Is that a witch thing, though?"


"Ah, soulsight," she responds. "No, anyone with strong enough magic circuits can learn to do that. That's the art of seeing wavelengths of magic normally invisible to the naked eye, allowing them to detect hidden spells and souls, as well as ghosts, demons and other such things that might try to hide their presence. But how comes along your Craft?"


"If I were to introduce you, it would be with you already having rifle training from myself first. Wouldn't want to waste their time asking to be taught the basic functions of using a firearm." Leather says, rubbing his beard yet again, "As for Pryce, would you not think it would be easier to convince them of learning a form of fighting that keeps you far away from combat itself? To learn rifling would allow you to protect yourself more reliably without having to be exposed to the dangers of blades and whatnot."

He winks, "At least, that's how I would spin it."



"I'm getting used to doing the bite thing where I steal magic. It's pretty cool. A lot of things I can do with it!"


"I can get them. This is a topic I should've brought up before, after all."
Pryce says, stepping over to the Vivarium and entering it.

Pryce appears in the Vivarium (missing the conversation), looking to both Leather and Sugar.
"I hope I'm not interrupting, but there's something I'd like to talk about, if we can step back outside."


Immediately, she drops the puppy-dog eye tactic, going back to her usual air of slightly miffed and deadpan. "Something tells me… he might just see right through that," she admits. "I'm not sure what it is, but I don't think I can get things past him. He's a trusting person, which should make him easier to deceive, but it's actually kind of the opposite. If I went to him with an argument like that, he'd probably start thinking about what I actually plan to do with that knowledge. Doubt I'd be able to convince him that it's just self-defense I'm interested in. He'd know that I'd want to take to the front lines."

Sugar hushes up after you enter, nodding silently.


Flaming looks at Journey as they bump heads amid their search, chuckling to herself as she tries to make it a semi-frequent occurrence amid their searching in the dirt. After digging through the ground enough, Flaming's nostrils with the tickle of an odd scent as she takes note of the mushrooms found in the underground. "Blushrooms!" She yells in tandem, being familiar with the fungus.

She looks at them in their many colors, smiling as she looks at Journey, "THESE what what you were looking for! I can't remember the last time I had one, how did you figure they'd be here?" She cannot help herself, and reaches down to nom one up raw from the ground, chewing it delightfully as she looks to Journey with a curious look. "Shroomsap?"


"Oh good, you don't need me anymore, then," she jokes, before tapping you about as affectionately as she can on the top of your head with her staff. "It looks as though I wasn't too far off in my first estimation of you. You could be the one to do it – to put this long series of mistakes to rest."

The blushroom is sweet, and has a jelly-like filling as you chomp down into the center of the head. "They always like to hide, since they can't help but glow, and since we're in a similar clime and area as where they grow in the Highlands, I just thought I'd look, and here we struck paydirt."

After he gathers up a good collection in his poncho, he smiles. "You'd love it. It's a sweet, thick drink, kinda like… well, if you've never had it, I can't go and spoil the surprise, can I? Hey, let's go back to the ship so I can fix us some cups, yeah?"

He produces a dark corridor to where the airship last was, in the northeastern landing yard.


Leather nods, "Of course." He follows after turning to Sugar to finish their conversation for the time being,

"We'll speak more on the subject later if you so desire. I've a great deal of knowledge on the subject, so I'm happy to help."



"What mistakes?" Amy asks, cocking her head.


As they both nod, Pryce exits the Vivarium with them, entering back into the ship with the rest of the group.
"This is something I should've mentioned earlier, especially to you Leather since you were joining with the assumption. But… I'm not going into Tartarus with the rest of the group. I'm staying on the surface."
Pryce says, cutting directly to the point as he announces it to Leather and Sugar.


Flaming moans enthusiastically as she chomps down on the raw blushroom, feeling her own cheeks glow pink as their quarry. "Mmmmmmm…. yep, they're as good as I remember! So juicy!" She swallows her bite, grabbing at another raw one, unable to help herself among the massive collection they found. "This was an amazing find, Journey, if I didn't know better I swear it's almost like you smelt them out."

As he explains what it is, she licks her muzzle. "Mmm, a drink made out of blushrooms? Yeah okay, I could go for that! Do you need anything else to go with it? Sugar, anything like that? I can help you make it, if you don't mind I'd love to know the recipe." She says as he produces a black corridor, using her bag to carry up even more blushrooms (that Spark will begrudgingly have to share with, but she tries to give him one to try and hold him over). "Hmmm, I wonder how good they are cooked…"


"Long before any of us knew what happened to Regina, those three fillies – Mudi, Vizsla and Azawakh – came with Gehenna to Wacachan, in order to pursue a life of Witchcraft, studying within our walls, safe from the issues that plagued our home country of Red Thunder for centuries – zealotry, jihad, and sectarian violence. Little did most of them know that those girls were not born Witches, but made, and that Regina herself was the sacrifice.

Fairy Castle hums, and taps her staff on the ground solemnly. "I was the only one who figured it out. Only I, as Shekinah, had devoted enough time and study to the nuances of Witches' souls to identify the minute differences in the souls of those three. What gave them away was the fact that, as simulacra, they were too perfect.

"A real soul, any soul for that matter, is cracked, rounded, a little dented and worn. It's comfortable to be around a soul that's lived genuinely, even if they're malevolent, or even evil. Even the evil ones care about something. They act because they are moved. That's how you know the soul's owner's a real being, that they've had their share of mistakes, that they're one of us. But Gehenna was too good at what she did. Those girls' souls… terrified me. They were perfect fakes, perfect lies, perfect imitations of Witches' souls. Perfect replicas.

"So I cornered Gehenna, and tried to threaten her so that she would allow me just as much time to tutor them has she did. She couldn't deny me this and hide what she did, so she relented. From there, I tried to tease out what befell Regina, and at the same time, I tried to make those three fillies… more like you and me. More like the real people they were born as. Even if I had known back then what they did to Regina, I would have attempted it."

Just before Pryce begins his talk with Leather, Flaming and LJ arrive a slight distance outside, having been discussing the ingredients that LJ will need to make Shroomsap drinks. After they get past the front door, and near where the entrance hall connects to the commons, they overhear Pryce's announcement.

Inside, Sugar is impassive as she studies Pryce's face. "I knew Flow would never allow me to follow him, but… you? With how long you've been them? All those months?"
"We have our reasons," Zjetya adds.


Leather stands silent for some time, head down and eyes closed as he thinks on the statement for some time. He rubs his chin, eyebrows raising and then furrowing a few times, before settling on his choice of words, "Your reasoning?"




"So, you think I could… fix them?" Amy asks, bewildered. But, her tail wags at the notion of being able to fix such a sad story.


Flaming enters the bridge of the ship with their mushrooms, smiling as she looks at him side by side while they enter the airship. "Can't wait to try these, they taste so good raw I can hardly imagine what they must be like as a drink."

She heads for the kitchen but gets distracted…

…with Pryce's announcement. She turns her attention into the kitchen, frowning as she looks over at Pryce and Leather. She remembers Pryce telling her this quite some time ago, and it is understandably a weird subject. She knocks at the door to the room they stand in, clearing her throat. "Ahem… h-hey. Sorry, I hope I'm not interrupting anything."


"You could fix this series of mistakes, possibly," Fairy Castle says. "As for them… I couldn't, not with my experience, not with my knowledge, not with any of my powers, certainly. As Shekinah, I need to be able to make decisive calls when something isn't within my purview. I can't teach everyone. I can't reach everyone. I can't save everyone. So, do you have some miracle that exists beyond my grasp?"


Pryce looks to both Sugar and Leather as they question him, rightly as they should for such a statement.
"Before, my reasoning was out of fear. After what happened during the Rapture, I was in no condition to fight. ANd hearing what lies in Tartarus, if I lost another friend… I was afraid I would spiral t uselessness, only drag the mission down worse."
Pryce admits.
"That still lingers, that fear. But, over these past few days, I've gained things I don't want to lose, or risk losing. River and Zjetya, I wouldn't dare leave them alone up here, and I couldn't bare the thought of what could happen down in Tartarus if we all went."

Pryce looks over as Flaming enters in after his announcement, looking a bit surprised as more stumble into this.
"No, not exactly. It's… actually better that you're here. …How much did you hear?"



"How could I fix the mistakes without fixing them?" Amy asks, cocking her head to the other side.

"If witchcraft is about being able to do what I want, then I have to have a power that can make that miracle happen, right!?" she asks with hopeful excitement.


Leather nods, chuckling with his eyes still closed. "Ah, the reasoning the Ecclesians fought so hard to keep me from going on the trip. Your reasons are valid, I have heard the argument far too many times myself to hear it repeated further."


"I only just walked in but, I heard the most important part. You're not going into Tartarus with us, you're staying up here."

She takes a deep breath. "I want you to know that that's okay. I know the last time you told me this, I was really upset, but I've had a lot of time to think on this. I understand why you want to, and I don't hold your choice against you."


Sugar and LJ mull it over in respectful silence. LJ is the first to raise his head. "Yeah, it's an idea that I've considered plenty of times myself. I don't think anyone going in has nobody or nothing on the surface that they'd rather be with than going down into Tartarus. I have my tribe, separated from our homelands as we are. It's not that I don't want to be with them, it's that I have to go down there to ensure their protection. You might have to fulfill that call in your own way. It's not a path I can walk, but I can't make decisions for you, nor do you need anyone's approval to do it."
"Even if Flow didn't tell me I can't go with him, I'd feel the same way," Spitshine says. "Even I've got unfinished things to tend to up here that I can't risk losing out on."
Sugar doesn't respond.
Zjetya and River, perhaps overlooking this, sigh with relief.
"Thank you… for understanding," River says.
"You'll want to pick up some extra healing if you can," Zjetya says. "Flow's keeping Renee up here, and River's with Pryce. That's two dedicated healers down."

"By annihilating them," Fairy Castle answers. As for your second answer, she nods, but cannot muster a smile. "Maybe it'll work out that way. But magic is just as much about muscle and effort and practice as it is about miracles. Some mistakes just don't want to be fixed, no matter what. So be prepared to have to give up nearly everything, if you want to fix it. There were too many things I wasn't willing to give up for the sake of those three, and that's why I couldn't do it. Is there anything you aren't willing to give up, if it meant saving someone?"



"The only thing I'm not willing to sacrifice to save someone is other people," Amy answers sternly.

"I've had to kill before to save other lives, of course. And, it never feels right. It's the same thing as sacrificing them. I mean, I get that it had to be done, but it felt like if I had been more prepared, then I could have done better."

"If I can make people not dangerous, then they don't have to be sacrificed. They won't be able to do anything that makes them need to die."


Flaming looks to LJ, seeming a bit worried as he mentions that HE was considering not going down there, but as he confirms he will, she smiles. "Same with me. I want to be with my parents again, more than anything… but if I don't do SOMETHING about the world we live in, then there's no telling how long I'll be able to do that. I have to go in to keep them safe… and I'm glad you're going in too, Journey. So I can keep YOU safe personally."

She looks to River, smiling. "River, if I'm being honest, you're the reason I changed my mind about being okay with Pryce staying on the surface in the first place."


River looks at you with surprise. "Oh? How's that?"


Fairy Castle silently contemplates your answer for a time. "In that regard, you remind me of what I told myself at my time of decision. You have your resolve, now just make sure you don't budge on that. Otherwise, you'll find yourself losing everything, piece by piece, and will have saved nothing."

When her spiel is over, she takes a breath of relief, like something's been taken off her mind. "Well then, you've certainly let me ramble long enough. Where's that goat of yours, he gone off and do something by himself again?"


"They fought to keep you from going? I thought they would've wanted every able body they could."

"I don't blame you for being upset before, I handled this situation poorly last time."

As they all take Pryce's decision with understanding, Pryce bows his head.
"Thank you. This has been weighing on me for some time. I hope the rest feel the same way as well."

He looks to Leather and Flaming.
"The Vivarium we were just looking at, we picked that up to give you all a save haven to carry while you're down there. It's not much, as you saw, but maybe it's just enough of an edge that can save somepony. We can show you it later Flaming."

As they talk about healers, Pryce frowns, realizing what they'll be going down with.
"I'd imagine Ecclesia would have plenty of supplies to make due, but… we should try to find something that can help. It's the least we can do for staying on the surface."

When Sugar doesn't respond, Pryce looks to her, not saying anything either, but concerned over what she might be thinking, that she might be taking the news poorly.



"Now all I have to do is get better…" Amy mutters with worry. "There's just not enough time!"

"Yeah, he wonders off a lot," Amy says, waving a dismissive hoof-paw. "Why do you ask?"


"By the gods Pryce, Dagger has children on the way. The Ecclesian rank are not so heartless as to practically ensure that my twins were to be born to a widow. The.. swollen state Glass is in, pardon for lack of better word, made every attempt to persuade my higher ups to leave an uphill battle."

Leather nods, "And I stand with you in solidarity towards that sentiment..err.." Leather stalls having not memorized everyone's name yet, composing himself and continuing trying to not make mention of it, "I too would prefer to stay back with my wife and live out my days hidden away raising our children, but I cannot sit quietly knowing I did nothing to try and give them a world without the risk of hostile demons ravaging our homes. That being said-"
Leather looks to Pryce, a steeled gaze on him with neither grin nor grimace, "Your aid wherever it might be will be a great boon. If not on an expedition securing our futures, then you must protect the present. It's a damned shame I won't be fighting alongside you again Sir Pryce, truth be told your presence was one the greatest factors in making my decision to make this journey into the depths of evil."


"When you first went into the ocean with the ember." She sits down, closing her eyes. "Seeing you regain your limbs… something that you thought was LOST to you forever, like that? Just seeing how happy it made you to get them back made me realize just how someone might feel if they had something they really, really didn't want to lose. What right would anyone have to send you into Tartarus after getting your legs and wings fixed?!"

"And, so, that's what made me realize, Pryce probably had things he wanted to protect up here too."

"You did." She answers pretty simply, blunt as ever. "But, it's okay. I don't think anyone in this clan ever has been that good with breaking bad news, heheheheh."

She smiles, "I… I'm really going to miss you when we're down there, but I swear I am okay with you choosing to stay behind. Cross my horns. And, I promise we'll all come back up to you too."

As you mention the Vivarium, she turns her head. "The whatarium?"

As Leather hesitates with her name, she does not quite yet pick up on it, nodding to him as simple confirmation. "Yeah. I think you have the right idea: there are some of us who need to go down there to stop this threat once and for all… or else NO ONE will be safe. But we need others up here to protect the homes we have, too."


"Just thought I'd wack him on the head for good measure," Fairy Castle says. "I recall overhearing something from him about certain tablets, bearing the power of Light and Dark, in his possession – though I felt their presence earlier, all the way from the Observatory, when I assume he gave them to another member of your party. Perhaps, if you're concerned about expediting your rise to power, you might try and find the one who holds them now, and seek out those tablets."


"Yeah, there's no way we could hate you for trying to protect what you love," LJ says. "You keep an eye on things up on this side, while we make sure Mudi doesn't get what she needs to bend the world to her will. After all, we're going to need someone to watch our backs against all the horrible things up here, and you're the people we can trust the most on that front."
"We'll make sure you guys have all the time you need," Spitshine says. "The Treibheanna won't be able to set one hoof in after you."
"I wonder…" Zjetya muses. "LJ – do you know if Vortigern… actually, no. It's not a matter of if. She has to be wrestling with this herself. Do you know… what her decision is?"
"She…" LJ hesitates. "She's said she's ready to go down with us."
"Just 'said'?" River asks.

River smiles, eyes misting up. "That's exactly how I felt, though I was afraid to express it openly. Thank you for picking up on it. After coming back from a corpse-like body, there was no willingness in my heart to go back to being that way. It pained me, as I wasn't even willing to do it for your sakes, but… suppressing that fear, and pretending everything was okay, would just risk future disaster. I'll do whatever I can for you from afar. It's not much, but… they say all prayers are heard by someone, for there are as many gods as prayers out there. Perhaps even my prayers may be heard by someone who can grant them."



"Good idea!" Amy says excitedly! Her tail starts wagging. "Thanks!"

Amy trots off to find any PC/NPC who might have the answers. [1d10] to find someone useful!

Roll #1 8 = 8


Flaming pumps a hoof, "Yeah! We'll protect this world from both sides of the gate. The things inside of it, and those already on this side. So, don't worry Pryce: I have your back, just like always."

As Zjetya brings up Vortigern, Flaming's eyes widen, her memory harkening back to her conversation with Vir-can and Buiwong in her dream. She turns to LJ, putting a hoof on his. "Hey, um… Journey, I know you've known her longer than I have but, would you mind if after our date, I could talk to Vortigern? Alone?" She stresses the last part, feeling it may yet be her responsibility, as both a chieftain and a god to be, to shoulder it on her own. "I can't quite explain it but, I just have this feeling I should talk to Vortigern more about Tartarus before it's too late."


Exploring the garden a little, you come across, Tantra, the Dragon and Vortigern, in the middle of a break from what looks to be some intense, last-minute combat training. When you ask them about it, Tantra informs you that you ought to look for Flaming, as Shei passed them on to her. It sounds like she's in the middle of a date with LJ, however, so you better call first.



Calling is dumb! Interrupting dates is fun! There is only one way forward!

Amy trots off to find Flaming. [1d10] to find Flaming

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Alone, huh? Heh–" LJ begins, on the verge of making a joke, but when he gets a look of your grave expression, he drops it. "Y-yeah, go ahead. Do you want to get her now? I don't know what their plans are for later, so now may be the easiest time to reach her."

Without an inkling of where she might be, you run in a circle for a few moments, trying to narrow down the possibilities for where you should look. After a while, the enjoyment of running in a circle distracts you from your goal.



At some point, Amy stopped looking for Flaming and instead started chasing her own tail. The darn thing is always just barely out of reach!

[1d10] to catch tail!

Roll #1 2 = 2


Flaming frowns, "You think so? I mean, if that's the only time you think she'll be available, I think yeah I would. But, what about our date? Is it okay to put it on pause for just a little bit so we can talk, can you show me how to make the shroomcaps after?"


They say that tails have a catch rate of 1/4192, and sadly, you have not disproven that today.

"If I'm being totally honest, I wouldn't want anything to interrupt this," LJ says. "I'm having too much fun, and this *is* our last day of freedom. But it looks pretty important. You should do what you need to do."



The rodos barmaid complies, and some ten or so minutes later, another round of orders comes out, along with the wine. The others continue to eat their fill, leaving little more than fish bones and empty cups and plates by the end of it, the insatiable lot that they are. Their conversations dwindle after a little while to idle chit-chat, as they lean back and digest what they just pigged out on.


Shei-Sher had his fill a while ago and resigned to watching his friends engorge themselves. As the last of brunch is eaten Shei remarks, while slouched onto the table.

"Do you beasts ever get full?"

Shei-Sher pushes out of his seat, stretching wide as he yawns "Well then, is everyone ready?"


"Cut me some slack! I was born yesterday!" Gadriel protests.
Observer and Hafaza both burp, as do their pets, Caw and Piglet. The Voidlings look at you deadpan. "No."
"We don't need to eat, actually," Mirror Image says, gesturing to herself and Chorazin. "Like demons, we can only eat for the fun of it."
At your signal, the others rise from their chairs, pushing them in and stacking up their dishes and utensils. With the bill and tip covered, they offer their thanks to the caprinos who run the hostel, and set out.

>roll navigation


Shei-Sher takes flight, with the directions given by the barmaid they head for the city

[1d10] navigation

Roll #1 7 = 7


You take flight with the others, venturing forth into the wilderness once more. The clouds you saw before get deeper and darker the further north you go, enshrouding the tops of nearby mountains. Below you is no longer unsullied, untamed wild lands, but the skeleton of a warzone. Trees and barrows have been blasted apart, still bearing scorch marks from battles long since over. Skeletons of many species lay strewn about, having been picked clean of their usable goods for a long while. Great chunks of metal, twisted, burned and unusable, litter the area. Over all of it floats the dark mists you saw before, deeper and thicker here. It seems to be coming from the north.


You eventually come within sight of a mighty, sprawling city, that appears to have been built around and overlooking a great quarry. What was once obviously a rich, segregated district lays on the upper ridge, while a series of terraced ghettoes and quarters have been built into the quarry itself, centered around a number of great mine-openings. The emaciated corpses of massive towers and castles and universities lay on the upper ridge, having been picked clean just the same as any other corpse. Ironically, it looks like the ghettoes are the safer area now. A number of gates have been set up near the quarries' sloped entrances, manned by demon guards.

Chorazin hisses. "We may end up picking a fight if Mirror or I get too near to the gate. Convincing them we're not here to annihilate the city would prove tricky."


"Lets take cover in the darkness then and make a landing for that impoverished terrace. This place is simply infested, like maggots in a corpse. We should most definitely avoid a brawl.. for now. I will take lead." Shei speaks up for everyone to hear "Everyone! follow suit!" Shei-Sher swan dives for a landing somewhere discrete in the ghetto

[1d10] roll if required

Roll #1 6 = 6


You feel the soul-presences of your fellows dim down to a very faint, quiet buzz as they follow, darting under the shadow of a passing stormcloud to avoid the gaze of the guards. You circle around the boundary of the destroyed forest until you come out somewhere on the eastern side. Monitoring the movements of guards, you find a slim window where they leave you a blind spot, and lead the charge. Your group sails over the quarry's eastern ridge, and make a dive into the dilapidated ghetto, finding cover in an abandoned building with a collapsed roof.

The others quickly huddle in the shadows once they're all in. Hafaza and Observer take stock of their familiars, who are unharmed. Gadriel catches his breath, leaning on an overturned desk, while Mirror and Chorazin flatten themselves against the walls, peering out between shards of a tattered curtain to get a glimpse out at the streets below.


"Was it really necessary to bring your pets along?" Shei comments to Hafaza and Observer.

He says so in a hushed voice and continues the conversation quietly "We could attract a swarm if we are not careful. If it's true the gangs are divided then maybe we could ally ourselves with one of them. In any confrontation we should stand our grand, act the bigger bear so to speak. That said, I will be behaving more crass. Gadriel I am sorry in advance if I curse in front of you. Chorazin, You are good as you are. But Mirror, you may wish to hold back on behaving holier than thou. Needless to say you'll likely be presented ample opportunity. In any case, is the coast clear?" He directs the lst statement at Chorazin."


"How else are they supposed to gain knowledge and power?" Observer asks, as though your question was a matter of sheer nonsense.

Gadriel winces in advance, flattening his ears with annoyance.

Mirror nods. "Actually, this may be a good time to dredge up my memories of boot camp and seminary, back when I was mortal. I could blend right in if you don't mind some abuse yourself."

"It may not be necessary," Chorazin whispers, leaning back from the window. "It is like a much more scarcely populated echo of Vitral's social castes. A number of mortals fill these streets, emaciated and hooded. They appear to be slaves of a sort. Some have visible brands… and a few seem to be covering theirs. Stealth may be possible here, if we disguise ourselves. Someone will have to pose as our slavedriver, and Mirror and I will have to pose as golem, I suspect. No telling whether we'll get mugged for parts in this slum, however."


>I could blend right in if you don't mind some abuse yourself."
"Would it be proper of a goat to say I don't mind at all." a rhetorical question.

>Someone will have to pose as our slavedriver

Shei looks at Observer and Hafaza "As much as I detest the idea, you are the most demon appearing." Shei cloaks himself with the hood of his Cloak of Beasts. "Then I and Gadriel are slaves, you both are golemn" he remarks to Chorazin and Mirror.

"Lead the way Master." Shei-Sher tells Observer.


Observer nods, storing away Caw in a secured pocket of a dark purple cloak he appears to have picked up from Threecoins. Hafaza sticks her Piglet into the hood of her own cloak, apparently going for a two-headed demon look. The two Voidlings then enlarge and twist their bodies, growing multiple eyes, clawed hooves, elongated jaws and gnarled yellow teeth, turning their tails into a flurry of tentacles tipped with poison-dripping claws – all to sell the look.

Gadriel swipes one of the tattered, moth-eaten curtains, turning it into a makeshift slave's cloak. He stoops and lowers his head, jaw slacked in a expression of inner death.

Observer and Hafaza lead the way outside, and then turn and shove you and Gadriel forward into the dirt. The voidlings snarl threateningly until you stand again, and Gadriel does so only after making a big show of genuflecting and surrendering for mercy. Mirror and Chorazin stare blindly ahead with dull, lightless eyes, playing the part of mindless automata. A few onlookers take in the scene, then go back to whatever lifeless business they were tending.

"Get moving, you pathetic, simpering good-for-nothings!" Hafaza shouts. "Get back to work!"

"Work" in this case seems to be two options. There's a more populated area ahead westward, where you might be able to learn more about the gangs in control of Acappella. To the south and north appear to be less controlled and even emptier areas, where you might be able to look for the components to this "fridge" contraption yourself, at the risk of running into scavvers or slavedrivers and getting into a dispute over claims.


Shei trembles up pathetically onto his hooves and marches on to the more populated area. He is thoroughly impressed by how seemlessly everyone put on the facade.


This little populated area is centered around an overpass of many roads which were once magitech themselves before being stripped of copper wire and every other useful component that scavvers could get their grubby claws on. A number of bars and restaurants, run by the demon gangs, are in business. This area seems to be a neutral zone of sorts, because although there are multiple distinct gang territorial markings done in graffiti all over the place, there is no fighting or violence.

>Roll perception

Hafaza and Observer take their walking slowly so as not to reveal that they are following your path.


[1d10] perception

Shei leads into a bar, he looks for someone sitting alone, a person who looks like they're mortal and has lived here a while. Shei buys a pitcher of beer and brings it over to his table, pulling himself a seat to sit down. "I find that the best conversations start with a drink. I'm looking for something particular."

Roll #1 6 = 6


There is only one person in that bar who meets your parameters – a hooded, cloaked pony of some sort. They have clothed themselves from head to hoof in ragged leather gear, hiding all skin, as well as any weapons they might or might not carry. Beneath the hood you can only see the lower half of a face mask, and the glow of some kind of goggles. He does not touch the pitcher, nor turn his head toward you.
"What are you after?" he asks, his voice garbled by some kind of modulator.


"A container that preserves food stored in it with cooling. Something called refrigeration I believe. Maybe you don't know where to find such a thing but it'd help too if you can tell me what gangs have claims to what around here.""


The cloaked pony nods. "What you're looking for is almost guaranteed to be in the territory of the Ichimato gang," he confides. "By now, at least. They're in the midst of upending the power struggle between the rival gangs, taking more and more territory and scavving rights for themselves. What was once a three-way split between Ichimato, Yamagiri and Hinaki is now on its way toward a total domination by Ichimato."

He glances your way. "Are you hiring?"


"Erm.. How much do you charge?" Shei says, suddenly feeling thin in the coinpurse


The pony studies you for a little while in silence, then his gaze turns to Gadriel. "I want a look at him."
Gadriel tenses with confusion and a little fear, looking your way before he says anything.


Shei-Sher recognizes Gadriel's apprehension and reassures him with an expression.

Shei-Sher puts pupil on the table. "Hold it and take a look -But just a look."


The hooded figure takes Pupil with no hesitation, and holds it in Gadriel's direction as if he knew already what it did. He shows no reactions whatsoever, simply sitting there in quietude for several minutes.

Eventually, he sets down Pupil before you again. "I'll retrieve this machine you want. Stay here, or don't. You will get it either way if you don't get yourself killed."

The hooded figure stands, and leaves the bar.


Shei's look turns from the hooded figure to Gadriel "…don't go alone anywhere." He gets up from his seat "Lets leave before something bad can happen."


Last time on HolyQuest…

Amy completed her "training" with Fairy Castle, which really amounted to more of a game of keep-away, mixed in with a little catch. Though it was primarily a game, it still helped Amy to practice with her new abilities and mix them with the old. She found that, even when she wasn't directly invoking her new Craft, she could still experience its effects. This must be a peculiarity of how Witches' magic works in relation to the more rational and logical magics of the more modern schools.

Flaming and LJ split off from Regina and Box to explore the public gardens by themselves. LJ, noting that the gardens were of a similar climate and elevation as the Greater Highlands, looked around in the undergrowth with Flaming, and discovered some sweet-tasting blushrooms (not to be confused with their distant cousins, the blüshrüms). He and Flaming decided to go back to the ship so that he could whip up some Shroomsap drinks.

It was there that they walked in on Pryce and Cloak's conversation. Pryce confided to Cloak, Spitshine and Sugar that he would not be entering Tartarus, and instead would be staying on the surface alongside Zjetya, River, the kids, and Renee, who reluctantly agreed to stay behind at Flow's behest. Most of the party took it well, as Pryce was not acting out of cowardice, but out of love and a desire to watch over those who had become most important to him in these days.

Shei stealthily reached Acapella city with his entourage of Mirror Image, Chorazin, Observer, Hafaza and Gadriel. Upon discovering that the demon gangs that now ran the city – the Ichimato, Yamagiri and Hinaki – employed mortal slave labor, they decided to blend in by looking the party. Observer and Hafaza served as their slavedrivers, Chorazin and Mirror Image acted as mindless golem, and Gadriel and Shei played the slaves. They sought out a bar to learn where a refrigerator might be procured, and met with a cloaked pony coated head to hoof in ragged garb, speaking from behind a mask and a voice modulator. He agreed, strangely, to retrieve the machine for them in exchange for nothing but a "look" at Gadriel with Pupil. What he planned to do with that information, nobody knows.


They say that tails have a catch rate of 1/4192, and sadly, you have not disproven that today.

>Pryce, Cloak, Flaming


"Yeah, there's no way we could hate you for trying to protect what you love," LJ says. "You keep an eye on things up on this side, while we make sure Mudi doesn't get what she needs to bend the world to her will. After all, we're going to need someone to watch our backs against all the horrible things up here, and you're the people we can trust the most on that front."
"We'll make sure you guys have all the time you need," Spitshine says. "The Treibheanna won't be able to set one hoof in after you."
"I wonder…" Zjetya muses. "LJ – do you know if Vortigern… actually, no. It's not a matter of if. She has to be wrestling with this herself. Do you know… what her decision is?"
"She…" LJ hesitates. "She's said she's ready to go down with us."
"Just 'said'?" River asks.


"If I'm being totally honest, I wouldn't want anything to interrupt this," LJ says. "I'm having too much fun, and this *is* our last day of freedom. But it looks pretty important. You should do what you need to do."


Seeing you rise to leave, Observer and Hafaza bekon to you, ushering you on as if leaving was their idea, as your slavedrivers. They shove and cajole you on the way out, and Hafaza has a slight grin of enjoyment. Observer remains stoic and indifferent, but he's the one doing the most prodding and badgering.

"Remind me, slave," Observer then says once you exit. "What other business had we today?"



"My experiences with them has led me to believe they'd want every able body as possible for a mission like this."

"If I knew you survived the Rapture, I would've tried to find you," Pryce says in apology for their short reunion, "I'm sorry we won't be fighting side by side for too long, but we can have plenty more time to catch up when you return to the surface."
He says with an optimistic hope.

"We really aren't, are we?"
Pryce says with a light chuckle.

He nods his head.
"I'll miss you as well, and I'll make sure I'm here right when you come back through that gate."

"We picked up a small device, a Vivarium, just a few moments ago. It's a small portable room you can carry around, we thought it would be helpful for the group in Tartarus to provide a safe place to rest or recover."

Pryce bows his head in thanks.
"While we're up here, no demon, angel, or mortal with ill intent will draw close to the gate behind you."
He states.

When Vortigern is mentioned, he looks over, also questioning her condition with LJ's hesitation.
"She's leaving a lot of family behind… It wasn't a good parting either."



"That's what's been on my mind for a while, tell ya the truth," LJ says. "It's not a conversation topic that I can bring up easily. She just shuts us down when we talk to her about it, in the way that moms usually know how to do. I don't think you'd have much more luck than any of us, though, so there's not a whole lot we can do besides take her word, right?"


"Gods to think I've just met a good friend after so long, and we will not see each other for who knows how long come tomorrow. Do you know where you'll be protecting, then? I-" Leather pauses, choking up for the first time incredibly briefly before clearing his throat, "If you could, check in with Dagger now and then. She'd be happy to see you, and while she's been alright up until this point about my decision.." he looks down, "Just want to make sure she's not worrying at any point."


"Did Pryce have any special someponies before us?" Zjetya asks with an inquisitive smirk.
"Wha–?" River gawks. "Is that something he needs to disclose?"
"If you wanna know about a stallion's track record with mares, you gotta ask a mare he knows. They'll spill every bean in the can."
Spitshine clicks his tongue and wanders off to go find KP.


"Hmn.." Leather thinks to himself, chuckling, "It's been months, but with all that's happened I feel as if it's been half a decade. Unfortunately, the mares from that time I can remember I was not the most fond of. Besides, Glass Dagger, of course."


"If she doesn't want to talk about it, I suppose there really isn't much we can do."
Pryce says, mulling over the topic.
"…The least I can do is ask her if she has any messages she'd want to send to them. since we're staying up here."

"The gate will be our priority when it's opened. After that, we'd be fending off the Treibehana wherever they'd be since they're the biggest threat we'd have."
When Leather asks his favor, Pryce nods.
"It'll be nice to see her too. I'll make sure we visit regularly."

When Zjetya prods at his past love life, Pryce is a little flustered from the topic coming up suddenly.
"There hasn't been anypony else."
He says, feeling as if Zjetya's just teasing after speaking up.
"There was only a day spent with Flaming back at the Ecclesian Camp after our trip to Circadia, but that was more as just friends."
He says, being truthful as he doesn't want to hide anything from either of them.

Spitshine finds KP in the room he set up for his pets, after cleaning up the spilled water from moving the aquarium. He puts the aquarium and the new bed in place, setting up all his other little pet supplies such as their outfits and toys.
>"Oh, hey Spits! What's up?"
He says, turning around to greet as Spitshine comes in.


>To River's comment
Flaming smiles, leaning over to nuzzle against her cheek, "Hey, you don't have to cry, you should be happy, right?" She reaches up to rub at her own eyes, the proud buffalo getting a little misty herself. "Really, I understand entirely. I wouldn't ever force something like that on you River, no matter what was at stake."

>"If I'm being totally honest, I wouldn't want anything to interrupt this," LJ says. "I'm having too much fun, and this *is* our last day of freedom. But it looks pretty important. You should do what you need to do."
Flaming frowns, looking down at the floor. "I'm sorry. I really don't want anything to interrupt this either, I'm having a LOT of fun with you. Best date ever so far."

She shakes her head, "But, it IS important, and I should probably take the opportunity now before it leaves. I-I promise I won't take too long though! I'll be back before the shroomies get cold… unless they're supposed to be cold, in which case I mean… you know what I mean."

"Yeah, that does sound like it should help. You don't know what we'll be running into down there, so having a little safe haven would help a ton."

She leans up, bumping her head up against his chest softly. "I know you will, Pryce. And we'll all come out, safe and sound. We'll save this world, you can count on it.

As Pryce brought up the date he and her went on once, Flaming snickered, "Oh yeah, I remember that! My first date ever after Amy told me about them, I wanted to give them a try. It didn't end the best, but it was pretty fun. Don't worry about me though Zjetya, I'm not gonna get in the way of anything NOW!" She laughs, "I don't know if Pryce can handle two mares yet."


"Right, suppose that's fair. My worst fear, besides the obvious, is just how long the expedition might take. I preach patience, but I do not have a lot of time given my situation." Leather tugs on a cloth wrapping nervously.


River takes you by the shoulders, positioning you a short distance from her as best as she can, then leans back, and…


"Oh yeah, I remember that day," Zjetya says. "Not exactly the best showing for Shei. But this clears up a lot of stuff. A looooot of stuff. You shouldn't have let them reveal your secret, Pryce. Now you'll never be able to stop my plans for you."

"You mean three?" Sugar jokes.
"He better not collect any more," Zjetya notes grimly. She nods in the direction that Spitshine went.

LJ nods. "Do what you gotta do, clan leader. Now the shrmoothies can be served hot or cold. You got a preference?"

Spitshine drops down on the bed and glares up at the ceiling. Lockjaw comes over and sniffs at him, pawing at his side. Spitshine rolls to the side, turning away from him and you.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


River headbutts you lightly. It hardly even registers on your thick skull, but it's probably for the best that she held back, lest she injure her delicate pony's skull. She doesn't seem hurt, however. "Thank you, really, thank you Flaming. Don't worry about a thing back here. You'll need all your focus on what you and our little clan will face down there."


"It is a little small though, just to warn you. We'll put some furniture in it so it'll feel cozy enough despite that."

Pryce smiles.
"We'll have to throw another festival once the world is safe. Celebrate the new time of peace we all brought in."
He lowers his head, giving Flaming a headbutt as she does to celebrate or greet.

"This new family we've all built, we've manage to face terrible odds against demons and push our way through before we've even realized it. I know you'll be back soon and won't keep Glass waiting."

"Yea, that day didn't end well at all…"
He then turns to Zjetya.
"Wait, what secret? And what plans?"

KP sets down his grimoire that he was adjusting for a nice pose with the supplies. He steps around the bed to face Spitshine.
>"What's wrong?"


Flaming opens her eyes widely, "Wait, 'three'? D-did he seriously…!" she stammers to Sugar and Zjetya

As River head-butts her against her skull, Flaming winces lightly, but still extremely please to have the pony greet her in the traditional buffalo way! She almost rears back to return the favor, but holds herself back, lightly bumping her noggin into her chest to avoid starting a few concussions. "Hehehehe. Sure thing River, don't worry: I'll keep everyone in check.

"Thank you Journey. I'm really sorry but I promise, I'll be as quick as I can. Where did you say I could find Vortigern, last I saw her she was watching our date but we left her after we went for our run…"

"And, hmmm… hot! If they come hot, that's how I like it."

She returns the head-butt to Pryce's skill, holding back a good bit as she nods. "That's something you can do up here while we're gone: get a big festival ready for when we come out. I expect a lot of food, you hear?"

As he mentions it being cozy, she shakes her head. "Ah, it'll be fine. Couldn't be much worse than everyone squeezing into this airship."


Cloak snorts, "Gods Pryce easy with the mention of pushing, those are the only two I can't preach to about patience."

Leather's eyebrow raises at the mentions of Pryce and Flaming, but doesn't pry.


"Three? What, no!"
Pryce echoes, equally as confused at Flaming's exclaimed stammering.

"It'll be a feast that'll be remembered for centuries."
Pryce assures.

"If you want, you can take a look at it over there," Pryce says, gesturing to the small gold cube on one of the beds, "You tap the symbol to go inside, then think of exiting to exit."


Shei-Sher keeps his head down as he answers them. Making himself the demoralized image of someone used to taking constant prodding.

"Forgive me for speaking out of turn Master. But did you see a hooded Stallion with a face mask leave the bar. I think we are likely to find what we seek if we follow him from afar."

Shei-Sher turns to Gadriel. "Gadds. Did you bring your crystal ball? Try if you can, see where that man is going."


"Oh pff, wait you meant 'including' me, okay sorry." Flaming laughs, shaking her head. "M-misunderstood what Sugar meant. STill, point stands: two is plenty enough for Pryce I bet. I wasn't sure you could even handle one after our date!" She jokes good heartedly.

"It sure better be! And make sure to get lots of spicy stuff too, Spark loves that."

As he gestures to the small gold cube, she blinks. "W-woah, you weren't kidding when you said it was cozy. I could fit this in my bag."


Zjetya turns and throws her head back, laughing like some combination of a mad scientist and a maniacal empress with an aim for world domination.
River looks back at you, shaking her head and rolling her eyes. Then, thinking better of her cynicism, laughs instead. "We're going to be in for some rather strange humor for the next month. Perhaps this is a taste of the changeling approach to flirtation."

"She should still be up in the garden at the top of the Library," LJ says. "She said last night that she plans to train pretty much all day, so I don't think they'll be going anywhere soon."

"I'm really just… not in the fucking mood to watch all that… stuff between Zjetya and River and Pryce," Spitshine says. "I'd rather go into Tartarus if they're going to be on each other like that all day."

Lockjaw butts his head against Spitshine's leg a few times, trying to challenge him, but Spitshine ignores it.

Sugar leaps as if she's just been struck by a brilliant idea, but her expression then goes back to worried and pensive. "Crap, I don't think we'd have any way to test that prior to the expedition's start… hmph. Cloak, give me your conch code."

Observer clicks his tongue. "Enough! We've no time for idle games of spellcraft. If you're not going to remember your duties right, then I'll find plenty more you won't soon forget. Come!"

Observer subtly directs your group's movements so as to shepherd Gadriel to the center as you all walk along. Observer and Hafaza scan the slavers' district for places with the least population, which is a bit tricky, considering how many demon gangsters are around. You appear to be at an intersection of a red light and an entertainment district, as many bars are nearby, as well as a whole street of brothels, across from which appears to be a number of slave peddlers keeping mortals and animals in cages. You hear the metal of Chorazin's and Mirror's bodies subtly creak in muted rage.

Gadriel fishes the crystal ball out of his bag, holding it under his cloak. "Sh-show me how to do it again…?"


>If it fails you can roll to assist

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


"Right… okay, I'll be right back, if she's at the library I can just open a corridor there and back."

"Keep them hot!" She says, running outside while giving several looks back at Journey, heavily regretting having to put her date on hold but knowing her duty shouldn't be put off any longer.

[1d10] Opening a dark corridor to the library outside

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Oh, sure." Leather nods, finagling the tool for a bit before just handing it to Sugar to figure out, "Apologies, I've yet to figure out the thing that well, I just answer the conch when someone contacts me. Never done any of the calling myself."


"If I'm being honest, neither was I."
Pryce admits with a laugh.
"At least with Shei butting in as he did, nothing else can be worse than that one, right?"

"I'll get enough for a full sized dragon."

"Be careful not to lose it when somepony's inside," He jokes, "You can add more onto it, but we spent most of our funds on other supplies already."

Pryce takes a step back in surprise at the mad cackle, unable to suppress a chuckle with River.
"This will be a learning experience for all of us it seems."

>"On each other, really? I didn't think the big guy would be all that forwardly romantic."

KP says, missing the point of Spitshine's gripes partially partially. He sits down next to the bed.
>"Not a big fan of public affection stuff?"


It takes you a few tries; at first you get several locations you've visited already in Threecoins, such as the clock tower, and the rebel Witches' demon-infested district, all of which you see populated by Ecclesians on patrol now. Eventually, however, you end up getting it correct, and emerge once again in the windy garden atop the Library of the Sacrosanct.


You see a number of Replicants and other Witches in the midst of tending to the garden's various regions, trimming branches, picking fruits, and hacking away at weeds and trying to tame sassy flytraps with a penchant for biting back at them. Most of the tables from breakfast and the tabletop campaign have been cleared away, but you see one table left over, where Vortigern, the Dragon and Tantra sit, drinking lemonade, apparently in the middle of a break from their training.

Sugar looks down at the Conch, then back up at you, wearing a baffled frown of disbelief and exasperation. It's hard to recall a time when anyone's looked this disappointed in you. She hands it back. "No, your conch code, not the conch. I don't know if we will be able to call you while you are in Tartarus, but if we are, and if you aren't back yet by the time that your children are born, I'd like to be able to call you and let you hear them, and speak with Dagger."

A thought seems to cross River's mind – a horrifying one, at that, as she turns pale, and a shadow is cast across her eyes. She looks aside, shaking away the idea.

"It has nothing to do with that," Spitshine says. "Picking up mares whenever he wants, going between them as if they were different outfits or entertaining diversions? Don't you get it? That's how guys like my dad do things. I think that's why my mom…" he grunts and sighs. "You're his younger self or whatever. Can't you do anything about that?"


"Yeah, I know Shei definitely didn't make it easy on you. But I know you did your best, Pryce. If you treat them half as nice as you did me, I bet they'll be pretty happy with you."

As she looks at the golden cube, she nods. "Right, we'll be careful with it. No one will get lost due to negligence."

Flaming grunts to herself on each failed attempt, grumbling until she finally manages to pull a corridor to the roof of the Library. She looks around at all the Replicants and witches hard at work tending to the garden, stopping a moment too soon to smell a fly-trap before it bit her nose off, and runs towards the table where they'd played their campaign to meet with the others.

"Hey guys! Taking a break from your training I see? How's that going?"


Leather looks rather helpless, going back to trying to finagle with the device before finally after an uncomfortably long amount of time. "R-right here it is." Cloak lists off the numbers on the screen. He nods with Sugar's idea though, though with a glance to River.

"If there is no response at that time, it is simply the fel magics of Tartarus at work." Cloak speaks resolutely.


River clears her throat. "Of course. I'm sure there's going to need to be a lot of testing of that sort. Calls to the surface world, calls within Tartarus itself, the use of the Dark Corridor to exit Tartarus, the use of it within… you'll need to make sure to explore every possibility."
"That power's been super useful for all of us, but something tells me it won't be so easy as to serve as an easy getaway down there," Zjetya says.

The Dragon laughs in a raspy, rough growl. "If I weren't so certain of our shared goal, I'd say Vortigern was nearly trying to kill us."
Vortigern smirks, not disputing the charges.
"Yeah, we've been tearing this whole place up, trying to find as many environmental types as we possibly can," Tantra adds. "Close quarters in an urban environment, a forest, low-light areas, open fields, near and even under water, against flying opponents… it's been pretty thorough. Hey, wait a tick! What's going on? Where's your second set of horns?"

Tantra and the others look around for LJ. When it's clear he's not there, they start to look a little worried.


"D-don't worry!" Flaming says as they notice the distinct lack of 2nd buffalo with her, "The date's still going great, amazing even, Journey's really… he's really great. I just needed to take a little break, he's making shrmoothies for me right now for when I get back."

She turns to Vortigern, "I… I needed to talk to you real quick Vortigern, if you have a bit. Can we go somewhere private?" She asks, trying not to seem to suspicious about it but unable to hide a bit of awkward inflection.


"But not something to test without proper precautions. I know not the nature the magics of our tools or Tartarus, but the last thing I would wish is for the tainting powers of Tartarus to pass through a call, for instance." Cloak says cautiously.


Pryce looks to River as she grows pale.
"Are you alright?"

>"…Are we talking about the same pony?"
KP asks at hearing Spitshine's opinion, then the gripe starts to click a bit.
>" I can't really do much, he's the older one. I can tell you what he'd think when he was my age though. But to let you know, he didn't just pick up either of them. He dwelled on his feeling for a long time for them. Well, he was a bit ignorant of how he felt and it took him a while to realize, but him getting into a relationship wasn't a spur of the moment thing."
KP tries to explain as best he can.
>"Come on, you already know he hasn't been with a mare before. Do you think he'd just start jumping around like that?"

"Thanks Flaming. That means a lot."
Pryce says before Flaming departs.


"Take a little break?" Tantra asks, then nods sagely. "No, I feel you. Even I can get a little tired of him now and again. He's a guy who takes it up to a 12 on a scale of 1-10, whereas I'd put myself somewhere around an 8."
"Aren't you the one who was always going on about how he wanted to beat the stuffing out of the gods and take their crowns?" the Dragon asks.
"Yeah, that's about an 8 in my book," Tantra says.
Vortigern silently laughs, then nods to you. She pours you a glass of lemonade, then empties the last of the pitcher into her own cup. Tantra and the Dragon raise their voices in protest, but Vortigern dismisses them by gesturing to a lemon tree off in the distance.

Afterwards, she leads you away from the table, taking you down toward a hilly coppice full of colorful shrubs. A couple of Witches cross your path, releasing small cages of insects into the wildlife, as there were none when Regina was still the sole master of this place. Vortigern gives them a small smile, and they depart in understanding.

"When Sugar offered to call Cloak on Dagger's behalf, I considered the possibility that he might be slain by that point," River whispers. "Not something I want to envision."

"I'm not an expert of magic, but I've tinkered with my share of clockwork automata and enchantments," Sugar says. "If you'll permit me, I can see about putting some seals on your conches. Oh, and while we're talking about protection…"
She tugs on Pryce's robe as if she were five years younger. "Sir Pryce? Can I go learn how to use a gun with Sir Cloak here?"
"Sure," Zjetya says.
"I see little reason why not," River says.

Spitshine lays there for a while before responding. "It's really easy to say that, but I've seen how a little taste of luxury can change someone. It's kind of scary how much people can change if the right conditions are before them – like if they can indulge their most base desires and impulses without consequence. Sure, Pryce is okay now, but can you say he'll be like that always? He's already crossing the line by taking more than one mare."


Shei shakes his head "you can do it." he assures Gadds.

>What If: Automatic; Once per Day;

[defaulting current talent]

Shei-Sher picks up a stick from the ground and as they pass along the caged slaves, a couple of tiny spiders intermittently leave Shei's body, carrying with them an invisible thread.

The spiders land onto the 5 of the cage's locks and attach the thread, unseen.
The threads all lead to the stick Shei carries and in one motion Shei snaps the stick in two.
>Spell Bleed: passive; You may cast any spell you know at multiple targets, but doing so increases the crit fail range to the number of targets +1

>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3(minus 1); Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.


Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Shei faces the ground as he speaks, but his comment is directed at Chorazin and Mirror "I will unlock the door, but they must open it. So it is known -if harbors- the soul of a free man, or a slave."


"Huh? No, I'm not getting tired of him. I mean, not yet anyways. I don't know what you're talking about with a 'scale' but, while Journey can get a little annoying sometimes I'm definitely still having a fun time."
"….where am *I* on that scale?" She asks Tantra before leaving.

As she and Vortigern pick out a secluded spot in the garden, she takes the lemonade in her hoof, taking in a deep sip of the sweet drink while she looks at the insects being released for the flora, sniffing the fragrant air one more time before looking to Vortigern.

"Thanks for giving me a few minutes… or, however long this might take, I'm honestly not too sure how to go about this."
She takes in a deep breath, flopping her ears down as she takes another slow sip of her lemonade and tries to formulate words.
"I'm probably really going to sound crazy… Vortigern, are you sure you want-" she pauses, shaking her head.
"Vortigern, do you… you have a family, right? Fillies?"


"We have talked at long lengths about the possibility. I would be in Pryce's boat if not for Dagger's firmness on securing a safer world for our children. We both know the risks." Leather says in a low tone between River and Pryce.

Clearing his throat, he looks to Pryce, "Sugar has expressed interest in learning to use a rifle, Pryce. Of all the weapons one could learn, it is one of the safest and most covert, if you value them keeping from harm. I am of the opinion that everypony should know how to protect themselves in one way. Helplessness begets tragedy."


wew, can't delete comment, please ignore


[actually I think that does succeed, please check chat before posting autumn]


Pryce lowers his head a little at the thought, but dismisses it before thinking further.
"You know he's been through a lot back before when him and I were travelling together. If he lived through the Rapture, he'll make it through Tartarus."

Pryce looks down at Sugar as she tugs on his robe. When she asks to go use a gun, he's a little appalled by such a question. He is silent for a few moments, looking up to Leather, then back down to Sugar.
"If it's with Leather, then I suppose it's alright. But listen to everything he says, and don't take it lightly. Guns are dangerous tools."

>"We don't do things for our own gratitude."
KP says, referring to both him and the proper Pryce.
>"Ever since we were little little, his driving decision was making others happy and to see them smile. We both saw how River and Zjetya felt, I even talked to Zjetya a bit when I was asking her to teach Hopper a trick. He had something special with them, and I know he wouldn't want to see either of them upset if he broke that."
KP thinks a moment.
>"The only time he really changed was when the Rapture happened. He's a stallion of strong conviction. Unless somepony dies, I don't think he'd change at all."


"We shouldn't dwell on the worst possibility. Just focus on getting back for your kids."

Pryce thinks on what Leather says.
"You're trained with using a rifle, so I trust that you'll teach her to be safe."
Pryce leans in to whisper so Sugar doesn't hear.
"Since we rescued Sugar from Mariposa, she has seemed too eager to fight. While this would keep her from a direct fight, I'm concerned about what being trained with a weapon such as a rifle will do to with this mentality."


Leather whispers back, nodding, "An assassin doesn't war, they pick their battles and knows not to blindly throw themselves into the rage of battle. While I have no intentions to teach her my profession, patience is a virtue I would be happy to cultivate."


"I'd peg you as being about a 4, and I'm going to need you to take it up to about an 8, minimum," Tantra says.


Vortigern sits on a nearby rock, and nods with silent resolution. She produces a small locket from her bag, another piece of fine silverwork from her tribe. She holds it close, beckoning you closer before she opens it.

>roll perception

River snorts. "Not only did he survive the Rapture, he managed to get laid during it. Perhaps that is a better testament to his skill than mere survival."
Zjetya clicks her tongue, and does a hoof-gun gesture. "NOW you're thinking like a changeling."
"I assure you I will be much busier in any given combat scenario than to attempt such a thing," River retorts chastely.

"Yisssss," Sugar says with a little hoof-pump. But she shakes away the sweet taste of victory, and nods soberly. "Of course. I'll listen to every instruction and follow them to the letter. If I don't, I fully accept surrendering my right to any and all further lessons."

Spitshine curls up a little on the bed, gripping the sheets. "You're sure? Every time I think about them going into Tartarus, even though we're staying up here… I keep getting the feeling that something even worse than the Rapture is going to happen on our side. Will he change then?"

At first, when you feel the subtle clickings of mechanisms and locks, all seems to go well. But one of the slaves, toward the end of the row of cages, lets the heady call of freedom rush to his head, and he barrels out of the cage, knocking you and Gadriel to the ground. The slavedriver whips around, seeing you two splayed out on the ground, as slaves run in every which direction. The slavedriver, a corpulent humanoid demon with a cage for a stomach and another one growing out of his back, howls with anger, raising a spiked whip to strike down at you, but Observer steps forward, aglow with dark purple energy.

"I am the only one who may beat my slave," Observer intones. "All others who attempt the same suddenly find themselves becoming a puddle."

[1d10+2] Intimidation

"Don't worry, I'll take care of the runaways!" Hafaza gleefuly cries, running out toward the slaves. The tentacles that replaced her tail rapidly split, multiplying and elongating in a horrible mass of spikes and pustule-like eyes.

[2d10+3] roundup

The slaves run in a panic, to terrified and breathless with hope to even scream.

[5d10-1] running

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #2 3, 9 + 3 = 15 / Roll #3 1, 2, 6, 3, 5 - 1 = 16


Shei-Sher keeps his head downcast, he doesn't rise until motioned to by his master.
"Just focus on your crystal ball Gadriel." He says only loud enough for his brother to hear.


Leather glares at River, about to make mention of it only being because of the end of the world. Still, he holds his tongue, figuring it could spawn even more jokes.

"I'll hold you to it. We can spend the better part of the rest of the day working on technique. If you prove a dutiful student, then I'll put in a good word with a contact in the Ecclesian ranks that might help to further your training."


"Y-Yea, let's try to keep our minds focused if we're stuck in a fight."
Pryce says, a little flustered at the concept.

As Sugar dutifully agrees to follow Leather's instructions to a T, Pryce nods in approval.
"You'll be a fine student."

"Oh, that reminds me," Pryce says as Leather brings up Ecclesia, looking to River and Zjetya, "We should contact them soon to make sure Zjetya doesn't get called out."

>"I… Hmm, I haven't thought about what would happen up here."
KP says, looking a little worried as they will be a vastly smaller group and they've already faced some horrible sights on the surface already.
>"If anything bad does happen up here, I… I think Pryce would end up dying himself protecting us, before he would lose anypony else important to him again."


Flaming smirks at Tantra's remark before she goes off with Vortigern. "I'll do my best to try and bring it back up to that level. Can't let Journey beat me after all."

Alone with Vortigern, Flaming looks over towards the locket as she beckons her closer, taking a look at it. "What's this?"
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Hahahahahaha!!" Hafaza shrieks, making as ostentatious a show as she can of grabbing and tossing the slaves about, shaking them in the air. Chorazin and Mirror visibly struggle to retain their cover, shaking and grinding their metal components. The slavedriver watches on in horror as Hafaza toys with his merchandise, but Observer's hypnotic black glare keeps him from raising his whip.

"I am Hafaza! Terror before me and learn your lesson!" she finally roars, shoving the slaves back into their cages and slamming the doors shut. Most of the slaves lay completely inert by now; the crushing despair of having a brief, incredible hope brutally slain has broken their spirits.

Once that's done, Observer shoots one last look at the slavedriver, before sneering down at you and Gadriel. He reaches back one of his tails, and slaps you both, sending you tumbling to the ground. Gadriel, picking up his crystal ball, makes a whimpering groan, only standing once again when it's clear that he won't be hit another time. Then, without a word, Observer leads you onwards deeper into the entertainment district toward some gambling houses.

River seems to be a bit of a mind-reader, as she wiggles her eyebrows in a gesture of challenge.

"Yeah, would you mind if we took care of that sooner rather than later?" Zjetya asks. "I'll need to clear it with the Choir, otherwise they'll be able to order me to join the expedition. While we're there, think you can put in a good word with your contact? Am I right to guess that it's Anzu?"
"Anzu?" Sugar asks with interest. "Who's Anzu?"

Spitshine gulps, falling silent again. "…Yeah. If everything else were to change, I don't believe that Pryce would ever give up that part of himself."

Lockjaw has given up on raising Spitshine's mood, and now lays beside him sadly. Spitshine reaches over and scratches his head, which causes his tail to flap against the bed like a timpani roll.

Vortigern clicks open the locket. Like the one containing the pictures of herself and her husband in their youths, this one contains two screens. One screen is divided into three sections, and in each one is a picture of a wild-looking pegasus foal, decked in ceremonial facial paint, all looking like powerful young warriors. The other screen has a picture of them all as a group. Vortigern looks at them with pride.

>roll perception each round until told otherwise


Flaming looks over the three different sections of the locket, staring at each of the three pegasus foals within. She smiles, looking in close to get a look at each of them in turn as she admires them. "They all look really strong. And pretty cute, too. I really like the facial paint, it reminds me of, well-" she says, pointing to her recently acquired chieftain tattoos for emphasis."

She keeps half an eye on Vortigern, prompting carefully, "…you miss them, I bet, right?"
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10


Vortigern simply nods. Tartarus… for them, she mouths, putting on a resolute mask.

And you can feel a faint thrilling in the aether between you. It is indeed just that: A mask and nothing more. Beneath that, as you can feel with your spiritual senses, lies a thin fissure. It is small enough to fill in, but could just as easily expand until it destroys this pretense of preparation that she has donned. It is as cold and empty as any void.


Shei-Sher takes the slap, tumbling over the ground once more, he takes some time trembling to his hooves in mock display of feebleness.
Shei continues following Observer once it is clear they are pressing forward. While Shei is annoyed with the debacle, he can't help but be impressed by their performance. I'm glad they came with us -is what shei thinks.

He follows into the gambling houses and Shei nudges Gadriel. "Anything?"


Leather remains resolute in the face of such a provocation from River, instead keeping his attention to River and Zjetya, "You would be correct, Anzu is who I had in mind. I'll see what I can do." He turns to Sugar, "A riflepony with far more skill than I. My wishes to teach your the basics first is to not have them waste time that they could be using to teach you far more advanced lessons."


"We got all of the shopping done, for the next few days even. We can stop by now since everypony is busying themselves now. I hope it doesn't take too long though, I'd like to get some time in with the others before tomorrow. Who would we need to speak with?"
He asks Zjetya.

KP gives Lockjaw a pat as well, seeing him upset over lack of helping Spitshine.
>"He cares about all of us. That part will never change, so you don't need to worry about him becoming like those slaver types."


Flaming's ears flop down as her senses pick up on the lack of resolution in Vortigern's heart, clenching her teeth as she tries to think of which path to proceed… to leave things as they are, convince her to leave, ask her to search deeper, the ideas rattle off in the buffalo's head too fast for her to process.

"Vortigern… you know," she takes a deep breath. "I was just talking with Pryce and River when me and Journey were getting snacks… they're definitely staying up here on the surface, they're not going down with us. And, I completely understand why they don't want to. I'm absolutely okay with it."

She pauses, wondering if she's coming off the right way. "They found something that they really want to protect, that they might lose if they go into Tartarus that they just can't. I still love them no matter what, I don't hold it against them for not coming down with us."

She pauses, hoping she isn't being too coy by trying to see if Vortigern sees where she is going with this.


"We're going to want to turn north up ahead," Gadriel whispers. "Wait… it looks like there's a security checkpoint there. A towering fence, with an inner and outer layer, with barbed wire, beyond which looks like the ruins of some huge compound, multiple buildings that look like factories. The guy we spoke with is there. He's talking to some guards, and he's got a keycard of some sort… they're letting him through."
"So we'll need one of those to get through ourselves?" Observer asks.
"Most likely. Or money for a bribe," Gadriel says. "About five or six guards at the outer gate, some more inside. Not something we can fight through."

Sugar bows her head. "Thank you, I greatly appreciate it. Whenever you're ready, I am too."
"As for myself, we'd probably have to speak with either Monkey or Rooster," Zjetya says. "The members of the Choir won't be available at this point, I hear. Either Living Saint Zoantharia or Holy Hours will be in charge of picking the expedition's personnel."
"We've already encountered Holy Hours before, and he knew you prior to the Rapture," River says. "And Cloak, isn't he your superior? Why not try him?"

Lockjaw's mood rises as all this attention is drawn to him. Hopper jumps from the log in the aquarium where he was drying off, and comes over to join you. Spitshine slowly nods. "…Okay. I'll give him more faith than I was before… see where it leads."


Vortigern frowns, and slowly retracts the locket, closing it once more. She looks at you with a kind of plain disbelief – not in the truth of what you said, but in what she senses you attempting.

I'll protect you, she mouths.
I'll protect Tantra.
I'll protect cla–

She stops and coughs, gripping at her mouth in pain for a few moments. When the pain apparently subsides, she looks back at you, trying to keep up her tough visage.


Flaming's eyes open wide as she hears the cough, the pegasus' very health not having yet been a topic of concern for her, but prompts her to ask, "Are you okay?"

As she looks at her in disbelief, Flaming sighs, her muzzle scrunched up. She contemplates whether to tell her of what she saw in her dream, with Vir-can and Buiwong, but holds off on explaining her vision. "I know you would do anything to protect me. You're… you've been like the second closest thing I've had to a mom since I got separated from my own. I'm not going to lie, there's a part of me that wants you to come in with me no matter what but the other…"

She moves a hoof, slowly, towards the locket. "The other worries about whether I'm making you give up something that's way more important."


[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Did you hear that Observer? North."

Shei comes back to Gadriel in conversation. "Can you focus on the image of the keycard? Project that image onto the crystal ball. I need to take a look."

If the key is made of plastic Shei finds a piece of plastic, if its made of metal he finds a piece of metal. Shei begins molding the material into a counterfeit keycard.
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;

[1d10+3] counterfeit keycard

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7


"I would still petition Rooster before contacting Holy Hours, the Choir members are hard at work finalizing the Tartarus expedition and I would not wish to skip the chain of command. Rooster can be… boisterous, but of any of the Spooks they would put any of your requests to memory in spite of all of the other concerns they are dealing with."


"Holy Hours sounds like the better choice, since we've spoken before. If you say Rooster is also a good choice, we can try him as well."
Pryce comments on the options available.

KP picks up Hopper, giving him a pat as well to not leave him out.
>"That's the spirit. We all gotta have faith in each other."
KP says optimistically.
>"And if you ever do get concerned about this situation, you should speak to him about it. He wouldn't even turn anypony away if they're worried."


She nods and gestures to her tongue. You get the feeling that it has something to do with her sacrificing her voice in exchange for power from Buiwong. Attempting to communicate in spite of her sacrifice must violate some kind of spirit of the rules, perhaps even the Oath-Words.

She looks down at her locket, and back at you. She goes from disbelief to the beginnings of fear, and even heartbreak. Reaching over, she ruffles your hair, and holds your gaze in hers.


"We'd better do it soon," Zjetya says. "Who knows how busy they're going to be today?"
Sugar gets a little jittery with anticipation, and so goes over to KP's room to see where Spitshine's at.

Spitshine nods, a bit of his confidence restored with a smile. "Thanks, KP. And you guys too," he adds, giving the pets a pet.
You hear a knock at the door, and Spitshine goes to answer it. Seeing that it's Sugar, he immediately straightens himself out and nods. "Sugar. What's up?"
"I'm finally going to get my hooves on some real firepower," she answers.
"Oh… great," Spitshine says. "Well, you couldn't pick better teachers, I guess."

As Observer continues to lead the way to the compound, Gadriel strains, drawing back the blurry image of the keycard into view, allowing you enough time to make a counterfeit. It probably won't hold up under scrutiny, but at least it will look convincing at a distance.

Eventually, after a turn toward the north, you see the compound awaiting at the end of a long and ruined street, with windows shattered and doors boarded up, and heaps of trash of every kind imaginable piling up in the roads and on the sidewalk. Observer casts a final glance at you, holding out his hoof for the card. "Try to look like you can carry some weight for this."


"tsk -goats are born and bred packmules. Not much to be proud of, but I will take pride in the least dammit." Shei hands over the keycard.

Shei-Sher puffs out his chest and straightens his back. Trying to create the impression of a sturdy back. Shei is regularly carrying lots of items with him regardless, his bag, staff, shield, lantern, etc. He should look the part of a packmule.

[1d10] for good impression

She saunters closer to Gadriel "Pst Gadds. Let me ask of you another thing. This is.. not too much is it? Parading as slaves? If you wish we may go on with the usual cavalier gusto, renegades of justice, so on -so forth."

Roll #1 1 = 1


Gadriel refuses to even look at you. His face is one of sheer contempt as he projects an image of strength.


Roll #1 4 = 4


Shei nods, proud of Gadriel's response.

[1d10+1] better impression =w=

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


Flaming's eyes well up with tears, looking into Vortigern's eyes as she mouths the words out. Her heart aches, wondering if this is what it means to take on the responsibility of a god: to take in the weight of everyone's hardships and make her their own to bear. It's heavier than she ever imagined, feeling the pain of what she's forcing Vortigern to go through.

She sniffles, reaching up to put her hoof on hers, rubbing it gently as she slowly pulls it down from her hair.
"Th-then…. then I won't make you choose." She takes in a deep breath.
"I-I'll choose for you. Vortigern, I don't think you're ready for Tartarus." Her voice cracks. "I don't think you're ready to… to deal with what might happen if you don't come out to see your foals again. I think your place-" she coughs, choking on some of the tears coming out. "I-I think your place might be up here, with them."


Vortigern stands, her eyes overflowing with a storming blend of sheer anger, and sadness. She grits her teeth, eyebrows furrowing and faltering as you stab into the fissure in her heart.

What. About. THEM!?


You get the distinct feeling that a number of the guards caught a glimpse of you slouching and looking subservient, getting a little too into your own role, before you try to make yourself look at least like a strong slave. Several of them glare with contempt and suspicion.

Wordlessly, Observer flashes the keycard to them. A couple signal to the guards behind them, who operate a control panel by the inner gate. The outer gate begins to slide open, when one of the more heavily armored guards, practically a slab of metal and muscle, raises a hand.

"I don't recognize you. How'd a newcomer get a keycard?"

Observer pauses to think for a moment. "Gang business, collecting parts. Nothing out of the ordinary, but obviously too difficult for some, so they finally hired someone competent.

[1d10+2] Intimidation

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Shei lets Observer handle this. He stands aside looking ready for use.


"I'll take care of them!" She cries out, gritting her teeth and trying to do as a god should do, and bear the burden. "I won't let a single one of them die. But I can't let you endanger yourself while you still have doubt - and don't tell me it's not there!"

She sniffs, "And, this doesn't mean we don't need your help, P-Pryce and River and everyone else staying up here are going to do all they can! But, if you go into Tartarus with us,"

She takes a deep breath, calming herself. "N-not only do you have to worry about what might happen if you never come to to see your kids, the very thought of your family might shift Tartarus itself. It could do more to endanger us if we're not all focused. I think you can protect us better," she sighs, "by being up here…"

"Unless- unless you think you can honestly tell me you won't think about your foals, even for a single moment, while we're down there saving it for their sake."

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Am I going to have to prove it?" Observer growls.
The head guard lingers for a while, studying the lot of you, particularly the two slaves doing a poor job of presenting strength to him.
"Next time hire someone who's at least worth keeping around," the head guard sneers. "Those two aren't going to last against what's in there."
Observer grunts. "That's why they're cheap."
The guards share a few crude laughs, and then let your group pass into the compound.

Vortigern freezes, and you can see doubt mix into her eyes. Her chin trembles ever so briefly. You can feel the fissure widening. In a way, it is like a wall breaking before you, and the impact of each word batters the wall more and more, slamming at the defenses Vortigern built up within her, all the stoic quietude and steely impassiveness she so carefully cultivated. Cracks spread throughout her heart.

I won't allow…
This is cruel.
I love… both…



Last time, on HolyQuest…

Shei, Observer, Gadriel, Hafaza, Chorazin and Mirror Image continued their undercover infiltration of the ruins of Accappella City, a once-mighty frontier of magitech integration and research, now reduced to a series of ghettoes and hovels, occupied by looting demons using mortal slave labor for their scavengine. Their cover was nearly blown by a botched attempt at offering several slaves their freedom, but they played it off, at the cost of Shei taking a severe beating. With that done, they followed their hooded hireling northwest through the city, until he reached a large, fenced compound. They followed by making a fake keycard and bluffing their way past the guards as new scavengers.

Cloak and Pryce discussed the situation with Pryce remaining behind, on the surface, while the others went into Tartarus. Cloak and the others were understanding, and resolved to spend their time pre-expedition as wisely as they could. Sugar shook down Pryce and Cloak to let her train in the art of wielding guns, and the adults agreed… though Pryce still confided in Cloak the fact that Sugar showed signs of volatility and an unhealthy fixation with fighting demons.

Flaming set her date with LJ on hold so that she could talk to Vortigern about staying behind. Once Vortigern caught on, she was quite upset, and was insistent on joining the expedition… but Flaming could still sense the secret fears that she harbored about the possibility of never seeing her children again. The conversation was near its tipping point.

As for Amy, she spent some time chasing her tail and playing with Fairy Castle, who was happy to play some more catch. It proved to be good practice for her Craft.


>Cloak, Pryce
"We'd better do it soon," Zjetya says. "Who knows how busy they're going to be today?"
Sugar gets a little jittery with anticipation, and so goes over to KP's room to see where Spitshine's at.


Spitshine nods, a bit of his confidence restored with a smile. "Thanks, KP. And you guys too," he adds, giving the pets a pet.
You hear a knock at the door, and Spitshine goes to answer it. Seeing that it's Sugar, he immediately straightens himself out and nods. "Sugar. What's up?"
"I'm finally going to get my hooves on some real firepower," she answers.
"Oh… great," Spitshine says. "Well, you couldn't pick better teachers, I guess."


Fairy Castle talked you into playing another few rounds of magical catch with her, in order to better test you and tease out the power of your Craft. It seems to have worked, as now that you've gotten a few tries at using it to steal properties from various spells, you feel it coming more naturally, just as your other spells and preternatural powers do.

The last of her games ended near the great lake dominating the center of the Library's top-level garden. As you catch your breath, your sensitive ears pick up on the faint sound of Flaming's voice growing louder. It seems to be coming from a nearby mossy copse of trees and bushes. You can't tell who she's talking to; in fact, you only hear Flaming's voice.


"Am I going to have to prove it?" Observer growls.
The head guard lingers for a while, studying the lot of you, particularly the two slaves doing a poor job of presenting strength to him.
"Next time hire someone who's at least worth keeping around," the head guard sneers. "Those two aren't going to last against what's in there."
Observer grunts. "That's why they're cheap."
The guards share a few crude laughs, and then let your group pass into the compound.

You make it past the outer and inner fences without incident. The compound before you appears to have once been some kind of factory of magitech, as there is a central production building in its center, surrounded by makeshift walls, constructed from heaps of old tires. On this side of the tire walls, there are two buildings before you that appear to be warehouses. They appear to extend beyond the tire wall. And, on the far side of the tire wall, you see what appears to have been a two-storied office building.


Vortigern freezes, and you can see doubt mix into her eyes. Her chin trembles ever so briefly. You can feel the fissure widening. In a way, it is like a wall breaking before you, and the impact of each word batters the wall more and more, slamming at the defenses Vortigern built up within her, all the stoic quietude and steely impassiveness she so carefully cultivated. Cracks spread throughout her heart.

I won't allow…
This is cruel.
I love… both…


"In truth, the two are never too far apart from each other. However, if the erm.. young ones, were to meet one or the other, I think Rooster would be much more content to treat them as peers, as opposed to Holy Hours make acting a tad more dismissive of the whole affair."


Indeed; from experience, you know that Rooster, despite his general disregard for firearms (even the Ecclesian models designed for hoof use, he finds unruly to use with his trunk, which he prefers to keep free as a whip), would show great admiration for Sugar's fire. Holy Hours would, as you predict, be much more of a wet blanket. That's his reputation in general, making him far less popular among newer recruits.
"What's Rooster like?" River asks.
"I hope you have some earplugs," Zjetya says.
"As a matter of fact, I have cotton balls among my medical supplies," River says. "Is he loud?"
Zjetya makes a big show of rubbing her chin, as if thinking it over. "Loud, huh? Why don't we ask the expert? Cloak, would you say he's loud?"



"We can leave now. I don't imagine it could take that long, could it?"

>"No problem!"

KP says with a smile. When Sugar walks in, KP turns as she announces her new gains.
>"Firepower? What'd you get your hooves on?"
He asks curiously.

"Would the kids really affect the decision that much? Hmm… Depending on which of them is available then, could you keep watch over the kids if we can only find Holy Hours while we speak with him?"


"I got Cloak to agree to teach me how to use a firearm," Sugar says.
"Yeah, nothing wrong with learning some self-defense," Spitshine says. "I mean, Flow was teaching me before how to fight with larger blades, just in case of emergency."
"You never know," Sugar counters. "Us stepping up in a battle could help save a life."

"Yeah," Zjetya says. "They should be gathered in Lilane. I heard from Rus Tea that our half of the Choir's entering their final meditations for the expedition – while the half who are staying aboveground are busy organizing their trips further south to check in on the forward bases. In any case, Rooster and the other Spooks should be nearby to serve as extra security while the Choir's out."


"I am only just able to replicate how loud his whisper is. His normal speaking voice, I couldn't emulate." Leather says flatly, though with a grin, "It is my patience alone that has made me one of his longest lasting Horrors. That being said, do not mistake loud for rude. He is genuine and caring. Even the smallest details about yourself he will commit to memory."

"It is more the manner of the issue just being relevant to a Choir member when it can be handled by a Spook just as easily. It is keeping the trivial out of the hooves of an individual who is currently being tasked with something far more important." He says, before adding, "No offense of course."


"None taken. As long as who we speak to can assure Ecclesia won't take Zjetya into Tartarus, it is fine."

>"A gun? Really?"
KP asks to make sure he heard right.
>"Yea, that is a good point. But you gotta be careful with firearm. You can't fight up close with those too well, and you gotta have super good aim too."

"Right then."
Pryce looks to River.
"Let's get a corridor prepared. Let's finish this while the others are still out on their own business. Might be good to pick up some of the supplies they use for that cleansing ritual as well."


"Oh dear," River says. "I hope that he won't scare the pets."
"Pucchini and Katcher should probably stay on the ship," Zjetya affirms. "Lockjaw will prooooooobably be okay, but with how big he is, that little devil of a jho will be tempted to challenge him, I bet. Heh, I figure Rooster won't turn him down."

"It should be fine. I'll practice as much as I possibly can, each day."
"We'll need to add gunpowder to our list of expenses, then," Spitshine says. "Sheesh, we'll need to get regular jobs at this rate. We've been on some spending sprees lately."

River nods, extending her hoof, and a dark corridor manifests before her. The very sight of it conjures very dismal memories in Cloak's mind, memories of that fateful night, eight months ago. It looks different than the last time he saw one; white strings of words circle around its entrance, and white lines swim up and down, forward and back through its walls, like criss-crossing spider webs. River casts an apologetic glance halfway toward him, but says nothing more.


"If you and Zjetya put forth a heartfelt reasoning for it, Rooster is most likely to accept. My approval will also help, considering our rapport."

Leather shows hesitance in trusting the corridor at first, wishing to watch the others enter before finally entering himself. He avoids making a glance back to River, out of respect.


"It might be better to leave the pets here then. After walking with us through the city all day they might want to rest anyways."

>"We could sart doing some shows as we travel around! That's how my family got by back when I traveled with them. We didn't charge for our shows though, just left it open if anypony wanted to toss a few bits in as thanks."

Pryce steps through the ship, looking for the kids while River forms her corridor.
"Oh good, you're all together."
He says, finding them all in the little pet room KP set up.
>"What's up?"
"We're heading to Lilane to check in with Ecclesia. And, it might be better to leave the pets here, from what I hear about who we're going to speak with."
>"Oh, really? Hopper, Lockjaw, you guys can settle into your new room by yourselves, right? And don't go throwing any parties while we're gone."
KP says with a chuckle.

Pryce and KP head back to the barracks, stepping through the portal with the others to Lilane.

"You guys were all understanding, so I'm sure he will too."


Leather nods affirmatively.


The pets are reluctant to stay behind, especially Lockjaw, who requires the most persuasion to remain behind. But when Spitshine tells him to guard the other pets, he changes his tune and curls up on the bed.

Cloak's body is fraught with the feeling of many tiny spiders crawling up and down his arms, legs and spine as he walks along through the dark, but no matter where he checks, there is never any to be seen.

Soon, a light manifests at the end of the corridor, depositing you all in Lilane. It is a beautiful village, built along the side of a grand, sloping hill or perhaps even a small mountain, terraced long ago by former occupants into three great layers, connected by a number of well-carved stone bridges, steps, ramps and walkways. At its base is an immense lake, fed by a waterfall flowing from the apex of the hill. Overlooking the northern end of the lake is a hot spring. To the west and south are forests, and to the northwest, the perpetual night sky of the Starchart Plains can be seen. It is surrounded by a series of towering walls with ramparts and towers, made mostly within the last few weeks with scrap metal and wooden stakes, as part of the Ecclesian occupation.


As soon as you exit the dark corridor, your skin feels as though it is set ablaze with an incredible aetherial thrilling, an electrifying sensation, and totally invisible. For Pryce and Cloak, the feeling is most reminiscent of the times when they have come face to face with their gods, but without the god taking on some kind of physical, comprehensible form to shield their awesome, absolute divinity. The source seems to be the longhouse, which is perched on the topmost terrace level, overlooking all of Lilane. Bipedal angels surround the house, perched on a number of guard towers.

Zjetya, River and the kids are frozen in a kind of speechless awe for a few moments as their bodies acclimate to the spiritual pressure emanating from the longhouse.


Flaming bites her lip. It is all she can do to keep herself from beginning to lose her composure, but she keeps her chin firm, looking at Vortigern's kind, steely eyes with all the will she can muster.

"I know you do. There isn't a single one of us going into Tartarus that thinks you love us any less if you stayed here. And, even… even if you hate me for saying this, I'll still love you too. But you have too much to risk losing compared to the rest of us! I'm… I'm sorry, Vortigern."

She sniffs. "But that's the reason why I think you should stay up here. To protect both your families."


Leather shudders at the combined feelings, pausing for a while before ready to continue. "Shall we?"


Pryce steps out of the corridor, and immediately tenses from the divine feeling washing over him, filled with worry of what is lying here in Lilane. His attention turns to the longhouse, eyeing it cautiously.
"What's going on here?"


KP mutters, stricken by the awe of the aura as they exit the portal.

Pryce nods.
"Lead the way."
As they go to find Rooster, Pryce keeps close to River, Zjetya, and the kids, watching over them.


[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10



Vortigern's eyes are downcast. A soft, cold wind begins to blow, and in between the shadows that darken her countenance, you see a frown, twisted in her attempts to remain composed. Tears run down past it, from eyes that have lost their light. But, in a strange turn, you see a smile begin to form in the corner of her mouth.

Stubborn, like mine, an unfamiliar, yet familiar motherly voice says. It comes from nowhere, yet a place quite close – the brushing of two hearts.

The wind begins to storm and tumult, and gathers before her, as she stretches out her hoof. In a display of light and thunder, nexuses of pure force erupt before her hoof, small explosions of steely, sun-colored light. Her great lance bursts into existence between you, and she twirls it once, before aiming it at you.

If you win…
I will stay.

Spitshine, Zjetya and Sugar manage to find their hoofing after a little while, worldessly following after you for a few paces, before they notice that they are missing one– River remains behind, her body tensed, her countenance one of not sheer terror, as mortals often adopt when faced with the divine, but simple, small shock. The others run to her aid, but she seems almost numb to their touch.

But it seems today that fortune wishes to be kind. After a little while, a massive shape looms above you, near the longhouse. It is a massive elephant, a species that only Cloak and Zjetya have ever seen before. His body, instead of an elephant's gray, is near-totally blood red with war paint. White lines are drawn across his trunk's wrinkles, and an icon of a sun-shaped eye casting godrays is painted, or perhaps tattooed, across his forehead and on each side of his haunches. Like the longhouse, he exudes a presence of his own, but his is calming and peaceful, like the stoic ardor that the faithful find when they are right with their gods.

The elephant, which Cloak recognizes as Rooster, steps forward to your group, each hoof-fall creating small rumblings below. As he gets near, River's body slowly relaxes. The elephant silently surveys each of you, and you can even feel his third eye scrutinizing you too. If you didn't know any better, you'd say the tattoos on his haunches turn their pupils your way as well…

After an interminable silence, he speaks.


His volume is enough to make the kids leap with shock. He puts Meister to shame.


Pryce turns back as River doesn't move.
"River? Are you alright?"
He asks with concern, putting a hoof on her shoulder. At the numb response, he steps to her side, putting a wing around her for comfort and protection, imagining this kind of feeling must be having a different effect on her given the side she fought with before. KP as well looks up with worry.

Pryce turns his head as the ground begins to shake, looking to the looming figure approaching. He isn't sure which is more shocking, the divine aura or this new being coming towards them. He looks up at the strange creature when it stops before them, nearly stepping back from the volume he greets them with.
"Hello," Pryce says, a little louder than his normal volume as a result of the loud greeting they received, "Are you with Ecclesia?"

>"Whoa, you're so big! And loud!"

KP says, loud as well with his ears likely ringing.
>"What are you?!"



Leather's trained patience around the elephant only causes him to blink against his will at the blast of a voice, nodding to Rooster with a smile.

"Rooster, might I introduce you to Sir Pryce,
one of my old traveling companion I'm sure you remember me telling stories about. Here with him are only a small number of followers they've enmassed on their journey."

He turns to the others, "Well, might I introduce you to the Spook Rooster, the Herald of Dawn."


Flaming keeps her eyes on Vortigern the entire time, even though her heart is torn watching her begin to cry. The last thing she wished to do was hurt any of her clan, but she was beginning to finally find herself steeled in her resolve to see this through, at the behest of the gods who advised her. They may have been right: Vortigern's heart IS torn between the home she left and the one she now has.

As Flaming hears the voice, her own downcast expression is lit up, looking around for the source of the voice briefly before her eyes return to Vortigern, summoning her great lance. As she aims it at her, Flaming allows a small gasp, but narrows her gaze, standing her ground and squaring her hooves as she meets the challenging pegasus.

"…Agreed. And if I lose, obviously I'm not strong enough to protect the others in your stead. But I won't lose. I will defeat you, Vortigern… I promise."

"Where should we do it? The garden, somewhere private?"


"I see we hired someone with expertise. Observer, how about we detour into one of the warehouses and inspect what goods there are to offer. If anyone asks what we are here for, simply tell them we are looking for the refrigeration device." Shei-Sher speaks at whisper volume, and then asks Gadriel. "Do you still see him? where has he gone?"


River blinks a few times, still standing, yet leaning noticeably against Pryce's side. Zjetya stands on her other side, helping to prop her up. Spitshine reaches for her bag. "Need me to get you anything?"
"No, no, I should be alright," River says. "The feeling is subsiding. Besides, I could not have entertained my old hopes if I were so swayed by a little divine presence."



"He's making his way through the eastern warehouse," Gadriel says. "He can fly, so the fact that he's hoofing it instead of going over the tire wall makes me think he knows where to go."
"Or he's avoiding something that would see him airborne," Observer says.
"Stay close," Hafaza says. "I, the mighty Hafaza, will protect you puny little punies in exchange for all your power."
"That is not a word," Observer says as he makes for the eastern warehouse.

>roll perception

Your choice, Vortigern says, holding up her conch. Finish your date.

She then spreads her wings, leaning her spear over her shoulder. With a wing blast that creates a small shockwave about her, she leaps into the sky, launching dozens of meters high with a single stroke. She casts one last look down at you, then turns and flies off over Threecoins.


"Then, the garden." She nods. "I will see you there at sundown. After I finish my date."

As she takes off in an impressive display, she puffs out her cheeks, tears starting to flow down them as she swiftly turns her head, the walls about ready to break. "Y-you better not get scared and run away before I get there, Vortigern!" She shouts at her, choking back a sob as she moves away from her to open up a Dark Corridor to return to the skyship where she left Journey. An awkward reunion awaits her.


Shei sticks close by and puts in an honest effort to look servile while doing it. But he also keeps an eye out.
[1d10+1] perception roll

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


Leather looks to rest of the party stifling a chuckle, "Please introduce yourselves, I promise Rooster won't forget a single one of you. Don't worry about his size, he won't bite. Though speaking of, you should see just how much greens Rooster can eat in one sitting. Truly his most intimidating feature."


"You're Rooster?"
Pryce says in surprise as Leather introduces the new face.
"My apologizes. I was expecting… something different from a name like that."
Pryce clears his throat, feeling this is a bad start.
"As Leather mentioned, I am Sir Pryce Etac, the Just."
He introduces himself, using the full title given back to him.
>"And I'm KP!"
KP chimes in. Pryce nods at the jokes.
"It was a fine offer, but we're still allies nonetheless. Anyways, I wanted to speak about Zjetya's role in Ecclesia."

>"An elephant? Cooool…"

KP says, eyes widening in excitement.
>"You come from a country of giants?! Is everything big there like you too? And why is your nose so long?"
He begin rattling off questions, like he usually does.



Amy's ears perk up when she hears Flaming. "What's she doing out here?" Amy asks herself out loud. She follows the sound of the voice.


Back on the airship, you find that all the others are gone. Katcher, Pucchini and Lockjaw are currently wandering about in the living room, with Katcher and Pucchini playing a game of tag across the couches and chairs, while Lockjaw chases them across the floor, resembling the little brother that a mother would make a big brother take along when the big brother wants to go hang out with his friends.

In the kitchen, you hear a soft weeping. On the counter, near some dirty dishes, you see four bright-pink smoothies with a sparkly glowing foam on the top. LJ is the one weeping, though it's clear that he's hamming it up. "I can't believe it… they left without me. What, am I not good enough to take along? I wanna hang out with the cool Ecclesians too."


As your group gets near to the eastern warehouse, Observer tenses, spreading his tentacles in a circle about you all. He ushers you rapidly toward the eastern warehouse's outer wall, just below a series of shattered windows. Through those windows, you see that the warehouse's interior is a scattered mess of broken conveyor belts, crushed forklifts, carts and pickers, and toppled racks where supplies might have been kept many years ago. Several dark purple bloodstains and rotted corpses of demons scatter the floors, and you clearly see the culprits.

Some of the forklifts and other machinery haven't been destroyed, and in fact, seem to have grown legs made of metal wiring and tubes, animated and twisted into long legs. Patches of fleshy pink skin have grown over these machines, binding them all together. They are inconsistent in their design; some have as many as five legs, while others have only one or two. The lights on their dashboards have begun facing outward, serving as eyes.

You see about three of the creatures in the first area of this warehouse. An intact catwalk hangs above, stretching over the warehouse. It looks like it's still within the biomechs' line of sight, but a ventilation shaft hangs above the catwalk.

"I'm Zjetya, sir. Division: Laity. Rank: Evangelist."
"And I am River Spring, unaffiliated with Ecclesia," River says.
"Name's Spitshine."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Sugar."
Rooster nods to each of you in turn. As Cloak brags about how many greens Rooster eats, he scoffs with mock offense. "YOU KNOW I'M SENSITIVE ABOUT THAT! I CANNOT LET THIS INSUBORDINATION SLIDE."

Rooster twirls his trunk, and a few orbs of light manifest above it. A funny looking hat, resembling a rooster's crest, appears. He hands it to Cloak. "WEAR THIS."

The others just gawk as Rooster turns back to Pryce. He makes another funny hat and puts it on his own head. "ANYWAY, 'TIS GOOD TO MEET YOU ALL. GO ON, SIR PRYCE. WHAT IS THIS BUSINESS?"



refer to the first post in >>732716


"Of course, Rooster." Cloak says, placing the silly looking hat on his head as if it were a common occurrence. "Simply listing your greatest accomplishments."



Amy trots through the woods and finds Flaming. "Whatchya doin?"


>Takes place before heading through the dark corridor
Flaming picks her head up, quickly wiping her weeping eyes and runny nose as she hears Amy's voice and notices her coming towards her. She quickly turns her head to avoid her seeing her red eyes, shouting,

"A-Amy! What are you doing up here?!" She says with her head still turned, trying to dry her eyes quickly before allowing Amy to see her crying.


Zjetya snorts. "If Dagger owns a picture-box, I'd wager that she has lots of pictures of you with hats like that on."


"I-I was just having a talk with Vortigern. It's… it's nothing you need to worry about right now, it's all under control."


Leather only grins, knowing the trap Zjetya has unwillingly walked into, "You think them stylish, Zjetya? Rooster's very generous with them, if you feel left out." Cloak says, looking to the elephant.


"I HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GO AROUND, YES," Rooster says, conjuring another hat.
"I mean, it looks so dashing on you, but it doesn't really go with my beige," Zjetya tries to dismiss.
Zjetya looks down at her newly-transformed phoenix-like colors. "Oh yeah…"
Rooster gently puts another hat on Zjetya, and she narrows her eyes with embarrassment.
Sugar and Spitshine chuckle at her plight, but this only results in them getting hats too. They don't seem to mind.



"Are you suuuuure?" Amy says, eyeing Flaming suspiciously.


"I do say, quite dashing on you as well." Leather smirks, "Rooster is an elephant of most infinite jests, his birthday parties are a sight to behold too."


Flaming's breath stutters, and she struggles to hold her composure together.
"Yes…. I'm…."
She chokes, turning her misty eyes towards Amy.
"…not sure. I'm not sure Amy, I don't know if I made a mistake or not!"



"What happened!?" Amy asks with sisterly concern.


"No offense, but how do you get around the kids crying from the volume?" Spitshine asks.
"It is a secret little known, but even I can whisper," Rooster says at what would be a normal speaking volume for a member of a smaller race.
"Wh-what!?" Sugar gasps.


Pryce stares from Rooster to Leather as the hat is summoned and then worn, not expecting this from a high ranking soldier. KP laughs as Leather puts on the hat, finding the sight humorous.

Pryce gets back to business, trying to not be distracted as Rooster dons his own silly hat.
"…It has to do with Tartarus.
Pryce says with a slight hesitation, realizing he is informing essentially Ecclesia as a whole of his intent to stay behind, knowing word will spread from here.
"Zjetya, River, and I have entered into a union, and we are remaining on the surface. I cannot expose them to the dangers of Tartarus, and I can't leave them behind alone up here, or leave the kids behind either. I was informed that the higher ranks can request to have lower members of Ecclesia join them for missions, so I wish to have Zjetya removed from that possibility, and not taken from us."


Flaming lowers her head, partially in shame, as she recounts her actions. Deciding to keep it short and simple, she gives one last sniff, and slowly explains,

"I… I don't think Vortigern should come into Tartarus with us. I was trying to convince her… not to go." She wipes her eyes. "Telling her, more like…"


>"Useful how?"
KP asks inquisitively.



Amy cocks her head in confusion. "This doesn't sound THAT bad…"

"But, why don't you think she should go?"


Flaming takes a moment to consider whether she should share her dream or not with Amy, since she refused to do so with Vortigern, but her bond with Amy compells her to not try and keep this from her.

"Last night, I had a dream. A vision, from our god Vir-can. Along with Buiwong. They told me that Vortigern's heart was torn, divided between wanting to come in with us to protect us, and to stay behind to protect her foals."

"I promised them I would look into it and… I think they're right. I don't know if Vortigern knows if she wants to come into Tartarus or not with us. Not that I blame her! I mean, if she does die in there, her foals… I don't know what we'd tell them. Not to mention that her attention divided could make Tartarus all the more perilous given how it works."


Rooster's trunk reaches down and pokes KP in the ribs, tickling him immensely.

Zjetya winces, but steels herself. "I won't hide what we are, and I won't lie. But I won't be brazen about it either – I know what the climate is about love and marriage around here."
Zjetya gulps, saluting Rooster. "I am in your debt, sir. We'll take care of any missions I'm assigned while I'm up here."



"She has kids!?" Amy sounds surprised. "Well then, yeah! It shouldn't even be hard. I get that she is scared for us, but she should have faith in us. She needs to be there for her kids!"


KP laughs as the elephant's trunk tickles him.
>"Wow, that really is useful!"

"I don't intended to flaunt it about, but I need to be open given the circumstance of my request."
Pryce says in defense of them, and of Zjetya when Rooster mentions her by name for it. He listens as Rooster speaks of their family, and of his decision. With the blessing given, Pryce bows his head.
"Thank you, Rooster. As long as we stay together, we will be devoted to helping the effort to defend our world."


"There are only three.. but there could be more." Shei-Sher takes out pupil and appraises one of the Biomechs.

[1d10+1] appraise

"We should maybe bring in reinforcements, but the guards were already suspicious of us before. They could think we were responsible for this mess. I will leave that decision up to you to decide that Observer, Hafaza."

In the meanwhile I will be projecting my spirit. "Gadriel and Chorazin. If you would please, watch over my body. And shake me to awaken if the a'cursed machines draw near."

>astral projection

[1d10+1] leaving body

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11


Flaming throws herself into Amy's shoulders, wrapping her hooves around her, "Thank yoouuu! I-I'm glad someone else thinks so too! I was really afraid I didn't know what I was doing!" She sniffs, rubbing her muzzle into Amy's soft wolf-like fur.

"Sh-she has three. She showed me pictures, they're really cute. I can understand why she misses them so much, and… and that's why I think Vir-can and Buiwong may have been right. She is torn, though, she can't bring herself to abandon us either.



Leather smiles, glad to see that the situation has been resolved, he looks to Sugar.

"Likewise, this one wishes to learn rifling as to better protect herself against the forces of evil, though I only have but one night to begin training. Do you think you can put in word to Anzu to hone the mare's abilities? She shows conviction and a willingness to learn." He looks to Sugar with a nod, encouraging her to speak up herself.



"Where is she?" Amy says, sounding more determined now. "I want to talk to her."


Flaming looks around, pointing off in the direction she last saw her fly off in. "Somewhere in that direction, she went for a flight over the city after we talked. I don't know if you'll be able to catch up to her when she's flying around. I know where she will be at sundown though."

She takes in a deep breath. "We agreed to a duel in the garden. If I win, she stays up here. If she wins, it means I won't be strong enough to protect you all myself and she will come with us."


Rooster's attention is on Pryce, but he takes time to muss up KP's mane with his trunk to further prove its use.

"Yes sir, I'll help direct Pryce in that," Zjetya says. "But we've still got a lot on our plate for today."
"I want to offer my thanks as well," Sugar says. "With most of our party down there, we'll need everyone we can get up here."
"Y-yeah, same here," Spitshine says.
"I as well," River says.
The mares laugh, and Spitshine suppresses his annoyance.


He steps aside, reaching into Cloak's saddlebag with his trunk, and withdraws his caller conch. He spends a few moments talking into it, then walks back to you. "SHE SAID SHE WAS BUSY, AND THAT SHE'D BE A LITTLE LAT–"

Your senses suddenly flare up with a sense of incoming danger, though by the time that the sensation registers in your rational minds, it is too late. Appearing before you in a blur, with only the traces of torn grass behind her to suggest her direction of approach, is a very tall and thin mare, green in color, with a ghille mane that wraps around her head like a hijab. She wears an Ecclesian jacket and round glasses, has two pistols upon her belt, and a white septagram badge on her lapel. Upon inspection, you realize that she is not a pony, but of the Yagi race, a rare cousin to ponies.

Rooster trumpets with shock. "ANZU! I THOUGHT YOU SAID LATE!"

"I am late," she says with a silken, accented voice. "My apologies. I was out practicing my flash stepping with Sir Freischutz. She approved without much fanfare when she heard that another mare wanted to learn the art of gunplay. Who am I teaching?"

Sugar hides a little behind Cloak's leg, suddenly looking shy.

>50/50 HP
>Weak: Lightning, Water
>Resist: Phys
>Null: Mind
>Various machine lifeforms spawned from the adaptation of demon parasites to machine hosts. The demon parasites latched onto the aetherios circuitry present in their magitech engines, which allowed them to jury-rig a fusion despite the lack of biological components in the machines that these once were. Not very intelligent, but methodical and perceptive.
You project from your body, seeing the others stop to grab you and hand you over to Chorazin.



"A duel shouldn't even need to happen," Amy says, getting annoyed. "Come on."

She pulls out her broom and gets on it. She pats the back for Flaming to get on as well. "We'll catch up in no time."

[1d10] for catching up

Roll #1 1 = 1


Quotations start here
"In the meanwhile I will be projecting my spirit. Gadriel and Chorazin. If you would please, watch over my body. And shake me to awaken if the a'cursed machines draw near."


You hop a couple times, but the broom doesn't seem to want to start. Brooms are fundamentally big sticks, in the end. Whereas some devices need to be hit in order to jump-start them, perhaps this needs to be fetched a couple times. Or maybe that's just the past few rounds of Fairy Castle's training talking.


As you pull out the broom, Flaming looks at it and gasps. "Oh right, the broom! Almost forgot we had this, okay maybe we 'can' catch up to her."

She gets on, but looks to Amy with a concerned look. "Amy, wait, we already agreed to this! I accepted her terms and vice-versa, m-maybe we should just keep this between me and her. I'm the one who brought it up."


Shei-Sher hovers over the machines and tries to get a good aerial view of the warehouse to see if there are more of these machines.

Shei then hovers upward into the ventilation to see if the Pony they hired is among the structure.


"My apologies, I was out practicing my flash stepping with Fox and Lion. They were more than willing to take a break when they heard that another wished to earn the art of gunplay. Who am I teaching?"



"I have something to say, and I'm going to say it," Amy insists angrily.


Then, Amy groans when the broom won't go. "I might have to go by myself," she says apprehensively before giving the broom one more try with both of them on it.

[1d10] to flyyyy!

Roll #1 8 = 8


Flaming sighs. "I… I guess you have a right to say it."

She then frowns. "Was I wrong to confront her on my own with this? I thought it was my responsibility alone since it was my dream, but…"



"There was no reason to think that you would need more people or that you would need less. So, you just went ahead and did it. Why would there be anything wrong with that?"


Leather gives a bow to the riflemare, "Thank you for the appearance, Lady Anzu. This is Sugar-" Cloak lifts his leg gently to reveal the mare, "-One of the companions of the Saviors. I had intended to teach her the basics before I had made the request, but considering how soon the Tartarus expedition is, I only have one night to teach her basic breath control and handling at most. But what I've seen, she's a smart and respectful mare, and she absorbs information like a sponge to water."

He gives a small nudge to Sugar, "Most importantly, she's expressed an interest in learning to defend herself. Sir Pryce, her guardian, has apparently denied prior requests as not to put her in danger. I have thus suggest she protege under a proper firearm user, to teach her a valuable skill to protect herself and those she cares about."


"Because we're a clan. A clan has a chieftain calling the shots, but he usually knows what his followers want before he does. I didn't know how everyone might feel about making Vortigern stay, but I went and did it anyway because that's…"

She huffs. "That's what a god does. They take on everything."



Amy smiles. "I'm glad to hear that."


She flops her ears down. "That's one of us, at least. It's hard… I felt like I was gonna crack like a stone when I was breaking the news to Vortigern. And gods are supposed to take on even MORE than that, they take on literally EVERYTHING. I don't know if I'm cut out for it."


KP chuckles as his mane is tussled.

"Yes, we do have quite a bit to do today still, but I will look into this Vermillion Corps."
Pryce says in agreement. When Rooster then comments on Zjetya and River bickering over him, he get's a bit flustered, relieved when the topic shifts to Sugars training.
"If we need to come back, that's n—"
He starts after Rooster says Anzu will be late, stopping at the immediate sense of danger. He barely has time to even shift his stance before she appears before them.
>"Wow, she's fast!"
KP exclaims, looking up at Anzu.

"Sugar," Pryce answers to the question, gesturing to her, "We've decided, from Leather's good word, that if she needs a weapon to defend herself, a firearm would be the best to keep her from direct conflict."



"Well, have you decided what you would be god of yet?"


Leaving LJ alone aboard the ship with no companions except for the pets, Amy and Flaming take to the skies, with the broom sputtering to life like a vehicle struggling to start on a cold morning. You fly out southwest, which is the direction that Flaming saw Vortigern fly off. It was a little while ago since Vortigern left, and she is quite the swift and powerful flier. It's not clear where she might have gone, so you'll need to keep a sharp eye out.

>roll perception

You see that, past a blockage on the ground level made out of some collapsed scaffolding, that three more of the Biomechs lurk around; square grids of light project from the lights of their "eyes," examining various objects. Tentacle-like feelers leak out of the slots that serve as their mouths, picking off any good components from various old devices and demon corpses.

You hear a sharp bang from up ahead, and look up to see that, on the far end of the warehouse, two more Biomechs have been caught off-guard by what looks to have been some kind of flashbang. From the nearby shadows, two crossbow bolts, crackling with blue electricity, land in the mechs' sides, stunning them. The pony you hired leisurely steps out of the shadows, crossbow slung on his shoulder as he makes his way to a door on the warehouse's far wall. He flicks a switch on a device worn on his hip, and fades from view, becoming invisible. The far door opens, and then shuts.

Anzu tut-tut-tuts after hearing the story. However, it seems to be more of a verbal tic than a sound of disapproval. "You are a sinister pony, Sir Cloak, bringing me a promising protege a day before I must be separated from her. Lessons like this must not be rushed."
"I will learn whatever you consider appropriate to teach me," Sugar says. "Even if I don't get to hold or fire a gun at all."
Anzu laughs, making a shh-shh-shh sound like sand rolling down a hill. "You have the right attitude so far. Come, I would be happy to do this. I have several older models that would be suitable for your size – though don't think you're even going to see a live round anytime today."
She looks up at you lot. "If you do not mind, I can take her back to where I am training with Lion and Fox. I understand that you will be busy today, so if you want, I will watch over her, and can call when we are finished, and arrange for her to be brought back to you."
Sugar's shyness has melted away, slowly turning into enthusiasm. For good measure, she hits you with the puppy dog eyes.


Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4



Amy looks and listens with her wolf ears for the flapping of wings. [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


She shakes her head. "I have no idea. I guess I could be god of the buffalo to… well, to sort of take over for Vir-can since he doesn't seem to be coming back anytime soon but I don't know, it seems kind of wrong."

As they fly above the city, keeping a sharp eye out for Vortigern, Flaming takes a glance towards the air-ship, her eyes opening wide.
"Journey… he's still waiting for me."

"Amy, if we can't find her soon, could you drop me back at the airship? I need to finish my date with Journey, I don't want him to think I bailed on him or anything!"

[1d10] PErception

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Alas, I have had so few time to meet the Saviors again, let alone learn every one's aspirations. I thank you for your assistance in the matter, I know my wife and I will be training our children when they come of age to learn our trade. Combat is difficult to avoid in this day and age, but that does not mean we can't teach the next generation to choose their battles." Leather bows again. He looks expectantly towards Pryce, hoping to see his agreeance with Anzu's plan.



Pryce looks down at Sugar's puppy dog eyes, then to Anzu.
"If we only have a day, then it'll be best for her to have as much time as she can to learn from an expert."
Pryce says, agreeing to leave her in Anzu's care.
"Before that, what is going on at the longhouse? I want to be sure she'll be safe and not be caught in or be at risk from anypony else's preparations, and there is a presence there that reached us right when we arrived."


[1d10] one more roll

Roll #1 1 = 1



"Yeah, no reason to step on another god's hooves. Besides, is that what you want? What are you proud of? What do you want to see other people acting like? I feel like that's what you should be a god of. Like Crowley being a god of partying. But… do it better."


Amy laughs impishly. "So, how's the date going?"

[1d10] perception

Roll #1 1 = 1


Flaming puts her hoof to her chin, thinking on that. "Huh… I didn't think of it that way before. What am I proud of? What do I want to see others acting like…"

She thinks on the question, straining her noggin as she mulls that over. "Well, I'm proud of my clan. And, I like to see others fighting for what they believe in."

"It's going great!" She says, her attitude turning to a more chipper tune. "Journey's really fun, after we captured the vampire in Regina's board game, we went for a race around the garden and we WON! Then he showed me where some mushrooms were and he was gonna make them into some kind of drink I still haven't tried yet-" She goes off all at once, listing the events back to back with no break in her excitement.


"The six members of the Choir who will accompany us are currently gaining the power of the Benedictions – holy words of making and unmaking," Anzu says. "The meditations involved are extremely complex and potent, as you can feel. As such, they must not be disturbed. But if you are concerned, then I can assure you that they are not at risk of harming others with their power, so long as those others keep a safe distance."

"I wanna come too," Spitshine blurts out. Anzu studies him, and you can see, between the folds of her jacket, the glinting of an amulet, resembling the evil eye.

>roll occult knowledge (optional)

"You are welcome as well," Anzu says. "Though I will expect both of you to behave in accordance with strict safety rules. One violation and you are done for the day."
"I can attest for the quality of their character," River says.
"Then I have high hopes. Come, we are out in the fields yonder," Anzu says.
Spitshine and Sugar wave farewell as they accompany her.



Amy smiles and listens to the date details excitedly. "I'm glad he's good to you. Now, I don't have to hurt him," she laughs.


[1d10] Occult Knowledge (Ecclesian Training)

Leather raises his eye at Spitshine, but makes no comment. However he looks to Sugar sternly, mouthing Your Welcome before winking.

Roll #1 8 = 8


You are distracted by the sight and smells of witches having a barbecue down by the river that runs through Threecoins, dividing it in two. It looks like mostly an older crowd of witches, as well as some gray-haired Ecclesians, who are grilling up a collection of fish magical, mundane and demonic.

>roll perception again

The trail is going cold… but you both realize something. Perhaps, if you lose the trail entirely, it might do to contact the Dragon or Tantra. Maybe one of them would have insights on where Vortigern might go when she is upset.


"Yeah, he's really great. I think…" she blushes, chuckling. "I think I might actually kinda like him like-"
"You would have hurt him if we had a bad date?!"

As the trail starts to go cold, Flaming's nostrils are torn off the hunt for the pegasus by the smell of roasted barbeque veggies down below, sniffing the air greedily, "Hmmmmm, maybe should tell Journey about tha-"

She shakes her head, "Aggh, lost focus! I don't see her though, Amy… maybe she went off to be alone? I saw Tantra back on the roof of the Library though, maybe he'd know where she might go."


"That was the Choir? I can hardly believe it…"
Pryce mutters. He then looks down as Spitshine suddenly chimes in to go as well, nodding in agreement as he's likely concerned for her.
"Watch over them well, and thank you."
Pryce says to Anzu. He eyes set to the amulet in Anzu's jacket in the momentary glint, curious to the design.
>Occult Knowledge [1d10]

Pryce waves to the children as the depart.
"Stay safe you two."
>"Have fun!"
KP adds in, waving them farewell too.

Roll #1 7 = 7


Anzu's amulet of the evil eye is a peculiar artifact, a tradition hailing from the Country of Red Thunder. The Yagi are from what is called a 'hidden country', a mythical land that none but the Yagi have seen, and that none but the Yagi know how to get two, but tradition holds that it is located near Red Thunder, as a result of several purported cultural similarities. In any case, the 'evil eye' is the idea that a look made in malice and anger can inflict misfortune or even death. If the one giving the evil eye is a powerful sorcerer or demon, several curses that make the victim wish they were dead can be inflicted instead.

As for the amulet… some assert that trinkets like that amulet repel the power of the evil eye, inflicting it back on the caster. But, those more orthodox and superstitious in mindset say that the amulet instead holds the power of the evil eye, allowing the wearer to inflict stronger curses, and with little chance of magical backlash.

In any case, it is quite the dangerous relic.

Spitshine and Sugar thank the both of you again, before trotting off with Anzu.



Shei-Sher returns to his body and blinks awake beside everyone.

"There's too many, that pony is very experienced. He disabled a few of those things with some kind of electric arrow and then move further beyond the warehouse through a secured door. If need be we can track him with Gadriel's divination. But lets consider that lead lost for now -at least we are aware of his affiliations."

Shei-Sher stands up and brings up stuff to consider. "I don't want to count on this man to finish our mission for us. We'll consider him a back up plan, an ominous one at that. I think our next order of business should be finding someone here who can commission us for work. Someone clerical or with obvious authority, that way can be authorized to traverse the other parts of the junkyards."



"Yeah!" Amy says as if that's obvious. "That's what big sisters do!"


"Hold on…" Amy says impatiently. "I can find her…"

[1d10] to sniff her out!

Roll #1 2 = 2



Amy groans in annoyance. "Okay fine, let's go talk to Tantra."


That fish smells seriously tantalizing. They're spraying it with fresh lemon and lime, a little cilantro, and what smells like some kind of alcohol, all sizzling on the grill…


Pryce is a little concerned over the artifact, but he trusts Anzu is one that wouldn't inflict ill will or harm onto children.

"That is all. Thank you again Rooster, for helping us."
He says, turning to the elephant.



It takes all of Amy's willpower to not sidetrack to the food and instead find Tantra.


Forgot to roll perception

"Huh… I wonder if that's why all the others were watching our date so carefully. If Journey had made a bad move, would Vortigern, Tantra, and Rus-Tea all jump him and make him pay?"
"Pony dating rituals are INTENSE."

"Oh! I actually remembered, my conch can reach him! Lemme see if I can spot Vortigern from here then, I'll give him a call…"

Roll #1 8 = 8


Hang on… who's that pegasus mare down there, the one who just caught a particularly fat trout for the witches' grill?


Flaming's eyes open wide, putting down the conch as she pulls Amy's head aside, "Wait, never mind! I found her, see?! She's fishing!"


"Gods Rooster, I've known them for practically a day, I doubt a trip to Tartarus would be a suitable field trip. Till we fight alongside each other again, Rooster." Leather nods, shaking his head to wiggle his hat's rooster feathers.



"Good job!" Amy calls out as she dives down to where Flaming points.


disregard post.

Shei-Sher returns to his body and blinks awake beside everyone.

Shei-Sher stands up "That pony disabled a few of those things with some kind of electric arrow and then moved further beyond the warehouse through a secured door. Those things don't seem very intelligent either. I'm going to open a corridor to a river and freeze the ground beneath them. If they lose their balance we could likely run past them all to the door on the other side."

Shei-Sher braces on the the broken window, viewing the inside of the warehouse. He focuses on opening a dark corridor at the ceiling of the warehouse. The dark corridor exits to a river by Fantasia

[1d10+1] dark corridor leading to a river

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


Rooster nods, waving farewell with his trunk, then walks off, causing small earthquakes with every step as he gets back to his patrols.
Zjetya sighs with relief. "So, it's really confirmed. I'll get to stay up here."
"Indeed, but that won't give us any time to take it easy," River says. "We'll have much to get done for our part."
"Yeah. So, what's next on the agenda, gents? Cloak, you got anything to take care of? Conch calls, training?" Zjetya asks.
"We must get him to those artifacts we've recovered," River says. "The Auger Grail, the Moon and Sun Diskos. They hold power that I do not believe he has met yet."

You fly down to the large barbecue. Just under a couple dozen attendees are present, and more are en route. They're mostly of the older generation on both sides, and it looks like the beginnings of an informal union between Ecclesia and the wayward Coven of Wacachan. Among one of the fishers making catches for the barbecue, you see Vortigern, armed with a rod, a tackle box, and a few nets. When she sees you approach, she nods stiffly, and makes for the water again.

Water begins to trickle in from above, transmitted from one of the many rivers near Fantasia and the surrounding region, but it looks like you may have miscalculated on where the river's entrance should be, as the flow is low. The Biomechs' lights turn red, and they begin scanning and seeping the room for the cause.


Meanwhile, your allies lay low so as not to disturb your scheme. Hafaza jitters with boredom, poking at Observer with her tentacles. He keeps a stoic look, but pokes her back with his.

[2d10] poking fight

Roll #1 4, 4, 6 = 14 / Roll #2 8, 3 = 11


Shei-Sher focuses on mentally adjusting the position of the corridors exit.


Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11



"Hey, Vorti!" Amy calls out to her. "Can we talk?"


"Artifacts…" Leather gives a side glance, "I know the tainting abilities of some such artifacts. I'd want to be able to stand near my children. Would this pose a threat to that desire?"


As Vortigern greets their arrival with a stiff nod, Flaming keeps her chin held high, not wanting to lose any semblance of authority she might have gained in standing up to her earlier about what she thought she should do. She follows closely behind, allowing Amy to be the one to call out that she wishes to talk.


With a great surge, water starts to flood the warehouse, causing two of the Biomechs to scatter, making their way for higher ground as the water reaches their legs.


However… one of them, passing by the window, turns just as one of Hafaza's tentacles rises up a little above the window's line of sight, due to being swatted away by Observer. It peeks its upper half out, and its lights start to glow bright red…


Observer, Hafaza, Gadriel and Chorazin scatter, while Mirror Image immediately stances up. Her metal arm starts to morph in real time, going from a hand shape to a blocky, sledgehammer shape.


Roll #1 4, 7 + 1 = 12 / Roll #2 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #3 10 + 3 = 13


Shei-Sher scrambles over to the Warehouse entrance. He raises his weather staff and wills the water on the ground to freeze.

>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;


Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Pryce waves farewell to Rooster as he leaves, looking to Leather after.
"He's quite the eccentric fellow. I can't imagine this is what you've been doing all this time."
Pryce says, looking to the rooster hat.

"And most importantly, stay with us too."
Pryce adds to Zjetya's sentiment.
"But… Why did he say 'goes double' to you when mentioning to not speak of our relationship wildly around Ecclesians?"

Pryce looks to River.
"Sun Diskos? We only have a Moon Disc, from King Lininas."
>"Wait, you got the Moon? We picked up the Sun Disc when we checked out that cool temple the other day! This is perfect, we got them both!"
KP chimes in, hopping up in excitement.
"Both? What do you mean?"


Vortigern turns and narrows her eyes, holding up a hoof to her lips for silence. Scaring fish, she mouths.

A machinegun spray of beams and electrical surges shoot from the biomech's laser ports, severely burning you before Mirror Image is able to wind up her punch. Metal, circuitry and flesh crunch into a gooey paste as the biomech is knocked into the small flood filling the warehouse.

>Shei loses 5 Hits and 1 wound

With that, you freeze everything in that local area. The one that Mirror KO'd and the one that failed to climb the debris heap in time are frozen solid, while the one that stumbled up the hill of broken garbage seems to have fallen forward onto it. It is partly frozen, and its circuit-board head twitches impotently.

Zjetya shrugs, grinning slyly. "I've got a lot to brag about, and I have a reputation for being a bit of a braggart."

"No," River says. "I've checked the members of our party on and off for the duration that we've been together. Even after invoking the most questionable of these – the Auger Grail – we show no significant differences in our bodily and spiritual makeup. Some of us have obtained these powers through close scrapes with demons or angels, and even they seem to be doing alright. The only one who may be in danger is Flow, who recently underwent magatsuhi overexposure as a result of going too long without purifying himself of demonic essence. So long as you don't make the same mistake, you should be fine."
"I think the artifacts should be on the airship. That or Flaming has 'em, I think," Zjetya says.


"Oh. I thought there was some drama that might've happened before. Bragging doesn't seem so bad."

"Let's head back to the ship then and check for them.They should be in there, and if not Flaming should be back from her talk by now."
Pryce says, ready to return to the ship.

"None of the artifacts we've picked up have done any harm. They've even been protecting us in some cases. The only warning is that the Moon Disc can be troubling in what it'll show you."
>"Hey, that's just like the Sun Disc? Wineberry said that you need to use them both together, cause otherwise they'll only show you really really bad things, or impossibly good things."
"…Are you sure?"
>"Yea, that's what she said! I saw with the Sun Disc so I know she was telling the truth!"
"If that's true then, that would explain the vision the Moon Disc gave me with more clarity."


"On the contrary, Ecclesian troops practice repeated and constant cleansing when there's even rumor of taint in an area. Between my training and my… stake in the matter, I will practice extreme caution."


Shei-Sher reacts violently as a surge of electricity courses through him. He quickly regains his poise and starts running for the other end of the warehouse.

Shei closes the dark corridor and shouts.
"Now is the time! Lets go!" Shei leads everyone to the other end of the warehouse. Sprinting past the disabled biomechs.

[1d10] sprint roll if required

Gadriel's winged plumes glow palor and a bulb of ambrosia leaves it and splashes onto Shei
>Heal: recharge 1, spell, ranged; restores target’s hits to full and restores one wound, or removes all status effects. Crit restores 2 wounds, crit fail deals a wound of damage to the target.

[1d10+1] Heal Shei

Whatever amount of Biomechs are on the other side of the warehouse, Shei-Sher steals the time around them.

>Spell Bleed

>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3(minus 1); Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10 / Roll #3 10 = 10


Flaming approaches slowly, looking at Vortigern as she gives them the signal to be quiet. Flaming nods her head in contemplation, looking at the water as she tries to spot the fish on her own.

She quietly looks back at Vortigern, not sure what to say after such an emotional confrontation earlier. She decides to open with a casual (quiet), "Are they biting?"


Last time, on HolyQuest…

LJ remained behind on the ship, all alone, while the others took care of various last-day tasks. He made several shrmoothies using the blushrooms he and Flaming picked, but he had nobody to share them with. His only companions were the four pets that remained behind on the ship: Katcher and Pucchini, who were busy with a game of tag in the living room, and Hopper and Lockjaw, who were busy settling into their new rooms.


Your one earthly possession is the fluffy new bed that KP picked out for you, so settling into the airship was an easy enough affair. You see that Hopper is currently sitting on his log, drying off after his dip with a rare contented frown. Meanwhile, you hear LJ working away in the kitchen, occasionally grumbling out a discontented sigh and a few words to himself about how long Flaming's taking.


With the bed all set and properly settled for sleep after a few circles of steps, Lockjaw steps off it with curiosity at the repeated sad sounds. He was certain all the ponies left, so what could be making it? He stomps off towards the grumbles to investigate.


You clamber across the cool metal floors, your claws making little scraping sounds as you trot off toward the kitchen. There, coming up underneath the main table, you see LJ sitting in one of the chairs, by himself. He seems to have finished washing the dishes, and there are four tall glasses full of a fluffy pink smoothie sitting on the table before him. He doesn't notice you at all, instead staring blankly at the far wall with a bored and impatient expression.


Lockjaw prowls up under the table, sniffing at the air as the aroma of the smoothie reaches his nostrils. He turns his head up at LJ, seeing the buffalo just staring at the wall. He paws at the ground, and rushes forward to headbutt the buffalo's leg.
>Headbutt [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


With a near-comical BONK sound, you miscalculate just how much force you would need to knock some energy into him, and instead bounce right off a leg of the chair on which he sits. As you reel from the impact, he looks down at you with a frown, and reaches down to inspect your head. There's no damage, naturally, as you are the mightiest of all living things, and know it. "So you got left behind, too? Jeez, they're gonna forget about all of us, huh little guy?" he asks grimly.


Lockjaw bumps against LJ's hoof when he reaches down to check on him, not in a dismissive way but to challenge him. He snaps his jaws at the grim tone, the buffalo clearly growing soft.


LJ grunts, retracting his hoof. "Seriously? It's a good thing you're not any larger. KP needs to get you trained already. Go on, go play somewhere, alright?"

He leans back in his chair, folding his arms with a huff.


Lockjaw snorts at his refusal, giving LJ another headbutt in the leg to get this buffalo to stop moping.
>Headbutt [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


LJ hops off his seat, and shakes off your next attack. "Maybe they need to go poop or something. C'mon!"

He whistles, getting the attention of Katcher and Pucchini, as he heads for the airship's central doorway. "Everyone outside. C'mon, I don't want to find any more sketchy stains on the furniture after what the voidlings did!"

Katcher and Pucchini go after him toward the exit. Your attempts to get through to him have failed. Hopper peeks out of the pet's room, looking happy to get some peace and quiet around here. Perhaps, however, he might be able to think of something to get the buff's attention. He seems pretty smart; after all, that coint rick looks like it takes a lot of brains.


Lockjaw turns, head following LJ as he walks out towards the exit. He goes back towards to pet room, spotting Hopper peeking out. He roar's to get the frog's attention, gesturing his head toward LJ, expressing something's wrong.


Hopper looks back at LJ, whose head is slightly slumped as he ambles down the airship's entrance hall toward the exit, with Pucchini and Katcher following after him. Hopper leaps back to his aquarium, then comes back a moment later with his staff, robe and wizard hat. He leaps onto the top of your head, and taps your scales twice, signaling you to run after him.


Lockjaw nods his head, charging after LJ with Hopper in tow. He roars at the buffalo to not get too far ahead from them.


You catch up to LJ just as he leaves the airship and steps out into the landing zone. Now empty due to the depopulation of Threecoins from months ago, nature has taken ahold of it, just as it has in other areas. Grasses peer out from cracks in the flagstones, along with some flowers. Across from where you're docked, there's a small park and what looks like a metro station that has gone out of use for now, with no trolleys running.

As Katcher and Pucchini wander off to go do their business, LJ turns back to see you coming in with Hopper atop your head. He smirks halfway at the display, but Hopper has other plans. Raising his staff, he starts a spell…


Roll #1 10 = 10


LJ looks up as Hopper produces a number of bright orbs of water, which float through the air, creating small rainbows as they catch and refract the light through their prisms. Some start to produce small water spouts, adding a delightful mist to his small show. LJ starts to smile a little wide as he's distracted by the display. However, Hopper taps your head twice once more, signaling that now's the time to charge.

>add +3 to your charge this turn from LJ being distracted.


Lockjaw digs in his claws, charging forward with all the force befitting an apex predator, before leaping up to ram LJ in the head with a direct charge as these buffalo's have been doing to each other over and over.
>Ram [1d10+3]

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13


Hopper slides down to your back to avoid the impact mere moments before you slam right into LJ's noggin, sending the little buffalo tumbling back head over heels, rolling across the ground in a great cloud of dust before he finally crashes to a halt against one of the trolley station's directories. When the dust finally settles, he rises, a dark silhouette among the debris.

"That makes sense… a predator like you isn't satisfied being cooped up in a metal ship to sleep all day!" LJ says. "You've already got cabin fever, and now you wanna challenge me just to find something to do! Well, alright, I'll help you burn off that energy!"

With a snort, he charges forward, eager to retaliate.


Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


Lockjaw roars triumphantly as he sends LJ hurling across the plains around the ship. He claws the ground after his show of dominance, getting riled up as the buffalo doesn't give in. He lowers his head, charging forward again to meet his charge head on.
>Counter Charge [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


Your mighty skull clashes with his, creating what feels to you like a small eruption of incredible force, enough to shake the whole world and crack the earth beneath you into two…

…but in reality, he just nudges you back and off to the side, causing you to stumble and fall onto your flank. Hopper jumps away to avoid being crushed. You realize that LJ is probably taking it easy on you. This is proven as much when he prances in place a little, making mock growling sounds, as one might pretend to bark at a dog while playing. At least he seems to have a little energy now.

Hopper looks over at you, prodding you with his staff to get you up faster.


Lockjaw kicks his claws in the air, twisting to roll over and right himself at the prodding. He looks at LJ, growling at the buffalo to show that it isn't over yet. And now with Hopper off his back, he won't need to hold back to avoid hurting his passenger. He stomps on the ground to get LJ's attention, and then runs forward again for a tie-breaker.
>Charge [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


LJ honorably meets you head-on, meeting your headbutt with his own, and the two of you engage in a fierce back-and-forth, with him pushing you back, and you pushing him back, and all the universe and gods and demons gather to witness this incredible bout… until he flips his head back, tossing you off balance once more. You land on your side once again.

LJ steps forward, and sets his hoof on your withers to show that he stands victorious. Slightly giggling, he looks down at you carefully. "Buddy, you good? Sorry, that might have been a little rough. I hope KP won't get mad…"

Hopper spritzes you with some water from his staff to freshen you up and get some of the dirt off you.


Last time on HolyQuest…

Following their arrival in Lilane, Pryce and Cloak were afforded a chance to speak with Rooster and Anzu, two of the six Spooks who would enter Tartarus along with the six Choristers. Rooster, Cloak's direct superior, proved amenable to Pryce's proposal, and gave his word that he would seek a special dispensation to exempt Zjetya from being conscripted into the Tartarus expedition. Anzu also agreed to train Sugar and Spitshine in the use of firearms, provided that they do not violate her strict safety rules. The two agreed, and Anzu would arrange for their pickup once they were done.

Flaming's attempts to convince Vortigern to stay behind from Tartarus reached their decisive moment. Vortigern realized the truth of Flaming's words, and though she remained adamant, she offered this as a challenge: If Flaming could defeat her in one-on-one combat at sundown, at a location of Flaming's choosing, she would remain behind as requested. Vortigern flew away to go fish, and Amy met up with Flaming shortly afterward. Amy, wanting to speak with Vortigern herself, gave chase, and the two found Vortigern some time afterward near the bank of Threecoins' great river, fishing near a gathering of older Witches and Ecclesians who were having an ecumenical barbecue.

As for Shei, he and his entourage pursued the hooded contractor through the gated junkyard. Their first challenge would be to deal with a number of discarded warehouse vehicles possessed by demon parasites – although brute force was an option, who knew just what lurked within the compound that might hear…?


LJ honorably meets you head-on, meeting your headbutt with his own, and the two of you engage in a fierce back-and-forth, with him pushing you back, and you pushing him back, and all the universe and gods and demons gather to witness this incredible bout… until he flips his head back, tossing you off balance once more. You land on your side once again.

LJ steps forward, and sets his hoof on your withers to show that he stands victorious. Slightly giggling, he looks down at you carefully. "Buddy, you good? Sorry, that might have been a little rough. I hope KP won't get mad…"

Hopper spritzes you with some water from his staff to freshen you up and get some of the dirt off you.

>Flaming, Amy

Vortigern nods, not showing any emotion on her face. She peers back down at the water, and points out a larger shadow moving toward the lure on her line. She quickly slides her rod over to you, mere seconds before the line goes taut, and the lure starts to sink below the water.

>Pryce, Cloak

River conjures a dark corridor, and Zjetya breathes a sigh of relief. "I wonder… how much control did you two have over your visions with the Moon and Sun Diskos?" she asks KP and Pryce.
"You're not about to start consulting horoscopes, are you?" River chides.
"Astrological divination is still practiced for a reason," Zjetya retorts.


Gadriel's spell heals your minor wounds, but suddenly, as you steal the time from around the downed mechs, your senses are bombarded with a synesthesia flood of information, scrambling your perception of the world around you. The pain of a massive impact with metal, the loss of control of your movements, the rancid smells of oil and rubber, voices in slow motion, their words seeming to last forever… it all creates a maddening chaos that deadens the mind, leaving only the baseline of pain.

All becomes a blur.

>You lose 2 wounds


"You have my trust." Leather follows through the door behind the rest of the group, still shuddering with the feeling of the spiders as he passes through onces again.



Pryce and KP step through the corridor with the others, keeping with the group.
"There was no control with the Moon Disc. King Lininas warned us before we used it that we would need to be prepared for what we saw, as it could be devastating."
>"Wineberry said the opposite for the Sun Disc. I used it, and then after she said not to trust it cause it was too optimistic in what it showed."
"So, the disc are opposites with their visions then.
>"Just like the sun and moon!"


Lockjaw falls over after the mighty bout, looking up as LJ steps over his triumphantly. He, of course, is not hurt. It would take much more to get through a deviljho's hide. He rolls up onto his claws, standing and looking up at LJ with a look that says 'Are you good?'
Then he turns and snaps at the water as Hopper sprays him with a refreshing cool-down.


LJ double-takes at you, frowning curiously as he studies your expression. "Were you trying to tell me something after all?"
Hopper spritzes LJ's cheek, shocking the little buffalo.
"Heh, I guess I'll take that as a yes. Not sure why I should be so surprised. Critters are pretty perceptive. I'm nervous already about this date, so for Flaming to be gone this long is setting my nerves on fire. It sounded important, but you guys think I should go ask what's the holdup?"


"So, I couldn't ask it for relationship device?" Zjetya asks.
"Not unless it appears in the visions, I take it," River says. "But then that would require either a cataclysmic or miraculous relationship outcome, I take it."
The dark corridor deposits you back at the airship. You find it totally empty, even of the pets. However, through one of the windows in the living room, you spy LJ speaking with Hopper and Lockjaw.


"Expand more upon the nature of these portents, if you would." Leather says, trying to hide any nervousness he has.


Lockjaw bumps LJ's leg, a comforting sign to try to show he shouldn't need to worry. He then snaps his jaws again as if eating, maybe to remind the buffalo of those fancy glasses he was watching over.


As Zjetya and River look around for the Diskos, Zjetya looks your way. "Well, neither of us have used 'em yet," she says gesturing to River.
"Darn it all, I think they're gone," River complains.
"Call Flaming," Zjetya says. "Think she's got 'em, last I heard."


"Sorry little guy, but I don't think Pryce would like me feeding you things if we're not sure jhos can have 'em," LJ says. He bumps his horns against your head, then turns back to the ship. "Thanks, by the way. I'mma go look for her!"

Hopper croaks with satisfaction, then hops back onto your shoulder to hitch a ride.


>"I don't see why you couldn't."
"I.. don't think I would. That would spoil the relationship itself, wouldn't it?"
Pryce asks, finding himself unsure if he would want to see the future of this before it unfolds naturally.

When they get back to the ship, Pryce glanes around at the calm emptiness.
"I guess Flaming isn't back yet, or she left again. The discs would've been left somewhere on here I think."
He says, checking the rooms for the discs. KP goes to the new pet room, only to find it empty as well.
>"Huh, Hopper and Lockjaw aren't here."
He comes back into the barracks, spying the animals outside with LJ.
>"Aww, look how much fun they're having!"
KP says, heading outside to meet up with them.

"The Moon Disc showed me a horrific vision of what could come, in exchange for new magics. If I understand what KP said of the Sun Disc, it shows something too good, though it might just be a divining tool."


Flaming peers at the rod as Vortigern puts it towards her, noting the tauting of the line and the lure sinking. She opens her eyes in surprise, quickly grasping the rod in her teeth and biting down hard so as to not leg go, moving her hooves towards the reel to begin pushing it, slowly twirling it to pull in the fish.

"Whattawegot?" She asks between her clenched teeth

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Very well, and none have made use of both at the same time?


"I didn't know there was a counterpart to the discs, though KP was, so I imagine they'd be meant to have some use together."


Zjetya stops, and considers your point. "…Well, I was kinda half-joking, but I guess I was curious about how things would go down. Still, that'd be weird, in a way. Almost like I couldn't trust you… yeah, sorry. I'll put thoughts of it out of my head then."

As LJ runs in to the ship, Hopper and Lockjaw follow after him, and they meet KP partway through in the entrance corridor. "Oh, hey guys," LJ says. "You know where Flaming or Vortigern are?"
"We were going to ask you," River says. "We're looking for her ourselves."
"Well… if she's with Vortigern, she's either at the Library still, or maybe she's out fishing. Vortigern always likes to fish whenever she gets the chance, so I figure she'll want to catch one or two more before the expedition."

You nearly tumble backwards head over hooves, falling back onto your rump as you wrangle in a fish nearly as long as you are. The fish looks like a trout, but it's spiked and blue and mean-looking. Even after you've pulled it up, splashing water everywhere, the fish hops about like it wants to fight. Vortigern tosses you a dagger, and steps back.


"I'd be a lie to say the thought wouldn't have passed my mind as well, but I wouldn't want to spoil any of this. …Wait, why wouldn't you be able to trust me?"

KP trots over to give Lockjaw and Hopper a pet as they bump into each other.
>"Hey guys! You have fun out there with LJ?"

Pryce turns as LJ runs in.
"Oh, there you are. So Flaming is still out then? Do you know if she had the Moon or Sun Disc on her when you two went out for your date?"


Leather nods, listening and allowing the others to talk.


"Well, if I try to use divination to discern the future of our relationship, I'd be putting a lot more trust into the divination instead of you, wouldn't I?" Zjetya asks. "Whereas if I put my trust in you, I'd be able to see things through, whatever happens, without needing to consult the future."

Hopper and Lockjaw both look very accomplished, and their focus is on LJ. Perhaps they played around with him, or perhaps they managed something more important.
"Oh, those?" LJ asks. "Yeah I remember Shei coming around partway through the tabletop part of our date to drop those off with her. We still need to use those!"
"The tabletop part?" Zjetya asks.
"Regina ran a game for us," LJ says.
"Oh, that could be fun for the twins," River says to Cloak. "You should ask Regina for a copy later."


"Perhaps a bit early to think on teaching them games of strategy." Leather muses. "Though I will keep it in mind."


Flaming looks up with surprise as she manages to reel in the fish so easily, looking at it flop about on the ground after pulling it from the sea. She smiles widely, very pleased with herself as she puts the rod down out of her teeth, looking at the flopping fish with some odd mixture of pride and confusion.

"W-woah! That was cool! I never did anything like that before, my papa never showed me how to fish! It just came right out of the air and… w-wow. What do I do with it…"

As Vortigern passes her the knife, she looks at it suspiciously, realizing what it is she's being asked to do as she looks down at the defenseless fish. Flaming feels a sense of remorse, taking the fish out from its home and then ending its life… but realizes this is the cold reality of a hunter. And, more than likely, a test put forth by Vortigern. She clutches the knife in her teeth, moving over to put a hoof down on the side of the fish to hold it steady. She hesitates, looking down at the flopping fish with no small amount of pity, but steels herself to move forwards… quickly stabbing upwards into the heart of the fish and sliding down to end its suffering, her eyes closed all the while.



Amy cheers Flaming on as she reels the fish in.

Once, it's caught, Amy hops up and down excitedly. "Do you know how to cook?" Amy asks Flaming impressed at the fact that she's even attempting to gut it.



Roll #1 3 = 3


"Think of it as a way to get them more involved with storytime," Zjetya says. "Plus they'd love the cute figurines we get to play with. Pryce made us some cool ones. Here, look, here's my character–"

With that, Zjetya produces a small figurine of an edgy-looking hunter mare with a scythe-cello, a hooded cloak, an eyepatch, and no end of scars. Not exactly something suited for foals.

Flaming's resolve, remorse and respect for life come up against an odd contrast, as the fish, still flopping and gasping, spins as she comes in for the stab, pricking her with its many spikes.

>Flaming loses 3 Hits

Vortigern makes repeated stabbing motions, encouraging Flaming to try it again. Meanwhile, the furious flying fish, still having some fight left in him, goes for a tail sweep.


Roll #1 2 = 2



Amy bounces around like a playful dog when the fish starts to flop. She swats a hoof-paw at it to knock it back down.

[1d10] to knock down/kill fish

Roll #1 9 = 9


"When you put it that way, yes. But we don't need relics to tel us how our future will be, right?"
Pryce says, looking to both Zjetya and River.

"Do you know when Flaming will be back? See made that talk sound rather important, and I wouldn't want to intrude."

"Your kids would love it. Lockjaw was even able to pick it up well enough."



"A practical outfit, but a farming implement only makes sense as a weapon if disguised as serf." Leather notes, inspecting the figurine, "Still, I suppose they would enjoy something tactile."


Flaming pauses in her approach, finding it not so easy to end the life of something so much weaker than she, but her hesitation costs her as it break free of her hoof, stabbing her with her spines as her eyes open wide in pain, causing her to yell out.
"Yeeowch!" She cries, looking at her hoof as she points her eyes back at the fish, a little bit of her sympathy gone.

As Vortigern pushes her to try again, she looks down at the fish with a renewed vigor, jumping up over its tail sweep as she grabs the knife in her teeth again, moving to pin down the fish and follow-through on her stab this time, a twinge of remorse still lingering…

Roll #1 3 = 3


"It worked out surprisingly well in-game," Pryce comments on the scythe, "If you want figurines of you, Glass and the kids, I'll be happy to make some for you."


Zjetya narrows her eyes, but maintains a polite smile. "I think the point is more to be imaginative in what your characters could do. It's about the fantasy of adventure and power."
"As if we don't get enough of that in the real world," River says.

Zjetya nods. "That's my point, yeah."
"And why I made that joke," River agrees.

LJ shakes his head. "Sorry, but I'm not waiting. Lockjaw here gave me some relationship wisdom. I gotta go out there like a real apex predator and assert myself. No buffalo worth his salt is ever hesitant about headbutting into a conversation."
Lockjaw snorts in agreement.
LJ grabs the four shrmoothies off the table, and pulls out his caller conch.

Amy slays the fish with a slash to the head, but at least Flaming manages to begin the process of gutting and cleaning it. Vortigern snorts at what a struggle it was, and hands Flaming a rag, a smaller knife, a spoon and a waterskin to help her rinse and gut the little bastard.

Flaming then gets a ring on her conch, while she's in the middle of cleaning the fish, with her hooves all slimy and scaly. Vortigern raises her hoof to show it's clean, then withdraws the conch from Flaming's saddlebag and holds it up to let Amy and Flaming hear. From the other end of the line comes LJ's voice.
"Flaming? Hello?" he asks.
"You're in trouble!" Zjetya interjects from the background. You hear River laughing, and LJ shushing her.



"I'm sorry, LJ!" Amy pipes up before Flaming can say anything. "It's my fault! I took Flaming away to do something important! I know you guys were on your date! We'll be done soon!"

[1d10] apologize with Compassion

Roll #1 2 = 2


"No, Zjetya's right, you're definitely in trouble," LJ says. "Where are you guys? You still busy?"


"Ah, I won't be one to overly critique fantasy. Very well then."


Flaming looks at Amy as she so easily plays with and steals her kills, scrunching up her muzzle. "Amy, I was gonna do that!" She complains after she puts the fish down with a swat.

As Flaming takes the knife and begins cutting and washing the fish (looking to Vortigern heavily for instructions, as she has never performed anything like this before). After she finishes with the fish, she looks at her hooves, bleching at how slimey they are while looking up at Vortigern. "That was really gross. You do this all the time?"

As Vortigern draws out the conch and holds it up for her, her eyes shrink and her hairs stand up on end.
"J-Journey! I'm so, so sorry that was taking so long, I-I promise I'm gonna be back soon!"

She gulps, wondering just how upset she's made Journey by leaving him alone. She really didn't mean for it to take this long. "Are the mushroom smoothies ready? Hehe…" she adds in with an awkward laugh, trying to break the tension.

She looks to Amy, "You're okay if I leave you with Vortigern, I REALLY should go back!" She says outside of the conch's earshot


Vortigern nods to both questions. Fun. Builds character.

"Yeah, they've been ready," LJ says. "And they really should be enjoyed fresh, so I'll head over to where you are now. Let me guess… fishing?"




Shei-Sher stands in place. Sensing something is completely wrong yet, the urgency is all but dissolved from him. He is wracked with something that could not simply be described of as painful.
Shei-Sher takes in the view, and the sound and decides it best of him to simply focus on moving to the other side of the room.
[rolled 10 on sprint so gonna assume I'm already there]

It doesn't register into memory, the walk from here to there. Shei-Sher already finds himself by the otherside of the room. He very slowly and painstakingly moves both arms in emission of a spell. Feeling with tremendous sensation every spasm that comes with moving your limb.
He grasps something, like invisible chords and pulls them to tangle. In this state it feels as though pulling a net of taut guitar strings together.

>Spell Bleed [2 addition targets for a total of 4 targets = 3 critfail range. Effecting enemies closest to Shei]

>Black Threads; Spell; Ranged; Recharge 3(minus 1); Create a tether between two targets. What happens to one target (damage, status effects, intimidation, persuasion etc.) will also happen to the other. Killing one target does not kill the other.

before he takes his hooves off the invisible net he leaves his sign.
>CURSE OF IRON+1: Recharge 3(minus 1); Heats up the weapons and armour of the target to a red hot blaze, burning those who touch them. Disarms the target as well as deals damage, and makes their weapons impossible to pick up for a turn afterwards. Autocrits heavily armoured targets.

Shei then slowly, from his perception ambles over to the control panel for the door and attempts to open the secured door.
[this is my instant action]

Launches another bulb of ambrosia at Shei-Sher
>INURE: spell, ranged; target is immune to a specific damage type (fire, ice, poison, possessed etc) for a short time

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11


[forgot to say]
Inuring shei from electrical attacks


"Ah, right. Good."
Pryce says, a little awkwardly as the joke flew over his head a little there.

>"Really? Lockjaw gave you advice?"

KP asks as LJ speaks up. He then gives Lockjaw a hug.
>"Look at you, you're helping out the whole gang!"
He congratulates the deviljho.

Pryce asks through the conch as LJ calls her up.
"Do you have the Sun and Moon Disc on you still? We were going to use them after we talked a bit about them."


Flaming blushes as Journey calls out what they're up to. "Yes… b-but that's not all I was doing, I swear! I really did go out to have an important conversation with Vortigern, and then it just sort of ended up…" she looks at her slimey hooves, sighing. "Y-yeah. If you want to come to me, that's okay. Maybe we can fish together, next part of our date? Unless you had something else!"

As Pryce answers in on the conch, Flaming responds, "The Discs? Uh… I think so, they should be in my bag. I'd fish them out for you but… my hooves are sort of fished out at the moment."



"Just me, right?" Amy asks hopefully. "Don't be mad at Flaming! I dragged her along! It's my fault!"

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with Compassion to keep Flaming out of trouble


"Yeah, you go do what you gotta do," Amy encourages Flaming. "We'll be fine here."

"I promise, I'll make it up to both of you!"

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Flaming lets out a sigh, "Thanks, Amy… but, don't blame yourself either! I was the one who went along with you, a-and the one who put the date on pause in the first place!"


After a few more seconds pass, you feel your body crumble underneath you, and the synesthesia blur gradually dissipates, as reality goes from a wild slurry of colored sound and tactile light, into a state you eventually recognize. Absolutely everything is sore and stinging, but you don't have any burns or singes anywhere on you. Rather, your wounds are cuts and bruises, all up along your shoulders and legs. You find that you have slammed into the far wall of the warehouse, complete with a crater in the wall, and in your wake, there is a clear trail where your hoofsteps parted the hills of debris, scattering everything aside. It becomes clear that you absorbed so much time that you accelerated yourself beyond what your mind could process, and every attempted action ended up popping off with the speed and force of a bullet.

>You lose 1 additional wound

Behind you, you see that you've just barely managed to get your black threads around the three final biomechs that occupy this side of the warehouse. They approach you, lights blazing, until you see Chorazin, Mirror Image, Gadriel, Observer and Hafaza running over the debris to your aid.

[3d10+4] Each biomech showers your allies with storms of light beams.
>3 Cleaves vs 5

Chorazin stabs the closest one with her saber.

Mirror Image slams that same one.

Hafaza and Observer double-team another one with a flurry of magical bolts.

"Tell you what: I'll put double the trouble on you to absolve her of wrongdoing!" LJ taunts in a menacing voice, evidently enjoying your kowtowing.

Lockjaw's tail flaps wildly from the praise. His arms are too tiny to hug KP back, but one manages to hook around KP's foreleg. Hopper crawls over to KP's head.

"If that's the case, you must be over by the river," LJ concludes. "Okay, you hold tight and we'll be right over. Pryce, Cloak, ladies, let's hustle."
Nodding, Zjetya and River exit the airship, and make their way westward.
>No need for travel time, RP yourselves as meeting up

Roll #1 7, 1, 6 + 4 = 18 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #3 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #4 2, 10, 4, 3 + 3 = 22


"No problem. We can stop by so we don't take up anymore of your date time."

Pryce nods in agreement, following the group out west. KP races Lockjaw along with the group, making sure to not make the ride too bumpy for Hopper.

Pryce waves to Flaming, Amy, and Vortigern as they met up with them at the river. He looks over at the grilling group nearby, and at the fish Flaming is gutting and cleaning.
"It looks like the fishing is going well here."



"Sure!" Amy responds to LJ, her tail starting to wag. "As long as you're not mad at Shortyhorns! I'll accept that! And, whatever comes with it."


"Yeah! It's going great! But, Flaming has to get back to her date. Do YOU know how to cook?" Amy asks Pryce with a hopeful wag of her tail.


Flaming lets out a sigh as he answers he's on his way. "Okay. I'll see you soon, Journey." She takes in a deep inhale, guilty as she is not wanting to let herself sound a complete pushover. "And after I've been gone THIS long, the smoomies had better be REALLY good, got it?!" She says before putting it aside.

Flaming gasps, "Wait, Amy you can't! You heard him, he said 'double' trouble! That's twice as much as you were already in!"

As they wait by the shore of the river, Flaming sits by with the rod, taking time to get the hang of catching a fish herself (but unlike Vortigern, is yet unable to get anything biting her line in the water). As the others approach, she decides to take a small break from catching, gutting fish, her slimey hooves leaving small trails on the ground as she runs towards the others.

"Hey guys! Yeah, I guess it's going pretty well. Thanks for keeping Journey company while I took care of business…"
She looks to Journey, the buffalo blushing a bit as she tries to maintain an air of toughness among her regret. "H-hey Journey. Sorry about keeping you like that, I really did mean to hurry back. Guess you really missed me, huh?"



"I'd take any amount of trouble for you," Amy says dutifully.



Leather Cloak follows Sir Pryce, watching the fishing commence. "Greetings yet again, I do love to fish, what sort of varieties inhabit these waters?"


"uhhhhhhhh.." Shei finds himself speechless, he slowly begins peeling himself from the wall "Uhh-aa-a-A-A-HHH! HNK!" his dumbfounded drone turns into a bleat of pain, shards of concrete and metal rebar that have torn him.
"Yup.. I overdid it." He groans

Shei-Sher opens the door the mysterious bounter hunter exited and hails to his friends. "Now! Follow in! Let us leave this place."

In the moment Shei takes a second to open the corridor to Fantasia's local river again. Now opening it to the wall adjacent to his enemies. Using the force of the rushing water to knock them off balance for a turn.
[1d10] Dark corridor for river again

Another bulb of ambrosia applies onto Shei's disturbed body.
>HEAL: recharge 1, spell, ranged; restores target’s hits to full and restores one wound, or removes all status effects. Crit restores 2 wounds, crit fail deals a wound of damage to the target.

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5



"Oh! Cape! Good to see you again!" Amy says to Cloak, excited to see her new friend again.


Flaming frowns, getting all teary eyed. "You're the best sister ever. I have to make it up to you somehow, I can't let you take all that extra trouble just cause of me, being a sister is a two-way street! Just let me know what I can do to make up for it and I'll do it, got it?!"

She turns to Leather as he joins them, "Hey Leather! Uh… I'm not really sure what it's called exactly but it's this really spikey, blue cod that knows how to fight back. It's not like, demon tough but it is really spunky."


"I can cook some normal dishes, but I don't know how to cook fish, unfortunately."
Pryce answers.

>"Yea, the pets kept him really occupied! Lockjaw even gave him some advice too!"
KP chimes as Flaming thanks them.


"Good, and I hope you like doing laundry!"

Journey snorts confidently and nods. "Yeah, but not in the 'boo-hoo-woe-is-me way." He gestures at Lockjaw, whose tail keeps wagging, as he seems to be enjoying this degree of attention. "Lockjaw here reminded me that buffalo, especially we chieftans, go out and get whatever we want, when we want it. And that means going out to continue my date!"

He looks at the slime on your hooves, and instead of handing you a shrmoothie, he holds out one with a straw for you to drink. "I made a couple cold and a couple hot ones so that you could taste how the different temperatures emphasize different aspects of the flavor!"

Vortigern, whom you remember from this morning, unlocks her tackle box, and retrieves another collapsible, telescoping fishing rod. She attaches a spool and threads the fishing line through the rod's notches, then offers it to you, hearing your enjoyment of fishing. As for your question, she gestures to the grills and barbecues set up. You see a wide variety of trout, bass, salmon and carp, though many are of armored, spiked, and even of fanged varieties, suggesting that an angle here might end up turning into a fight.

Perhaps this is karmic retribution for weaponizing the same river so often, but one of the biomechs strikes you across the face with its tendrils, knocking your head against a nearby rusted pipe.

>You lose 6 Hits

You see Gadriel crumble and fall under the storm of lasers, his body smoking and burnt after the attack.

>Gadriel 14/25

Chorazin and Mirror Image are similarly damaged, but manage to take out one of the biomechs, causing it to erupt in a small explosion. Observer and Hafaza slaughter another one, melting it into black slag. The four of them, similarly burned as Gadriel was, have to take a moment to nurse their wounds.

Still biomech remains, and it attempts to jab one of its cable-like tendrils into your side.


Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7



"I hope you like teaching people how to do laundry!" the nudist laughs in response.


Amy does one excited bounce before Pryce finishes her sentence and practically deflates Amy like a balloon. "What's not normal about fish?" she asks sadly.


"That doesn't make any sense. This is ME making something up to YOU!"


"Crap… what else can you do?"
"Are you sure you want her to answer that?" Zjetya asks.
"Good thing the kids aren't here to hear this," River says.


Shei-Sher runs through the door now, hoping the narrow way is enough to block the tendrils reach.
[1d10] dodge roll
"We need to leavem before the rest follow on their way!" Shei says to everyone present, including Gadriel.

Gadd's quivers of metal fur shift and reform.
>Gadds heals himself

[Leaving it up to DM whether Gadriel joins Shei-Sher in entering the doorway.]

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 3 + 1 = 4


"Likewise, Amy. Forgive me for not remembering your full title." Leather waves, not minding the misnomer.
"A challenge then, sounds entertaining."

Leather takes the rod in hoof, sitting his flank down on the shore. "I suppose I have some time while they are fetching these artifacts. A lesser known fact - while some favor hunting and water gods, many old fishers used to take Hypomone as their patron to instill in them the patience to wait for a great catch." Leather rambles to himself, casting a line.

[1d10] phish

Roll #1 5 = 5



"Just ask Shei what I can do," Amy responds to LJ.

"Ew… wait… You're my sister's boyfriend. That's too gross, even for me…"


"It's Amy Thest the Inescapable Revelrous Friendmaking Heartthief Hugger," Amy responds in a peppy and upbeat tone the whole way through it. "It's easy!"

"What have you been up to today?"


"Lockjaw… gave him advice?"
Flaming asks in confusion.
"I wasn't aware Lockjaw could talk, how exactly…?"

Flaming looks to Lockjaw as Journey mentions the lesson he learned from the small reptile, Flaming blinking in confusion as she turns to look at him. "Uh… okay. Well, if that means you're going to make me start up our date again, then by all means, try it!" She says in an aggressive tone, daring him to take the reigns once more.

As he holds out the shrmoothie, she grins, licking her lips in anticipation as she moves for one of the hot ones first. "Alright, then I'll try this one first, it's hot right?" She says, moving closer to hold out the drink he holds and sucking down the tasty fungi-beverage.

"And then I owe you something in turn, so I need to make it up to YOU later!" FLaming retorts. "Got it?"

As he takes the rod, Flaming looks down towards the water. "I'm better at gutting them than catching them so far. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but they just don't wanna come for my line."


"I don't eat fish Amy, remember from that story Regina put us through?"

>"He can't… At least, I don't think he can. Can you?"
KP asks, looking to Lockjaw.

"Oh, before I forget and interrupt, do you have your bag Flaming with the discs?"
Pryce asks as LJ speaks on getting back to the date.


"Aha, we sang, bought candy, and opened presents. What any stallions do when they have not seen a good friend in a long time." Leather grins.

"Ah, it on;y requires a steady hoof and commitment to the act. Fish can sense the overzealous, or so it seems anyways."


You get stabbed through the side, and an alarming quantity of blood starts to leave your body – it's not dripping out and toward the ground, but rather, it's traveling up through the cables coming from the biomech's body, turning them red. Oil stains your coat, and seeps into your veins, turning the skin underneath blotchy, diseased and dark. Headpains and nausea bloom like mold inside your head and stomach.

>Shei 0/3

Chorazin, Mirror Image and the voidlings all struggle to their hooves, unsteady and smoldering after that last bad hit they took. Gadriel, on the other hand, bristles and runs at the biomech, fangs bared, a furious growl escaping his mouth.

LJ shuts his eyes and lowers his ears. "Thanks for not going into detail, at least."

You only manage to catch a rather small brook trout. It wouldn't fetch a good price, nor even put up an entertaining fight, but some fishing techniques involve turning a smaller fish into bait for a much bigger quarry. Perhaps you could attempt something like that.

Vortigern sits and nods as you ramble. She seems interested to hear more.

It's cooled a little by now, but this shrmootie is invigorating and energizing. The sweetness comes as a burst of energy, and it's a bit like drinking slightly chunkier strawberries, only these have more of a kick to 'em. If you had a fish before you with an attitude like before, you'd probably have no trouble gutting and cleaning that sucker before it can even take a swing.
LJ sips one of his own. "Well, whaddya think?"

Lockjaw lets out a playful growl. KP recalls how Meister seemed able to understand Hopper's croak as if it were intelligible speech, back when he requested that she make some tea for Lockjaw. Maybe he really can talk, and you just can't hear it.


No.. This is a horrible way to die. By accident.. I always wanted my death to be intentional.

Arcs his tail over and form it's tip unfurls a hundred knives that shoot to shred the Biomech into pieces.

>MARKSMAN SHOT: recharge 3, requires ranged weapon, weapon; autocrits (any success is critical), benefits from Trick Ammo


Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


Those are Shei's thoughts



"As much as I love the idea of a world in which constantly doing favors for each other, that makes no sense."


"That doesn't mean it's weird!" Amy says defensively.


Amy smiles broadly. "That sounds fun. It makes me happy to see friends getting back together with everything so dangerous right now."


"What about hugs?" Amy offers LJ. "Those are nice, right? Oh! Maybe I can even give you lessons on how to hug better!"


Rehooking the brook trout in a way to disallow a larger fish from taking the bait with ease, leather makes a small nonlethal laceration in order for the trout's innards to hang out to entice others to seek the wounded fish.

Casting out into the water again, Cloak takes the excuse to continue to talk in the meanwhile. "A misconception about Hypomone's ways is that patience is always rewarded. It was one of the greatest frustrations of my younger self, even as little as just before the Firmament's breaking. If one wishes for wealth, Hypomone's teachings does not say to sit idle until a bag of coin lands in your lap. Rather, it is patiences through one's actions that is the true teachings of Hypomone."

[1d10] fïsh

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Okay, so I'm not crazy. So, how did he teach Journey how to take what he wants-"
She blanks. "Oh. Actually, I don't think I'm confused anymore."

She turns to look at Pryce, pointing towards her saddle-bag. "Got them from the Temple after we went through Wineberry's trials. Go ahead and grab them," she says, offering her saddlebag.

"But I've been staying still the entire time, and the fish STILL. DON'T. COME!" She says, practically yelling at the water in frustration.

As she drinks down the smoothie, she closes her eyes, embracing the sweet, energizing taste as the warm shredded mushrooms dance along her tongue, jumping up and down as she rides on the sugar-high. "MMMMMMMMMMMMM! That's sweet!" She says, smacking her tongue to get the full flavor. "I'd really like to know what it's like really hot but, that's good!"

She sucks up the last bits of it through the straw, smiling as wide as she can. "That can't just be the mushrooms, what else is in it? Herbs?"

"Hmmm… well, does it have to? I just wanna pay you back for covering me, I don't think it has to be logi… looki… hrrm, that fancy word for 'makes sense', you know the one. It doesn't have to be to do something nice for you, right?"


Leather nods, "It has been a nice change of pace, if only for a day."
"Aha, and there it is. It is fine, one's worth is not measured by your ability to catch fish, unless of course fishing is your profession." Leather chuckles heartily.


KP laughs with Lockjaw's growl.
>"Maybe this Beast Mastery stuff will teach me to talk to you guys better. But I think we speak just fine as is."
KP then steps over to Vortigern, tapping her on the shoulder.
>"Miss Vortigern, do you have a fishing pole in my size? I wanna catch Lockjaw a nice treat."

"I didn't say it was weird, I just meant it's not something I normally eat, so I wouldn't know how to cook them."
Pryce explains in a calm tone.

Pryce nods, stepping to Flaming's bags and levitating out the discs.
"Did WIneberry say anything special about using the Sun Disc?"
He asks, looking down at the two, lowering them into his hooves.
"Or maybe when they're together, something will happen."
He mutters to himself.



"Well, how different could it be?" Amy asks hopefully.


"You can do something nice if you want," Amy ponders. "Just don't think that you have to."


"After tomorrow, it won't be just for today," Amy says with a determined tone and a kind smile.


"I wouldn't know. I haven't even tried fish until yesterday."


The cruel biomech slaps Gadriel back to the ground, then jabs another of its tendrils into you, focusing only on finishing the job with its one-track mechanical mind, as it slurps away your blood. You can feel the wound at the site of the impact beginning to melt into a slurry of guts.


Chorazin and Mirror Image then rush the machine, weapons raised to kill.


"Are you talking hugs or 'hugs'?" LJ asks skeptically. "Besides, I don't need lessons, when I've got a coat as fluffy as mine. I'm naturally good at it."

Vortigern nods and silently laughs. Her expression indicates that she knows exactly what you mean. She stomps her hooves in approval. Same with kids.

Your tactic pays off, and with about another minute, you hook a much larger fish, a massive, six-foot pike with a bony head that resembles the tip of a pike, emerges from the water. It's not so much that you wrangled it in, but that it perhaps even wanted to come up to the surface, for without even missing a beat, it twists in mid-air, and comes down to stab you directly.


"Well, I'd tell you, but keeping it a secret means you'll have to go on more dates with me to get more," LJ taunts. "Speaking of which, go get washed up so we can hit the road, alright?"
He holds out a colder smoothie, just out of reach of your mouth. "Otherwise you won't get to try the other type of shrmoothie!"

Vortigern removes from her tackle box a smaller net that looks like it might suit you. It has small handles on its outside, helping you to keep your grip while you fish.

As Pryce lays the Moon and Sun Diskos onto one another, the two alight with a silver illumination, which runs through both of them, outlining the faces and designs carved into their surfaces. With a shudder and a pulse of energy, the two stone discs split apart into many different pieces, and they level out, floating alongside all the other pieces. They come together again, after having rearranged themselves, and the silver light glows brighter, in the form of the combined Diskos. The result is a beautiful and otherworldly image of the Moon and Sun combined, surrounded by carved stars, and in their center is a face that seems to look two directions, both mortal and divine.
River and Zjetya look at it with a combination of awe and curiosity.
"Maybe this is something we should gather everyone to see," Zjetya says.

Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11 / Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #3 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #4 5 + 1 = 6



"Well, there's only one way to find out," Amy suggests, wagging her tail expectantly.


"There's only ever been one kind of hug," Amy deadpans. "Don't let Shei's perverted mind confuse you."


Amy watches the discs curiously. However, upon the subject of bringing more people here, Amy looks over to Vortigern.

"Well, I didn't want this to be a whole public thing…" she says as she walks over to her. "Can we talk just the two of us?"



Gadriel snarls and unrelentingly he throws himself at the mech now launching a hundred daggers from his fur.

[1d10+1] Please god let this stop the biomech

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


"Sagaciously said, Miss Amy." Leather returns the kind smile.
>Vanguard: passive; You and all allies ignore first damage taken in combat, including critical failures. This does not negate non-damage effects.

Standing up, Cloak takes his shield and bashes the fish further ashore, slapping it like a ping pong paddle.

>Shatter: recharge 2, weapon; Breaks the target's defenses, opening them up for attack. Any attacks against a Shattered target crit on a 8+ for two+1 rounds. Can be used against inanimate objects or armor to break and damage them efficiently.

[1d10+1] Shatter the pike's pike

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


"Do you have any other plans for the day then?"
Pryce asks simply.

KP says happily, taking the net in his hooves as he walks to the riverbed, sticking the net into the water to begin fishing.
> <>< [1d10]

Pryce watches as the discs break apart, keeping his hooves still as they spread, float, and reform themselves into one uniform disc. He's left in a moment of awe, before lifting his head.
"Everypony else should be around the town here, let's round them up."


KP says from his fishing spot, having seen the flashy light show.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Vortigern nods, and looks about. The bridge to the western side of the city is a short distance away, and looks to be relatively clear, apart from some Ecclesian guards on the eastern side of it. No demons appear to be around on the western side. It's of such a vast width that you two could definitely get out of earshot by taking it.



"I don't know what that means," Amy says with the same tone and expression on her face.


"I was planning on studying my witch stuff more. Why?"


Amy gestures for the two of them to go off in that direction. Though, there's no need for them to get too far. They can stay within view. She doesn't plan on being too loud.

Once they are out of earshot, Amy starts talking in an unusually seriously tone. "I'm guessing you know what I want to talk about."


You catch some tiny freshwater shrimps.

With a comical cracking sound, you slay the fish with a decisive blow, snapping the bony protrusion and killing it in one motion. It lays dead, ready to be cleaned.


"Oh, I was wondering if you wanted to spend some time together, since this is our last day on the surface."

KP lifts up his net, beaming in triumph over his catch. He lifts the shrimp up in his telekinesis, hovering them over to Lockjaw.
>"Do you like shrimp Lockjaw?"


>before going off to talk to Vortigern

"I…" Amy is taken back by the request. "Maybe after this."


Flaming snorts as Leather chuckles, "I know THAT, but Vortigern makes it look so easy! If I can't do it, it makes me look silly by comparison, doesn't it?"

"The way it works is the sun disk will show you purely beneficial outcomes, and the moon one will show you only bad ones. Using them together, you get the most accurate outcome of whatever's going to happen in the future, both the good AND the bad. So, use them together if you want the most likely thing to happen…"

"Okay then. I will do something nice for you in return for taking on double trouble just because I WANT to. How's that?"

Flaming leers at him, "Keeping secrets from me, Journey? I don't like secrets. I guarantee you, before long, your recipe to delicious shroomthies will be mine, and I'll make them all that I want!"

As he tells her she won't try the cold kind unless they continue the date, she grins. "You're a 'cold' negotiator, Journey. But I accept your terms. I'll go get my hooves washed so we can get back to it, I think i've helped Vortigern catch enough fish."

As the disks breeak apart into their many fragments, coming together in the arrangment of the fully combined Diskos, Flaming looks on in awe, blinking as she wonders what visions it might come to reveal.

"Wo-woah… we're doing it NOW, huh? I mean… I guess there's no time like the present…"


The mech's mechanical head spins about and blasts Mirror and Chorazin again with its lasers, but Gadriel jumps out from between them, and with a hoarse, unearthly screech, tackles the mech to the ground as it sucks more of your lifeblood and other fluids through its metal appendages.

>Shei 0/2

Still screaming, Gadriel is a flurry of fists and metal feathers, and he repeatedly slams his claws down into the machine, gouging and clawing and ripping and tearing and crushing and crunching, and screaming, screaming all the while, regardless of how his own claws are damaged in the process. Even after the mech is totally pulverized, and his talons are bloodied, Gadriel continues to punch and stab through the biomech, still screaming even though his voice has gone raw.

Lockjaw snaps them out of the air until they are no more, enjoying them greatly. He sniffs the net in search of seconds, getting it tangled up over his snout.

Vortigern nods again, showing no reaction other than that. A quiet breeze begins to blow.

LJ starts to head back to the ship, while keeping an eye on Flaming and the Diskos. "Let's call everyone back to the ship once we've gotten Flaming cleaned up. I've got a date to go on and we're burning daylight here!"
River takes out her conch. "I'll get started on calling the others."


"Well spoke-" Leather cuts himself, "You said a good thing, Amy."

"There we are, fish. Doesn't require anything more than pleasant conversation and a calm disposition. But I do not need to preach on that regard, you all have seem to done plenty well so far."

he turns back to Vortigern to continue the conversation, "And yes, very much so like children. Teachings of patience both apply to both teaching the young and surviving their antics. The most multifacited virtue."

"Would you like to do the honors of gutting, then? My bladework is incredibly rusty, so feel free to make me look silly by comparison. Perhaps it will ease your plight a deal." Leather asks warmly.


When Amy starts to head for the bridge to speak to Vortigern alone, Vortigern gives you a look and a respectful nod. Parenting tips later, she mouths, before departing with Amy.


Leather holds up a hoof to wave her goodbye.


Shei-Sher calmly awaits for the next post. He hopes, quietly, wordlessly, withon the flickering conciousness of his dormant mind and body that the party exits combat into the doorway. If Berserker Gadds finishes tearing the thing to pieces Shei would appreciate a nice break of group ambrosia therapy (healz).


Pryce nods, saying no more as Amy goes off to speak with Vortigern.

"I didn't think they'd react right away, or in such a show."
Pryce comments, looking at the fused disc.
"Did she say if the vision is entirely true? Or just a possibility?"
He asks after a moment of contemplation.

KP chuckles, getting the net slowly untangled from Lockjaw.
>"You're pretty hungry, aren't you? I'll fish you up a little more, and then I'll need to get Hopper something, okay?"
KP says, dipping the net back into the water.
>Fish [1d10]

"I don't think this will take too long, hopefully."
Pryce says to assure LJ, though preoccupied now in what the disc will show.

Roll #1 8 = 8



"First of all, I'm sorry for being a bad friend. I didn't know you had kids. Congratulations on that! That's awesome!"

"Which is why you shouldn't go into Tartarus. But, listen, it's not just because you have kids. I mean, it IS because you have kids. But, that's WAY more important than you think."

"I spent like two millenia in Tartarus. So, trust me when I say I'm probably the best professional on Tartarus we have here aside from like the witches, I guess. And even then, I'm not so sure."

Amy shakes her head. "Anyway, point being, I know what I'm talking about. So, please listen to me. Tartarus is worse than you can possibly imagine. It doesn't make any sense. It changes with whoever is in there. And, that's why they keep saying you should only go to Tartarus if you're resolved. You can't have anything else on your mind but what you're doing. You can't be conflicted in Tartarus. It's going to make things more dangerous for yourself and the rest of us."

"I know you want to help, but I also know you are scared about leaving your kids behind. And, you should be. They should be your top priority, not us. You can trust us to get the job done and stay safe."

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with Compassion

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"I've been doing more gutting than fishing already, I've MASTERED gutting! I need to master fishing next to take it to the next level."
She chuckles, "Though, I guess showing you up at it a little might make me feel better. But I have to get back to my date with Journey, anyhow: I should probably wash up, not gut more fish.">>733180

"She said it's just a likely possibility. Nothing it shows is 100% set in stone I think, but it does use a combination of bleak and optimistic outcomes to figure out the most likely one to happen. Still, I don't know how likely it is…" she says a bit nervously.

Flaming looks to Journey as he heads back to the ship, following behind as she looks to Pryce, "I agree with the others, whatever the Diskos is going to show us, we should probably have everyone ready for it. I'm gonna go wash up on the ship, River how soon will it take everyone to get back to the ship to look at it?"


"Enough! ENOUGH!" Chorazin eventually shouts, grabbing Gadriel by the shoulder and throwing him back from the pulverized biomech. "Heal him!"
Gadriel stumbles for a bit, snarling and panting from the moment of maddening bloodlust, and then looks your way. He gasps, and runs to your side, looking aghast at your horrific, festering melting wound with terror and disgust. He immediately starts pouring ambrosia over it, panting and trembling all the while.

This time, you catch a netful of sardines. Hopper snags a few before Lockjaw can dig in. At the bottom of the heap, you notice a small pouch. Inside, you find 50 Bits.

Vortigern remains stoic and quiet through your speech. As it becomes clear what you're driving at, she eventually frowns and shakes her head. She produces her magical lance, and sticks its tip in the ground resolutely.

Three promises, she mouths.
My friends.

She taps the lance afterward, seeming to indicate that it was a promise on a weapon. During your travels, you have heard of traditions about promises being made upon weapons. That is, they are well-known to be unbreakable.

Once you get back to the ship, River and Zjetya busy themselves with their conches. About ten minutes pass before dark corridors start to open outside, and the rest of your party starts to trickle in, except for Yes Mare, Observer, Gadriel, Chorazin, Mirror Image, and Shei. They talk among themselves, discussing the various things they've been getting up to as they head for the airship's common area.
"It sounds like Shei took a bunch of people with him on some quest," River says.
"Yeah that sounds like him," Zjetya says. "Well, that's annoying, but it's not like we'll be able to get him back here anytime soon."


Shei-Sher shivers and stirs, not awake but reacting.

[Have Shei awake if you'll allow it at this time.]


>Shei 8/4

You come to after some time, with the whole of your party looking quite worse for wear. Hafaza's piglet and Observer's pet crow Caw, apparently protected by some spell or seal, are the only ones unharmed. Gadriel looks worst off of all, showing signs of psychological rattling as he watches your body. You look down at where you were wounded. The skin is black and blotchy, scarred and grotesque, but it is not open, and it is no longer festering.



Amy frowns. She stares at Vortigern contemplatively for a while. Then, she lets out a long sigh.

"Okay, I'm going to put Amy away for a second," she says in a voice and tone that is suddenly completely different. Far more dry, far more unfeeling.

"Listen to me," she says far more aggressively. "I'm not going to let myself be trapped in Tartarus again. I'm not going to LET someone without the right resolve into Tartarus with me. You're not going to be a help to us. You're going to get us killed - or worse. So, if you want to keep your promises, fine. I can respect that. But, I'm telling you now, it's pointless."

"Because, even if you beat Flaming in that duel, I'm coming for your afterwards. And, no, I don't mean in a friendly duel. I'm coming for you to make sure you CAN'T go to Tartarus. I'm going to break as many bones as I have to until you can't move anymore. You have a family. That's more important than stupid promises. Don't make me do that to you. But, if that's what it takes to make you do what's right, I'll do it."

"So, knowing that, do you still think it's worth it?" Amy asks in a hopeful, but annoyed tone.

The whole time Amy speaks, her coat slowly turns more black. But, it's not like how it was when Amy and Ego were separate. It's not a solid, gradual transition. This time, the darkness swirls around in her body like a liquid. At first, it's a small amount of vaguely darker color. But, as she keeps talking, the darkness grows and gets deeper inside her core.

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality intimidation

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


After arriving on the ship, Flaming quickly makes her way to the lavatory to wash her hooves (with soap, as she's been reminded in the past) to get all the slime from fish guts off of her, all ready to continue on a fun-filled afternoon with her friend after moving into the center room of the air-ship, looking at all the others start to file in.

"Shei's on another quest? Guess he really wants to be prepared for tomorrow… where did he go, can any of us open up a dark corridor to go after him? I'm kinda hoping not to have to make Journey wait too much longer for this."


"Alas, mayhaps I'll leave it to the pets then. I'm sure they'll appreciate the treat."

"Hmmnn, so the artifacts lay aboard the ship then?" Leather says, following the others in.


"So, we should be careful with what we ask it then."

KP picks up the tiny pouch after Hopper and Lockjaw eat up, seeing the cache of coins inside.
>"Oh wow, lucky!"

Pryce stands in the barracks with the disc as the others gather together. KP sits on one of the beds with Lockjaw and Hopper, keeping them in control.
"Shei and all of them are out? …I suppose we can fill them in later, or let them use the disc themselves when they get back."
Pryce then levitates the disc up so everypony can see it.
"This combined disc will show a vision of what is most likely to happen. Not what will, but a possibility. The only question is, do we ask it, or will it show us different sights."


As soon as Shei looks to his wound he clenches his stomach "I'm.. fit to vomit. Gah" He stops, but still sits. He is crestfallen when seeing Gadriel's state. "Gadriel.. If I ever perished we would surely see eachother again. By the will of Buiwong. The evidence is that you are here now. I'm sorry for scaring you so gravely. I made.. A grotesque error.. in judging my capacity. I can explain -but I need to put a thread between you all so Gadriel can have you healed first."

Shei does not get up, fatigued he lifts a hoof to and begins meticulously, methodically fidgeting with the invisible threads. He connects everyone by a thread so Gadriel can give everyone proper treatment at once.
>Black Threads

Roll #1 7 = 7


Vortigern lowers her head, but not in a show of submission, but as a predator does, just before jumping upon their prey. The lance disappears, then reappears in her hoof in the same instant.

Try, and perish.

"I spoke with Observer," River says. "He's in the Accapella City, looking for some mechanical device of some sort. Only Amy and Flow have gotten anywhere close to it, and neither of them can use that power."
"Forget them," Rus Tea says. "This isn't worth delaying."
"Let's try different approaches," Busta says. "Some of us should hold specific questions in mind, while others keep their minds open."
"We'll want to know what Mudi has in mind," Volkama says. "Her tricks, hidden secrets, and such."
"We should bear in mind that Mudi and Vizsla might be able to sense if we focus too much on them," Blessings says. "It's common for witches to protect themselves with a slew of prepared counterspells. I don't know if divination will activate those like scrying would."

Gadriel, looking exhausted, doesn't respond as he attempts another round of healing.

Chorazin just looks at you for a moment, then slaps you across the face. "See to it you don't repeat it."
"Hey!" Yes Mare protests. "He didn't even say what he did wrong yet!"
"I'll slap him again when he does."
Hafaza grins devilishly. "I like you."


"I can volunteer as I hold no personal questions I wish answered personally. Perhaps I will think upon what traps and dangers lie closest to them, rather than scry upon the witch herself."



Amy shakes her head. The swirling darkness starts to dissipate slowly. "I hope it doesn't come to that. I want what's best for everyone. But, if it DOES come to that, it will be YOUR fault for taking away the better options."

Then, she smiles an Amy-like smile. "Besides, it's all pointless, anyway. You'll never beat Shortyhorns. I was just trying to convince you not to fight her on the day before Tartarus."

"Oh well, I guess I'll see you later," Amy says with a wave of her hoof-paw. She then turns and bounds back to the others.


"Why are we asking questions?" Amy asks as she comes back in the middle of the conversation.


"Ow ow Ow OW! Chorazin I'm sorry" Shei whines, his tone showing he is a bit more at ease "why does that hurt so much! You slap like a baseball bat Chorazin."

Shei re-positions himself while sitting and mentally braces himself for another slap. "I had some time to think about what was happening. Quite a bit of time, you see- I had absorbed all of the temporal causality among our opponents. The time- the time in the procession of their actions. I took it, leaving them in stasis. I've used this power before but never on so many foes. From my perspective, time had stopped for a moment. And then moved very slowly. I could not even perceive it. I blinked and then I was embedded into the wall behind me. Despite my youth, I have come to the physical limits of what my mind and body can withstand in magical power. The only step forward will be to shed my mortality and transcend if I am to continue using my magic safely."


As Pryce prepares everyone currently gathered on the air-ship for the presentation of the Diskos, Flaming takes a gulp, not sure if she's ready for what they'll see. "I'm not sure if I should say anything about what we'll see, feels like I can jinx it at any moment with just the wrong word."

As Rus Tea recommends moving on without the others, Flaming nods, "Yeah, I guess we can just fill them in later. And, I think Volkama has the best idea: Mudi is the biggest unknown on our side and predicting what she'll do is hard. I think we should ask about her first and foremost."

As Blessings points out how they may be able to sense it, she pauses. "Well… not to make everyone run around after JUST getting here but, what if we did it in Regina's library? She might have some kind of magic to keep them from sensing it, right?"

As Amy returns, Flaming looks to her. "Pryce put the disks we got from Wineberry's temple together. They have the ability to tell the future, we're trying to think of what to ask it to prepare for Tartarus."

"…um, how did your talk with Vortigern go?"



"She's still going to duel you," Amy says in a sour tone. You note that there's still some swirling darkness lingering in her body.

"You better win. I told her I'm going to break every bone in her body if she does."


Flaming's face goes pale. "Wow… you really went hard-ball with her, huh? I probably could have gone a little harder…"

She takes a deep breath. "But don't worry. I WILL win. For both our sakes, I won't lose. I'll finish what I started."



"Yeah, I tried telling her how stupid it is to go into Tartarus. You'd think she'd listen to the demon who spent 2 millenia in there. But, whatever. If she's not going to listen to reason, then I just have to stop her by force like any other problem."

Then, Amy smiles at Flaming. "Don't worry about it. I'm the Demon Queen and you're the God. It's like good cop and bad cop, right?"


"Yeah… Vortigern's stubborn. One of the things I like most about her. But don't worry, I'm WAY more stubborn. And, I'm technically not a god yet, but I'm getting there. I hope…"

She turns her head in confusion. "Good cop and bad cop…?"


"Keeping us out of the questions sounds best then. Nothing too specific on the mission, in case these divinations are a set path."
Pryce surmises from everypony's opinions.

"We're using these relics, the Sun and Moon Discs, which have combined into one."
Pryce answers.

"Regina might have better protections after what we went through, it would be a wise place to ask about specific targets."

"I'll test it first, see what this entails so we can hone the important questions further."
Pryce looks down to the disc, taking it in his hooves.
"They'll need to be held off tomorrow, and we have a general idea of what they'll do, so this will be a safe question to gauge how this will work. What will the Treibehana do when the Gates to Tartarus open?"



"I think that's what they call it," Amy shrugs. "Like the people who tell people to follow the rules. When there's a good one and a bad one, that's like the best way. Or that's what I remember hearing people say."


"Okay…" Amy says, feeling like she wasn't told the full story.


"I don't know if anyone told you of the details of yesterday, but we also received a book called the Anathema Scripture," River says. "Buiwong bestowed it upon us, so if you have trepidation, I understand. We'll want to take a crack at that as well. I hear it is a cryptographic work. Have you any experience with deciphering code, from your time as a Horror?"

Chorazin slaps you twice then punches you in the nose – though she greatly holds back on that last one, so it mostly just shoves you down to the ground. Giggling, Hafaza joins in and slaps you too.
>Shei 7/5
>Yes, you lost 1 hit

"If this is the damage that six ordinary guardians of this place can inflict, we would do well to avoid a confrontation in the next room," Observer says. "Just as our unwitting host did. Lest we suffer any deaths – and I don't mean you. Gadriel, a single one of that machine's attacks brought you halfway to ruin. In your current state, another of those attacks would cripple you in an instant."
"You don't have to remind me…" Gadriel sighs as he slumps to the ground.

Vortigern makes no response as you leave.

"Why don't we just move in with Regina?" Zjetya asks. "Most of us crashed at her place anyway, right?"
"Stay on target," Rus cautions. "But perhaps that would be wise."
"And if Ecclesia comes up in those visions too," Busta says. "Who knows? Maybe they use similar magic to protect their secret operations."
Cloak knows that this is true.

Your sight is eclipsed in a ball of white fire, as the world around you dissipates, and all is replaced with a brilliant vision:

You see a great mass of bodies moving on a march through a dark and stony landscape, a badlands ravaged by natrual disasters. Hundreds of thousands of demons fill their ranks, perhaps even more. Strange land vehicles and airships add to their numbers, and many of the demons, massive and mighty, carry the lesser ones on their backs and in carriers of their own. Armored and eclectic, they march northward toward the horizon, looking positively famished.



Last time on HolyQuest…

Lockjaw and Hopper staged a little intervention for LJ's moody blues, knocking him out of the funk he fell into after being ditched by Flaming so that she could go have a heart-to-heart with Vortigern. Speaking of which, Flaming and Amy caught a few fish with Vortigern, before Amy took Vortigern aside to try and dissuade her from the fight altogether.

Pryce, Cloak, LJ, River and Zjetya met up with Flaming, and their group went back to the airship in order to consult the Moon and Sun Diskos that they obtained two days ago. When the Moon and Sun touched, they fused together, forming a single stone inscribed with many runes and intricate designs, surrounding a mysterious face, both divine and mortal. With this, they would now be able to consult an accurate future, neither too dark nor too light.

Shei absorbed more time from the staggered biomechs than his body could handle, and lost his perception of the world around him, as he began to move faster than his brain could understand. He nearly killed himself by throwing his body through a mountain of rubble into a concrete wall, and a biomech came around to finish the job by sucking out his blood and replacing it with oil. The others came and slew the machine, narrowly saving Shei, and then castigated him for his actions. Still, they had survived, and were on their way to finding the fridge.


"I don't know if anyone told you of the details of yesterday, but we also received a book called the Anathema Scripture," River says. "Buiwong bestowed it upon us, so if you have trepidation, I understand. We'll want to take a crack at that as well. I hear it is a cryptographic work. Have you any experience with deciphering code, from your time as a Horror?"


Chorazin slaps you twice then punches you in the nose – though she greatly holds back on that last one, so it mostly just shoves you down to the ground. Giggling, Hafaza joins in and slaps you too.
>Shei 7/5
>Yes, you lost 1 hit

"If this is the damage that six ordinary guardians of this place can inflict, we would do well to avoid a confrontation in the next room," Observer says. "Just as our unwitting host did. Lest we suffer any deaths – and I don't mean you. Gadriel, a single one of that machine's attacks brought you halfway to ruin. In your current state, another of those attacks would cripple you in an instant."
"You don't have to remind me…" Gadriel sighs as he slumps to the ground.


Vortigern makes no response as you leave.

>Amy, Pryce, Cloak, Flaming

"Why don't we just move in with Regina?" Zjetya asks. "Most of us crashed at her place anyway, right?"
"Stay on target," Rus cautions. "But perhaps that would be wise."
"And if Ecclesia comes up in those visions too," Busta says. "Who knows? Maybe they use similar magic to protect their secret operations."
Cloak knows that this is true.


Your sight is eclipsed in a ball of white fire, as the world around you dissipates, and all is replaced with a brilliant vision:

You see a great mass of bodies moving on a march through a dark and stony landscape, a badlands ravaged by natrual disasters. Hundreds of thousands of demons fill their ranks, perhaps even more. Strange land vehicles and airships add to their numbers, and many of the demons, massive and mighty, carry the lesser ones on their backs and in carriers of their own. Armored and eclectic, they march northward toward the horizon, looking positively famished.



Pryce looks around as his vision is taken over by a army of demons marching over the land. The sheer number of them stuns him, the sight not as horrible as the vision the Moon Disc alone gave but far, far more than he expected still. He looks around the badlands, trying to see if there is any landmark or identifier to single out where they might be.


The land through which they trudge is vast and jagged, the land rendered and reshuffled by many titanic earthquakes. Great crags and chasms divide the land, and some of their heights and depths seem to extend for many miles. The rocks are red, and scoured by the sun, and plant and animal life seems confined to places that lay in the shade, where a few scant rivers and oases lay.

After a moment more, the vision fades.


"I am hardly consulted as an intelligence unit, though the Morte Legionem did spend some time in its heydays deciphering and creating an uniform cryptographic language for thieves and assassins. They're the reason rogues from different cities and even nationalities often know the same 'thieves' cant'."

Cloak strokes his beard, not speaking up on the Ecclesian matter not wishing to reveal classified information. "In either case, it is best to use the artifact to scry on matters related but not involving those we may think have anti-augur methods."


Pryce comes back from the vision, his sight being filled again by the airship and his friends. He blinks as if coming out of a stupor, looking to everypony.
"…It works, but we have a big problem with the Treibehana. I can't tell where they are, but there's far more of them than I think anypony expected."


"Indeed, and if I may add – perhaps it should go without saying," Volkama begins, casting a glance about the room, "That we will refrain from studying events that specifically concern the private matters of any single one of our number."
"Yeah," Zjetya says. "All joking aside, if there's something grim in store for any one of us, we should let that person alone see it and make their decision on whether to share it."


"How many?" Zjetya asks. "That's definitely something we should take to the Choir members remaining behind."
"Are we going to be sharing the Diskos with them, or just the intel we receive?" River asks. "Perhaps sharing the Diskos may have use, but if it proves too useful, they may request to keep it for themselves."


"The… sensitive nature of the situation means I will not be gazing into my own fate if I can prevent it. I would rather be present and assist the expedition, regardless of outcome." Leather firmly, looking to the floor.


"A smart pony," Volkama says. "My wife and I have yet to decide if she shall enter Tartarus. Her power rivals mine, yet I know not whether I shall be able to concentrate with her upon the field of battle alongside me."
Deriva, Volkama's semi-mute wife, a victim of demon fusion, pokes him with a black tendril. "Rivals…? I'm the stronger…" she wheezes.
Volkama snorts and pokes her back. Despite being middle-aged, and despite his demonic appearance, he seems almost as a child, bickering with Deriva as he does.


"I don't think anypony here would invade anypony else's privacy like that."

"I couldn't count… They just stretch on for miles, some even on top of each other."
Pryce recounts grimly.

"An artifact that can show the future, even if it isn't true, is something I wouldn't trust to Ecclesia. We can give them the intel, but we'll keep the discs to ourselves. King Lininas trusted us with the Moon Disc personally as well, I wouldn't feel right in passing it off."
>"And we did all the work for the Sun Disc too!"
KP chimes in.


Leather watches the two for a moment longer before responding, "In any case, I am glad to assist in seeking out information that is less pertinent on an individual scale and more on the group's, or the surrounding environment. If others have suggestions as to what else I am to search for, I am all ears."


Flaming looks to the others as they suggest moving the conversation into Regina's domain to obscure the vision of the witches as they try and see the future, nodding in approval to the idea.
"I think that would be wise. So, should we take the Diskus and-"

Her attention is suddenly pulled away as Pryce activates the device, looking on in shock as she blinks. "…Oh. Well that works too I guess. Pryce, are you alright? How did it feel?"

As he describes the Treibehana, Flaming frowns, "We already knew there were too many to handle. That's why we need to go into Tartarus in the first place. Is it so much worse than we were already prepared for? Cause things were ALREADY pretty bad."


"Then we'd better be mightily careful about how we share what we know," River says. "I'm sure they have tools of augury, scrying and spying of their own, owing to the Morte Legionem – but if we come along with information that surpasses theirs in quality or scope, they may come around asking questions."
"Let's try to avoid lying to them if we can," Zjetya says. "I'm still an Ecclesian, Pryce, so while I won't snitch on us, I still have some loyalty for 'em."

>For the sake of time I'm going to put two posts into one

River, hearing your request to move to more secure ground, creates a Dark Corridor, allowing you to move from the airship to the garden at the top of the Library of the Sacrosanct, near the central lake.

Once there, the others gather around the Diskos, glancing at one another, each one wondering what the others may see, and how they may react to what is seen.
"Shall we, then?" Rus Tea asks the others.
One by one the gathered others nod again, reaching forward to touch the Diskos. Hopper, Lockjaw, Pucchini and Katcher approach too, if only to see what everyone's looking at.

>If you wish to consult the Diskos, have a specific question in mind to guide the content of your vision.


Leather repeats himself, "If there are any with multiple questions you'd wish answered, please allow me to seek out the less personal one for you. I have nothing of personal interest I would like to pursue."


As the Dark Corridor is created, Flaming files into the portal, heading into the manor on the other side as she looks around Regina's abode. "I hope her magic still works without her around. She's probably more than a little busy with her date…"
She pauses, looking to Journey with a nervous grin. "Which, we REALLY should be getting on with ourselves soon, huh? Don't want you getting cranky having to keep waiting-" she teases playfully.

As everyone gathers around the Diskus, Flaming takes in a breath, approaching it and thinking hard about her question.
"Alright… what will Mudi do if we do nothing to interfere with her once we've reached our goal in Tartarus?"


"It didn't feel all tht different… It just took over my vision, like a dream."
Pryce explains.
"I don't know what Ecclesia prepared for, but I don't think they stand a chance if that force attacks all at once."

"I don't plan to lie, but I won't mention our sources if I can avoid it."
Pryce assures Zjetya.

After they pass through the corridor to the library, Pryce steps aside, setting the disc down for the others to consult. Though, after they all reach forward to it, Pryce can't help but to reach again to the disc.
"When will the Treibehana reach the northwest?"

KP, meanwhile, stands back, knowing this stuff is too big and important for him to get involved with, trusting the others will ask the needed questions.



Amy stares blankly as every discusses things she doesn't understand. She's just happy to be here.


"Well… that's bad, in either case. Especially since you'll be up here with them."
"What about Ecclessia's angels? Could they be enough you think to hold the line?"

As Leather offers to provide additional questions, Flaming thinks for a moment.
"Hmm… well, I do kind of have one."
"Can you ask it, 'is there anything that can destroy the Treibehana outside of Tartarus?'?"


"Ow Ow ow! Stop! That's enough already" Shei shoots an irritable glance at Hafaza. "It will not happen again. I'll consult with the bodhidharma in my lantern. Perhaps he could intake some of the temporal energy the next time I need to cast such a thing on such demons."

In response to Observer's… observations, Shei-Sher inches closer to Gadriel while seated on the ground. "Gadriel.. You are the only one among us capable of healing magic. This means you bear a great responsibility. We all rely on you. You may be brittle but I made your form morphous, malleable, you can change however you please as you find yourself. You are the divide between demons and angels, so I gave you healing capabilities to inure you from such a form, but not make you ignorant of it. What you are is beautiful, and if you want discover more of what made you -use that crystal ball. Tap into the your shared ancestry. You may found strengths inside of you -you never knew."
Shei-Sher is referencing Gadriel's shapeshift skill. He may have an idea what he is talking about.

"In the meanwhile." Shei unfurls his cloak of beasts and lets his three malakhim come out from it.


"Very well, though perhaps with adding the caveat 'that we can utilize'. I do not wish to be subject to visions of an unspeakable being that would in no way be able assist us in our mission."



As everyone talks, Amy notices the Diskos and becomes distracted.

"What's this do?" she asks as she pokes them.

>Yes, that's right. That is my question!


Leather goes with the question of "What forces exist that can destroy or halt the Triebehana outside of Tartarus that can be utilized by our allies?" and touches the Diskos.


Flaming looks over to her as she asks her question, and answers, "These are the Sun and Moon Diskos, Amy. We got them from the Temple, together they can tell the f-"

Her eyes open as she's about to touch it. "Or you could just do THAT…"

"Oh, yeah good idea. Something that would cost those on the surface dearly isn't much of an option at all, is it?"


LJ simply sips his smoothie, and grins. "Well, the fact that I've finally gotten to sample my masterpiece dulls the pain from earlier a little. But Amy's still in a bunch of trouble because of you, so you'd better feel guilty about that."
"Building a harem like Pryce?" Volkama asks.
"NO," LJ snorts.


As your hooves touch the combined Moon and Sun Diskos, you feel a cool wave pulse through your body, as if your bodies were but bodies of water, and a single stone just broke the calm and unmoving surface.

As the pulse passes through you, the sensation subtly transforms, and you feel your senses moving outwards from yourselves. It is no longer that you are like separate bodies of water, but that all of you are like a single great body of water, undivided and collected, joined by, ultimately, a single purpose.

From that sense of being linked, a great power starts to well up within you, spreading from person to person like rippling waves, each one bigger than the last, growing in force and impact. The feeling is cold, yet warm; you feel the light's guidance, and the night's calm shelter. You look at one another, and in them, you can see the dark of space, enlightened by the glimmering of many stars.

And below that sensation, you feel the rumblings of something even deeper, something beyond your capacity to sense and perceive. Pryce and Cloak, having been in the presence of the immortal gods at their full power, recognize it right away.

>Choose either Soul or Mind from the Sphere of Light, and either Space or Time from the Sphere of Dark. Then, once you have chosen your Aspect, choose one skill from each tier of your chosen Aspect.

You behold Mudi in a beautiful and small garden, encased in a kind of white sky dome, surrounded by miles of tranquil white flowers. As she steps toward the Momentary Lake, she releases the many Shades from her crystal ball, joining hooves with them. As they all enter the waters, they converge, becoming one body. All of Tartarus quakes at the moment… but Mudi, engulfed in light and dark, begins to scream, her face twisted into a masque of terror, the cause unknown. She turns, and with her magic, creates many long, dark limbs, sending them out beyond the white flowers. They come back anon, grasping each of your allies, and you yourself. Mudi raises her staff, and with her spell of Lifedrain, begins to siphon power from everyone, who are helpless to stop it.

You behold Pryce talking with Metatron, in a landscape of total gray static, with nary any land or buildings in sight. Metatron is surrounded by a host of angels at rest, and he glares at Pryce with a strange mixture of contempt and indifference. Zjetya and River are with him, beseeching Metatron of something, but you cannot hear them. He looks uncaring.

You see the moon hanging in the sky, waxing and waning in a full cycle, symbolizing one month. However, instead of an army, you see a small envoy approaching a mighty castle of sandstone and adobe, which you do not recognize. The envoy appear to be messengers or couriers of a sort, and coming out to meet them are a group of royals of races you do not recognize either – lizards, bugs, birds, and mammals much like diamond dogs.


The three malakhim manifest, looking to you for your orders.

Gadriel looks a bit lost during your talk, but once it becomes clear, he nods and sits down, holding the crystal ball before him. He begins to meditate, and his body subtly starts shifting…


>bottom half of sheet unlocked
>Black Threads, Tsiba, Maitreya unlocked from Sphere of Light
>Longevity, Slow Down!, Fossilization unlocked from Sphere of Dark

Leather waits for the others to reveal their discoveries first, patiently wishing to hear their accounts first before speaking to Pryce on the matter alone.


Shei speaks to the malakhim. "Protect my brother Gadriel, steward him, and be his humble advisors in the art of war. Do this for me and I shall do what is in my power to restore your profane forms. This is my promise."

Shei-Sher looks to Gadriel eagerly, waiting to see what ancestral token of power he finds within. But he does say "In Vadahara I planted a tree of sapphen. I planned on capturing a demon here to sell to a certain merchant. But instead we can use a demon as fertilizer for the tree. A sacrifice from you, in Sapphen's name may grant a seed of sapphen. A seed which bestows supernatural vitality unto those who consume it.. -If there's time that is."


Flaming snickers at Journey, "It's okay, I promised her I'll make it up to her later so she doesn't mind taking double the trouble for now."
She pauses, thinking about it for a moment. "Although… if you wanted to do something 'nice' for me, you could forgive her too? Please?"
She blinks at him innocently, not fully used to the idea of 'feminine charm' but testing the waters.

As the Diskos overtake all of the group with their wave of energy, Flaming releases a voiceless gasp, feeling as though she's drowning in the light before she sense herself leaving her body, her very spirit linked with the others as they're taken into the power of the cosmic void below them. She looks into the beyond, unable to say anything but merely embrace the energies of the universal essence that flows into her…
>Soul from the Sphere of Life!
>Space from the Sphere of Dark!
I DEFINITELY want these two spheres but need a bit more time to finalize my tier choices

Flaming looks on at the vision of Mudi pulling all of the party into her dark grasp, teeth grinding with rage and hurt while her eyes blink in surprise, though part of her feels a sense of vindication as well, that her dark premonitions of the witch were true all along.
"So that's what'll happen… or, at least it's likely…"


"A buffalo doesn't hand out forgiveness unless the wrongdoer can beat it out of him," LJ says. "And I don't think Amy's skull has anything on mine."

The others reflexively take a few steps back from the Diskos, catching their balance on whatever furniture or walls might be nearby, catching their breath after the great influx of power and the visions that they bore witness to. Busta, Rus Tea and Volkama appear disturbed, Tantra, LJ and the Dragon appear intrigued, with a dash of worry, while Deriva, Onion, Blessings, Zjetya and River are still silently contemplating what they saw, seeming to wear masks of stoic resolution.

Tantra, after catching his breath, looks about the room. "…Yeesh. I hope that's not too accurate."
"Agreed…" Blessings says.

The three malakhim nod, but it is unclear whether they understood your promise, or simply recognize the order as being an order, in their warped minds.

Gadriel's body transforms, with his wings consolidating and becoming several thick layers of robes and clothes, covered with perhaps a hundred belts, from which hang pouches of many sorts, including the bulbs of healing that hang from his wings normally. He looks leaner and has a smarter look about him, more scholarly. His body is also longer, much like a Yagi.

"Got it," Gadriel says. He plucks a few bulbs from the belt about him. "What do you need me to do?"

"On the question of time, we may not have a lot to play with," Mirror says. "That cloaked pony we hired may be near his destination, and he'll want his payment. How long do you expect this to take?"



"Oh… that's what it does," Amy nods. "Neat. Kind of pointless, though," she shrugs.

Then, she feels the surge of energy. "Oh, that's nice," she says with a wag of her tail.

>Aspect of Mind: Vestigial Sunlight, Gilded Tongue, Reconstruction

>Aspect of Time: Can I Borrow This?, Impatience, and Go, Go, Go!


"I don't know enough about to them to know how they'd fare. If they don't get overwhelmed, they might be able to hold the line enough so we don't lose any mortals."

"Don't word it like that," Pryce says to Volkama's comment, "It's a normal relationship, with two mares."
He clarifies with a better tone.

Pryce feels the sensation run through him, feeling that surge of power that radiates from the gods, but this time in a more comforting tone surrounded by his friends rather than the imposing might of a deity looking at a subject. This sensation pushes aside some of the worries given by the earlier vision, knowing that he'll need to stand strong against this oncoming force to protect his new clan.

>Aspect of Mind

>>White Threads
>>Gilded Tongue
>>Mass Hallucination

>Aspect of Space

>>Subspace Walker

Pryce watches the moon, marking down the month of passing time for when the Treibehana will be a threat. When the envoy of demons reaches the castle, Pryce takes a pause, trying to look in closer to see the races that greet them to settle down the first kingdom that has the unfortunate run-in with the demons.


>"On the question of time, we may not have a lot to play with,"
"Right! Let's make haste then and follow suit with the pony we hire. We confront him, informing him we have followed him to be sure of his work and to find the local scrap yards our selves. We may then search amongst the scrap ourselves for parts, with the mysterious pony aware of our presence and searching as well. It should halve the time we'd spend."

Without wanting to waste a moment more shei ushers everyone through the door and they follow their lead.


"Since when is seeing the future pointless!?" Blessings asks incredulously. "What did you even see?"

"Normal with an asterisk!" Volkama teases.

The vision fades before you can get a good glimpse at the rulers, but you're positive you've never seen any race like those before.


"I wonder if we should have had a test such as 'what is the next card that will be drawn from this deck' as to truely test the accuracy of the Diskos. We have all made queries that we will not know the veracity of until much later."

Leather turns to Pryce once he seems to have ceased seeing his vision, "My query led to a vision of yourself, when you have time to speak in private. It is not dire, but regardless would prefer you to choose to reveal your own fate, not myself."


Flaming staggers back from the Diskos after her vision subsides, shaking her head free of the bizarre feeling of being BACK in her body following the great energy that overwhelmed her with the Primordial Aspects' power.

She looks around, curious what exactly all did everyone see, greatly curious in asking them all what they saw in turn before turning back to the Diskos, taking in a deep breath ready to ask it one more question.

"Okay then… what will happen if we follow Shei's plan for Amy to the letter?" She asks, unsure if she's ready for another glimpse so soon but needing to take that risk.

"Why do you say it's pointless? Now we can see what'll happen and if it's bad, change it!"


Gadriel falls silent, focusing as he begins to mix a more potent, concentrated version of the ambrosia contained within the glass bulbs.

[1d10] Arabian Alchemy

As you exit the first warehouse with the others, you find that you are on the other side of the tire wall, which extends around to the east and west. Smog chokes the sunlight, casting everything into a perpetual, heat-choked afternoon glare. You appear to be in a ruined parking depot, as the battered and stripped remnants of many great vehicles lay all about, principally to the north. Ahead, you see a second, larger warehouse, from which you can hear the whirring of active machinery. The entrance is watched by a magitech eye perched above it.

"Anyone see where he went?" Hafaza asks.

Chorazin bends down, scanning for hoofprints.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Onion hands you a worn deck of cards, in a small wooden box. The cards are faded with age, but they are remarkably well kept in spite of everything. "I know a number of tricks, if you're really keen on trying to see how well this takes into account curveballs poppin' up in the equation.

In the second vision, you behold not Amy as queen over demonkind reigning over all the northwest, but rather, you see Amy confronted in the garden of the Momentary Lake, not by Mudi, nor Vizsla, both of whom are nowhere to be found. Instead, there are twelve who stand before her: Gegenschein, Ichimonji, Galton, Freischutz, Holy Hours and Living Saint Zoantharia, as well as their six retainers, the Spooks. A calm negotiation takes place between Gegenschein and Amy, but the Ecclesians all have their weapons in hoof, not drawn but at the ready all the same. Toward the end of the vision, Amy's coat begins to darken with anger.



"Because!" Amy says defensively as if it should be obvious. "Either we can change it or we can't. If we can't, then there was no point in seeing it. If we can, then it's like just knowing one thing that might happen. And, we already know what things MIGHT happen. Anything COULD happen!"

"I saw Moody going crazy and killing us. Obviously, we knew that was a possibility."


"It's close enough to normal."
Pryce defends.

When the vision fades, Pryce blinks again, adjusting to his vision returning to normal,looking to see the other's expressions.
"What did everypony see, that they are comfortable with sharing?"
He asks slowly, not rushing anypony seeing that they all need a moment to gather themselves.
"I saw the Treibehana reaching this region in a month, but the first come across a kingdom of creatures I've never seen before…"

"You saw me?" Pryce asks, thinking on the query… "What did you ask?"


"It would be an interesting test in which if the fate is a possibility, or set in stone. I do propose two tests, in which first we test the Diskos' ability to predict the immediate feature with no legerdemain involved," Leather says, shuffling the deck with some skill himself, "And a second where I will seek answer to what card will be drawn should you try and modify fate, reveal that fate to you, and then draw the card after you've made an attempt to ensure that card is not on top. You understand the process?"


Shei asks Chorazin "Do you see where our lead went?"

if Chorazin can't pick up his direction shei points north toward the vehicle junkyard "The heaps over there seem rife with parts. I think that would attract an expert scavenger don't you think?" And leads the way there.


"The wording I chose, in my head, was What forces exist that can destroy or halt the Triebehana outside of Tartarus that can be utilized by our allies. You were said ally in the vision, along with River and Zjetya." Leather responds factually.


"Was… Were we that force? Or did we find it?"


"But that's the point!" Flaming shouts in argument.
"This shows us a likely event that's to occur if we don't take any intentional action to change it. Now that I've seen what I've seen, I know to do whatever I can to AVOID that future and make another one!"

Flaming blinks as she's taken out of the next vision, looking over at Amy with confusion then back to the Diskos, wondering what it is that could have created the scene before them… but takes solace in knowing that, at the least, Amy does not endanger her and the clan, and the hope that whatever is about to set Amy off in her vision she could be talked down from.

"Okay… based on what I just saw, I think I've decided. We should follow Shei's plan, as close as we can."

She turns to face Leather and Pryce, not having followed along on their conversation. "What did you two see when you asked your questions?"


"I saw the Treibehana meeting an unknown kingdom, almost scouting them out in a cautious way. I didn't recognize any of the races either, but there is a month before this will happen. What did you see?"


Onion nods, holding out his paw for the deck of cards. "Whenever you're ready, mister. But if I can make a prediction myself, I'm thinking it'll be mighty hard to get a read on my trickery."
"Why's that?" Busta asks.
"I'll explain it once these tests are through," Onion says.

The Dragon looks around at the others gathered. "It looks like they made a fatal mistake, and tried to see their own fates, using their first vision."
"True enough," Blessings says. "Is it not natural to wonder about your own mortality?"
"And I take it that, as we've been hearing so often, not everyone got a favorable reading," LJ says.
"Right," Rus Tea says. She clenches her fists to stop their shaking.
"A foolish move," the Dragon continues. "Amy is correct. Death is inevitable, sooner or later. It is universal, as well. It is therefore mundane, not unique in the slightest. What point is there to thinking overlong on it? You'll only ruin your own concentration by having it in your mind."
"…Maybe you and Amy are right," Tantra says. "But let's see what results Onion and Cloak here get with their test, before we settle our minds."

Hopper and Lockjaw sit to the side, both sitting perfectly still. They seem to be contemplating something deeply. Their eyes faintly glow with power.

Chorazin and the others follow you north toward the trailer yard, where you see more heaps of garbage, picked over by scavengers and carrion-birds. The contents of many trailers and cargo airships appear to have been unceremoniously dumped from their carriers and scattered in many heaps. Larger biomechs, resembling crabs with long-haul trucks as their shells, patrol this zone.

Chorazin gestures to a location further ahead, along the western wall of the warehouse, which you are near right now. You see a very faint trail in the dirt and dust of the trailer yard, leading toward an outer staircase that reaches a door on the second level of the warehouse. It's hard to see the trail, as the one who left it made an attempt to cover his tracks. But, it is most likely the route that the hired pony took.

Gadriel starts to cough as the concoction he's working on bursts in his face. He grumbles, folding his arms with a pout.



"We were already going to avoid that future," Amy retorts.


Amy beams with pride as people agree with her. That doesn't happen often.

"I feel like it gave us the power we need to make sure the bad futures don't happen," Amy adds. "So, maybe it wasn't so dumb after all."


Shei pats Gadriel's back "The road to insight is filled with potholes."

Shei-Sher leads on as he follows the path left by the pony they hired.


"These visions are only possible futures, not what will happen for sure. If there was something unfavorable, it can be changed."
Pryce says to the group to try and quell any sights of death they might have saw as The Dragon mentioned.
"River. Zjetya. What did you two see?"
He asks, looking to the two of them.

KP waves his hoof in front of Hopper and Lockjaw. Sitting in contemplation is something he could see from his frog, but from his deviljho it's something entirely different.
>"Guys? Are you alright?"


"I asked the Diskos how we should approach our goal in Tartarus, who to send into the Momentary Lake. Mudi ended… badly. For us, in particular. I don't know if that's absolutely what would happen but, it's enough warning for me."

"Then I asked about Amy, following with Shei's plan to make her Queen instead. It was better, I think, but, Ecclessia had seemed to turn on her, or was at least wary of her. They hadn't started fighting before my vision ceased though, so I hope whatever it was could be brought down."

"This unknown kingdom, were they fighting them at all? Were they friend or foe?"

Flaming looks around, her eyes bulging out as she starts to realize some of her clan-mates reactions… may have been meaning their own ends.
"Remember what you saw. We will do everything we can to make sure those parts of the vision do not come to pass."

She looks at the Diskos one more time, wondering if she should do the same, asking about herself… or Journey.

"But now we KNOW to avoid it!"



"We already knew to avoid it!"


"But we weren't sure it was gonna happen! Now we ARE!"



"Now we're sure it's NOT going to happen!"


"It is not something of great concern or the like, no ill portent - I only figured it polite to keep one's fate private."

He speaks in a low tone, out of privacy more than anything else, "In said vision, you beseech the entity known as Metatron, surrounded by a group of their angels. I know not what was spoken, but they seemed to hold something between contemptuous care to little care towards you, while Zjetya and River plead with them."

Cloak clears his throat, "A vision of Pryce, but whether he wishes to share is his own will."

"Very well, the first test, the control group as it were."

Leather touches the Diskos again, seeking the answer to the simple question of "What will be the card I will draw from a deck after this vision."


"It's not surprising to hear going with Mudi would end poorly. I hope Ecclesia doesn't do anything brash, or are just using you all for their own gain to get through Tartarus."
Pryce comments.
"I couldn't tell. I saw royals stepping out to greet an envoy of demons, so it seemed to be a first meeting. But for demons ot try diplomacy, even if it's a trap, seems strange."


Onion waits a few seconds, and through the Diskos, you see him drawing the Ace of Bells from the top of the deck. He does not reveal it, but rather puts it back on top of the deck. He then passes the deck to you – and indeed, you draw the Ace of Bells.

"Ready for the tests?" Onion asks, loosening his fingers and stretching his wrists.


Pryce goes silent for a moment.
("Him being a force that can deal with them entirely? I shouldn't be surprised, but… I don't know if that's a force easy to work with, or what would cause me to seek him out.")


"Yes, do not attempt to deceive me or the artifact until after I have told you what the card I have seen in the vision."

Cloak once more touches the Diskos, seeking the answer to the same question.


"Exactly!" Flaming points out as though her point was just proven by your statement. "See?"

"That sounds worrying…" she asks, looking up to Pryce to see if he'll answer.
"I can only hope, but, between a power-crazed Mudi and twelve of Ecclessia's best, I think it's safe to say one might be more reasonable, or at least easier to deal with, than the other one, right?"

As he mentions the unknown army seeming diplomatic, she frowns. "That's worrying. If that army's set to take over Fantasia the last thing they need is more allies."



"Aaaah!" Amy screams in confused frustration as she hunches over and rubs her temples. Apparently, this logic has broken her.


"I inquired about our future safety," River says. "Leaving out any notions of our relationship. What I saw… well, we'll be living life hanging from a thread. Hunger, thirst, the natural elements… there will be several times when it will seem that all is lost, but we can manage to pull through, I think… but I didn't see Vortigern with us."
"I asked about how the kids would fare," Zjetya says. "And, well… it mostly concentrated on Spitshine. Sugar, not so much. I saw Spitshine approaching his father's ship in a wasteland, by himself, but… I didn't see what came of his confrontation with Banana Splitz. Sugar disappeared from the visions entirely after a while."

When you break his concentration, Lockjaw looks your way, bumping his spiny chin against your forehead in a friendly gesture. Hopper continues to look very grave, and gives you an ominous croak… that almost sounds like a warning.

Gadriel grumbles something along lines that every introverted kid brother might mumble when faced with failure.

You follow the staircase up to the second level of the warehouse, and find the door slightly ajar. Inside, you see a warehouse much like the one you just left, but instead of heaps of junk, this one is filled with a strangely intact network of conveyor belts, running along three tiers, including a number of chutes, ramps, slides and dividers meant to assist in the proper distribution of goods. A total of three grand magitech computers stand at equidistant spots in the warehouse – one in the south, one in the center and one in the north.

>roll perception

After Onion shuffles it once, you see yourself drawing the ten of bells… but before you can announce it, the face of the card changes, going through several permutations, before finally just becoming a blur of static.

After the vision ends, you see that Onion has not touched the deck, as per your orders.


"Perhaps my mention itself has altered fate in that you will now seek them out. I am aware of the actions performed in Vitral."

Cloak looks to Onion, "In the vision, I drew the ten of bells after you had shuffled once, though before announcing it like I am now, the card's face identity change numerous times before becoming altogether unreadable. For the sake completing the experiment, go ahead and do what you will, performing your trick as to avoid the announced card."

Leather draws once Onion is done.


"Ecclesia will be much easier to deal with than Mudi, I can say that much."

"Leather saw me meeting with Metatron in effort to stop the Treibehana. I don't know what would lead to that, but I can't imagine it'll be an easy task if that does come."

"Does that mean she'll be going into Tartarus with the others, or…"
Pryce stops himself, looking to Zjetya as she explains her vision. He turns to face them both.
"Even if things do grow tough, I know we'll make it through. All of us will, together, and nopony will 'disappear' while I'm still standing."

KP chuckles as Lockjaw gets back to his usual self, giving him a pat. When Hopper gives him a croak of warning, he picks up the frog, looking a little worried.
>"We'll be alright little buddy. We got all the others."

("It's not just Vitral. Metatron has taken to leaving this world to die, doing nothing to aid as it tears itself apart. To seek an angel that has grown apathetic or wants to see the end of us seems almost a waste of effort to do.")


>This track is from KH3's ReMind DLC; do not click if you want to avoid spoilers

A similar phenomenon takes place as Cloak and Onion repeat the experiment. Cloak sees Onion performing a number of tricks both flashy and subtle, twirling cards between his fingers, making some vanish into his sleeves, moving one card from the middle to the top without it being clear, spinning cards about higher and lower, to the bottom and to the top, and so on. Eventually, his hands just become a blur in the future-vision of the Diskos, becoming unreadable. Every card that is revealed to Cloak, or that he attempts to draw, becomes a mass of static.

"I'm guessin' I was right, mister," Onion says after a while. "They call it the Paradox of Divination: A phenomenon in which the very act of observing the future changes that future. Take this situation. We both know that you can see the future using the Diskos. Because of that, I decide to play my tricks – but you can see my tricks in advance, and because I know this, I change the trick… but you can see that trick, and because I know that, I pull a different trick. It creates a feedback loop, reshuffling events ad infinity. Theoretically, in this case, it should eventually stop, because I only know so many tricks, and therefore my actions are limited. But, in the case of Tartarus, who knows what'll happen?"


Shei carefully pushes the door open, gently making his way inside as he double takes to his surroundings.
[1d10] perception

He takes out pupil and approaches one of the computers " I remember An old scavvie from lilane once described these contraptions to me. Some kind of calculator and repository? Perhaps I can find a map on it."
Shei fumbles with the keyboard, the technology is completely foreign and awkward to him but he uses Pupil to guide.
[1d10] into computer, find a map of the area or relevant information

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 3 = 3



"You think ECCLESIA would be easier to deal with?" Amy interrupts, surprised to hear it. "Groups are SO MUCH harder to deal with than just a person. Groups don't like to listen because they have each other to tell them they're right, even though they aren't."


"Nor did he care for what you spoke. That being said, it was what the Diskos gave in terms of forces that we can in fact use to cease the tirade of Treibehana."


"Ecclesia at least won't jump to kill you all first. If Flaming saw confrontation with them leading to a tense moment, while Mudi leads to a bad end, then a difficult but not deadly route sounds better."


Flaming grins, evidently proud of herself for 'frying out' her sister's brain. "It's really all so elam… elemnt… elemantray… SIMPLE when you think about it, really."

She gasps, remembering her horrifying encounter with the angel all the way back in Mariposa. "Well… he's certainly powerful enough to turn the tide… AND the angels seem to be turning over a new leaf, helping Ecclessia with its defenses in Lilane and all. But, I don't know, that seems really dangerous to try and convince it to do anything…"

As Onion explains the paradox, in how seeing the future in and of itself changes it since now they're filled with knowledge they had not prior. She pauses, thinking this over.
"U-huh… well, I definitely wanted to avoid ONE of the futures I saw, so that's fine by me. The one I kind of liked I'm worried about losing now, but, what if I just try and do things only slightly different? But, then the future might change because it KNOWS i'm trying to avoid it and…!"

Flaming grunts, letting out an annoyed grunt as she looks at Onion, "GAH! Why's this got to be so confusing? Alright, I know what I saw that I wanted to happen. I'll just have to make sure it does. It's not like Tartarus itself knows we know what's coming, or Mudi… I hope."


"However, should you stop with your tricks, the last to remain shall be the ten of bells, no? Does this only delay the inevitable, to where at some point next time I draw from a deck of cards, it will be the chosen one?"



"First of all, just because Ecclesia wouldn't jump to kill YOU doesn't mean we're all safe… I'm never safe around them."

"Second, that's not easier to deal with. That's just a less bad ending."


"More like circular…" Amy grumbles.


Zjetya shrugs. "Couldn't say."
River pecks you on the cheek. "Agreed. These visions are not prophecy, nor are we beholden to fate."

Hopper taps KP on the head with his staff, then gestures to the Diskos with a sense of urgency.

Onion shrugs. "I only know some magic trivia. I ain't that smart."
"It would seem," Blessings interjects, "That the way to avoid this paradox is to keep the Diskos a secret as much as possible. The principal cause seems not to be the observation, so much as the fact that both involved parties are aware of the Diskos' power. Divination, properly conducted, runs using the variables provided at the time of the divination's activation – the variables don't change, normally, until the vision has ended. It's just that, because both Onion and Cloak know about the Diskos, the variables aren't ever defined at the time that Cloak invokes the Diskos."

Arabian Alchemy [1d10]

You cannot seem to make sense of the computer's inputs or its outputs, or its strange interface. Ironically, it is a much older contraption than even Accorsia's older magitech terminals, possibly decades older. It is totally arcane.

Near the northern computer, you see some stacks of sorted boxes, ranging from small to large. The hooded pony is there, checking a manifest against the stacks' identification numbers.

However, before you can process that, a whistling sound can be briefly heard…

>roll dodge, DC 7

Roll #1 7 = 7


"That's how I feel as well. Knowing it is an option is, something to say the least. Pursuing it though, I'm not entirely sure on."

"But you'll have everypony else to protect you, and Leather has worked with them, so he'll know how to talk with them. With Mudi, there is no connection or history between her and any of us, so that's a much riskier route."

"We'll just have to fight even harder to show nothing can split us apart, or keep us down."
Pryce says with confidence. He returns the peck on the cheek as a show of the decree, and then gives Zjetya one as well, not leaving her out.

KP rubs his head where he got tapped, then looks to the staff.
>"You want me to look at it too?"
He questions, stepping up to it and placing his hoof down on it.
>"Uh… What did Hopper see?"


Shei ducks

"Hold your fire! We hired you. Think of our intrusion as an interactive progress report."

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5



"But, we can just overpower her and be able to convince her eventually. Even if we overpower Ecclesia, everyone will just whine about how that makes us the bad guys."


"All the more reason for me not to seek insight on my own future. Seeing a favorable outcome may cause me to take actions that end up preventing it by accident, or trying to avoid a bad outcome and only delaying the inevitable, or worse becoming trapped within a paradox." He nods back to Onion, "I am no magic scholar as well, I'm content with ceasing to play with the strings of fate myself."


"Right, that's what I was thinking too." Flaming concurs with the zebra. "The only way this can change is if Mudi, or Ecclessia, knows we know how this turns out. Hopefully, doing this in Regina's manor protected us from any prying eyes."

She lets out a breath. "So, as long as we keep the Diskos a secret, we'll be safe. Hmm…"

She looks at them. "Do you think we should hide them before we go into Tartarus? So Mudi can't even know we had them, leave them hidden up here?"

"It sort of sounds like you lean on doing it one way or the other anyways," she says referring to the prophetic vision. "So, if you do… just be careful. You know how dangerous it is."


The pony simply looks at you with confusion. And, without warning, you are struck in the back of the head by a small box. It stings a little, but doesn't seem to have done any real damage. Observer looks at Hafaza scoldingly, but she shakes her head. "What? I didn't do that, believe it or not."
Mirror Image looks at Chorazin scoldingly, but Chorazin just scoffs. "Oh, please. YOU'RE the one who would do that to him."
Gadriel is too focused on blending and stabilizing his compound of healing ambrosia that he has no input.

In other words… that shot came from someone or something else entirely.

KP sees nothing in his vision. And, any repeated attempts, made with a rephrased question about what Hopper saw, yield nothing. In fact, any attempts for KP to use the Diskos in any capacity, with any question, yield nothing but darkness.

"Still care to play with cards?" Onion asks. "This is a rare suit; I don't get to show it off often. Could show you a trick or two that even you ain't familiar with."

Blessings rubs her chin. "…I'm not certain. I don't want to become reliant upon it; part of the trouble with divination is that its practitioners can develop a psychological dependence, much like a physical dependence upon coffee or alcohol or tobacco or other drugs, by those who consume them. Still, it would be very useful if we can find the time and safety to stop and check in on future trials."
"But doesn't Tartarus have a mind and will of its own?" LJ asks. "What if using the Diskos down there pisses it off?"



"Wait wait wait," Amy steps into the conversation with Blessings and LJ. "We're talking about bringing these INTO Tartarus? That seems like a massively BAD idea! I mean, there's the obvious problem that some thing in Tartarus could get a hold of it and get even stronger!"

"But, that's not even my biggest problem! Using something like this is something you do when you want to come up with a plan and ideas. We need all the plans and ideas BEFORE going in. Once we're in there, we need to stick to that plan. The more we change it, the more we will disagree. The more we disagree, the more Tartarus is going to mess things up. We CANNOT use this thing in Tartarus. So, we have no reason to bring it in."


"Oh -uh, just a box.." shei looks around "it must have come from somewhere." Shei passes his aura outward to reveal anything hidden from them.


Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


"I definitely don't want to become overly reliant on it," Flaming agrees. "There's a point where we need to make our own future, not look to the one we're hoping for. And, I guess it's true, it just being there might endanger us."

"But," Flaming pauses, "What if something really bad happens and we need to come up with a new plan on the fly? I don't think we should use it… or at least, use it as little as possible… but isn't it better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it? We could maybe store it in the mini-rooms Pryce showed us earlier, so that Tartarus or Mudi can't see we have them."



"It doesn't matter if Tartarus sees the discs. It just matters that Tartarus sees us uncertain."


"With years among assassins and thieves, I've seen a few, so I would interested to see what can be done, provided it's not magic." Leather shrugs, alright with getting to know the quirks of the Saviors' group.


"Right, I see what you mean… but still, what if there's an emergency? Just on the off chance they could save our lives, isn't it better to take them with us just in case?"


The Dragon shakes his head. "I agree with Blessings and Amy. In order to be decisive, one must not allow for any safety nets. We must burn the ships behind us, so to speak – otherwise, by keeping the Diskos upon us, our minds will always go back to them, whenever we want guidance. That alone will lead to uncertainty and anxiety, and as a result, disaster."
"Then I say we leave it too," Tantra says. "Get your questions out now. We'll only be able to rely on ourselves down there."
"Yeah…" Busta says. "I don't want to see any more, myself."

"Oh, but before we can do that, a little celebration," Onion says. He goes to one of the ship's storage chests, and withdraws a strange near-black stone grail, engraved with a rune on its face, and a spiral shape to its cup. He then withdraws a little wine from a nearby cabinet. "Another artifact of power that we've come across in our trials. It seemed to work when we first drank of it, so I think the same should apply here, no?"

He pours some and offers it to you.

As you spread your Aura, you begin to sense magatsuhi from the three computers that seem to be in charge of operating this network of conveyor belts. All at once, the belts flare to life, and boxes start to run down their surfaces. Some belts accelerate, and instead of simply conveying their contents, they sling-shot them across the room with the force of a shot put ball. Without warning, the air fills with boxes being shot in all directions!

[1d10+1] your entourage tries to dodge the onslaught of boxes by scattering for cover.

[1d10+2] a small box flies your way, toward your ribs.

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8


Flaming takes a moment to think things over, then nods her head. "Okay. Then I'm with you: we leave the Diskos behind us. I might still have more questions for it but, you're right: if we take it into Tartarus with us it'll just plague us with doubt. And, besides: the ones who stay behind could use it more."

Flaming takes one more look at them, taking a deep breath. "I'll think carefully before tomorrow if there's anything else to ask. But what I've got so far is a lot to think on already."



"That's a good point, Shortyhorns," Amy nods. "Honestly, the worst of the fighting might be going on at the entrance. If it's anything like last time the doors opened up, it's going to be like a flood."


"Aha, a drink before cards. Should make your tricks easier as well then. I'll partake in enough to activate whatever the effects of the artifact is. I trust it holds no ill effects that you've not mentioned."

Leather raises the grail with his hoof, before drinking.


Shei runs for cover while covering his face from the pelting "This is ridiculous!"
[1d10] dodge roll

He tosses over a match to the conveyor belt. Charged with magic, when the match lands it causes the metal belts to glow red hot and fuse together, stopping the wild ride.

>CURSE OF IRON+1: Recharge 3(minus 1); Heats up the weapons and armour of the target to a red hot blaze, burning those who touch them. Disarms the target as well as deals damage, and makes their weapons impossible to pick up for a turn afterwards. Autocrits heavily armoured targets.


Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10


As you drink of the wine, your senses dull, and then deaden briefly. However, it is a different kind of sense-deadening than that which is produced by poisons or knockout techniques. It is a kind somewhat like sleep, only, with a certain solemnity, and a sense of divine closeness, like that which you feel when close to Hypomone. It is the closeness of death, but it does not evoke fear, only a kind of… familiarity. Death is always near to assassins like you. After a while, it becomes a sort of companion – and that's what the wine of the chalice reminds you of, by bringing that companion near for just a moment.

After that little-death, you feel your soul swell with power again.

>Sphere of Death skills unlocked

"Then we're in agreement?" Blessings asks. "Any objections?"
None of those gathered raise objections.
"Let's leave the Diskos somewhere safe aboard the ship," Tantra says. "Anyone who wants more guidance can come here and check it out."

You disrupt one of the conveyor belts by melting shut the spool operating its cables, but there are countless more criss-crossing around you. The hooded pony has no reaction, instead going back to pick up one of the larger boxes from the piles. He hefts it onto his shoulder as packages start to fly.

Despite some ducking and weaving, you're struck in the ribs by a small box that must weigh close to one hundred pounds, somehow. You feel something crack.

>Shei loses 1 Hit and 1 Wound

Concluding that the computers must have some control over the attacks, your allies split up – Hafaza and Observer turn their attention to the northernmost computer, while Chorazin and Mirror Image focus on the southernmost computer, leaving you and Gadriel with the central one.

[1d10+2] S
[1d10+2] G

More boxes fly your way and at Gadriel.

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11


"No disagreements from me."
Flaming looks down at her self, clutching her hooves, feeling the newly acquired power from the Diskos coursing through them as she tries to get a grasp on the abilities she just inherited. She sits down, looking contemplative, before looking over towards Journey, calling him over.
"Hey, Journey, when we all looked into the Diskos together, you felt it too, right? Like, a surge of power? I… I kinda want to try it out. You wanna take a little run outside?"


Shei-Sher is alarmed by the crack in his ribs. Not sure if he really is that fragile or there was something in that box.
Shei grabs a seal from his bag and flicks it in the direction of the central computer. The paper flies and attaches with a magical velocity.

>GABBY'S SEAL: Turns a living enemy into an walking corpse. For all intents and purposes this target now counts as Undead and a corpse. This effect ends if someone removes the seal from their body.


Gadriel shoots an array of pinpoint darts from his fur, sticking themselves in key joints of machine.
>KNOCKOUT: On hit, the enemy is unable to counterattack next turn, and is considered helpless, but does not lose a wound. He instantly and automatically gets up on the turn after that.

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7


LJ hops and clicks his back hooves together. "Yeah! Ooh but we should probably go somewhere we won't be too likely to destroy something delicate. I know there's a forest just outside the city's walls. Let's head out there, yeah?"


"Ah.." Leather shivers slightly, cracking his neck as life returns, "That was.. pleasant, in a way. I would hope to feel that again some day."


Flaming smiles, nodding and looking towards the exit. "Sounds like the perfect spot for a couple of super buffalo to run wild without making Regina mad for breaking her stuff, heh. Let's do it, then you can show me how to make those shroomthies!"

She says enthusiastically, marching towards the exit, a lot already on her mind to consider for the next day ahead. And the battle coming at sundown…


As you duck beneath the next oncoming box, you end up stumbling over one of the conveyor belts, nearly being dragged away by its velocity before you can pull yourself off. Your strip of paper misses it entirely, but Gadriel gets off a number of shots, before he's interrupted by being hit with a number of packages, knocking him to the ground.

>Gadriel 19/25

Gadriel's shots cause circuits over the computer to break, and electricity crackles as malfunctions multiply. The belts near you grind to a brief halt, repeatedly turning on and off again as they try to start back up.

LJ bonks his horns against yours, and the two of you head for the outskirts of the city to practice your new abilities.

"Tell you what," Onion says, spinning a card between his fingers. "If you can show me a trick I don't know and I can't figure out, I'll get you a cold drink. Vice versa, and you get me a cold drink. Deal?"



Last time, on HolyQuest…

The party gathered together in order to witness the visions hidden within the true form of the True Diskos, which had become one magnificent relic after the Diskos of the Sun and Moon were joined together. They beheld many visions of the future relating to both the Treibheanna, and to what fates will befall them whether they go along with Mudi the Young's plan, or Shei's.

The latter case seemed especially concerning – an attempt to see into the future that followed from Shei's plan to make Amy into a queen of demons showed not her reign, but a tense negotiation with Ecclesia around the Momentary Lake.

However, an important revelation followed Onion's experiment with Cloak. The visions provided by the True Diskos could be altered; they were not set in stone by any means. Thus, even the disastrous futures that they beheld earlier could be altered, if only they knew how.

Shei continued to explore the warehouses within the junkyard compound, drawing ever nearer to his goal! But, could he take on the greatest threat to warehouse operation yet… a malfunctioning computer system!? Find out, now!


As you duck beneath the next oncoming box, you end up stumbling over one of the conveyor belts, nearly being dragged away by its velocity before you can pull yourself off. Your strip of paper misses it entirely, but Gadriel gets off a number of shots, before he's interrupted by being hit with a number of packages, knocking him to the ground.

>Gadriel 19/25

Gadriel's shots cause circuits over the computer to break, and electricity crackles as malfunctions multiply. The belts near you grind to a brief halt, repeatedly turning on and off again as they try to start back up.


LJ bonks his horns against yours, and the two of you head for the outskirts of the city to practice your new abilities.


"Tell you what," Onion says, spinning a card between his fingers. "If you can show me a trick I don't know and I can't figure out, I'll get you a cold drink. Vice versa, and you get me a cold drink. Deal?"


Leather gives a low chuckle, waving a hoof dismissively. "Sleight of hoof's the missus' thing, not my own. The sort of card trick I could show you is shooting two holes into each of an ace's A, and I'd hate to ruin your deck." He shrugs, still reclining, "Though still fine with the latter half of the agreement, I bet I've seen a few."


Onion chuckles, then passes you his deck. You can see that the card suits consist of Leaves, Acorns, Bells and Hearts, ranging from Aces to the three royalty: Princes, Queens and Kings, and two Jesters. "Find yourself a card you like and declare it, then hand the deck back to me. I'll shuffle it, you cut it, and I'll shuffle again, then I'll draw the top card – and it'll be that card."


"Fair enough, nine of hearts." Leather says, picking the card, returning the deck, cutting it when told.

Roll #1 7 = 7


Oh come on, this one had to be a softball, a test perhaps. It's not hard for your trained eyes to see – the cheat begins during his shuffle, as he consistently weaves the nine of hearts in and out of the top half of the deck of cards; on his last shuffle, he splits the deck into two, slipping the nine of hearts to the top of the half in his right paw. He begins the cut by putting down the right half of the deck first – with the nine of hearts at the top. Then, he puts the left half on top of the right, just slightly angled, most likely to lead you into going with the cut he laid out for you, because it simply feels comfortable in your grip.

If you feel like it, you could try to sabotage him now by messing with his false cut…


The name of the game was figure out the trick, not try to mess with it. Feigning ignorance as not to give Onion the chance of noticing his attempt and covering himself with a second trick, Leather Cloak cuts at the angle given to him. He watches to ensure there isn't any other trick done in the second half.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Onion keeps it simple, repeating what he did during his first shuffle, to keep the nine of hearts under his control. After a few good shuffles that almost look legitimate, he sets the deck down nice and straight, then flips up the top card – the nine of hearts.

"So?" Onion asks, eyebrow raised. You notice that Busta, the humanoid fly demon, has sat down next to you. His many eyes are all focused on the deck as he tries to puzzle it out…


"Reminding me of downtime back in the much older days of the Morte Legionem. I appreciate starting without inserts and sticking to false shuffles and the angled cut. The shuffle both before and after kept the nine in place with a back and forth weave, and determined how the deck was split by making it feel nature in my hooves."



Amy chases her own tail. [1d10] to catch

Roll #1 2 = 2


Shei is just stupified by how his breathing knife statue of a brother was pummeled to the ground by a flurry of boxes. Shei-Sher walks over to amid the sudden peace of the computer's rapid fire.

During his amble to Gadriel, Shei stretches out his hoof to steal the computer's next chance to act. He signs something cryptic with his hoof as well and a seal places itself upon the computer.

>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3(minus 1); Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.


>GABBY'S SEAL: Turns a living enemy into an walking corpse. For all intents and purposes this target now counts as Undead and a corpse. This effect ends if someone removes the seal from their body.


"Gadds? erm, Am I seeing things right? These are just boxes right? Your body is serrated all over, how is it you can't shread them to pieces."

Gadds cracks open a bulb of ambrosia over himself
>Arabian Alchemy automatic charge use for

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 4 = 4


"Y-yeah, the false shuffle and the angled cut, that'swhatiwasgonnasay," Busta says, mumbling out his response about midway through your sentence, speaking, of course, underneath your voice.

Onion scratches his chin, clearly contemplating something, and the gleam in his eye suggests an uncovered secret. He looks at you again, then the gleam vanishes. "Not bad, m'boy. You've obviously been around your share of sneaks. Let's take it up a notch."

He shuffles it again – for real this time – then passes it your way. "Pick any card from the deck, but don't tell me what it is. Shuffle it back in, until you're satisfied; if you want, do it under the table, or even in another room. Then, pass it back to me. I'll shuffle one more time, and then, the top card will be yours. Got it?"

Alas! It eludes you once more.

"Do not give up!" Rus Tea shouts dramatically. "Perhaps you will obtain great power if you can learn the tail-snake's secrets!"

The computer hits some kind of error, freezing up with a blue screen on its tiny 8x8 monitor.

Gadriel grumbles as he heals himself, examining some of the nearby boxes. You see that a few have been opened by the impact; bits of scrap metal and concrete rubble fall out. There's not even any packing peanuts to cushion the "product," nor a shipping label.

"It looks like this machine's gone crazy," Gadriel says. "It must have just packaged up whatever was lying around!"

>roll perception



Spurred on by Rus Tea's words of encouragement, Amy tries even harder!


Roll #1 2 = 2


The wily tail-snake evades you again and again, slithering away with each bite… What would Fairy Castle advice in this situation, as your Shekinah? Perhaps your Craft's new spells might offer some kind of assistance…



As Amy has this thought, she wonders off to find Fairy Castle. [1d10] to sniff her out!

Roll #1 3 = 3


Unfortunately, you cannot smell any fuzzy alpaca wool around here, only the sweet shrmoothies that LJ made earlier and then ran off with. From behind you, the wily tail-snake wags back and forth, taunting you to make another attempt.



Amy quickly turns to bite her own tail again! [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


Taking the deck in hoof, Leather elects not to remove the card from it's place, cutting the deck at about one third's way in and looking at whatever card is shown in his lap, deciding both not to disturb the order the cards are in, and not to let them look into the reflection of his eyes.


The dastardly tail-snake bites you on the nose! But, you got so close that time, that you actually feel a sense of accomplishment, and… actually, accomplishment, and something more… something… powerful. Something like magic.

Your card, it seems, is the eight of leaves. Onion drums his fingers nonchalantly, waiting for you to finish what you're up to. He wears a slight smirk the whole time. Busta glances over at the card, but gives you a wide berth so as to not disturb whatever it is you're up to.


"Talk about a lousy business model." Shei-Sher helps Gadriel up from the ground. And turns his head to the Computer tower. "Looks to be malfunctioning. I remember how Golden Gadget would correct glitches."

Shei-Sher walks over to the Computer Tower, holds his staff high and begins wailing at it. Wailing wildly, an almost cartoonish antic.

[1d10] Beating the terminal in with the hammer staff

As Shei, wails he finds the metal becoming more malleable where it is most unrefined.
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;
[1d10+2] for compounding damage

Gadd's decides to change is form into something more sturdy.
>Stand Firm: instant, once per combat; Plant your hooves deep and be as still as a mountain. Your hits are locked at their current value until next turn. This does not protect you from direct wound damage.

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #3 3 = 3



Confused and fascinated by this sensation, Amy continues to do what she's doing.

[1d10] to chase that tail since no one else will.

Roll #1 2 = 2


[1d10] perception roll

Roll #1 10 = 10


Leather gives a glance up as he puts the two parts of the deck back together, wondering if the trick had already been performed.

Still, he goes to the other room to shuffle, taking a glance at the original order of the deck as he does.

Roll #1 4 = 4


You knock over some of the nearby chairs, and bump once or twice into the kitchen's cabinets as you continue to hunt the elusive tail-snake. With nothing better to do and no other way to help, Volkama and Deriva begin to stomp their hooves rhythmically, beginning a cheer to encourage you to succeed.

>you can (optionally) add a +1 to your roll this turn.

The computer's sensitive wiring sends shocks flying along your skin as you try to bash it to pieces, and although you make a few dents here and there, it remains mostly intact as you are shocked.

>You lose 5 Hits

Gadriel prepares to transform, but you and he are caught off-guard by a sudden storm of beeping coming from the west. You see a pair of forklifts, driving all on their own, their interfaces aglow with demonic essence, as they charge, their forks rising and lowering rapidly like enraged bulls. To make matters worse, they're each armed with an old splintery wooden pallet!

Beeping and screeching as they fly across the floor, the forklifts charge at a menacing 30 mph!

[1d10+1] Forklift 1 vs Shei
[1d10+1] Forklift 2 vs Gadriel

Meanwhile, the computer successfully reboots, and boxes begin to fly once more!

[1d10+2] Marksman Shot vs Shei

Nothing seems suspicious about the deck as you shuffle it; the order of the cards seems truly random, without rhyme or reason. At this point, you could probably rig it, just for some extra insurance, or even remove the card in question altogether – if you so desired.

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #3 6 + 2 = 8


For a moment you can see Shei-Sher's skeleton as he dances back in electrocution. "Baaah! To hell with the consequences. Bodhidharma is wise enough to get out of the way of my Lantern's siphon!"

Shei-Sher raises his lantern up and bids all three of the demonic machines to halt in place.

>Spell Bleed +2 targets

>CONTROL+1: Spell, attempts to take control of a hostile or neutral undead. More powerful undead may require a higher minimum roll. Also used

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


Seeing Shei-Sher take a health dose of electricity, he sends a healing bulb his way.
>HEAL: recharge 1, spell, ranged; restores target’s hits to full and restores one wound, or removes all status effects. Crit restores 2 wounds, crit fail deals a wound of damage to the target.

Roll #1 8 = 8



Amy can't fail now! She'd look foolish!

[1d10] to finally catch that darn tail!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Leather shuffles normally, his base assumption being a reflective surface in the room. He does, however, hold a random card for a longer amount of time than any of the others before shuffling, seeing if the trick is based on feeling for physical differences. He returns once done.



Roll #1 7 = 7


Gadriel, panicking, manages to side-step to the side of the forklift's trajectory, but still gets scraped by the pallet.

>Gadriel 18/25

You're struck from the side by a box full of rocks, and you feel several vertebrae pop, but before you can blank out, Gadriel heals you, and you use the surge of vitality to bring all three demon-possessed machines to a screeching, temporary halt. As they buzz and rumble in place, you feel a pressure on your mind as they fight to regain control.

The Dragon and Tantra join in on the chant, lending their voices to a growing chorus of support and encouragement as you get closer and closer to final victory…!

>this is from KH3's base game; not sure if it will recommend ReMind spoilers but you have been warned.


>add +2 if you desire to your roll this round

Onion smiles and shuffles once you pass the deck back to him. As you observe his tossing of the cards, you notice his nose twitching, and can hear him, just barely, taking in quick breaths through his nose.

At the end of it all, he flips the top card of the deck over… and reveals the eight of leaves. He leans back, folding his arms with smug self-satisfaction.

Busta quivers, waiting for you to reveal the trick.



Amy feels the hopes and dreams of all her friends riding on this moment! Now is the time to catch that tail! [1d10+2]

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"That was a fun one, I figured it was at the very beginning since you were fine with me doing whatever I wanted with the deck after you had learned what I saw. I looked down incase it was the reflection of my eyes, and avoided handling the card itself in case it was based on my body warmth. Seeing as I blocked off any reflective surfaces, I can only imagine it was something to do with your odd breathing. Were you perhaps sniffing the card out?" Leather shrugs, reclining.


Shei-Sher struggles to focus on keeping the machines still

[1d10] holding control

Shei-Sher opens up a dark corridor to that Fantasian river again. Placing the portal directly adjacent to the forklifts, topple them over on their sides.

Dark corridor [1d10]

Gadds grabs a high visibility uniform from one of the racks and puts it on.
>Fight With Your Enemies: instant automatic, recharge 5 after effect ends; The coolest thing most of your enemies will ever see. Whenever you render a foe smaller than you helpless, you can use this to equip them as a weapon with no properties to replace your current weapon. All successful attacks you make will also deal damage to who you are wielding. If you become helpless, Critfail, or the “weapon” makes a successful roll to recover from helplessness, this effect immediately ends.

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 7 = 7


A great shout and a cacophony of stomping hooves and tails echoes through the airship as you finally bite down upon the tail-snake, capturing the wiggly menace between your jaws. A sharp pain reveals a twist, that the tail-snake was you all along, but the taste of victory is too sweet for the pain to overwhelm it. Power surges up from deep inside your stomach, spreading out to every pore in your body, even making you glow brilliantly.

>Obtained Harvest of the Battlefield!

Harvest of the Battlefield: Recharge 2; Spell: Bite into the body of a recently deceased target. On success, choose from one of the following effects:
>Restore full Hits and 1 Wound, or 2 Wounds on crit success
>Gain a temporary +1 bonus to any one skill or action type for the duration of combat, or the next combat if you are out of combat at the time.
>Obtain one quality of the target's body, along with any applicable Racial skill. You can then call upon any devoured quality freely, transforming your own body to reflect it.

"My mother, rest her soul–" Onion says, making some strange tribal religious genuflection across his forehead, "was the medicine dog for Banana Splitz's gang, specializing in the use of many oils. A quack psuedoscience to some, but it helped her save many lives… and poison many more. As such, even an old dog like me doesn't have any trouble sniffing out different scents. Fifty-two scents, as a matter of fact. Every card in that deck is marked with a unique one."
"Then… it was all rigged from the start?" Busta gasps.
"Could plug my nose, if you want to have another round," Onion offers with a shrug.

The machines remain inert, but the pressure increases in your head. However, you manage to knock over one of the forklifts with your torrent of water, and the excess flow washes over the computer, causing sparks to fly and circuits to pop and smoke as they're drenched. Gadriel makes sure he's wearing a full kit of PPE, including goggles and gloves, before he commandeers the last forklift, driving it away from the water to commandeer for your use.

As the portal closes, you feel a sudden cold pang of dread and paranoia wash over you. The source seems to be from something outside… perhaps a minor water god, or even some local guardian spirit of nature, has grown tired of this trick of yours. Misfortune might await you.


A chilling thought surges through Shei's mind. He feels the incredible realization that there may be consequences for having abused a local municipality's drinking water.
"I will cross that bridge once I arrive there."

Shei-Sher releases his bid for control
[control released]
And runs toward the toppled Forklift. Once close enough he slashes it's tires with his switch-cane.

Gadriel takes reign of the Demon Forklift and immediately drives it straight into the Computer tower. It's lifting prongs poised for lunging into it's evil robotic circuitry.

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



Amy bounces excitedly. "I did it! I did it!" she shouts.

Then, she looks down at herself glowing. "And, I think I actually got stronger because of that… neat!"


The toppled forklift, through an inexplicable feat of pallet maneuvering, manages to right itself and push you away, filling your skin with splinters.

>You lose 2 Hits

Gadriel braces himself for a charge, but then shrieks with surprise as his forklift starts beeping, and moves backwards through the warehouse, into the shadows. "How do these controls work!? None of this makes sense! Sheeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiii…!"

Gadriel and the forklift fade into the distance.

Meanwhile, on its last legs, the remaining forklift charges you once more, and the computer launches sorted packages right at you.

[1d10+1] Sleep Serum (infected nail on the pallet)
[1d10+2] Repeating Fire

"If only we could all be so blessed," the Dragon says, showing off his own tail. "So, what power did you gain from conquering this, your most incredible foe to date?"
"The power of literacy!" Rus Tea jokes. "It's been a long time coming."

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7



Amy glares (mostly) playfully at Rus. Then, she looks to the Dragon. "I'm not sure why, but it feels like if I eat someone, I'll get stronger. Like I'd take their power with me."


"Still requires an incredible amount of training, does the scent of the bottom card that always remains revealed not mingle with the revealed one? Or even more, the other smells be prevalent being exposed or not?"


"Why don't we test it out on something?" Tantra asks. "I heard you were fishing with Vortigern earlier."
"What power would she gain from eating a fish?" the Dragon asks.
"Fishy powers," Tantra answers as if that were obvious.


"I've been at this for a long time, plus these oils are those that I've mixed myself," Onion says. "It helps that I re-apply them now and again to keep 'em fresh."


"Gadds! What were you thinking! You don't have a license!"

Shei-Sher raises his hooves, one pointing toward the computer and the other toward the forlifts. He releases a burst of hot that plants carnivorous seeds in the organic hearts of these machines.
>Phantasmagoria of Conquest: 3 times per Combat; Automatic; Sacrifice X hits to deal 4X damage and inflict a status condition on up to 3 targets.
[4hits x 4] to hit both forklifts and the computer.

Shei-Sher waves command over his Malachim to appear. "Where are you Malachim! Come fulfill your promise to me and protect Gadriel!"

Shei-Sher grabs hold of the present in the forklift and steals it.
>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3(minus 1); Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.
[1d10] forklift Gadds is riding.

Stabs into the Forklift's control panel with his tail and leaps out of it.

>MARKSMAN SHOT: recharge 3, requires ranged weapon, weapon; autocrits (any success is critical), benefits from Trick Ammo


He also takes a pot shot at the other forklift
>SPLIT: Hits 2 targets at once
[same roll as above]

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10


"Fair enough." Leather pauses, chuckling to himself, "Surprised you don't have a fin and gills, considering how talented of a card shark you are. You want me to grab you that drink anyways?"



"I don't really like raw fish…" Amy contemplates. "Other raw meat is fine. But, fish is just… blegh. Could someone cook it for me?" she asks with a wag of her tail.


He raises his paw. "If you don't have the money, don't worry about it. But, I don't suppose you have any experience mixing one? We've got some wine and fruit around here, and I think some ice could be acquired fairly easily from either an ice witch wandering around town, or by the older crowd hanging around the river to fish."

The forklift careens past you, gouging a deep rut through your arm. You can feel the filthy exposed nail dragging its rusty edge through your skin, infecting you with who-knows-what.

Gadriel bails out as you wrangle both forklifts and the computer with your vines, rooting them all in place and draining life from the demonic components within them. As he leaps, Gadriel then peppers the forklift and the computer with a flurry of adamantine feathers, creating quite the light show of sparks and small explosions as many vital components are broken to smithereens. You then attempt to steal time from the forklift, but feel none come to you; rather, there is none to take – the machines have been defeated.

"Allow me," the Dragon says. He goes to where Flaming and KP left some of their catches, and mutters magical words under his breath. Black flames spread from his mouth, encircling the fishes. The fish float over to the stove, and the Dragon, grabbing some lemon, cilantro, salt and a bit of wine, even, begins to cook and prepare the spiny fish, removing its sharp edges first, then grilling the meat to perfection.

The tantalizing smell nearly tempts you to bite it right off the skillet, but you restrain yourself until he serves it to you on a plate. Rus Tea ties a bib around your neck, then backs away to avoid her fingers getting bit.


>Forgot to add

Before Gadriel can land from his bailout, the three malakhim manifest, catching him upon their backs to serve as a cushion. He groans with a little discomfort as he lies upon their hairy bodies.


Shei-Sher holds onto his gouged arm as it bleeds profusely. His hearty body enduring whatever festering crap made its way inside him.
>Restless: passive; The founders of coffee drinks and rumored to never sleep, goats always seem to have much more energy for a creature of their size. While you and your kin neither confirm nor deny the rumors, you do have an unnatural tolerance to sleep magic and effects. You are completely immune from skills such as Sleep Serum or Knockout as well as magic meant to put you to sleep and are no longer required to rest for the night on long journeys

Shei ambles over to Gadriel "The pain does not even phase me anymore. In fact, I am feeling a little numb on my right side. Gadds?" Shei asks for him to heal Shei

And meanwhile the goat talks down to the malachim "Well you spiders are no short of convenience are you?" Shei scolds them "And where were you when we were being pelted with packaged concrete."



As soon as the bib is on, Amy eats the fish face-first. Both in the sense that she shoves her face into the plate and in the sense she eats the fish's face first. Or whatever part of the fish would have been closest to the face if the face was removed.


"Aha, no ice aboard. Very well, I will embark on a quest for your chilled beverage. I'll see about doing a favor for a witch, as I expect the other ice might taste of fish."

Leather heads out back to the coven town, wandering about in search of an ice mage.

[1d10] explore

Roll #1 5 = 5


The malakhim glance at one another, then back to you, and shrug. Meanwhile, Gadriel rolls his eyes, removes a bulb from his wings, and smashes you over the head with it, as if it were a bottle. It breaks without dealing any damage or inflicting any pain, of course, as it is but a physical representation of a healing spell. Ambrosia drips down your arm, sealing up the wound.

Sounds of explosions and slowing machinery from the north and south indicate that the others have finished their battles as well, and the two groups meet up at your position. None look worse for the wear, and Hafaza's piglet wanders around, sniffing for things to eat. She giggles and gestures to you. "Eat him."

The piglet approaches you and sniffs your leg, but turns away, evidently not hungry for goat. "Charming," Gadriel deadpans.

The fish is simply delicious, and as you spit out various fishy bones, you feel your new power blooming in response to the devoured specimen.


-Full Hits and 1 wound
-+1 bonus to any one skill or action type for the duration of the next combat
-Gills and enhanced swimming ability

For some reason, Busta, the party's pet demon, wanders out with you. He trails behind awkwardly, finding things to look at, occasionally mumbling little comments on the scenery to himself rather than strike up a conversation.

As you leave the airship field and make your way back to the northern district proper, you realize that not every witch is so brazen about her Craft, and not all of them make it a part of their visual theming. The witches you observe about town seem to mostly be dressed like ordinary mares and sheep and goats and alpacas (and so on, so forth for their other races).

However, you do notice a particularly wooly sheep running an ice-cream cart, which is being patronized by a number of Ecclesians, who you surmise are positively dying for a break from dry rations.



>Gills and swimming!

The fluff around Amy's neck recedes and is replaced by scales and gills. She opens her mouth to celebrate this new ability. But, she finds no way to take air in.

She quickly transforms, her floof returning. She coughs, then says, "Hey! That was cool!"


Your temporary transformation causes some alarm among the party, but they get themselves back together once it's clear you have a degree of control over it. "What a lovely power," Volkama comments. "Though, I wonder how safe it will be to use in Tartarus. You know what they say about eating the food of the dead – much less the dead themselves."
"Maybe the Anathema Scripture or the Diskos could answer that," Tantra muses.



"If we use the Anesthesia Book thing, then someone's gonna have to read it to me," Amy points out. "But, it's probably a good idea to know what will happen if I put more demon in me."

"You know, through my mouth," she adds. "Well… I guess that didn't help…" she ponders with a grin.


Shei-Sher tries to take in stride what was probably a causal xeno-homicidal tendency. "He gave not even a lick."

"Hold on…" Shei pauses everyone for a moment "Do you hear that?"

[Is the water spirit out there?]


Volkama nods. "Right. I imagine I've the most arcane knowledge out of the lot of us, unless you think you can rival that?" he asks, looking to the Dragon.
The Dragon smirks. "Lord Buiwong has taught me many things, and if nothing else, Mocha shall surely surpass us both, being a demigoddess of fables."
"Demi-demigoddess!" Mocha corrects from where she sits on the (clean) couch, sewing ponchos together out of spider's silk. "My mother is the demigoddess; my father's a mortal."
"In any case, we shall set about translating that work posthaste," Volkama reports.

Hafaza picks up her piglet and hugs him. "I shall give you a taste for blood yet, my minion."
The piglet snorts.
The others then look about, attuning their spiritual senses to the surrounding area. Though you can still feel that dull undercurrent of dread, it doesn't seem to have gotten any stronger or weaker than earlier.
"We're being watched," Chorazin says. "Not by a demon, but another spirit, I can sense."
"I take it you angered yet another being out there?" Mirror Image asks you.
"As loathe as I am to pass on an opportunity to study another spirit," Observer interjects. "There is another who requires our attention."

To the north, you see the cloaked pony, standing next to a large box. He eyes you impassively, his face hidden behind his mask.


A wine float seeming like a novel idea, Leather looks to Busta, "Busta, I will be aproaching those Ecclesians to barter for some ice cream. The majority have negative feelings towards demons, so be advised if you continue to follow me."



"Good work, my subjects," Amy says in the most official sounding voice she can muster. But, it's immediately overpowered by her own giggling.


Shei turns back to see the Cloaked pony. Then he turns back to raise a hoof at Mirror Image and respond "Yes."

He then turns back and begins heading towards the cloaked pony. Slowly, and cautious in the possible wake of more enemies, Shei-Sher approaches.
"How goes the search?"


Busta nods, following closely behind you.
The Ecclesians, noticing your approach, turn about. A couple who recognize you hail you as a respected Horror, while the others glance apprehensively at Busta. One of the more green ones reaches for his sidearm, but one of the more grizzled members stops him.
"He's with the Saviors. Stow it – Sir Gegenschein's orders," the grizzled one says.
The green one grumbles something about Gegenschein's authority or lack thereof, but makes no response.
One of the others who recognized you raises his hoof. "Leather Cloak, Embodiment of Patience, was it? Congratulations on the new assignment, sir. They're popular targets. Anything we can do for you?"

"Shocking," Mirror Image sighs.

The cloaked pony pries open the box, revealing a magitech storage chest. It's hermetically sealed, and has an opening at the top that looks insulated. Covered circuitry glows within, all properly covered to avoid exposure to melting ice. "As promised," he says, his voice more like a growl of a hungry predator.

"Practicing for when you become royalty?" Rus Tea says. "Good. I hope you let it get to your head. I know I would."
"I thought the common advice was that you shouldn't let things go to your head," Mocha says.
"And pass up an opportunity like that!?" Rus Tea retorts. "If you're a big shot, you should let it go to your head. Have a little fun."



"I think Rusty might be onto something," Amy contemplates. "If I'm a demon lord, I have to be a little scary. But, I DO still want to be everyone's friend!"


"…" Rus Tea contemplates this, realizing that it's much more salient than what she was getting at with her flippant joke. "Yes, that's exactly right. How perceptive, Amy, that you picked up on my point."


Shei-Sher gathers closer, climbing rubble to stand with the Cloaked Pony. Shei begins inspecting the box.
[1d10] inspecting. if Shei can tell its not real, then disregard the rest of this post.

Shei-Sher snaps his hoof and opens a dark corridor to the Ship. The Malachim appear as summoned and understand their duty to haul the fridge through the dark corridor. Shei says before they leave "And be sure to come back when you are done."
>Dark corridor

Shei faces the pony before him "You are a Stallion of your word. And for more than a fair price. If there is any small favor you wish for, you may ask."

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 9 = 9


Leather returns an appropiate salute, ironically not having the patience to sit and idle chat with Ecclesians "Simply was searching for a treat, have all your patrols simply lead you all to convene on the same location, by chance?"


It's a genuine article, and should be operational provided that the crystal inside it does not run out of power for any reason. Magitech is quite efficient, and it looks to have been recently installed with a new battery, so running out of juice doesn't seem to be a serious issue. The malakhim deliver it to the ship as instructed.

"Him," the pony says, gesturing to Gadriel, who freezes in place with sudden anxiety.

The Ecclesians subtly panic, while pretending to keep it cool.
"We just had to verify that this witch wasn't selling illegal material or using inhumane methods to procure her treats. Tongue of dog, gall of goat, liver of blaspheming unicorn… you know, the usual stuff."
"I'm an ice cream witch," the sheep happily says, heedless of the slanderous accusations. "I need no such heinous things to make my art. Please enjoy them, gentlecolts."
"Ah-hem," the grizzled one continues. "With our inspection done, we'll be on our way then."
They start to disperse, leaving you and Busta with the ice cream witch.



Amy wags her tail at the compliment. "I know you're lying, but thanks anyway. I doubt being a demon lord is something you'd really get anyway. I mean, you're more the god-worshiping type."


"Apologies for driving away your erm.. customers, I hope they compensated you for everything they had taken." Leather bows his head slightly, "How do you fair, ice cream witch?"


"Un-doable" Shei states without hesitation. "He is my brother, but also Buiwong's property. So he is not mine to give, do you understand?" Shei feigns coldness in his reply. Hoping this will be enough to dissuade the Mercenary.
[1d10] Intimidation

"Ask something else, or our business is done here."

Roll #1 1 = 1


"True," Rus Tea says. "Part of why it's such a weird thing to me to hear the others talk about going through with the Kindling, becoming like gods themselves. Can't say I really see myself worshiping them… or becoming like them, either. It worries me to see you all changing; it makes me feel a bit like I'm being left behind."

"Oh, they were quite the sweet lot, gruff but docile on the inside," the sheep says. "I am quite well, mister Embodiment of Patience. My name is Conicopia, not Cornicopia, as some mishear it. You can call me Conical, but not Comical. What can I serve you, hon? I just stocked up, so it's all fresh."
"Can I have a caramel swirl with nuts?" Busta asks.
Conicopia nods, serving him one. "And you, sir?"

The cloaked pony shows no response whatsoever. It occurs to you that he might have had this reaction no matter what you said.
"A piece… that piece of his soul," he counteroffers.


"Hold on…" Gadriel says. "'That piece'? Do I… know you or something? Did I?"
"You aren't… mere property," the cloaked pony says. "You never were."
Gadriel gasps, and in that instant, his voice changes, from male to female.

"You?" Gadriel asks, in the voice of Lilac Nectar.



Last time on HolyQuest…

Amy gained a new spell to her repertoire of Witchcraft, by successfully catching her own tail! Fairy Castle wasn't kidding when she spoke about the idiosyncratic nature of Crafts.

Cloak and Onion discussed card tricks, which seemed to smooth things over, at least a little, after their rocky introduction. Afterward, Cloak agreed to mix some drinks, and stepped out with Busta to get some ice. He sought out the help of Conicopia (not Cornucopia), an ice cream witch. Not exactly what he was looking for initially, but within the same range.

Flaming and LJ had departed for the forest outside of Threecoins so that they could practice their new abilities. Meanwhile, River, KP, Pryce and Zjetya had convened to finish their discussion of what they had seen during their uses of the Diskos.

Shei and his entourage defeated some rampaging warehouse equipment, just after their hired help, the unknown cloaked pegasus, managed to find the refrigerator that they were after. When it came time to discuss payment, the cloaked pegasus demanded Gadriel – or at least, a certain part of his soul. Gadriel, unconsciously recognizing who this pegasus truly was, lapsed into one of his past selves – Lilac Nectar, better known as Evil's Punishment.


"True," Rus Tea says. "Part of why it's such a weird thing to me to hear the others talk about going through with the Kindling, becoming like gods themselves. Can't say I really see myself worshiping them… or becoming like them, either. It worries me to see you all changing; it makes me feel a bit like I'm being left behind."


"Oh, they were quite the sweet lot, gruff but docile on the inside," the sheep says. "I am quite well, mister Embodiment of Patience. My name is Conicopia, not Cornicopia, as some mishear it. You can call me Conical, but not Comical. What can I serve you, hon? I just stocked up, so it's all fresh."
"Can I have a caramel swirl with nuts?" Busta asks.
Conicopia nods, serving him one. "And you, sir?"


The cloaked pony shows no response whatsoever. It occurs to you that he might have had this reaction no matter what you said.
"A piece… that piece of his soul," he counteroffers.


"Hold on…" Gadriel says. "'That piece'? Do I… know you or something? Did I?"
"You aren't… mere property," the cloaked pony says. "You never were."
Gadriel gasps, and in that instant, his voice changes, from male to female.

"You?" Gadriel asks, in the voice of Lilac Nectar.


KP sees nothing in his vision. And, any repeated attempts, made with a rephrased question about what Hopper saw, yield nothing. In fact, any attempts for KP to use the Diskos in any capacity, with any question, yield nothing but darkness.


After about a ten minute run southeast along the roads, following Threecoins' eastern wall, you eventually come to a great gate, which is guarded by the doll-like replicants that Regina had created to serve as automata. They nod as you approach the gate, and give the order to have it opened. The great doors part before you, allowing you to venture out onto a dirt road, which leads to a lush forest just beyond it.

LJ takes a deep inhale of the warm afternoon air, made invigorating by the scent of pines. He shakes his fluffy hair out, giving a few kicks as he trots, as happy buffalo are wont to do.



"Yeah, it's totally weird," Amy laughs. "But, I think they'll be more… down to earth gods. Literally," she adds with a giggle.



"Hello… father…" Lilac's voice comes from Gadriel's mouth with intense contempt. "How ironic. You said we're not property? So, I guess it's just me that's property, then? Are, are you saying you've had a change of heart after… I've lost track of time. Being dead will do that."




KP looks down at the diskos, worry on his face.
>"Uh, guys? I think I broke it."
"Broke it?"
Pryce asks, turning to his younger self.
>"It's not showing me anything! It's just all black no matter what I do!"
Pryce picks up the diskos, concerned over this news.
"Let me try something simple. Where will KP be tomorrow?"
He asks the diskos.


You see KP standing beside you, River, Zjetya, and a smoky cloud of some others, as you say farewell to those departing for Tartarus. You do not see Vortigern among either those staying behind, or those going into Tartarus. Static surrounds both sides, and partly covers KP as well, though you can still just barely see him. He fades in and out the longer that the vision goes on, until he melds entirely with the static.

"Strange…" River muses. "I don't think I saw KP in my visions either. I didn't notice it until you mentioned it just now; I was too distracted by the flood of information."
"You think it has something to do with how KP joined us?" Zjetya asks.


"Gods you can see and feel, gods you can butt heads with…" Rus Tea thinks out loud. "…Mmm. Sounds quite nice. Ecclesia and Accorsia have had great faith in distant gods for quite some time. For gods to have skin in the game? Perhaps that is what it will take for this world to know peace."


KP asks, worried an impatient.
"I saw you with us, but there was static whenever I looked at you."
>"That's not good… Why would I be blurred out?!"

"Maybe," Pryce comments on Zjetya's idea, "Since he's my younger self, the disk might be seeing his future as already written in me, and might be getting confused."
>"So nothing bad is gonna happen to me then?"
"Nothing bad will happen to any of us, I won't let it."
KP smiles, giving a little chuckle.
>"Heh, I knew you'd say that."
He says, a little more hopeful, but still with doubts.


Zjetya, picking up on KP's doubts, twists her mouth. "…Yeah, I believe you, Pryce, but maybe we should make sure by doing a little investigation."
"Regina and Calque would know a thing or two about this," River says. "Both deal in doubles."
Hopper croaks fiercely, stamping his staff on the ground for emphasis.
"Looks like someone's as worried as we are," Zjetya jokes grimly.


Flaming trots along the open path as they approach and go past the wall, looking around at the scenery while she continuously presses her hooves into the ground, feeling a well of energy within them after experiencing the Discus and learning its secrets. She looks over towards LJ as he kicks, subconsciously giving off a few of her own as she smiles at him along the way.

"Alright, this should be far enough. The abilities I picked up on aren't really offensive, more defensive. Here's what I want you to do: I want you to stand there and just let me hit you as HARD as I can. Does that sound good?" Flaming asks with a wide, sweet smile and fluttering eyes, trying her hardest to make the ridiculous request appealing to the buffalo if it's her asking.
[1d10] Cute as hell blinking

>Abilities chosen

>Aspect of Soul
-Kalyani: Spell; Ranged; Recharge 2; You cause a target's Weaknesses and Resistances to be switched around. For example, if a target is weak to Ice and Poison but resistant to Magic and Fire, they are now weak to Magic and Fire but resistant to Ice and Poison.
>Aspect of Space
-Covalent Bonds: Auto Instant; Recharge 3; Ranged; Choose an ally. All damage they would normally take this turn will be applied to you instead. The most damage you can receive from using this ability is (Full Hits) + 2 Wounds.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"You're… suuuuuuuuuuuure?" LJ asks, already running his forehoof through the dirt, readying his charge. "You only get one chance to take that back you know."



"I wonder why the other gods never did that…" Amy contemplates. "Are they just jerks?"


Flaming nods her head, lowering her horns down as she runs her forehoof through the dirt as well. "Absolutely! I'll hit you with everything I got, and I'll do the same. But if I'm doing this right, you should be fine." She says, readying the flow of magic through her amulet as she was instructed for the new spell she glimpsed through the Diskus.

"ReadysetGO!" She says, shooting out towards Little Journey with full force, space warping around her as she pictures herself at the other end of the attack….
[1d10+3] All or Nothing
>Activating Covalent Bonds on Journey so that Flaming receives her own attack

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10


The rug is pulled under Shei, his heartbeat drops like a watercrown and roars like the ocean within him. A deep sense of having screwed up pillars upon Shei as he finds himself in a bale of circumstances he could not have possibly expected.

>I guess it's just me that's property, then?

"No.." He says flatly. "I feigned callousness to intimidate your.. Err.." Shei looks over to the pony before. The realization that he is Evil Punishment's father further cements the setting he is in.

"On second thought, keep the refridgeration box. It's all yours." Shei snaps his hoof and a dark corridor opens in the air. The refrigerator and the Malachim carrying it fall out from it, unceremoniously sliding down a small hill of scrap and rubble.

Shei-Sher begins stepping back, still facing Lilac's father, as he backsteps over to Gadriel's side. "I have sacrificed quite a lot for the souls of my friends -The soul of my Mother. We are here now, we are covenant and there is no revoking that -Love, blood- life!- A tin coldbox is a paltry sum to the price I paid for. Offensive even!" Shei-Sher flourishes his arm in disdain. "If that is what you want, then come take them from me."

Shei-Sher challenges Lilac's Father.


"Easy," Rus warns, apparently still harboring her old Accorsian zealotry. "The gods have their reasons for not becoming incarnate. Those who became incarnate did so out of necessity. Buiwong, Ba'drel, Vir-can and Cer'rog became incarnate as a result of their fall from grace. If that's the case, there's obviously a reason for those still blessed to remain but spirit."


LJ steadies himself, suppressing his own urge to charge, and braces for impact. Your new ability proves to be reliable, as when you smack down onto his head, you go flying backwards, tumbling through the dirt for six or seven feet, until you skid to a halt. LJ snorts with surprise. "Hey! You did it! …Whatever it was you planned on doing. Am I right?"

Septum simply ignores you, not sparing you so much as a glance.

"I am saying that I failed you," Septum says, his voice dead and devoid of its hardened edge, the edge that taught you how to fight, how to survive. "You required something I was incapable of giving, or perhaps what I was simply unwilling to give. I have turned the question over and over in my mind ever since that day."


"Hmn, I suppose two scoops of vanilla to deliver to an acquaintance will be all I need. Thank you, lady Conicopia." Leather responds politely.


As she goes flying back by the repulsed attack, skidding across the dirt, Flaming lets out a gasp, rubbing her head as she feels the force of the attack hit her literally head on. "Oooofh…. o-ow… I didn't know I hit that hard…" she shakes her head, wobbling on her feet as she tries to steady.

"Y-yep! It worked though, exactly! I learned how to redirect attacks, specifically towards me." She smiles, trotting up to him. "I figure, I'm a little tougher than most, so every hit I take is one they don't have to. I'll get extra strong before we go in to make sure everyone can keep on their hooves."
"My other ability I picked up sort of… twists things around somewhat, it's kinda hard to describe. You don't have any special weaknesses, do you? Or, did you have a new ability you wanted to try next?"


"Gadriel.. Evil's Punishment. I-" Shei-Sher grits his teeth and looks back over to Septum, and speaks to Evil's Punishment as Shei sizes him up. "This colt did not raise you well I take it. If he is truly repentant do you not think he should properly repent by living with the shame. He's asking to tear you away from the people that love you. From Gabriele. From me. All the friends you made today and yesterday Gadds. Isn't such a thing the make of a selfish father."


>"Yea, Miss Renee mentioned talking to Mr. Ruby yesterday too about this!"
"Calque would be the best. This is from his spell after all."
Pryce looks down as Hopper stamps his staff, to which KP picks him up.
>"We'll get this figured out Hopper, don't worry."
Pryce smiles, giving Hopper a pat.
"We won't be letting our new Beast Tamer go anywhere without our say."



Gadriel throws his head back and Punish laughs. "You failed me? That's so… you. Not extreme enough. More brands. More training. More discipline. Obviously, there wasn't enough of any of that."

"Well, thank you," she says with intense vitriol. "Thank you for coming all this way and taking a job just so you could have the chance to call me a failure one last time."

Gadriel holds up his paw and flicks off Septum. Then, he looks toward Shei. "Thanks for these, by the way," she says as Gadriel holds up his paws.


"Yeah, I spent my life trying to live up to his expectations. He wanted a boy. He wanted a warrior. He wanted… not me. I'm done. I'm happy here. I'm with Gabby. Not sure why you didn't make it just the two of us… but whatever. When I'm back in the subconscious, give us some chocolate. He hated when I had chocolate."


>give us some chocolate.
Shei smiles, his determination restored "We will stock up a small fortune of chocolate before we embark Tartarus."



"About that… before I go… back in… I want to talk to you about something."



"Sounds like just stupid social reasons. Like they didn't want to be looked down on by the other gods."


Conicopia provides you with two scoops of vanilla. "As for payment, I take it that you're someone of renown among Ecclesia, based on how those colts sharpened up once you turned your gaze upon them. Do you think you could get me permission to visit one of your other territories? Soldiers are well and good, but most of my business comes from neighborhoods with lots of foals, but I don't want to just invite myself in and be met with armed security."

"Ooh, so I could pull a prank on someone else and have it happen to you?" LJ jokes.

As for your second question, he tilts his head back and forth. "I do happen to have a lot of trouble enduring lightning-based attacks, but I also wanted to try this one thing that occurred to me while I was using the Diskos. We might want a medic on standby, though. Here, I'll take my turn next and you can go again afterward. You ready for some damage?"

Hopper lets out a few grouchy ribbits after you reassure him, after which he settles down and lays on KP's head. Lockjaw bumps his head against Pryce's leg, but for no particular reason other than to say hello.

"Again, you prove you have not understood a word," Septum says. "I should have never put you through that regimen at all, nor through any such regimen. The term 'failure' does not apply to you, not in this case. I sought to impose a vision upon you that was never going to pan out. You were never the son that I desired; you were never going to fulfill what I wanted. And therein lies the problem. It was not with you. It was never with you. The fault was mine. The fault was in the false vision I had for you.

"No: You performed admirably, but at a doomed, tragic project. I should have let you live as you pleased, as you desired, not as I wanted. I failed you from the very beginning of your life, and you paid the price which I should have paid."

Rus Tea narrows her eyes at you, then puts on a smile and gives you a few pets. "I think I'd rather play fetch than debate theology with you. I'm going to go get some air."

After which, she sees herself out, wandering off to most likely avoid an outburst.


>Project, Doomed, a problem

Shei thinks he's found someone who lacks more awareness than himself. And it irritates him.

His anger tempers like a folding a blade. And Gabriele's sign is seen forming upon Septum's body, through psychic-transposition.

>GABBY'S SEAL: Turns a living enemy into an walking corpse. For all intents and purposes this target now counts as Undead and a corpse. This effect ends if someone removes the seal from their body.


>Can I Borrow This?: Instant; Recharge 3(minus 1); Ranged; On success, you steal 1 of the target's chances to act next turn, completely stunning them if they can only take 1 action per turn. Next turn, you can use this stolen action in addition to your normal ones.


"Careful what you say scrapper."

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 3 = 3


Flaming growls, snorting her nostrils at Journey for the joke. "Hah! If you pull a prank on someone, that's all on you, buster! I won't be covering for you then unless you really make it worth my while!" She says teasingly.

As he mentions wanting to try something, she nods, pointing at her horn. "One of the other aspects I picked up allows me to heal myself, so don't worry, I'm ready for whatever you want to throw at me."

Her horns glow white as she fortifies herself, and she nods in preperation, standing her ground.
>Prayer of Salvation on myself


Leather raises an eyebrow, "A visa for two scoops of ice cream? A heftier price than I had thought. I mean no insult, of course, but the price of instilling a precedent that you can pay for exceptions I would put higher than a confection. Perhaps a recommendation?"



Roll #1 1, 10 + 4 = 15



"And, again you fail to understand ME," Punish responds, though her voice is more tender. Tears well up in Gadriele's eyes.

"I WANTED to be what you wanted of me. All I ever wanted was your approval. I did the training and put my all in it. Yes, I occasionally lapsed in discipline, but I showed it where it mattered. I put my everything into being what you wanted me to be. And, I was proud of it. That's why your disapproval hurt. Because everything I did STILL wasn't enough. I'm not mad at you for making me who I am. Or… was. I'm proud of that person. I'm mad because you weren't proud too."

Gadriele sobs. He wipes his face. "So, don't apologize for that," she says sternly, though not entirely angrily. "Don't apologize for making me into the person I'm proud of. To me, that's more of the same. You're still just saying that I'm not good enough for you."

"And, DEFINITELY don't apologize for my death. The only one who should apologize for death is me. For my own death… and mom's…"


"Think carefully about what you're doing if you want to make him your enemy," Punish cautions, oddly with pride in her voice.



Amy wags her tail when she is pet. When Rus walks away, her ears go back. Then, she shrugs. Amy wonders off.

[1d10] to bump into Pryce!

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Calque should still be in Fantasia, right? We can stop over there and track him down."
>"Are you sure?"
KP interjects, looking up at Pryce.
"What do you mean? Of course I am."
>"I can wait a little bit, I don't think anything terrible would happen today, but you only have so much time left with our friends. And I don't want you beating yourself up again because you missed a chance."
Pryce is silent a moment to KP's selflessness.
"Are you sure?"
>"Come on, I know what we've done. If I was worried when surrounded by all of you, then nothing could stop whatever was gonna happen. Plus who knows how long Shei will stick around if he show's up and I wouldn't want you to miss him."
Pryce smiles and nods.
"Let's find Amy then. She should still be around here."
He says, setting the diskos down safely on one of the beds and goes to find Amy.


"Well, three scoops," Busta says, holding up his caramel ice cream.
Conicopia smiles and nods. "Aren't you a shrewd bargainer. That's good, that's good. Very well. I will take either a recommendation, or you taking over the cart for about ten minutes while I have a break."

LJ's own horns alight with flame briefly, and their flame expands outward, encompassing both you and him in a halo that then vanishes. LJ blinks a few times. "Hmm… I think that worked. Okay, let's try it! You charge at me, and I'll charge at you!"

He backs up a few paces, then lowers his head, digs through the dirt, and bolts straight at you.

[1d10+6] Normal attack + Charge

The moment that the sigil completes upon Septum, he reaches for it, and simply brushes it off. He reaches out and taps your shoulder, and you suddenly collapse, feeling a weight of countless tons pressing down upon you from all sides, as if pushing you into yourself. You drop everything in your possession, and cannot even blink, the pressure is so great upon you. A low, bowl-shaped crater opens up around you, full of cracks that radiate out from the center.

The others back away from you with surprise and a bit of fear.

Septum falls silent, the hood shadowing his eyes. "…Hrm. I don't believe I've ever understood you, daughter. All this time, this is what I have desired to say, and you prove that I've missed the mark entirely."

He pauses a while, in absolute stillness and silence. "I know that you have become another person, that you have become a demon, gained new form, new sapience. If you can remain conscious for a while more, I would like to spend some time in training with you, as we once did."

Amy, propelled by a supernatural sense of direction, bounces through time and space over a distance of exactly one second, and three feet, bumping into Pryce as he leaves the bedroom where he, River, Zjetya and KP were talking.

"Watch it sister, he's ours," Zjetya says to Amy.
River nods in greeting. "Enjoying your new Craft, Amy?"
Lockjaw bumps his head against Amy's leg to say hello.

Roll #1 5 + 6 = 11


A rock between a hard place. This feeling has become too familiar for Shei. He reaches out, within himself. Pulling his soul up, bearing the weight of the ocean upon his shoulders.

>CONTROL+1: Spell, attempts to take control of a hostile or neutral undead. More powerful undead may require a higher minimum roll. Also used to take control of a larger undead at recharge 2.

[1d10+1] Self-Control, resist

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


Pryce stumbles back as he bumps into Amy almost right after leaving the room.
"Oh, Amy, there you are."
>"Wow, that was fast."
"So… Are you busy?"


Flaming blinks as she watches the fiery halo surround them, "Woah…. coooool!" As it vanishes, she turns back to look at him, blinking as he readies a charge. "Okay, bring it on! This had better be more than just a pretty light show though. Cool as it was."

She snorts out a harsh breath, then charges him herself, full force
>[1d10+6] Child of Gaia + Charge All or Nothing

Roll #1 8 + 6 = 14


Hafaza's pig shuffles over and sits on your back.
"A localized gravity well," Observer comments with dull amusement. "And completely without exterior effect, for Pig to be able to sit on you like that. If you want my advice, you'd best just wait it out to avoid provoking further attack. You made the first shot, so it's only natural he'd retaliate."
"I'll heal you afterward," Mirror offers.


"Aha, well I am much more partial to spending time doing work. I would be allowed to put my ice cream back in your freezer box, of course?" Leather chuckles, "I would hate for it to go to waste working for you."



Gadriele smiles. "I told you to be careful," Punish says to Shei. Then, she looks back to her father. "I'd love to train with you one last time."



Amy looks to Zjetya and River, then Pryce, then back to Zjetya and River. She grins. "I should be asking you how much you're enjoying YOUR new craft," she says with a wink.

"I'm not busy, but you sure have been," she says with a giggle and congratulatory punch to Pryce's shoulder.


"This… This is nothing.." Shei seethes "Compared to the burden I carry."

Shei-Sher inquires within, seeking deeper for his inner power. He begins to expel his aura, to erupt in fiery light that consumes the magic surrounding him.
>SPELLBREAKER: recharge 2 (minus 1), spell, ranged; nullify a spell or magic effect


Roll #1 3 = 3


"We have been running around a lot today."
Pryce answers, the innuendo going over his head.
"So… I don't know if you know, but we're staying behind for the Tartarus mission. And, well, I've realized we haven't spent much time together during our travels. So… What would you like to do?"


The moment that you run forward, you trip over yourself, getting both your forehooves and your hind-hooves tangled up in between each other, with the most comically absurd of wobbles and stumbles afterward. LJ appears to slip on thin air, flipping himself over and over, until he rolls toward you, completely out of control. He rolls forward until he crashes headfirst into you, coming dangerously close to bumping noses with you.

>Riot: Spell; Ranged; Once per day; For the next two turns, all rolls made by all targets in combat will be critical, failure or success.

>LJ got a 1; this turn's rolls, as last turn's, are all crit failures

"Oww…." LJ groans as he lays there. He blinks, then his cheeks flare hot red, as he sees the position the two of you are in. "Okay, don't panic. Something just didn't work right. Let's just… inch backward away from each other."

"By all means, please do!" Conicopia says.

She leaves you to the cart, showing you a price chart on the side. Everything, even the more luxury treats, seems to be of a reasonable price. You spend the next ten minutes walking through the market district with Busta, and you end up reaching five customers, who mostly come over out of curiosity, seeing you with Conicopia's cart (you learn that she's a bit of a favorite among some of the witches).

Once her break's over, you meet Conicopia again over on the eastern end of the market district, and retrieve your purchases.

"Thanks, hon," Conicopia says, giving her legs a good stretch. "Come see me anytime you want some work, or ice cream."

River puts her hooves over KP's ears so that he can't hear Amy's innuendo – nevermind that she was cracking dirtier jokes earlier.

"Now! Eat him!" Hafaza commands her Pig. The Pig just lays down, snorting and getting ready for a nap.
"Give it about thirty more seconds," Observer deadpans. "Then you will be free. Straining yourself now is likely to make it worse."

Septum nods, then gestures to the exit. "Come. Let us be off. I tire of this city. Ah, but–"

He reaches into his cloak, then withdraws a small pouch, which he opens to reveal delicately-wrapped gourmet chocolate. "A habit, or an addiction. I came across it some time after the One Night War. Never liked the stuff, but now I cannot help myself. Some discipline I cultivated."



"O-oh…" Amy says awkwardly. "Just the two of us…? I don't know… What do friends usually do when it's just the two of them?"



"There's nothing wrong with enjoying something once in a while," Punish says defensively as if she's said it a thousand times. "May I?" she asks as she reaches out for some chocolate.

The two of them seem to have forgotten about Shei entirely.


Shei understands the caution in Observer's comment. Shei is succumb with embarrassment, frustration, he cannot help but blame himself. For all his clever tricks to access power how much has grown in spirit if this is his limit as a mortal. He watches Gadriel converse with Septum. It stokes the remorse in him.

Shei-Sher stops resisting and lets the spell dissipate naturally.


Leather nods, "Hopefully next time we meet I can bring my foals. I think they will be big fans. I have to rush this ice cream back aways away though, as is not as patient as I am."

Leather offers a small bow, before returning with the small serving of ice cream to make red wine floats.


"Usually talk, or do something they both like."
Pryce comments, feeling a bit awkward as well.


As Flaming trips over herself midcharge, tangling and stumbling over LJ as his magic curses their combined charges, causing her to flip over herself in a huff as she shakes her head,
"Guuugh…. was that magic to make us look like total foals or was it just-"
She pauses, looking straight into Journey's eyes as they're mere inches away from each other. She blinks a few times with an intense fiery blush on her face as she feels his breath on her muzzle, shivering slightly as she clenches her muzzle shut.
"…….dmmymmWMMTtmmbmckmwy?" she says with a mumbling whisper.



"Wanna play fetch?" Amy blurts out, her tail wagging vigorously.


Septum splits a large chocolate orb, and you see it contains caramel and nougat inside. He hands you one half and munches on the other himself.

Chorazin grabs the fridge, while Observer, Hafaza and Mirror Image pool their magic together to pick up the ten-ton Shei, still imprisoned in the localized gravity well, and head out of the compound with the rest of you.

Once the concentrated gravity we