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Last time, on HolyQuest…

The party, along with Regina, Box, River, Zjetya, Gadriel and LJ, hung out, eating ice cream and generally enjoying themselves as a group. Shei got to speak with Gabriele and Punish, in a reunion that quickly went from awkward to far more heartfelt, as they reunited after being so long apart. Like with their reunion with Shei-perd, however, Shei eventually had to move on, and speak with the water spirit whom he had angered for turning the river in which he dwelled into a weapon.

They traveled via Dark Corridor to the outskirts of Fantasia, to the bank of a river that led from northern mountains into a forest to the south, and it is from those waters that the god of the river appeared, in the form of a catfish dragon. After a period of negotiation, the water god agreed to relent from the punishment he had in mind for the whole party, if they agreed to instruct the Fantasians to honor him and the other lesser-known gods of the land in honor of the protection that they provide to the nations. Amy pestered the water god until he agreed to be her friend, business as usual.
984 posts and 3 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


"I consider myself well read. As a wee kid I piled up epic poems, romance novels, and even Crow-ley's ritual guidance to love making. But I don't have a clue how this could be romantic."

"Do not follow in my hoofsteps Gadds. Just say it's magic. It will save you time and suspicious looks."

"Let's take a look see." Shei closes his right eye and lets the left do all the work.


[1d10+1] what does the key do?

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


"A key… So there must be a hidden room somewhere here, or a room they want protected by more than a trap."
Pryce comments. He picks up the key after Gadriel states it's fine to touch.
"I'll hold onto it for now, in case there is anything lingering with it."


As River opens up the chest, Shorty looks on at the key and pillow within, investigating it with a wary eye as Gadriel divines whether it is a threat or not. As he determines it's safe to pick up, Shorthorns approaches the key, picking it up in her hoof as Leather investigates the next hallway ahead.

"Wait, the 'lighting' is filled with demons? You mean, they're trapped in those crystals?"
"If they're trapped in there, I think we should leave them that way. If they burst out when we're half-way through, we can use a dark corridor to save ourselves from being surrounded."



Amy laughs. "There are more things in the world than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Shei."


"That sounds like it'll take foreveeeeeeeer," Amy whines, a dramatic juxtaposition from the last thing she just said.


It does not seem to have any activation-based magical effects, nor even passive benefits, but it does seem like it is magical, for it has a distinct magical signature. You get the feeling that it is a 'part of something', in the same way that a brick is 'part of' a wall. In this case, something that must be hidden or kept away.

"We'll want to keep an eye out for false walls and hidden doors and the like then, eh?" River asks. "You lot are stronger than me. I'll let you have at the investigations."
"Yeah, same here," Zjetya says.

"Demons inside?" Gadriel asks, backing away from the faintly luminescent crystals. "…Let's seal the door behind us once we leave. But if they're not coming at us right now, I don't want to try to wake them up. Avoid a fight if we can, right?"
"Considering how the dungeon rearranges itself, I don't know how much good a locked door's gonna do…" Zjetya says.


"Well no. They were re-iterations of historical events. I only ever read fiction if it was an obfuscation of occult knowledge. And you know its grating, because even traditional wizards will catalogue the stuff as philosophy in spite of there being a practical application. But that's why it's occult and not traditional I suppose." In a rare moment of authenticity Shei starts getting technical with Amy.


"We can handle the hidden passages, but you two have the keener eyes from the looks of it. We'll need to check every room if keys and the like are going to be stashed away."

"Locks must mean something if the key we found means anything."
Pryce adds after Zjetya.
"I have our light covered, so we shouldn't need to worry about those crystals."
Pryce says, taking off his bracelet as he attempts to conjure some more torches.
>Hat Magic [Torches] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8



Amy shrugs. "I just repeated something someone told me once. But, that's probably why you're unfamiliar with other points of view. You haven't given them a try."


"Yeah, I say we just leave the demons in their prisons and, if they come out, I'm sure we'll find a way to slip out between all our abilities. No need to rile them all up."

As Pryce prepares some torches, Shorthorned Dragon decides to take the first step into the crystal-filled corridor…
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Gadds I know you raised me to raise you better than this. For as strong as you got over night, you need to get better at pretending like I did. Do you know how you let a demon know you wear your suspenders up to your knickers. We piss them off with wild abandon for the consequences."

Shei swipes the the key from Pryce and begins tapping the jewel repeatedly against the brick wall "They don't understand any other language than abuse. You have to show them you are willing to die if only to cripple their way of life. Just ask Amy, I crippled her two nights ago and now I can't get her to stop begging me for more abuse."


You conjure two unlit torches from your bracelet, but before you can light them, Zjetya takes one, and pokes your flame arm with it. It does not light, unless you will it to.


"Anyways, this key is likely an actual key to an actual door. Useless otherwise, but if somebody wants to use it for a source of magatsuchi be my guest."



"Ha! 'Crippled me' says the goat who needed healing potions SEVERAL TIMES over the course of the night. If you think you weren't the one getting abused, then I'm just going to have to show less mercy next time. Maybe I really will take some of this torture equipment with me."


"That does it, I'm going with a different group when we finally enter Tartarus," Gadriel sneers.


You proceed down the corridor, but it is unclear whether the demons inside the gemstones had any reaction to Shei's abrasive prattling. Nobody else has any reaction to it either.

At the end of the corridor is a ladder up, and as Flaming saw earlier, there's a bit of a strange arrangement here. There is a path leading to the right further, but there is also a sloped path leading right and upward. That diagonal path is slick with some kind of thick and coagulated oil or ichor, and you cannot see where it leads.

However, you notice that when you take your first steps on the rightward path, your view of the scene retracts slightly, showing you more of the surrounding area… Amy and Shorthorned recall that a similar thing also happened in Wineberry's story, and it was as you approached the final segment of it all.


Shorthorns looks at the thick, slick oil on the diagonal path, investigating it as she stares up the slope. "It'll be almost impossible to climb this path with all the oil on it. Buuut, maybe I can turn the oil into something else."

She takes note of the 'zoom-out' feature on the camera, a nervous gulp catching itself in her throat but before she warns the others of its significance, she tries to turn the thick oil on the diagonal path into soft, grabbable grass and earth they can ascend.
[1d10] Sphere of Darkness

Roll #1 9 = 9



"I think we're about to start a boss fight," Amy warns everyone, her tail wagging.


Pryce looks down as Zjetya pokes his burning fore-leg with the torch. He lifts his hoof, tapping the end of the torch and willing the flame to burn to ignite it.
"It almost feels like second nature to do that…"
He comments, lighting the second torch the same way.

Luckily nothing comes from Shei's speech on harassing the demons, and they continue on undisturbed. When they reach the next split, Pryce looks up the sloped path.
"We have been going down plenty… Maybe if we went up we could exit this flat view of the world."


"Hush. Bad dog." Shei-Sher is trying to talk to his brother. He firmly pats Amy on the head.

"ooh Gadds, don't act like that. I'm explaining the dominance relationship between demons here."


Leather applies buffs before moving forward.

>Slow Down!: Recharge 3 after effect ends; Ranged; You can slow down time in a small radius around the target. The target of this power will take 3 fewer points of damage (minimum 1) for the next 2+1 turns.

self and pryce
>A Vision of Grandeur: Instant; Recharge 1 after effect ends; Choose 1 ally. For the next 4+1 turns, you and that ally gain +2 to all rolls made against all enemies that target you, either with a normal roll, or an Instant roll-to-dodge attack, regardless of whether or not that enemy's attack is successful.

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 7 = 7


"Good to know we'll never be in need of a campfire out in the wilderness," River comments.
"I would kill thousands to get to have some marshmallows in my rations for once," Zjetya says. "Ecclesian quartermasters are too damn stingy with their sweets."
"When survival's on the line, they kind of have to be," Gadriel says.
"Shush, weirdo," Zjetya says.
"Hey, only Amy can call me that."

"You're annoying, gross, and not even close to being half as insightful as you think you are," Gadriel continues. "I'm part demon, I already get it."

Cloak buffs up, and Lockjaw snorts as he senses power and tension building up among the group.
Shorthorned transmutes the slick oil covering the upward-sloping path into easy-to-grab grass, with a few columns of vines falling down from the very edge of it. River gives one a cautious tug, and climbs up a few meters. "Looks like we're good to climb it. Anyone need a boost?"

>roll for climbing, DC 4 from the grass


"Ohhhhh no.. This is disorienting." Shei feels a bit weird as the camera view runs off from him.


"I'll stick behind and play catcher again." Leather eyes Flaming and Pryce, walking on light.




Amy whimpers sadly. Her ears go back.


"Boy, it almost feels like we didn't do anything to solve this problem!" Amy comments as the room is practically solved for her by her allies.

"That's awesome!"

[1d10] to climb the slope

Roll #1 7 = 7


Flaming smiles as her new divine powers makes life spring forth from the oil and sludge, looking at the new green coverings with pride as she steps onto the foliage, looking back towards the others. "What Amy said. When we experienced this at the Temple, there was a big enemy ready to face us at the end. It seems to do this for 'dramatic' effect. Everyone get ready, we can do this…"

She says, ready to test her newfound might for the upcoming challenge ahead
[1d10+1] Climbing

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


"After we get back to the surface, we'll stop by Threecoins to pick some up before heading to Ornifex."
Pryce says.

>"I might… just in case it gets too steep."
KP says, grabbing one of the vines for extra grip.
"We'll take it slow and easy this time. As long as we don''t try to fly up, the grass should keep anypony from sliding too far or fast."
>KP Climb [1d10]
>Pryce Climb [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 9 = 9


"Right you're part demon then reconcile that sex is a natural function of the cosmos. It's written in the stars and it's written in respectable literature. And it is observable in probably everything. You, yourself are two worlds clashing in a bid to become one. Settle with that before we reach the big door, mkay." He speaks even toned.

"And take me a little less seriously won't you."

Shei follows everyone up the slope. climbing roll

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


"You clearly can't listen to a word I'm saying, so why even bother?" Gadriel asks.


Taking secure hold of the vines and the grass, you hoist yourselves onto the edge of the slope, and begin climbing your way onward by clinging to the thick and tangled grass that Shorthorned provided. All the way onward, the view slowly pans outward, further and further as you ascend the slope. It does not stop until you can see that, far below you is indeed an arena-like space.

The slope ends in a steep drop off, a vertical shaft before you. There's another slope on the other side of the shaft, leading downward in the opposite direction. Above you is a chute, and at the base of the shaft, all the way at the bottom of your view, you can see a pair of insect-like demons, each one about twice the length of the Silver Storm.

Wide, long, and flat, they have hardened carapace exteriors and hundreds of clawed legs upon the outside, but their undersides are horrific. Plastered upon their undersides are amalgams of bestial faces. Breaks, gnashing maws, hardened pincers, poisonous tongues, wicked incisors, barbed tentacles. The demons are restless, the two swirling around one another in motions that they seem to have kept in perpetuity for as long as they've been stuck here. Between them, around which their cyclical dance parades, you can see a spiral staircase leading downward.

Zjetya gulps and holds tight to Pryce, as does River. Gadriel says nothing, shuddering subtly.



"I wanna eat it," she says flatly.


Pryce wraps his wings around Zjetya and River as they hold tight to him. KP steps back to the huddle as well, fearful over the massive insectoid beasts that rampage around their exit. Pryce puts a hoof around him as well, keeping him safe.
"Be careful, everypony. They've been down here for what can only be ages."

"They'll think the same of us, I imagine."


"How are you planning on that exactly?" Gadriel asks.


When the reach the top of the slope, looking down into the shaft that lies beyond them, Shorthorns looks down over the edge to see the insect demons below, eyes widening at the sheer mass of the creatures that dwarf even their air-ship.

"By the gods… those things are huge!" She says, trying to gauge what to do between the massive monsters before steeling her nerve, looking at them with a resolute determination as she remembers all they've conquered so far, and all the power they've acquired since.

"WE've fought bigger. The creature that we attacked when we first entered Threecoin were bigger than either of these things, and we took it down. We just need to analyze its weakness like we did with it. Can anyone figure out what those over-grown termites are weak to?"



"The circle of life," Amy says wistfully.


"By killing them, obviously!"


"Aye, if we can confirm my rifle'll be effective on them, I could set up a kill on at least one of them before they even have time to respond. I excell when I'm a long distance away like so."


Shei sighs in response to Gadriel, and twiddles his hair.

"You know there wasn't a plan."

"A confrontation may not even be necessary. Look at what they're doing. This is what they are concerned with." Shei gestures to their dance. "Demons are very single minded creatures. If we can obfuscate our appearance we could possibly drop below the stairwell without their notice."

Shei-Sher releases his aura only enough to cover the entire party. And manipulates it's property to make everything within it dark and transparent.

>Phase Aura


>Light, Dark affinity


Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7


File: 1591249717079.png (2.7 KB, 500x250, Oekaki.png)

"Even if you can kill one in a flash, the other might be able to chase us up here," River says.
"You guys see any way we can block the path?" Gadriel hazards. "Oh! Or– maybe set up a trap?"
A gasp floats through the party as you become completely transparent, fading from view, bodies, equipment and all.
"How long's this last?" Zjetya asks.
"Can you remove our sound and our smells too?" River asks.
"Even if he does that, demons have powerful spiritual senses," Gadriel says. "We're going to want to be quick, whatever we do."


"Could we get all of us past before they notice? One could get by easily enough, but that alone might alert them to the others."

As they're shrouded by Shei's spell, Pryce nods to Leather's suggestion.
"If we can remove one before they can react, we will still have the high ground advantage against the other. We could prepare a trap of our own to throw it back down into the pit and cripple it from the fall."


>"How long's this last?"
Shei flashes his hooves as if he had fingers. "Ten minutes"(6 turns or 10 turns if supercrit rules apply)

Shei snaps to Gadds indicating how correct he is right now.

"Fight or run?… Raise of hooves?" Shei-Sher asks everyone.

"Make it quick, there's a ringing in my ears whenever it's too quiet and it kills me."


"I only worry a bullet will prove ineffective against them, I know not a way to discern their weaknesses myself."


Shorthorns stomps her (now invisible) hoof on the top of the slope,

"I say we attack. We have to know our limits. We're bound to face worse than THESE things in Tartarus, aren't we?! If we sneak by them now, who's to say we won't find something worse later on! Will we just keep trying to sneak past? What did we even ascend for if not to prepare ourselves for a fight?!"

"We need to take those things on. We need to know our limitations now before we cross the point of no return. So let's find out! Are you with me?!"


"All it takes is a poisonous cloud to push us out of here. And there goes our high ground advantage. If they notice us then and follow us down the stairwell then it's just good practice. Should be a lot running and chasing when we're in tartarus."


"Right we should be strong enough. But we do have River and Zjetya with us. Their words not mine 'You lot are stronger.' "


"Shei, you're the best at analyzing enemies. Can you tell what their weaknesses are?"
Pryce asks, looking to the goat.



Amy shrugs. "I wanna eat 'em," is all she has to say.


"No more hints hm."
Shei-Sher takes a look at the demons


[1d10+1] checking the demons' weaknesses

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


"I'll have them protected, don't worry about that. Flaming does have a point though, you won't always be able to avoid whatever you come across in Tartarus."


A turn is between 3-5 seconds, you're looking at 30 seconds from the crit

Shei scans the millipede demons, feeling the seconds whittling away on his invisibility…

>Lords of the Refuse

>250/250 HP
>Weak: Gun, Blunt, Pierce, Magma
>Resist: Fire, Ichor
>Null: None
>Repel: Slash
>Absorb: None

>Paused, reply for next time


When Shei relays the demons are resistant to fire, Pryce's mood is lowered a bit.
"Fire resistant bugs?"
He says, looking at his burning spear. He sighs, dismissing the weapon and dropping his bracelet to his hoof. His horn glows as he makes a new lance, without an element this time to be more effective.
>Conjure Weapon [Lance] [DC5, Single, Great] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Shei-Sher takes from a canteen some raw earth and carries it high in his hoof. The dirt stokes hot as embers manifest.
>space affinity

There is magma present in his hoof. He releases his grip and small motes of the ember fly out to imbue his party's choice of weapon.
>spellbleed 6 targets
[1d10+3] magma element for gadds, Amy, River, Shei, Flaming, Zjetya

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 3 + 3 = 6


>Ndindisholo: Passive; Critical Hits and Critical Failures do not deal extra damage to you.

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