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File: 1618452033498.jpg (599.23 KB, 1920x1997, 1547170014862.jpg)

 No.755391[View All]

>[ENTRY REDACTED]

Last time, in the Castle of Silence…

After whipping up a quick meal offering, the expedition team ventured out from the warehouse to approach the Necromancer, who floated languidly through the northern streets. Upon confronting him, they found him willing to engage in dialogue, whereupon he divulged that he indeed had been to the Pillars… in fact, he entered Agatecastle through the Pillars, indicating the existence of a clandestine gateway between the Pillars and the Castle itself. It was as this came up that Lost Hope accidentally divulged the existence of the Ironcastle Expedition Team, a fact which the Necromancer found quite interesting. Huitlapan panicked and tried to walk back Lost's revelation, only to be frozen solid with a blast of winter air.
707 posts omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.760182

>>760107
I will follow the group as I search for anything about this one-eyed giant because i forgot too

[1d10] remembrance

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760183

>>760178
>>760179
>>760180
>>760182
>>760181
"Not all of them appear to be completely lucid, however," Huitlapan notes. "I think only the LARPing group seemed to have a full idea of what was going on… they still trusted him, despite that."

"I'm still trying to catch up," Xu says. "But are you guys thinkin' he might not be so bad?"

"Completely malevolent, perhaps not," Cautaa says. "But one does not need even a dash of malevolence to create great problems for others. In fact, the best of intentions can beget the worst of circumstances."

As you talk, Deadweight leads the way to Section Nine. According to Thuda, there was a clear stairwell in Section Nine, but also, some of the worst hallucinations she and her team had encountered so far…

Hmm… right on time.

You near the boundary between Sections One and Nine, where there was once just open, burned space between the sections.

This time, however, there is a great wall, mostly consisting of towering glass windowpanes. At the bottom is an array of sliding glass doors suitable for a mega-mall such as this. Half are labeled as Entrance, half are labeled as Exit, presumably to control the flow of pedestrian traffic in an organized fashion. This new wall, and the sliding glass doors, continue even where the wall intersects with the old, burned wall. Those incomplete sliding glass doors at the boundaries just stand there, their markings and labels juxtaposed against the burnt remnants of old outlet stores, like a botched attempt at cropping two photos together.

Conflagration, Lost and Deadweight can hear music from beyond the doors, while Firmgold reminisces on earlier times.

https://mlpg.co/q/res/738288.html#738380

 No.760184

>>760183
"Well, better to be dead and mostly lucid than dead and…dead. I guess. Hey, I think I hear music inside."
I walk through one of the doors marked as an exit.

 No.760185

>>760183
I let out a wistful sigh and return to the present.

"Hm? Music?"

Just in case I will draw my greatsword and have it over my shoulder with a wrist guard in my mouth, following Conflagration in.

 No.760186

>>760183
Lost sheepishly pushed up with the others, jumping at the sword pull.

 No.760187

>>760183
"Hmm," Deadweight hums, staring at the sliding glass doors with furrowed brows. If it looks safe, she tries opening one of the doors labeled Entrance.

[1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.760188

>>760184
>>760185
>>760186
>>760187
Just before Deadweight lead the charge across the threshold of the Entrance door… she gets a rather peculiar feeling, and involuntarily stops. She can't place it, perhaps due to a less magical nature, but this sensation is no good. Crossing that threshold is a bad idea… but it doesn't feel like it's present on the Exit doors.

The others skid to a halt before they can crash into Deadweight from behind. They say nothing, being on alert from the sight of this unusual wall, but their attention's upon Deadweight.

 No.760189

>>760188
I speak with the guard still in my mouth
"-iss 'eadwegh wassa watt'r?"

 No.760190

>>760188
>>760187
"Not that I don't appreciate having a nice butt between me and the enemy in a fight, but what's the holdup?"

 No.760191

>>760188
Deadweight suddenly stops before walking through the Entrance door (not apologizing for causing the others to crash into her) and ruminates. She then turns around and says, "Let's go through one of the Exit doors," and walks to one of the Exit doors.

>>760189
"Uh, come again?"

>>760190
Deadweight stares daggers at Conflagration, but says nothing.

 No.760192

>>760188
Lost decided now was a good time to try and be sneaky.

[1d10] stealth

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.760193

>>760191
I let my sword rest against the ground before spitting the guard out.

"Miss Deadweight, what is the matter?"

 No.760194

>>760191
>>760188
"That's what I was doing."
Through an exit door I go.

 No.760195

>>760189
>>760190
>>760191
>>760192
Lost just peaces out from all sensible reality, while the others follow Deadweight to the Exit doors. Unsurprisingly, they don't open when you get near – the automatic sensors being positioned for the other side, if this strange wall is like any normal one. You may have to force them open.

 No.760196

>>760193
"I dunno, just got a bad feeling about the Entrance door," Deadweight says.

>>760194
Deadweight unsheathes her claymore, sticks it in the opening slit, and tries to wedge the door open.

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760197

>>760195
>>760196
I will assist in wedging the exit door open with Steadfast's help
[2d10] Myself, Steadfast

Roll #1 6, 2 = 8

 No.760198

>>760195
I'll try to help pry it open with my telekinesis.
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.760199

>>760195
Lost remains in the shadows for now, keeping a watch for any potential threats. Or just looking at Dead. Who knows she's a ghost now.

 No.760200

>>760199
>>760198
>>760197
>>760196
You manage to pry open the door enough for the lanky Cautaa to hazard sticking his arm through and wave it at the other side's motion sensor. A light flashes there, and the doors slide open, allowing you safe passage.

Beyond the door is a long hall, with a plush mauve carpet, that extends to another set of sliding doors at the far end. What strikes you, however, is that the hall is not as wide as it should be; in fact, it is about half as wide.

In other words – the "Entrance" doors do not connect to this hallway. To where, or to what, they connect, you cannot tell from here.

To your left, you see a marble wall. There is a long and sprawling map, elaborately detailed, with three-dimensional figurines and color-coded sections, of a great mall… However, upon even a little inspection, you can tell that this map is utter nonsense. Paths lead off to nowhere in many areas. Many stores and attractions seem to be laid on top of one another, a strange, superimposed mosaic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F0xoRGbcWg

As you observe the map, you can now hear the music. It comes from far-off, deeper within the mall, distant and faded, on loop without end.

 No.760201

>>760200
"We should first manage a way for others to navigate these doors."

 No.760202

>>760200
Deadweight's glad she trusted her instincts. She finds the map and the music somewhat off-putting, but not any more off-putting than anything else that's been happening.

>>760201
Deadweight walks out, finds a piece of debris, and puts it in the way of the sliding doors.

>>760200
Deadweight walks down the hall to the other set of sliding doors.

 No.760203

>>760200
I take a picture of the map.
"Everyone take a picture of the map. Hopefully it's wrong, but enough screwy stuff's been happening that the map might be completely accurate. What kind of discounts do you think they give for space-time anomaly sales?"

 No.760204

>>760203
Deadweight shrugs and takes a picture of the map, too.

 No.760205

>>760202
"Ah, that works perhaps.."

>>760203
>>760200
I will jot down what the map looks like in my notes before following the group further along.

 No.760206

>>760200
Lost was rather deeply disturbed by this but did her best to be strong as she looked for anything she could see to try and prevent an ambush or surprise.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.760207

>>760200
>Perception
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.760208

>>760206
>>760201
>>760202
>>760203
>>760205
Xu considers Firmgold's suggestion for a moment, then with great displeasure, retrieves an empty energy drink can from her suit's storage unit. She crushes it around the middle, making flat grooves, and then leaves it in the middle of the Exit doorway. When those doors close again, they catch the can, remaining slightly open with the can serving as a conspicuous eye-catcher.

Xu clicks her tongue with annoyance, but rejoins you.

Cautaa raises his eyebrow.

"I don't like littering!" Xu explains.

"An admirable standpoint," Cautaa agrees. "Let's just say the circumstances grant us a rare exemption. Better yet: think of it as unconventional recycling."

With a hint left behind for those who may follow you, you proceed beyond the next set of automatic doors.

Beyond them–

People. Lots and lots of people.

Peoples of all races, speaking all kinds of languages as they walk about, carrying bags, trying on new clothes, sharing fast food, sharing earbuds, laughing at one another's magicomps…

The others tense up, overwhelmed by the sudden deluge of fellow souls, so alive and well in this grave of a Castle…

However.

Like watercolors running when overly wet, the crowds seem to smear, whenever you look away from one soul to another. When you look back, whoever was there just a moment ago, is now gone, replaced by others.

When you look beyond the people, unto the mall itself… it too has a particular impermanence. Dozens of walkways criss-cross above you, connecting dozens on dozens of levels of this strange mall. When you look away from one, then look back, the walkway has either moved, or disappeared, or arranged itself to fit some other configuration. For the brief moments when you look at something, it seems to all work, follow logic, and all that… but just look askance, and the world has changed, never to be the same again.

 No.760209

>>760208
At the mirage, Deadweight furrows her brows in equal parts confusion and annoyance. She looks around for some obvious way for them to go.

>Perception

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760210

>>760208
"Trippy. We're trying to go down, right?"
Instead of looking straight ahead I try to navigate by only looking out of the corner of my eyes. Lets look for a staircase or elevator down.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.760211

>>760208
Lost rubbed her eyes as she looked within.

Do you have any idea how this is happening?

 No.760212

>>760208
I will sheathe my sword and press through the crowd.

[1d10] Willpower

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.760213

>>760211
Hey… you'd better not laugh at me when I say this, but… it's like a dream, half-remembered… makes me think back to that dream of ours. Maybe these people… could be in one of their own… or maybe it's all just an illusion, some bullshit trap. I don't know. I'm no expert on this shit.

>>760209
>>760210
>>760211
>>760212
Conflagration's body relaxes as he follows the flow of this inexplicable scenario. Though Conflagration cannot hear Dhampir's voice, he is left with a similar feeling, of attempting to take control of a lucid dream. A most delicate balancing act… But soon, through a combination of openness and imagination, Conflagration spots a tall rectangular structure, perhaps the one constant fixture in this space: A public access stairwell. None of the mall's patrons seem to be exiting or entering it.

But, when he tries to move toward it, the crowds flow against him, and a combination of shoulders, elbows and half-heard pardons, some apologetic, others annoyed, push him back.

Your allies suffer a similar blockade, but restrain themselves from getting aggressive. Their obstructors appear to be but civilians, after all.

>Paused

 No.760264

>>760213
"Hey, do you think these things are real if we can't see them?"
I line myself up with the public access stairwell then close my eyes. After waiting a second I take a few steps forward and see if anyone is still pushing back against me.

 No.760402

>>760211
>>760212
>>760213
>>760264
"If nothing else, I could probably fly ya across one by one," Deadweight says to the group.

 No.760403

>>760213
>>760402
"Unless something knocks you down or tries to stop you."

 No.760405

>>760213
>>760403
"Hmm." Deadweight tries flying over the crowd by herself.

 No.760577

>>760213
We, myself and Steadfast, will still try to fight against the crowd, without yet resorting to any violence
"This is, very unfortunate! Please allow us through."

 No.760578

>>760264
>>760402
>>760403
>>760577
As Conflagration shuts his eyes, he finds that travel between – and even through, the peculiar watercolor souls becomes much easier. They part around him, and indeed, he even seems to pass through them, without damage to himself or to them…

Deadweight tries another way, simply flying over the watercolor souls, merely avoiding the handful of fliers, griffons, vola and pegasi, that are among them.

At first, it seems that both Daedweight and Conflagration are finding success…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqPWos1f1Qw

But then, a dread cold falls upon the mall. Your suits' internal temperature management systems kick in to mitigate this damage, but when they do, static starts to fray the corners of your visors… chills run fingers, six, seven, eight at a time, up and down and around your vertebrae… Xu, Huitlapan and Cautaa fall back, their paces slowed by this dreadful cold.

Cautaa's pace… suddenly stops. Head slowly drifts upwards…

>roll to search for the source…?

 No.760579

>>760578
"Hey, closing your eyes does work!"
I come to a stop before opening my eyes and looking around for the source of this dreadful feeling.
[1d10] perception

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.760580

>>760578
Lost shivered hard as she tried to find the source of the unearthly chill.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.760581

>>760578
The sudden cold alarms Deadweight. She looks for the source before she has to land.

[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760582

>>760578
I will immediately use spell breaker on myself
[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.760583

>>760579
>>760580
>>760581
As you look upwards… Conflagration beholds a strange mosaic floating above you – there appear to be strange beings of a sort, hard to see, harder still to identify. Trying to look at one of them is like trying to pick out a single fixture in a landfill – trying to look at all of their number, much harder. They are mechanical, and seem to be constructed of metal, sharp and angular in shape, and yet, without definite quantity. A high humming can be heard as one glimpses what they can of them, a binaural tone, haunting as it is beautiful.

They seem to have eyes without number… a dread sense comes upon you as your gaze nears to locking with theirs…

>Conflagration, Lost must roll instant resistance to avoid making eye contact with the mechanical entities


For Cautaa's part, he has stopped moving entirely. Xu and Huitlapan stop and survey him for a moment, fear plain in their eyes…

>>760582
Just before your eyes can be pulled into the peculiar gravity of the indefinite things, you break off, casting your eyes to the ground. Both the cold and the static in your visor lose their grasp on you the moment that you do.

>You can get +1 to any instant attempt to help anyone avoid the gaze of the entities next round

 No.760584

>>760583
Lost immediately tried to cast her gaze to the floor "Look down or something, just don't look up!"

[1d10] Look down

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760585

>>760583
I squeeze my eyes shut and look down.
[1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.760586

>>760583
>>760584
Once she connects the dots, Deadweight practically lands on Lost to keep her gaze away from the entity.

[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.760587

>>760583
Immediately I grab Conflagration's face mask and yank it downwards
[1d10+1]

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.760588

>>760587
>>760586
>>760585
>>760584
Lost and Conflagration feel themselves adrift, as one lost at sea might feel themselves, briefly cold and alone…

>Lost and Conflagration both lose 1 Wound each


…Before the comforting warmth of an ally drags them back to solid land. Cautaa, who has locked eyes with the unknown – the unknowable things, now lifts his feet from the ground, beginning to float upward…

Xu and Huitlapan throw themselves at Cautaa, dragging him back down.

[2d10+1]

Whatever they are, the entities of eyes do not seem overmuch concerned with you… their eyes are locked onto only those watercolor souls, intensely studying them, eyes quivering with a peculiar, desperate intensity… as if, should the entities look away, the souls would be lost forevermore. The watercolor souls are completely oblivious of their guardian beings, going about their business as if naught were amiss, heedless of you, and of Cautaa, who, hypnotized by the eyes, reaches out a hand to them…

Roll #1 2, 9 + 1 = 12

 No.760589

>>760588
With conflagration back I will reach for Lost Hope with "Back to us miss Hope!"
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.760590

>>760588
>>760586
Lost let out a groan and then the noise of her lungs being emptied as a larger mare slammed into her and remove the wind from her lungs, but also broke her focus on the eyes.

"Ow…"


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