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 No.743587[View All]

Last time, on PirateQuest…

Cutlass, now awake again after her fainting spell, shared her suspicions of Kukulcan with Alder, Splendid, Prisma, Paraiba, the mooks, Make Believe and her four assassins. Her notion that Kukulcan was not who or what he claimed to be was backed up by the fact that Monty, her rumormonger snake amulet, changed his story about Kukulcan and the Watchkeepers after Kukulcan claimed that he was a god. Colobok asserted that he would leave behind one of the papers of his aura ability, Shadow Archive, to spy on Kukulcan and peer into his mind, to see if he was telling the truth. Colobok, Sparkler and Make Believe then left with the godray crystal to deliver it back to the Hidden Dagger before nightfall.

With evening upon them, and much of our crew still injured, Magoja (interning as the Thunder Serpent's surgeon) suggested that our crew ingratiate themselves with Kukulcan's. One such method, he suggested, was to challenge them to a drinking game. Nothing beats heatstroke and dehydration like alcohol, after all.

Cloud, escorted by Bent Scales of the Beesting, escorted Cloud partway to the Thunder Serpent. She broke off partway through, leaving to join the rest of the Beesting crewmates who had been spying on Kukulcan all day to get intel on him and his crew. Cloud arrived at the Dreamer's Moon just as Cutlass got several drinks deep with Cycle Kick. Alder, meanwhile, was being taught in the fishing and culinary arts by the hairless diamond dog they met earlier, the one with the compulsion for orderliness.

Cerulean continued to plumb the depths of the Skull Temple with her pets, getting as far as B5F. While her dog friends found another way around the pitfall obstacle she just cleared, she pressed onward, finding herself in a long hall, with a corridor to the west and one to the east. After going partway down the eastern corridor, she was stopped by a familiar sight: Herself, standing on the other side of what looked like some kind of translucent, watery mirror.
920 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


"I could not even use it before I met you," Mallea says. "I had little need for it, and still less interest. But you might say you have expanded my horizons on the matter."

Thessaly blinks at you in disbelief for your fanciful projection of how the spell upon your eye might go.
Chiu squeezes your arm. "Maybe you should do as the expert says."
"Quite," Thessaly says. "It may look like anything. Grimoires are traditionally guised, most often made to resemble some kind of mundane book, like a cookbook, or anthology of poetry, and so on. You might recognize it, by… she pauses, considering her next action. "Well, I have traveled with you long enough that you might as well know some Witches' lore."

In the dust on the counter, Thessaly traces out the shape of a rune, resembling something of a pointed cube. "We use these marks to indicate shelters, places where one might find an ally, or whether persecution awaits. This mark denotes a book with esoteric meaning. Search for it upon the spine, or the insides of the front or back cover."

Mallea scoffs. "As Cutlass and Ossie can attest, you may be surprised at the results."

Cerulean makes her way back to the Hidden Dagger, and despite some mild protest by Torpedo, she submits to Mallea so that she may draw blood from her. Indeed, just as with Cutlass and Ossie, Cerulean does not even notice the moment of phlebotomy. Schnitzel comes up from the kitchen with some sugar snickerdoodle cookies for the lot of you. After a few minutes of rest, Cerulean feels well enough to get out and search for Captain Bee Holder.


Cerulean pretty much sits there, idly moving her tail like she's getting impatient on why nothing has been done yet. Then the tray of cookies come out.
"Wait, done already?" She looks and sees the vile of her blood.
"Huh…neat," she remarks and takes a cookie, clearly impressed by both the lack of feeling it and how good the cookies came out.

"Yeah, you weren't kidding. Magic is pretty wild, huh?"



Cutlass telekinetically snatches one of the cookies. "Thank YOU," she says as she yoinks it away. She nibbles on it with a look of smug satisfaction.

"Well, if people are keen on looking for your Captain, I suppose we should do that now. Let's go," she says as she leads the way out the door.


"Very strange, yes! It did not hurt, I imagine? Though, I doubt it would matter- she likely would not take enough blood to make things difficult."

"Thank you, Schnitzel. We should be back soon enough, so see you all later."


Cloud looks to Chiu, then back to Thessaly.
"Alright, but do I have to be under? Last time… wasn't too pleasant."

Cloud looks over the runes, nodding.
"Oh, so that's what those are. Alright then."
Cloud goes over any book he sees, looking for the symbols Thessaly described.
>Search [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


Thessaly double-takes at your response. "You've known of them?"
"It's something of a long story, but yep," Chiu says.
"For another time, then," Thessaly says.

After picking over the ruined shop for some time, you come across a book of geography, with the symbol in question etched faintly into the margins of the inside of the book jacket. Thessaly takes it, rolling her neck and shoulders after being stooped for so long to collect the blood. "Well-done," Thessaly says, scanning the pages. "Hrm… it's not the most complex cypher, but one I've not had to decode in some time. Good thing Cerulean's bought us some breathing room. Let's be off to the Hidden Dagger. Once I've put together a translation, you might ask for a copy of the book itself. The geographical knowledge within is still genuine."

You head back out into the port town, rested and ready to find Bee Holder.

>Pause, roll navigation for next time.




Roll #1 3 = 3



Roll #1 1 = 1


>Navigation: [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


Last time, on PirateQuest…

Mallea, Godot and Thessaly began to take blood from every member of the two crews, as well as from the scene of Gullveig's attack, so as to determine if anyone present was responsible for Gullveig's assault. Of course, this would only prove conclusive if there really were multiple sources of blood present at the scene, and it seemed that Gullveig hadn't put up much of a fight before fleeing…

With that taken care of, Alder, Cutlass and Cerulean set out to find Bee Holder and her four first mates, who were reportedly exploring the regions south of the Sundial Plaza to try to map out more of Cuauhtemoc that they have not yet found. As the informant apparently possessed the ability to listen in on Conch conversations, communications would have to be limited to in-person discussions until they could be caught.

Meanwhile, Cloud and Chiu helped Thessaly with her investigation of Gullveig's ransacked shop to try to gather evidence of the attacker's identity.


As you head off the ships, and begin making for the Southward path that Godot and Schnitzel took with their mooks earlier, you hear a pair disembark the ships behind you.

"Captain!" Schnitzel calls. It is he and Make Believe who have gotten off. "We're going out, but we'll be back before dark. Probably."
If not here, then at where old Kukulcan has docked his ship, Make Believe adds. Don't worry, I've got him on a leash.

As they say this, they're heading Westward, across the path you took before in your initial explorations of the jungle.


"Oh, well good luck out there," she says to the two in her usual, energetic manner.

"Guess we better get going ourselves before it gets too dark, huh?"


"Well, I am sure they ought to be fine- we could always swing by where they are headed and check on them on the way back if you would want, Cutlass."

"Yes, good thinking! I do not want to take chances."


"A copy? You sure that's okay since it has whatever secrets Gullveig kept in there?"
Cloud asks as Thessaly sets to working on decoding.

As she mentions to head to the Hidden Dagger, he nods.
"Is there anything I can do to help with this?"



"Stay safe," Cutlass nods to Schnitzel and Make Believe. "Those giants come out at night."

"So, where is Bee Holder?" Cutlass asks no one in particular.


Thessaly shakes her head. "How can I put it? Think of it as… ah. As how a translator of a book may render passages and idioms in the original text in a manner intelligible to a reader of that other language. Thus, we can produce a perfectly legible copy, stripped of its hidden meanings."

As you ask what you can do to help, Thessaly nods. "I am sure that Mallea and Godot will have need of certain herbs and roots that you may procure with your green hooves."

Chiu turns to head back to her room. "I'll see you around suppertime then?" she asks.

You head Southward and West through the foliage, taking a path that still leaves the shore and waters visible to the East. The afternoon heat and humidity have set in in full, and the small, pestering bugs have come out in kind.

After a while of walking, the soil beneath you gives way to dampness, and it in turn, to low marshland. Great trees lay about you, some uprooted, others cut or smashed down, their roots and shattered bark weaving criss-cross through the air… it is here that Alder's skin crawls, as he recognizes this spot as where Splendid perished… or nearly avoided it.

Meanwhile, aboard the Thunder Serpent…
>Two Tons

A surge of invigorating lightning cracks across the lifeless dark, jolting you awake. Gears churn and metal grinds as your systems boot, brought back to the world of the living after a dead battery landed you in limbo. Your restraint chassis holds fast, and you are unable to move much, save for your optical ports, but you can tell you are lying on your side. Four figures stand before you.

The first, a tall and dashing Vola, with a panorama of green and yellow feathers poking out beneath his captain's tailcoat and hat.
The second, a small Krikral moth, her fluff a muted, yet dazzling pink.
The third, one of the elusive Elemen – an amber-colored crystal, surrounded by a perpetual dust storm.
And the fourth, though he stands tall, stands in the back, and you can't see much of him.

"Thunder…" the Vola begins, holding his hands aloft, as if to strike down. Yellow lightning dances between his palms and fingertips, sparking and flashing. "G–"
"Wait!" the Krikral says. "I saw movement in its eyes. You might overload the battery."



Cutlass is just along for the ride for now. She doesn't know where Bee Holder would be anyway.

[1d10] to spot any potential danger

Roll #1 3 = 3


A heavy thud is the reply to the hushed whispering as the great metal form of the mechanical being falls to the ground, shaking the room and possibly threatening to make a hole in the floor. A soft clicking and whirring accompanied two mechanical eyes blinking and slowly scanning the room before the equinoid figure slowly rose to his feet.

Ever so slowly, his head began to crane from side to side slowly taking in all around him as he perceived his surroundings. Slowly he looked down to the ones before him and tilted his head to the side a bit.

"Did… did I run out of juice or something?" he asked in a confused tone at those before him.


"Oh, good. Wouldn't want to intrude on any secrets of hers after all this attacking business."

Cloud nods, lifting up a hoof to give a flex, getting back to his old self.
"If it's herbs they need, then I'm the bat for the job."

Cloud turns, stepping up to Chiu and giving her a wing hug.
"Supper. And, take this, just to be safe."
He says, handing Chiu his Yearning Knife.
"If whoever this spy is tries anything, this will cut apart any magic they might try."
He then gives her a peck on the cheek.
"Stay safe."


"Uggh…now I remember why the temple was kinda comfy. There weren't any of these bugs getting in my face," she says as she uses hoof and tail to swat and kick up a breeze to get them away from her.

"Oh hey, now I don't mind it," she remarks as things get damper and wetter.


>Perception: [1d10]
"A-Ah… right. I suppose she might have come through here."

"No bugs inside the temple? Hrm… that does sound rather nice, honestly. Was it cooler, too?"

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Definitely! It wasn't really as wet and all, but was a lot cooler."


The first three look at one another with amazement and amusement, and it is now that you get a better glimpse of the fourth – a tall… griffon. He stands on his hind legs, unlike griffons, and you almost mistake him for a Vola, were it not for his distinctive lower half – that of a cat. He wears the rags of a swab, making him stand out quite a bit in comparison to the rich dress of the Krikral and the Vola. His expression is disdainful, and he twiddles a coin in his hand.

"Incredible, Miss Two Reeds, it can talk!" the Vola says. "I knew it, I just knew there was something special about it. Sir Diamantaire, would you be kind enough to undo that peculiar mechanism holding it in place?"
"You gots it boss," the Elemen grunts, floating over behind you. You can feel a telekinetic force fiddling about with your restraining harness until it disengages, allowing you to move.
"It can talk, but it may yet be hostile, Captain," Two Reeds says. "Are you sure–"
"Positive!" the "Captain" says. "He's our crewmate."
"I really hope I will be able to finish a question one of these days…" Two Reeds gripes.

Thessaly rolls her eyes at all of this, and then, following a kiss and a bat squeak from Chiu, you follow after Thessaly to the Hidden Dagger.

By the time that you get there, the mooks, and the other ship's residents, are sitting about, recovering with small snacks after having their blood drawn. Thessaly leads you to the infirmary, where Godot and Mallea are labeling and examining the samples at Mallea's vast experimentation tables. You also see Axolotl laying in one of the beds.

Godot nods as you enter. "The bloodsucker, about to give blood? What irony."
"I assume Chiu will have to send hers in later," Mallea says. "She and her demon are right to avoid this place."

Further to the West some distance, Alder can hear a series of thunderous shudders, as if miniature earthquakes were ravaging the land.


"Hmm? Oh! Did you hear that? It sounds like something shaking the earth… we ought to check it out, yes? This way!" he chirps, beckoning to the other two.


"Considering I just ate, and I'm not in a brawl with anyone or anything: yeah, I think we better," she says and follows after Alder.


A few whirs and clicks happened as Two Tons ever so slowly dragged himself to his mechanical hooves and began to look around the area. He turned to the one who removed it and slowly trod over to them.

The next few seconds revolved around trying to hug or at the very least give the Elemen a head pat as thanks for the action "Thanks buddy, that was weird. It was like being a big metal statue… except I can't move. You know what's that like? Probably not cause your not metal."

A pause as something approximating a synapse within his robot brain suddenly fired.

"Where am I by the way?"


Cloud looks over as all the crew sit with snacks, getting a bit hungry himself.
"Yea, figured it'd be nice to see what the receiving side feels like," Cloud jests to Godot, then turns to Maella.
"Yea, she's going to take it easy after all the panic. We found a book of Gullveig's that might help with this situation, and I mentioned to Thessaly earlier we should collect a sample of that blood I saw where Hmm last was."
Cloud informs to catch the witch up.



"We SHOULD?" Cutlass asks, less sure. "I came along to find Bee Holder, not-"

Cutlass trails off as everyone ignores her and heads onward toward the sounds. She sighs and follows.


Sir Diamantaire floats backward as you try to pat his head, responding with no more than a grunt.
The Vola, referred to by Two Reeds as Captain, claps once. "I am afraid I cannot imagine such a fate. But, I can answer your other question in as succinct a manner as I can manage. You are aboard my ship, the Thunder Serpent. Currently, thanks to our technology, we are further below the ocean's surface than ever before thought possible. To be precise, we are on what remains of the island of Cuauhtemoc… to put it simply, this island is my home. I have recruited you, and a crew of many others, to see that home defended from forces that would see it devoured by the ravenous one."

"Ah!" he exclaims, and his hat flies off his head as his crest flies up, much like a cockatiel's. He catches the hat after it collides with the ceiling. "Pardon me, I have neglected my own introduction. I am Captain Kukulcan, the Thunder Serpent. Do you have a name, sir?"

"I have taken one of Gullveig's grimoires on geomancy," Thessaly says. "After I have translated it, I'll gather the spells most suitable for a procedure by which we can canvass the Eye of Wisdom."
Mallea nods. "I've some serum for putting a patient under. Cloud, while we work, go and help the Good Doctor gather herbs."
Godot nods and stands, but you are reminded of Godot's chilling bounty notice in the newspaper. "Yes, my last search was not as successful as I'd have hoped. We've some daylight left, so we might as well try another portion of jungle."

As you pick over the marshlands, the earthquakes grow ever louder and more rapid, until it is more like cannonfire or bombs in volume. A final great THUD shudders out, followed by the groan and creak, as a damaged tree keels over and falls, over the obsidian shell of a broken Watchkeeper.

Atop a tall, incredibly wide tree-stump, you see Bee Holder standing in the center of her four first mates, all looking battered, bruised and bloodied. Surrounding them are the broken remains of about half a dozen Watchkeepers, each one about the size of a shack, on average. Shattered rocks and felled trees litter the battlefield, as another testament to the carnage. What's more, you can feel a kind of shimmering in the air. It takes no formal tutoring for you to recognize it as lingering Aura.

"Oh," Bent Scales says, plopping down on the stump. "It's you guys. You get our crew back yet?"



"Alright, apparently the two are the same," Cutlass says, looking more than a little shocked.


"This next search will be plenty successful. As long as we find at least some seeds or buds I got you covered," Cloud comments. "So what kind of herbs are we looking for?"
Before they depart, Cloud pauses and looks back to Mallea.
"Oh, should we get my blood sample before we head out or are we doing that later?"


"I figured it would be the case- it seems difficult to go far without running into trouble here."

"And… find her we did! Goodness, you look awful, Captain- err, you look rather ragged, to say. Would you mind giving me a chance to tend to that?" he asks, wincing a little bit. He flicks an ear to Bent Scales, and responds with "Yes- aboard the Thunder Serpent, actually."


"Pretty much what Alder said. Also been working on some of our own things while we're at it. Though what about you guys? Things are uhh…," she motions around the place, a bit lost for words, "are pretty busy, I guess?"


Oh! I'm Two Tons of Fun!" he chimed happily as he stamped his metal hoof on the ground "And that sounds fun…" he paused as he seemed to be forgetting something "Oh right! Have you guys seen my friend we-… er W.W.? he asked biting his arguably non-existent tongue as he recalled that he wasn't supposed to name him if he wasn't around.

"Last thing I recall I was out with him looking around at stuff and then… it kinda all went black."


Bee Holder nod, and her group step down from the trunk – a nearly fifteen foot drop – without so much as a flinch. "Our aim for a quality map hasn't been very fruitful," Bee Holder says. "We sent scouts to map out the coastline, but the waters south of the port are pretty choppy, and the currents meant to scatter our boats on rocks in the shallows."

"So, we tried to push through on land, but we've been attacked at pretty much every turn, either by wildlife or some of these," Bent Scales adds, pushing around some of the Watchkeeper remnants. "We've been retracing our steps, and they still keep coming after us – even small fry like these."

Mallea snorts. "Right, right. My mind endeavors to be everywhere all at once, with all this business. Sit down and help yourself to a cookie once I'm done."

You sit, expecting the sting of the needle, but before you know it, Mallea is putting a bandage on you. Only the faint, fading remains of minor pain can be felt in your arm.

Kukulcan shakes his head. "No… and I'm afraid that you may not have a chance to see him anytime soon, unless he is capable of diving as deep as our ships have."
Two Reeds clicks her mandibles. "That reminds me. Did you ever hear tell from Cerulean, of the Beesting, on the success of her search of the Temple?"
"Ah! Thank you, Miss Two Reeds," Kukulcan says. "Two Tons, would you care to join me and talk with some of our comrades on this expedition?"


Cloud sits down, expecting a long process, but is surprised with how soon Mallea is putting a bandage on him.
"Wow, you're good. Or maybe that wish really kicks in quick."
Cloud muses, hopping up and making a beeline for the cookies.
"Alright Godot, let's head out."
He says, all prepped and prepared.


"Huh, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Though shame they're busted: I've been meaning to try the staff out," she says and holds it, looking it over a bit.
"I haven't really tried using it yet, and Torpedo is already listening to what I say without having to make him." She gives Torpedo pets on the head as she says this.


"I mean I guess… He might be able to though, he's really good at building stuff. He built me after all." the large mech said now feeling worried about the mysterious companion he had spoken of.

"Guessing I don't have much of a choice if I want to help you huh?" he asked as he shuffled in place a bit more.


"Mmm. It truly feels like you practically trip over these creatures." he remarks, setting out his medical kit and getting to work on the two of them.
>Natural Remedy heal for both Bent Scales and Bee Holder. Full Hits, +1 Wound, Cured of an ailment afflicting them.

"Heading back now, I assume? Or, was there something else you were planning on trying?"



"What benefit do we get from having a better map?" Cutlass asks.

Then, after a beat, she adds, "To be clear, that's not rhetorical. I'm weighing my options."


"Not a better map," Bee Holder says. "A map, period. Kukulcan hasn't provided us with one. Even if he had, I'd want my own to verify that he wasn't feeding us false info. Plus, exploring on our own initiative might help shed light on some of the odd happenings that have plagued his trip so far – the dreams, the Metal Men, and what in particular Kukulcan is so keen on finding that he'd dive so deep into the seven seas for it."

"I've used more of my medical supplies than I'd have liked," Sickly Sweet admits with frustration. "So, our plan was to head back and try again later."

He looks over Cerulean's Key of the High Mechpriest. "That's clearly not just some walking stick. How'd you come across all this?"

Quiet and pensive, Godot, flanked by his bodyguards, steps out from the Hidden Dagger with you, and heads West out of the port town, into the jungle you traversed on your first time exploring the island. He unfurls a roll of papyrus from his coat, replete with illustrations and names of various plants. "Hopefully we shall reap a better crop than what we found earlier. I'll rattle them off, and you… do whatever you do best. Ready?"

Kukulcan taps his beak. "It is a dilemma… understand that when we purchased you, we were not expecting any degree of sapience, but an automaton, a simulacra of feeling and reactions to stimuli. But come, even aside from the circumstances, what could you find objectionable about my proposal, to explore, even to revive and set free, this ancient sunken island? I assure you that your mechanical nature will not prohibit you from receiving a fair pay, lodgings and cut of the treasure while you are in my service! If there is more you shall require for accommodations, or for compensation, you have but to name it."


"I guess finding my friend when we're done… but getting paid does sound nice. Even if I have no idea what to do with any money…" he said scratching at himself for the purpose of looking like he was thinking.

"But I guess if nothing else, this is an excuse to make even more friends." he said as his mood jumped from pensive and almost melancholy to the same eager one he had when he had first awakened "So sure!"


As they march out back onto land and start to enter the jungle, Cloud's bravado starts to wane, and he steps ever closer to the bodyguards.
"Yea.. yea…"
He mutters, eyes and ears on high alert as they check his surroundings, even more wary without Hmm around.



"Isn't he looking for the vault?" Cutlass shrugs. "Specifically what's inside it. As in, the Heart of Gold. The metal men and the dreams seem tied to the vault too. And, we already know where that is."


"Nope. Its a staff from a mechpriest guy. There was this Skull Temple, right? So…," she gives an excited, but brief as she could, explanation of her time in the Skull Temple.
"I really only meant to explore a bit, but everything was just so neat, I couldn't help but keep exploring!"

"But yeah, this is supposed to be a control staff or something…though I kinda forgot to ask how to use it. Aahahah."


"We got a bit of insight on what he wanted, which is in the vault. I do not know if we ever quite figured out the dreams, though…"

"If you really want to continue, I have medical supplies to share- though, I think it might be best to head back. We were having Miss Mallea do a bit of blood testing. Hopefully, we will have results when we return."


Kukulcan shakes your hoof with gusto. "Good to have you aboard, sir. We shall discuss the details of your pay and employment once you have had a chance to acquaint yourself with the rest of the crew. Come, and I shall introduce you, though be warned that not all of them are with us for the moment."

Bee Holder stops and considers for a moment as she takes in everything that you've said. "…Well then! Looks like we're the ones in need of getting caught up."
"You cleared that entire place by yourself!?" Bent Scales exclaims to Cerulean. "Respect! But, Captain, doesn't this mean we can get that map made now?"
"After we see what Mallea needs our blood for," Sickly Sweet says.
"Whatever it is, I'll bet it's to do with why you sought us out directly instead of calling ahead," Bee Holder says. "Let's be off."



roll relevant plant gathering skills


>Search [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Yup! It wasn't easy, and I almost lost my memories of you all, but made it through," she says in her energetic as always way.
"And yeah…about that, uhh, maybe lay off the conches a bit? Ya know…'reasons,'" she says doing air quotes, trying to be subtle as Cerulean can be.

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