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Last time, on HolyQuest…

After recovering from their brief but dangerous confrontation with the den of toxic rats, the Saviors descended through the strange, two-dimensional labyrinth, down and down and down. They reached a torture chamber, lit by gemstones filled with demons that, by this point, must have been imprisoned for millennia. From there, they approached a chamber further to the right, but discerned, by the fact that their view was pulling out, that there was something waiting for them beyond. Instead of proceeding directly to it, they pursued a path on a slope leading diagonally upward. At its peak, they saw that, at the base of the chamber was the staircase leading downward… and so too were a pair of enormously long centipede demons, trapped in an eternal guard-dance surrounding the staircase. How they would deal with this, we shall soon discover…
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>Last time, on HolyQuest…

Amy leaps across the room in a single bound, somersaulting in mid-air, which allows her to catch KP, Lockjaw and Hopper just as a vector sigil begins to glow underneath them, and narrowly saves the trio from being flung across the room. Zjetya and River, taking filly steps in a convoluted pattern, make it on over after a few agonizing minutes of waiting. When they finally make it over, Lockjaw bumps his head against Zjetya's leg, while Hopper spritzes River with his staff to clean some of the sweat from her brow. The gestures seem to help the mares relax from the tension of keeping their minds so focused.

But now, what to do about the locked door…

You float downward through the deep and lightless layers of soil and stone, your subtle body sensing the nearby passage of tiny creatures in the earth surrounding. Faintly, you sense also the deep and ancient forces imbued into certain sections of the stone, enchantments and ensorcellments of old, whose ambient power can still be felt from afa–

Gadriel and Busta break off, arms and legs poised to block an attack, as some massive entity weaves past you, here in an instant, gone in the next. The two look between their arms, still trying to keep thteir guards up, eyes wide with shock.

"What was that!?" Gadriel hisses.
"I lost sight of it!" Busta says.


"I will admit to having made a mistake and treated the space in front of us like a door earlier, which implied it's something to be opened. I will amend this." Leather walks forward, trying to forget the notion of a door acting as a barrier entirely.


>Conjure Weapon: Bow [Flare, Ranged, Single, +1]
>Snakeskin Cloak: 14 hits
>Homing Magic: 6 Spears [Fire]

>"Th-Thanks Amy."
KP says as Amy catches him, still a bit startled after seeing the sigil light up under him.

Pryce lets out an exhale as they all make it across safely, looking to Leather as he moves forward to ignore the door, saying nothing to see if this thought process works.


Looking up with confidence after scrying through the mirror to see there is in fact another hallway beyond this wall, Shorthorns nods towards Volkaman and Devira. "No doubt, there's something on the other side. I could probably smash it down or use my magic to make it slide out of the way, but I feel like the Sons had something more clever in mind."

"Let's go up one of the other halls, maybe we'll find a clue."
>Returning to the last intersection, and going North this time



"No problem!" Amy says with a wag of her tail. "Totally easy!"

Then, Amy barks at the door to scare it into opening up.

[1d10] to scare the door open

Roll #1 9 = 9


Regrettably, none of those methods work. It seems that, in this liminal space between your world and Tartarus, there is still yet some clinging to material cause and effect.
"No luck, huh?" Zjetya asks. "Maybe it's only magic stuff that we can kinda out-smart?"
"I don't know if this is even magic," River says. "It feels to me far older, perhaps even with a will of its own."

The corridor heads to the north, then makes a sharp, near-acute turn to the southeast, beyond which lies a door. Just above your eye-level, there is a grate in the door, and you can see, barely, that Cloak, Pryce, Zjetya, River and KP are standing on the eastern side of the round room, in front of another door.

A test of the handle reveals that it is locked.



Amy barks more loudly at the door. This time, a blast of holy fire crashes its way into the door along with her bark.

>Wrath [1d10+4]

Roll #1 10 + 4 = 14


"If some things still rely on the basic methods, maybe this can be solved more easily."
Pryce looks at the lock, and attempts to conjure a key to fit it to unlock it.
>Hat Magic [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Outsmart is a misnomer, but perhaps. Otherwise we could just walk directly to Tartarus with no walls, ceilings, or floors to bind us. Mayhaps this Tartarus Lite, where some rules still apply."
Leather watches to see if his allies' solutions resolve the scenario.


Shei-Sher notices the thing pass by them but refuses to break from his song for concentration.

"Toggle next divine!
And miracles say
You gotta do whatever it takes~"

Shei-Sher lets his aura shimmer outward to reveal any presence following them
>phase aura

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Hey!" She says, looking through the grate to see the others just beyond. "I can see the others…" she quickly tests the handle of the door, grunting as it is locked, and moves to shout through the grait towards Cloak and Pryce:

"Cloak! Pryce! Over here!" Shorthorns shouts through the grate towards the others in the round room, hoping to draw their attention.


Pryce turns his head as Flaming shouts over to them.
"Flaming? Where are you?"
He asks, spotting the grate after turning around.
"Some of the paths must've been connected then.
>"Be careful Flaming, this room is all trapped up!"
KP shouts as a warning before she enter.


Just as Pryce produces a regular, material key for the door, Amy annihilates most of the door itself, as well as quite a bit of the surrounding brick and mortar.

Another hallway stretches out long before you.

"We'll just save that one for the next door," River says, offering Pryce a conciliatory pat on the arm.
Zjetya borrows KP's brush, and brushes out some loose and old scales from Lockjaw's hide.

"We meet again so soon," Volkama says. "I was nearly starting to miss you lot."
"We're starting to get a feel for this layer's design," Deriva says. "And Volkama is penning a physical map as we speak. How goes your search?"

Before you can reveal the force's true nature, it wells up from below, and Gadriel and Busta look down for just an instant, trying to get a glimpse – but the force remains invisible, and all you can sense is a primal signal, from deep in the root of your spine, to get out of its way, as it might warn you of a rampaging wild beast.

[1d10+4] ???????????????????????????

Gulping, Busta steels himself, and magic wells up within his subtle wings, he channels it into a rush of mystical air.

[1d10+3] Storm Bolt 3, Wind + Gravity

Gadriel attempts to conceal your presence, by congealing mystical darkness about your suble bodies.

[1d10+3] Darkness that Can be Felt

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


"Don't worry," Shorthorns responds, rattling the grate with her horns. "I can't get in there anyways, the door's locked. I'm trying to see how far I can get through this thing without the tried and true method of busting down everything I see. Can you try it from your side?"

"And, what kind of traps, have you activated some yet? We haven't run into ANY!"



Amy does a satisfied nod as the door is blown to bits. "That's what you get for not listening, naughty door," she says pointedly at the splinters on the ground.

Then, she bounces through the now-open doorway. However, she stops when she notices Volkama. She tilts her head. "Did you also go down at some point?" she asks curiously.


Pryce tucks the key away in his robe.
"Doesn't hurt to have a spare, I suppose."

"We haven't found much yet, only that this you can't always take a direct approach down here."
Pryce answers Deriva.

"Sigils are all over the floor, throwing you into the wall if you misstep. Nothing too dangerous, but still painful."
As Flaming asks if they can try their side of the door, Pryce is about to speak of the traps making it difficult to cross there, but then takes the key back out. He tries levitating it to Flaming's door with telekinesis and see if it unlocks it.


"Careful in explaining them as such, Pryce. A careful hoof means there are no traps at all, and to go about trying to disarm them means willing them into existence." Leather muses.


There is a small break in Shei-Sher's concentration as he peels from within himself a spiritual barrier. Subtle energies shiver around them as Shei and his allies feels distinctly immutable.

>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.

"Gadriel! I need you to splash some ambrosia on yourself." He asks him to heal himself, thus topping them all off.


"What does that mean, Leather?" Shorthorns asks as Pryce's key tries the door, turning her head. "You mean the sigils only activate if you think about them too much…?"


"We were warned that logic and reason will not aid us when we make it to Tartarus, I imediately took this to heart. The coming trials are not to test our wit or our cleverness in solving a puzzle, but rather to test our mettle and spirit. When Sir Pryce and Amy Thest were attempting to disarm and identify the traps, they were only prone to massive injuries. I have been unscathed in simply walking across the floor with conviction."


"We found ourselves a stairwell," Volkama says. "I'd initially thought that only one true path to the bottom would exist, and that all other alternatives would serve only to frustrate the would-be escapee… but perhaps there's more I've yet to understand about this interstitial realm."

Pryce unlocks Flaming's door, but the key is soon overtaken by a series of red magical lines; as the lines completely enwrap the key, it dissolves, blowing away into dust.

"Well, it's great that one key can be used for any door, but that's still inconvenient," Zjetya notes of the destruction.
"Anyway," River says. "As Sir Cloak said, it seems there is some manner of Tartarian influence upon this layer of the dungeon… we navigated around this trap by, as it seems, manifesting a safe path of travel through overwhelming willpower. Try that when you are confounded by a trap in your own travels… unless you intend to re-join us?"
"There was something back there that warranted examination," Volkama says. "Especially with this new information."

Busta gasps, as the approaching force, deterred little by his mystical wind-blasts, rushes past him. As smoky darkness exudes from Gadriel's finger-tips, it suddenly, congeals around him – and Gadriel barely manages to eke out a scream as he himself is compressed by all sides. He forces himself into a cannonball posture, his head crammed in between his four limbs, and he suddenly drops, falling down deeper through the earth, forcibly dragged by that invisible force.


Cloak nods at River's words to Volkama and Shorthorns, "No matter which direction we head, I believe it will always lead us to Tartarus, so we will meet like this if you choose to split on more than one occasion. These traps will require us as individuals to manifest our own destinies, but it does help to have another around to remind each other of our goals and convictions."



"Well, at least we know that down leads forward… kinda," Amy nods.

Amy looks down at the ground beneath her hoofpaws. She starts jumping up and down to stomp the ground as if she can get it to give way like a weak floor board.

[1d10] to break through!

Roll #1 6 = 6


You and Busta begin hurtling down after Gadriel, as an intense pressure starts to bear down upon you from all sides – you feel a grotesque sliminess pressing in, seeping through your clothing down to your fur, getting down all the way to your pores, compressing even your breath and your heart. Busta weakly struggles, unable to muster more than a choked whimper as he writhes in the invisible grasp;


"AH!" Shorthorns says in response, nodding as she understands the intent the dungeon may have on those playing within, and keen on trying to keep her own spirit to press onwards without delay sturdy. "I think you're right on, Cloak, that's what I've been trying to do as well. For once, letting your gut go before your brain may work out for us."

As the key unlocks the door, Shorthorns knocks it open with a soft bump from her horn, moving out towards the center of the room with nary a delay, intent on moving forwards without stopping. "I think we're still okay to split up River, we'll cover more ground. I found something odd on my way here too, a dead-end with a secret hallway behind it, I saw it with my Mirror," she says, motioning towards the magical artifact. "I'm gonna see if there's another way around rather than just bashing down the wall."


"I can make more keys, but I have to wonder if that was meant to remove the key or remove whoever opened it."
Pryce comments after a moment of thought.

"We connected our paths now, so we're better off now than we were before. We can examine the door we unlock, while you check on what you found."
Pryce says to Flaming.
"If anything, our paths may cross again. If this is a test of will, all of the paths from the start may lead to the end, it's just a matter of not getting overwhelmed by the multitude of options as they cross through each other."


>phase aura
[1d10] attaching solar element

>Sefer Merkaba: passive, replaces Sefer Yad; When using Phase Aura you may elect to attach a Solar or Dhyana Element to the effect. In addition, all attacks made in the duration of Phase Aura have the attached Element. When an element is attached to Phase Aura it also has an aggro effect. Causes enemies to flee/avoid you on success, may attract aggro from the strongest of demons.

Shei-Sher and his allies exude roaring sunlight dispelling any darkness around them, brimming from the shadow that consumed them like hot broth.

From within it's gullet, shei steals this monster's conviction to act.
>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 6 = 6 / Roll #2 3 = 3


[1d10] Entering the room

Roll #1 7 = 7


You manage to scuff up the carpet a bit, but that's about that.

"Oh, shit…" Zjetya gasps. "I didn't even think of that. Let's blast open doors from now on. Save the keys for treasure chests."

Flaming concentrates, and manages to enter the room with no issues, unassailed by any vector sigils that would seek to slam her against the walls into a chunky buffalo sauce.

Volkama and Deriva remain at the doorway. "Let's see:" Volkama begins. "The only other ways out of this room are to go back up through the trapdoor Amy took, or to head eastward. It'd be quite the roundabout path to conceal a way beyond that brick wall to our southwest. I suspect there might not be another way around it."
"Perhaps a secret locking mechanism may await us back there?" Deriva posits.

At once, as pure heavenly sunlight shines forth from your subtle-bodies, the force compressing you, Gadriel and Busta spits you up, tossing you astray into the soil and earth once more, but now with little sense of where you might be in relation to the rest of the dungeon. The force swims about you, sometimes coiling around at a distance, sometimes just above or even far below you, manifesting and vanishing, it seems, at will. But, it makes no attempt to take you again. Still, as they unravel themselves, Busta and Gadriel group up around you to amplify the sunlight radiation as they catch their breath.


"We should assume nothing down here is safe to simple access or walk through."
Pryce comments to Zjetya's gasp.

Pryce looks over as Flaming passes in without issue, then to Volkama and Deriva.
"Either a secret or a puzzle, if this room is any example of the dungeon. We can continue this way and see if there's anything if you wish to search there."
Pryce says, turning to head down the hallway they opened.



"Sounds like we should go east!" Amy declares, heading east.


Leather follows Pryce, nodding, "Patient and unwavering, we continue."


File: 1606888207898.jpg (214.19 KB, 1024x978, escher-relativity-woodcut-….jpg)

Shei swings his axe over his belly and lays down a wicked rift.

>Shepherd's Tone: one effect per 6 turns, stackable, negates resistances; Divinity transposed through rock and roll. Play a song that invokes profoundly visceral effects upon all your enemies or allies on the field to either alter their behavior or status condition…… Based on the description of the effect and purpose the DM may attach any status conditions at his discretion. Player may describe environmental effects on planes where the environment is nebulous i.e. dreams, astral plane, chaotic planes, etc.

[1d10] to create a solid domain and evoke feelings of being untoachable in enemies.


logic imposes itself onto the nebulous underground. As darkness unfolds into innumerable staircases, postrating direction.

"guess I'm just
stuck in a rut~"

Roll #1 2 = 2


As Shorthorns makes her way across the chamber floor untouched, she doesn't break in her stride even to congratulate herself, staying as focused on her goal of making it through the room, and the dungeon, as soon as they can without any distractions.

"There was one more way at that intersection we came to after we descended the stairs, one that went east. No one has gone down that way yet, and it's closer to our wall. How about we go back down there then, and see what it has? If it has nothing, we'll make our way back to this room."


"That sounds good. If either of our paths leads to a dead end, we can trail back this way and regroup."


As you head to the east, you in time come to a door, and a brief inspection, magical and material, shows it is neither trapped nor locked. Zjetya controls a pocket of wind, and opens it from afar, allowing you entry.

Inside is a small, round and bare room, one with many doors: This one, on the West, end, one to the Northwest, one to the North, one to the Northeast, one to the South, and one to the Southwest.

In the middle of the room, floating above the carpet, awaits the Salt dragon, eyes narrowed as she beholds you. "…Is this all of you, because I hate repeating myself."

Volkama and Deriva nod, and you head back with them to retrace your steps.

>roll perception

As you try to impose your will upon the space about you, you feel yourself coming up against enormous resistance, as if you'd just thrown your shoulder into the hide of an elephant. The invisible force swimming about you departs without warning, skittering away like a frightened fish. Busta and Gadriel look about, as psychic pressure builds around you, a sensation that causes the hairs on even your subtle bodies to stand, forced erect by the chills crawling about your skin. That psychic pressure congeals before you without warning, clumping up into a dark and frigid orb, but not one with its own weight and mass – more like a bottomless pit, inverted outwards in an impossible twist.

Without warning, you, Gadriel and Busta start getting pulled toward it. In an instant, Busta and Gadriel spin about, desperately trying to swim away from the void.

[1d10+3] Teleport (Busta)

[1d10+2] Flight (Gadriel)

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12



Amy looks around. Then, she sighs. "Shei's missing… again…"


"Sounds perfect! Good luck, we'll see you guys again soon. Just remember, stay focused."

She says, immediately trying to set about her own advice as she leads the charge (almost literally, excitedly breaking into a gallop) back down the hall as she runs to see where the other hall might lead
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 1 = 1


The moment you give that order, a stone rises up from the floor, and trips you. Volkama and Deriva just sort of stare at you for a moment, before bending down to help you up.

>try again


"They are choosing their own paths, would you entrust a message to be passed on without need of you repeating it?" Leather says as they approach.


"OOF!" Shorthorns lets out a shrill grunt as she tumbles over from the upturned stone, landing in a small heap in front of the others. Her cheeks return to a familiar red-hue from before her ascension as she stays frozen there on the floor for a moment, the blushing white buffalo refusing Volkama and Deriva's help to get her up as she pulls herself up from the floor herself, trying to gather her pride.

"Uh, m-maybe take it a little slower, would hate to miss something cause I was in a rush now that I think about it." She says, taking a more calm trot down the hall out of the room as quickly as she can to keep her momentum goin
[1d10] Perception take 2

Roll #1 10 = 10


Pryce enters, not passing much farther beyond the doorway as he looks around the room for any signs of traps like the last. He focuses up to the dragon, a good sign they're going the right way.
"There are more of us, some back down the hallway, and a few unknown."
Pryce answers.



rolling the same thing as before.


Logic imposes itself again as an array of escher stairs barricading between them and the leviathan psychic force

Roll #1 1 = 1


"It doesn't matter who asks the question, so long as it's asked," Salt says cryptically. She straightens herself out, and leers down at you as sulfur did.

"When you enter Tartarus, you will be joined by countless others, enemies and allies alike. Still more foes shall rise up from the Abyss, to rend you and your designs into naught. What is it that you will do to those who shall uncompromisingly stand in your way?"

River and Zjetya fall silent, considering their answers after the lecture that Sulfur delivered earlier about unity.

Perhaps your trip was divine providence in disguise… you see, after you left the room with the vector sigils, you ended up back in the hallway whose west branch ended prematurely, while the east branch continued onward. It was in that east branch that you tripped. As you walk further east, something about the ground below you, covered by a long dark red rug, feels… off. Volkama, noting this, floats up a section of the rug, revealing a stone trapdoor underneath you. It's locked, but it's clearly another way to traverse.

As you try to force your will into existence about you, the stairs manifest, but in great fragmented chunks, and ahead of you, not behind you. The chunks of stairs fall toward the black hole, smacking you and Busta and Gadriel toward it. Gadriel beats his wings, straining and gasping as he tugs you and Busta around a hail of falling debris, as the chunks crumble in the black hole's gravitational void. Just as a final chunk slams into your head, sending you tumbling toward the void, Busta focuses, calming his breathing – and the three of you vanish.

When you re-appear, you are still in the soil and earth, but you know not where. All you know is that neither the invisible force nor the black hole are anywhere to be seen.


Shei-Sher is still playing his fucking guitar

The strings strike inertly, like a electric guitar without any amp. His hooves strikings, his head banging in total brash he just seems focused on playing now.

Albeit their surroundings gently bristle out from their surroundings as a quite and humble looking garden patio.


Roll #1 3 = 3



"I don't really believe in 'uncompromising'," Amy responds to Salt. "But, I guess that kinda describes me, so I guess I don't believe in me," Amy laughs.

"I have a lot of pity for the demons in Tartarus, but I'm also not going to try to befriend every single one of them. We don't have the time for that unfortunately. If they get in my way and they won't move, they will be made to move."

"Hey, speaking of which, is all the food still safe for later?" Amy suddenly asks conversationally.

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

Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9


With three final strikes Shei gives up "bah, bah, ba-a-h - No give, I need more practice."

"Gadds? Do you want to put out some darkness before we start again?"


Shorthorn's eyes open wide as she sees the very thing she tripped on trying to progress through the hall ends up revealing an unforseen clue, smiling widely as Volkama lifts up the long dark rug to reveal the trap-door.

"A-ahah! So there WAS something down here…" she says, looking at the locked door with a digruntled groan. "But it needs another key to open… keep track of where this is on your map, maybe if we got the rest of the way down the East hall we'll find one. Unless any of you remember to ask Pryce if he had more keys to spare."


"Patience will lead to deliverance. If a mind cannot compromise, a body can, or perhaps even the spirit. The tree that does not bend in a storm breaks."


Pryce thinks, taking time to answer this time after Sulfur's scolding before.
"There is far too much on the line to be caught aside in differences of belief. I will do whatever it takes to ensure we can continue on with our goal."

>"I think if we just talked we could find a compromise."

KP says.

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