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 No.735981[Last 50 Posts]

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.


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

Volkama looks to Cloak with interest; Cloak has been briefed on this strange fellow, a demon-pony hybrid of matted hair and eccentric patterns of speech and magic. "I've little experience with evangelism, but I trust you have more experience. Where shall we start?"
"We may find the most success with those who are already inclined to adhere to many gods," Observer says.
"Not necessarily," Zjetya says. "Maybe we'd better start with the poor and needy. It's not just about appeasing the water spirit, it's about helping the people who are gonna be hardest hit by the Treibheanna, getting them a patron god who might protect 'em."



"I think we should start with the people who like slumber parties the most," Amy suggests, wagging her tail.


"What does that have to do with revering a god!?" Zjetya half-laughs, half shouts with amusement.
"Perhaps it would behoove us to go to the districts where families with foals are staying," Volkama says. "Deriva had a look around there during her brief stay. It seems they've more families than rooms for rent, and so the poor with no other places to go are having to reside two or three to a room."


As the party bids farewell to the water god (otherwise known as 'Fig'), Flaming bows reverently before passing through the Dark Corridor to the tunnel, looking around the exceedingly busy populous as they prepare the village for attack.

Her ears flop down, looking to Journey, "Huh… kind of feels wrong we're having so much fun while everyone else is this busy, huh?"

She turns to Observer as they and Zjetya start looking for suggestions, and then turns to Zjetya, "I don't know if we should start with the needy… it kind of seems like we're taking advantage of their situation, you know? Waiting until they're at their lowest to demand worship for Fig? I think I agree with Observer we should start with those who are already worshiping."




"We should speak with Easy Doesit as well, if we can establish a place for the local nature gods in the city, it would make it easier to spread information about them."



Leather rubs his beard, "Many assassins adopted Hypomone as their unconventional patron due to requiring patience in their line of work. It may not have been the lessons that were taught in temples of past, but the ponies brought praise as they worked under his domain. So too I believe we should visit shanty towns or docks along river, to those who owe their lives to these deities. As miners sing songs of stone, so might the fisher sing songs of the river."

"Ah, but we would not proselytize with just words and empty promises of prosperity. Instead, we should bring these people food and drink from the river, and refuse their thanks, instead directing it to where the bounty came from. Charity will not bring them harm." Cloak argues benevolently, nodding understandably at the concerns.


"Remember what we've got ahead of us," LJ says. "This is probably going to be our last chance for fun in a long time. I wouldn't think too hard about it."
Zjetya shrugs. "I don't know about demanding worship. I'm just thinking that if there's anyone who's going to be hurt most by a war, it's those who can't even get by when times are relatively peaceful. Who knows how many of them might just die when things get harder and harder."

"That'd be the easiest way to integrate it," River says in agreement to Cloak's suggestion. "It'd weave Fantasia into the fabric of this world more easily, as well."
"We might as well organize an impromptu fishing trip then," LJ adds. "Anyone who needs help, I can teach 'em."


Flaming looks up to Cloak, considering his words. "Ahh… you know, that might not be a bad idea. We don't need to just try and convince them to worship Fig, we need to give them HELP, however we can. And then, maybe they might offer their thanks for the things we did, right?"

Flaming sighs, "Yeah, I know, you're right… we've got a rough time ahead of us no matter what, but, still. Feels weird." She smiles, "Wouldn't trade it for anything, though."

To Zjetya, she nods her head. "You know, I think you and Cloak may have the right idea after all. These ponies need our help more than anyone, we should give it to them."



"Because then they can have slumber party with Fig!" Amy answers Zjetya as if it's obvious and even answers the question.


"I've had enough fish, I need to train more," Amy says in response to LJ's suggestion.


"I have been working every day of the week. Speak for yourself."

Shei-Sher pans his head back and forth as he listens to this person and then that person, and then this person.
"Soo.. The plan is, we speak to Easy Doesit, speak to those who already worship, proselytize the downtrodden and fishermen? In that order? Ermm, if it pleases everyone I think we would be far more productive in presenting our case if we omitted the part where I angered a water spirit."


Leather nods between River and Flaming, "Aye, putting the help first should be our priority. A medley of riverside plants, fish, and animals would be a nice gift to these peoples."


"Speaking of which," Volkama says. "What have you trained in, if you an share a Witch's secrets? From what I've gathered, I imagine that this new power of yours will require training in all your extant skills to be pushed further along. I was there for that incredible catch of your tail, of course, but there must yet be more to accomplish."

"We don't exactly have a lot of time before the big battles tonight," River says. "Pryce, Amy, why don't we go and find Easy and present her our case? Zjetya, Flaming, LJ, Cloak, it sounds like you two have the evangelism covered. Volkama, Observer, what say you?"
"I'll go with you," Volkama says. "I oversaw renovations and additions to the Hypnogogium in Circadia; I've an eye for aesthetic and construction, and I imagine I can build a shrine most pleasing to the gods."
Observer blinks. "I've little to gain from either side of this venture – I shall come with you and study Easy Doesit to see how a Fairy approaches religion."
"Study, okay," River says, shaking her head with a touch of exasperation. "Don't creep her out and don't ogle her. She showed me mercy after our party defeated Orcus."



Amy stares at Volkama blankly for a moment. Then, she shrugs. "I don't know how I'm going to train. I was going to go talk to Fairy Lady. Unless you have a better idea?"

Then, she looks to Pryce. "What are we telling Easy?"


"I will see to helping the rest with the evangelism." Shei-Sher resigns to a more submissive attitude after enduring the chagrin of roping everyone into his responsibilities. Everyone seems enthusiastic about the prospect however, which helps Shei not feel too bad.

He follows the group who will proselytize the locals.


Flaming sticks out her tongue, "There is more than one way to train you know! Maybe you should try having some fun before going into Tartarus, too."

Flaming stomps her hooves enthusiastically at Leather, "Alright! I can go do some fishing, Vortigern showed me how just earlier today, I think I got the hang of it."

She bows to River, "Good luck. We'll do our best to help the needy and then see if we can convince them to send a prayer towards the river god." She prepares to open a dark corridor towards the riverbed again, preparing to catch as many fish as she can in a short while to deliver onto them herself. "Journey come with me, I'll need help."


Leather follows in tow, resolute. "Let us make haste, we do not have many hours."


"Spreading out to cover all options sounds the best, and it should give an immediate notice to the river spirit as well."
Pryce says in agreement.

"We will tell her about the river god and the offer we were given. With all the preparation and defense Fantasia has been building, Easy will be open to setting up a shrine if the land will be aiding the city in return."


"I had spent an entire day of leisure on the time before my birthday" He bemuses "I was there for the play remember? And our comedy routine. One day of fun, is enough days of fun. I actually gain satisfaction from the work I have to do, I don't need to play board games for half the day like some people I know."


"I'm suggesting that your reputation for winning over obstinate souls and changing minds is an indication that you might awaken to another power by training that," Volkama says in clarification. "Speaking to Easy Doesit may suffice. Unless you're talking about Fairy Castle when you say 'Fairy Lady'?"

The group splits into two groups, with Shei joining Flaming, LJ, Cloak and Zjetya via Dark Corridor. It deposits them on the edge of a collection of shacks and shanties that are gathered around both sides of the river, situated along a high ridge to avoid damage during a flood season. Two well-enforced bridges connect both sides of the hamlet to one another. Several Ecclesian guards are posted in towers to the south and to the north. Northeast, you can see farmers and fieldhooves in Fantasia's orchards, and to the east, off some distance, you can see Fantasia's walls themselves.


You can see a few fishers sitting on the bridges, hooves dangling over the ledge, as they sing a bit of an old song to pass the time between bites.

While the others go off to speak to the locals most in need with an offering of fish, you head through town, asking after Easy Doesit. You get a few contradictory answers, and follow a few leads that turn out to be out of date; you quickly learn that she has been running around busy all day, just like your group has been. In the end, you get a fairly new piece of news that she was last seen going toward Fantasia Castle, which you haven't visited since you defeated Orcus.

You make your way to the Castle, following Fantasia's central road from the fountain and the city square. It looks far less imposing than it did under Orcus' rule, now that the sky is clear of wendigoes and the disruptions of the Anomaly he attempted to open.

The regal front doors remain open, and guards are posted at it. They nod you in, seeing that you are the Saviors. Inside, in the entrance hall, you see a large group of guards and Ecclesians gathered before the central stairway. Easy Doesit, looking somewhat injured, but none too badly, sits on the central staircase, having some sort of discussion. She glances up at you as you enter, then goes back to her talk.


KP follows after Pryce as they track down Easy Doesit. After they weave through most of the city and track her to the castle, Pryce looks up at the structure, thinking back to the moment when they first came out here. It feels like forever ago that they came here to free it from Orcus, the first thing he did upon returning to this world as well.
When they enter, Pryce is concerned as Easy appears injured, likely running herself ragged with all the work being done. He approaches to show they wish to speak with her, but lets her finish her talk first.



"I WAS talking about Fairy Castle," Amy nods. "But, I like your idea. I should try different things. If I keep doing the same thing, I'm not going to get anywhere."


"You know, this is going to be my castle soon," Amy brags to Pryce conversationally before they find Easy as she looks around proudly.

"Easy Doosy! Are you alright?" Amy asks with concern. "Want a potion?"

She starts shifting through her saddle bag.


Lockjaw and Hopper stick close by KP, not getting more than a foot away from him at any given time. KP notices that, whenever he stands in any one place for more than a few moments, Lockjaw spins and surveys the area, presumably for danger.


Flaming blushes, grumbling under her breath. "Grummph…. I guess THAT'S true, but, it's also the very last day before we descend into the pits of Tartarus. I think having fun helps to make you appreciate how much we have to protect up here."

She growls, "A-and those board games were teaching me proper strategy!"

As the group emerges along the banks of the rivver, looking out over the various shanties and structures populating the area, Flaming gives a sorrowful look at their living conditions, before turning her attention to the fisherman by the river.

"Alright. We'd better get started then if we're gonna make a difference." Flaming approaches the nearby river, looking towards the fish below rushing by as she tries to consider if it's possible to draw them in with magic. Inspired by an idea, she looks towards her horn, wondering if it's possible to use her primordial magic for some more mundane purpose.

Her horns light blue, as Offering Upon the Mountain activates in an attempt to draw in the fish to the edge of the water, making them easier to catch.

Roll #1 9 = 9


KP looks at Lockjaw with concern, giving him a pat to try and calm him.
>"What's wrong Lockjaw? This is a safe place, you don't need to worry."

"Wait, what do you mean this will be your castle?"
Pryce says in confusion by Amy's bold and out of the blue statement.


Leather nods along, "You'll have to forgive me for being rather mundane in terms of magical abilities, I will stick to the act of fishing itself."

Taking fishing supplies from his allies, Leather begins to net the fish in with Flaming's magical help.

[1d10] roll if needed

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Certainly, certainly.. Whatever helps you fall asleep these dark nights. ah- Sleep. I wonder what that must be like." Everyone know Shei hardly ever sleeps at night, and judging by his tone he's rubbing this fact in your face. "Oh- well you're quite experienced in sleeping, maybe you could tell me."

Shei-Sher stand behind Flaming, letting her open up the public however she is going to do it. Demonstrably, Shei has never been very adept at public speaking.



"Obviously a demon queen needs a castle!" Amy responds as if Pryce is being dumb.


Your ancient power proves to be a handy choice, as fish start to amass in the waters below, swimming against the current, and even jumping up to try to snap down on your nose. You get the feeling, from some of the looks that those fish are giving you, that if you could understand the fish language, you would be pretty livid about what they're saying. Before the fish can get you however, Cloak comes over with a net.

As Cloak begins to net in the fish, he starts to catch so many that he nearly loses his grip on the net. LJ stands beside him, heaving and digging in his hooves as he helps to drag the mighty catch out onto the dry bridge. LJ looks to the nearby fishers, who are looking on with a combination of amazement and jealousy as you haul in more fish than they might see in a month. "Come on over, there's plenty for everyone!" LJ says.
"Mighty kind of you," one of the fishers says. "What's your name, so we can thank you?"

Hopper growls and taps your head (lightly) with his staff. He evidently hasn't forgotten the ominous happening with the True Diskos. Lockjaw snaps his jaws at any passerby who stray a little too close to you, warning them to keep a safe distance.

Easy sighs, looking over at Amy. "I'd love one."
"Everything alright?" Volkama says. "Those don't look like the kind of scrapes and bruises one gets from everyday matters of rule."
"No, they're not," Easy says. "I decided I would have a look under Fantasia Castle, since the entrance to Tartarus is down there. When I went through the basement, into the dungeons – I found a whole Dungeon down there!"
"Ah, yes," Volkama says sagely. "A common feature to castles."
"Not that kind of dungeon, a Dungeon!" Easy repeats. "Capital-D! A magical labyrinth that kept rearranging on me! It took me all my wits to find my way back out!"


"But why this castle?"
Pryce asks, looking wary of Amy growing power hungry.

"You went through a dungeon?"
Pryce repeats, thrown off their initial reason of coming at the news Easy gives.
"Is this new, or has it only just been discovered?"
He continues, before pausing, not to get too far side tracked.
"If there's anything we can do about this, we'll be glad to help, but there is something we came to speak with you about. Do you know of the nature gods around Fantasia?"



"So, we gotta go through a dungeon just to GET to Tartarus!?" Amy asks, sounding disheartened.

She fishes out a bottle and gives it to Easy Doesit. [1d10+4] Natural Remedy


"Because it's right on top of Tartarus! Duh!"

Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9


Flaming looks up at him, shaking her head, "Nah, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm just trying to use my abilities in new ways, I'm gonna need to think on my hooves once we go into Tartarus so, might as well start figuring out how to use my powers effectively."

Flaming rolls her eyes at Shei's remarks, "Yeah, and you don't make it easy! Working all night like you do, you know if you don't get some sleep before we go into Tartarus you'll probably faint right after we enter!"

"A warrior needs their rest Shei, every one knows THAT!" she says as though it were simple universal truth, that only an idiot could not see.

Flaming looks down at the fish as she attracts them with her primordial aspect, growling at them as she recognizes their ferociousness, and their rather rude opinions of her. Then, that WAS the point of the magic, so she can only harbor so much of a grudge towards them, especially as Leather manages to net them en masse.

Flaming looks at Journey and Cloak as they hall the massive haul of fish over to the side, looking at the other fishermen as they watch with awe at their massive catch.

Flaming bows her head, "My name is… Shorthorns. And, you really don't have to thank me, I was just trying to help. If you had to thank anyone, I'd thank the god of the river for providing us with such a bounty."


"My, My have you always been so brawn? When I worked as a squabby on Myrongindi's seas you would only ever see minotaur wrestle such a bounty from Levotk."

>Goatcraft: passive; Min -1 for all climbing and agility rolls, and can use anything as food, including non-food items
Shei-Sher steps over to take a fish, he bits the fish half through, eating its scales, bone and all -swallowing with ease. It's a little pageantry to show he has his fair share of salt in his sails -so to speak.

"Aye, we are only passerbys. Babe faced and new to the river. So- What difference could it be you think? That new faces without their gills like ourselves could make away with such a catch." Shei eats the rest of the fish whole. Slapping his hooves together to wipe off his meal.

"The difference? None at all. We all labor for the spirits. Yet, the sooner this is known the fish simply beg to be caught."



Leather nods along with Flaming, "Why thank us, it's the river that has provided this bounty. It is not like we brought the fish here, we requested the river provide and it has brought us more than enough."


Easy accepts the bottle. "We really don't know much about the Dungeon, save for that it's pretty well-guarded with traps and stone automata of a very old and powerful magic. The whole place feels positively ancient, as a whole."
"A creation of the Sons of God, mayhap?" Observer ponders aloud.
"We'll figure that out later," Easy says. "I amassed some guards to stay posted here," she adds, gesturing to the guards before her. "Just in case anything tries to follow me out for messing with the place."

As you change subjects to the nature gods, Easy nods. "I haven't tried to make any contact with them, but I can feel them. We're fellow beings, dependent on belief to sustain our form, but in different ways. I figure that we can stay in our own territories, us and them – I guess I assumed they'd want us out of their World. Why?"

The two fisherponies look a little skeptical of you as you turn the conversation to religion, but they can't argue with the results, as you can see them eyeing the catch. "Comin' 'round and sellin' religion, ain't ya. This god of yours, where does he abide, and what does he do while we toil and try to feed ourselves, sellin' our catchings? Where is he when demons come and pick us off, or come lookin' for our kin and kind?" the fisher asks.



"Then, you and Fig would make great friends!" Amy says, wagging her tail vigorously. "I'm going to have a slumber party with her after we're done with Tartarus and I have a chance. You should join us!"

>Mantra of Equality for beings slumber party! [1d10+4] DC-3 from Compassion

Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8


"Wh… wha?" Easy asks in confusion, her head tilting nearly sideways.


"Oi! More salt than water these fisherman." Shei snickers "Can you see the wind, can you hear the fish speak? Noo, but it's there. You sing about it in your songs have you forgotten? or are these shanties not your father's songs? and their fathers?"

Shei-Sher kneels down onto the net petting some of the flapping fish gently, as if he were coaxing them to rest now and be still. "A few days ago during the festival you might remember that out of bloom, without season, nor farmer to take credit. Out sprung an acre of new crop, delicious and real! What sense do you make of that if not for the spirits." Shei laments, almost scoffing at their doubt. He turns his face up from the fish to the fishermen.

"Were you expecting a message in the bottle? Friends, they are already begging for our help. Why is it? That we are not begging for theirs?

[1d10] persuasion

Roll #1 6 = 6


Flaming's hair stands up on end, thinking carefully about how to present the next thing she says to these people. "Not trying to sell anything sir, honest. Just wanting to help out however we can, I know things have been getting harder around here."

"The river god lives not too far away from here. He works to keep the river clean, so we may drink from it, and full of fish, so that we may eat. He does not ask for anything except for thanks for these things, and, if you asked him, he might even help in other ways. It never hurts to try?" She says, trying to make a convincing argument though she herself is rather new to the idea of converting


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief as Shei proves more a natural than she does, whispering to him, "I don't entirely understand what you're saying, but, it SOUNDS really convincing, good work."

Roll #1 5 = 5


"They are not our gods, we do not live here. Your gods, the land you have your homes and the river you fish in. Your catches what they provide, food, drink, and occupations."
Cloak nods along with Shei-Sher, "The land tries it's hardest to provide for all of you, though rarely receive thanks. The land cannot subside on only giving and not taking. See how it reacts with thanks and offerings." Cloak gestures to the full nets.


Roll #1 5 = 5


>"Come on guys, this place really is safe. We had a whole adventure here and everything."
Pryce says to assure his pets that he's fine.

"I… can't really argue that, I suppose. It is the best place for you to protect."

"So there will be a whole trial just to get to Tartarus' entrance to begin with…"
Pryce mutters in thought.

"It's actually the opposite, I'm glad to say," Pryce says to Easy's comment of the nature gods wanting them out, "We spoke with the god of the river nearby, and they wish to be remembered and celebrated by the city. We came to ask if there was a part of the city a shrine could be set up for them, since we believe it'll be beneficial in having extra protection from the land itself outside the city walls."


"Rest is for the weak." Shei says this, deep voice monotoned and specifically to get underneath Flaming's skin.



"And her name is Fig!" Amy explains.


"I think it would be better if the locals name the god… or use the river's name if it already has one."
Pryce adds.


The fisherponies ease a little as you talk. The two eye you suspiciously, and a few other residents of the hamlet watch you from afar, not armed, but definitely cautious, taking note of your every word and movement. "You lot should know that there's been an outpourin' of new cults all around places where mortals still tread. Cults suckin' up money, cults takin' in the young and impressionable, takin' em from their families, cults that propose suicide, in imitation of their dyin' and risin' gods. Most of 'em are the work of demons, or people so desperate or broken that they don't know what to do anymore than make up something to make 'em feel like all this suffering got a higher purpose."
"Yeah, I know what it's like," Zjetya says. "But, if we were one of those types of cults, we'd be asking a lot more of you, and taking advantage of your emotions, trying to manipulate you. The only thing we're suggesting is that you build a shrine, leave an offering or two. That's only if you're willing, too. If you want one of us to go with you to the place where the god resides."
"Does it matter if we go there, rather than build the shrine here where we can keep watch on it?" the other fisher asks.

Lockjaw gives you a scrutinizing gaze, as if to signal that even he is taking this seriously.

"Thanks for the translation," Easy says to Pryce. "Well, there are a few chapels in Fantasia, believe it or not. Some of the tales of the Fairies who originate from here involve a degree of piety to the gods, usually of the tribe or clan that they've come from. It's been those chapels that have helped a lot in dealing with the outbreaks of sickness and infection among the refugees – so I think it's only fitting we make a space for these gods of the land, too. Tell these gods that we will make a place for them. If they want to enshrine a particular relic at our chapel, we will take it in."



"That's not fair…" Amy pouts.


"Awesome," Amy says. "Now, back to business. Slumber party? Yes or no?"

>Mantra of Equality [1d10+4] DC-3

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12


Flaming snorts, and turns up her nose. "And all-nighters are for the foolish!"

Flaming looks at them as they list off the hardships imposed by other cults, her ears fall down, trying to think of a proper response.

"I'm sorry to hear that. That… that isn't very good at all, I know. But we're not asking anything like that of you! You don't need to give him your money, or your children, or even all your worship. That's not right. All we… HE asks for is a thank-you now and again," as Zjetya brings up a shrine, Flaming points at her, "Or a shrine! Yes, exactly, just like that!"

"And, of course, you could build the shrine here, right? Keep it somewhere close so you don't have to worry about any dangerous journey outside of Fantasia, he'll hear you just the same."

[1d10] Persuasion

Roll #1 8 = 8


Leather nods knowingly, "We do not wish to insert ourselves into your lives, only to care for the land you live on. It is as living as you or me, and it needs others as much as you need it. Not asking for your money or to give the food you planned to eat in hopes to appease some angry god that requires sacrifice. Keep the banks of the river clean, offer in thanks, not as requirement."


Shei stands up, without a word he walks the distance to a spot at the dirt between the dock poles and fisherman and towns folk. He crouches down with his hoof palm flush to the ground. Slowly, as Shei rises to stand, a small pillar of stone rises from the dirt until it is at height with Shei's shoulder. He runs his hoof along the top of the pillar, which effortlessly shaves the stone off until it is the vague figure of a fish head.
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;

Shei turns back to address the fishermen, has his hoof lies gently along the new shrine face.
"Here is your shrine. We've done our part reminding the good people of the spirits. If you eat, breath, and are ever grateful that there's earth beneath your hooves. There is a spirit be thankful towards for that. Likewise the river gives, in hopes we might one day notice it. When you are grateful for your catch, take one fish. Prepare it and cook it properly. Bury it before the shrine that lies before this river bank. And see that your bounty will me multiplied, yet you will only ever sacrifice one fish from your catch. And be certain to cook it well. The Spirit's appreciate a little effort."

[1d10] more persuasion

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 1 = 1


KP frowns a bit that his pets now are on high alert because of him. He doesn't want them to have to worry like this.

"That'll help plenty, thank you. We've only been in contact with the river god, so if word can be spread of them, or for the villagers to thank the river at least, that'd help the situation to begin with. We still need to find the other gods ourselves."


Easy throws her hooves up with exasperation. You get the sense that it's not so much at you, but at the plethora of things she's had to deal with, knowing that the Treibheanna will be on the move toward Fantasia. "Amy, if you can get me and Fantasia a month of peace, I'll throw you the best slumber party our World and any other World out there has ever seen."

"I'll put together a commission with explorers to seek out these gods," Easy says. "You wouldn't think it'd be the case, but one of my problems is having too many people, and not enough tasks to do. Not everyone who is able and willing to help out is skilled at the tasks we need doing, so we have things that need to be done, and too many people who can't do those things – so those people are often sitting around, getting into trouble just to have something to do. But wandering on a quest is a fairly learnable skill."

River reaches over and scratches KP's mane. "It'll be alright, but they'd feel better if we knew what the issue was that kept you from appearing in the visions."

The fishers seem convinced by Flaming Cloak's words, but Shei conjuring a shrine from nothing causes them both to grimace. "You lot might speak true, but any shrine we'll make to this god, we'll make ourselves and venerate ourselves. You, goat! Get out of here and take your stone idol with you. We don't need to to be told how to worship from some eastern slave."
Zjetya and LJ look at Shei with a mixture of annoyance and frustration.



Amy grins widely. "It's a deal, then!"

"I wonder if that's worth any witch powers…" Amy mulls over Volkama's words.


Shei-Sher grimaces and looks exhaustedly to Zjetya and LJ and turns his gaze to the fishermen "Break it yourself, if you hate the river spirit's face so much. Forming a shrine from nothing but dirt is more tiring than it actually looks you ungrateful oafs."

Because why not!
[1d10] rolling to make the fishermen feel bad about their quick judgement

Shei-Sher looks to the rest of the group "Are we done here?"

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Move it, or we'll break it over your back," one says, doubling down.



Leather looks over to Shei not with contempt, but with a a small form of disappointment.
Saving face, Leather backpedals slightly, "As I have said, it is not our god, it is your god. You are their people, thank the river as you see fit." Cloak coughs, "The younger can be rather, exuberant. It can be frustrating to them that the land can give so much without receiving anything in return."


"Try finding some more guests for this slumber party," Volkama suggests.



"You wanna go?" Amy asks.

>Mantra of Equality [1d10+4] DC-3

Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8


Flaming looks to the others as Shei makes the shrine, then earns the ire of friend and stranger alike. As they call him an 'eastern slave', Flaming's ears flop back up, and an angry glare pops up on her face.

"Now hold on a plain-stomping second…" she says, raising her voice a little bit as she looks to the others, then to the fisherman. "I'm sorry for that. Sometimes Shei doesn't think before he does, but he was just tryin' to help! And that doesn't give you the right to call him some 'eastern slave'! He's SHEI! SHER! Okay?" she says with no small amount of steam coming out of her nostrils, looking the fishermen down before she lightens her expression.

"Please don't destroy the idol he made. Make your own, as I do think that is the proper way to give tribute to the river god, but Shei's idol is meant to help. Maybe you could give it to another part of the city that might not make it out to your shrine as easily, is that okay?"

[1d10] intimidation + persuasion

Roll #1 7 = 7


"As long as they don't anger any nature gods they come across, that sounds like a perfect plan."
Pryce says in agreement.
"I'll be happy to help form any festivities that are made or requested for the new shrine. If we can have the lands around Fantasia come to our defense as well, this city should be near untouchable."

>"I know. I wish I knew what was up too with that disk not working."


Shei-Sher exhales out his nose audibly like a sigh. He's not going to get physical over a statue.
Shei places the palm of his hoof on the shrine face and with some concentration turns the entire thing into sand again.
>I Dream of Alchemy+2: Instant; Thrice per session;

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


"Nothing will ever make me stray toward an occasion of debauchery; I am a married pony, and my fidelity is unshakable," Volkama says.

"I'll raise you on the conch if and when we can get that far," Easy says. "Now, are you going to be able to help me clear out this dungeon?"
"Err, we actually have something we must attend to come sundown," River says. "More than a few things, as a matter of fact."

KP notices Lockjaw dip his head and nudge it against his chest. He's squatting a little too, like he wants you to hop on. Considering that his entire spine is covered with spikes, that's probably not the most comfortable ride around.

Before Shei can crumble the statue, one of the fishers raises his hoof. "Fine, fine. Wait, goat. Leave it. But we're moving it out to the edge of town, and makin' our own shrine still. We'll do things our own way, as we said."
Zjetya and LJ both have a sigh of relief, turning over the netful of fish to the hamlet. Several inhabitants come over with bags of their own, collecting the choice fish to be dried and sold in the markets later.



"Woah woah woah! What kind of slumber party do you think I'm talking about here!? There's going to be gods there! It's all going to be nice, clean fun!"

>Mantra of Equality [1d10+4] DC-3

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14


"I'm afraid I do have something urgent this evening already I'll need all my strength for. Tomorrow though, you can be assured I will give my full effort in clearing it."
Pryce says, feeling a bit guilty he can't deal with this ordeal after seeing how busy Easy already is.

KP looks at Lockjaw as he nudges him, likely wanting to keep him safe as a battle steed. He would hop on, but the spikes might not be the safest with how Lockjaw runs. He looks up at Pryce, tugging on his robe.
>"Can you make a saddle for Lockjaw?"
"I can, but do you think he'll be fine with that?"
>"It was his idea."
KP says, pointing at Lockjaw.
"Alright, one saddle coming up."
Pryce says, pulling off his bracelet and conjuring up a small deviljho sized saddle.
>Hat Magic [Saddle] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8


Shei breaks a sweat straining to vanish the statue, yet nothing comes of it. The fisherman has to come to dismiss him and Shei nods "Thank you *pant* This is more difficult than it seems. I only meant to save you the trouble."

Shei-Sher ambles over to the rest of the group and thanks Flaming "I appreciate you standing up for me Flaming, you didn't have to."


As they relent in destroying the idol, Flaming lowers her head, at ease and grateful that they hesitated. "Thank you. Again, I'm sorry for his impulsiveness, but he comes from a good place. I think whoever does inherit that idol will make a lot of use of it in giving thanks to the river god, and then even more fish are sure to come your way."

As the various townfolk pull over to grab the fish into their bags, she smiles, hoping that their particularly huge haul will help in the short-run for feeding the hungry. "Just tell ponies about what we said. Thank you for listening to us, I hope this all helps!"

She turns to Shei, shaking her head, "I know you can handle yourself, but what can I say? I don't think your mom would think very much of me if I let a buncha strangers make fun of you." She snickers, "Or Amy for that matter. Besides, you don't deserve to be called a slave." She says, a little iron to her voice.


"Bountiful catches, anglers."

Leather nods with Flaming's sentiments, "You were not wrong to retaliate against the remarks, though these are trying times for these people. They are vulnerable and scared, they do not want outsiders coming here to tell them how exactly to worship and pray. Allow them to adapt the river into their own beliefs. We are not the ones who are affected most by the river, why should we decide their shrines, or choose their name?"


"The remark was highly uncalled for!" He complains about being called a slave "But I would be lieing if I said I was not used to it."


"Right, right -no I understand. Yet it still vexes me." Shei shrugs "No matter- Whom shall we proselytize the next?"


Flaming turns to Leather, lowering her head, "I'm sorry… you're right, I know it's not our place to tell them who or how to worship. I know things are anything but easy for them right now, and I don't want to make matters worse."

"I just… I lost my temper, hearing them call Shei those things when he was trying to help. I've always had problems with it but, I'm trying to get better at staying calm, like a chieftain should."

"You think I should go apologize to them?"

Flaming shakes her head, "I don't think just cause you're used to it doesn't make it right."


"I know you, and I know your ways, Amy," Volkama says as a word of warning. "…But, I would be remiss to dismiss a chance to meet more gods of nature, and become blind to their magic and their ways. I shall have Deriva with me, and we shall abstain of anything and everything we deem uncouth, which I suspect will be many things there."

Easy nods. "That's fine. Save your strength. Nothing's come out of that Dungeon before I was aware of it, and nothing has come out since. I think we'll be fine long as we keep a few guards posted."

You conjure a nice saddle, with grooves on the underside to make sure it fits comfortably on Lockjaw's back without sacrificing the safety of the rider. Lockjaw snorts as River straps it on him, ready to bolt at a sign of danger.

Zjetya and LJ trot down from the bridge, giving the townsfolk some room to examine the catch. "Think we should take a little more into the city, and see where the most hungry folks are concentrated?" Zjetya asks.
"I'm always up for more fishing, if we have the time," LJ adds.


"If anything does, just give us a call."

With the saddle secured, KP hops onto Lockjaw's back so his pet's can worry less.
>"Hey this is great! We should get one sized for when he's normal size too!"
"I don't think we'll be doing that often, not until I know how to shrink him back again."



"Geez! Have SOME faith in me!" Amy says indignantly. "I'm gonna go find more people to invite!"

Amy hops away, looking for more NPCs.


Shei-Sher takes a couple fishes in his arms. "Less fishing, more wishing, we haven't all the time in the world you know." Shei-Sher follows the party to find some of the more impoverished areas of fantasia.


As LJ and Zjetya come along, Flaming turns to face them. "Yeah, I think we've helped out a ton here already, and the trick I used with my Destruction aspect to gather fish worked really well. Let's see if we can do it again for the hungrier districts."

As the others get charging, she stomps her hooves, heading back over the bridge, "Alright, follow me!" She says as she tries to race past Shei with no idea where she's going

[1d10] Pre-emptive fishing roll

Roll #1 2 = 2



>[1d10+4] DC-3 to recruit for the slumber party!

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12


Leather sticks to old fashioned charity work, proletizing with fish caught LJ and the others.


Roll #1 1 = 1


Lockjaw snorts as KP saddles up, and does a little practice run in a circle to test his weight. He proves to be a steadfast and strong steed, and River feeds him a few meat scraps as a reward for his dutiful care of KP. Hopper perches on KP's shoulder, staff at the ready in case any danger is present.

[1d10] [1d10] rolls for KP and Zjetya, see if they can become fishers of ponies

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


err, LJ and Zjetya not that it matters



Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


With the business with Easy concluded, River, Observer, KP, Pryce and Amy end up meeting with LJ, Flaming, Shei, Zjetya and Cloak, and the two groups go about some more, trying to recruit some others to the adoration and worship of Figgy, the river god. Unfortunately, in this time of hardship, when the future is uncertain and war is on their doorstep, few ponies seem interested in taking up the adoration of a god they've just now heard of. You only manage to spread the word to a few places, mostly to those in the chapels of Fantasia, who were already inclined to believe in and fear the divine. It's something at least.

As for Amy, she manages to whittle down River, Zjetya and Observer, and also manages to get him to agree to bring Hafaza along for the party as well. She seems far more enthusiastic to the idea, but only on the condition that she can bring her pig.

By the time that you finish your rounds of recruitment, you are back at Fantasia's town square and fountain, having spent your catches from earlier, and expended your leads on who you might be able to proselytize to.



"Good news, guys! I got River, Zeta, Observer, and Yes Mare to join our slumber party! The guest list is growing!" Amy says happily as if they all have already decided they're coming.


Shei reconvenes with the party "Again, Thank you everyone for your help with the River Spirit. I understand time is of the essence. I think that is all of the items on my itenerary. Those that can be done. Until Pryce's fight that is. Maybe I will visit mfanyiabiashara a last time, before Pryce's big showdown. What do you all have planned?"


"In my heart of hearts, I feel grateful that someone other than myself might anger a spirit today. But maybe I should feel more concerned?"


After a bit of time without a lot of pay-off, Flaming drags her hooves through the Fantasian streets, looking at the meager amount of fish they'd managed to catch for its hungry populace and lamenting the shortage of converts they'd managed to convince.

"Well, that could have gone better… we just have to hope word of muzzle gets around and hear about what we did at the fishing post."

As Amy comes onto the scene, Flaming blinks, turning her head with a little bit of confusion, "Slumber party…? OH, for the river god! Right, right. Uh, we managed to get some too but, I don't think they're coming. They're kinda busy, but, they'll send their best."


>"See guys, no there's nothing to worry about when we're all together like this."
KP says triumphantly from his mighty steed and frog in tow.

"It was no problem Shei. Aiding these spirits might help with the trials to come."

"You're throwing that slumber party tonight?"



"No, silly! The slumber party with Figgy after we are done with Tartarus!"


"Well, yeah. Slumber parties aren't good if EVERYONE is there. Just your best friends."


"Concerned about what?" Amy asks, cocking her head.


Leather faces Amy, smiling, "That is good to here, Amy Thest."



"Awesome!" Amy says with a smile. "At least SOMEONE is excited!"


"Oh, alright then."
Pryce says, finding it futile to question Amy's plans.


"Well, that's good…" Flaming says with a light grimace, "Since I didn't get THAT many…"

"Um… also, what's a 'slumber party'? That sounds kind of boring, is it just a party where everyone sleeps?"


As you meet and talk again, River looks up at the fading sunlight with a measure of trepidation. Zjetya and LJ notice her gaze, and look as well. "Maybe an hour left 'til sunset," LJ says grimly, then looks to Flaming. "You ready for that?"
"We should go pick up our order from Meister," Zjetya says. She squeezes Pryce's arm. "Need any last-minute pickups yourself?"
River gulps, squeezing her spear tight. Volkama pats Pryce on the back, but says nothing. Observer looks troubled, in a rare instance of an emotion.



Amy covers her mouth, unable to control her giggle fit.


Flaming looks to Journey as he ask the quesiton, turning towards the distant setting sun as she squares he shoulders.
"I don't know how I could be. But one way or another, I gotta do it no matter what. Vortigern has too much to lose out here, and if I have to beat it into her for her to see, so be it."

She lowers her head, "I… I just hope she can forgive me afterwards, but if she can't, then, I'll deal with that too…"

She turns towards River, shaking her head. "I think I'm ready to go back…"


"I am not sure I missed what the plans were for the evening, will I be required?" Cloak tilts his head.


Pryce looks up to the setting sun as light begins to fade over the party. He looks from Zjetya to River, shaking his head.
"No, I have nothing more. Let's get your order and prepare."
He looks back as nearly everypony looks troubled or concerned.
"We'll all meet back at the ship shortly."
He says, keeping some optimism, turning to lead off towards the smith.

KP looks at Pryce with concern, gesturing Lockjaw to follow after.


Flaming turns to Leather Cloak, rubbing the back of her head. "It's a bit of a long story… there's a pegasus traveling with us, named Vortigern, who has foals back home. Last night I had a… a vision, from my god Vir-can warning me that she may not be safe to take into Tartarus with us, due to the attachments back home causing doubt. Eventually I confronted her on it and, I think I am in agreement that she has to stay out here, for everyone's sake, but she can't make up her mind if she wants to or not."

"We agreed to a duel. If I win, it means I'm strong enough on my own to go without her. If she wins, it means I wasn't and I need her in there."


"I see. I know it's a duel, but do be safe, Miss Shorthorns."


After steeling yourselves for what must come next, there is nothing more left for you than to depart for the places where destiny will be made.

Pryce, River and Zjetya stop by Threecoins, in order to pick up the custom armor that River and Zjetya ordered earlier in the day. Then, they are joined by Flow and Renee, who inform them that Sir Estuary is waiting for them in Vadahara, as requested.

They proceed by Dark Corridor to the ruins of Neo Advent and Nova Prospekt's castle.

When they get there, they find that the ruins have completely changed. Flowers of Sapphen, born from the Seed that Shei planted in the soil, grow over everything. That fallen city of ancient technology, seat of the mightiest empire that the world had ever known, was now being given new life.

And there, in the throne room, clothed in a kimono and wielding seven swords, stands Sir Estuary, standing before the great obsidian machine which once held the Ember of Jalandhara – in the place where the King and Queen were purified, and accepted their deaths.


As for Flaming, she and LJ depart for Threecoins once more, to the top of the Library of the Sacrosanct, to the garden that Regina had made into her laboratory and a prison of her own isolation, where she was confronted and converted, where they had met Alesiter Crow-ley, the new and fallen god – and where Vortigern and Flaming were set to do battle.

There, standing before the waters, is Vortigern, alone, draped in her cloak and carrying her great lance upon her shoulder.

As one, miles apart, Vortigern and Sir Estuary turn, and face their challengers.




Last time, on HolyQuest…

The party spent a little time in Fantasia spreading the cultus of the river god, dubbed by Amy as Figgy, to the citizens of Fantasia. The success they found was limited at first, because of how a number of demonic cults, including suicide cults, had risen in recent time as a response to the overwhelming despair felt in some parts of the world after the invasion of demonkind into the world. But, the party found success by merely offering evidence for faith to the people, rather than demanding it.

As for Amy and Pryce, they went to Fantasia Castle to speak with Easy about getting an official shrine set up for Figgy somewhere in the city. During the conversation that followed, they learned from Easy that there was a labyrinthine dungeon underneath Fantasia Castle, which they would have to get past in order to enter Tartarus. It was most likely one of the final extant strongholds of the Sons of God. Easy would look into its navigation and clearing out before the expedition began tomorrow.

But tomorrow's problems would be dealt with tomorrow. For now, Flaming and Pryce both had a crucial duel waiting for each of them. Flaming made for the garden atop the Library of the Sacrosanct, while Pryce and Flow went to the ruins of Samudra, in Vadahara.


After steeling yourselves for what must come next, there is nothing more left for you than to depart for the places where destiny will be made.

Pryce, River and Zjetya stop by Threecoins, in order to pick up the custom armor that River and Zjetya ordered earlier in the day. Then, they are joined by Flow and Renee, who inform them that Sir Estuary is waiting for them in Vadahara, as requested.

They proceed by Dark Corridor to the ruins of Neo Advent and Nova Prospekt's castle.

When they get there, they find that the ruins have completely changed. Flowers of Sapphen, born from the Seed that Shei planted in the soil, grow over everything. That fallen city of ancient technology, seat of the mightiest empire that the world had ever known, was now being given new life.

And there, in the throne room, clothed in a kimono and wielding seven swords, stands Sir Estuary, standing before the great obsidian machine which once held the Ember of Jalandhara – in the place where the King and Queen were purified, and accepted their deaths.


As for Flaming, she and LJ depart for Threecoins once more, to the top of the Library of the Sacrosanct, to the garden that Regina had made into her laboratory and a prison of her own isolation, where she was confronted and converted, where they had met Alesiter Crow-ley, the new and fallen god – and where Vortigern and Flaming were set to do battle.

There, standing before the waters, is Vortigern, alone, draped in her cloak and carrying her great lance upon her shoulder.

As one, miles apart, Vortigern and Sir Estuary turn, and face their challengers.



Pryce steps out of the Dark Corridor, stunned at first by the growth of new life covering the once ruined and decrepit city. It almost feels destined to have this confrontation here, an end in a city given a new beginning.
He turns, reaching into his cloak to take out the small obsidian box that houses the Ember, handing it to KP and whispering to him, unheard to anypony else. KP takes the box, nodding to his older self.
Pryce then looks to River, Zjetya, and KP, Flow and Renee, and anypony else that may have come along.
"Whatever happens, and however this duel may go, this is between Sir Estuary and myself."
He says, leaving it at that to not let anypony else get involved or hurt over this.

He turns, stepping forward in the throne room towards Sir Estuary, looking towards the knight that has been hunting him all this time.
"Sir Estuary."



Estuary says nothing, but his right hoof begins to rise. Flow grips the handle of his claymore instinctively, jaw set and eyes focused for the first sign of an attack…

…But Estuary merely raises his hoof in the gesture of peace, Abhaya.

"Hold on," the old samurai begins. "I agreed to this duel on the condition that the Kingslayer would come alone."
"Ye're not gettin' through to him without cuttin' me down first, lad," Flow responds. "But… we didn't hear anything about agreeing to a one-on-one. Yer double should have told you as much; I sent him along with that very message."
"I have not seen him since our initial exchange; the only message he told me was to come here," Estuary says.
Flow and Estuary eye one another with suspicion.


Flaming lands on top of the Library through the Dark Corridor, taking slow, deep breathes to keep herself calm as the setting sun dips below the horizon. She turns to look at Vortigern, draped in her cloak and spear, as she lowers her head, bowing in respect to her adversary.

"I've come, Vortigern. Thank you for waiting."

She moves off to a fair distance away, looking around her for those who will spectate their duel. "The terms we agreed upon earlier, will you agree to them? If I win, you will stay up here while we go into Tartarus. If I lose, you'll come with us."


>assuming you are attending Flaming's fight, please ignore if otherwise

Leather keeps his space from the impromptu arena, looking around the garden for a safe place to spectate without interfering or being hit by upturned dust or stray magic. "Shall we find somewhere to spectate, then?"


Watching from a far distance are Box, Regina, Chorazin, Volkama, Deriva, Tantra, _____, LJ and Mocha. They've holed themselves up on a hillside northeast of the garden's central lake, at what it most likely a safe distance from the two. You can still hear Flaming talking, but the mood is tense among the spectators, and they are ill at ease.

Vortigern stands across from you. Her lance is planted tip-first in the ground, at her right hoof. She merely nods in response.

A cold wind blows.



"You got this Shortyhorns!" Amy cheers as if she's watching a sporting event.


"I do hope she'll be alright. I may have only known Lady Flaming for a day, but she seems to have good head on her shoulders. Rather headstrong as well, however."

He looks to the others, "Does this place hold any special significance to them, or just chosen due to the wide open area?"



"I don't think so," Amy shrugs.


Flaming takes a brief look towards her audience, bowing to them as well as she gives a nod towards Amy in particular. She would offer a thanks for her cheer, but the gravity of the situation pushes her to focus solely on Vortigern.

After Vortigern nods, Flaming pushes her hooves into the stone, scraping at it as she works up all her grit and will and power for this.

"…I'd offer you one last chance to stand down, but you don't seem like the type to back down. That's why we always got along, huh?" She offers a small snicker, though it does little to lessen her doubt and anxiety at actually going through with this.

"…don't hold back." She says simply, before deciding not to put it off any longer. She charges towards her opponent, horns lowered and running at a full sprint to knock her out

[1d10+5] All or Nothing
>Charge, gain +2 but critfail 2- against single foe

Roll #1 9 + 5 = 14


Pryce looks between Flow and Sir Estuary as they stare each other down.
"This set up was part of the memory's idea, I don't believe he would've lied or changed it without telling us as well."
Pryce says to ease this first initial moment.
"He is a copy of you, do you have a way of knowing where he'd be?"
He asks Sir Estuary.


"Considering our groups only came here for the first time yesterday, you wouldn't think so," LJ says. "But… this is where we changed Regina's heart, and it is where Amy finished her fusion with Ego."
"Kind of amazing how much you lot get done in a small time span," Chorazin says.

Vortigern draws her lance and uses it to block the attack, being driven back through the dirt about ten feet before she grinds to a halt. She draws back her lance and headbutts you to gain a moment of space, and brings her face in close to yours, and as her eyes lock onto yours, they radiate nothing but determination.

You're through.


She pulls her fur-and-scale hooded cloak about herself, and it takes a ghille pattern, transforming before your very eyes. As it wraps about her, she vanishes from sight.

>Serkr (Automatic): Gains the quality of her current coat

-Ghille: Becomes permanently invisible, entering stealth and rendering all attacks critical (lasts until dispelled or Vortigern's first attack).


Before Estuary responds, Flow shudders, grasping at his chest. His body wavers and ripples as Estuary's Memory steps outward from his body, enjoying an arrogant laugh. The Memory walks over until he stands a few feet across from Sir Estuary himself.

"To fool one's enemies, a stallion must first fool his allies," the Memory says. "Though, that maxim isn't an exact fit for this situation."
"Get to the point," Flow says with a grimace.
"It's simple," the Memory says. "I know my old self well. He would have had no patience for Flow's defense of Sir Pryce here, and I knew that you, Flow, would never send Pryce to die by himself; we would be at an impasse. Therefore, I told him one thing, and told you another."
"Well, you've gotten what you wanted," Flow says. "We're all here. Doesn't change my stance one bit."
"Not yet," the Memory retorts. You blink, and his sword is drawn, and pointed at you. "If you insert yourself into the duel between Pryce and my old self, I'll cut him down right now. But if we duel, I won't."

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14


"You hid away in Flow?"
Pryce questions as the Memory appears. When the Memory then draws his sword on Pryce, he stares down at the tip of the blade, then looks to Flow.
"Flow, I am fine fighting Sir Estuary myself. I know what the risks are, and I have accepted them, no matter which happens."
He says to the knight, not showing any fear to the sword drawn on him.


Flaming looks deep into Vortigern's eyes as she pushes her back, struggling to push her all the way off the ledge if she needs before she vanishes from sight. "W-what?!"

Flaming looks around around, unsure where she could have went, but she grits her teeth and prepares herself. "I'm not going to fall for some trick like THAT, you know!" She shouts, steeling herself for any attack that comes as her horns glow a bright white

>Prayer for Salvation: Automatic; Recharge 2; The target's next recovery from Helplessness will be an Automatic Instant action, and the target will get +1 to all future attempts to get up until the end of combat.

>Huge to stay up from helpless

Roll #1 5 = 5



"The magic of friendship," Amy responds to Chorazin with a grin.


"You should know…" Amy says to everyone watching. "If Flaming loses, I promised Vortigern I'd fight her next. Not as a duel but as someone protecting her friends. She can't come into Tartarus. She'll kill us all."


Leather raises an eyebrow, noting Amy's response being more coherent or at least less exuberant than normal, "Care to explain more? I've been here for such a short time I'm afraid."

Leather nods, taking out paper as the battle begins to sketch down notes both from the others talking and to recount the battle itself for his children later.


Shei-Sher enters the scene at Vadahara out the Corridor along Gadds as late arrivals.

Shei-Sher waves at Flow, flumoxed with joy to see him again. "Flow! Where did you get off to!?" Shei picks up his pace and then stops once the tension is apparant, these strange things about Flow occur. He keeps Gadriel close by, and observes plainly, somewhat confused.

>"If you insert yourself into the duel between Pryce and my old self, I'll cut him down right now. But if we duel, I won't."

"And then this fight become a free for all." Shei-Sher says, ready to enter the fray if necessary.



"When we used those disco things, Shortyhorns said she saw a future where Vorti going into Tartarus gets us killed."

"I don't really care about or pay attention to predictions. But, Tartarus plays with your mind and then your mind plays with Tartarus. If you're not committed to what you're doing in there, you're endangering everyone who is. I can see it in her even without seeing the future. She doesn't want to go into Tartarus. She wants to protect her kids. She's just being stubborn and doesn't want to be left out. But, that's what's going to get us killed."


"Shei, stay out of this."
Pryce says as Shei interjects, a combination of warning and not wanting another to get hurt.


The Memory casts a crooked smile, and beckons to Flow. "Come this way. I have a feeling that they're going to need some space."
Flow nods, then turns to you. "Aye, lad. I'll wrap things up quick. Don't make me wait on yer victory; I've a night with Renee to get to."
He grins at Renee, who gulps, and follows after him. "Stay safe, Pryce. We've faith in you."

You hear the sounds of a Dark Corridor behind you. At the palace's doors, where KP, River and Zjetya stand, you see Spitshine, Sugar, Rus Tea, Mirror Image, Wireframe and Blessings arrive through the tunnel. However, none of them should be able to use that ability, and come to think of it, River had never been to Vadahara before. But before you can contemplate this, Estuary raises his hoof again, and makes a flinging motion at them. Water gathers out of the air, and flies toward the spectators, landing about ten feet ahead of them. Ice rises from where the water splashes, taking the form of a translucent ice barrier.

Estuary turns and takes five paces back to get some space between you, then turns in place once more, silently laying his hoof upon his seven swords.

Vortigern bashes Flaming with the handle of her lance, sending her tumbling through the dirt until she crashes against the base of a tree. Flaming swiftly stands, bracing for the next hit.

>Flaming 1/7

Now visible again, Vortigern lands for a brief second before rocketing toward Flaming in a single wing-beat, her body crackling with waves of glimmering energy, her lance flashing for another strike.

>Fervor, Auto Instant

>Bolster, Automatic (Action 1)
>Standard Attack (Action 2) [1d10+4]

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14


Pryce nods his head to Flow and Renee.
"I'll be sure to see you both again after."

When the others show up, Pryce peers back, momentarily pausing at thought of how they arrived. This breaks when Estuary flings his hoof, immediately concerned with an attack until it shows to be forming a barrier, keeping the two knights from being interrupted.

Pryce turns back to face Sir Estuary. Now he can no longer consider any distractions, any loss of focus could and would mean his end. He places his hoof on the Memory-Pluck, drawing out the red blade as his horn glows, conjuring an array of blades to aid him.
>Homing Magic [Flare] [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


Flaming grunts as the handle bashes her face, causing her to roll back into a tree as she lets out a cough of pain
"GAGH! Ugh…" she says, struggling to pull herself up as she thanks her hardy skull for taking that. She shakes off the damage as she sees her coming in for another blow, her horns charging up white once more as a stream of light extends out to Voltigern, and she prepares another charge, "Couldn't hide forever!"


> Mantra of Recovery: Recharge 2 after effect ends; Instant; Cannot be used at full Hits; On use, select an enemy. Every turn, you drain two Hits from that target. This effect ends when you go helpless, or after 3 turns pass, whichever comes first.
>[1d10+6] All or Nothing (Charge + CoG boosted)

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 9 + 6 = 15


fixed H/W


As you charge six orbs, Estuary lets his hoof slither between the seven swords, and you cannot tell which one he's going to go for, until the swords wriggle, and shoot to the other side of his body. In an instant, he shifts his stance, drawing Detachment in a surprise attack. Water congeals from the air around the blade, encasing it in a beautiful wreathe of blue, a wave of an ocean.


[1d10+3] Standard Attack + Water Element

>Water: Targets hit by a spell with the Water Elementalist tag suffer a +2 to their critical failure range on the next turn. Water can also be used to clean surfaces, wiping away any undesired substances from the target.

Vortigern slams you down with the flat side of her greatlance, pushing you into the earth and causing a great crater to fall in all around you. As your knees buckle, you force out a final headbutt, launching her into the sky, coughing up water from the pain.

>Flaming 0/4 (took 18 damage from last attack, extra wound as a result)

Vortigern catches her breath, holding on barely from her empowering charge. But rather than make another physical attack, she locks eyes with you, and you can feel pressure building up in your mind…

[1d10+3] Mind Reader
[1d10+3] Hurry Up! on self

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #3 3 + 3 = 6


Shei-Sher leads Gadds over to the rest of the crowd. Looking to Pryce just as the ice barrier rises between the Arena.
"Take a bow Pryce, this will be your greatest show yet." Shei smiles and hopes he wins.

Shei hurries Gadriel "Hurry now, I'll require an excellent view for this." As he climbs up a hill, Shei can see just how widespread the flowers are among Vadahara, and he can admire the spot in Vadahara's garden, where he planted the tree, from here.
"To think, if I had your dark corridor sooner, this could have all been goats'. But now, I hardly even yearn for it. As much as that desire burned in me a week ago. I now have a greater work ahead of me. Buiwong- I cannot tell. If you are truly evil or the most generous soul I met."


Pryce raises his Memory-Pluck in defense as Sir Estuary suddenly draws out a sword to strike. Remembering the explanations the Memory gave on his swords, Pryce shifts his own stance, turning his sword in his magic to for for a jab, knowing defense is useless for this blade.
>Stab [Guarded] [1d10]

>Pryce is also wearing the Serpentskin Cloak with his robe

Roll #1 7 = 7


>Serpentskin Cloak
>>Function While worn, the Cloak stores half of all damage and negative effects that the user suffers while worn, and the wearer suffers the other half of all damage and negative effects they would normally receive while worn. As an Instant action, the wearer can roll to inflict ALL stored damage and negative effects onto another target by touching the hem of the cloak to that target. This causes the Cloak to lose all stored damage and negative effects on success, but the Cloak does NOT lose the stored effects on failure, including critical failure.


>Prayer for Recovery activates!
As she's slammed down, Flaming lets out another cry of pain, but her faith allows her to persevere, standing up despite the incredible damage done to her. She looks towards Vortigern, spitting out a bit of blood as she narrows her view at the pegasus.

Seeing her catch her breath, she takes a moment to recollect herself, power pooling into herself as her chieftain tattoos give off a bright yellow glow.
>Commandment of Harmony: Once per combat; Automatic; For 3 turns, you and all allies may ignore all Recharge periods, and the DC for all rolls is reduced by 2.

Meanwhile, she thinks to herself (falling pray to Mind Reader)
>"Ouch… okay, I don't think I can take another hit like that. My healing should kick in soon but, I have to end this before she disappears again, if she vanishes I'm a sitting duck and won't have any choice but to just grit my teeth and take whatever she plans to send my way!"
>"Got to power up and take her down, fast…. I'm sorry Vortigern, I'm so sorry… why am I doing this?!"


You stab him in the middle of the arc of his swing, throwing off the angle of his attack and catching most of it on your cloak. As the blade makes contact, you feel his power connect to yours, and with a flex of your will, you can draw it out for your own use.

Knight/Monk Skills; Impale + Revolving Blade
-Mantra of Purity
-Prayer for Salvation
-Commandment of Stillness

-Elemental Current: Lightning, Ice
-Elemental Fusion
-Subspace Walker

-Purgative Dose
-Breath of Flotsam
-Sundering Shriek

-White Threads

>Pryce 7/6, critfail range increased by 1 on all actions (Water)

>Serpentskin Cloak (SSC): 3 Hits, 1/2 Water stack

You notice that your robe, the one marked by the King's sigil, is completely unaffected by the arc of Detachment's swing, which passes through it harmlessly. Estuary backs up, and attempts to drive Detachment through your shoulder!

[1d10+3] Impale

Vortigern falls to her knees briefly as her power wears off, but pushes herself quickly back to her hooves.
>CoR activates, -1 debuff applied for 5 turns
>Uses 1 action to recover via Bolster, but has another due to Hurry Up!

Vortigern tucks her lance into its sheath, charging additional powers.
[1d10+3] Retaliate
[1d10+3] I Dream of Alchemy

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 10 + 3 = 13 / Roll #3 3 + 3 = 6


Flaming closes her eyes, letting them fill with the power of her Sphere as she re-opens them, the Commandment of Harmony in full effect as she prepares to let out a full blown assault on Vortigern.

>"I have to do this… I have to be able to do this! I can't back down now, I KNOW this has to happen!"

"Raaaaaaaaaaaggh!" Flaming lets out a loud roar, charging forth with all the force she can muster as she intends to knock Vortigern out once and for all with a flurry of overwhelming attacks, head on

[1d10+6] All or Nothing

Roll #1 3 + 6 = 9


>SS Cloak: 3 Hits, 1/2 Water

Pryce is flooded by the flash of Sir Estuary's power, mind running through all available to him. As he draws out the sword, he pulls out his use of Purgative Dose with it.
He steps back as Sir Estuary does, raising his sword. His horn glows, casting a white light over himself as the knight draws in with his sword, letting him come close as he reaches out with his cloak to turn the damage back on Sir Estuary.
>Mantra of Purity [Crit Fail 2-] [1d10]
>Cloak [Crit Fail 2-] [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 3 = 3


Vortigern endures your hit, and from the earth below her, conjures a surprising change of weapon: A net, one with many loose ropes along the edges. In a single motion, she attempts to sweep your legs out from underneath you and pull you down into the net to hog-tie you.

[1d10+3] sweep
[1d10+3] Net grab

Retaliate 1/3

You break the effect of his sword's elemental enchantment upon you, but he manages to jam his sword into the muscle of your shoulder, clearing through into the wall. He steps back afterward, dodging the sweep of your cloak, and switches to Schlangenschwert, taunting you to approach him with a brief flick of his hoof.

>Pryce 4/6, critfail range normal (Water removed by MoP)

>SSC: 6 Hits, 1 Water

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


Add 1/2 Impale effect to SSC's stack


>SSCloak: 6 hits, 1 Water, 1/2 Impale
>Mantra of Purity: Immune to Status effects for 3 turns
>Homing Magic: 6 Bolts

Pryce grits his teeth as the sword plunges through his shoulder into the wall, pinning him in place. He smirks slightly, partially to deal with the pain but in Sir Estuary leaving him an open moment. His horn glows, casting another white light over himself, and sending two of his flaming swords towards the knight.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]
>Homing Bolt [Flare] [1d10]
>Homing Bolt [Flare] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 8 = 8 / Roll #3 3 = 3


Flaming grunts as her horns meet Vortigern, surprised at her durability. She looks down and below as she feels the Earth grumbling beneath her, however, looking at the net coming up to ensnare her and Voritgern's own hooves moving to sweep her into it. She lets out a gasp, but tries to think on her hooves

She jumps, as high as she can, over the sweeping kick and spins about in the air, trying to position herself to the other side of Vortigern out of the net's reach as she shoves her head down at the ground, planning to kick up a whole slice of solid cracked stone to fly into her while she stays out of reach.
[1d10+6] All or Nothing

Roll #1 8 + 6 = 14


>I remember seeing the ping in cytube and then totally spaced out whoops

Leather nods, though furrows his brow, "And you would resolve that here through knocking them out, or ending them? They may make a move towards trying to join again if it is the former, especially if they claim your victory to be after they were weakened."


[1d10] Huge (DC 4 due to Commandment)

Roll #1 8 = 8


You restore yourself to full, which expels the blade from your body. Sir Estuary catches it before it can fall to the ground, allowing you to score another strike with your bolt, but the second he parries, striking you with a shallow cut in retaliation.
>Pryce 10/6
>SSC: 8 Hits, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale

Estuary begins to calmly inhale in and out, and you can faintly sense spiritual energy congealing around him, swirling in a dance of power – Magatsuhi, Dhyana, and a third energy, which you instinctively recognize as being akin to that of your own soul, Qi.

[1d10+2] Cultivate Spirit

As he breathes, he suddenly rushes you, his off-hoof poised not to strike, but to grab you and pin you to the ground.

[1d10+3] Tackle
[1d10+3] Suppress

The soil and grass crumble before you as you dig up a mighty slab of rock from below Vortigern, slamming her under its weight in retaliation for her change of tactics. But the victory is short lived, as an eruption of energy blasts out from her, sending hunks of rock hurtling back toward you in a shower of stone.

>Flaming 1/4

Afterward, Vortigern rolls out from beneath the pile of rocks.

[1d10+2] first action for Helplessness recovery, wait for result

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #3 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7



"Like I said, not a duel," Amy responds, not taking her eyes off the fight. "I'll bear as many bones as I have to until she either can't come with us or gives up."


With herself out from the rubble, Vortigern uses her second action to dispel the enervating magic that your circlet placed upon her.

[1d10+2] Spellbreaker

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


>SSCloak: 8 hits, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale
>Mantra of Purity: Immune to Status Effects for 2 turns
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce steps from the wall as the blade is expelled from his shoulder, grunting as his hoof hits the ground. He looks to Sir Estuary as he breathes, building up one of the powers he saw flash through his mind when he struck earlier. He holds the Memory-Pluck up with his telekinesis, channeling the power he stole to empower his spell, as his horn glows a bright red.
>Purgative Dose [Instant Auto]
He focuses on Sir Estuary, magic building up before firing it off towards the ceiling of the throne room.
>Orbital Strike [Auto Crit] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


Flaming offers herself a small smug grin of satisfaction as Vortigern is buried underneath the rocks, appreciating her own change of strategy until the energy shoots out like a fountain from below, sending her flying away towards the side of the battle area. She rolls and tumbles, only just stopping herself as she pushes her hooves to slow her tumbling.

She turns around to look at Vortigern, the glow of her commandment starting to fade as she realizes this is her last chance to make it stick. She presses onwards, charging ahead to knock her back down before she gets a moment to retaliate. "Haaaaaaaaaaaa-!"
[1d10+6] All or Nothing
[1d10] Mantra for Recovery

Roll #1 6 + 6 = 12 / Roll #2 4 = 4


>Duration [1d10] /2

Roll #1 9 = 9


Leather doesn't respond verbally, but nods as he turns his eyes back to the fight.


>Orbital Strike in the form of a claymore when it falls


>Orbital Strike has 2 turns remaining

After you fire your shot, Sir Estuary slams you to the ground, knocking the wind from your gut. You struggle against him, but he is an able opponent, keeping you pinned even against your attempts to get free.

>Pryce 0/5

>Spending 1 action to force you to remain helpless as per Suppress
>Helplessness Recovery from Tackle

>SSC: 18 Hits, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness

Vortigern meets you head-on, headbutting you back until she grinds your charge to a halt, her body charging with energy all the while.

[1d10+3] A Vision of Retribution

Then, she jumps into the sky, flips, and appears to kick off of the very air, spinning herself downward in a helmsplitter kick.

[1d10+3] Leap of Faith, DC 3

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #3 2 + 3 = 5


"Knock Him Dead! Pryce!" Shei cheers, giddy seeing him summon an orbital strike.


>SSCloak: 18 hits, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness
>Mantra of Purity: Immune to Status Effects for 1 turn
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce falls to the ground from Sir Estuary's tackle. Even if he wasn't stabbed through the shoulder earlier, the knight's strength is an impossible foe from this angle to fight against. He tries to stabilize his breathing from the devastating impact, keeping himself alert.


Flaming grunts as she feels her energy leaving her, looking down as her tattoos' glow begins to fade. "No no no…"

She grunts as she keeps her head locked with Vortigern until she backs off, watching her leap up into the air and come down with a spinning kick towards her skull. She gets low, watching the trajectory of her attack as she prepares to pivot and move out of the way so she can get into a better position to strike back
>Prayer for Salvation: Automatic; Recharge 2; The target's next recovery from Helplessness will be an Automatic Instant action, and the target will get +1 to all future attempts to get up until the end of combat.


H/W fix due to Earthbound and Mantra


Estuary breaks off from the wrestling, then pins you to the ground with a mighty stomp of his hoof, raising his blade. He exhales, and gray ghostly energy swirls around the tip and the edge, contrasting with the blue of the waters.

>Veilshredder: Instant Automatic; Recharge 2: On activation, declare an Element or other Damage Type. Overcharge your weapon with Qi Element for a brief duration. If your next attack with that weapon hits a foe, the attack will drastically weaken that foe's relationship to that Element or Damage Type. On normal success, this reduces an Immunity to a Resistance, a Resistance to Neutral, Neutral to Weak, and Weak to Severely Weak. On critical success, go down two levels (Immunity -> Neutral, Resistance -> Weak, Neutral -> Severely Weak, Weak -> Severely Weak).

>Declaring Water-type

Then, he stabs the blade down into your chest, his face frozen and without mercy.

>Revolving Blade

[1d10+3] Autocrit

She kicks down onto the back of your skull, slamming you into the dirt, but you manage to cling on from the power that you drain from her.

>Flaming 1/5

That energy drain is just enough to cause Vortigern to stagger, becoming uneasy on her hooves, and she must gather her strength before she can strike again.

>1st action on helplessness recovery


Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10


Vortigern manages to regain her balance, leaping high into the sky. She unsheathes her spear, raising it high to cast a healing spell over herself.



Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10



"Wow, these two can really take hits!" Amy exclaims, getting into the fight. "Keep it up, Shortyhorns! You're doing great!"


>Earthbound activates this turn, 1/6
Flaming's muzzle meets dirt, some of it getting into her teeth as she quickly spits it out, backing off from Vortigern far enough to put some distance between the two of them so she can observe her next move.

When she sees her raising her spear into the air, planning to cast some sort of spell, Flaming snorts, then scratches the stone before going into a charge. "Oh no you don't!" She shouts before leaping, trying to jump as high as she can to meet her before she gets out of reach and hit her with her headbutt
[1d10+6] All or Nothing

Roll #1 1 + 6 = 7


>SSCloak: 18 hits, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness
>Mantra of Purity: Immune to Status Effects for 1 turn
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce coughs as Sir Estuary pins him with a stomp, staring up as he raises his blade over his chest. Pryce tries to push himself up to move before the blade plunges through a vital spot.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


[1d10+1] Huge

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


[1d10+1] Perception

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


You cough blood, pain searing through you as the blade slides through your ribs, mercifully passing between your lung and your spine without damaging either, and before he can gouge the blade through your vulnerable organs, your claymore falls upon him, slicing him into two. The two halves dissolve into goo, slithering away some distance and regenerating by forming one shape again.

>SSCloak: 18 Hits, 1 Wound, 2 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water

>Pryce 0/4

Estuary spends his first action recovering.

Vortigern turns as you leap up to her, and slams the handle of her lance down upon you, but you catch it, and in a bizarre moment, the fight freezes, with you having all four hooves wrapped around the lance's handle like some kind of monkey. Vortigern blinks for a moment, then takes advantage of it, flying down to the earth to slam you into the rocks you scattered earlier.

[1d10+3] Shatter

[1d10+3] Standard Attack

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #3 4 + 3 = 7


Estuary raises his sword, but does not attack again, waiting to see what your next move will be. "A trickster you are, Kingslayer."



Flaming looks up as she holds onto the spear with all four limbs, looking up at Vortigern with a sheepish grin. "Hehe… gotcha."

As she starts to come down towards the stones, Flaming lets out a gasp, but gets an idea as she starts hurtling towards the ground below. Pivoting her weight around her, she tries to readjust the weight so that she can spin the spear - and the mare holding it - right into the stone instead of her in a twisting maneuver!


Roll #1 7 + 6 = 13


Pryce holds a hoof to his chest, covering the wound as he tries to stand up again, now that he's no longer pinned.
>Recover [1d10]
"A magician," Pryce corrects through a deep breath, "And you should know not to give a mage time to cast spells."

Roll #1 4 = 4


>SSCloak: 18 hits, 1 wound, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts


>A Vision of Retribution: Instant; Twice per combat; Can only target self; When an enemy lands a Critical Hit on you, you may make a DC 4 roll to deal a counterattack which deals the same amount of damage to the enemy as you were hit for.


Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12


You twist, tossing off Vortigern's balance, and the two of you engage in an emergency crash-landing, scattering stones and dirt everywhere. However, at the last second, Vortigern drives the handle of the lance into your gut, knocking the wind out of you along with all your sense and strength.

>Flaming 0/4

Vortigern gets up, dusting herself off, and peers into your mind once more.

[1d10+3] Mind Reader

As you struggle, Estuary slithers over and stamps down on your chest again, switching Schlangenschwert for Memory-Pluck. "Duly noted," he retorts, as he drives the blade into your tricep.

[1d10+3] Standard Attack, no Water

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


>SSCloak: 18 hits, 1 wound, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce coughs again as he's stomped down, his breath growing ragged and blood staining his chest and mouth. He feels weakness starting to settle in from the bleeding, but he refuses to give up, even as a blade dives towards him again.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


The two of them come crashing down into the stone together, Flaming letting out a gurgled cry of pain as they both hit the earth. She holds her gut, feeling the pain from where Vortigern jabbed her before quickly pulling herself up and away, taking a few jumps back to survey the situation
>Prayer for Salvation allows me to get up instant

She huffs, looking down at Vortigern unaware as her mind is peered into.
>"She… she's incredible. I-I didn't think even she could take this many hits. I've already used my most powerful spell and she's still going. I want to take her into Tartarus more than anything, but, I can't - Vir-can is right, I saw doubt in her eyes. She has to stay up here, I have to win!"
>"She'll wear me out at this rate, I need to think, think… Journey earlier mentioned he could normally take the Darkness from the Corridors no problem. He and Vortigern traveled together long before we did, maybe she has the same resistance… it didn't exactly show a lot of results but that shadow ball I made earlier DID seem to hurt him."

As she stands there, Flaming shifts strategies, focusing on her catalyst given to her by Fairy Castle and tries to perform an inversion spell on Vortigern
>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.

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


>Pryce 0/3

As he draws Memory-Pluck back out of your flesh, he carries with it an image of a fiery meteor, which turns blue and watery, and then vanishes into his grasp.

>Orbital Strike lost

He steps away, twirling Memory-Pluck in his hoof as he does. You feel a jolt of lightning coursing from the site of the wound he dug into your arm, but rather than injure you, it, strangely, energizes you, forcing you back onto your hooves. You notice a bit of his goo remaining near the wound, and the epicenter of that jolt. The goo drips away after you're back up.

>Pryce 10/3

>SSC: 18 Hits, 2 Wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water

Estuary spins, inhaling as he leaps back into the fight, slashing at you again with Detachment.
>Cultivate Spirit
>Normal attack

Before you can get off your spell, Vortigern air-steps towards the scattered stones, scooping up the net that she dropped earlier when you upended the earth beneath her. Air-stepping again to change direction, she swings the net over you to entrap you as she tried earlier.

[2d10+3] 2 attempts to hog-tie you.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #3 10, 5 + 3 = 18


>SSCloak: 18 hits, 2 wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce stands back up, feeling the jolt running through his nerves forcing himself to rise. He looks down at the goo before it dries, then to Sir Estuary, saying nothing. He starts to hum, coughing a bit, then sings a bit more clearly, while his horn emits a soothing pulse of light over himself.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [1d10]
>Instant, Spell, Recharge 3 after effect ends: Massively increases the target's resistance to all forms of damage for a very brief period. On success, the target will only take 1 Hit of damage from each applicable source of damage that hits them. This lasts for 2 turns, or 3 on a critical hit.
>Commandment of Balance [Auto]

Roll #1 7 = 7


>EB activates this turn
Flaming tries to focus on her magic as she watches Vortigern swiftly approach. She panics as she watches her scoop up the net and go for her legs again, causing her to leap back and attempt to avoid her net.

[1d10+2] Dodging roll against the net
"Trying to tie me up again? What, is the spear too heavy for you?!" She says, trying to throw off her concentration with banter

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"So you aren't completely helpless, magician? I've yet to be impressed by any trick so far," Estuary says, noticeably growing more vocal now that he's warmed up. When his slash passes through you without effect, he clicks his tongue, leaping backward toward a door near the end of the palace-chamber, and heads through it.

>SSC: 19 Hits, 2 Wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water

You effectively get yourself tangled up within the net as you try to first dodge, then get yourself tangled up into it, hog-tying yourself with no input from Vortigern. She lifts off, and with a combination of wing-beats and air-steps, ascends into the air, higher, and higher, and higher, and higher…

>Tsiba: Passive/Auto-Instant; As an Auto-Instant action, you are able to jump between any of the different ranges in combat, except for Burrowed (ie, can move from Far (player) to Far (enemy), from Melee to Aerial, etc). As a Passive, this ability also enables you to jump multiple times in the air by solidifying light beneath your hooves and kicking off of it. If you can already fly, you can use this to gain +2 to dodge and other movement-focused rolls while flying. If used to evade an attack, make a roll. The DC for success is (Attack Roll -1). On failure, critical or regular, you take half-damage.

Vortigern glances down at you and smirks.
You're gonna learn…
How to fly.


>SSCloak: 19 hits, 2 wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine: Take only 1 hit of damage for 2 turns
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

"The show has only just begun."
Pryce quips back. When Sir Estuary leads back to the end of the chamber, Pryce is confused at the knight running, and gives chase. Before he reaches the door though, he stops. Thinking quick, he draws on the new primordial powers the disc gave, his horn glowing black as the dark light washes over himself, and instead steps through the wall about three feet away from the door instead.
>Subspace Walker [Self] [Auto]
>2 times per combat; Automatic; Hide yourself, an ally, or a medium-sized object within a Subspace pocket for four turns, or until they dismiss the effect. During this time, the target cannot attack or be attacked. If used on a sentient target, that target can now move through solid objects, barriers, etc within a short distance at will.


"Acgh… ooff… ah, h-hey!" FLaming lets out as she feels her legs get tangled up in the ropes, watching as she manages to do a pretty good job of ensnaring herself in her attempt to dodge. She lets out a huff, attempting to free herself through brute strength before she's lifted up higher and higher into the sky. She feels the hairs on her fur stand up, looking down below at the distant ground before looking up towards Vortigern, her eyes shrinking as she continues (perhaps unwisely) trying to free herself from the ropes

"T-this isn't how you teach your kids how to fly, I hope!" She says as she tries to forcibly tear the ropes through brute strength
[1d10+2] (+1 if this still counts as a natural environment)

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


You phase through the wall, finding yourself floating in a clear void. Wherever you float through solid space, you can always see through the nearest wall to you, on whichever surface happens to be close. You follow Estuary as he slithers through back chambers and hallways, proceeding finally into a grand courtyard, which too is covered in white flowers.

The courtyard is full of the ruins of star-blue stone arches and columns and walkways, and the remnants of black metal magical constructs and far-reaching advanced technology unheard of in the rest of the world, a work of near-miraculous engineering and artistic advancement, now all in ruin. Lining the back wall of the courtyard, there are many great statues of the Vadaharan pantheon, perhaps a hundred in number, and statues of kings who stand before their gods, as staunch defenders and executors of their will. Above all else, the courtyard is vast and wide, despite all the magnificent things that now lay scattered and dead before it.

Estuary stops in the vast space before the dwelling of the gods, turning and waiting for you with expectation.

You manage to get your hind-legs unstuck, but your horns and your forehooves are still tuck, tangled together in the mass of the net from your attempts to avoid her attack. Nausea and dizziness take hold the higher and higher you get, with the Library of the Sacrosanct becoming smaller and smaller in your sight.

Yes, actually, Vortigern says in response to your question, in-between air-steps. And when disobedient.

>Vortigern uses the first two actions to air-step higher into the sky

Then, just as her flight reaches its zenith, she turns to you, winks, hefts you over her shoulder in a swift spin, and flings you down toward the Library, folding her wings to her side as she falls alongside you.




"You punish them by dropping them from above the clouds?! And I thought my parents were strict…" she comments with a slight smirk as she watches Vortigern reach the zenith of her flight, before throwing her back downwards towards the Library below.

As she begins to fall, Flaming's legs flail around in the air, trying to gain some control over her descent as the ground rapidly approaches.
"Okay, not good, not good… oooh I'm starting to wish I thought like Shei and got a pair of wings!"
She looks up at her catalyst, using her magic to conjure a Dark Corridor in mid-air to go through that she might use to portal her way out of this mess
[1d10] Dark Corridor leading to the library, intent to use momentum to shoot 'up' from the Library's roof top instead of crashing into it

Roll #1 4 = 4


You conjure a portal some distance below you, but before you can fall within, a second Corridor opens in front of yours, and you fall into that one instead; it deposits you at about the same elevation that Vortigern dropped you from, having effectively reset your progress down to the Library.

Vortigern slows her fall to let you catch up, then spins and aims a sweeping kick for your ribs.

[1d10+4] Normal attack

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5


Flaming looks up in surprise as another portal is created for her to fall into, resetting her fall as she grits her teeth. "Right, YOU can do that too… I guess I won't get anywhere with that…"

She looks up towards the ropes that had been stuck in her horns, wondering if there's something she can do with them to help her restrain Vortigern instead. She starts reaching up to unravel them, before she notices Vortigern's incoming kick, and she tucks her head into make her body a ball and start spinning to try and maneuver away from her attack

[1d10] Unraveling rope stuck in horns

Roll #1 6 = 6


Vortigern gasps with surprise as you ball yourself up, which creates a pocket of space within the tangled net. As you pass over her leg-sweep, you catch her in the net, getting your hooves and horns untangled from the rope; in the same motion, you catch her with her own net. Only now, though you can move freely within it, you're sharing space with her as she thrashes and spins with surprise.

As the ground hurtles toward you, Vortigern tries the unthinkable: She reaches out and tries to lock you into a bear hug to keep you both trapped!


Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7


>SSCloak: 19 hits, 2 wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Magic Bolt: 4 Bolts

Pryce follows Sir Estuary through the halls of the castle, keeping his sight on him best he can with the odd vision provided through his subspace walking. He wonders what the knight is planning with this, following him to the open courtyard.
He pauses when Sir Estuary stops, peering over the status as of kings and gods, scanning for any possible traps while he circles around the new arena.
[Could this be where he fought Neo Advent before?]
Pryce thinks to himself. Now moved behind Sir Estuary, opposite the hall he entered from, Pryce jumps out of subspace, horn glowing bright red as he sends out a wave of heat to wash over the rival knight.
>Smite [1d10+2]
>Recharge 3, spell; Open a gate to your chosen deity, summoning their power to raze your foes. Hits all enemies in a target area and marks them to be struck down. Next turn, all your attacks on any enemies marked by Smite will autocrit on success.

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


As Vortigern reaches inward to give her a bear hug to keep her trapped, Flaming struggles, "H-hey, let go! My plan was to hold on to YOU so you could fly me over the ground!"

Thinking up a new plan fast, Flaming wraps her hooves around Vortigern, trying to use her weight to force her into falling FIRST so she takes the brunt of the impact
[1d10+4] Wrestling roll (Charge +2, CoG +1, athletics +1)

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5


Although the rubble from all the collapsed architecture could serve as points of ambush and traps, it seems that Estuary himself has no intent of acting in that manner, as he boldly stands in the center of the memorial.


As your heatwave washes over him, Estuary retreats a short distance by melting and slithering away, wheeling about to face you. "So you've finally found some power, Kingslayer? Don't hold out on me – I brought you out here so you could STOP HOLDING BACK!"

He slashes at you with Schlangenschwert, the blade swirling with the hypnotically beautiful illustrated water.

[1d10+3] Normal Attack
[1d10+3] Normal Attack

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11


[1d10+1] Huge

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Vortigern holds you fast, her hooves jabbing into your spine to keep you pinned.

>Flaming 0/4

As you hurtle for the ground, Vortigern breaks out of the hug, curls herself into a ball, and kicks you square in the chest to push off from you, effectively using you as a launch pad to free herself from the net.

[1d10+4] Normal Attack

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5


>SSCloak: 19 hits, 2 wounds, 1.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water
>Homing Magic: 4 Bolts

"Now that I'm used to your sword, Sir Estuary, this fight is only just beginning!"
Pryce calls back, sprinting forward as he slashes upward with Memory-Pluck. From behind him, his last remaining flaming swords lunge forward, converging on the knight to burn away at him.
>Slash [AutoCrit] [1d10]
>Guarded: Reduces critical failure damage by half.

>Homing Magic [Flare, AutoCrit] [1d10]

>Homing Magic [Flare, AutoCrit] [1d10]
>Homing Magic [Flare, AutoCrit] [1d10]
>Homing Magic [Flare, AutoCrit] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 9 = 9 / Roll #4 3 = 3 / Roll #5 5 = 5


>missed EB activating LAST turn, should be at 0/5
Flaming huffs as she finds herself kicked hard in the chest, struggling to pull herself out of the net successfully as she sees Vortigern attempting to free herself. "You're not… getting… away!"
[1d10+3] (+2 from earlier Prayers boosting rolls to get up from helpless, +1 from CoG)

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


Estuary slashes you twice, but you manage to remain standing, sustained by the cloak, which hungrily siphons away the power from his strike.

>Pryce 3/6

>SSC: 27 Hits, 2 Wounds, 2.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water

Estuary growls as the cloak absorbs his strikes, rearing back to stab you, but instead, you retaliate with your many swords, knocking Estuary back in a heap. He leans upon his swords to recover…

[1d10+2] first action on helplessness recovery

You thwart Vortigern's kick by grabbing onto her, but the ground just keeps hurtling toward you, faster and faster, until it seems likely that you just both might meet your end here…

But just as it seems that you might hit the earth, twin explosions of fire erupt beneath you, and a great cloud of dust and smoke billows up from below. Your momentum halts, and the rope is burned away by a sudden surge of gentle flames – and fuzzy fur.

You find that you and Vortigern have both landed on a pair of flame buffalo, which then dissolve, fading away into nothingness. You both drop to the ground, totally unharmed.

>Flaming 0/5

How… surprising, Vir-can's silent voice muses from a great distance.

[1d10+2] Vortigern recovery

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 5 + 2 = 7


Estuary sheathes Schlangenschwert, smirking as you steal a great gray mist from his body.

>Veilshredder Obtained

"You can have that one – why don't I show you a real technique?"

He exhales calmly, then raises Schlangenschwert with his other hoof. He begins to twist and waver in place as a red mist gathers about him, his form becoming hazy as he begins to step with the esoteric motions of a strange dance…

>Anantarika-Karma: Instant Automatic; Recharge 3: Dance rapturously in the form of an Ashura, one of a race of hated and feared demonic demigods thought banished from the earth. This turn, you can attack up to seven times with your normal action, rolling separately for each with applicable bonuses.

And, in the space of a breath–

[7d10+3] Detachment, Schlangenschwert (Water), Memory-Pluck, Inner Animal, Brother's Honor, Avici, Last Stop

As Vortigern picks herself up from the dirt, she casts a healing spell over herself, raising her greatlance.

[1d10+3] Heal

Roll #1 3, 6, 10, 1, 1, 10, 3 + 3 = 37 / Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4


>SSC: 27 Hits, 2 Wounds, 2.5 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helplessness, 1 Weak to Water

Pryce steps back, drawing back his blade as Sir Estuary begins to waver. He watches as the mist forms and the knight moves in odd ways, trying to follow to predict what he'll do next. His horn glows white, healing the blows he just took, and in preparation Pryce sings, conjuring his aegis as a great shield to defend from whatever is coming next.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]

>The Scroll of Seneh, the Wildfire Aegis [Auto]

>Automatic: Summons a floating shield as a minion with 20 HP. It can be assigned to any target, and will take all damage for them until it is defeated. After it has been defeated, it has a Recharge of 3 before it can be summoned again. The minion has access to the following skills:
-Brushfire: Single target fire element magic attack, +1 to rolls, can Cleave. Recharge 2
-Hunker Down: Automatic: The shield braces itself with fire, halving all damage it takes for the round; any damage it takes is inflicted upon all enemies that attacked it as a fire element attack. Recharge 3
-Hakarmell: Automatic: Upon losing all Hits, the shield rolls for an explosion of fire-element damage, targeting all enemies. Always succeeds, roll determines intensity.

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


Flaming looks down at the onrushing ground below, eyes widening as she fears this may be the end, not in Tartarus but over a disagreement between friends. She stares at the ground, white hot fury culminating in her eyes as she prepares to do what she can to take the hit for both herself and Vortigern, even if it means losing the duel.

But in the next moment, she loses awareness of her surroundings, only to look up when she sees she and Vortigern both are on top of a fluffy, fiery pair of buffalo. She blinks, looking at where they once stood as she pulls herself up from the ground, amazed. "We're… we're alright."

She turns to look at Vortigern, but then looks to her own hooves as she starts to wonder. "Did I do that…?"

[1d10+3] Getting up from Helpless

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13


For a flash of an instant, Estuary takes on the visage of a scowling, blood-soaked war god, fierce and dreadful as he stomps upon the bodies of his adversaries, charging into battle. Time bends and frays as he strikes seven times, once wish each sword, all the simultaneous instants of his attack converting upon one another into a singularity.

>Pryce 0/5 (12 max Hits)

>SSC: 46 Hits, 2 Wounds, 3 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helpless, 1 Weak to Water, 1/2 stolen skill, -1/2 roll penalty to all, 1/2 sensory deprivation, 1/2 dice side reduction

The Serpentskin Cloak is tattered and weary, and its ends begin to morph, turning into the heads of serpents as they gorge and grow fat upon the torment that you're taking.

"You don't need this anymore!" Estuary shouts, drawing Detachment and Avici both. He slashes at your prone form, aiming for your back to hook the cloak off of you.

[1d10+3] Detachment
[1d10+3] Avici

As you stand once more, Vortigern staggers, wincing as she botches her spell. She stumbles to one hoof, but a radiance gathers around her, glowing like the radiance of the sun itself. Golden godrays flow off of her, filling her with a radiance that you can barely stand to look at. But her incandescence seems to illuminate a flame of your own – your own body has begun to glow, as how a flame glows within a lantern. But no mere flame is your light – soon, the light you produce begins to swirl and broil, much like the magma brewing within the heart of the Slumbering Dragon.

>Flaming 8/5

Tell me, Chieftan-to-come. Have you heard of the tale the Tiniest Warrior?


Vortigern begins to leap across the battlefield, gathering speed by bouncing off everything around her as she leaps in and out for hit-and-run attacks.

>Heroic Fortitude: automatic instant spell, recharge 7 after effect ends; you cannot become helpless and take no wounds for 3 turns, then become helpless. If you would have become helpless (hits, etc) during those 3 turns, you have a -1 penalty to recover

>Prayer of Healing: spell, ranged, recharge 5; fully heals the entire party, but you are helpless afterwards


>Champion’s Fury: Passive, gains +2 to all attack rolls when you are down to 2 or less wounds

>Shatter: weapon, recharge 2; Breaks the target's defenses, opening them up for attack. Any attacks against a Shattered target crit on a 8+ for one round. Can be used against inanimate objects to break and damage them efficiently.


Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #2 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #3 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #4 7 + 6 = 13


[1d10+2] Estuary cultivates spirit (instant)

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Add 2 stacks of Magatsuhi Element to the SSC


>SSC: 46 Hits, 2 Wounds, 3 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helpless, 1 Weak to Water, 1/2 stolen skill, -1/2 roll penalty to all, 1/2 sensory deprivation, 1/2 dice side reduction

Pryce collapses from the flurry of blows, the cuts over his body taking their toll.
"Here I thought armor wasn't an issue with that blade of yours."
Pryce says as he struggles to push himself back up.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


>EB Activates, 8/6
Flaming looks down at herself as her body begins to glow, and radiate heat and flame. It reminds her of the volcano she first fell into when she obtained the markings of a chieftain, when Vir-can showed her his favor, and the flames continue to rise around her.

Despite this startling change, Flaming keeps her cool, letting the fire over-come her as she looks on at her opponent, deadset to win now more than ever as she sees Vortigern beginning to glow herself.

"I haven't. And I really hope you're not drawing a comparison here!" She says with her teeth grinning widely, pulsing flames as she charges forth, visions of the buffalo behind her beginning to manifest as she dives towards her enemy, preparing to take everything she has to offer. To take everything the WORLD has to offer!
[1d10+3] Retribution of the Dragon

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


>Assigning Aegis to self


>Retribution of the Dragon: Spell, Recharge 4 after effect triggers; After three turns, for every attack that has hit Flaming, combine the total amount of damage dealt by each enemy's attack. This total is released towards a single enemy, or split evenly between multiple foes. (IE, 10 hits to 1 enemy, or 2 hits to 5). Critfails don’t count toward the charge of this spell.


[1d10+1] Perception

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


You get back up, parrying his swing of Detachment, while Seneh catches Avici's swing, saving you from the sensory-deadening attack.

>SSC: 46 Hits, 2 Wounds, 3 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helpless, 1 Weak to Water, 1/2 stolen skill, -1/2 roll penalty to all, 1/2 sensory deprivation, 1/2 dice side reduction

>Pryce 10/5

>Seneh 13/20 HP

Estuary laughs. "If you're confident enough to taunt, then let's see what makes you so bold, kingslayer! Put on a good show!"

He strikes again with Avici and Detachment.

[1d10+3] Avici vs Seneh
[1d10+3] Detachment vs Pryce
[1d10+2] Cultivate Spirit

Vortigern slams you back with the butt of her greatlance, and then slams down the flat of it onto your back, before leaping back into the landscape, bouncing off of all that surrounds her as she wheels about in a whirlwind of violence.
>Flaming 0/5
>8 Hits stored in Retribution

You realize now that she hasn't once struck you with the point of her lance, nor any part of the blade.

There was once a bold and gentle warrior, who, on a stampede through the great planes of our ancestors, was keen enough to hear a baby bird's pitiful cry from afar, and to spy a small shape on the horizon beyond, in the path of the stampede – it was the baby bird that he had heard crying from afar. He ran ahead to the front of the herd, taking point away from the clan's head warrior. The head warrior was furious, but the bold and gentle warrior ignored him, redirecting the stampede from where the baby bird lay. It was small, weak and injured, abandoned by its flock.

Vortigern leaps toward you again, screaming in silence as she rushes in for more strikes.

[1d10+4] Leap of Faith
[1d10+4] All or Nothing

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6 / Roll #2 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #3 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #4 9 + 4 = 13 / Roll #5 1 + 4 = 5


Somehow, Flaming feels her heart connect with Vortigern amidst the fierce blows, listening to her story as she feels the great lance slam into her back, the flames sputtering out around that area but continuing to build up around Flaming as she starts to stand up, the energy absorbed into the fiery flames around her as she feels her power growing in response.
[1d10+3] Get up from Helpless

"He sounds like… a very brave buffalo." She says, not actually knowing if the warrior was a buffalo or not. "Protecting those who can't protect themselves, that's what I want to be able to do!"

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


>SSC: 46 Hits, 2 Wounds, 3 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helpless, 1 Weak to Water, 1/2 stolen skill, -1/2 roll penalty to all, 1/2 sensory deprivation, 1/2 dice side reduction
>Seneh 13/20 HP

"Don't tell me this fight is boring you."
Pryce retorts. He draws on his stolen power, taking a breath as he concentrates on his Memory-Pluck and his flame magic. He then swings his sword in a wide arc to slice the knight.
>Veilshredder [Instant Auto] [Declaring Flare]
>Slice [Guarded] [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


Indeed. The bold and gentle warrior endured castigation from the head warrior for usurping his command, remaining silent through it all and not disputing nor excusing the charges. In this way, he did not sin by disturbing filial piety. But, when the castigation was done, he sprinted to find the baby bird. It clung to life, but would not for long without care. The bold and gentle warrior took it, and learned the ways of the birds from the wise cows, who taught him how to feed it, how to calm it, how to teach it to fly. He learned the language of the birds, and the bird taught him many things. It came to be, when the bold and gentle warrior was called away to do battle, that the bird would not leave him, no matter what trick the warrior pulled to get him to stay. So the bird began to accompany him in battle. He could do little, being small, but did what he could to fight for and protect his warrior, his brother. In this way, he came to be called by a peculiar title.

Vortigern delivers a crushing blow to your side, again striking with the staff, and not the blade of her spear, but you get up, knocking her back with a mighty upswing of your head.

>Flaming 8/3

>24 Hits stored in Retribution

Vortigern's radiance starts to sputter and weaken, but before it can, she launches herself into the sky, her spear raised. At the zenith of her leap, she looks down at you. Ready, Flaming!?

And then, she kicks off of the air, rocketing down toward you in a perilous dive-bomb.

[1d10+3] Normal Attack
[1d10+3] Stopza

Seneh holds true against his first swing, but the swing with Detachment passes clean through Seneh and you both, but hooks onto the Serpentskin Cloak, tearing it free of your body. He turns his blade inward, hooking the cloak around the katana's tip rather than cast it to the side.

"With this gone, it should be quite a bit more inter–" Estuary begins to taunt, until you cut his throat with your swing.

>Veilshredder 1 use left

>Seneh 12/20 HP

He grins, the wound meaning nothing to a goo-pony, and attacks again with both swords, aiming to cut down Seneh already to leave you defenseless.

[1d10+3] Avici
[1d10+3] Detachment

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #3 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #4 8 + 3 = 11


>first attack should have been +4 for an 8

[1d10+4] Normal Attack
[1d10+4] Normal Attack

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14 / Roll #2 7 + 4 = 11


Flaming grunts as the powerful blow comes to her side, and then again to her head, but her fiery barrier flares more and more, the power of Vortigern fanning the flames as they start to swirl and intensify around her, visions of stampeding buffalos passing her vision as she sees her long lost homeland, the Sleeping Dragon volcano, lit with fire from within as the magma bellows near the opening.

She looks up to see her dive bombing her, grinning widely as she plants her hooves, "Whatever you have for me, Vortigern, I can TAKE IT AND MOOOOOORRE!"

She screams at the top of her lungs, planting her hooves as her horns glow white and steeling herself for the oncoming barrage
>Activating Prayer for Salvation to get up from helpless auto next time it happens


Pryce is momentarily stunned as Sir Estuary rips the cloak from his back, but keeps his eyes on Sir Estuary as he goes for the rest of his defenses.
"Two can play at that game."
Pryce then reaches into his cloak, throwing out a chain through the goo pony to the swords on his back.
"Autonomous Chain, bind his swords!"
>Chain [1d10]

He takes this moment as well to focus on his sword again, breathing as he channels his last Veilshredder.
>Veilshredder [Instant Auto] [Flare]

The aegis as it floats before Sir Estuary's attacks retaliates with a plume of flame to burn the kinght.
>Brushfire [1d10+1]
>Single target fire element magic attack, +1 to rolls, can Cleave. Recharge 2

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


Just before Vortigern lands, everything goes gray, for a brief instant. The next few seconds are a jumbled, discombobulated mess of pain as Vortigern bends time itself to her will. You are assailed with a flurry of strikes, and you are brought out of the frozen time for a brief instant as each strike makes contact with you – resulting in a constant stream of screeching pain and suffering.

In the momentary blasts of vision that you can glimpse, Vortigern screams in silence at you.


Yes… you can, Tiniest Warrior, Vir-can gently whispers.

When time finally resumes, you are crumbled in a heap before Vortigern, bruised and bloody. Your forelimbs are broken in multiple places, and you can hardly move.

>Flaming 0/1

>52 Hits stored in Dragon's Retribution

Vortigern falls before you, but starts to push herself up using her lance. She leans upon it, then pushes herself up with her wings. She stands on shaky hooves, and draws her lance once more, pointing it at you. You… lose, she mouths.

You feel your newfound power still swirling within your heart, ready to be unleashed at your command.

>Activate Dragon's Retribution?

Estuary tosses up his swords, and steps through your chains, effortlessly avoiding detention owing to his soft goo. He catches the swords and parries your strike, then stabs at you, only for Avici's strike to be blocked by Seneh. As for Detachment, it slides through Seneh, jabbing you in the ribs. "Am I stealing the show here?"

>Seneh 8/20

>Pryce 4/5

Thinking quickly, he pulls back Detachment before you can retrieve the Serpentskin Cloak, then tosses the cloak upward, where it hooks onto the edge of a broken railing, safely out of reach. He then dives low, trying to slide under Seneh to cut you from below.

[1d10+3] Avici
[1d10+3] Detachment

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7


Pryce blinks as Estuary effortlessly throws his swords aside and catches them to avoid his trap, not spotting the blade piercing through his shield and into his chest.
"N-Not at all."
He coughs. His horn glows white again to patch up the new wound quickly. As he dives down below, Pryce stabs his sword down at Sir Estuary to catch him in his slide.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]
>Stab [Guarded] [1d10]

His aegis attempts to moveto intercept, solidifying itself to absorb his blows.
>Hunker Down [Automatic]
>Automatic: The shield braces itself with fire, halving all damage it takes for the round; any damage it takes is inflicted upon all enemies that attacked it as a fire element attack. Recharge 3

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


Your attempts to counter him are thwarted, as Estuary, almost with a hint of playfulness, nicks your side with the edge of Detachment, pulling the sword back before he can deal a deadlier wound. As for Seneh, it holds firm under Avici's strike, and retaliates with a puff of flame, which scorches Estuary and forces him to pull back.

>Seneh 4/20

>Pryce 1/5

Estuary dissolves his legs, swimming away in a puddle, with just his head retaining its shape.

[1d10+2] Helplessness Recovery attempt 1

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


[1d10+2] Attempt 2

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Estuary continues to swim away, strangely opting for a change of tactics. You see him slither under one of the many labyrinthine hills of rubble that fills the memorial-courtyard, disappearing from sight.


>EB triggers
>Activating 'Prayer for Salvation' to auto get up from helpless
Flaming freezes in place as time literally stops for her, watching helplessly as she is unable to move as Vortigern moves unimpeded, striking her again and again with blow after blow as she struggles to keep upright. But with each blow, she feels the fiery buffalo, the energy surrounding her, growing hotter, and fiercer as the flames expand around her.

As Vortigern screams at her, she listens to the gentle coercion of Vir-can, opening her eyes as her tattoos glow bright, and the flames expel from her temple as she shoves her head forward, a final charge as the vision of legions of bison in the shape of a dragon's head shoots forth with her.

"No… I'm sorry, Vortigern…"

She charges forward, pushing onwards until she's just a hair's breadth way from Vortigern.
Tears in her eyes, she looks into the eyes of her motherly figure as the flames shoot around them, devastating hte top of the library
"I *win*."
>Activating Dragon's Retribution


Pryce exhales after he's nicked, taking the momentary distance to steady himself. When Sir Estuary swims away under some rubble, Pryce is met with confusion. He looks up to his cloak hanging from the rafters, and then sheathes his Memory-Pluck. His horn glows crimson, and he takes off his bracelet, concentrating and forming a grand zweihander from it.
>Conjure Weapon [Instant] [DC5] [Zweihander - Flare, Great, Single] [1d10+1]

His horn continues to glow, forming an array of knifes around him for added weaponry.
>Homing Magic [1d10]

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


>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


You conjure the zweihander and the knives, but before you can charge onward, a sudden torrent of water splashes down from above, extinguishing both your sword and the knives. When you look up to see the torrent's source, you catch a glimpse of some watery shape disappearing behind the rubble into which Estuary vanished.


Vortigern raises her greatlance to strike, but before she can, you call upon the fires within, and from your horns, two dragons emerge – at first, they are small, the size of Spark himself. But both burn with the unquenchable flames of the Slumbering Dragon himself.


They fly forth from your horns… and explode outward, spiraling around Vortigern, with her at their center. The two dragons grow and twist, becoming beautiful columns of intertwining flame, exuding power that could fell horrors and evils whose power far, far outstrips your own. All who are gathered in attendance gasp and stare at the columns of flame.

Indeed, this incident would be spoken about for years to come, for the columns of flame could be seen for many miles off as they danced into the sky, their awesome power and grace felt by all who could see and sense it.

Everything around the two of you goes white. The Library, the garden, the lake… it all disappears.


Vortigern slumps to the ground, dropping her greatlance, her face blank with shock.

"I… can't believe it."

You hear her speaking with her own, true voice.

"Hey… great job. Knew you could do it," she says, tears glimmering in her eyelashes.

Roll #1 8, 10 + 2 = 20


Pryce isn't expecting the sudden deluge of water, his weapons being snuffed out as his bracelet nearly slipping from his magic before he grabs it in his hooves and slipping it back on. He looks up to the railings to spot Sir Estuary, but is too slow. He looks up to his cloak, horn glowing as he pulls it down to himself, betting this will draw out the knight.
>Telekinesis [1d10]

His horn also has a glow of white, attempting to refresh himself again.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]

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


Before you can grab the cloak, it's pulled back over the edge of the ruined scaffolding from which it hangs, disappearing into the ruins. "Come along now, Pryce," Estuary's voice taunts, bouncing off the heaps of metal and marble that fill the ruins. "Are you going to make me waste what I'm setting up here? Or are you worried that I'll outperform?"



Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Flaming can hardly believe her own eyes as she watches her flaming dragons leap forth from her horns, feeling the accumulated fire made from the repeated strikes of Vortigerns' attacks made manifest as they twist around the two of them, feeling the overwhelming power exuding from her until all their vision around them disappears, leaving only a white expanse.

She blinks as she finally reaches a moment of calm, broken by the sound of Vortigern's lance dropping and hitting the ground. She looks up at Vortigern, feeling the power dwelling within her dissipate, and as she looks up to see the tears gathering in Vortigern's eyes, they return to Flaming's as well, starting to overwhelm her.

"Vortigern…." she sniffs, lowering her head as she starts sobbing, pushing her head into her nice, soft chest, and starts to weep.
"I'm… I…" she stammers, failing to find the words to say, not sure if she wants to express her regrets or her uncertainties.

"Can you ever forgive me?"


Vortigern doesn't hesitate, pulling you into the most gentle hug you have ever felt, the kind of hug only a mother versed in sorrow, experienced in mending hearts, can give. She holds you for a while, not saying anything as she lets you weep. Then, once you've had a chance to shed some of your tears, she pulls back to look down at you.

"It'll be hard. I won't lie. I'm remaining behind here, and it'll be up to you to keep my friends safe," Vortigern says. "So I'll forgive you if you can protect them in my stead, alright?"

From behind you, you hear hoofsteps. Vortigern looks up. "Buiwong– you're here. I suppose you didn't believe me when I told you I was prepared."

"Of course not," Buiwong says. "I am a grandfather to many. I know when I'm being lied to, even when the liar doesn't know it themselves. And I know what it is like to see one's children run toward danger. I know too, what it is like to experience a far deeper sorrow… one I hope you will never feel. In any case – I am releasing you from our Covenant."


"Plotting away? I didn't expect a knight to fight like a rogue."
Pryce calls out. He spreads his wings, flying up to the rafters as he slides off his bracelet, flames pouring from the bracelet as his horn glows crimson, forming a large, segmented greatsword.
>Conjure Weapon [DC5] [Chain Greatsword - Great, Ranged, Flare] [1d10+1]
>Flight [1d10]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 7 = 7


Unfortunately, the drenching that your bracelet took earlier has interfered with its magic, preventing any summoning of weapons.

"You know little of what it means to be a samurai," Estuary's voice taunts from below. "Unlike the knights of your age, we don't have many reservations when it comes to tactics. Besides, I thought I was dealing with a trickster and a magician. I can't believe that I'm the one outwitting you right now. Now hurry up: If you keep me waiting, I just might recover from the injuries you dealt me earlier."

As you fly over the labyrinth of rubble below, you see many paths made by the winding heaps. You can't see where Estuary is, but there appears to be a faint goo trail down one of the paths that you might be able to follow if you get closer – but there's no telling if there are any traps in wait.


>roll perception

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"Fleeing is a tactic then? I was expecting more myself."
Pryce retorts, hoping to draw out the knight into attacking. He flies over the rubble, looking for his opponent through the rubble. When he finds a trail of his goo, Pryce again steps into subspace, tracking from safety to get jump on him.
>Subspace Walker [Self] [Auto]
>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


As you slip into subspace, you are more easily able to see within and around the heaps of rubble that form the labyrinth in which Estuary now hides. You follow the goo trail for a while within the safety of subspace, only to sense three distinct energy sources hiding within the heaps of metal and marble that lay around you – one of Magatsuhi, another of Dhyana, and a third of Qi. Three dragons, they are. One is made of Lightning, blended with Magatsuhi, which hides within the magitech rubble, the second is composed of semi-melted Ice, held together with Dhyana, which hides under a heap of marble, and the third is made of Water, bound together with Qi, which slithers around in the cracks along the ground below you. At a glance, you can tell that the third one, the Water dragon slithering around below, appears to be Estuary himself in another guise; the other two are mere decoys.


[He can form dragons? What is he planning…]
Pryce thinks to himself. When he finds the water dragon is actually one of goo, Pryce coasts behind the figure. His mind quickly runs through what to do, before settling himself on a plan. He quietly slips out of subspace behind the Goo dragon, pulling a book out from his robe. He flips through the pages, horn glowing as he calls on the tome's magic, bringing to life an image of Neo Advent before the old knight.
>Lexicon of Moon's Dread [Neo Advent] [1d10]
>Contains illusory nightmares that can incapacitate a single target for Roll - 5 rounds. Can target up to ten targets as a Cleave roll, but increases Recharge by 1 with each additional target. Recharge 1 for 1 target. User determines the content of the Nightmare.

He takes his bracelet again, once more trying to form a greatsword to fight with.
>Conjure Weapon [DC5] [Chain Greatsword - Ranged, Great, Flare] [1d10+1]

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


Flaming weeps into her coat, almost wishing she could take her victory back and take this caring, wonderful pegasus into the most treacherous place on Earth with her, but knows she can't, that she couldn't falter now of all times.

"I promise, I won't make you regret this. I swear I'll protect each and every one of them, no matter what I'll bring them ALL back with this power, I promise!" She says, choking on her own words as she fears of making a promise she won't be able to keep. "Thank you… I can't tell you how much you mean to me, Vortigern. You're so strong, and yet you're so caring. I-"

She takes a moment to calm herself, ready to speak again before she hears Buiwong approaching. She looks at him, a scowl appearing in her eyes, as she stands ready to look at him, wiping her eyes of tears.

"…Buiwong. Guess I should have figured you'd show up eventually." She lets out a sight, "And that's good. I had something to ask you, now that I think about it, once this was done."


As soon as the image of Neo Advent appears, you hear an angered growl from below. "Don't yOU DARE!" Estuary hisses.

The Lightning Dragon jumps from the heap of destroyed magitech, destroying both the illusory image and the greatsword that you attempt to conjure. It lands in a heap of metal just opposite of the one it jumped from, then after a moment, it attacks you directly.

[1d10+1] Lightning + Magatsuhi basic attack

The water from the dragon below starts to pool around you, soaking your hooves even more than they were earlier when they were drenched by the splash.

[1d10+1] Soak to increase Lightning damage

Vortigern gives you another squeeze, and kisses the top of your head. She momentarily gasps, and you can sense her fear that she may have overstepped a boundary, but she puts that aside, knowing that her love cannot be hidden.

Buiwong nods to you, lacking any and all of his usual irreverence. "I'll answer once I am done here, if I can. Now, Vortigern. I release your voice, as well as your service."
He holds out his hoof, and in it is a shape much like a crystal ball, containing an icon of a musical note.
Vortigern takes the crystal ball, looking at it with disbelief. "I take it this means you won't be helping me free my children from beyond Yongning-si."
"Depending on how long we are in Tartarus, you may accomplish it long before we are back," Buiwong says. "But should my servants meet you on the road, they will provide what help they can – I have instructed them as much. I do not abandon my faithful, no matter what."

Buiwong looks to you and smirks. "Oh? Since when did you change her tattoo, Vir-can?"

"When she became worthy of it," Vir-can's disembodied voice says.

Vortigern smiles, and holds the crystal ball to you. In its reflection, you can see another icon has been added to your chieftan's tattoo upon your forehead: The image of a small pigeon in flight: The Tiniest Warrior.


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


Pryce flies up higher as he hears Sir Estuary growl. He knew it'd be crossing a line, but he had to draw him out somehow. What he isn't expecting is the lightning dragon to leap and destroy his conjurations. He pulls his bracelet back, putting it back on as his horn glows white to cure himself.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]
When they start teaming together, he sings to conjure his shield before the third dragon arrives.
>The Scroll of Seneh, the Wildfire Aegis [Auto]
>Automatic: Summons a floating shield as a minion with 20 HP. It can be assigned to any target, and will take all damage for them until it is defeated. After it has been defeated, it has a Recharge of 3 before it can be summoned again. The minion has access to the following skills:
-Brushfire: Single target fire element magic attack, +1 to rolls, can Cleave. Recharge 2
-Hunker Down: Automatic: The shield braces itself with fire, halving all damage it takes for the round; any damage it takes is inflicted upon all enemies that attacked it as a fire element attack. Recharge 3
-Hakarmell: Automatic: Upon losing all Hits, the shield rolls for an explosion of fire-element damage, targeting all enemies. Always succeeds, roll determines intensity.

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


>Already had Seneh up, changing action

Pryce concentrates his magic, focusing it on his horn to boost his spells.
>Enhancement [Self] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


>Choosing Dual Tag


>Enhancement: recharge 1, spell; You focus arcane energy to mark an ally or yourself, increasing their magical potency. They receive one weapon tag of your choice, chosen on cast of Enhancement, for the next 3 turns, and the tag applies to all their spells instead of their weapon skills.


>Pryce 13/5
>Seneh 4/20

Your magic comes out as a veil of fire, and the water that tried to soak you is burned away into mist, while the lightning is forced to divert into the stone floor of the courtyard, missing the mark. The remaining water slinks away, reforming itself from its dragon shape into the shape of Sir Estuary, wielding Inner Animal in his teeth and Detachment in his hoof. He swings and gestures with the two swords, and the ice dragon leaps from its hiding-place, joining with the lightning dragon. The two twirl around one another as they attempt to break through the last of Seneh's endurance.

[1d10+1] Lightning Dragon
[1d10+1] Ice Dragon

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


>Enhancement: Dual - 3 turns

A second, ethereal horn forms on Pryce's forehead above his original with his successful spell, looking down as the two dragons miss their attacks.
Pryce turns as the two false dragons fight together to break his shield, the aegis retaliating with it's own burst of fire. Pryce's two horns glow, flames pouring out of his bracelet to form a weapon suitable for fighting, followed by a pulse of flames around him to form an array of chakram for defense.
>Conjure Weapon [DC5] [Dual Cast from Enhancement] [Chain Greatsword - Flare, Great, Ranged] [1d10+1] [1d10+1]
>Homing Magic [Flare] [1d10]

>Brushfire [Cleave Lighning and Ice Dragon, CritFail 2-] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #3 3 = 3 / Roll #4 1 + 1 = 2


You conjure your sword, deflecting the dragons' first two attacks with Seneh, but when you attempt to retaliate, the dragons seize their opportunity, crashing themselves into Seneh, and the resultant blast wipes out your magical flares. As Seneh crumbles, it begins to glow, its final blast of Hakarmell soon to be ready.

Estuary lunges forward, his body swelling with ghostly red mist, beginning to waver and dance in the beginnings of blood-ecstasy. His dragons roar, joining with him in the charge of battle.

>Antantarika-Karma, Automatic Instant

[7d10+3] Detachment, Schlangenschwert, Memory-Pluck, Inner Animal, Brother's Honor, Avici, Last Stop
>Prayer for Salvation (Automatic)
[1d10+1] Lightning Dragon
[1d10+1] Ice Dragon

Roll #1 2, 2, 7, 10, 8, 5, 6 + 3 = 43 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #3 6 + 1 = 7


>Enhancement: Dual - 2 turns
>Chain Greatsword: Flare, Great, Dual, +1

Pryce turns to face Sir Estuary as he leaps up at him, leaving his shield's final moments to hopefully remove the dragons. He begins to sing, his voice coming with harmony on itself as he sees the red glow of Sir Estuary's frenzied dance again. He raises his greatsword, thrusting it forward as it splits apart, lunging forward along it's chain to pierce the goo pony.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Dual Cast from Enhancement] [1d10] [1d10]
>Thrust [Flare, Crit 9+, Crit Fail 2-] [1d10+1]

>Hakarmell [Fire] [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #4 9 = 9


>>Effect: Instant, Spell, Recharge 3 after effect ends: Massively increases the target's resistance to all forms of damage for a very brief period. On success, the target will only take 1 Hit of damage from each applicable source of damage that hits them. This lasts for 2 turns, or 3 on a critical hit.


Estuary snarls with fury as you surround yourself with protective fire, muffling each of his seven swings so that they barely even scratch you before your counterattack. He endures the stab, but the explosion from Seneh launches himself and the two dragons back, scattering them to the ground.

>Pryce 8/5

However, though your Hymn may have saved you from the damage done to your body, it has no effect upon the magic of his blades, and your mind and body begin to weaken, feeling as though a dense smoke were building up within you.

First, your strength weakens. (-1 to all actions, cannot go below +/- 0; Brother's Honor) Then, your hearing goes dead, and you are left without any sense of sound. (Avici) Next, your movements become dull and sluggish, and you start to stumble about. (Must roll DC 9 until effect is cleared; Last Stop)

However, something perhaps far worse than that starts to well up, like a gruesome plague blooming from the center of your heart.

>Magatsuhi Element: Attacks made from this Style inherently have the Magatsuhi Element. For a cost of 1 charge, you may use this Element with a skill outside of the Rakshasa Style. Activating Magatsuhi Element on an outside skill is a Free Action. The Magatsuhi Element is imbued with the frenzy and impulsive carnality characteristic of demonkind. Attacks with the Magatsuhi Element chip away at the target's mental and spiritual defenses, making them more prone to fits of anger, sudden sorrow, uncontrollable laughter, intense hallucinations and other bouts of madness. If enough Magatsuhi is built up, the target will be prone to making impulsive and even stupid decisions during battle, such as not healing, not helping their allies, and overlooking sneak attacks or deceptive tactics.


Your heart races, thumping in a rapid, irregular drumroll as magatsuhi builds up within you. A hot flame flushes over you, and every inch of your skin prickles with excitement. A miasma of frenzied thoughts flash through your mind – bloodlust, amusement, the hungers of the flesh, fantasies of violence and conquest – the thoughts storm through your brain, trampling out all semblances of rationality and calm.

>You cannot Heal until Magatsuhi is dispelled.

Estuary uses his first action to rise (Automatic), drawing Last Stop once more with a half-cocked grin. What remains of his dragons rise as well, joining him as he runs forward to stab through you with the katana.

>Breaking the Horizon: Weapon; Recharge 2: With a breath, focus your mind, body and soul into a single point, as fine and small as the last glimpse of the sun's light as it falls below the world. On normal success, permanently reduce the target's DC to hit by 1. On critical success, permanently reduce it by 2.

[1d10+1] Lightning Dragon
[1d10+1] Ice Dragon

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9


>Enhancement: Dual - 1 turns
>Chain Greatsword: Flare, Great, Dual, +1
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine: Only take 1 hit of damage for 3 turns

Pryce flaps himself back from the onslaught of strikes, avoiding any deadly blow, but stops as he feels the world growing dark. He holds a hoof to his head, swaying in the air as he looses his hearing, but even that feels hard to do. His breathing intensifies, feeling his emotions and mind boil over with thoughts and images of this induced frenzy. It is only from Sir Estuary charging head on that Pryce notices the attack, floating his sword to the side as it detaches. He whips it as quick as he can with his magic to the side, swinging the segmented blades like a string of barbed wire across the three oncoming foes.
>Sweep [DC9, Flare, Cleave all 3, Crit 9+ Crit Fail 3-] [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


Estuary manages to jab the tip of Last Stop through the barrier, scraping up against your ribs. You try to sweep at him with your claymore, but he spins his head about, catching the segmented blade with Inner Animal. Using it and Last Stop as a fulcrum, he leaps upward and kicks you across the face, tossing you into the jaws of the Ice and Lightning Dragons. The two chomp onto you, but can barely scratch you through the mighty barrier of the Cedar-Tree Hymn. They eventually spit you out, dropping you to the ground.

>Prcye 4/5, DC 5 to Hit, rolls 1d8 until effect dispelled.

Estuary slows to catch his breath, but hardly lets up the assault, trading Last Stop for Memory-Pluck. He raises the sword to the sky, charging up an orb of water at the tip, using your own spell.

[1d10+3] Orbital Strike

Once it's fired into the sky, he twirls about Memory-Pluck, jabbing down at your prone form along with the two dragons.
[1d10+3] Impale
[1d10+1] Lightning Dragon
[1d10+1] Ice Dragon

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #3 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #4 3 + 1 = 4


[1d10] Orbital Strike / 2

Roll #1 9 = 9


>Chain Greatsword: Flare, Great, Dual, +1
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine: Only take 1 hit of damage for 2 turns

Pryce falls to the ground after he's sliced, tossed, and chewed on, looking like a mess but rising up to his hooves again.
"I thought you wanted revenge, Estuary," He says, not using his title for the first time this fight, "You'll need to fight better if you want to even leave a scratch."
He taunts, raising his sword again. When the three descend upon him, Pryce shoulders his greatsword, spinning in place to swing it in a mighty arc to strike them when they draw close.
>Cleave [Flare, Cleave all 3, Crit 9+, Crit Fail 3-] [1d8]

Roll #1 8 = 8


Estuary shouts something in reply, but you cannot hear it, nor can you hear your own voice. The Ice and Lightning dragons chomp down on you, but you cut through the both of them, dissolving them into Estuary. He endures your slash, and then tackles you to the ground, stabbing Memory-Pluck through your forearm. As the light of the Hymn fades, he fails to break your skin, but the pressure of the stab keeps you held in place.

>Pryce 2/5, DC 5 to hit, rolls 1d8 until effect dispelled

>Orbital Strike has 3 turns left

Power courses upward along the blade of Memory-Pluck, and you can feel the knowledge of Seneh's summoning song vanish from your mind. Estuary sheathes Inner Animal, then draws forth Detachment. He stamps a hoof onto Memory-Pluck to keep it drawn, then with a silent war-cry and a demonic scowl, stabs down at your heart with Detachment.

>Purgative Dose: Automatic Instant; Recharge 3; Your other action this turn will autocrit a target which is afflicted with a status condition, at the cost of removing that status condition.

[1d10+3] Suppress Autocrit
[1d10+3] Revolving Blade Autocrit

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 6 + 3 = 9


>Chain Greatsword: Flare, Great, Dual, +1
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine: Only take 1 hit of damage for 1 turns

Pryce falls back s he's held in place under Estuary's blade, glaring up at the knight. He raises his greatsword in his telekinesis over the knight, but stops. He grabs the lexicon in his free hoof, flipping open the book as an image of Neo Advent again forms over the duel.
>Lexicon of the Moon's Dread [Neo Advent] [1d8]

Roll #1 1 = 1


Estuary sweeps out his tail, slapping the book into a nearby heap of rubble, then completes his stab, driving Detachment into your chest, clean through your heart, and back out the other side – all while leaving your heart intact. The enchanted blade passes through your heart as if it were a ghost, but is not so kind to your chest or back, nor to your ribs, of which you feel one snap in two.

>Pryce 0/2

>Orbital Strike has 2 turns left

A towering column of black and red mist fires out from you, and your senses and rationality come rushing back, as if you'd been washed with a cold bucket of water; his strike must have driven away every malediction he'd inflicted upon you up until this point. But it is all cold comfort, for Estuary draws out Detachment, and blood gushes all over the two of you. He trades Detachment for Schlangenschwert, and picks up Memory-Pluck from where it now lays. With the two swords that began his journey with King Neo-Advent, he prepares a final strike, readying to quarter you through your chest.

[1d10+3] Revolving Blade

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8


>Chain Greatsword: Flare, Great, Dual, +1

Pryce's body fills with a cold shock as Detachment plunges through him, staring up at Sir Estuary as the world and his senses return to him. He barely breathes from the shock, feeling his blood runs down his chest when the blade is pulled free. He eyes the twin blades that are raised to end him, the realization of how alone he is at the moment after chasing Sir Estuary through the castle and away from the others hitting him. He coughs, tasting blood in his mouth as he puts his hooves down, trying to push himself to the side to roll away from the direct strike while pain shoots through him from the broken rib.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


A single gunshot rings through the arena as Estuary slashes downward at you. You see his head jerk to the side, and his blades fly off course, but a torrent of blood, and an involuntary scream of pain – yours – drown your vision in red.

>Pryce 0/1

You see your left foreleg slide free of your body, cut nearly to the shoulder. A deep cut in the shape of a crooked X marks your chest. When the pain recedes enough for you to see once more, you see that Estuary is facing Spitshine, who holds up a small pistol, Ecclesian model. The group has gathered in front of Spitshine protectively, and Estuary has his sword drawn before the lot of them. Neither side speaks, and Estuary's conical hat obscures his vision. A storm of deep, blood-red magatsuhi radiates from him, and intense pressure exudes from it, plainly conveying his bloodlust and fury for the interruption.


Pryce screams in pain, unsure why until he sees his foreleg separate from his body. Only from the trials and pain he faced before is he able to keep himself conscious and aware, chest heaving as he struggles with steady breath.
When he sees Spitshine standing before Sir Estuary, surrounded by the others, Pryce almost thinks it's unreal. When his magatsuhi radiates from him, Pryce's eyes widen in horror.
"Leave them be! This is between us alone!"
He shouts with his pained voice, horn sparking through his injuries.
"G-Get out of here, all of you!"
He shouts to his friends in desperation, struggling to pull himself up as more blood seeps from his injuries, not wanting to see them hurt.


None of your group back down, but all of them are white with terror, and look desperately at you, contemplating whether to take the risk of sacrificing themselves for your sake. Flow, Renee and the Memory are not with them; their battle must still be ongoing.

With a stern and commanding roar, Estuary stomps once, and a blast of magatsuhi launches him into the air. Water, lightning and ice gather around him, and in a single instant, he draws all seven of his swords, afterimages of his many arms appearing around him, like the image of a demon god. In a flash of light and sound, the gathered elements rocket down toward the party, who brace themselves for impact…

But they are unharmed. Instead, a much larger tower of ice encases them. River approaches it, but sparks of lightning course from its surface, and she backs away before she can be shocked. Estuary lands, raising his eyes as he turns to you. He sits in the posture of a saint, and touches one hoof to the ground – the bhumisparsha mudra.


>Incarnation: Seven Times Per Combat; Automatic: Even in the midst of the bloodiest battle, sit and meditate in the likeness of a saint, and becalm the waters that rage and storm all about you. Restore either one's self or one single ally to full H/W, reset all recharges and limited-usage restrictions, and clear all status conditions. This does not reset its own limited-usage restriction.

In a flash of warmth, your wounds are fully healed – to an extent. The crooked X upon your chest remains, and your left foreleg remains detached, laying upon the cobblestone, but your stump has been cauterized. You feel the memory of Seneh come back to you, as well. However, though you have been healed, Estuary has not been.

>Pryce 10/5

He rises, and gestures to the skies, which have grown dark and heavy. A light rainfall begins to pour. Without another word, Estuary breathes deeply, and leaps, propelled by Qi. He hops across the tallest nearby structures, jumping higher and higher, until he jumps into the sky itself, taking the shape of a dragon with his final leap.


>Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


You see the Serpentskin Cloak crawling out from under a heap of nearby rubble. The ends of the cloak have all turned into snakes as you saw earlier, and they apparently have a mind and a will of their own.


Last time, on HolyQuest…

Across the continent of Huoli, two ferocious duels raged between mighty warriors. Atop the Library of the Sacrosanct, Flaming and Vortigern fought over Vortigern's right to enter Tartarus with the rest of the Saviors, or else stay behind if she should fail. And in the ruins of Samudra, the former capital of the fallen Vadaharan Empire, Sir Pryce Etac and Sir Estuary waged a duel to the death, so that Estuary might avenge his friend and brother King Neo Advent, and avenge his slaying.

After tremendous effort and taking enormous damage, Flaming ended her battle with Vortigern by releasing all of the pain and suffering that Vortigern had inflicted upon her in a tremendous vortex of flame. The pillars of fire passed around Vortigern, doing no harm to her, but the sheer and unquestionable might of the blast was enough for Vortigern to concede defeat and agree to stay behind.

As for Pryce, his battle with Estuary continued to go on. The fight moved to the palace's inner courtyard, and Estuary had gained the upper hand after breaking through every defense that Pryce had mustered. Just when the battle had reached its climax, with Pryce seemingly on the verge of being executed, Spitshine interrupted the duel by shooting Estuary from behind. Pryce's left foreleg was severed nearly up to the shoulder, but he was alive. Estuary was furious for the interruption, and sealed the party in an electrified tower of ice to ensure that they would remain out of it. Then, strangely, rather then simply cut Pryce down then and there, Estuary instead healed him – but left his foreleg detached. Then, Estuary leaped away, jumping from ruin to ruin, until he eventually jumped into the sky itself, taking the form of a dragon.


>Amy, Cloak
When your vision finally clears of the blinding white light, you can see an incredible array of colors lingering in the air. The Library's garden is now sweltering, the air having been superheated by Flaming's incredible retaliation of fire. Near the lake, you see Vortigern and Flaming hugging it out, and Buiwong stands at a distance, speaking with them softly.

After a few more moments of shocked silence from the rest of the audience, LJ is the first to run toward Flaming, followed by Mocha, _____ and then the others.


Vortigern gives you another squeeze, and kisses the top of your head. She momentarily gasps, and you can sense her fear that she may have overstepped a boundary, but she puts that aside, knowing that her love cannot be hidden.

Buiwong nods to you, lacking any and all of his usual irreverence. "I'll answer once I am done here, if I can. Now, Vortigern. I release your voice, as well as your service."
He holds out his hoof, and in it is a shape much like a crystal ball, containing an icon of a musical note.
Vortigern takes the crystal ball, looking at it with disbelief. "I take it this means you won't be helping me free my children from beyond Yongning-si."
"Depending on how long we are in Tartarus, you may accomplish it long before we are back," Buiwong says. "But should my servants meet you on the road, they will provide what help they can – I have instructed them as much. I do not abandon my faithful, no matter what."

Buiwong looks to you and smirks. "Oh? Since when did you change her tattoo, Vir-can?"

"When she became worthy of it," Vir-can's disembodied voice says.

Vortigern smiles, and holds the crystal ball to you. In its reflection, you can see another icon has been added to your chieftan's tattoo upon your forehead: The image of a small pigeon in flight: The Tiniest Warrior.


Pryce shouts as Sir Estuary unleashes his elements on the others, holding out his good hoof as he can't do anything but watch in his state. When it clears, showing they've been trapped again by ice, Pryce isn't sure if he should be thankful or enraged from the display. He looks to Sir Estuary as the knight faces him again, expecting to be finished, but instead finds himself restored, his strength returned. His head follows the knight as he leaps into the air, higher and higher until he resumes his dragon form.
Pryce takes a breath, rolling over and pushing himself up. His wings spread out to help keep balance as he wobbles a bit on his now three leg stance. He turns, looking at his friends with a look of apology, unsure if it's for them seeing him in that state, or for them getting this involved and nearing sacrificing themselves. He turns to Sir Estuary, his gaze hardening. His horn glows, grabbing the crawling Serpentskin Cloak in his telekinesis and tying it back onto his back. He flaps his wings, drawing up his sword in his magic as he rises in the air to chase after.
>Flight [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6



Amy giggles with delight and skips toward Flaming and Vortigern. "That was awesome!" she exclaims. "I couldn't really see the ending… but you won, right?"


The storm grows worse, the higher that you fly into the sky. The temperature drops, and lightning broils far above you in the furious clouds. Flying high among the clouds is Sir Estuary, who has reconstituted himself as sitting upon the back of a glorious serpentine dragon, horns crackling with lightning, its body made of ice and water.

"I told you, trickster, that my conflict was with you, and you alone; I had no intention of harming them," Estuary calls from atop the dragon. He smirks, raising his conical hat. "But I suppose I should have known better when I saw the look that young colt gave me before the battle began – I reckon he would have challenged me himself if he had a sword! He is a fool, but a passionate one, as all good fools should be. If I hadn't adjusted my swing at the last instant, I would have killed you right then and there by mistake."



Leather is hesitant to follow, seeing the god that was his old enemy, memories of rushing forth to bash Buiwong with his shield flooding back to him. He eventually follows the others, but doesn't approach nearly as close, staying back and tugging at the wrappings around his body as he sweats from the literal heat of battle.


Flaming looks up at Vortigern after she kisses her head, reaching up to rub her eyes as she lets herself a little laugh. "I love you too, Vortigern. By the way, you have a really pretty voice. I'm glad I get to hear it."

She turns to look at Buiwong as he returns the crystal ball to Vortigern, she narrows her eyes at him. "That's actually just what I wanted to talk about. I don't care if this counts as breaking the Covenant or otherwise: you WILL help her kids, everything within your power. Or else you'll have TWO buffalo gods on your case…"
She turns up to look at Vortigern, "I know you may want to go to them as soon as possible, but, if your kids are in trouble I PROMISE that, the moment I'm out of Tartarus, I'll go help you too! Can you wait for me?"

As Vir-can's voice rings in, she looks around, turning her head to the side in confusion. "A new tattoo…? I don't understand, where…?"

She looks at the ball as Vortigern holds it up, blinking in surprise at her reflection as she stares at the little bird upon it. "The Tiniest Warrior… but, the tiniest warrior was so kind…"

Flaming looks towards Amy as she skips towards her, rubbing away the last tears in her eyes as she smiles, "Hehhe… well, I don't really wanna brag too hard about it but, yep!" She sniffs, rubbing her nose as well. "I-I really don't know where that last attack came from, I just felt… charged. Like everything I was taking from Vortigern was making me more powerful."



"Maybe it's a god thing!" Amy suggests. "Like, Vortigern's respect made you stronger!"


The crystal ball disappears from Vortigern's grasp, and she blinks with a sudden sense of shock. After giving a look over at all of you, she smiles. "Thank you for being with us through it all," she says. The group double-takes with amazement at hearing her speak for the very first time.
"You…" LJ stammers, before smiling. "You've got a beautiful voice. Just what I'd imagined for you."
"Certainly, a most fitting one," the Dragon says.
"But, that aside, is this really the end of our journey together?" Mocha asks.
"No," Vortigern says. "Because Flaming's going to make sure that you all come back to me… one way or another."
The mood chills for a moment at Vortigern's slight reminder of the journey's danger.

Buiwong waves his hoof at you. "Yeah, yeah, I already said I'd help."
Vortigern scratches the back of her head. "I can't make any promises. I'll want to find them as quickly as I can, but then again, we'll be going up against the Thearchy of Emerald – the Dragons who rule all of Ornifex. It could be too tricky for us to get done quickly. If nothing else, you'll be welcome to visit us whenever you want."

Vir-can snorts. "Precisely. You have followed in his example, using your great might to protect that which needed it the most. Bear it proudly… and if you should follow after me, and become a god, you will carry on his tale, and teach his wisdom to your own followers, as our people rise once more."


"We will entrust in you that there is a world for us to return to, then." Leather speaks t Vortigern from his small distance away, clearing his throat. He does not turn his head in the direction of Buiwong.



"That was always the plan, Vorti," Amy says with a smile and a nod to Vortigern.

Then, there's an awkward pause. She kicks the ground. "Sorry I threatened to break all your bones," Amy says uncomfortably.


Buiwong looks your way, and then smiles. "I see that my appearance offends. Worry not, Embodiment of Patience; I will test your patience for not much longer. Give my regards to your gods, won't you?"


Pryce hovers before Sir Estuary and his dragon, horn glowing as he endures the chilling sky.
"So why didn't you?" Pryce calls back, "Twice you've healed me now. Do you pity me, or is this just a game for you?"


"To be fair, I did break a few of Flaming's bones," Vortigern admits. "But I think it'd be best if those would be the last of the bones broken for today."


"…could that be it?" Flaming ponders, pacing around in place for a moment. "Shei's mentor, and the river spirit, they mentioned how gods draw their power from the faith of others, right?"

Flaming stomps her hooves, bowing her head to Vortigern, "And I swear, I will. I'll take care of every one of them, with all the fire I have!" she says to all of them, "I'll protect you ten times as hard in Vortigern's place."

She looks up to Vortigern, smiling as she tries to lighten the moment. "I don't suppose you know how to sing too, do you?"

Flaming snorts at Buiwong, "Yeah, my clan's heard your 'promises' before too. I'll be making sure you keep to that."

She looks up to Vortigern again, "I understand if you want to go after them right away. They're the reason you're staying up here in the first place. But, if it looks too dangerous, please find a way to contact us! The moment we're free of Tartarus, I'll charge down every dragon myself to get your kids out."

To Vir-can, she simply bows her head, overwhelmed with his praise. "I… I will do everything I can to uphold his example, Vir-can. I will be the shield the weak need in their darkest hour."


"We do meet on better terms, I will not contest your presence." Leather says, looking to Buiwong out of the corner of his eye, "Do not let me interrupt you, Spider."



Amy laughs. "Well, let me know if you change your mind."


"Do you want a potion?" Amy asks as she pulls one out and hands it to Flaming.

>[1d10+4] Natural Remedy

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief, reaching a hoof towards the potion, "I really, really would… Vortigern pushed me to the edge, if I didn't unlock that new power I'd have been finished-!"

She says as she takes the flask and downs it in one gulp, greedily slurping up the healing tonic. "Aaaah… that might be the best one I've ever tasted…"



Amy beams proudly. "Happy to help."


"Considering I haven't spoken in months, it's probably wise if I don't. Not without a week of warmup," Vortigern says to your question. As for your promise, she smiles, braces herself, and bonks her head against yours. Maybe it's just because of the beating you took from the battle, but it nearly throws you back. She can definitely deal out headbutts to rival any buffalo.

Vortigern perks up when Amy starts handing out healing. "Here, let me carry my weight," Vortigern says. "It's only right, as I'm the defeated party."

She raises her spear, and casts a healing spell over the party. The light illuminates and brings comfort and warmth to the whole party, even mending the breaks in Flaming's bones.

Buiwong turns to take his leave, offering you a wave. "Now, my business here is done. Flaming, Mocha will hand you my reward for this undertaking."
"I will!?" Mocha asks in shock.
"I told you to go back to the hideout before this began," Buiwong says to his granddaughter, turning back with an annoyed frown.
"I… I was busy. Laundry," Mocha says.
"I trained you to be a better liar than that, girl!" Buiwong scolds. "Just go and get it."

"You've spilled royal blood, kingslayer. It was always my intention to bring you back from the edge of the abyss each time I defeated you. I'd hoped to cut your arm at the elbow, and save the bicep for the second round," he adds with a grizzled chuckle. "But as we saw, your ward threw off my aim."

"Now, come on," Estuary continues, rising from where he sits. "You've got blood to pay back – and you're not getting out of here with just one death!"


He grips the shoulders of the dragon as it starts to spin and swim about in the sky, lightning flashing and thunder booming in its wake. Qi, Dhyana and Magatushi storm about him, creating a cloud of contradictory energies, which spark and explode around him.

The only one that will die here, with him acting like that, is himself, a deep and familiar voice mumbles near you, but you see nobody else around.

Estuary draws Schlangenschwert with a hoof, and he swings it, launching currents of water at you.

[1d10+3] Ranged attack, Water Element
[1d10+3] Ranged attack, Water Element

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4



"Oh, I'm sorry!" Amy blurts out before Vortigern starts healing. "I should have healed you fir-" Then, she heals everyone.

Amy faces turns to a puzzled expression. "If you could still do that, did you really lose?" Amy contemplates out loud.


"What does Shortyhorns get?" Amy asks, wagging her tail.


"He was gone long before I met him."
Pryce responds, but raises his sword to continue the duel, knowing nothing can halt the knight. He turns in the air, keeping the dragon in his sights and keeping his distance from the clouds of energy.
He pauses when he hears the new voice, eyes quickly glancing around for it.
He cuts himself off from his search when he hears the swinging of the sword, pulling his focus back as he detaches his sword, swinging it upward to slice at Sir Estuary in retaliation.
>Slice [Flare, Ranged, Crits 9+, Crit Fails 2-] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Leather adds on to Amy's second question, nodding, "I would hope nothing with strings attached, metaphorically speaking."


Flaming staggers back from the bonk, nearly bending over backwards in response to the bonk, "Ow…" she mumbles, shaking her head as she tries to get her bearings straight. She looks up at Vortigern with a surprised look at her strength, before throwing her a big grin back, throwing her head towards her in a friendly return. "Alright, I'll give you till tomorrow to warm up at least! I wanna hear at least a little before I go in."

Flaming lets out a sigh as the healing light of Vortigern's spear works in tandem to heal her many cracked bones and torn tendons, feeling as strong as ever as she stands. She shakes out the kinks, looking up towards Vortigern, then to Amy,

"Amy, can you pass out a potion to Vortigern too?"

"She will?" Flaming asks, "Wait, what reward? I wasn't expecting a reward for this, I was doing this for Vortigern."

She looks to Mocha, infinitely curious. "What is he talking about?"

"The only reasons she 'can' still do that is my last attack didn't hit, I think, I turned it on purpose at the last second. If it had, well… I don't know what might have happened."


"Indeed, I doubt you could see from the outside, but Flaming directed her final attack around me, not at me," Vortigern says. "From within the flames, I could sense her power, and her absolute control over it. If it had so much as grazed me, there would be no traces of me left. It was then that I knew she would be able to take my place in battle, so I conceded defeat."

"No, no," Buiwong says as Mocha skitters into a Dark Corridor. "A classic reward, pure and simple. I contemplated offering one of the many mysterious, enchanted treasures from my vault of goodies, but I figured you'd spend all night inspecting it for curses and illusions. And chances are you'd find several! So, rather than go through the trouble of digging through it all, I went with a timeless fan favorite."
"Ghh… heee-yah!" Mocha grunts as she emerges from the Dark Corridor once again, carrying a very large velvet bag over one shoulder. She hefts it up and tosses it before Flaming, and the top falls open, revealing a vast quantity of gold pieces. They're minted with Buiwong's bust in profile on one side, and Agape on the other – they'd be genuine Accorsian Bits, if they had been minted with the emperor's bust instead.
"7,000 gold pieces to be exact," Buiwong says. "I knew you'd want to share, so I set aside plenty."
"I honestly have more than I know what to do with," LJ says. "You can distribute my share to someone else."
"Wouldn't hurt to have extra," Tantra says. "Who knows what we may need to barter and bribe in Tartarus."

You and Estuary trade hits, but the water from his blade congeals around your wings and starts to weigh them down, and you begin to plummet, your feathers too heavy for you to fly.

>Pryce 0/4

So was I, in fact I was far further gone than him, the voice continues. And still, you brought me back from the brink of oblivion.

It is with that sentence that you recognize the voice: That of King Neo Advent.

I've been meaning to show my gratitude to you and him, so I've waited for this moment for a time, my spirit wandering the earth until it came. So get up, and put on that show that he asked for.

>Pryce 10/4

Suddenly, your entire body explodes with light and fire, and the water that culled your flight burns off. You find your head surrounded by a golden crown of flame, and your robe has grown in length, extending far off your shoulders, its ends turning into sun-like light. Floating beside you is a glowing silhouette of fire, in the image of the King.

Estuary looks down at you with shock, Schlangenschwert drooping in his hoof.



"Sorry, sorry," Amy says to Vortigern as she hand her a potion as well. "Do you still need one too?"

>Natural Remedy [1d10+4]

Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8


Pryce beats his wings, trying to shake off the water as he begins to fall, until he hears the voice again.
"King Advent?"
Pryce mutters through the fall, wondering if he's just hearing things through the exhaustion of the fight.
Until, that is, he is surrounded by flame. Finding himself flying again, a crown overhead and his robe glowing like the sun. He sees Sir Estuary stop in shock, looking to the silhouette of King Neo Advent in a similar reaction.


"I won't turn one down if you have a spare," Vortigern says, taking it with gratitude.


Flaming nods, looking up at her horns, "It was so weird, I-I never knew I could do anything like that before. But, the harder I fought, the more I just felt these flames, welling up inside me. When I first got these tattoos, I had a vision of me falling into the Sleeping Dragon - the volcano overlooking my clan's home. It felt just like then only, even more intense."

"It wasn't just the attack either, do you remember those big, fluffy buffalo we fell on while you were trying to 'teach me how to fly'?"

Flaming gasps as the big bag is hefted up and over-head, watching it spill out into a multitude of gold pieces over-flowing onto the steps. "Gold!"

She stammers as she looks towards the massive collection. "That… that's a LOT of gold! Do we really need all this going into Tartarus?" She turns to look at Tantra, turning her head, "They use gold in Tartarus?"


Leather looks over the coins with disinterest, not interested in spreading the image of Buiwong any further.



"Hotter than magma!?" Amy exclaims, missing the metaphor. "That's pretty hot!"


"I know! But that's just what it felt like!" Flaming exclaimed, running around in circles now. "And, it didn't hurt! It burnt but, it didn't hurt…" she pauses, "Does that make any sense?"


"Everybody likes gold!" Tantra says, as if that's all the explanation necessary.
"Many fables of the underworld hold that it is a near universal method for barter," Buiwong says. "And my forays into the stories of the Anathema Scripture have only confirmed those suspicions. Distribute them as you please."

Vortigern nods. "A very impressive and timely power. I'd tried to get you to land in the water to minimize the damage I'd do, but that didn't turn out very well. Instead, you had to be the one to save me."

"Once we get all of this sorted out, I want to go check on Pryce, Flow and the others," Busta says. "They left for their duel at the same time as Flaming did, but I'm starting to get worried – they haven't gotten in contact for a while."
"They have an impressive crowd with them," Chorazin says. "I believe they should be able to hold their own if things go badly."
"And we still have one last point of business here before we go off halfway across the world," Tantra says. "Surely you haven't forgotten?"

Are you two waiting for a signal or something? the King asks, raising his voice so that Estuary can hear now. The show's already begun; don't let me get bored, now!

With an infuriated snarl, Estuary directs his dragon to dive down toward you, and his body melds with the dragon itself, lightning, water and ice coursing across its body as it attempts to devour you whole.

[1d10+3] Lightning Attack
[1d10+3] Water Attack

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4



"I mean, I guess that's how it would feel to something immune to fire," Amy contemplates.


"Sure have!" Amy says with an unashamed smile, confirming that she has absolutely no idea what Tantra is referring to.


Flaming stares at Tantra with an agitated glare at his non-answr, but as Buiwong explains, her eyes light up, recalling a story told by the shamans in her youth.
"OOOOOH! Like the two coins you have to pay to cross the river to the underworld?"

"Hehe… Guess my first flight didn't turn out so good. Was trying to do the same, actually, but I guess our plans got all messed up in each other. I think I remember how it felt when they first came to save us, it was sort of the same situation: I felt every blow I took somehow give me more… energy to work with. Like a fire that grew hotter the more wood you chucked in it."

Flaming turns to Busta, nodding, "OH! That's right, Pryce is fighting his duel right now, isn't he? Does anyone know where, can they open a corridor?"

She turns towards Tantra, blinking as she tries to recall. "Um… g-give me a hint? I'm kind of going through a lot right at this moment…"


Leather rubs his chin, "I suppose it wouldn't matter who's face is printed on coin, if it's meant to be bartered in the underworld. To think, gold having rarity and value being a constant across all planes."


Pryce looks to Sir Estuary, feeling this warm flame flowing through himself. When the knight charges in his dragon, Pryce's horn glows, a deck of cards forming before himself. He looks down at it, and smiles.
He takes it in his hoof, passing the cards to his wing. With a flap, the cards flip from one to the other, a little sloppily but showy enough nonetheless. His wing folds under him, passing it back to his hoof, and with a flex on the deck he flicks out the top card at the oncoming dragon.
>Blind Shuffle [Flare] [1d10+1] [1d4]

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


>Face Card [1d4]

Roll #1 3 = 3


>Queen of Spades
>Plant [Choosing next suit to be Diamond]


Buiwong raises his eyebrows with wry amusement at your smattering of lore. "Yes. Just like those two coins. If it is taken for boat fare, it seems only reasonable to assume it has use elsewhere in the underworld."

"The Kindling," Tantra says. "For those of us who want to try and tame a piece of godhood for ourselves."
"We'll have to go speak to Fairy Castle about that," _____ says. "Though I question how a witch is able to command such power for herself."
"No mere Witch," Regina says with a touch of pride. "She is a Shekinah, and you shall see how she came to earn that title."
"Well, we'll have to go to get Pryce's group for that anyhow," Wireframe says. "I don't know about the rest of you, but Shei wanted to take part in the Kindling, didn't he? I think he's one of the few who are on board for sure."
"If you would tolerate my despised presence for a moment longer," Buiwong interjects. "I can take you to see the ongoing battles. Vadahara was once my home as well."
"I thought there was just the one battle," Chorazin says. "Something's changed, then?"
"Indeed," Buiwong says. "At best, you will only be able to watch from a distance. Even with the power you've demonstrated, that place will pose an incredible danger to the lot of you. Titans battle there as we speak. Do you still wish to go?"

The dragon's mouth clamps down upon you, but you throw the Queen of Spades through it, and the flaming card spins like one of your chakrams, bisecting the dragon in a peal of burning light. Estuary falls from the sky, before gathering his elements about himself, turning himself into a dragon once more. Magatsuhi, Dhyana and Qi continue to steam from him, flaring ever greater in vast bursts of spent energy.

>Pryce 8/5

He's burning himself out, the King says. Foregoing his own safety for sheer power…

With a roar, the dragon enshrouds itself with ice, sweeping its tail at you to swat you out of the sky.

>Veilshredder: Instant Automatic; Recharge 2: On activation, declare an Element or other Damage Type. Overcharge your weapon with Qi Element for a brief duration. If your next attack with that weapon hits a foe, the attack will drastically weaken that foe's relationship to that Element or Damage Type. On normal success, this reduces an Immunity to a Resistance, a Resistance to Neutral, Neutral to Weak, and Weak to Severely Weak. On critical success, go down two levels (Immunity -> Neutral, Resistance -> Weak, Neutral -> Severely Weak, Weak -> Severely Weak).

[1d10+3] Revolving Blade, Ice w/ Veilshredder
[1d10+3] Slam, Ice

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 1 + 3 = 4



"What in Tartarus happened?" Amy asks Buiwong.


>8 Sparks

Pryce frowns as the King announces Sir Estuary's actions. He looks down at the dragon, horn glowing as he sings. He sings his song of protection, shrouding himself in it's barrier as turns his hoof about. He doesn't move from the oncoming tail, focusing his magic around the dragon to form a trio of boxes to trap him.
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [1d10]
>Magic Box [1d10+1]

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


Leather grimaces at the mention of the Kindling, finding the thought of it irreverent and those around him undeserving of it. He has no additional words to add to the conversation.


"It's just surprising to think about, all I've known of Tartarus so far is this demon-ridden, insane mess of a prison. To think they barter and exchange goods like we do on the surface is, kind of surreal. Like, do they sell clothes in Tartarus too?"

Flaming smacks her head, "Right, right! I'm sorry, just, a lot going on today to keep track of. I agree, we should stop by Fairy Castle before this day is done to take part in the kindling. I definitely want to be part of it too, I NEED to be part of it to be ready for Tartarus, no matter what."

"But I agree we should check in on Pryce first anyhow, there were some in his group who'd want it as well"

As Buiwong warns them, she nods. "Of course we'd want to see Pryce, but, what do you mean? Is his battle really that intense?" She coughs, "E-even more than what me and Vortigern just went through?" She says with a touch of jealousy.


"Even the craven like to feign civilization, I imagine whatever is there is either incredibly crude, or entirely too opulent."


"I'll try to keep it simple, even though it's anything but," Buiwong says. "

"Flow encountered a vestige of Sir Estuary's younger self within one of the samurai's relics – the Memory of Sir Estuary, one might say. It happens sometimes, when warriors become attacked to particular weapons or magical artifacts. Anyway, that Memory served as a go-between for Flow, Pryce and Estuary, arranging their duel. The Memory secretly desired to duel Flow, Flow wanted to duel Estuary alongside Pryce, and Estuary wouldn't agree to duel anyone but Pryce; he's after revenge, and wants nothing to do with the rest of your group. So, as it turned out, the Memory pulled a bit of trickery, after my own heart. The Memory told Flow and Pryce that Estuary would duel them both, and he told Estuary that Pryce agreed to the one-on-one. When they got there, the Memory turned on Flow, threatening to kill Pryce unless they agreed to his terms."
"How are they doing now? Are they okay?" Wireframe asks.
"…It remains to be seen who will come out alive in the end," Buiwong says.

With a thunderous crash, Estuary tail-slams you and the King down through the stonework of a nearby tower, and you fall several stories through the ruined building until you finally come to a halt, bleeding and frigid, your body covered with ice crystals.

>Pryce 0/4, Severely Weak to Ice

You can feel the tower rattling as Estuary shakes and rattles it, trying to get it to collapse upon you.

[2d10+3] Slam, Suppress

Roll #1 9, 2 + 3 = 14



"It's hardly civilization," Amy steps into the conversation. "More like people who are tired of fighting to survive so they just briefly don't kill each other. I definitely never met anyone trading actual money, though. Usually it's just weapons… or favors…"

Despite the implication, Amy seems unusually disgusted by the concept.


"What does Estuary want revenge for?"


>8 Sparks

Pryce groans as he crashes into the tower, shivering from the power ice magic even with his flames. He looks up as Sir Estuary goes to collapse the tower further, attempting to stand to fight again.
>Recover [1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


>Encore! [Spending 1 spark for a second action]
>Recover [1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


>Dodge [1d10+1]

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


"See, THAT's more of what I thought Tartarus would be like." Flaming mentions. "Though, to be fair, it's been how long since you were down there, Amy? Maybe they got better at, well… not killing each other all the time."

"But, they DO trade things down there? I guess trade would exist one way or another, I just hope all this gold doesn't go to waste," she says, picking up her gold bag that Mocha brought her.

As Buiwong tries to offer his explanation on what's happening, he can already see the smoke rising out of Flaming's ears, the young buff clearly having trouble processing all of this.

"O-okay, you're right, that's not very simple at all. But, it does sound like Pryce is taking on even MORE than he thought he was going in for, and he was already going in for a lot. So there's more than just Estuary and Pryce fighting? Did they break the rules of their duel? If so, maybe Pryce can get back-up too."



"As I have said, feigning it at best. I would imagine even the Treibheanna have more redeeming qualities." Leather nods, agreeing with the sentiments of Amy, turning to Flaming "Going into Tartarus with hopes like those is extremely dangerous. It is a twisted place, plain and simple."

"Are we still able to attend to ensure he does not succumb to wounds after defeating his foe? I do not doubt Pryce's ability to succeed despite the situation, but I do worry for his health after all is said and done."



"It's only been like 200 years," Amy shrugs. "Things don't really change that fast. Or well… I guess they change like every day. So no change sticks usually."


"Honestly, I hated Tartarus, but I'd take the demons in there over the Trebihana any day. I prefer my evil to just be evil. Not all corrupt and manipulative."


"Long before you joined the party, Sir Pryce, Cloak here, Flow, Renee and True Colors – now known by another name – ventured to Vadahara to retrieve the Ember of Jhalandhara, hoping to use its powers to aid the Union Church against my forces. It was jealously held onto by the former ruler of Vadahara, King Neo Advent, whom I had made into a demon through my deceits," Buiwong says, without a touch of remorse. "Ultimately, they defeated the King and Queen, purifying their souls of the mark of demonhood. Sir Estuary was the King's personal samurai and dear friend, and was rapt with guilt over failing to stop the King's transformation, failing to undo it, and failing to protect him from death. As such, he has sworn vengeance upon Sir Pryce – him specifically, as the King named Pryce to carry on his royal will."

You climb back to your hooves as the decrepit tower begins to shake, and when the floor above you collapses, you dive for the nearest window, falling out amid a shower of glass, metal and other debris, which clips but does not greatly wound you.

>Pryce 9/4

However, when the dragon-Estuary sees you escape its trap, it circles around the building to avoid the collapse itself, bellowing a mighty roar. Hail and Lightning begin to fall from the sky, striking many places nearby you as the dragon calls down a terrible storm to smite you.

[1d10+3] Hail
[1d10+3] Lightning

"Pryce is dueling Estuary, and Flow duels the Memory," Buiwong answers. "But I wouldn't recommend interrupting either one. None of the involved parties would tolerate it at this point."
"You said it was dangerous, but a lot of our crew is there spectating it," Busta says. "What about them? Are they in any danger?"
"Estuary attempted to protect them with a simple barrier, but when Spitshine interfered with Estuary's duel, he stepped it up, sealing them inside a tower of ice. Ironically, they would have been safer in there, but as the battles near their climax, not one spot in that region may be safe now."
"Then let's go and make sure the onlookers aren't hurt," Tantra says. "They can't fault us for that."

Buiwong nods, creating a Dark Corridor. "Those of you who wish to go, be off."

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11 / Roll #2 7 + 3 = 10


"Oh sure, it is easier to kill something you know has much less of a possibility of ever being redeemed. I have never liked spies, especially when assassins like myself are roped into the stereotype of the deceit they bring. I kill, it is clean and pure."


"Yeah, those are both pretty good points. I guess I should have figured, we're not going to have many friends in Tartarus at all willing to listen to reason."

She looks at her coins, "Do you think I should still take these with us, or could Fantasia or Vortigern use them too?"

Flaming's eyes bug out as Buiwong updates them on the situation. "Spitshine tried to interfere?! Oh, what was he thinking?"
"It sounds like they're safe for now, but who knows for how long. I'll head into the Corridor and see if there's anything I can do to help keep them that way, maybe my new power can help protect them. Who else is coming?"



Amy groans, unable to comprehend all this. "That just made me more confused. He should like Pryce, not want revenge!"

Amy goes with the others into the portal.


"I'd rather kill neither," Amy contemplates. "I just see a lot more suffering happening from corrupt leaders than I do from crazy killers."


"I mean, I could probably make some friends," Amy laughs ominously. "But, I'm sure Shei wouldn't like it."


"It is your reward, do with it with what you feel is right."
"I will go along, I wish to congratulate Pryce as he defeats his foe."


>7 sparks

Pryce leaps out of the tower, finding quick movements being a bit more clumsy without a leg. He stares up as Sir Estuary calls down a storm, his attacks growing more chaotic and haphazard. He needs to stop him quickly, before things grow even worse. His deck appears once again, grabbing it with his hoof and fanning it out in a full circle for a flourish, before flicking out the top card that he knows will subdue the weather slightly.
>Blind Shuffle [Flare] [Diamond Set from Plant] [1d10+1]

He feels a surge of energy flow up in him as he works his magic, eyes following the dragon circling the town and calling upon the clouds. He follows the pattern of his movements, tracking his path and attempting to predict where he'll move next. He focuses his magic, attempting to cut off Sir Estuary's rampage off by sealing him away in a series of boxes.
>Clairvoyance [Instant Auto] [Calling 3, Spending 1 Spark]
>Magic Box [Flare] [Spending 1 additional spark to separate the body out] [1d10+1]

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


"Then that means you should do it even more." Flaming says with a laugh. "If anyone can make friends down there, it's you."

"I guess…" she says, looking at her gold. "Buiwong seemed to think it'd help down there though, too. I'm not entirely sure."


"Twas a hypothetical comparison and not an indication towards preference, simply comparing the individuals from each and their qualities that make one more or less redeemable. There are many of those that were in the Morte Legionem for there to be a day we are all out of our job. The career exists because we live in an imperfect world."



Amy giggles. "I don't think we should do anything that would make friends with any demon in Tartarus."


"I wouldn't say anyone is 'more' or 'less' redeemable," Amy responds, suddenly sounding much more thoughtful. "I'd say that some people are harder to redeem than others."


Regina shrinks herself down to join you, and in fact, pretty much everyone, besides Buiwong, accompanies you through the Dark Corridor. It deposits you in a very strange palace, which only Cloak recognizes. It is an ancient place, yet it is filled with the ruined corpses of strange magical machines, centuries more advanced than anything seen even in your day. Coils of black wires fill the floor, silos line the walls, pipes and vats criss-cross overhead. It all seems to be connected to an altar-engine in the center of the room, which was designed to hold the Ember, but it is no longer there.

Now, beautiful white flowers cover the entire room, burying the deadened machinery. Overhead, you can hear hail coming down, along with the crashes of thunder and the steady drumroll of rain. The door ahead of you is open, but otherwise, there is nobody around.

Before you can counterattack, a blast of lightning stuns you, and massive hailstones, bigger than your head, pelt you from above at a machinegun pace, which slams you down out of the air onto the ground below.

>Pryce 0/2

Overhead, the dragon Estuary swims through the sky, and the cloud of conflicting spiritual energies grows every larger around it, causing the storm to spiral out of control more and more, lightning now exploding, snowstorms swirling around it, rain pouring from above at such a volume as to drown the whole city.

The King bends to help you up.


Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


"Ah, much better wording," Leather concedes, "I appreciate you being able to articulate more of what I meant."
"Gods, perhaps one of my final times with Pryce was here." Leather says, hit with painful nostalgia, "Amazing how it has sprouted with life in under a year's time."


>0 Sparks

Pryce stands as King Advent lifts him up, breathing heavily after being pelted down by hail and lightning.
"Just… Just one more hit…"
He mutters, stabilizing himself as his horn glows, pulsing a soothing glow over himself as he sings to shield himself before diving into the fray again.
>Commandment of Balance [Auto]
>Hymn of the Cedar-Tree Shrine [Instant] [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5



"I know I don't know a lot of things, but when it comes to philosophy and morals, I spent 3 years in a forest meditating about all that. It's a stupid thing to brag about, I know. But, I need to be confident if I'm going to be THE Demon Queen."


Amy ponderously wanders toward the open door.


"Probably not. But, who knows? You were in there once, right? Maybe they all just need what you needed… in, fewer steps."

Flaming looks around the ancient, advanced civilization surrounding them, mystified at the surroundings. "Woah… THIS is where Pryce came to have his duel? What is this place?" She asks, picking up at one of the black coils. "I've never seen machines like these before, even in the cities I've been to."

As she blows around several of the white petals surrounding the dead machinery, her ears perk up as she hears the sounds of thunder and rain coming from outside. "Sounds like a storm outside. Maybe they're fighting in this direction…" she says, moving towards the open door.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 2 = 2


The others follow as you take the path from the door in the back of the room. It leads through several long hallways with branching paths to elsewhere in the palace, but you hear the majority of the conflict taking place outside, and so you ignore those paths to head after the noise, until you exit from a final door. It deposits you in a courtyard that is full of mechanical and marble ruins, and at the back there is a great and vast court of statues of gods, along with the statues of kings, their chosen champions and avatars. A storm rages around above you, and rain, hail and lightning fall from the furious clouds. In the distance, you can hear the roars of a dragon, and the screams of what sound like demon gods losing themselves in the madness of battle.

In the center of the courtyard, there is a tower of ice, inside of which you see the other half of your group trapped, minus Pryce, Flow and Renee. Outside the tower, you can see a severed arm – it looks like it belonged to Pryce.


Your spell fails, and the light around you diminishes as your new powers start to fade.

Hurry! the King shouts, his silhouette growing faint. He's regaining control of himself now, but another one of those and he'll be gone!

Above, the dragon-Estuary thrashes through the sky, consumed by the overlapping energies he commands, until he rights himself, spinning around to face you. He soars higher into the clouds, then flips himself around, performing a vertical dive to crash dead upon you.


Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6



"That's the plan," Amy says with a nod. "It's just not something we can do until I'm queen."


Amy looks around at the god statues with disgust, but says nothing of them. Then, she sees the arm.

"Well, that's gonna need some patching up," Amy comments in good humor. "We should probably find him…"

Amy sniffs the arm, then uses the scent to find Pryce. [1d10] to totally work!

Roll #1 7 = 7


Pryce holds his sword up, watching as Sir Estuary dives down towards him. He doesn't move, with the magic he's struck he should be able to halt the knight with one more strike.
"Don't worry. I won't let him."
Pryce says with confidence. His telekinesis ends on his greatsword, holding his magic blade in his hoof. He waits as the dragon is nearly ontop of him. raising his sword to bring it down and halt the knight in his tracks.
>Strike [Flare, Crit 9+, Crit Fail 2-] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Flaming's ears perk up and her stance gets low as they hear the cry of a dragon above, looking up at the madness of the storm in the sky with concern. "Just what in Vir-can's name is going on up there?!"

As she hurries into the courtyard, she eyes the tower of ice. "THERE! That must be what Buiwong was talking about. I can see the others, but where's…"

She looks down at Pryce's severed arm, and her eyes shrink with fear. "Oh no… no no no don't tell me that's…" she runs over to it, scared to get more than within a few feet, and then runs towards the ice, banging on it to get the inside's attention. "HEY! Are you guys okay?! What's going on! Is Pryce still fighting?!"



"In an attempt to save the world from ending, we came here seeking power from two corrupt rulers that had long since brought ruin to their land. I was separated was soon afterwards."

He looks down at the hoof laying on the ground, "He seems to be fighting with his all, the battle seems at full force yet I see evidence of wounds that would halt any other combatant in their tracks."


As you run to slam against the glass, Zjetya and Rus Tea look up with alarm. "Wait, don't–!"

You're electrified as you touch the ice wall, and launched back onto the stones. "He's trapped us in here!" Zjetya says. "They went past the courtyard, by that collapsed building!"

"That's… my fault," Spitshine says, hanging his head. "I saw Estuary about to kill Pryce, and I shot him. It threw him off, and he cut Pryce's arm clean off.

As Amy tries to sniff out where Pryce might be, she realizes that the scent is hard to follow, owing to the storm. However, she can pick up a faint smell of fire coming from beyond the courtyard, confirming what Zjetya said. There are staircases on either side of the courtyard that can be used to get onto the rampart, where there may be another path around.
"C'mon, let's go!" Chorazin says. "We'll free them later!"

You raise your blade, and in a single, smooth arc, meet its charge head-on. You're pushed nearly into the ground as you struggle, pushing back against the unbearable weight and pressure that it bears down upon you, but you persist, and carry through with your strike. Your magic takes effect, and a fireworks display of flashes, fires and sparks erupt all around you, causing the dragon to burst into many pieces. Estuary falls out from the dragon's core, landing with a loud thud. He props himself up with a sword, but can hardly stand, his head wavering as he struggles against the effect of your stun.

Finish it! the King commands.



Am follows Chorazin's advice and continues running in the direction her nose tells her to go.


Pryce holds his ground from the impact, unrelenting as his legs strain under him. He pushes his sword forward as his magic works, breaking apart the dragon and leaving Sir Estuary open. He steps forward, taking a single breath as he draws his sword back, and sweeps it through the knight.
>[Flare, Crit 9+, Crit Fail 2-] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


"Was this civilization so strong they could have stopped the Firmament from falling? It looks so advanced…"

She frowns at the arm, "I expected no less from Pryce but, a lost leg is a HUGE deal! He must be in so much pain right now!"


Flaming lets out a cry as she's electorcuted by the ice, falling back as she shakes her head and looks at her promptly poofed up fur from the electricity. She promptly pats it back down, shaking her head as she looks at those inside. "Alright, we'll be right back! We're going to see how Pryce is doing, just stay right there!"

Flaming looks to Chorazin and Amy, following the wolf filly's faithful nose. "Right behind you!"


"It had long since been tainted with corruption, it's hard to say now."
Leather follows after with haste, trotting through the ruined paths and walking over rubble, unknowing of the glowing light under his hooves ensuring he'll not fall.

>Tsiba passive


Leaving the others within the safety of the dome, you circle around the courtyard's perimeter via the staircase, and circle around the rampart, eventually coming down a set of stairs that leads out behind it. You pass through a massive gap in the palace's outer wall, leading to a long street. To the west, you see Pryce and Sir Estuary, both looking ragged and exhausted.

With a single slash, you cut Sir Estuary into two, and the two halves drop into the street, nearly dissolving in the rainfall from the dragon. Gradually, he reconstitutes himself, but his seven swords fall away from him, dropping into the street. Panting, and unsteady on his hooves, he stands up, taking weary, labored breaths.


With a low grunt, he pulls back his fist and slugs you.


Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


Pryce stabs his sword into the ground as Sir Estuary pulls himself back together. When the knight forgoes his weapons, Pryce leans against his sword, wrapping one wing around it to stay upright as he rears up his good foreleg to punch back.

Roll #1 4 = 4


You block his punch, and go for a counterattack, but he ducks, and jabs you in the X on your chest, sending pain pulsing out all through your body.

>Pryce 6/5

From there, he uppercuts you.


Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11



Amy stops when she sees the fight and says nothing. She watches with a stern expression.


"That's unfortunate… is there anyone left from this kingdom? Refugees, like how my clan fled Accorsia?"

Flaming, pulling around the outer-wall, heads out into the street in a brisk run, until she sees Pryce and Estuary both looking on their last legs.

"PRYYYYYCE!" She yells, trying to cheer him on. "Get up, keep fighting! You're gonna win this, I know it!"


Pryce nearly falls to his knees from the counterjab, grunting in pain as his horn glows white almost from reflex to wash it away.
>Prayer for Deliverance [Self] [1d10+1]

He lifts his head, raising his hoof for a haymaker.

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


Pryce heals himself just before the fist makes contact, and endures it, even as his jaw is knocked upward, his head snapping back, every vertebrae screaming with pain.

>Pryce 6/5

Estuary similarly shakes off the haymaker, stumbling back only a few steps before he tries to grab and flip Pryce onto the hard asphalt below them.

[1d10+3] Tackle

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9


"My memory escapes me, it was empty when we arrived, inhabited by only it's two corrupted rulers."


Pryce stumbles back, falling off his sword from the impact. He cracks his neck, trying to shake away the pain as the knight charges again. His horn glows, attempting to catch Sir Estuary first toss him against the ruined tower behind them.
>Telekinesis Toss [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


Estuary gasps as he's grabbed, but as you toss him at the tower, he stretches out a limb, grabbing you along for the ride. As he slams against the tower, he drags you along, smashing you against the wall as well.

>Pryce 0/4

Estuary tries to push himself to his hooves, unable even to glare at you in his exhaustion.

[1d10+2] Tumble

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


Pryce hits the wall, the wind forced from his lungs and he falls to the ground on his back. He lies there a second as the rain falls overhead, turning on his shoulder to push himself up.
>Recover [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


She nods in understanding. "I hope they did… I've seen plenty of cities destroyed so far, but thankfully I've seen plenty of refugees from them too."

As Estuary is tossed using Pryce's magic, Flaming is tempted to keep shouting and stomping her hooves, but she looks up towards Amy who looks on with a stern expression. She realizes, unlike her duel with Vortigern, this is one for keeps… and she realizes it's perhaps best not to introduce the customary buffalo war-shouts to such a climactic moment for the unicorn. She watches on with keen interest, silently cheering Pryce on every step of the way.

"C'mon, Pryce…" she whispers under her breath



Estuary rises to his hooves, and when you fail to stand up, he bends down and grabs you by the collar of your robe, yanking you back up with him. Then, once you've had a second to stand, he suppresses a cough, and slams his elbow into your face.

>Pryce 6/4

He stumbles to get his balance, and swings again.

[1d10+1] Slam

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Pryce takes a step back as he's elbowed, a ringing going through his skull from the blow. When he goes for a second swing, Pryce rears up, bringing his head down for a headbutt.

Roll #1 8 = 8


You endure his swing, and you realize that his movements are slowing, his attacks are weakening.

>Pryce 5/4

He staggers after the headbutt, briefly crumbling to his hooves, but with a brief, half-cocked grin, he stands again, looking past you, off to your left, where the King floated behind you during the your glimmer of power. With a deep inhale, a weak red vapor of Magatsuhi surrounds Sir Estuary. Suddenly, the vapor bursts, exploding outward from him, and his eyes shoot wide-open, as his entire form vanishes into the darkening red mist.

He's burning himself out.

[7d10+4] Anantarika-Karma

Roll #1 3, 7, 2, 9, 9, 8, 7 + 4 = 49


Pryce watches as Sir Estuary crumples, believing he's done. When he stands, emanating his magatsuhi again, Pryce frowns with concern. He closes his eyes, focusing on that power King Advent gave, the crown forming again over his head.
>Instant Auto
He looks at the knight, wanting to tell him to stop, but knows they're far past words. He spreads his wings, steadying himself as he focuses his magic around the knight, invigorating himself so he can conceal and stop him before he can burn himself away.
>Encore! [Spend 1 Spark for a second action]
>Clairvoyance [Calling 3, spending 1 spark]
>Magic Box [Spending 1 additional spark to separate torso] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


Out of the red mist comes a flurry of blows, ready to pummel you until nothing remains. You endure blow after blow, and still, more magatsuhi flows from Estuary, as he pours everything into that attack, all to the detriment and damage of his very soul.

>Pryce 0/1

But then–

With a strange and idiosyncratic spell, you cause a magical box to disappear into the red mist– and at once, the limbs that struck at you turn into goo, dropping into the water. The red mist dissipates, and when it's gone, there is only the colorful magician's box.

When you open the lid, you see Sir Estuary's core, floating in a small puddle of goo. The goo wriggles, and Estuary reconstitutes himself, only this time, he is about as small as a colt. He looks up at you all, shocked and flabbergasted. He struggles to move, but he is completely without energy, and cannot.

He stares up blankly.

And then, a grin cracks his face.

He tries to suppress it.

Tries to remain stoic.


The grin turns into a smile, and the smile into a chuckle, and the chuckle into a deep and mournful laugh, a laugh from the belly. And the laugh, though it persists, brings forth tears, tears which give rise to more and more tears, all from the heart. Tears from centuries of mourning, centuries of regret, and nearly a year of mindless vengeance.



Last time, on HolyQuest…

After Vortigern admitted defeat, Buiwong, and the spirit of Vir-can, came to greet the victor, Flaming Shorthorns. Buiwong granted her 7,000 gold pieces in addition to releasing Vortigern from their covenant, freeing also her voice, which she had sacrificed to him as an offering in exchange for power. As for Vir-can, he granted Flaming a new marking in her chieftan's tattoos, the image of a small pigeon, the Tiniest Warrior, in recognition of how her great might is balanced by her great gentleness.

With that done, the party made for the ruins of Samsara, to see how Pryce was doing.

Pryce's duel continued to burn away at him and Estuary, with Pryce's repeated attempts to anger the samurai working, and working quite well. Estuary eventually broke through Pryce's multiple layers of defense, and appeared to be making ready to execute him. Spitshine, who had broken through the ice barrier to see what was going on, shot Estuary, throwing off the trajectory of his swings, which left an X-shaped gash in Pryce's chest, and severed his left arm – ironically, Estuary had never intended to kill Pryce then and there, but rather wished to draw the battle out by mutilating and healing him time and again. Estuary sealed the onlookers in an electrified tower of ice, healed Pryce, and took the battle into the sky, where they could not be interrupted. The spirit of Neo Advent, who had known of Estuary's burning desire for vengeance, came to Pryce's aid, offering a fragment of his power to create new powers within Pryce.

By the time that the rest of the party arrived, and found Pryce and Estuary, the two were slugging it out in the streets of Samsara, weary and upon their last legs. Estuary was, after all, nothing but a mortal, and his repeated invocation of Magatsuhi through the use of the Rakshasa style was wearing away at his mind and soul. When Pryce would still not fall, Estuary made an attempt to burn himself out with an all-out attack, but Pryce used his new powers to seal Estuary inside a colorful magic box, as if it were all just a magic show.


Out of the red mist comes a flurry of blows, ready to pummel you until nothing remains. You endure blow after blow, and still, more magatsuhi flows from Estuary, as he pours everything into that attack, all to the detriment and damage of his very soul.

>Pryce 0/1

But then–

With a strange and idiosyncratic spell, you cause a magical box to disappear into the red mist– and at once, the limbs that struck at you turn into goo, dropping into the water. The red mist dissipates, and when it's gone, there is only the colorful magician's box.

When you open the lid, you see Sir Estuary's core, floating in a small puddle of goo. The goo wriggles, and Estuary reconstitutes himself, only this time, he is about as small as a colt. He looks up at you all, shocked and flabbergasted. He struggles to move, but he is completely without energy, and cannot.

He stares up blankly.

And then, a grin cracks his face.

He tries to suppress it.

Tries to remain stoic.


The grin turns into a smile, and the smile into a chuckle, and the chuckle into a deep and mournful laugh, a laugh from the belly. And the laugh, though it persists, brings forth tears, tears which give rise to more and more tears, all from the heart. Tears from centuries of mourning, centuries of regret, and nearly a year of mindless vengeance.


Leather stays put now, not wanting to interrupt final words between the others, but readying to help Pryce limp from his battlefield once finished.

"I do believe the victor of the battle has been decided."



Amy watches the scene. Even though she has no idea what she's seeing, the display causes tears to well up in her eyes.

She slowly approaches and, assuming permission is given, she gives Pryce a potion.

>[1d10+4] Natural Remedy

Roll #1 8 + 4 = 12




Pryce steps over to his box, weary and cautious as he opens the lid. At first he is surprised to see the remnants of Sir Estuary, cut down to a colt. And when the old knight begins to laugh, breaking down that hardened exterior as his emotions spill out, Pryce smiles. Whatever happens next, he did his job as a magician like back with his family.
With that, Pryce collapses onto the side of the box as the adrenaline of battle fades, leaving his body worn and weak.


Pryce doesn't respond, though it appears more from he's so beaten and exhausted he doesn't have to energy to be aware of his surroundings now.



Amy gently feeds him the potion.


Flaming gasps as Estuary lets out his final, horrifying flurry of blows, looking on at Pryce as he's pummeled relentlessly. "PRYCE!"

AS it relents, however, and Pryce still stands, she lets out a sigh of relief, and watches as the scene continues to unfold as the small, gooey colt appears before Pryce, watching him with a curious look as he starts to laugh mournfully, before letting forth a flood of tears.

She approaches alongside Amy, looking on at the downed Pryce and the crying/laughing colt before him.
"A-are you alright?" She asks, knowing the answer is far more complicated than a simple yes or no.


The others stand in silent respect along with Cloak, except for Vortigern, who anxiously clutches what remains of Pryce's arm. When Pryce collapses, you hear a sound of hooves clattering across wet pavement from behind. River and Zjetya run in, followed by Spitshine, Sugar and the rest of your group who came to watch Pryce's battle.

"Of all the opponents I faced, there was only one I could not defeat," Estuary murmurs, looking past Pryce and Flaming at the King. His eyes move to Pryce afterward. "And now, you can make that two. How fitting that you should use my ace in the hole to do it. Victory, and my life, are yours. Do as you will."

River and Zjetya help Pryce to stand, and River looks back at Vortigern, and reaches for Pryce's arm. "Give it here! Can anyone–"

The ghost of the King raises his hoof. "Calm yourself. You, kid," the King says, gesturing to Shei. "Bring me the Ember. And you, bring me his arm."



Amy watches closely over Pryce as the potion recuperates him a little bit. However, as her attention is brought back to the missing arm, Amy lets out a little yelp. "Oh! Your arm! Oh no! Pryce!"

Amy grabs Pryce and hugs him in a panic. "Your arm!" she cries again. "What are you going to do!? It's a tragedy!"

Then, she suddenly has an idea. Amy lets Pryce go (letting him fall to the ground in the process). She grabs the arm and puts it where it's supposed to go.

"I have no idea what's about to happen!" she announces.

>Jhana of Uprooting Poison to remove the concept of dismemberment [1d10+2]

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Flaming looks on at Estuary as he compliments the ghostly visage of the King, and then Pryce himself, bowing her head in reverence to the alicorn's skill, wishing she could have seen the full confrontation.

As River and Zjetya rush from behind to help him up, then reach for his arm, Flaming is suddenly alarmed, realizing the grievous injury he's incurred.

Amy leaping for Pryce for a hug puts Flaming in the right frame of mind to jump into the fray, moving to Pryce as she tries to console them both, "It'll be alright, Amy, River lost her arm and the Ember could restore it! Surely we can do that one more time for Pryce, right?"

As tries to reattach the arm herself, her eyes open wide. "W-what are you doing?"


Leather muses at the back of the party, "It seems I predicted the outcome of this battle to a T. Pryce victorious and, of course, having used his all to do so."
Leather goes to approach the scene as well, nodding to the barely conscious alicorn, "You've once again proven your incredible power and skill, Pryce. If only I had more chances to watch you fight valiantly before we separate again."


From beside the sapling tree of sapphen gadds and shei watched the fight. He wagered it would be a safe spot for them to view as they wouldn't want to destroy the tree that is blooming new life into vadahara.

When the fight is over shei usher gadds out of the garden and make the long walk over to Pryce and the others.
When The king advent prompts shei for the ember he reaches into Pryce's pocket and grabs it. "Aye I have the ember. But what will become of it after?"

After the King's response shei gives him the ember



"My Jhana can remove any concept," Amy explains. "I THINK I can use it to heal by removing damage."


Pryce coughs as he's fed the potion, opening his eyes as some of his strength returns.
"Amy? What are you doing here?"
He mutters.

"I'm alive… so, yes."
Pryce answers weakly, the soreness of the fight starting to fill his senses now that he's been restored a bit.

Pryce looks to River, Zjetya, Spitshine, Sugar, and the others as they all rush over with the fight over.
"You're all okay… that's a relief."
He says, worried that Sir Estuary's wall of ice might've still had them trapped. He looks to the knight as Zjetya and River help hold him up. He bows his head slighty.
"Your life is yours, Sir Estuary. I've been told this was a duel to the death many times, but I never considered the though of doing it in the possibility that I won."

Pryce grunts in pain as Amy hugs him.
"C-Careful Amy, I'm still a bit broken."
He says, the scar and injuries not receiving the hug well. He looks down at his stump, and over to the arm that Vortigern holds.
"Its… fine. The old knights always had scars and injuries… I guess this just makes me one of them now."
He says, trying to take a lighter look of this dismemberment.

"Thanks Leather, but I wouldn't call this a victory entirely. I think a draw is more apt."


Amy's power miraculously re-attaches Pryce's foreleg to its stump, as if it had never been cut off. The ghost of the King blinks a few times, then touches the Ember to Pryce's shoulder, moving it down the length of his foreleg to the tip. As the Ember passes down its length, the foreleg transmogrifies, going from mere flesh and blood into a strange kind of flame. The flame-arm has weight, heft and physicality, and though it exudes heat, it does not burn the things and the people around it.

River and Zjetya jump back with alarm, then glare at the King with a combination of confusion and anger. He smirks, and floats the Ember back over to Shei. "Think of it as a commemoration for his victory here. A mark that he will never be the same for having overcome what he has."

"A lot of fancy talk…" Estuary weakly says from within the magical box, pulling himself up to look at the arm. "You old lie-smith. You just like the look of it."

"I can have multiple motivations for doing something," the King says. "Go on, and touch it, anyone."

River and Zjetya look at one another, nod, and touch Pryce's arm at the same time, their eyes lighting with amazement. It does not burn them in the slightest, and they cannot pass through it, as though it were a physical object in addition to being a flame.

Estuary glares at you with disapproval. "Now you're just mocking me. You cannot be so much like the King, and yet diverge at this point."

"Say what you really mean," the spirit of the King says.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Estuary counters.

"You're as much of a lie-smith as I am," the King says. "Were you not hoping that your last resort, your grudge move, would be thwarted… that you could move on from this vendetta, in a path that did not involve death? Were you not hoping that your old adventures could continue once more? I was your lord and brother for countless ages. You can hide nothing from me."

Estuary falls silent.



"Ha! It worked!" Amy says victoriously.

Then, she looks to Shei. "See?" she asks him meaningfully. "There's nothing you can do that I can't fix."


Flaming lets out a sigh of relief. "You really don't LOOK it but, considering the circumstances, hearing you say that is a huge relief. I'm sorry we didn't get here sooner, I can't imagine what it must have been like!"

As Pryce tells Estuary his life is his own, she smiles, looking up at you with pride. "Somehow, I just knew that was gonna be your answer. You're way too nice, you know that?"

Flaming looks on with utter shock as the arm is re-attached, looking back and forth between Pryce's re-attached arm and Amy. "W-woah… I guess, you really rejected the concept then. That'll be CRAZY useful when we go into Tartarus!"

As the King turns it into a thing of flame, she jumps back in surprise, looking at the newly fire-forged arm that's replaced the old one. "What did you do to his arm?! It's made of FIRE now!"


"Looks cool, right?" the ghost of the King asks.



Leather chuckles, looking at the new edition to Pryce's form, "I remember when you were a unicorn, and when you first gained your wings. All I gave gained in that time is scars and a beard."


Flaming looks at the fiery arm again, pausing as she thinks over the response.
"Does it look cool?! It's on FIRE, it's anything but cool! It's hot!"


"It's pretty cool" Shei nods


Pryce blinks down at his leg as Amy reattaches it easily.
"Wha— Amy… How did you do that?"
He questions in befuddlement, which is amplified as King Advent presses the Ember to his shoulder. He watches as his leg transforms into flame in the Ember's trail, confused when he puts weight on it and it stays. He moves it a few times, feeling as natural as his own flesh before the fight.
"I… I don't know what to say…"
He mutters, genuinely for a loss at the Ember's effect and the King's action.
KP says from the sidelines, keeping his distance for the moment.

He turns to Sir Estuary as he calls him out.
"What do you mean? Your Memory told me King Advent spared your life as well."
He answers.

"I don't think I could describe it myself either."
Pryce comments about the fight, glancing at the destruction they dealt to this ruined castle.
"The Church may have taught me a lot, but my family made sure I'd never fail to be kind."
He says with a smile.

Pryce chuckles weakly.
"I'd say you might find something new in your next adventure, but I doubt you'd want anything Tartarus gives."


"It's good to see I'm not the only one who can work a miracle," Vortigern says.
Chorazin coughs meaningfully.
Vortigern rolls her eyes. "You know what I meant. What I'm getting at is that I also can restore limbs, so I was worried that you'd be going into Tartarus without someone who can. Your experience has paid off, hasn't it?"

"I spared his life on the condition that he join me," the King corrects. "And I guessed correctly that Estuary would not mind if his adventures went on with a new liege."
Again, Estuary remains stubbornly silent.

"Conduct yourself with some gravity," Estuary says. "Kings don't just go around acting like colts because they think something 'looks cool.'"
"A King can do as he please, by his divine mandate," the King says. "But don't forget what I initially said – I had multiple motivations for it. Not only does this change signify your victory, Pryce, it is a sign of a new power within you. When you defeated me, nearly one year ago, I entrusted you with my will. When I came to your side near the end of this battle, I entrusted you with but a small portion of my power – and you made it your own, causing it to grow into a new source of strength."

The King smiles. "And, finally, this will mark the true passing of my will onto you, and the passing of my spirit from this world."


Flaming shakes her head. "Not at the moment, at least, I could understand. Let's get you back and get you some rest, and then you can tell us all about it over food later. You really look like you could use something to eat, no offense."

She smiles, bumping her head hard into his chest. "And don't ever forget what they taught you, hear me?!"

Flaming nods along with the King. "Yeah, what he said: he's the king, right, your chief? So whatever he says, goes. If he wants to do something cause it looks hot, or cool, whatever that means, then that's how it is."

She looks at the fiery arm, nodding in approval. "Well, you won't hear any complaints form ME about anything fire. And Pryce has definitely earned it."



Amy smiles. "How do you think I'm going to lead all demons if I couldn't even heal one limb?"


Amy laughs with Chorazin coughs. Then, she looks to Vortigern. "Our plan is so stupid, everything has to work out," she laughs.


Leather continues speaking with Pryce,
"Hmmn, while I have not gained in physical traits, I've gained other things much more important than a pair of wings could be. I have no doubt you'll do your part to keep them safe while I'm in Tartarus."


Shei can't help but feel jealous. All he inherited from his psychopomp father figure's will was remorse.

He is at least relieved to see Pryce is still alive.


Pryce is silent a moment, then looks to Estuary in the magic box.
"Sir Estuary, do you want to join with us?"
Pryce asks, leaving the option to the knight, as he doesn't want to demand or push him.

Pryce looks up to King Advent.
"So that power…"
He bows his head.
"Thank you, King Neo Advent. You've done more than I could ask for, with your blessing and since we first visited here. I will carry on your will in a way I know you'll be honored of."

"I could use more than just food, to be honest."
Pryce says. When she bumps his chest, he winces with a groan, glad River and Zjetya and helping him stay steady.
"I won't ever, trust me."

"If you can do it that easily, I'll expect you all back in one pice then."

Pryce nods.
"The surface will be better than you left it when you get back. You have my word."

Pryce stops in all friendly words and gratitude, turning to Vortigern in shock.
"Vortigern? You talked!"


"Yes," Sir Estuary says, bowing his head. "My life goes on, since you have not had the killing spirit I had imagined. There would be no point in wandering aimlessly – and as Advent has said, he hands his will on to you."

The King smirks. "I have faith in you. I have watched you from afar for some time, with my spirit drawn close to yours through the Ember. I know you have struggled with faith in the gods, but it seems to me that I, and others, were right to place our faith in you."

He holds out his hoof for a shake. Estuary starts to climb out of the box, restoring himself with the rain that falls from above.

Vortigern nods and smiles. "Flaming defeated me, and so I agreed to stay behind. Buiwong had apparently worked out something with Flaming, because he released me from my covenant with him, and released my voice, which I had offered to him in exchange for power."
"You gonna usurp me as the party's singer?" Zjetya asks.
"I very well might once I get a chance to warm up," Vortigern brags.

"You'd better watch out," Volkama says to Zjetya. "Mothponies will have their eyes on Pryce now that he's got that."
"They can try," Zjetya says. "And they can get burned."
"I don't want to be the one to interrupt," Busta says. "But where's Flow? Is he still having his fight? He might be in trouble."
"Last I saw him, he, Renee and the Memory had gone off northeast of here," Rus Tea. "Let's go and look for him once Pryce can stand."



"What trouble has Flow gotten himself into now?" Amy groans as she follows anyone going to where Flow is.


Leather draws his shield, standing by Pryce. "If the others are wishing to find where Flow is, I can stand by Pryce and ensure they are safe as they recover, even though I greatly doubt he will come into any more trouble."


"Hehe, right, I know, rest and medicine probably wouldn't hurt either." She afford a smug chuckle to try and lighten the mood, "I forget how frail you ponies are, all a buffalo needs after a fierce duel is a bite to eat and they feel like a whole stampede again."

She smiles, giving him a much lighter (apologetic) bump to the head. "Good!"

Flaming looks at Volkama, and chuckles, "Oh, hahahah! Like moths to a … okay I got that one. That's good."

As Busta brings up Flow, Flaming nods, "Oh, is he close by?! Yeah, we should make sure he's doing okay as well. Can anyone carry Pryce?"


Pryce smiles.
"I'm thankful to have you along. And when we both have recovered and things have calmed, we can have a proper rematch."

Pryce looks to King Advent, feeling blessed, in the best way to put it, at hearing his words.
"Thank you, King Advent."
He says, raising his flaming hoof to shake.

"You fought Flaming?"
Pryce questions, looking between Flaming and Vortigern.
"And she freed you from Buiwong as well? I can't believe it."

When Zjetya and Vortigern go back and forth on singing, Pryce laughs a little.
"Now we have enough for a quartet."

Pryce glances down at his hoof.
"Oh, I almost forgot about that," Pryce comments on Volkama's point, "This isn't going to be too distracting, is it Zjetya?"

KP steps up to Pryce, holding all the pieces of gear Pryce used and get disarmed of during the fight.
>"I picked up all your stuff when we followed after you. You really threw everything at him, didn't you?"
"I didn't have much other choice."
KP then hands over a small feather to Pryce, who takes it and tucks it into his robe.
>"The only thing I didn't get was your cloak, cause it kinda, followed us."
KP says, gesturing to the crawling and swollen Serpentskin Cloak.
"I was surprised to see it transform like that in battle. I guess it can only hold so much."
Pryce's horn sparks, lifting the cloak in his telekinesis after a second of focusing. He taps the robe against one of the ruined walls away from the party to discharge the stored power from Sir Estuary's blows.
>Unleashing 46 Hits, 2 Wounds, 3 Water, 1/2 Impale, 1 Helpless, 1 Weak to Water, 1/2 stolen skill, -1/2 roll penalty to all, 1/2 sensory deprivation, 1/2 dice side reduction

Pryce looks back to the castle.
"Flow won't be in trouble, but… I would've though he'd finish before I did."
Pryce comments.
"I'm good enough after Amy's potion. I'll be fine with some assistance."
He says, looking to northeast where Flow went.

"The Memory of Sir Estuary challenged Flow to a duel, to keep our fight one on one."
Pryce explains.

Pryce smirks.
"I didn't know buffalo could shake off half a dozen stabs through the heart so easily."
The bump on the head is still a bit sore, but he's able to hide any sign of it this time.



"Well that's just silly," is all Amy has to say in response to Flow fighting a memory.


"I wouldn't say that to them. He's going through as difficult a fight as I was."


Flaming grins, leaning down to scratch her hoof along the ground. "Oh, d-did I not tell you about that? Hehe… it's, kind of a long story but, I was having a duel of my own."

She looks to Vortigern. "I didn't think Vortigern could go into Tartarus with us - not while she had her children up here in this world. So we made a deal: if I beat her, she'd stay up here, and if I lost, she'd go into Tartarus with us."

"I was able to win, BARELY, and Buiwong released her from his contract. She can even talk now!"


The party runs along, spreading out as they wander through the flower-filled streets, scanning every ruined alleyway and heap of rubble for Flow. They call his name, and for Renee, but it is not very long before they get an answer, and one far different from what they were expecting.

From a block ahead, you can see the dark outlines of two towering shapes, resembling furious demon gods, each one with a terrible visage, scowling with bloodlust, and many arms sprouting from their shoulders. The two colossi appear to be made entirely out of goo, and each one has a core in its chest, made of a denser, darker goo. Each one is in the shape of a pony – one resembles Estuary's Memory, while the other resembles Flow. The two are lost in the last smoldering vestiges of their own battle, dancing in a storm of swords and strikes.

Just as you arrive, the Memory's colossus strikes at Flow, cutting the arms from his colossus, which fall to the streets and dissolve into a torrent of water. Flow roars and stumbles, his soul radiating magatsuhi, and he dives, the colossus imitating his motions. It manifests a claymore of high-pressure water, moving in a flowing motion, and cuts the Memory's colossus right up the center. The Memory's colossus dissolves, with him falling to the ground. Flow stands there, his eyes white with bloodlust, panting from the exertion of the killing blow.

Vortigern nods. "Yeah, so you're stuck with me – and I know our first destination."
"What a coincidence," Zjetya says. "I've been hearing rumors that Ecclesia's had its eye on Ornifex for quite some time."

Zjetya then narrows her eyes at Pryce. "What, you think I can't control myself around a little flame? I've got my own nice little fire."

The building you touch crumbles into dust and rubble, annihilated beyond recognition by the cloak. The snakes yawn and transform back into mere tassels on the ends.


The King does quite an unusual hoofshake, patting each side of your hoof once, before popping it up from below, causing it to flex. At last, he grabs your hoof and pulls you in, nodding with approval.
"This is farewell; for now I must depart. I've stuck around for far too long."

He breaks off, and repeats the gesture with Estuary. "That you have, you wild old bastard," Estuary says. "We both have… make sure it's a grand place when I get there. I'll be restless without something to fight."



Amy frowns as she observes the fight. "Flow has a lot of megasushi… How many demons has he killed…?" she ponders out loud. The question is more rhetorical than she is actually looking for an answer.


Leather's eyes widen at the building crumbling, "And that's just one of your artifacts…"
"Hmmn, an interesting proposal, what do you believe would happen if one had won, and the other had lost?"


As the group finally comes across their quarry, Flaming skids to a top, looking on at the massive collossi of goo ponies battling each other, like two tremendous, angry gods clashing with terrific force across the landscape.

"T-THAT'S FLOW!? What happened?! How did he get that big?!"

She watches the massive pair of goo-titans fighting, like two veritable oceans had decided to go to war, before she sees the claymore cut straight through the core of the other, dispelling it as the huge colossus dissolves to the ground before them.

"Is that it? Did he win?!"


The hoofshake is unusual, but from what he heard of the King, it feels almost natural.
"Farewell, King Advent."

>"You went through all of that?!"
KP says as the building is utterly disintigrated.
"Not all at once… It's shocking to see it through."
Pryce mutters, putting the cloak over his back.

"She showed me a vision of her kids the other night… Though I didn't think it'd be that disruptive to the mission."
Pryce comments.
"You'll need to tell me about your duel later then too."

"Don't say it like that. It'll be good to have another friendly face up here."
Pryce nods in agreement to Ornifex.
"It's been a while, but I can make good on my promise. If Ecclessia is looking at it, they'll probably have it on that job board Rooster mentioned earlier."

"No, not at all," Pryce says defensively as Zjetya narrows her eyes, "I just don't think I can turn this off, so I wasn't sure if a flame around you all the time would matter or not."

"If Sir Estuary beat me, I don't think anything more would've happened. If his Memory beat Flow though, I think he'd come after me if I won."

As they near the fight as see the last blow from a distance, the massive collossi of knights, Pryce looks up with some horror at how far they've gone.
"I-I… I don't believe it…"

>"He shouldn't have any! They had ot cleanse him of all of it yesterday after he overflowed at Lilane!"
KP says in shock.
"I could see that Sir Estuary was able to channel it directly during our fight. The memory must've been pulling it in and affecting them both…"
Pryce says, not sure what to do in his state.



Amy sighs. "It sounds like his body is too used to the megasushi at this point. I wonder if I can help him with my Jhana…"


"We'll figure it out," Zjetya says. "Otherwise you can sleep outside so you don't keep us up all night."
"Think that might happen even without the flame arm," River says.
Vortigern clears her throat to block out her dirty joke, covering Spitshine's and Sugar's ears with her wings and hooves. River shrugs.

King Advent nods to each of you, offering a final smile before he turns, and walks off. After a few paces, his soul vanishes from sight.
Estuary lowers his head for a moment, before standing up straight. He turns and looks down at Spitshine, who tenses up.
"Fine shot, colt," Estuary says. "But if you're going to kill someone, you shoot three times at minimum. Do a job right, if you're going to take up arms."
Spitshine gulps. "Yeah… I'll keep that in mind."
Estuary begins to walk past you to go find where Flow has gone, and to gather his fallen swords.

Flow's colossus begins to melt as he runs out of energy, and he himself falls to the ground as the colossus releases him, halfway melting into a puddle. You and the rest of your group run forward, rounding the corner of the block, to see both the Memory and Flow himself sitting together, heads hung with exhaustion. Flow looks up at you, straightening out his raincoat and hood as Renee begins to tend to him. "…Hey. How's Pryce?"
"He won…" Rus says. "Much like you."
"Knew he could do it," Flow grunts, smiling through a grimace. "What of Estuary?"
"You're never gonna guess it," Wireframe says.
"Recruited?" Flow asks.
Wireframe purses her lips.
Flow laughs and nods. "Could've called that… lad's way too kind. This world's going to eat him up if he's not careful."



"Speaking of being way too nice," Amy says as she walks up to Flow. "Can I try something?"


>"If you can, you should! When he overloaded before all the demon stuff came out into it's own demon and started attacking the town!"
KP pleads.

"I didn't even think about sleeping. We'll need to get a cover for it, or something."
Pryce comments, the joke flying over his head.

Pryce is silent a moment, paying respect as the spirit of King Advent passes on.
Pryce watches as Sir Estuary gives advice to Spitshine, finding it a bit too direct, and watches as he marches on to gather his swords.
He steps over to Spitshine, putting a hoof on the colt's shoulder.
"Thank you, Spitshine. You saved my life with that shot."
He says, omitting Estuary's claim of mutilation to raise the colt's spirits.


"I wasn't sure at first, but, I received a vision last night too, from Vir-can, god of the buffalo. He suggested I look into her resolve and, when I checked," she frowns, looking down at the ground. "I could see it. She was torn. Her heart was starting to break having to think about abandoning us or potentially abandoning her kids. I couldn't let her make that call, no parent could."

She nods, "It worked out pretty well though. Something about our duel changed me, made me more powerful, so I'll be able to protect the others in her stead."

Flaming comes running up to Flow and the Memory, skidding to a stop as she shouts at the drained goo pony. "SIR FLOW!"

She pants, shaking her head as she catches her breath. She smiles as Rus delivers the news, then chuckles as Flow calls Pryce way too kind for sparing his enemy.
"Hahahaha… I don't know why anyone could have expected less. Somehow, no matter where you go, Pryce has a way of making others smile."
"What was THAT just now, you were HUGE! Can you do that all the time?!"


Flow grunts, his voice ragged and full of gravel. You can still see the look of battle in his eye, but it seems controlled, kept in a delicate balance, one that might break with but the merest notion of his will.


Leather pauses, thinking about it and more disappointed with the fact he can't think of anything else particularly interesting that would happen, "Ah, well, I suppose."
Leather continues to stick by Pryce.



"There's something wrong here…" Amy mutters. "I think I can help."

She puts a hoof-paw on Flow and spiritually reaches out to him. She tries to negate all the negative demonic influence in his body. Not just the magatsuhi, but all the violence and hate that's built up from all the fighting of the demons.

>Jhana of Uprooting Poison [1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"Ahem, I have a little experience with this." Conducting a spiritually surgical procedure and with the help of Pupil Shei lends a hoof in probing for the root of Flow's magatsuchi. And once it is within his grasp he pulls



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


"Try willing it to extinguish itself?" Zjetya offers.

Spitshine nods, gripping your hoof a little too tight. He's trying to hold it back, but he looks like he's still a bit terrified that you might die.
"So we're just trusting this guy?" Sugar asks.
Spitshine nods. "I've seen this sort of thing with my dad's recruits. And it's not a stretch considering who we've got tagging along with us already."
"Well… okay."

Flow grumbles as you try to purify his soul, but even between Amy's Jhana and Shei's dispelling of the excess energy, a persistent flame burns within his core. It is misty and dark, and at its center is a ring of Dhyana, and an inner core of pure and calm Qi.

"Ye might as well stop while yer there," Flow says. "This is intentional. Spent all day… hell, most of this journey, buildin' this up. Not goin' away that easily. I'm keeping it in check, alright. It helped me call that up, what you just saw."
"An impressive thing," the Memory says smugly. "Even I had no hope of overcoming it."
"That you didn't," Flow adds.
"There's no way that's good for you," Chorazin says.
"I've been telling him as much all day," Renee grumbles. "I don't care what methods he's got to control it."
Flow grunts.


Flaming frowns as Shei and Amy both move to 'fix' Flow somehow, turning to look at both the warrior and Renee with great worry.

"Wait, I don't understand. Is something wrong with Flow? What were you two trying to do just now, building up 'what'?"



"There's no point in having power if you lose yourself," Amy says. "But, I might be able to remove the bad parts of it… I'd have to understand what exactly I'm removing, though…"

"Shei, can you explain it to me… like in a way I'll understand?"


"He's got a lot of megasushi building up. That's the stuff we demons have. It's fine for us, but for a mortal… it's not great. I mean, it's not even that good for demons. It's why a lot of them are so crazy."


"Well if you remember, when we were within the underbelly of Regina's library and then our misshap with the chromatic slugs inside our heads. The same energy that produced those slugs Flow has harnessed as his power. Or so it seems"


"I… think I'll figure something else out. I don't want to risk it not coming back on. …Maybe we could just wear blindfolds or eye masks at night."

Pryce looks at Spitshine with concern, not pulling his hoof back to leave it to Spitshine. He kneels down, looking to both of Spitshine and Sugar.
"Sir Estuary's grudge was that I killed his friend. You saw the King, and he passed on his blessing. I believe we can trust him, and with what's to come he'll be a strong ally to have."
He then looks to Spitshine directly.
"And if anything bad happens," He reaches in his robe, showing the phoenix feather and lowering his voice to a whisper, ("This can bring a pony back to life. I expected to use this today, but now it can be saved for somepony more important. Hopefully, it won't ever have to be used.")


Leather nods to Flow, acknowledging him after having not seen him in months.



"Ridding it won't help if it's a Part of his will now."
She ponders "what I could do is lend my focus in helping Flow keep it controlled" shei-sher tears out some parchment and begins fabricating a seal which he then sticks inside Flow.

"And erm.. you could hug him Amy. That may actually do something useful for a change."


[1d10+2] imparting some willpower to flow

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5



"Shei, I just fixed an arm by denying it the ability to be disconnected. If I can figure out what I'm dealing with here, I can do a lot of things to it."


"How are you gonna take a bath!?" Zjetya exclaims. "I don't think he'd pass on a power if it could be lost that easily."
"Baths are too important to pass up," River says. "Please figure out how to control it before the day's out, will you?"

Spitshine and Sugar nod, looking at the phoenix feather as if it might be blown away by so much as a strong breath.

Suddenly, you are ambushed by Hopper and Lockjaw, who had been waiting their turn to greet you, but could wait no longer. Lockjaw scratches at you, then turns and roars at Estuary. Estuary turns just in time to see Lockjaw charging at him. He stops Lockjaw with a simple press of his hoof, but does no harm. "…Energetic little lizard."

Hopper crawls over your shoulder, croaking and screeching with concern.

"I'm tellin' you I've got it under control," Flow grumbles as you poke and prod at him. "Frettin' away like old brood-mothers… here."

Flow straightens his posture, then begins a slow and steady process of inhaling and exhaling. Big by bit, the magatsuhi and dhyana begin to leave his body, dispersing themselves in the form of a red and blue mist. The party backs away to let the mists leave him, until all that is left is the smooth and even core of Qi. His demeanor noticeably evens out after it's gone. He double-takes at Cloak, then a wide grin spreads across his face. "Hell and damnation! Come here, let me get a look at you."

He stands and offers a hoof to Cloak. "There were some times these days when we could've used your power. Guess you were busy, aye?"

Renee stands as well, still worried but happy to see Cloak is here. "How's Dagger? Why is she not with you?"



"I'm just going to try one more thing to see what happens…"

>Jhana of Uprooting Poison to remove the difficulty of control from Flow's core [1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


"Megasushi?" Flaming asks, clearly unfamiliar with the term. "That's a funny name for it… but, I think I get what you two are saying, and I definitely remember the slugs! Eww…" she shudders remembering the thought. "So it's like really bad stuff demons use for their powers, and Flow's using a lot of it? That does sound pretty bad, how do we get it out?"

Flow's grumbling causes Flaming even more concern, but looks on at him as he manages to disperse the violent material from his body in a somewhat… violent manner. She covers her nose as the mist comes out of Flow, "Ew… Sir Flow, are you really farting out the megasushi?"

Flaming chuckles, "Another happy reunion, huh? You've been getting a lot of these, lately!"



"I don't think we can get it out… I'm just trying to make it easier to control. I mean, I've got lots of it and I'm just fine."


"The Ember itself lasted when dipped in the ocean to cure River and all the others, I don't think it can be put out by anything other than the gods themselves."
Pryce responds.
"I don't plan on not bathing either. Why would you even consider a possibility like that," He says, feigning insult, "I could probably use one when I get back to the ship after being thrown though a few old walls here."

Pryce tucks the feather away safely.
"I Assume your training went well if you got to keep the guns."
Pryce says to the children, giving a subject change off the gloomy topic.

Pryce looks down as the pets now descend on him. He gives Lockjaw a scratch on the back of the neck before the deviljho turns to charge at Sir Estuary.
"He's a big force in a small package."
He says with a chuckle.
He gives Hopper a pat as he croaks in concern.
"I'll be fine Hopper," He says, looking around the landscape, "Funny to think this is where we first met. Hardly looks the same now."


"I suppose I heard much more about what you were doing than you heard wind of me." Leather accepts the hoof, having trouble trying to shake something gelatinous firmly, "I was unable to find you all after me and Glass got seperated, so I got in touch with old contacts with the Legionem. Dagger she's… not really in a condition to be out adventuring right now. We figured it was the end of the world and all so… she's just about ready to pop two twins out."

Leather nods, but pauses before answering, "Both less and more than I hoped for, but I'm happy that any of them were happy, let alone multiple."


"Hmm. I've likened you to a science project more than a babe to be coddled" there goes shei getting snarky again about the times in their early friendship when flow would let Shei run experiments on him in exchange for using his bag as a dorm room.


Flow grimaces and pokes you as you try to work at his core. You can feel a slight degree of better control come over his grasp of Qi.

"Lass, I don't even have the guts or the muscles I need to fart," Flow says.
"Makes one wonder how we can move," the Memory says.
"Lad, don't ask too many questions."

"Yeah," Sugar says. "Spitshine demonstrated proper form, too."
"Can't say she'd approve of me being reckless…" Spitshine says, "But then again, she'd probably tell me the same thing about shooting three times."

Hopper looks around at the area, then sighs with nostalgia. He looks up at you with a faint grin – a rare thing for the surly frog.

Estuary dodges around Lockjaw a few times, and Lockjaw's fury abates, turning into playful fun as he chases Estuary around.

"Good onya," Flow says. He grins and jerks his head back at Renee. He leans in and says, in a conspiratorial whisper, "Bit early to tell, but I think Dagger may not be the only one."
Renee, oblivious, steps forward to hug you. "If only we'd have more time… I'm not going with the others, at Flow's request. I'll visit Dagger, if they'll let me."

Flow turns to the lot of you, and the Memory does with him. "Well, we've accomplished what we've come for, ain't we? What're we dawdling around for? I've a tall cold glass of water waiting for me and Renee."
"Everyone ready?" River asks, conjuring a Dark Corridor. "All aboard who's coming aboard."



"Alright…" Amy says looking at Flow with concern. "Just… come to me if you have any problems, alright?"

Then, River opens the portal. She hops into it.


"Is it Renee- Is Renee the tall glass of water?"



"Ha HA!" Amy says as she lifts up her hoof-paw for a high five.


"I could be," Renee says. Volkama and Zjetya hoof-bump her on the spot. Then comes Vortigern and Deriva.


"Oh, I see… but, like you said, you're part demon. It's more okay for demons than it is for mortals like Flow, right?"

"You all seem like you were really close. It really makes me wonder what it was like traveling with you guys back then."

"Well, you just pushed a bunch of weird gas out of you! If that isn't a fart, I don't know what is!"

As River opens up a dark corridor, Flaming lets out a sigh of relief. "I'm as ready to go back and finally relax as the rest of you. The last few hours have felt like they've put on way too many years already, hehehe…"

She looks to Vortigern, offering a smile as she hopes all water under the bridge between them, and heads on through to their last night on Earth.


"That's good to hear," Pryce says at hearing it went well, "We'll find time to get more training in as we travel around. "

Pryce smiles, thinking back all those months when they first visited Vadahara, and how far things have come. He turns his head, watching Lockjaw's charge turn into a fun chase, and how quickly this duel and feud turned around as well.

When they come together to leave, Pryce turns.
"Feels like ages since I was at the ship, guess that's what a good fight will do to you."


"It was bumpy at times but… I suppose not any more than a family would be. Tried to look out for each other but didn't always agree with eachother."

Leather accepts the hugs, not minding his wrappings getting damp, "I think she'd be happy to have company, especially from someone other than Eclesian nurses."

Leather's ready to return to the ship when ready.


"Hey, we could put that arm of yours to good use," Zjetya says. "We could cook up a meal on you to celebrate your victory."
"I'll just have water," Estuary says.

"Could've been a burp," Flow says with a shrug.

Once the party is back at the airship, still docked in the eastern airfield of Threecoins, River sighs with relief. The stars are out in their glory. Clouds cling to the southern horizon, but beyond that, it is a spotless and brilliant night sky.

Then, with a concerned frown, River creates another Dark Corridor. She turns to face the party. "I'm afraid some of you won't have long to rest. You're due for a final appointment with Fairy Castle, aren't you?"
LJ nods. "Yeah. Will this take us to her?"
"Indeed," River says. "You'd better all be ready, and you'd better not come back too far changed from what I know and love."
"We won't," Tantra says.

With all of that said, Observer, Yes Mare, _____, LJ and Tantra step forward to leave for Fairy Castle and the Kindling, looking to see who will come with them.



Amy bounces happily. "This is gonna be so cool! I can't wait to watch!"


Having never high fived anyone in his life Shei rubs the supple skin of paw. "So soft." He seems pleased with that.


"That might take a bit, my leg is only so big."
Pryce plays along.

Pryce steps out of the corridor, looking up at the airship and feeling a desire to just go to the bed to let his body rest. But as the others speak of meeting with Fairy Castle, and River mentioning being change, he looks with some concern.
"I'll go, to keep an eye on this meeting."
He says, turning to follow the others through the new corridor.



Amy giggles uncontrollably as Shei rubs her paw pad. She's happy that Shei is enjoying himself, so she doesn't pull her paw away, but it REALLY tickles.

"N-no," she stammers between her giggles. "Th-that's not what you're supposed to do!"


Flaming smiles in appreciation for the idea, "We're not too much different here. I know you've only been here a day, and there's a lot of new faces to meet, but I hope you'll consider us your family too, Leather. There's always room for more in our clan."

"It didn't make a burping noise though."

Flaming takes a moment to look up at the breathtaking look of the stars above. She realizes this may be her last time seeing them for some time, and takes every single twinkle in the bright, twilit night in at her own pace as she walks around the airship proper.

As River opens up another portal almost right away though, she sighs, knowing this wouldn't be put off for too much longer. "I promise, River, the Shorthorns that comes back will be exactly the same as the Shorthorns that goes in. No amount of power or godhood could change that."

She walks up close to LJ, nervously gripping his hoof. "In case YOU get scared." She says in a whisper.

Flaming smiles, "I'm really glad you're coming too, Amy. I might be terrified otherwise."



Amy laughs. "Hey, it's not going to be ANYWHERE near as bad as smashing too brains together. And I'm tooooootally fine," she says with a manic grin and crossed eyes.


"I again am mostly unaware what will be occurring, if I was to attend would I be of use at all, or just attending?"

"I have been ruminating plenty on what family means, especially with two of my own kin on the way. I thank you for the offer, Miss Shorthorns."


"You should, either way," Zjetya says. "Pryce, River and I are going to support the others."

LJ snorts, and touches his nose to your cheek. "Hey, I've been thinking… about my name.


When you arrive in the Garden atop the Library of the Sacrosanct, you find that you have very little room to move about. Strange, root-like growths cover the ground, tiny flowers blooming from their surfaces. The roots rise upward about a foot above the surface of the ground, and they grow as they would as if they were planted. Each root's tips end in a small flame. The roots grow out of every surface below you, even from the stones and from the other plants, but the roots do not break the surfaces from which they grow out of.

There is a single clear path between all of the root candles. You find that the Dark Corridor has dropped you just outside of the front door of Regina's castle. Regina, still shrunken, silently gestures for you to follow the clear path before you.

The group follows the path, with the candidates for the Kindling in front. The path leads you to the Lake, the surface of which is utterly still. Small flames from the roots rest upon the surface of the waters, and some burn underwater, where the bottom of the lake is too deep for the roots to grow upward.

Fairy Castle stands upon the center of the lake, upon the waters themselves, accompanied by Halaq and another haircut witch, who carry with them some bowls, and simple haircutting tools. With a silent and mysterious reverence, Fairy Castle gestures for you to come forward. Halaq and her assistant say nothing, awaiting you to approach.


retroactive post
Shei-Sher nudges you "Um, about the Ember? A lot of people's live could be changed for the better." Shei reminds Pryce of when he asked him for the Ember to fabricate a device that could revert the transformation of demon afflicted mortals.


Flaming looks at Amy with a look of trepidation, before she starts snorting out of her muzzle, chuckling under her breath. "Okay, point taken. But you saw what happened to Crowley! What if something like that happens to me?!"

Flaming grins, "You're welcome. And, of course, if you were to join our clan, your mate and foals would be too, in case that wasn't clear!"

As LJ's nose touches her cheek, she blushes hard, looking to see if anyone saw that. "H-hey-!"

"Oh yeah? Me too, I think… what were you thinking?"

As they come out of the Dark Corridor, Flaming looks around at all the roots, flowers, and flames that around them, mystified by the eery but pretty sight as they make their way to the front of Regina's castle. She looks up to Regina, bowing her head respectfully, before proceeding along the path, keeping close to LJ the entire time.

As they move to the Lake, she looks out across it, trying to peer at the bottom of the lake but falling short before she focuses on Fairy Castle in the center.

As she beckons them to come forward, Flaming looks to see if anyone else has the courage to be the first one, and decides to take a brave first step as chieftain by stepping out towards the water, ready to swim across if need be.


Vortigern apparently saw it, and gives you a wings-up and a wink of approval.

"I was thinking… Great Voyage," LJ says with just the tiniest hint of embarrassment. "I really liked that name when we were playing Regina's adventure, and I think it's fitting given how similar it is to my current name. What about you?"


Pryce looks down at Shei.
"I held onto the Ember until my duel with Sir Estuary. It is his to say what happens with it now, as he is the closest rightful owner now."

Pryce follows silently through the path, looking over the strange plants and flaming roots that sprout all over. When they approach the lake, Pryce remains where he is, watching who steps forward with caution.


Their words hang dead on Shei-Sher. The chittering and chattering of his friends ring dully. In all of Shei's business he had put this out of his mind. The thing there is no more time to avoid. The precipice where he will dive. he takes to the cobble stone steps. Walking shoulder by shoulder with his comrades.

If this is all Fairy Castle said it was, then truly this is where Shei-Sher goes to die and be reborn again. To sacrifice himself once more. Or more like that's the best he could hope for. In his next incarnation will he even care at all about that? At least he is certain he'll remember what he was thinking before all this…. Then I'll take some mental notes on what I should do after my kindling to ensure I have all my checks and balances.

Shei dully notes in his head things to do. He doesn't feel any more ready to pass on from who he is.



"Well then, be a better god," Amy laughs.


As everyone busy themselves within the Ship, reflecting on the day and consolidating their final plans for Tonight. Shei-Sher steels his nerves for what lies ahead. He evokes the True Diskos!

Shei inquires within and asks for:

A true heart
>Lady Athena's Approach: Recharge 4; Ranged; All low-level Undead-tagged targets in range are instantly reduced to ash, preventing their resurrection, while high-level Undead-tagged targets are autocrit and receive -2 to their actions for the next 2 turns.

An unwavering Spirit
>Princess Vinland's Opulence: Twice per combat; Automatic; Recharge 2 after effect ends; Sacrifice 1 Wound to negate all damage against you and your allies made this turn. Damage made next turn against you and all allies will be reduced by 3, minimum 1. Damage made the turn after that will be reduced by 2, minimum 1. Damage made after that turn will be reduced by 1, minimum 1. On the final turn, 1 Wound is restored to you and all allies.

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

And for enough luck
>Go, Go, Go!: Once per combat; For the next 3 turns, you and all allies may take an extra action. On a natural crit, that's 2 extra actions.


Leather smiles, speaking with warmth, "I again greatly appreciate the offer. You are too kind for someone you've known for one day."
"Very well, perhaps there will be stories for my kin here." Leather follows, catching up on his writing while watching.


>"I held onto the Ember until my duel with Sir Estuary. It is his to say what happens with it now, as he is the closest rightful owner now."

[Retroactive post for the sake of expediting things]

Shei-Sher nods understandingly, with baited breath approaches Estuary. "Hello Sir Estuary?" Shei bows his head slightly in respect "You fought astoundingly, I hope that you will guard Pryce in the battles to come. There is something I have -something that I must ask. The ember, I realize it is no small token but with the coalition of some angels I have designed a way to reverse the apotheosis of one into a demon or angel."

Shei-Sher lifts up the heavy Lantern with the Bodhidharma's core installed "This device, is that very catalyst to restore the afflicted. But it requires a fuel source. And the only thing powerful enough to fuel it is the Ember."


Last time, on HolyQuest…

With Pryce's battle completed, the lingering spirit of King Neo Advent departed for the Ocean of Souls, having shown his gratitude to Pryce and Estuary both. Pryce had received a small portion of the King's spirit, which manifested in the form of the new powers he had used to end the fight with Estuary without any deaths. In addition, the King had used the Ember to give Pryce an arm of flame to mark his victory. And, when asked, Sir Estuary agreed to stick around and serve Pryce as a retainer. Flow's fight ended in victory as well, and he, like Pryce, had gained newfound powers, his in the form of control over Magatsuhi, Dhyana and Qi, the energies of the three types of souls. This concerned the party, but Flow insisted that it was not a danger to himself or them. The truth would come out in time…

With all of that done, there was only one more matter to deal with before the Tartarus Expedition began: The Kindling, an ancient rite presided over by a Shekinah, that allowed mortals who had mastered the Primordial Aspects of Existence to steal a piece of godhood for themselves. They went to the garden atop the Library of the Sacrosanct, where the ritual had been set up. A path leading from Regina's castle, made by strange roots that grew out of the ground, led them to the lake, where they were awaited by Fairy Castle, Halaq and one of her assistants.


"We will discuss this later," Estuary says. "Give me the Ember, in the meantime."


Tantra and LJ start with amazement as Flaming walks out onto the water. Ripples flow out from her hooves, but she does not sink or stumble upon the lake's cool surface. In time, the rest of the group follows her, treading slowly and silently, until they reach where Fairy Castle, Halaq and her assistant stand.

Once the party stands before them, Halaq and her assistant direct you to stand in a semi-circle, with Shei and Flaming at the end. They then go to the other end, where Observer and Hafaza are. Halaq and her assistant whisper something to Observer, who whispers back, and Halaq begins to cut his hair, while the assistant hands her tools and unctions. The haircut is quiet, and solemn; none of the involved parties speak more than is absolutely necessary. They move down the line, repeating the ritual for everyone involved; when they get to the Dragon, who has no hair (being made of paper) they simply clean his paper scales with a comb.

In time, they get down to where Flaming and Shei stand, and Halaq looks at the two of you, awaiting your requested cuts.



Amy watches in fascinated confusion, not really sure what haircuts has to do with godhood.



Shei-Sher nods and hands over the Ember to Estuary. Shei retains eye contact during the exchange. His expression should show much the Ember means to him.

When Halaq passes over to him Shei whispers "My hair is disheveled and knotty -but I like its length. I would like it more regal, fine, but please do keep it long how it is.



Pryce waits by the edge of the lake, watching and not intruding on this ritual the others are partaking in.


Flaming holds in her breath as she takes her first step walking along the water, fearing she'll sink any moment, but she summons the courage to press on as she watches her hoof-steps tread the surface. She looks on towards Fairy Castle, striding towards her with her head held high.

She moves into the circle, looking around at the others gathered as she holds her breath in anticipation, scared what this ritual may hold.

As they come to her, she looks down, "Uh… I, actually kind of like my hair like it is, kinda short and messy and curly. Could you just take a little off the top, maybe?" She asks, hoping they won't mind a simpler cut.


Halaq nods to Shei, going over his hair with only the minimal amount of trimming to clean his tangled hair into something more royal, while maintaining the length. She offers no objection to Flaming, simply removing a little of the excess that has accumulated over her long journey away from home. There's something therapeutic and calming about the haircuts, something refreshing, preparatory and cleansing. Each one ends with a cool, wet brush being run through the cut hair, massaging tension and trepidation away.

By the time that it is done, Halaq and her assistant silently bow to Fairy Castle, who makes a gesture of blessing to the both of them. The hair collected from the cuts has been kept in a bowl that the assistant carries. She and Halaq take the bowl in both hands, then turn it upside-down, pouring its contents into the lake as if offering some kind of oblation. The hair sinks to the bottom of the lake, to where the roots grow in from below, and the tiny flames that burn at the tips of the roots begin to consume the hair.

As they burn, the bottom of the lake seems to deepen. A spiral shape forms at the lake's very bottom, turning and turning, deepening the lake. More roots spring forth from the walls of this new abyss that opens below you, and it continues so deeply that you cannot see its bottom. Halaq and her assistant back away, heads bowed. As for Fairy Castle, she makes a slow, beckoning gesture, first to the participants standing before her, and then to those standing upon the shore. All at once, she sinks into the water, and begins to sink into the chasm that has opened below her.

LJ and Tantra look down in surprise, but steel themselves, pausing to concentrate. They too sink, followed by the Dragon, and then Observer and Hafaza. One by one, they allow themselves to descend, moving not a limb as they disappear into the spiral depths.


Flaming closes her eyes as she lets them cut her hair, indeed feeling a little refreshed at the lightening of the load on her scalp: she'd forgotten just how much hair she'd accumulated since running away from her clan, and feeling the excess removed felt liberating.

Flaming looks down through the water as her hair is sunk and consumed by the flames of the roots, watching as the bottom of the lake deepens and spirals into an unseeable abyss.

As she sees Fairy sink, her eyes open with surprise, but then turns to look at the others as they allow themselves to sink as well. "I-it just had to be a water ritual, didn't it." She grumbles, holding a breath as she looks up, trying not to focus on the water making ready to consume her as she begins to sink.


No turning back now. Is all Shei thinks. Without much hesitation he dips into the water along with his comrades.


Pryce continues to watch, unsure of how to take this ritual so far. He's only heard bits and basic pieces, but knows whatever it is can't be dangerous with how many of the others are participating. When Fairy Castle beckons and sinks, Pryce steps over to the edge of the water, peering down into it.



More silent fascinated watching.



Deeper and deeper you fall, and though the tips of the roots offer flames that light the way, something about the darkness of the depths grows only stronger, the deeper you go, pressing down on the lights of the flames, so that they illuminate less and less. Fairy Castle makes no gesture or sound, simply concentrating on what lays ahead. The others float down after her, and you can tell, by the growing expressions of discomfort and fear, that they are running out of air. They look at one another, and at Fairy Castle, but she offers no consolation, no suggestion of persisting, or of trying to go back to the surface. The anxiety grows stronger, fear giving way to the beginnings of mortal terror among your allies. LJ takes ahold of Tantra and the Dragon, and Observer and Hafaza hook their arms around one another.

Soon, you can no longer even see the walls of earth surrounding you. The lights of the roots shrink and shrink, nearly disappearing into the growing darkness, illuminating nothing.

You are drowning among stars, sinking into the night sky.

And just when you can feel the pressure reaching its zenith, and the last of the air escapes your lungs…

Below the deck of the Oceansinger, a weather-beaten yet resilient Minotaur cargo ship, the party gathers around a lantern, counting the hours before their arrival in…

You look around. Tantra, LJ, Observer, Hafaza and the Dragon are gathered around the Lantern. Fairy Castle is nowhere to be seen. The ship does not move, but you can hear the waves outside.

Nervously, the rest of your companions start to whisper among themselves, staring and pointing at the lake, counting the minutes since the others vanished within. "Should we go after them?" Vortigern asks.
"What if that interrupts the ritual?" Zjetya asks.
"To hell with it!" Rus hisses. "What about them?"



"It's not like becoming a god is just going to take a few seconds!"


Shei-Sher hugs himself with his wings, his jet black wings making him vanish in the darkness. Shei meditates on a token of Y'dryth's wisdom -float.. He remembers, as he descends.


As they sink down into the depths of the water, Flaming takes a light gulp, watching the others around her starting to fear running out of air, as she herself feels her lungs starting to burn. She looks down directly at Fairy Castle, re-doubling her efforts to lead the group through the thickening water to (what she hopes is) safety as she swims down deeper into the water as her last breath leaves her.

As they push down so deep the darkness becomes night, surrounded by a sea of stars, she lets out her breath…

And looks to find herself on the deck of the Oceansinger, she looks around the others, staring at the lantern as she wonders where Fairy went.
"W-where are we? Weren't we all just…"


"They just vanished underwater," Rus Tea says. "And I don't think any of them are fish."
"They'd come back if they were in danger," Onion says, but he sounds more like he's saying it for his own comfort than yours.


"I… I don't know. Fairy Castle would've said for us to come if it was alright, wouldn't she?"


"Well, she did beckon to us just before she vanished," Mocha says. "But I took it to mean watch, not follow."
"We can't exactly watch if they've sunk into oblivion," Spitshine says. "I think we should go for it."

"Some kind of ship," Observer notes, while the others stop to catch their breath. "I do not think we are locked in here, however. Hafaza?"
Hafaza gets up, going to the trapdoor leading to the deck above. There's another floor above you, and it's populated by silhouettes of sailors. They do not seem to see you, and you cannot tell what they are doing. Any attempts by Hafaza to interact with them results in her hooves passing right through them.
LJ pats Flaming on the back. "You ready? We should have a look around."


Flaming looks at Hafaza as her hoof passes directly through the sailors, as she attempts to do the same by poking one. "Is this some kind of dream? An illusion?"

She turns to LJ, nodding her head. "Yeah, this must be part of the ritual. I just wish I knew WHAT, I've never been on a boat like this before…" she says, keeping her hooves steady as the ship sways from side to side. "It's different from the airship."

She looks around the ship, going above deck to see where they are.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10


Shei unfurls his wings as he drips water every where. He opens his eyes slowly as he realizes he can breath.

"I suddenly feel overwhelmingly nostalgic.. CoverStory, mind putting out the cigarette?" Shei feels weird saying that out loud. He pretends he didn't say anything and follows Flaming and Little Journey as they peruse the ship.

"Does not feel like a dream."


"Nostalgic?" Flaming asks, turning towards Shei with curiosity. "Does this seem familiar to you?"


"No not really." Shei brushes it off


Pryce holds his hoof over the lake, but does not breech the water.
"What is this ritual for, exactly?"
He asks the others, wondering if anypony there knows before going forward.



"No, they aren't fish. But, they're about to be gods. That's like… a super fish!"


You and the others make your way to the top deck of the ship, where you see that the ship has been brought onto the shore of a long and dark beach. The ocean extends behind you, its waters dark, sunset purple; toward the horizon, the waters turn the deep black of the night sky, as the dome of the Firmament meets and blends with the edge of the sea. Stars glimmer upon the horizon, both above and below the waters.

Ahead of you, this strange world in which you have emerged is… somewhat of a mess. It almost seems to be a heap of different places; rustic villages, lush forests, dunes of sand, ancient skyscrapers, their bombed-out metal skeletons reaching toward the sky – a variety of things and places are all heaped together in a chaotic mass, almost like a graveyard that has long since run out of room.

At the center of this small section of the world, growing from a hill, stands a great tree, with flowers of fire and crystal twisting around its blooming branches. A figure, dwarfed by the great tree's shadow, stands afore it. You know, in an instant, that it is Fairy Castle.

Wordlessly, the others begin to make for the tree, helping one another descend from the ship.


"Supposedly, it's to let them obtain a piece of godhood, as Amy said," River says to Pryce. "Though, I don't see how this all leads to that…" she looks to Regina for further input.
"It is possible to follow after them, but you may not like what you see when they reach the ritual's climax," Regina says. "If you won't be able to stomach it, you have no business following after them."


"A piece of godhood?!"
Pryce says, slightly alarmed as he remembers his experiences with the Ember. He looks up to Regina as she gives input as well.
"What do you mean stomach it? What's going to happen?!"


Shei lends a hoof with helping one another embarking onto the shore. He hear's a clank of metal from his waist. And rushes a hoof to grab it "Oh solemn fucks. I brought the lantern with me.. psss. I hope you are fine Bodhidharma."

Shei-Sher takes out Pupil, from it's small organ form it transforms into the staff Whole of The Law. He appraises the Try with the staffs eye as he approaches Fairy Castle.

[1d10+1] appraise tree

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Flaming looks up and down the dark beach as she sees they've pulled up along the shore, getting a gorgeous view of the horizon beyond as the sun dips below the other side.

She looks around the various, patchworked villages, forests, deserts, skyscrapers, and gives a shuttered gasp. "Brings back memories of Mariposa…" she says to herself, before noticing the great tree in the center, and peers her eyes far ahead to see the tiny figure it over-shadows.
"H-hey, I see her! There she is!" She says excitedly, before noticing the others taking on a more solemn tone, she quiets down, helping others to descend (and letting herself be helped by her not-so-size challenged compatriots)


"As for the details, I cannot say," Regina says. "What each one experiences is unique to them. But if they are not worthy, if they cannot endure the rite, they will be undone. Perhaps they may die right then and there, or perhaps they may be cursed to falter sometime in the future, but disaster will be inexorable."



Amy feels a hint of jealousy. "Sounds kind of… intimate…" she mutters.


Pryce looks down at the lake, worry increasing by the moment.
"No… it isn't."
He mutters to Amy.


"Only if you are able to watch them die before you, should you go," Regina says. "It is as simple as that."
This ultimatum gives the party pause as they look down toward the dark bottom of the lake.

Examining the tree with Pupil is comparable to dipping your head into a stream. Though some of the information that flows through and around your mind is comprehensible, most of it, is unintelligible, whether it is in another language, or comprehends to an arrangement of reality, of cause and effect, of substance and accidents, that is so far removed from your world's that it could never be processed. But from what scraps you are able to glean, you learn that this strange tree, as the rest of the world, is a piece of a fallen creation – refuse, waste of a world that has met its end.

When you get to the base of the tree, Fairy Castle greets you with a nod. Something about her is quite off, however. It appears as though many people are standing in the same place as her, their movements perfectly aligning with hers, their faces overlapping, yet paradoxically, each is clear. You see ponies, changelings, dragons, zebras, griffons, and species you do not recognize, shapes you cannot grasp.

Saying nothing, Fairy Castle steps forward, holding a single flower from the tree in her grasp. In turn, she goes down the line, handing you each a flower – though only one exists in her hoof, she somehow gives each of you your own. The petals are of white, translucent crystal, so brilliant that you can see reflections in them – reflections of your selves, each one slightly different from you; reflections of other worlds, so much like and yet so different from yours. Worlds being born. Worlds coming to an end.

At the center of each flower is a strange substance, golden like honey. It is aflame, and yet looks like some kind of golden liquid, a holy nectar. The gathered candidates look at it, knowing instinctively what must be done. With stout hearts, and trembling hooves, each of them raises the flowers to their lips.



"Well, they are worthy, so they aren't going to die," Amy says confidently.


"This is drugs.. We are doing drugs right now." Shei shrugs wildly as he pans his head to his friends. His sights land on Flaming, like he's asking for her thoughts on this.


this reply is meant for >>738195


Pryce looks into the water in silence. He takes a step back from it.
"They'll come back."


Flaming looks up to Fairy Castle, staring up at her in confusion as she sees the odd, multiple illusions of her overlapping. She shakes her head, trying to get a clear look at the alpaca she's always known, before looking down at the flower in her grasp.

She grabs at her flower that is offered to her, staring into it as though it was the most precious relic on Earth, contemplating the implications of what it must mean.

She looks at the others raising flowers to their lips, and pauses as she looks to Shei,

She turns to look at Shei, "Drugs?" Flaming cocks her head in confusion. "You mean, like the herbs my clan would smoke at gatherings? No… no, this isn't just a drug, I don't think. T-this is WAY bigger than that, right?!"


"These kind.. They're called psychedelics. At least, that is what Ali would call them." Shei's shoulders jitter "I don't mind. I will imbibe the chrysanthemum so to speak. I'm just a little surprised is all."

Shei eats the flower. "I never thought I would be doing this sort of thing."


"Yeah…" Zjetya murmurs. "Gods need faith, right? Wouldn't really do for them if we couldn't have faith in them."
"I've seen it myself that they're strong," Vortigern agrees.
"And if they're not, maybe our faith in them could help them become strong," Wireframe adds.
One by one, the others murmur degrees of assent.


Once you drink of the unknown ambrosia, a shiver passes through the others. Unable to remain steady, they either drop or set down the flowers, leaning on anything that they can in their unsuccessful attempts to remain standing. You begin to feel a small warmth from within, but it does not remain small. It spreads, flowing outward from your stomach through every part of your being, at first gradual, and accelerating with every passing instant. Further and further does it spread, and the warmth intensifies, going from a small heat to a true and total burning. Each of you begins to emit a golden-white light, and as you look at the others, and at yourselves – you see that you are going up in flames.

But it is not pain that you feel, but almost, a sense of dissolution, of indescribable transformation, transfiguration, transubstantiation. Burning away in slow motion, each and every one of your cells, tissues, bones, muscles, soon the very stuff of your soul is engulfed in flames, disappearing into eternity. The line between you and the world around you dims, fades, until it too is tossed into the eternal immolation. All through it, your consciousness remains, fighting in an instinctual game of animal self-preservation, to cling to this world, to this form, to try to retain its sense of self as it, and everything around you, becomes one – becomes flame.

You hear screams… and realize that they, every one of them, are yours.



Amy smiles as everyone agrees. "That's true, you gotta believe in our new gods."



The shade in an alleyway made a dark corridor to the center plaza of my hometown. There was a church at it's center. It was made out of lead and solid iron and needed washing frequently. Within the bleak dim blue vestibule of the dark church poured robed figures bearing candles in their hands. The ceiling cradles empty chandeliers, iron caskets, dead bodies, thousands of crosses, pillars, adorned with hanged men. Forever the ceiling climbs as do organ pipes, as do corpses. If you looked far enough you saw the corona, a violet star. But you never saw the star. I'm standing in the rows clenching the 7th bench. As they pour in for the ceremony. A bell rings. I must have read the scripture a thousand times and seen the very mass before enough times to recite the preacher's lurid spell from heart. Though every time I see it, it is new. Light spills from the stained glass in rays. Enough to show me and the choir kids. I'm enraptured in their song. Angelic faces weave a faint tune. I love the somber reverence for the ritual. I hear my name said again, it can't be true. Was there anyone else in the rows beside me. I couldn't remember to check. There was always time to contemplate what I was seeing. Invited to observe but I feel I've overstayed my welcome. My flank made a mold on this bench, still this wasn't my house. In any case no one will tell me to leave. There must be somewhere else I belong. I remember in the market my favorite fruit, they were never ripe. Someone else bought them for me and I stuff my face as I piled myself in books. My room is a mess. And so is my house. I'm running down corridors again, there are picture frames hanging everywhere showing the stupidest charades. They're clouded in static. I could never see the picture, not if I wasn't focusing on being a part of it. I fell into a pile of chairs. While the hallways compacted. crumbled into dust, assembled into crashing pillars, piano wire nets keep me cubed. When I met her in the garbage pit I scorned her for being just like me. Disgusting. I never knew how to love someone, I'm always running away from something great coming. I don't know what it looks like but its shadow looms over my hometown and alleyways, lonely cats, and crows perched along the street wire. They're all waiting to go home, don't know why they stay here. The shade is nice though I know someday I will have to tame this thing. I never want to tame it, the darkness is so cold, I love it.The air at my workbench grows stale as the moon hangs high. Working tirelessly, building confounded shapes to fit into mis-shapened holes. The grass is dieing outside and I hang my hat. Dead, fetid pools of water fill my house, my neighborhood too. There is a leak somewhere, where? Looking at the ceiling, I decide to put off hiring a plumber. Fuck it. Sorry, I fell on broken glass will you shake my hand. I told everyone as I stared up at the dead, dead ceiling. But there are only mirrors now, 666 of them.



And now I'm running in corridors again. The shadow is coming, but for some reason. I think? It's getting smaller. If I'm wrong I'll die, but death was always a consolation prize. In the crux of all my shapes built a fault in the earth as my hometown split in two. The fault crossed underneath my favorite church. Piled up high. A cliff mows down my neighborhood and buries the bodies of everyone I know and love. Fuck it, I'll hire that plumber. Standing outside I see my mailbox is full I'll do it tomorrow. There was a lot of dead crows today -show offs- I thought that was stupid. Their mothers were whores anyways. At least thats what the milk man told me. I put the glass down on the table. The milk is sour. Probably because I'm drinking fetid water. Damn these leaks. Someone needs to patch up the sky. The rent is really expensive today.

God dammit. I'm running down the hallway again. All the pictures are black, or maybe it was night time. I can't see anymore. Running blind feels scary. These pale corridors. Somebody has to run first. Sheltered beneath all my little devices. cuddled on the midnight grass, I love how they feel. The grass, soft as usual. I wonder if they'll cancel church. The banging in my workshop is loud. I can't stop it. The cliff is so pretty, it doesn't belong to me. I let the mis-shapen shapes pile high. It's always so frustrating. The picture- beneath all this static. And then I fall on broken glass again. though my house is flooding, the tide never carries me through the halls. I'll never mop up this glass. Isn't there anyone to hug when you're covered in glass? Wait.. somebody put mirrors over the paintings. Assholes. Running and Running and Running, I'm running and Running, Down the corridor, spindling. Down the Corridor I'm running. The night sky is beautiful. And running, and running, and running? And running past the mirrors. I'm running and running and running and running. Running and running and running, and running. Running and running and running, running, running, running, and running. I'm running. RUNNING. Running.


"Faith… If there's any god that deserves it, it'll be them."


(link jumps to 5:35 of song)

Wait.. Where do these hallways go? I look at the moon. It's frozen in place and so am I. I love how dark the sky is. So cold. It's great! The grass feels nice, even if it's dead. There are no stars in the sky. Maybe I'll stay until I stop getting mail. That will never happen and I know it. The devices are piling so high! And my house is a mess. l Read a love letter from my shadow, he's coming to church! Smack, Punched in the gut. Slapped in the face. HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT! Falling down stairs again. drowning alive it seems. Where are my glasses? Stabbed in the ass. enjoying my hometown. Bleeding to death hi. It was a lie I never wore glasses. I'm always trying to make a memorable moment. Pie thrown at my face. But we're just trying to pass time. Hay look more stairs. It was a long fall this season, everyone died. Gotta break some eggs. Backflipping into spikes. To make kids die. More stairs. broken glass. Beaten in fetal position. A thousand times I'll apologize, because I'm stupid. I'm always falling on my bed. Because I have good friends. I hope they don't see me dance. God my stomach hurts. Oh look I got drop kicked. curbed stomped, tripped over, ate dirt, broken glass.

(6:36 of song)
Stumbling up atop the cliff. I topple over a cardboard silhouette. This was a sacred mission all along. I poured water over myself and threw aside the pale. As we looked over the cliff together. We see them all, they're all from my home town. It's a cloudy sky, and the land is grey. But the puddles are clean now. Everyone's prostrated, the sun beaming behind them. Worshipping the cliff. They waited for someone to stand atop the cliff like how homeless people are waiting to die. I raise my silver sword and now all their heads fall off, a swift slice. Next is my hoof, singing on the cold silver blade. My wound spills light now and I raise it to the sky. My shadow knows where to go. He makes a hole in the clouds and eclipses the sun. Rays of stained light pour on us all. As I now stand at the fault between two worlds I say this is what it means. Never in my life have I felt so trapped. But its time to go on, because we are always going on. In our eternal house.. forever.. I hope I don't get it flooded again.



Flaming snorts, looking down at her flower again. "I don't know what a chrysa-the-whatchit is, or a psychadelly. But, I don't think you're supposed to call it a drug. Least, not like, THOSE kinds of drugs, this is more like a really, REALLY good potion of Amy's. Right?"

Flaming downs the sweet nectar from within the flower's center, feeling herself shiver violently as she puts down the flower, struggling to stay up as the warmth builds up from within and over-takes her, seeing herself bathed in flames.

It is a familiar sensation, as she remembers her being cast into the fires of the Sleeping Dragon, but all so the more intense as they start to break down everything that she is, everything that she knows, and casts her into the realm of the gods. She struggles to hold on, not wanting to lose 'everything' from her mortal life, and as the flames consume her entirety, she stops and thinks of those most precious to her
"Mama… Papa… Amy… Pryce… Shei… Pryce… Rus Tea… Vortigern… Journey!" She says outloud, remembering back to her days as a young calf playing in the long, reaching plains sloping up to the volcano their tribes land inhabited.

She looks around in happier times, seeing her mother and father and the rest of the Climbing Fire herd gathering around, going about their day to day lives. But, things are different than she remembers: Journey plays along side her, bringing her flowers while Amy and Shei frolic nearby, along with the rest of her adopted family enjoying the day in the plains. She looks around at them, feeling content with herself and her life, before she hears the rumble of the earth, and the explosion of the sky. She looks to the Sleeping Dragon, where a great plume of fire and darkness erupts from it, turning the once clear skies dark and void of hope while billows of lava start to flow down its sides, threatening to overtake her home.

She stands there, looking up at the over-flowing eruption, visions to the demons overtaking their plains flashing before her eyes, and looking to her fleeing people. "No…" she says to her self, stomping her hooves as she looks at the flowing lava quickly growing closer. "I'm not running away again… and neither are any of you!" She shouts to her people, standing up taller than she usually does as she cries out to all her clan new and old. "BELIEVE IN ME! I promise, I'll protect all of you this time! I can help you keep our home, if you'll take a stand and fight for it!"


File: 1588738415740.jpg (55.03 KB, 500x378, WhiteBuffalo.jpg)

She turns towards the volcano's slope, letting out a loud, rambunctious cry as she charges the lava, fearing she is headed towards certain doom all on her. She pauses, until she feels the earth rumbling yet again. This time, from the stomping of a thousand hooves joined to her. She looks besides all her friends and family and clansmen, fire pouring out from her horns to engulf them all as the visions of her family members all fade into a triumphant, charging stampede of firey buffalo, joined in on her as she turns to face the oncoming flow of lava from the Volcano. She lights up her tattoos, putting every trick she's learned: magic, spheres, combat techniques, every ability she's acquired into her single-minded goal. To protect those who cannot protect themselves, to be their flame in the dark to provide warmth and fight off the darkness.

The tiny buffalo, flanked by an army of ethereal, fiery doppelgangers, meets the lava-flow, and Flaming's world becomes fire. The two forces clash in a violent surge of power and heat, with Flaming at its epicenter. The glow on her horn and her tattoos fan out, beginning to cover her entire body as her once auburn red fur begins turning as white as the sun, a rainbow of flames surrounding her much like they had in her climactic duel with Vortigern. The fires surround and permeate Flaming's fur, and as it bleaches white there are shimmers of every color in the light glancing off of her fur, providing her with a shimmering spectrum of aura. The tattoos, already white in color, take on the inverse as they take on the bright, red auburn shade her coat color had before.

She screams into the hellish, flame-filled void, holding on to the flame and all its pain as she lets the burdens of all fall upon her, ready to carry it.


Back in Threecoins, a light begins to glow that can be seen all throughout the city, as if someone had lit the garden at its zenith aflame. The party gathered at the Library's peak has barely a few moments to react as the great lake at its center, the source of the light, glows more brilliantly than the stars themselves.

"Take cov–!" Regina manages to blurt out, before using her massive form to shield you. Light erupts in a towering pillar from the waters, and cool droplets rain from above afterward. Once the light subsides enough for you to see once more, you can see that small flecks of golden light float all about you, almost like a galaxy in miniature. The lake is back to normal, but the group that descended into the waters stands upon their surface once more. On the surface, each of them looks near identical to the way they entered, but there are subtle differences now. Tantra and LJ stand with a solemn regal air that they lacked before, while the Dragon exudes a mysterious and evil danger, evoking a dread of serpents in even the hardest among you. Hafaza seems strangely contented for once, bearing a very calming presence, while Observer… is smiling. Much like Hafaza, he seems contented, but while hers is the calm of nirvana, his is the calm of one who has been suffering from some kind of pain for longer than he can remember, and has at last found relief.


Pieces of Creation

By harnessing a piece of each Primordial Aspect, and by drinking of the soma from the Grove of the Worlds, one may attempt to harness a small fragment of godhood itself, taking it for themselves. Those who go through with this will be judged on how they use it, at the end of their lives, and that judgment shall prove if they may become like gods.

Rules and Limits:

From among the four Spheres - Life, Death, Light and Dark - assign one to be your Primary, one to be your Secondary, one to be your Tertiary and one to be your Quaternary Domain. Once per turn, you can manipulate the concepts and forces embedded within each Sphere, even combining multiple Spheres within a single action, but the range and magnitude of your use of this skill hinges on the hierarchy of the Spheres involved. You can also use the effects of a lower rank of the hierarchy for any given Sphere (ie, if you choose Life as your Primary, you can also use the effects listed in Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary with Life).

When using multiple Spheres within a single use of this skill, each Sphere involved cannot exceed the limits of its place within your chosen hierarchy. When invoking three Spheres at once, the resultant effect's highest Sphere can only be as strong as a Secondary Sphere. When invoking four Spheres at once, the resultant effect's highest Sphere can only be as strong as a Tertiary Sphere. There is no such restriction for the use of only two Spheres.

Examples: Invoking Life, Light and Dark, where Life is Primary, Light is Secondary and Dark is Tertiary, Life's strongest possible magnitude is reduced, treated as if it were a Secondary Sphere. Light and Dark remain the same. Invoking Life, Death, Light and Dark, where Life is Primary, Death is Secondary, Light is Tertiary and Dark is Quaternary, Life and Death's strongest possible magnitudes are reduced, treated as if they were both Tertiary Spheres. Light and Dark remain the same.



Ranks and Magnitudes:

Your Primary Sphere's influence can affect anything within about 15 meters of you. You can freely control the forces and concepts of this Sphere within the confines of established reality, defining their aspects and properties as you please, pushing up against the borders of possibility. Your effects are permanent unless undone by another force, or if you will it gone.

Your Secondary Sphere's influence can affect any target within about 10 meters of you. You can create, ex nihilo, pre-existing things and forces relating to the concepts of your Sphere, manipulating its properties within the confines of what is possible for that object or force (ie, with Life as your Secondary Sphere, you could create a hound or a mouse, but not a new life-form that does not already exist). You can also convert an existing thing or force into another thing or force within the confines of your applicable Spheres. Your effects are permanent unless undone by another force, or if you will it gone.

Your Tertiary Sphere's influence can affect any target within about 5 meters of you. You can manipulate existing things and forces relating to the concepts of your Sphere according to what is possible for your affected target. Your effects are temporary unless made permanent by someone with that Sphere as their Secondary or Primary Sphere.

Your Quaternary Sphere's influence can affect any target within about arm's distance of you. You can only weakly control the powers of this Sphere beyond the well-worn paths represented by the three skills of your chosen Aspect, mostly to the effect of cantrips. You can also sense energies and concepts relating to your Quaternary Sphere within eyesight.

Life governs the birth and development of all biological material, and the change and balance of life itself within the world.

Death governs the decay and eventual destruction of all biological material, and the destination of a soul after its death.

Light governs magic, dreams and chaos, all the unpredictable forces that bring about the possibility of change in the world.

Dark governs mundanity, physicality and the natural, scientific forces that keep a world logical and predictable.


Shei-Sher arises with his fellows, albiet on the furthest edge of the group. His changes seem more poignant, almost like a parody of himself.

In place of his wings are a long crimson cape that drags on the ground. His horns have grown, longer, slender, 3 and half feet in height, they seem impractical but shine with dhyana. Some in the party may recognize that his horns appear made of the say metal the Vipaka Chariot was made from.

Shei's attire is all gone, so is his cane, and staff, and shield, and the many trinkets he labors his body with the weight if. He looks like a 19 year old teenager, with denim jeans, a belt, and a novelty t-shirt that reads I [Thelema sign] Crowley. His shirt's sleeves are torn off.

Shei-Sher walks along the lake now as The God of Bastards and Kids. He finds his way to the shore.



Amy doesn't look away or duck when the explosion of light happens. She has faith and is (tragically) used to foolishly staring into blinding lights. Thank goodness for potions!

"Oooooooooooooh!" she shouts excitedly, her own eyes practically sparkling with awe and giddiness. She bounces up and down. "Do it again! Do it again!"


>Flaming's ascension completes, as she sets herself upon the hierarchy of Primordial Spheres subconsciously according to her desires. Her mission to protect all those she cares about coerces her to set Life as her Primary element, with Death taking on the Quartenary rank. Her ties to the physical world, the earth she loves to trample on, the fires that consume her, aide her, and the natural energy she has always drawn upon for her strength. And her budding beginnings as mage, beginning to master the tapestries of magic and the altering of her world according to her imagination, Light takes on the Tertiary role.
>Life, Dark, Light, Death

Flaming opens her eyes as the fire is finally absorbed into her being, her changes more pronounced than most of her friends. Her red-fur replaced with white, a small shimmer of many colors seen when light is cast upon it, with her tattoos taking on a red-auburn light like her old fur was before. She seems to have grown about an inch or so as well, her hump starting to be a little more pronounced. She is standing up, hooves pressed into the dirt as though she were still challenging the volcano, before she looks around, and sees her compatriots.

She looks over at Journey and Tantra, looking at them peculiarly as they show off their new, regal air. "Journey…?" She asks aloud, looking to see how he responds
Her attention is suddenly drawn to Shei as she looks at his denim jeans, the novelty T-shirt, and the long, flowing red-cape. Her eyes open wide, but soon a snort comes from her nostrils. "Sh-SHEI! What are you wearing!?"


Shei-Sher finally comes up to the shore. He digs the cleft of his hoof into his ear, cleaning it out. "Sorry what, I didn't get that."

Shei hears white noise, the lapping of waves or something like that.


Pryce lifts his head as the lake begins to glow, spreading his wings reflexively as Regina shouts to take cover, attempting to shield those closest to him.

When the light dims and sight returns, Pryce looks in awe as light rains down around them, and those that descended into the water have returned, all of them back.
"How… are you all feeling?"
Pryce asks slowly.


Shei grimaces, he can barely make out what you're saying. It takes him a moment to realize what you said. "OH YEAH, MY DUDS. WEIRD RIGHT." He seems to be trying to speak over something. He plucks at his shirt with examination "BOLD TOO. I'M GONNA HAVE TO CHANGE THE SHIRT."



"I said do it again, Oh Mighty God Shei!" Amy laughs.


"Ow!" Flaming says, moving a hoof up to her damaged ear-drums. "WHY ARE YOU YELLING?!" She shouts back

Flaming looks over towards where Amy and Pryce wait on the short, looking at them with a bewildered look as she still processes everything she's going through. She waves at them from the center of the lake, shouting back,
"I… I feel incredible… it hurt like you wouldn't believe at first, it feels like my body got torn apart and I don't even know if it's put back together right now, but, in a good way! I feel like… life." She lowers her head. "I know, I'm sorry that must sound insane."


"You're alive!" and variants of it come as largely surprised shouts from the party as they gather around you to inspect your changes.
Journey has grown, much like Flaming, only his fur has largely sleeked out, shortening to be like that of Clan Climbing-Fire, and is now a deep and dashing red, like that of a smoldering piece of wood. He wears a tunic and armor that seems to be made of bone. As for Tantra, he has changed relatively little, but his gi now looks reinforced, and ancient, bearing the markings of a master upon the tassels. Observer is dressed modestly in librarian's robes, while Hafaza wears, of all things, a short and tomboyish sundress – with spats underneath.
"Did the clothes come complimentary or what?" Wireframe asks.
"They just sort of… appeared," Journey says.

"Journey who?" LJ asks, his voice having gotten a whole octave deeper and more masculine.

The moment that Fairy Castle makes it back to shore, she nods with approval, then drops, falling asleep. Regina catches her in a paw, and then sets her between her withers. "This happened the last time as well, many decades ago," Regina says. "I shall take care of her."


"HOLY FUCK! WHAT IS THAT NOISE." in a sudden flash Shei is breathing heavy, there is something driving him nuts but it isn't clear as he looks around bewildered.

A sudden inspiration comes to him. Actually something is urging him to do something. Shei takes Pupil from his cape and extends it out to it's staff form. A long metal staff with the engraving 'Whole of The Law.' Pointed at one end and at the other bearing Pupil.

Shei holds it up and jams it into his left eye socket. "AHHHHHCKK Ngh JEEZ!" Shei-Sher continues pulling the thing down into his cranium. The full length of the staff magically fills inside his head, blood spilling out as Shei screams. The eyeball ending at the staff sucks its inside his socket. Shei-Sher arcs his back forward as he takes in a couple deep breathes.

[Spending a skill point to get]
>Evil Eye: passive; You come from a culture that’s mysterious, quiet and perhaps even sinister. Few understand you and some may even be unnerved by your odd appearance. If you score a natural Crit against an enemy in combat, they are paralyzed with fear and cannot take any action in its next turn. When a target is paralyzed by Evil Eye, you cannot proc Evil Eye on them again.


Cries of "Holy shit!" and its variants, and exhortations to stop, follow as you jam the staff into your eye socket, followed by amazed and disturbed observations about how you're still alive, that the thing didn't jam your brain straight out.

"Wh… why!?" Rus asks.
"Move, move," Renee says, slithering forward with her medical bag in hand. "Let me clean that."


Flaming looks at Tantra and Journey in particular, looking over their changes. "Woah… Tantra, you hardly changed at all!" She says, before looking at his gi, holding it in her hooves. "Except for your clothes. These are the ones of a master…" she stops to look at her own clothes: she has a similar tunic to what she customarily wore before, but with dragons similar to Spark imprinted upon them, stylized to look as though they were soaring out of a volcano with tiny buffalo and birds alternating along the bottom.

She stops to look at Journey, her heart stopping as she looks at the sleek, smoldering-wood finish of his new red coat, and the short-cut resembling traditional Climbing Fires. As his voice speaks out, her heart kicks up again, faster than ever.
"O-OH! Right!" She pauses, stammering as she looks at his newly ascended form. "L-looking good, 'Voyage'." She smiles, chuckling to herself. "I kind of miss my big fluffy pillow though."

As Fairy drops asleep on the shore, Flaming looks over with surprise, but sighs with relief as Regina catches her. "That's good to hear… how long will she be out?"


Pryce looks at Flaming, her flipped colors and glow making her unrecognizable if he wasn't here to watch the start of the ceremony.
"No, that doesn't sound insane at all."
He says, looking and sounding thankful that they've returned.

Pryce looks over at Shei, the goat as well looking entirely different, with vastly foreign attire as well.
"Shei? How are you handling this?"

Pryce glances back at Regina.
"Who went through it last time?"


As Shei stabs his staff into his eye and starts screaming, gushing out blood, Flaming looks on with shock and disgust.

"SHEI!? Did you lose your freaking mind or become a God of STUPIDITY?!" She says, looking around frantically as he sticks the ENTIRE STAFF into his eyeball. "W-what…?! Shei! Where'd your staff go, talk to me!" She holds up her horns, "How many horns am I holding up?!"


Great Voyage gestures with his hoof, and his hair and coat become fluffy and deep blue-brown once more. "Something like this more of what you had in mind, miss…?"


"She will be nagging us all about our homework tomorrow morning," Regina says. "She is a resilient Shekinah. There was only one candidate last time; witches have an uneasy relationship with the divine, but one girl in particular thought that she might become somewhat of a national guardian for our kind. I do not know if she succeeded; I did not see her again after the traumas of her Kindling… but a few have said they have felt her divine protection."



Amy giggles. "It sounded perfectly normal to me."


"She's done a lot today," Amy nods to Regina, looking at Fairy Castle with a respectful smile.


Amy flinches and stares at Shei with concern. "Do… do you want a potion?" she asks.


"Believe it or not I feel so much better. Oh my lord.." suddenly refreshed, still bewildered, but by that sound of his voice now, okay. Shei says. "I was hearing nothing but this sound, it was like.. erm it was- really hard to describe, like rushing water but not really. And it was SO loud. Oh no.. I think I still hear it a little.

"Stop! Stop, it's my ears that are bad not my eyes. Ah!" Shei digs the cleft of his hoof in his ear again. "What is that noise??"

He's made a quickly recover, he doesn't even seem in pain anymore. Just.. annoyed.



Amy stares at Shei. She slowly looks around at everyone else, seemingly feeling increasingly uncomfortable.

"Does… does anyone else think this is like… REALLY hot?" Amy asks with awkwardly.


>Forgot to reply to other comments
Tantra nods. "Maybe not as dramatically as you and L– as Great Voyage, for sure, but I definitely feel way different. I feel… more at ease? I dunno."
Spark crawls out of your tunic's pocket, and yawns as if he were asleep during all of that.


As the hair and coat grow back to the way it was before, Flaming looks somewhat relieved, but also somewhat disappointed. Eventually, she smiles, moving up to nuzzle against his cheek. "You know what? Whatever you look like, I think I'll be happy with." She says, whispering, "But you DID look really, REALLY good before…"

"Tantra? At ease? Woah… they really did perform a miracle." She teases, before she hears Spark coming out of her pocket.
"SPARK!" She says, quickly pulling him out to investigate, knowing how all the water might have been affecting him earlier. "Are you okay?! I'm sorry, I'm so used to having you with me I didn't think about taking you out!"

Flaming lets out a sigh of relief, "That's good. I would feel awful if she was out until we went into Tartarus. Though, maybe I'm in luck: I don't have as much homework for now."
"I owe her a lot… I don't know how to begin making up for it."

Flaming smiles at the two as they mention her sounding perfectly normal. "Thanks, Amy, Pryce… I feel really, REALLY different now but," she moves in to bump Amy and Pryce's chest with her head, "I'm glad this - US - are still the same."

She looks down at herself, "So… what do you think?" She looks at her fur, "White, huh?"

"YOU JUST JAMMED A STAFF IN YOUR EYE!" She shouts, trying to make sure he hears her, "I'D SAY YOUR EYE IS PRETTY BAD!"


"My disabilities aren't a sex object" Shei points a hoof at you.


"I jammed pupil into my head! It's that eye ball I use to appraise stuff. Here, let me just show you. I can show you what it sounds like." Shei-Sher meets your eyes with the strange eye he's lodged into his head. The sound projects into you

>Evil Eye

[1d10] paralyzes on crit does nothing otherwise than creep you out

Suddenly the sound fills you, it is all around you. The sound of rushing water, of air rush through a narrow passage. Sounds of things crashing infinitely. It's a fault line which two cliffs come infinitely closer yet never touch. This is the sound of two polar opposites vying infinitely to invade one another but never reaching.

Roll #1 6 = 6



"It's like me when I'm a wolf!" Amy says happily in reference to the fur color. "When I'm not angry, anyway…"

"You've always been the strongest buffalo to me, Shortyhorns" Amy says as she gives Flaming another head bump. "Now it's just more obvious."



"I don't see any disabilities," Amy says in a sort of hungry tone.


"Yes, I hear that you were running her around all day playing fetch," Regina notes.

"Take your thirst somewhere else like the rest of us," Renee says as she finishes cleaning Shei's new eye. "This is not the time or the place."
"I think I have something in here for cleaning ears," River says, rooting in her own bag. She produces some drops. "Here we are. Lay on your side and we'll clear that right up."

Great Voyage nuzzles you back, but bonks you on the head. "You missed my question. What's going to be your new name? And don't say Sheimy Thrice."

"Hey!" Tantra protests, before Spark interrupts him. He seems completely fine, and dry as well.
"He should be quite alright," Volkama says. "Perhaps you may not have noticed with all of the bizarre ritual unfolding, but I cast a bubble upon him when I saw Fairy Castle usher you into the waters. It must have popped when he woke up."
"Wonder what all that haircut business was about earlier…" Zjetya says.

"You can thank her by putting this to good use," Regina answers. "Now, show us, if you can, the power you have gained through this trial," she says, turning to the new gods-to-be.


Shei-Sher is quite jumpy once Renee touches him. The landing of her tender touch onto his ear bears an incredibly sensual sensation that reverbs onto Shei. He jumps out of position, frantically putting some distance between him and Renee "Noo-o-oo-o, that's fine!"

He stumbles onto to Amy, as he steps away from renee.
And when he hugs Amy, this sound. This static noise transforms into something gentle. Gentle bells, that permeate Shei-Sher's core.


Shei stares into Amy, longing, stoic, absolutely moved. "I don't really notice enough. Just how beautiful you are." He brushes her hair behind her ear "And god, look at me. I'm a fucking mess." His voice warbles "I'm just a kid desperate to make heaven and hell fuck each other. immature crap, pidge podge of all sorts of people and things. God I'm fucking gross." He clings tighter "And I'm so grateful- I'm so grateful, for a cheap lamb like me. I can fix it all. and all it costs.. All it costs…"

He lets go of you and steps back. The crimson cape on his back transforms into great red wings that move the air as they unfurl. "I'm sorry everyone. I need to get some air."

A dark corridor opens above Shei's head. He flies out into it. The corridor closes just as he enters it.


As Shei stares at her with his weird, creepy staff-eye, and the bizarre sounds start filling her mind as she looks into it, Shorthorns cringes, and reaches up to grab Shei's head and forcibly turn him around to look the other way.

"That's enough of THAT!"

Flaming smiles, "Oh hey, you're right!" Flaming chuckles, looking down at her white coat with auburn-red tattoos. "I wonder if that was subconscious of me thinking about you…"

Flaming chuckles as Amy meets her head bump, smiling with tears starting to fall from her eyes as she says that. "…did I ever tell you you're the best sister in the world? Cause you are."

Flaming snorts as he asks her about her new name. "Pfff, come on, I could never live up to Sheimy's example. She's the best ever."

"Well, I'm keeping Shorthorns: the name means too much to too many others I love. So, changing the first part of my name really took a lot of thought. I thought about all the experiences I've been through that led up to it, and nothing really did quite seem to fit quite right in the end. But, maybe that's just the difficulty in choosing a new name."
She takes a deep breath. "I decided to go with Shorthorn Dragon. What do you think?"

Flaming looks down with relief as Spark proves to be okay, reaching down to scratch the tip of his headplate with her hooves and give him a nuzzling scratch. "Thank you, Volkama, I should have been more careful." She looks at Spark, smiling, "Hey, Spark, I hope you don't find it offensive if I sort of borrowed you for my new name. Is it okay?"


oh yeah god names now



"Oh good, so it's just me," Amy says, sounding slightly more relaxed.


Amy's heart flutters as Shei holds her. She smiles back at him.

"You can be gross and good at the same time. I've kinda mastered it," she adds with a laugh.

Then, Shei lets go and has his panic attack. "W-wait!" Amy calls out, tears building up in her eyes. "Please don't go!"

But, he's already gone.


"A demon and a god are best sisters," Amy laughs. "This is totally how mythologies are made."


"He'll be back soon," Volkama says. "I reckon he's just going through the last of his teenage angst in a short span, owing to his new changes."

"Well, not really my call, is it?" Great Voyage asks. "It's him you're infringing upon with that name," he adds, looking at Spark.
Spark stretches and yawns like a cat, then climbs up into your hair, settling onto your head as a new perch. He grumbles hungrily, and with a flourish, Great Voyage produces a small amount of fish chunks for him to snack upon.
"What about Shorthorned Dragon?" Volkama offers. "Flows off the tongue so well that I think most people might say it by accident anyway."

You fly through the darkness and the astral vagaries of the Beyond, seemingly called there by an unknown force as you search for a place to find peace, where the problems you have sought to solve just do not torment you. You feel yourself being drawn toward one star in particular, out in a mirage-hued cluster of stardust and cosmic blood…


Shei-Sher flies and flits through they air, darting around in unnecessary patterns. Though he seems to find a newfound mastery over flight.

The passing air does nothing to alleviate the grating sound he hears. Shei-Sher follows a star that calls out to him.


Flaming smiles, "The BEST mythological stories."

Flaming looks down at Spark, wondering if he does indeed seem to mind her taking on his likeness, but as the tiny dragon climbs up into her (slightly thinned hair) to take a rest, she smirks. "I think he's okay with it."

She looks to Volkama, tapping her chin, "It does roll a little better. To be honest I was a little hesitant to even drop the 's' but, I figure most who get to know me will start calling me Shortyhorns or Shorthorns anyway." She says with a chuckle. "Alright, Shorthorned Dragon it is!"

She looks Regina, remembering how she asked for a display of the new godlike power, and Flaming looks for something inorganic, curious to try something with her newfound mastery over Dark and Life in particular. She picks up a nearby stone, and lets out a breath, focusing on the stone becoming something more… lively
[1d10] Turning the stone into a bird

Roll #1 3 = 3


*FLOWER, not bird



"I-I hope…" Amy says, clearly holding back tears.


"So this is a rare event then. So to have seven go through it must be a grand feat."

Pryce stares in horror as Shei jams his staff into his eye and is unphased by it after, sounding like an old deaf pony more than anything. He is aghast, unsure of how to react or if the ritual went wrong for Shei.
"I… uh, I guess you're doing, alright then."
He stammers out.

Pryce smiles.
"We all went through a lot today, but nothing can change when we're together."

"After hearing what this ritual was for, it's a fitting color. White flames burn hotter, and you've just made a great leap Flaming."


"Indeed," Regina says. "She had to serve as a conduit for each one. I'm going to tuck her in at my castle, but don't leave yet. She had a final gift for you and Flaming before you go."

You turn it into a flower's shape, but fail to give it any life. Regina offers you very light applause, but you can tell she's expecting a little more. She looks to the others – Hafaza busies herself with cycling her appearance through each party member in the group, while Observer begins to manipulate the natural forces of the world, and swapping through languages with ease. Great Voyage touches the stone flower, turning it into a live flower that wraps around your wrist like a bracelet, while Tantra floats in place, and has Onion demonstrate his new abilities by having Onion think of a word, whereupon Tantra discerns it with supernatural accuracy.

The Dragon, meanwhile, makes no such demonstration of his abilities. "Keeping it a surprise?" Vortigern asks. "Can't I at least see a bit before you depart?"
"If I demonstrated the full range of my abilities here, there would be no survivors," the Dragon says simply. "And I do not want that. The Sphere of Death seems to have made itself my greatest jewel."

The others step away to let Zjetya and River through, and the two give you a hug.



As you reach the light of the star, you pass through an ocean of light, until you soar high over the Domain of Renon, goddess of invention. A vast city sprawls before you, composed of failures. Scrapped projects, broken machines, scrap heaps, mountains of discarded technology, fantastic and mundane, a graveyard of mistakes. A sudden exhaustion comes over you from all that has transpired today, and you feel a gentle lull usher you toward the ground. You land in a rare clear spot, passing through a sunroof in the middle of a workshop, onto an old and musty couch, the kind which always seems to make its way into every garage. Your eyes, heavy with sleep, fall of their own accord… and shortly after, a blanket is drawn upon you by an unseen host.


A mischievous voice, somewhat harsh and scraping with metal, begins to whisper into your ear.

“Fiddler, why that frantic sound?
Why do you gaze so wildly round?
Why leaps your blood, like the surging sea?
What drives your bow so desperately?”

“Why do you fiddle? Or the wild waves roar?
That they might pound the rocky shore,
That eye be blinded, that bosom swell,
That Soul’s cry carry down to Hell.”

“Fiddler, with scorn you rend your heart.
This radiant god lends you your art,
To dazzle with waves of melody,
To soar to the star-dance in the sky.”

“How so! Now plunge, plunge without delay
Your blood-black sabre into all in your way.
That art the gods neither want nor wist,
It leaps to the brain from Hell’s black mist.

“Till heart is tricked, till senses reel:
With Accuser, go, strike a deal.
She'll chalk the signs, beat time for thee,
Now play the death march fast and free.

“You must play dark, you must play light,
Till bowstrings break thy heart outright.”

"The Fiddler saws the strings,
His light brown hair he tosses and flings.
He carries a sabre at his side,
He wears a pleated habit wide."

By the time you drift asleep, a metal guitar, a wicked axe, black and red with golden strings that could saw through bone, is placed alongside you.

>Paused, will be timeskipping to morning next game; reply to this with anything you do before going to sleep



"I just don't want to lose him," Amy cries as River and Zjetya hug her.


"I don't plan on moving anywhere too fast. She had something more planned for us?"
Pryce questions.

Pryce watches Shei fly off, looking across the new pantheon as they feel their new gifts and powers. The fact of his friends and allies now being gods still is sinking in, still adjusting to realize this fact with his past conflict with gods and faith before.
"I can hardly believe it's the same day."


"She had Prickly Pear fish up older copies of the Spellweaving text for you to borrow. Your training with her got cut short yesterday, and she didn't want to leave you with half-baked magic," Regina says.

"You won't," River says. "I'm sure of it."
"Yeah…" Zjetya says, sounding far less certain than River. "Not when we've come so far. It won't end in despair. You'll make sure of that, right?"


Last time, on HolyQuest…

After recovering Pryce, Sir Estuary, Flow, and Estuary's Memory from the ruins of Vadahara, there was one last piece of business to take care of, now that night had fallen upon the world.

Flaming, Shei, Observer, Hafaza, Tantra, LJ and _____, having obtained a piece of each of the four Aspects of Existence, were now both capable and willing to undergo there ceremony of Kindling, presided over by Fairy Castle, Shekinah of the Coven of Wacachan. The details were ancient and strange, for there was almost no talking involved. Through the ritual, they sunk out of their own world, into a place between worlds, where the remnants of fallen worlds, of worlds that had met their end, lay scattered, forming a kind of strange grove. From a tree in the center of the grove, Fairy Castle took a flowering fruit, and instructed them to ingest it.

They did so, and they burned away, dissolving into the world about them. But this death of immolation was but a prerequisite for their transformation and new making. A pillar of light flashed atop the Library of the Sacrosanct, and there the party was once more, each one changed in some way. They were not gods yet, but managed, within themselves, to capture a piece of the mystery of godhood. Most managed to take the change quite well. But Shei was unable to handle the sudden changes to his body and mind, and sought refuge elsewhere to clear his mind, falling at last into an exhaustion in the Domain of Renon, goddess of invention… and it was there that a voice instructed him toward an end most ominous.


>All except Amy
The next morning, the Saviors have gathered aboard the airship, bound for Fantasia, having refueled and performed light maintenance before their departure from Threecoins. It is early in the morning, the safest time to travel, for most demons, having been driven into a frenzy in the latest hours of the night, are now exhausted, and driven off by the light of the sun. The sky is clear above them, but dark clouds gather upon the horizons to the south and east.

KP, Pryce, Wireframe and Volkama are seated in the cockpit, with Volkama and Wireframe giving KP and Pryce the last lessons on flying they will receive for a while. The others mill about the ship, performing idle cleanup tasks after breakfast, such as Mocha, Deriva, Vortigern and Renee, watching the horizon, such as Busta, Zjetya, River and Rus Tea, playing games, such as Sugar, Spitshine and Onion, or discussing battle theory, such as Blessings, Tantra, LJ, Observer, Hafaza and _____.

Shei is still missing, and as for Amy, she slept in, unable to be awoken. Volkama, Busta and Deriva had suggested to the others that she, like they, had been exhausted by the moon's impulses, and needed to sleep in further – and so the party had relented of trying to wake her. As for what was really afflicting her…


You stand in a lightless realm – without light, without heat or cold, without, paradoxically, the comfort of darkness, rather, an unsettling in-between, a void. Exhaustion grips you, dulling your every sense, yet you can strangely feel hard wooden boards beneath your paws.

One after the other, three conical lights flick on from above, a second apart. The first illuminates you. The second illuminates a shape ahead of you; you see Shei asleep upon an old and torn couch, a blanket draped over him, a devilish guitar laying at his side. A mist, or a veil, seems to lie between you, making his shape murky and unclear. He breathes and snores, but you cannot hear him.

As the third light flicks on, you do not see it anywhere about, though you can hear it. You eventually turn, and see the third light some distance back behind you. It illuminates a tall pony shape, but you cannot make out any of their features.


There's a kid, with messy white hair and Shei's old black cloak sitting on the couch beside the God of Bastards and Kids. He plucks a single string from his guitar, minding his own business.



"Oh, right. With everything that's been going on, her Spellweaving lessons slipped my mind entirely."

The next morning Pryce wakes up sore, the injuries from the fight settling in now as he feels their linger now that the adrenaline of battle has passed. It takes him a moment to leave the bed, taking a moment of reflection as he looks at his new burning foreleg.

Pryce sits in the cockpit, having KP help with some tasks the Volkama and Wireframe say as they instruct the two on how to fly. KP keeps Lockjaw in check, with Hopper sitting on a clear spot on the dashboard, getting the pets involved as well.


Lockjaw learns after a few gentle rebukes not to bite any of the flashing lights, twitching dials or brightly-colored switches and levers at the control scheme. Hopper zones out from the gentle hum of the engine, his head drooping slightly as he takes an early morning nap.

"Have you taken a shower yet with that thing?" Wireframe asks, examining your burning arm.



Amy starts to nod off as the darkness makes her tired. Even when she sees Shei, she lightly waves to him and says, "Hi Shei," with a yawn.

She violently and dramatically lies down on her side and makes an attempt to fall asleep. However, as she does so, she sees the tall pony shape. She lazily lifts her head up and observes it. "Who's that?" Amy asks no one in particular, not bothering to lift a hoof-paw to point at it.


The tall figure gives no response, merely standing there and observing you. It seems, as your eyes adjust to the light, to be feminine in shape, and somewhat like the mares of Mariposa.



Leather wakes up uncomfortably, unaccustomed to sleeping with the large party despite Ecclesian barracks having just as many at times. With multiple scrolls filled out from the events of last night alone, Leather pours over his writing to try to discern dream from reality, having trouble deciding what exactly happened the prior night.

Seeking out Pryce and the others, Cloak peeks into the cockpit, though not wishing to intrude on any lessons.


"Ah, Cloak," Volkama says, keeping his voice down for Amy's sake. "Did you sleep alright? The leftovers of breakfast are being kept warm in the stove, if you desire it, and I was just craving a spot of extra coffee, if you care for some."


>Paused, will be timeskipping to morning next game; reply to this with anything you do before going to sleep
Following her rise into the realm of the gods, the buffalo formerly known as Flaming spent the remainder of her evening on relatively mundane tasks: she finished her date with Voyage(exchanging one last, secretive 'nose kiss' at the end with the new exceedingly handsome deity), and spent much of the evening eating and playing with everyone that would not be following them into Tartarus, wanting to get as much time to see them before they parted ways the next day.

Shorthorns spends her morning, finding herself with a particularly light appetite in the morning after all she'd consumed last night, milling about the ship, particularly staying close to Amy as she watches the wolf pony with careful eyes, wondering when (or if) she will awaken from this slumber. When she feels like taking a break, she heads towards the cockpit, the restless god wondering how long it'd be until she got such beautiful views of the distant ground below and the horizon beyond again after delving into Tartarus.

As she heads into the cockpit, she sighs, looking out over the view. "When we first got in this giant metal deathtrap, I was terrified at leaving the ground. Now, I don't know how I'll sleep at night without it."


Shei becomes faintly aware of a presence beside him – distinct from that of the kid with the guitar. It feels familiar somehow, yet distant.


"Hrm…" Volkama grumbles. "…Did we ever give this airship a name?"
"I thought it belonged to you, didn't you name it?" Wireframe asks.
"My mental state had corroded at the time from Vizsla's demonic parasite," Volkama says. "I never named it, nor bothered to check if it had a name. In all likelihood, it would have had a serial number for official weather team records, but little else."



"Whatever," Amy says petulantly. "I can stare at people too."

Amy lays there and stares at the pony.


"I've grown accustomed to the Ecclesian barracks I'm afraid, though I suppose I should get used to sleeping in different locations either way." Leather nods, similarly keeping his voice down, "I came to see about spending some of the last hours of the morning together before some of us go our separate ways. I'll have some breakfast though, I don't wish to intrude on the lessons."

Leather seeks out said leftovers, pouring two coffees for himself and Volkama.


"Well, a serial number isn't any kind of real name! If it doesn't have one, we should give it one. May be a while before we come back to it, after all."

"Hmmm…. what do you think of 'The Crow's Nest'? It's certainly been a nest of sorts for us for a while now."


The pony steps forward, and the light follows her, her hooves soundless as they flow across the ground.

"Are you prepared to lose him?" the pony asks, her voice manifesting as an anonymous force in your mind, without tone, timbre, inflection, or range, yet you can hear it all the same.


"Are you awake now, or were you still sleeping. Seems like a question to come back to pretty often. Was I acting, was I not -mistaken that there's any difference."

The kid plucks another string, from the guitar. Held in the arms of the sleeping God of Bastards and Gods.



The leftover breakfast is a familiar one, at least to you. Nicknamed "Trail Ration Surprise" among the Ecclesians, it consists of whatever foods haven't gone bad, tossed into a bowl, mixed vigorously with whatever sauces and seasonings that pass a smell test. Presumably, Zjetya or Rus Tea had some influence in the choice of this breakfast. Your particular bowl seems to be a mixture of pasta, fish, hayggs, haycon, and a side of unusual red and yellow fruits. Not a bad combination, at least when washed down with strong and bitter coffee. Volkama nods his thanks for the mug, taking his completely plain.



Amy squints at the figure. She lifts up her head. "No," she answers flatly.


She looks over to the kids. "That's dumb," she responds equally flatly.


"If I acted dumb more often there would be less shame. I am abandoned by people who were abandoned. Bastards and bitches and kids, my mothers and fathers are dead birds who will never fly again."

he plucks another string.



"Hey! Me too!" Amy laughs.


"So many others have been lost, and so many others will be lost," the figure continues. As she speaks, lights flash on and off around you, revealing the silhouettes of others, at a distance. Some you recognize – those of Ecclesian Choristers and Spooks, those of the Witches of Gehenna, those of the Saviors. At last, they vanish, and two more silhouettes appear, side by side with the tall figure.

"Why is it that you haven't prepared?" the figure asks. One figure morphs into yourself before the completion of your fusion with Ego, and the other morphs into Shei, back before his own myriad transformations. "Do you not think you can lose him? Or, have you already prepared, and are merely denying the possibility?"


"She is truly pious. A true believer. She worships boldly, with every action. Faith unquestioned. Maybe I love her because she got it right the first time."



Amy thinks about this for a while. "I don't really know…" Amy admits. "I'm not dumb enough to think that I can stop everything. Especially when Shei wants it to happen… But, I want to. And, if I want to do something, why would I bother thinking about not doing it?"


Amy does a double take between the two strangers. "Who are you talking about?" Amy asks the Kid.


"Not yet. I used my magic to wash up carefully this morning, though that was more due to the injuries than the flames."
Pryce glances down to his foreleg.
"It shouldn't go out if the Ember made it, but… it's jsut hard to think of flames not going out with water."

"I never imagined myself flying around the skies either, but it's not too different from when I traveled with my family as a kid."
>"Yea, it's like our old wagon, but in the air! Plus having wings probably made it an easy adjustment too."
Pryce chuckles.
"They weren't easy to adjust to either."


"If you want to avert that end, your will must break his," the tall figure says. The silhouettes beside her morph once more, slowly progressing along each minute difference between the ways that the two of you used to look, into how you look now. "And you must break the wills of others who would cast you both into the dark inferno that awaits you. You must become the one who will judge who fails, and who succeeds, who is lost and who is saved. Otherwise, someone else will do it for you. Can you adorn that role?"


the kid lays upside down on the couch, head and hair hanging below the cushion.

"You're ignoring it on purpose. You don't want to think about your friends leaving. You don't accept things can go wrong. You don't really accept who you are, you don't accept who others are. You only worship, all your actions are prayers."


"Don't be a wimp," Wireframe says. "You can control it just fine now, so couldn't you just conjure it back? You won't be having two mares around your arms for long if you start to smell bad."

"What about something like 'The Rising Light'?" Wireframe asks. "'Crow's Nest' just makes me think of pirates, but after all we've done, don't we get a little glory?"
"Something like 'The Weathermaker' seems more fitting," Volkama says. "It is important to remember one's roots."


Leather eats without complaint, turning to Pryce.
"Gods… Just a day and again we are to be split for an indeterminate amount of time. I think I have said this before, but do keep in touch with Glass Dagger again for me, she would appreciate the old friend."


Shorthorns chuckles as he brings up the wings. "I never knew you without wings, so I guess that's a bit of a surprise to hear you're new to this too. It's definitely weird when you first start, doesn't seem natural for me to be in the air."

"Oh!" Shorthorns points out at Volkama, "This WAS a weather machine originally, that's true! I think we should focus on something to do with the weather then. Maybe… the Cloudy Day?" She shakes her head, "No, that sounds too depressing… what about the Oncoming Storm?"



"CAN I?" Amy asks as if the question is stupid. "I'd LOVE to!"


"Isn't that what everyone does?" Amy asks with a shrug. "We ignore that we are going to die. We ignore that things are bad. If we don't, we'll never be happy. I'd rather be happy."

"That doesn't mean I can't be responsible. I don't have to reject my friends and everything in order to want them to be better. We change every day - every minute. That doesn't mean we're a totally new person. I don't want to reject them. I want them to do that. Be better. Get rid of the bad parts."

"And, you do it all the same way. Ignore the bad. Play around with the good. It's why I am the way I am. I know I'm not TECHNICALLY Amy. But, I want to be. So, I am. She changed me and I changed her. So we are her. That doesn't make me irresponsible. It'd be irresponsible to say that people can't change. If I rejected myself or my friends and said they could never change, THAT would be irresponsible. If I just decided to pay attention to all the bad things that will happen or could happen and not even bother trying to make it better, THAT would be irresponsible."

"You see it as me ignoring bad things that could happen. But, the opposite is just the same. If I accept the bad things will happen, then I'm ignoring all the good things that could happen."

"Which would you rather ignore? Good things or bad things?"


"Only if you let go of the notion that you must ignore one or the other. An arbiter, who condemns one and spares another, cannot discount either extreme. An Accuser must be able to extend pardon when that judgment is right. Ignoring good or bad is what's truly irresponsible, but you know already that most do choose one to ignore in the hope of finding the other. But it is that insistence which prohibits them from finding either."

The tall figure comes so close to you that all of the conical stage-lights from above join into one burning beam, a light that reveals and distinguishes all shadow. The two silhouettes stand at your sides, while the tall, featureless figure stands directly ahead. "Can you?"


"I am I. I am I!" The kid mocks you. He sits atop the couch head. "I am in control. I want to be in control. I control people. I control fate. This is what you actually believe when there are no more prayers. No more friends to worship."

The kid is laying down on the couch head "I am the good things. I am the bad things."


"I already said I washed up. Once I recover I'll be fine."
He pauses to think a moment.
"I… don't know. I should, if things go wrong. Though I hope I won't be losing a limb anytime soon again."

>"What about 'The Silver Lining'?"
KP suggests as everypony mentions names.
>"They say every cloud has one, and this is a weather machine, and it's been one of the good things we can look forward too every day since we found it!"

"An indeterminate amount, but this time we know we'll see each other again after."
Pryce says.
"I will. We're going to check in with Ecclessia later about their situation with Ornifex, so I can check in with her while we're there."

"It is a strange feeling. Even now still I find it hard to fly too much higher off the ground."


Shorthorns can only look at Pryce with shock and amazement as she contemplates the name.
"Pryce… I think youou just picked out the PERFECT name. It's just… perfect, for both those reasons. AND it's made of metal! 'The Silver Lining'… it just rolls off the tongue, too!"



"Nobody controls fate by themselves," Amy responds resolutely. "That's why we make friends. The bad guys are the ones that try to do it alone. And, that's why they're bad. That's why they lose. It's not because they want to do something mean. It's because they want to do it alone."

"I to change along with people. I like changing. I like that Amy made me a better person. I want more people to do that for me. You're doing it now, I think. I don't see that as control. I see that as sharing."

"And, if there's no friends left to share with, then I guess there's no one left at all… In that case…" Amy looks down for a moment.

Then, Amy looks back up at the Kid. "I guess I'd just have to die with everyone," she says with a shrug. "I don't really care if you're good or bad. I'd like to be your friend."


Amy listens intently to the figure standing before her. She thinks she might have an idea of who it is. But, she says nothing. "I don't really understand, but I think I get it," Amy says in a kind of confused tone.

"If I do get it, then there's only one answer to your question. It's kind of what I said in the first place. I don't know if I can or not. But, let's find out," she says with a simple smile.


>"Yea it's perfect, isn't it?"
KP says excitedly as Flaming says how great his suggestion is.


>after "I don't really understand, but I think I get it."
>but before "If I do get it…"

"I'm not really dumb enough to think that I can just make everyone my friend without anything bad happening. I can try. But, I'm not going to let good people get hurt when I try. If I have to stop someone, I will. If they end up dying because of that, that's their fault. I've killed bad people before, and I don't intend to stop if I have to. But, if I had the ability to stop them without killing them… Then, I could do anything."


"You're my friend! He's my friend! Change, growth, I wasn't in control! Even though I tried to be!"

The kid stands adjacent to the couch, pointing directly at Shei-Sher the God of Bastards and kids. The couch is torn apart now, fluff poking out, shorn and stained cotton. Dozens of beer cans and wine bottles littered about.

"Is that your excuse for when things go wrong! Is that his excuse! He couldn't protect me! He let me be tortured, molested, betrayed, heart broken, die and die again! Is it okay because you're a person in progress!!?"


KP's suggestion of 'The Silver Lining' goes over with lukewarm appeal among the nearby passengers. "Well, it's nice, but it's also too predictable," Wireframe says. "I'd wager there's already a few dozen ships with that name – well, they're probably decomposing in a junk heap somewhere these days."
As the Shorthorned Dragon proposes 'Oncoming Storm,' there appears to be no dissent from Volkama or Wireframe. Zjetya and Rus Tea, who are nearby and overhead, begin to tell the others, who have a growing curiosity about the naming discussion. Some, like River, Zjetya and Great Voyage, appear to favor Silver Lining, while others such as Observer and Busta seem more inclined toward the latter.
"We seem to be somewhat divided," Volkama says. "Shall we put it to a vote?"

"River and Zjetya will be the judge of whether you're fine, stinky," Wireframe says.


"I'm glad you like 'Oncoming Storm' but, I'm really liking Pryce's suggestion too… I'll vote for the 'Silver Lining'. Though we could also combine the two, the 'Silver Storm'? That way it's like a whole sky filled with silver linings."


"You get it, after all," the tall figure says. The guitar which the Kid holds moves from his grasp into the arms of the sleeping Shei, who begins to play a song normally not possible upon its metal strings.

"Very well then," the figure continues. "It's time to find out, isn't it, Princess?"

One by one, lights begin to blink on all around you, gradual at first, growing rapidly with each new light. They reveal that the couch has been sitting upon a theater stage, a stage that Amy does not recognize, but that Pryce might. Many figures sit in the seats before you, and among them, you see all those you have met over the course of your journey. Their faces are those of anticipation, of awaiting judgment.

Shei awakens, just as this entire strange theater and stage in which they find themselves becomes fully visible.

The tall figure steps back, as Amy feels a new power welling up within her heart…

>Princess of Hunters: Recharge 3; Spell: Permanently steal any one skill from a target, gaining it for your own use. You do not gain the target's roll bonuses along with the skill. In order for a skill to be a valid target for stealing, the user must fulfill three conditions. 1: You must know what skill you want to steal. 2: You must have seen that skill used before. 3: You must know of the target's motivations and desires.


nearby and overheard,*


>"Aww… I though it was good."
KP says as Wireframe pokes holes into his idea. When Flaming suggests combining them, KP nods his head in agreement.
>"Yea, let's go for both together! That works out great."

"Can we focus back on the flight lessons?"
Pryce says, changing the topic off his perfectly fine hygiene.


"If that is your answer. Then speak it with your true will!"

The kid throw aways his black cloak. Appearing on his naked body are many scars and burns and the bran of Gabby's seal on his chest. The kid grabs it and crinks the sign up like paper and throws it away.

>Black Aria Catechism: Automatic; A seal within your soul broken by an eerie tone you displace great reserves of power. Sacrifice half your current wounds to effuse a magnificent deluge of magatsuchi which contaminates your enemies to overload the round it is played. This deluge lasts a number of rounds equal to the wounds you sacrificed. In turn you and all allies within close range are afflicted with Dhyana and Qi Overload for a number of rounds equal to wounds sacrificed. Once the rounds are expended or combat is over D/Q Overload immediately ceases and any debuffs accrued are dispelled.

[3 wounds expended]

>Dhyana/Qi Overload: Status Effect; Make a Resistance Roll to respond harmoniously with the surging Dhyana/QI. This roll does not benefit from any bonuses. You must roll this Resistance Check every round D/Q Overload is active. With each success the DC for your next resistance check is lowered by -1 DC up to a maximum of DC3. For every round D/Q Overload is active the DC to natural crit is lowered by 1 regardless of succeeding or failing the resistance check. And all attacks are tagged with Dhyana Element.

Upon Resistance Check Failure your flesh becomes brittle your aura becomes glass dust. The DC to critically hit you is decreased by 1 regardless. If you have >Ndindisholo the first failure only deactivates >Ndindisholo


resistance roll

Roll #1 8 = 8



"I do believe I'll need to pick up my vestments before we depart, though perhaps my Spook or one of the others will have them prepared for the journey."

He turns to Volkama, drinking his coffee, "I won't put a vote myself, I've not been on the ship long enough to determine which name feels more accurate."


*fixed health before I forget


"You will be having regular showers while we're out," River says. "We have struck an odd relationship with a water god, so we have little excuse for not bathing."
"And we'll make sure that you stick to the schedule, flame arm or no," Zjetya says with a wink. River sighs with relief when Sugar and Spitshine are too busy admiring the scenery to notice the wink. "If a phoenix moth like me can bathe, so can you."

"The synthesis to the thesis and antithesis has arrived," Volkama declares cryptically. "So, the candidates are Oncoming Storm, Silver Lining, and Silver Storm."
"We have one abstaining from the vote," Chorazin notes. "Shei is absent, and Amy is asleep with frightful dreams following the influence of the night. Can we really hold a vote now?"
"If it comes down to a tie, they can break it," Busta says.
"Very well," Volkama says. "All in favor of Oncoming Storm?"
Chorazin, Busta, Rus Tea, Renee, Flow and Observer cast their votes for Oncoming Storm.
"And Silver Lining?"
Hafaza, Mirror, Zjetya, River, Box and Deriva vote for that one.
"Silver Storm?"
Volkama, Onion, Spitshine, Sugar, Wireframe and Blessings vote for the final choice. Estuary abstains from all three of the options.


The stage overflows with wave after wave, an ocean of magatsuchi pouring over you. Dark as storm clouds, thicks as blood. Whilst, in the eye of the storm is a white concentrated epicenter of Shei-Sher's soul exuding dominion over the stage.


Shorthorns looks through all the voters, counting them off on their hooves.

"Huh… seems to be an even six each way so far." She looks to Pryce, smiling, "Silver Lining WAS good, but, if you're okay with combining them, I think that sounds like a good approach! We're more like a 'storm' than just a single cloud, anyways."

"I vote the Silver Storm."



Amy looks down again in thought. It's sort of the question of her entire life. Then, she looks back up at The Kid.

"There are no excuses for the things I've done. There are no excuses for the things anyone has done. I'd never ask for them to be forgotten. And, forgiveness is up to everyone else so I can't ask for that either."

"I can't give excuses, but I can give explanations. Explanations don't make it better, but they at least make it understandable. They help other people and yourself realize where you went wrong. Then, they're able to work with you, help you improve. And, you're able to do the same."

"In fact, I've never really thought about it before, but excuses are pointless. If we're going to talk about how bad and good are all just things to accept, then the things in the past are nothing but lessons to learn about the future. No one will ever be excused for anything they've ever done. But, that's a good thing. It means they'll do better. And, that doesn't change anything about them. There's no universal truth that says a person is exonerated of something. It's just something people collectively decide."


Amy stares in awe as it's confirmed to be Princess Wineberry. Her awe remains as she's on the stage and bestowed with a new power. She looks down at her own hoof-paws as they glow with newfound power.

Tears well up in her eyes. She can feel the ability to do what she's always wanted. The power to stop people without killing them.


Amy looks at the Kid with a look of determination. "I told you before Shei. There's nothing you can do that I can't undo," she says with grim determination.

>Animal Totem: automatic instant, recharge 5 after effect ends;You shapeshift into a Mystic or War animal for 3 turns (chosen when you learn this skill), gaining a bonus. May be combined with Nature Elemental.:-Mystic; +1 to a known spell. Gain useage of a cleric or shaman spell skill worth up to 2 points, chosen when you earn Animal Totem.

>Level 1 Tattoo (1 extra turn of Mystical Animal Totem)
>Level 2 Tattoo (1 extra standard action each turn in Mystic Animal Totem)
>Level 3 Tattoo (Gain an additional turn on Animal Totem Form. User takes half-damage while in Animal Totem Form,. All foes in close range are knocked back on activation and cannot attack the user next round. Regain 1 Wound per turn while in Animal Totem Form, after damage calculation for that turn.)
>The first time I've used level 3, so I figured I'd post the full thing

When Amy transforms, a golden burst of energy explodes around her. But, at her core exudes a dark, purple glow. The result is not unlike the event horizon of a black hole. She crouches down like a dog ready to fight.

>Jahna of Uprooting Poison to resist the Magatsuchi [1d10]

Amy dives toward the inner child with speed to fast too follow. In an instant, she is on top of him. She bites down not on his physical form, but his power.

>Princess of Hunters: Recharge 3; Spell: Permanently steal any one skill from a target, gaining it for your own use. You do not gain the target's roll bonuses along with the skill. In order for a skill to be a valid target for stealing, the user must fulfill three conditions. 1: You must know what skill you want to steal. 2: You must have seen that skill used before. 3: You must know of the target's motivations and desires.

>1. Black Aria Catechism

>2. He just used it
>3. He is trying to test Amy


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


"I never said I wasn't going to."
Pryce mumbles as both River and Zjetya join in too on his hygiene.

KP raises his hoof for the vote of Silver Storm, as does Pryce too.
>"Yea. And this is all of our homes, so combining our suggestions is the perfect fit!"
"It does have a good sound to it. Has a name ponies would look out for too."


Amy withstands the gale of magatsuhi, keeping her mind intact against its influence, but the force of it keeps her from being able to clamp down her jaws shut to complete her theft of the skill. The Kid is able to hold his own against her, keeping her at bay even though she has him pinned, via the stream of magatsuhi that blasts at her like the winds of a storm. The tall figure simply observes the struggle, standing at a distance now.


You hear the voice of a young Adult "Nah, I wouldn't be so sure." The young adult Shei-Sher sits crossed legged on the couch, commentating "Kid over there is as stubborn as a goat."



"I've already won over goats before," Amy laughs.


Amy bites down again on the power that the Kid wields.

>Princess of Hunters [1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"Is pinning me down your answer. It is not enough." Shei-Sher places his small child hoof on Amy, the giant wolf's massive throat, and clenches it to choke.

>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.


>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 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 5 = 5


The Silver Storm is the clear winner, even when factoring in Shei's and Amy's votes. "It is decided!" Volkama says. "We'll have to procure a fresh wine bottle to christen it properly. Let us drink to it now anyway."
"Good timing," Chorazin says. "We've arrived."
At last, the high walls of Fantasia appear upon the horizon, fortified and manned by Ecclesians, fairies, and refugees alike. Pryce pulls it in to the shipyard, where several Eccelsian carts have been parked. A ground crew of Ecclesians give directions via colored magical lights, directing and correcting his trajectory on the way down. Once the ship touches down, you can see that the city is now packed. Congregation soldiers move catapaults, cannons, and various other weapons shipments to and fro, while mercenaries and Laity staff oversee the transportation of rations, medical equipment, and other personnel.

As the doors of the airship unlock, a figure very quickly steps inside. It is none other than Anzu, the Spook to Freischutz. Wireframe tenses up as she practically manifests aboard the ship's entrance hall through her flash-step. "Good morning, everyone. They're waiting for you, within Fantasia Palace. Gather everything you will need; this is it."



"If we're gonna do this…" Amy says with a smirk.

>Go, Go, Go!: Once per combat; For the next 3 turns, you and all allies may take an extra action. On a natural crit, that's 2 extra actions.


The force of Amy's glowing Magatsuchi becomes even more overwhelming as does the speed at which she moves.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


As the Kid steals time from Amy, he can, at once, sense that the effort was utterly futile, for although he steals power and time from her, a second wave of it wells up from within her, creating an unstoppable torrent. The flow of power quickly shifts as she bites down, mere millimetres from chomping his face clean off. The gale winds of his magatsuhi stop, as Amy steals that power away from him, devouring it whole.

The audience remains silent, as they wait the finale of this scene.


Shorthorns nods, moving in to give KP a small bump against his noggin. "Good thinking on that one, Pryce, the 'Silver Storm' really does sound perfect for this ship." She sighs, "Just wish I could have been on it for a little longer while it was named. Keep her safe for me while I'm gone, okay?"

As Chorazin mentions their arrival, Shorthorns moves to the window, looking at all the reinforcements they'd managed to gather since their last visit. "The Ecclessians really came through, I knew they would."

As she remembers Ecclessia, her mind wanders to the princesses of Mariposa, and the power Mudi stole from them, wondering how much that may factor into what they plan to do with Mudi in Tartarus, but makes a mental note to keep it for now before asking later as the newly christened Silver Storm touches down.

When Anzu manifests on board, Shorthorns turns in surprise, before nodding to her. "Right. I have everything I need or will need," she says, looking down at the vast inventory of treasures and gifts she's been given over her journey. "We're as ready as we'll ever be now."



Amy laughs ferociously. "Trying to take my power? That's my thing. I'll take it all and leave you with nothing!"

She opens her mouth wide and starts to breathe in. As she does, the Kid can feel his power being sucked away.

>Can I Borrow This?


As Amy grows more powerful, the energy literally explodes off of her.

>Wrath [1d10+5]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 9 + 5 = 14


Leather sets his coffee down quickly and turns to Anzu, offering a small bow. "Understood - thank you, Hunter of Sinners."

Fetching his rifle and shield, he makes himself ready posthaste.



In one instant the flow of energies is gone along with the Kid. Shei-Sher ambles over to Amy while playing his guitar. "Good job you stopped him. He lives in your heart -and maybe your stomach. But most of all he lives inside this world's greatest tantrum. However that's my soul so I'll be needing him back."

Shei-Sher pats Amy on the head and retrieves Black Aria Catechism.
>spell breaker

[end of combat]

Roll #1 4 = 4


Pryce lands the ship down, confident in his flying abilities now.

When Anzu materializes practically when the ship opens up, Pryce is caught by surprise, taking a moment to register her appears.
"Good morning. We're… still waiting on some ourselves."
Pryce says, deciding it better to not say directly that Amy is still slumbering.
>"Whoa… You're fast."
KP says to how suddenly Anzu appeared.

>"Of course! We'll keep your room all nice and clean and ready for you to get back."



When the Kid disappears, Amy looks up to the empty 'sky' above them and lets out a long howl. As the howl dies down, so too does the magatsuhi around her. She slowly reverts into her more pony-like form.

"That was a rush," Amy pants.

When Shei pats her on the head, she wags her tail happily. "Sure, you can have it back." She then proceeds to make a sound as if she is building up a lot of phlegm. She then literally spits the power back to Shei.

I'll let Verbadoo decide what it looks like in transit.


The gathered audience begins to clap, and one by one, they stand. "Congratulations," "Congratulations," "Congratulations!" they start to cry, enemies, companions, acquaintances and strangers alike.

"Congratulations," the Princess adds.

At once, the stage lights rise, and their illumination intensifies, filling the theater with a blinding, glorious light…

"You have a brief time to purchase any last necessities," Anzu says. "We are still waiting on a few members of the Light Brigade. Those mercenary friends of Flow have a trend of being fashionably late, it seems."
"Sounds like 'em," Flow says. "Don't worry, they won't miss the party."
Anzu nods, offers KP a brief headpat, and then turns and flash-steps away.
"Showoff," Wireframe grumbles, grabbing her things.

As you get ready to leave, Chorazin and Mirror go to collect Amy, fearing that she will sleep through the expedition's beginning. But when they enter her bedroom, they find that she has at last, awoken.



"Thanks, Princess," Amy says to her as her tail continues to wag. "I've wanted to meet you for a long time. You're a big inspiration for me. I don't know what's going to happen if we meet for real…"

"Or, I guess WHEN we meet. It's kinda inevitable, isn't it? Well, when it happens… I guess I should apologize now. For whatever happens."

Amy lets out a long sigh. "We've been talking about how we should talk about the good and bad things that will happen… It's not going to be good, is it?"


The Princess neither shakes nor nods her head, but simply turns about.

"What happens now is for you to determine," she says, walking away into the blinding light.

You awake, seeing Chorazin and Mirror Image peering over you as you lay in your bed.


KP looks to Wireframe as she grumbles after Anzu leaves.
>"Do you know her?"

As the others prepare their things, Pryce readies himself as well. While he may not be departing on the expedition, he will see his friends up to the last moment before so.


Somebody opens a cupboard in the ship and out pours Shei-Sher along with the crashing sound of hundreds of empty beer cans and wine bottles, and inexplicably some cotton fluff -possibly from a couch?

Shei shuffles over the many cans and bottles, standing up with heavy head. "ba-ah top of the morning.. this is all just recycling." he passes it off so nonchalantly.


"She works directly for Freischutz," Wireframe says, pointing to her split jaw scars. "The one who ripped my face to pieces like this. I'm gonna take her and her boss down for my Hive, the expedition be damned."



Amy wakes up with tears in her eyes. She quickly wipes them away with a smile as she looks toward Chorazin and Mirror.

"Sorry. I guess I overslept, huh?" she asks with a light laugh.


"Is it time to go?" she asks as she walks out to where the others are.

"Do I have time to make a speech to the armies? There's something I want to say once EVERYONE is gathered."


"Thanks, Pryce…" she frowns, looking down at the floor. "I'm… I know it's still a bit too early to get like this but, I'm going to miss you. Both of you."

Shorthorns looks into her bag, remembering the huge supply of gold that she had managed to procure yesterday. Spark sleeps on top of it, guarding his first real horde of coin as she counts out the pieces she'd gained from beating Vortigern.
"7000 pieces… I could probably make good use of some of it now, even if it turns out it IS worth something in Tartarus."

"Alright, how about we go see if we can spend a bit of gold first, then… then we make ready to leave." She says, her words catching up with her a bit in her throat.

Shorthorns smiles, the white buffalo running up to Amy. "You're awake! I was starting to get worried. There's still a bit of time left before we go in!"


Having went to go and ready himself, Cloak returns with his armaments only to see Anzu has already left. "Right then."
"No sense delaying, I suppose. If you've just awoken, you should eat something before we leave."



Amy laughs. "Yeah, I just had a SUPER crazy experience. I'm good now, though."


"It's okay, I plan on eating on the way," Amy says ominously.


Spark grumbles as he's awoken by you counting up your coins. He flies up to your horn and bites on one, before settling into the fluff on your head. Great Voyage looks his way, and frowns with concern.
"…You gonna take him with us?"

Chorazin and Mirror quickly go fetch a bowl of Trail Ration Surprise for Amy out of the stove. It's a bit cold, even with the stove's insulation, but at least they saved Amy the bowl with all the beef and chicken and a side of bones.

As you inspect your things, you find a note in your pack that was not there prior. It is from Anzu, and it instructs you to go see Holy Hours at Fantasia Palace's side chapel, posthaste – and alone. It seems that he has something for you not necessarily for the others' eyes or ears, but the note does not say what.


KP frowns, worried at her declaration.
>"Are… Are you sure that's the best idea when you're in Tartarus?"

"We were just informed there's some time still."
Pryce answers.

>"I'm going to miss you too Flaming."

Pryce turns, frowning himself as they're already giving goodbyes, but tries not to show it too much.
"It feels like we've only just started travelling together. But that's just all the more reason to come back in one piece, right?"



"Thanks," Amy says as she nibbles on some of the food. "I don't want to eat too much though. I can't fight on a full stomach," equally ominously.


"Oh good……" Amy says with an awkward pause.

"Is anyone as nervous as I am?" she asks with a laugh.


Shei-Sher ambles over the barracks, attempting pop in unnoticed. He slips a piece of parchment underneath the covers of the cot Pryce sleeps in, for him to find after the party has left for Tartarus.

He then mozies on out to look for Estuary on the ship.


You find him sitting near a window, waiting for Pryce with his hat somewhat lowered. As you approach him, he hands over the Ember. "This is what you're after, isn't it?"

"It's the best time to do it," Wireframe counters. "I have no hope of fighting either of them head-on. But down there, I can get my revenge with the help of whatever horrible things lie down there."


"I'll be setting out for Ecclesian business and I'll try to rendezvous back as you're out making your final purchases." Leather says, tucking up his cloth wrappings to cover his face.


"Pretty much yeah. It'd help out a lot of people."



"Buying things?" Amy laughs. "I have no money!"


Shorthorns snickers, "Crazy sounds normal for you. What happened, did you have some kind of vision in your sleep?"

"It is," Shorthorns says to Pryce, keeping strong as she tries to keep all the waterworks for their true departure. "It feels more like a lifetime of being with all of you to me, which, is why it's so much harder to imagine going on without you. Please, be safe up here, alright?"

Shorthorns nods to Leather, "I should probably check in with someone too, being a member myself. Maybe I'll see you over there."

As Spark emerges from the bag and nibbles her horns, she snickers, reaching up to scratch the top of his head as he finds a safe nest in her hair fluff.

As Voyage asks, she frowns, looking down. "I was thinking I would, yeah… I think he's really attached to me, imagine what separating him would do?"
"But… I don't know, do you think it's a good idea?"


"Perhaps." Leather nods, "It is a personal summons."



"Kinda?" Amy says as she scratches her head. She doesn't sound sure of it herself. "I think Shei and I shared a dream. It was real weird. Just like Shei."


You make your way for a small chapel just down a side-road from Fantasia Palace, secluded somewhat by a garden upon the Palace's grounds. Two Ecclesian guards are posted outside the chapel, and they allow you in, keeping a sharp eye out for witnesses or spies.

There, sitting in a front pew, you see Holy Hours, a case at his side. He nods stiffly at your entry, and opens the case at his side. He reveals your Ecclesian coat, which you can sense has been imbued with new power, though it looks the same as it always has.

"Something I've had in the works since your promotion to Horror," Holy Hours says. "A team has at last recovered the relics of St. Truepact, zealot of Hypomone, who demonstrated remarkable powers not seen by other devotees of the god, powers that helped turn the tide in several decisive battles, when certain warlords sought to take command of the early Accorsian Empire. We have sewn them into the armor of your coat, following a consultation with the angel of that very god. Try to avoid drawing attention to them if you can. We ourselves carry similar emergency measures, should we prove unable to defeat Mudi."


"He is pretty young," Voyage says. "I… could see about making him stronger with my new powers, but I could do little to make him more mature, or give him the battle experience that older dragons have. He'd be at risk of getting scared bad down there, and that could jeapordize the mission… At least, if he stays here, he'll be safer with Pryce."

"Take it, then," Estuary says. "It is nearly burned out, but the King would have desired it to be burned out in the service of those who have need of its fire."


Shei pockets the ember "Wow.. There was no fight on that. You just gave me y'dryth like he was some spare change. Not trying to offend -I'm just not used to it.. Feels a little bad actually."

Shei grabs the guitar hanging over his back, sliding the strap so the instrument is infront of him. "How about- yeah, how about you have one these at least."

Shei plays an impromptu guitar solo, as a token of gratitude

"How was that? I-I can do another if you want another. It's cool if you don't but I totally would not mind doing another." He sounds like he really wants to do it again.


"My mission of vengeance was undone in but a single night," Estuary says. "When it is time to move on, it is time to move on. I have no space in my heart for petty sentimentality."

He stares at you blankly all through the guitar solo, showing no reaction. "…What do you plan to do with the Ember?"


"I don't think anypony isn't."

KP looks up at Wireframe, conflicted as he could understand the grudge Wireframe has been holding on for all this time.
>"You better not let any of our friends get hurt over this."

"Alright. We'll meet back up with you later Leather."

"We will. The last injury you'll see on any of us up here are the ones I got last night."
Pryce says to assure their care.



Amy stares off into space for a moment, clearly trying to parse out this double negative. Then, she looks back at Pryce. Either she figured it out or gave up.

"So, I noticed you decided not to be a god. Why?"


While your allies stop to make some last minute purchases, you end up going toward Fantasia Palace. Outside its massive gates that surround its great courtyard, you see that the army that shall enter the abyss have nearly all gathered, having separated themselves into groups, staring one another down.

Of Ecclesia, you see Sir Gegenschein, Doctor Galton, Sir Ichimonji, Sir Freischutz, Living Saint Zoantharia, and their Spooks: Lion, Viper, Fox, Anzu, Monkey, and Rooster, who stands in for Sir Holy Hours, who is currently missing.

Of the Light Brigade, you see Hope, Vitalya, Zophie, and Gjenganger.

Of the Witches of Gehenna, you see Mudi the Young, Vizsla the Kind, Desert Lamp, and two new faces: A muscular Earth Pony you do not recognize, and a hooded mare that you do not recognize either.


Wireframe offers KP no response, only grimly looking ahead as you walk along to Fantasia Palace.


"AH!" Shorthorns says, "Well, I promise I won't do anything to disturb it then."

"You and Shei shared a dream?"

Suddenly, Shorthorn's face scrunches up something terrible. "Oooh… it wasn't one of THOSE dreams, was it?" She asks in mild disgust at what she's thinking of."

Shorthorns chuckles. "Well, don't get SOFT on my now. You know, I'm glad you took my advice about scars," she says, pointing at the arm. "Scars look awesome, don't they?"

With Voyage's words, she looks up at Spark, her eyes darting back and forth as she considers what it'd mean to him if she left him behind. Or to her, for that matter.

"I… I don't know. I could try to keep him safe, he doesn't even need to leave my bag most of the time. Do you think… the thing with Tartarus in how it shifts around based on your desires and goals, it wouldn't be thrown off by Spark, do you think?"


Shei plays small frets on his guitar while talking
"We met an angel -Bodhidharma. Kicked the shit out of him. Actually, we met a couple angels. Mirror Image was one of them, you might be familiar with her. We beat shit out of her too. Then one of these angels, Chorazin. She and her imaginary friends curb stomped me to death. Then I came back asked her for help kicking her ass. And she said sure why the heck not. So we kicked her ass. And this erm, unstoppable bond we have forged from mutual beatings was mostly in the vain of discovery -to revert those afflicted with demonhood and angel halos back into regular ole mortals. We have everything set up, the only missing thing was this ember. So have no worry, it will be put to good use for years to come."



"No," Amy says, sounding immensely disappointed about it.

"I beat him up a bit though, that was kinda fun," she adds on a happier tone.


Amy spots Mudi and bounces over to her.


"Well, if he's kept in there, he's certainly gonna want to get some fresh air, walk around a bit," Voyage says. "A baby dragon's willpower isn't as strong as ours, but from all that we've been hearing, even a small divergence in our collective will could throw us all off."


Leather takes the coat in his hooves gingerly, feeling the power within. "I understand, within the weave are powers not to be used lightly. I thank you greatly, especially procuring relics such as these. Just spending a day back with my former group, I can tell I may require vestments such as these to be considered comparable to them."

Leather bows to Holy Hours, "Should I don them now?"


Estuary offers no reaction to the spiel. "…You'd better hope it works out, then."


"I've had close experiences with gods. Buiwong, the Devas, I've looked through my faith and found the what I learned wasn't how things were."
Pryce recounts, silent a moment in thought.
"You all, I know you can do better, But I don't want part in that kind of life. I am content to live out my life as I am, with those I care about. And maybe spread enough good in fixing this world to show ponies they can do so as well by their own hoof instead of a god's gift."

KP looks back forward himself, having said what needed to be said.

"I wouldn't call this a scar. The slash across my chest is a scar. This was a dismemberment."
Pryce says.
"I think I'm good with the ones I have now, since I don't think my body can handle anything that would top this."

Pryce and KP both look between the groups of the Tartarus army. KP mostly focuses on the Ecclesians and Light Brigade, looking at all the fighters that have gathered.
Pryce's gaze lingers on Mudi and her entourage, the two new ponies especially. Concern rises over the unknowns, especially as this gathering looks to be tense between all parties involved.


"Yes," Hours says. "Stick close to us as you do. It will be harder for appraisers to identify the specific powers upon the coat that way. Now, I'd best be off. If you've last business, calls to make, things to buy, do it now before the entourage gets here in full."



Amy mulls this over. "I definitely get all that. I just hope you're strong enough to make it happen."


"I'm happy you're so understanding. Take care of Sir Etac for me."

Shei-Sher takes the Witching Lantern out from an extra dimension in his cape. The configuration has been ready, he only needs to put the ember inside the battery well. Taking the Ember in hoof Shei-Sher puts the ember of jhalandria inside the lantern.
"The rest is up to you Bodhidharma."


Flow trots over to speak with the Light Brigade, smirking as he hoof-bumps his old comrade Hope.

As for Mudi, she nods when Amy approaches. "You're looking stronger, Witch. No longer can you be considered a Witchling. We're all out here as part of an agreement struck with the Choir. Until we are all gathered, not one of us can set hoof into Fantasia Palace to clear the dungeon that waits between us and Tartarus."

"It's so you don't get a head start!" Gegenschein calls from the other side of the walkway. "The rest of us want to explore it too."

Estuary nods, stepping out from the airship. Inside the lantern, the flame burns anew, flaring to life as the Ember's potence is joined to its own.


"I won't be doing it alone. I have others to protect, and they'll protect me. We'll all make some difference, even if it's only just one pony who is moved to do good as well."


"Oh, you beat Shei up?" Flaming snickers, "Now THAT sounds like a fun dream! Heheheh…"

She shakes her head, "Okay so, why did you beat him up, what happened?"

Shorthorns looks up at the top of her head again, struggling to think of parting with her little dragon before heading into Tartarus. "I… I don't know if I can. I don't know, I DID force Vortigern to step out because I didn't think her heart would be in it wholly but, Spark… I don't think he has anyone besides me. If I abandoned him, he'd never forgive me."

She sighs, "I think I need to think about it, before we go in. You think I should leave him?"

"Dismemberments are really, REALLY big scars." Shorthorns counters.

"But, point taken, heh… if you got any more as bad as that one you wouldn't have much left. But, still, don't get all soft on me while I'm in there either, kay?" She asks with a wink.


Cloak nods, "Yes sir, I will at once." Cloak takes care to stick next to the others to prevent the power of the robes from being discerned.



"Don't worry about it, Shortyhorns," Amy says enigmatically, patting her sister on the head. Then, they split up.


Amy mulls this over, then nods with satisfaction.


"You know I'm a witch now?" Amy asks cocking her head. "Oooh is that part of being a witch? Can I feel other witches with my freaky witch powers?" she asks dramatically.

"Speaking of freaky powers, are you okay being outside of you cartoony place?"


With that business taken care of Shei-Sher moves to gather Chorazin, Gadriel, Mirror Image, volkama, and Deriva. He informs them of his plans for the reversal ritual. Mentioning that he would like to do Volkama, Deriva, and other participants all at once.

If everyone is agreed, Shei-Sher leads the way to where he expects to find Neither-Nor


"How big is this dungeon?"
Pryce asks as the groups discuss and seem to be at a stalemate because of it.

"I don't plan to, otherwise I won't be able to take a headbutt of yours when we meet back up when you all return.|
Pryce says with a chuckle.


"Don't take him, if you aren't able to lose him," Great Voyage says grimly. "That's what we've all agreed to. Vortigern affirmed that very rule when she agreed to stay behind."

Cloak and Holy Hours join the lineup on the Ecclesia side around the time of Amy's question.

Mudi nods. "I have transferred my stored power into the Shades, who will hold onto it until the time has come for my plan's fruition. They are safe and secure, as you have seen, inside my crystal ball."

"The word from Easy Doesit's soldiers is that it is not more than a few floors deep," Galton says. "But it seems to reconfigure itself on some kind of semi-regular schedule, making its traversal quite troublesome. Our goal of exploration will be to find some way to lock its randomization enchantments, most likely by disabling or destroying whatever gemstone or other talisman the dungeon's architects used to construct it."

With your entourage in tow, you find Neither-Nor at his workshop, where he and his assistants are in the middle of a break. Oil stains and small cuts upon their hooves suggest that they've been at work for quite a while. "Ah, Shei," Neither says, finishing off his cigarette with a strong puff. "Your weather spheres are ready."

He hands you ten glass and brass spheres, each about the size of a bomb, containing a different weather pattern.


Shorthorns smiles as she pats her on the head, never feeling too old for such things. "Well, if you say so. Let me know if you need help beating up Shei some more, okay?"

"Awesome! Then how bout, first thing I do when I get out, I greet you with the biggest one I got to see how you're holding up?"



"Oh yeah…" Amy nods to Mudi.

"Seriously though," Amy says, sounding concerned. "Can you teach me how to sense witches? That was really cool!"


"Focus your magical senses," Mudi says. "You might find that it is easier to do with your eyes closed. It should come as naturally as chasing your tail or playing fetch."



"Hmmm," Amy contemplates as she closes her eyes. She tries to sense Mudi's power. Definitely just to test it. Definitely not to see if she can cosmically divine it's name for nefarious purposes later.

>sensing Mudi's power? [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


Shei looks wide eyed at the spheres "I am so grateful you reminded me about that." He holds one, appraising it with his left eye. Shei then pours them into his cape, where they enter his extra dimensional inventory.

"Now it's your turn to be grateful. Infact gratuities all around! That promise I made you, I didn't come up short." Shei-Sher lays down the witching lantern onto a table "But It will Require GREAT sacrifice! Yes sir! A feast, for the bodhidharma living in this lantern. He said he wants exotic dishes -a couple Mariposan dishes should do. We can pitch in too. Aaaaand a pizza, we are going to need a pizza. Me specifically I will need a pizza I made a deal with the devil and he needs a pizza.."

From his appearance to the way he speaks, how his tone vacillitates from nonchalant to grandiose. It's obvious Shei-Sher had completely transformed since the last time they spoke.


"These will not be dealt with with simple antispells I imagine?" Leather asks when not interupting.


You are able to sense that Mudi has the soul of a Witch, as does Vizsla, but there are obscuring effects surrounding them. At least one of these, you can sense, is a magical effect. Both Vizsla and Mudi, as well as their servants, possess a charm that functions to obscure and hide their powers – most likely from the Ecclesians, but also from you. You can also sense that the two of them carry more than a few magical implements with them – the close proximity of multiple magical items also creates a blending effect preventing precise discernment, much like tasting or smelling too many different things at once, preventing any from being distinct.


"Where would those enchantments be, do you think?"

"I wouldn't expect anything less."


"…What the fuck are you talking about?" Neither Nor asks, being a salt of the earth pony, having little patience for your grandiose style and verbage.


"Antimagic may, at best, temporarily halt the reconfigurement of the dungeon," Galton says. "We will most likely need to reach the heart of it, before we can find its source. Unfortunately, Easy's scouts did not get far before they were driven off by the monsters that also roam its halls: Spirits, skeletons and golem, they reported seeing, but more most likely wait within."


She gives one more, sorrowful look up at Spark, wincing as she acknowledges the poor dragon is still too young to be of much use… though she also considers Voyage's power may be able to fix that.

"I… I need to give it a bit more thought. But, I think you're right: if he can't fight, there's no way I can take him into Tartarus if he can't take care of himself."

"Just, how much could your new powers help him? Could you make him full grown?"


"I could make him physically bigger, but not really mentally," LJ says. "Nor in his spirit. He'd be inexperienced, strong, but not really smarter or wiser."



"Nifty!" Amy says excitedly. "I feel magic things! Thanks, Moody!"

"It's been so long since we last talked!" Amy says, wagging her tail. "Do you like my new look?" she asks, spinning in circles to show off her significantly more dog-like form.


Shei hangs his hoof down, gesturing he's coming down to his level "Your daughter Prisca. Before I leave into Tartarus I thought I would reverse her demonhood, like I promised. Her and a couple of my friends." He gestures over to Volkama and Deriva "It's no joke. But we are going to need to cook a lot of meals for this. The angel living in this lantern will be in charge of the ceremony and I promised him food in exchange. Also it might be hard to believe but I really did talk to a devil, and he really does want a pizza when I visit him in Tartarus. So do you have a kitchen in this place? Raiding the fridge is a complete steal in exchange for mortality don't you agree?"


"These monsters must be numerous, or extremely dangerous, if they couldn't get too far."


"…I understand." Shorthorns takes in a deep breath, looking up at the dragon resting on her head, reaching up to scratch between his wings one more time. "I'll… just need a bit more time to think on it but, I think I know what I have to do." She sniffs, moving out towards the exit.

"I'm… I'm gonna see Ichimonji, it's been so long since I saw her last. I wonder if she'd even recognize me."
>Moving to Ecclessia


"All the more reason to stay vigilant. We are stronger than scouts, but that does not mean for us to be too confident."


He blinks rapidly as he pieces together your wild fable. "…Check the back. I'll find Prisca. This better get results, or at least, not hurt her. Your life rides on this."

Lighting another cigarette, he heads upstairs, leaving his assistants to show you to the larder's cold storage near the back.

"In comparison to your newfound powers and allies, I am sure they will prove little match," Galton says with a small smile toward Pryce.

Spark stretches a bit, then rolls about on your head, scratching his back against your tough skull.

As you join where the others have gathered, Ichimonji turns your way, smiling as you approach. "You've grown. And I don't believe that white color is dye now, is it?"

"At last, your exterior and interior are in harmony," Mudi comments dryly.
"Hey, you're kinda like me!" an unfamiliar voice says from the Ecclesian side. You turn, and see a lionpony, mane, tail, paws and all, approaching you. He's about Cloak's height and stature. He wears an Ecclesian coat, and has a black septagram button on his lapel. "My name's Lion," he says. "I'm Gegenschein's Spook. I'm not a demon, though."

>Paused, respond for next week's OP


Shei claps his hooves together "Righto! everyone pitch in, we got no time today. Little brother, stick with me. You'll be learning about Mr'uthgar cuisine today. And whoever knows how to make a pizza, please do me the favor! Don't make me go into Tartarus empty handed."

Shei files into the back with everyone else. Once in the kitchen he immediately gets working out a customary Mr'uthgar dish (provided theres meat, otherwise he substitutes.) all the while tutoring his little brother Gadds how to cook.


Shorthorns smiles up at Spark, wondering how she is going to break the news to him later, but decides to hold off on such thoughts as she heads off towards Ecclessia, eager to see a few more familiar faces before her departure.

As she makes for where the others gather, she smiles at the sight of Ichimonji, a comforting figure dating back to the beginning of her excursions with the party. She swiftly runs towards her, almost bowling her over with excitement before slowing her pace down to a crawl, and lightly bowing her head instead in respect for the old warrior.

"In so many ways it's hard to list them all, hehe…. and, yeah, the new coat isn't exactly dye." She stands up, pulling her head up tall (but still having to look up towards the pony)
"I am Flaming Shorthorns no longer. The being you see before you is Shorthorned Dragon."


"We all have grown a lot in the past few days, or the past day even. Though still, a morphing dungeon could be tricky to deal with."


Last time, on HolyQuest…

The day of the Expedition had at last arrived.

Rising with the dawn, the Saviors set out from Threecoins, the demonic members of their party still shaking off the maddening influence of the moon, especially Amy, who was trapped in frightful dreams of her runaway Shei. To pass the time during the flight over, the Saviors discussed what the best name for the airship, which had never been properly christened, might be. After a discussion and vote, they decided that the name should be Oncoming Storm, a combination of the two most popular choices.

By the time that the discussion concluded, Fantasia palace appeared over the horizon. Pryce docked it in the airfield, and they saw that the city was rife with Ecclesians and the Vermillion Corps, the mercenary wing of Ecclesia, their carts full of supplies of many kinds to support the developing city. Anzu flash-stepped aboard the ship the moment that it landed, informing the party that they still had a small amount of time to finish buying things or having last-minute meetings, as the Expedition was waiting on a few members of the Light Brigade.

At that point, they were free to split and do what was necessary. Pryce, Amy and Shorthorned went to Fantasia Palace, where the members of the expedition were gathered outside the Palace's inner gate, divided into groups. Cloak stole away to meet with Holy Hours in the Palace's side chapel, where he received his Ecclesian jacket, imbued with the relics of St. Truepact, which would grant him additional powers peculiar to the chosen adherents of Hypomone. As for Shei, he took his group to meet with Neither-Nor, where he proposed to conduct a ritual using the Bodhidharma's core and the Ember of Jhalandara, which might restore Prisca's store to a state of mortality, undoing her demonic nature through transubstantiation.


You manage to find flour, sausages, bell peppers, onions, anchovies, mushrooms and tomato slices in a magitech ice box, and proceed to make a mess of the kitchen with Gadriel as you hoof-make the sauce, mix the flour and water into dough, knead it into shape, spin it, and finally slather it with toppings. Once the earthen oven is heated sufficiently, Gadriel slides it in, and one of the assistants volunteers to keep watch over it.

Once that is finished, you go back to the central workroom, where you see that Neither-Nor has brought out Prisca – now little more than a sleeping, yet restrained, hollow suit of armor.

You can feel Spark start to make biscuits on your head, his tail playfully slapping at your horns as he soaks up the morning sun.

"You couldn't have picked a worse time for a growth spurt, could you?" Ichimonji asks, reaching into her pack, producting your black, armored Ecclesian leather jacket. "Your newly-enchanted jacket was finished just before we left this morning."

Observer looks over your way. "If you will it, I can resize the jacket while keeping its new enchantments intact," he offers.

"Between all…" Holy Hours says, looking about as he counts the gathered members, "…All forty-eight of us, I do not believe it should be particularly difficult to comb."
"Forty-eight?" Gegenschein asks. "An interesting count. I see no reason to group up, unless we'll be facing entire armies down there. Eight groups of six should do, no?"
"I only count forty-five, including those of our group not gathered yet," River says. "Where do you see the last three?"
Holy Hours momentarily pauses. "More are scheduled to arrive."


"At last, your exterior and interior are in harmony," Mudi comments dryly.
"Hey, you're kinda like me!" an unfamiliar voice says from the Ecclesian side. You turn, and see a lionpony, mane, tail, paws and all, approaching you. He's about Cloak's height and stature. He wears an Ecclesian coat, and has a black septagram button on his lapel. "My name's Lion," he says. "I'm Gegenschein's Spook. I'm not a demon, though."



"You're… not a demon?" Amy asks Lion cocking her head. "What are you, then?"


As you gather near where the others are standing, Rooster pats your shoulder, which would send you flying if you were not as tough as you were. But you sense also, from the dulled impact, that your jacket may have additional protective properties now…

>Enhanced Armored Ecclesian Jacket

>Adds 5 Hits and 1 Wound, stackable with armor. Additionally, once per combat, can completely nullify a single attack made against you as an automatic action.


"I'm a lionpony!" Lion says. "But my name comes from the sign of the Accorsian zodiac that I was born under. It was a complete coincidence."



"Fourty eight in total, a small army in it's own right. I can't imagine a dungeon could hold much below this city without it escaping at some point beforehoof."



"What the heck is a lionpony!?" Amy asks if she's exasperated with the explanation.


"A pony with lion characteristics," Lion says. "We come, normally, from the central region of the southern half of the continent of Huoli. If you've met Rooster over there–" he says, gesturing to the massive, maroon-painted elephant who stands near Holy Hours and Cloak, "I'm from the same area as him."

Rooster waves with his trunk as you look over.


"We'll see," Galton says. "Now, let's get something out of the way quickly. If there is any treasure to be found down there, we'll operate by a Finders, Keepers rule – another reason it would be best for us to split up in our investigations, lest we start bickering over who found what first."



Amy giggles as the horribly named elephant waves with her trunk. She waves back. Then, she suddenly lets out a looooong gasp.

"Moody!" she suddenly shouts loudly with enthusiastic vigor. She excitedly grabs Mudi by the face and looks into her eyes with a manic glee. She hops up and down while still holding Mudi's cheeks. "We have to go shopping together! Two witches buying cool magical things! It'll be so much fun!"

>[1d10+4] Mantra of Equality


Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11



"Splitting up to seek out the heart of the dungeon seems to be the most efficient, as it only takes one group to take it out to make sure leaving is easier for everyone. That being said, have you decided how to divide the masses then?"


As Spark plays on top of her head, she smiles, giving her horns a little shake to rile him up a little more to play with him as she looks up to Ichimonji as she produces her black, armored Ecclessian jacket.

Her mouth opens wide, looking at the protective gear with the symbol shining bright and proud. She smiles, lowering her head in a bow.

"It's perfect! I'm sure I can make it fit," she says, reaching over to grab the jacket, trying it on to test. If it doesn't quite fit, she activates her newly acquired powers over the 'Dark' sphere to manipulate non-living matter, growing it out to fit her needs.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Is treasure really the motivation here?"
Pryce questions, as there is a bigger motivation for this entire mission.
"If the groups don't bicker among themselves, and no fighting happens if two groups stumble upon anything at the same time, then I don't see an issue."


You feel a sudden spike of sensation inside your brain, an intense sense that you must… go shopping. Something's not quite right about it; it is as though you did really great at convincing yourself.

>Upon hitting a target with an Attribute that they have an Attribute Relationship against, that Attribute Relationship will be logged, as though you had used Appraise against that target.

Mudi the Young
??? H/W
Additional Skills
Actions per Turn: ???
Weak: ???
Resist: ???
Null: ???
Absorb: ???
Repel: Mind

Mudi shakes her head. "I have already made just about everything that I will need, but please do not let me stop you; you should stock up on anything last-minute. The Ecclesians will provide you with rations of food and water for two months, so you can avoid that, unless you want something specific."

At best, you manage to get it to settle down over your back, but you can't get your arms through the holes. It looks pretty cool this way, too, at least.

Ichimonji, eyeing Mudi suspiciously, approaches Amy with the other jacket. "Here, this is yours. Clothe yourself and be decent."

>Enhanced Armored Ecclesian Jacket

>Adds 5 Hits and 1 Wound, stackable with armor. Additionally, once per combat, can completely nullify a single attack made against you as an automatic action.

"Once the others are here, that shall be our first course of action," Gegenschein says. "I had in mind particular arrangements, but if your group wishes to borrow any of our members for some additional help, you are most welcome to it. After all, we'll be working together in Tartarus. It would be best that we learn how to fight together, no?"

"Considering that we will be adventuring into the lair of the last known group to successfully use Tartarus as a method of corralling demons, I'd say it would be most prudent to keep an eye out for any surviving relics, implements or spellbooks they might have left behind," Galton says.

>As practice for the Tartarus expedition, it is recommended to divide into groups of 5-7, picking among the NPCs at your disposal for allies. This may be an opportunity to learn other characters' abilities…



>Available NPCs
Holy Hours

Eligos (not present currently)

Septum Axis (not present currently)
The Dragon
Great Voyage

>As well as any other NPC in your party


>Also available
Mudi the Young
Vizsla the Kind
Desert Lamp
Unknown Demon Hunter (earth pony)
Unknown Demon Tamer (unicorn)

the latter two are mentioned above: >>738502


File: 1589938309183.jpg (134.64 KB, 650x849, Sheishairstylebutwhite.jpg)

[forgot to mention, since Shei has woke up this morning he's wearing a different shirt now. It's a yellow t-shirt with an artvector of a sword struck through an infinity sign. With the caption reading "Methuselah Confuse-you-lah" Shei has dozens of moronically pedestrian t-shirts just like this in his extra dimensional cape.

After Shei dons an apron he gets to cooking. His bookwormish way of speaking comes out again in blips as he carefully instructs Gadriel in some cooking know how and his improvised pizza recipe in between some complaints about no one taking the initiative on the pizza. "And that is why we spin it to thin out the middle. I'm just guessing here, but I'll fold in the sides too and rub some sesame oil to stick. Finish chopping up those veggies so we can ready the puree. Then we can beat these layabouts to the oven."

After sliding the pizza into the oven Shei jogs over to central work room, rushing Gadds on the way. They help setting plates everyone's dishes on a table and setting The Witching Lantern before the dishes.
Shei taps the Lantern a couple times with a spoon in case the Bodhidharma is asleep.
"Wakey, wakey- Bodhidharma. We made you breakfast. Our offering as a token of our gratitude for the works we are about to receive today. So.. Don't go back to sleep after you're done eating alright."

Shei-Sher steps away from the table now leaving the Bodhidharma lantern to take his offerings. Shei tosses some chalk to Volkama and takes out his own chalk "You familiar with the Bornless Ritual? Make me the outer rings and I'll take care of the details. We're doing a rush job but lets try to keep things clean."

Shei-Sher begins drawing symbols onto the central workroom floor.


"We've found enough remnants of them in other places that it does make sense there might be relics left behind. But if you are all splitting into groups, it would be wise to not let one hoard any. That would be unfair for any speedier ponies."

"This is a good opportunity for us to fight side by side again, before you all delve into Tartarus."
Pryce says to Leather as talk of grouping arises.


File: 1589938508389.jpg (1.23 MB, 1920x1080, Mankanshoku.Mako.full.1702….jpg)

Shorthorns looks at the jacket as it rests over her back, settled down nicely as the arms wave free to her sides. "Huh… you know, it kind of looks cool like this, doesn't it? What do you think?" She asks as she wears the black jacket quite incorrectly.


As Volkama gets to drawing, the gathered parties gasp and stand back as a hoof starts to reach out from the lantern, ghostly and flame-like, and grabs a slice of pizza. The Bodhidharma's head leans out next, and he bites into the slice with gusto, devouring it in but a few bites. He nods with approval, reaching for another. The gathered parties look at each other uncertainly; clearly, they wanted to get a slice themselves, but are unsure whether it'd be best to let the saint pig out.


Great Voyage nods. "Yeah, seriously, what's the point of the sleeves? Just make it a cloak or a robe!"
"Here," Observer says, touching his hoof to your cloak. The surface flashes with purple waves of primordial power for a few seconds. "There, I have altered its properties; it will not come off from your body unless you will it too. Otherwise I fear a strong breeze may be enough to disrobe you."
"Yeah, and we'll need Voyage here to stay focused," Tantra says.
"Absolutely," Voyage says. "Wait…"


Leather nods, "Well thought, Sir. After I have finished purchasing munitions, I will be ready for assignment - I don't have any particular preference, save-
"-for having a last opportunity to fight alongside Sir Pryce again. I would hate to miss the opportunity."



"Hey!" Amy responds to Ichimonji, feeling insulted. "You're just jealous that I'm better eye-candy for the troops than you are," she says as she sticks out her tongue defiantly.

"But, thanks! This armor IS pretty awesome!"

She starts putting it on then and there. However, she does a terrible job of it. She ends up tangled in sleeves and belts in the wrong places… "Could… someone help me…?" she asks awkwardly.


Once they finish drawing the circle Shei-Sher steps back. He raises his arms upward and his cape spreads wide as if carried by the wind "Come my little Malechim! Participate in some radical works!"

Three of Shei's spidery Malechim crawl out from an extra dimension in his cape. They file infront of Shei-Sher, awaiting his command. "OH my loyal, loyal servants." He intone ominously "At every impasse you have Disappointed me. Incredibly. But I am so terrible at holding grudges. It's my only flaw. So get in that circle! Get in there and rejoice, today you become yourselves again." Shei rejoices himself, sounding like a proud father, though a lot of these antics just seem sarcastic.

He speaks now to NeitherNor with more sobriety "NeitherNor. Your daughter, bring her into the circle. And anyone else who has been afflicted, cursed, mutated, whatever. Step into the circle if you wish to become yourselves again." Shei addresses everyone who wishes to return to mortality to step into the circle now so he can begin the ritual.


Shorthorns looks confused at Tantra's comment for a few moments, before realizing what he meant by needing to keep Voyage 'focused'. She blushes, clearing her throat. "H-hah! As if we'd have to worry about Great Voyage losing concentration just because of a little thing like THAT!" She snorts, "Besides, if I caught him staring, I'd teach him a lesson, so he knows not to do that." She says with a snicker towards the befuddled buffalo.

She turns to Volkama, thanking him for his spell, before looking back to Ichimonji. "It really is great to see you again, Ichimonji. Are the princesses here too by any chance ora re they still in Lilane?"


"They, along with all other VVIPs, children and mothers, have been sent to the Cairn," Ichimonji says. "Our highest-security holding. If I told you where it was, I'd have to kill everything that moves within a mile radius. That's how tight the place is kept. They told me they'll be praying for us, and that they extend your group in particular their best wishes."
"Feeling jealous, Ichimonji?" Fox asks.
"Hah!" Ichimonji snorts. "More like relieved. Those two brats couldn't keep themselves from playing house with my Caller Conch while I was trying to conduct official business."

Hafaza helps Amy get untangled from the jacket, which is quite the operation in itself. "How did you manage to get that through that hole… and how'd that thing get inside-out?" she wonders aloud.
"Lots of practice?" Vortigern offers.
"Vortigern!" Rus Tea admonishes.
"Stop me when I'm wrong."
"That's not what I meant," Rus Tea says. "I wanted to make that joke!"
"Be quicker on the draw next time."

Once that's all done, Lion perks up. "You know, Cloak, if you're looking for things to buy, I saw a strange zebra merchant passing by here not too long ago. He must have seen a business opportunity with all of us gathered here, and he definitely made a lot of money from all that we bought. You might be able to catch him – I saw him heading southward toward the plaza not too long ago."

Volkama and Deriva enter the circle, solemnly watching as Neither-Nor sets Prisca before them. Mirror Image and Chorazin both look at the circle, then at one another. After a few moments of waiting, the two step back, instead of within. Gadriel takes a step back behind you, peering over your shoulder.


Onion is there as well, tuning his guitar in the back in case he's called to play.


I will leave at once, as not to waste any more time." Leather nods to Lion, seeking out the zebra with haste.
>looking over the shop doc right now