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File: 1638223244379.png (4.82 MB, 2577x3350, HolyQuest - The Spiders.png)

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At last, the final sight of all those staying upon the surface of your World is engulfed by the interminable darkness.

The Great Seal rends the earth with a deafening quake, as it slides nearly shut, open only by a hairsbreadth. The Loyal Kerberos, ten thousand Umbral Hounds strong, holds one end of Shei's Black Thread in one of his mouths. It is for that reason that the Great Seal has not been shut entirely.

Members of each faction procure a variety of small light sources to aid in grasping the shifting, unpredictable stuff that became darkness upon your perceiving it. The presence of the light, conceptually implying a "darkness that must be lit," renders more of the chaotic stuff into darkness, that is then lit. Fortunately, all that seems to be around you now is a cavern tunnel, as long as it is broad and tall.

The other factions are silent as they walk, tensely keeping weapons at the ready. As you go with them, a nauseating vertigo wells up from within. It feels like gravity's shifting to be before you, as if you were walking down a vertical surface. Although you do not fall, your bodies scream warnings at you that every step could send you hurtling into the chaos ahead, or perhaps, "below" you.
777 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


Shei-Sher's presents you a boxed lunch with cartoon dogs painted on the lunch pale. "I prepared you a lunch." Shei says meekly, still trying to overcome the preamble to separation anxiety.



"You're the best, I'm sure I'll love it," Amy says, giving him one last hug.


Fittingly, the groups split into different directions, wandering to the degree that they can for a suitable exit point from the Hanging Port. For a place named so, it is surprisingly difficult to leave it, you find. Even fliers and those skilled in long and high jumping find themselves tossed and turned by unwelcome gravitational pulls, which threatens to turn your departures into nauseating and potentially disastrous castaways into the Abyss without a guide. With that in mind, people quickly learn to stay on the ground, and walk for the remainder of the exit.

Soon enough, however, with enough reliable walking towards dark horizons, you reach them: Edges. Like seaside cliffs, they extend outward for a distance, before just dropping off. As you gather near to the edges, you hear sounds like something burning in reverse, behind you.

Each group, regardless of its members or its location, has found itself confronted by a rather peculiar individual. Each of them is worryingly tall. White shirt, black tie, shoulder-padded suit jacket, stubby legs with trousers and pointy, shiny shoes. Yet beneath the clothes, and puffing out of the openings in the shirt and jacket, is paper. Receipt paper, printer paper, newspaper; wadded, shredded, stained by ink and other, more mysterious liquids. Their forms are unevenly bulky and emaciated, lumpy and smooth. Your minds find themselves compelled to imagine grotesque faces out of the corners and angles of their jumbled-up heads. You can't tell if they're armed, but none of your allies even think to let down their guard around them.

The figures are silent, but each whips out a business card and presents it with a professional bow. "Belphecorp Certified Paper Trail," it reads.

Below that, you note a "Contact info" section. There is no conch code or mailing address there, but an obscene paragraph of text you don't recognize. Perhaps instructions for scrying, or summoning.

Shortly after presenting the card, each Paper Trail puts it away, not letting you keep it. It steps out towards the Abyss, and with experienced dexterity and balance, walks out into the darkness with no difficulty.

Silent and resolute, you step out into the darkness, following them, and leave behind the Hanging Port.

One group is played out by a soloist goat on a guitar. In short order, after having listened to the melody, a trumpeter elephant joins him.




Somewhere, far, far away, adrift on an island in Paradise…

A heap that was once called a King lies imprisoned, weighed down by thousands upon thousands of chains. His bondage is blinding, for each is wrought of pure sunlight – and of moonlight.

Yet, he tilts his head in curiosity, heedless of the onerous weight. He listens, and hears, and senses… the faintest of stirrings. The faint pressure of a soul, so impossibly distant…

The soul of a spider.

"You… again?" asks Tirek.


Shorthorns looks at the Paper Trail as it hands off their card to their particular group, scrutinizing it (as best she can being unable to read) before passing it over to the others to see before they take it back. "Thanks. We'll let you guys know once we got 'the goods'." She says with an over-the-top 'wink' as though she were playing a part in a mafia story.

With the groups ready to depart from the Hanging Port, Shorthorns looks to the others. "Let me make sure I'm on the right page here… with how traveling through Tartarus works, if we leave wanting to find some of the ingredients for this tea party, we'll find our way there just by chance?"



Amy contemplates this strange individual for a moment. But, she knows well enough that having a direction, no matter what direction it is, gets you places in Tartarus better than no direction. So, she shrugs and follows the Paper Trail.


Shei-Sher flashes a look at the business card. admiring how dapper the presentation is "Maybe I should get business cards." He comments before standing beside Flaming. Pipe in mouth, he takes it out briefly to say

"I was under the assumption Belphecorp put affixed us with training wheels. But surely- What's the worst that could happen." Shei says with an ounce of glee before galivanting forward in one direction. As he plays the following song to ease their journey.





Supper raises her hoof, evidently waiting her turn to be called, but Rooster, heedless or uncaring of her mannerisms, speaks first.


Supper nods and puts her hoof down, apparently quite used to being spoken over.

And so you proceed into the outer darkness, awkwardly gaining, losing and regaining your footing as your minds struggle to engender stability in this free-for-all of reality.

>one representative from each group must roll 1d100



[1d10] luck of the Amy navigation

Roll #1 7 = 7




Roll #1 55 = 55



[1d10] second digit

Roll #1 3 = 3


This winged goat skips and flocks along the darkness or the best that he can, as his wings sail from one side of the group to the other. Riding the high of song and herb. Imparting a lyric to each of the party members, perhaps incensing them with morale but for the most part is for his own pleasure.


"Is that what those were? What are 'business cards' used for anyways?"

Shorthorns looks up to Rooster as he proclaims what must be done, and she nods her head in understanding. "Alright, that's pretty much like what I expected. So let's do it, everyone concentrate on those ingredients!" She gives a smile to Supper, Flow, and Voyage as well as they journey onwards into the infinite void leading to the depths of Tartarus…

>Letting Shei roll


As your groups proceed, you observe a peculiar phenomenon, the same in species for both sides, but on one side, the intensity is greater.

Unlike in your previous walks through the Abyss, where the emptiness and void descended upon you, and lulled you into a comfortable numbness, dimming all senses, you feel quite "awake" for this one. You can still see and sense one another, and all about you is a faint shimmering, like the surface of disturbed waters. Any words shared here – few though they may be – are fully audible.

For Shei and Shorthorned, this phenomenon is quite intense, and it leaves their flesh and spirits troubled, irritated and overstimulated.

For Amy, however, the phenomenon is less intense, and she feels a little as if she were dozing. It is not as restful as the strange peace that descended on her the last time she went through the Abyss – when she was with the Saviors only – but it's not altogether unpleasant.

As for this phenomenon's source… it doesn't seem to be the Paper Trail.


Shorthorns looks around as they walk the endless pitch black void, but as she notices her other companions still here, she winces as she fights back the pain and irritation that seems to be pulsing through every muscle in her body.

"H-hey… is it just me or is this time-ergh… different? This feels… aah… a lot more painful than last time, my head feels like it's on fire."



"Anyone else feel that?" Amy asks her fellow witches.


Regularly Shei is near constantly wracked by psychic dissonance since his kindling. And even though the troubles of his spiritual tinnitus may be subdued by his medication he still finds himself exhilarated uncomfortably by this new shimmering sensation coursing after him. Though, between all the other feelings it is so difficult to differentiate the sensations. He confuses the feeling for a sharp breeze and lets out a brisk cry from above.

"Aaaie! Is that a breeze underneath my sail!" He flies upside down for a moment, an extremely un-aerodynamic position, but within the physics of the abyss he finds no trouble. Dashing ground herb into his pipe he leisurely smokes as he re-aligns his thoughts toward their destination.
Shei speaks again, allowing the smoke to spill out of his mouth like a bisected chimney "Where it's nobody knows- nobody knows. Round and round she goes… Follow your nose- Follow your nose Supper." Shei is high as he teases Supper from on high.

"Ba-a-h When did I give you my hangover Flaming. Care to take the rest of it?" Shei asks


"N-no! Agh, this hurts enough as it is… gotta concentrate… gotta concentrate, push through it everyone."


[dialogue edit without their names.]

Shei speaks again, allowing the smoke to spill out of his mouth like a bisected chimney "Where it's nobody knows- nobody knows. Round and round she goes… Follow your nose- Follow your nose." Shei is high as he teases Supper from from above.

"Ba-a-h When did I give you my hangover. Care to take the rest of it?" Shei asks Flaming


Looking about, it appears that your allies are barely restraining grimaces of their own, wearing continuous masks to keep their composure about their new companions.

The source, you realize… it's all of them.

From the Saviors, Flow, Shorthorned, and Shei.
From Ecclesia, Rooster.
From the Witches of Gehenna, Supper of Crows.
From the Spiders, Great Voyage.

Mixing this many factions has brought you under much psychic pressure, a perpetual dissonance…

"Ooh," Supper says, sipping the last of her smoothie. She looks about for a place to dispose of the plastic cup, but finding none, meekly slips it into her pocket. "Umm, what was I gonna say… oh, I think I can help with this. If you guys don't mind…"

Mudi nods, but Vizsla and Hurricanrana don't react. Desert Lamp holds one eye half-closed, trying to stave it off by directing her thoughts elsewhere. Probably to a fashion project – in fact, you're darn near certain of it. About her head, faint images of translucent, spectral outfits spin about…

As the others piece it together by reason, you do so by memory. Your presence among the Witches generates psychic disharmony, and so, this dissonance in space and time about you…

But, are you the only culprit?

>roll ???????????????

>ANY bonuses dealing with mental things, INCLUDING social rolls, can be applied here. But, the higher the bonus you opt to apply, the more of an influence you may generate here.


"Are you certain? That's two headaches for the price of one. It's an amazing deal." Shei implores Flaming

"Yes please!" Shei rubs his temple in distress "It feels more or less like the headache I usually contend with."

When Shei notices Supper's treatment of his plastic cup "I'm usually not one to encourage littering but the ancients do call this place a dumping ground."


Shorthorns gasps as the realization hits her like a ton of bricks, which in concept might be a welcome change of pace from this constant and agonizing strain she's currently under. "Oh, DUH! Why didn't I remember… we have such a mixed team now, t-the strain on our collective focus must be insane with all our different motivations… shoot, why didn't I think of that…"

As Supper offers a solution, she looks at her, nodding her head eagerly, "H-hey, if you have any ideas, I'm all for them! What's up?"



Amy assumes (probably incorrectly) that the ones who don't respond don't feel it. So, the fact that only some people feel it suggests to her that it's not her fault.

[1d10] DC-4 for reasoning!

Roll #1 5 = 5


Leather humbly offers a prayer for each group and their success in their endeavors, beseeching Hypomone for the others to be patient with one another in their individual quests.



Roll #1 40 = 40


"Look at me, for a moment?" Supper asks.

Rooster, for once, has nothing to say, and continues onward.
Flow's hoof, the one resting on his sword-hilts, tenses.
Voyage remains silent, but keeps her in his sight, and slows his pace, if only by a hair.

That is not the case. You are not the only one engendering psychic disharmony. In fact… it's pretty much all of them.

You feel as though you are standing in a creek. Ahead of you, the creek is bisected by a great stone, or some other disturbance in the flow.

One such "flow" belongs to that of Mortalkind's Strongest – the official one, Hurricanrana, and the unofficial, Desert Lamp. They seem to be on similar pages, mentally.

The other "flow" belongs to that of the Witches… sort of. Although one might expect them to be on the same page, there are distorted undercurrents, rocks and debris just below the surface.

You too distort the flows by standing in the creeks… perhaps picking one current or another may soothe it.

You walk along with your harmonious group, and after not much time, feel a soothing calm envelop you, as one drifting off to sleep may feel themselves unmoored, and relaxed, even in this most hellish of planes…

Unlike the Saviors, the Ecclesians are silent as they walk, mentally and verbally. No words pass between them, for good or ill, no doubt a result of much training.


Shorthorns keeps her focus on Supper, but takes note of how Rooster keeps moving ahead. Shorthorns grumbles, and shouts towards the elephant. "HEY!" She says, trying to get his attention. "She said to look over here, a tense sternness to her voice


Shei-Sher bellows a plume of smoke and harnessing his abilities as an early god furnishes it into a fluffy cloud beanbag to lean on as he flies. He fluffs it a few times as they continue.

When Supper asks them to look at her for a moment, Shei-Sher does so while laying on his smoke cloud.


[1d10] Commanding Rooster to join in and look at Supper

Roll #1 9 = 9



Amy contemplates on how to solve their discordant issues. But, she chooses no sides yet.


Leather allows himself to get comfortable with his compatriots after having over half a year getting to know them far better than the many new members of the Saviors, but keeps to his duty of remaining vigilant even in their silent procession, that very same training not allowing routine to become an avenue for Sloth.

[1d10] Passive procession perception

Roll #1 5 = 5


[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10




Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Rooster spins about with a sudden glare, his trunk stretching out towards your face–! Far too late, you realize that he is trying to cover your eyes.

But in that moment, you lock eyes with Supper of Crows. Then, all goes blank.

Attribute: Buff
Tags: Passive
Requirement: Factional Allegiance: Witches of Gehenna
Effect: So long as this Skill is active, this Character's attacks pierce through the Resist, Null and Absorb Attribute Relationships.
Duration: N/A
Recharge: N/A

Attribute: Mind
Tags: Ranged, Spell
Effect: ???
Duration: N/A
Recharge: 3 Turns

When you come to, you realize that you've been staring back at Supper for a time, as is Rooster. Supper is winking at you, with her tongue sticking out at one side. Somehow, she also has a fang sticking out of the other side of her mouth too. It is all truly, inarguably, very cute.

"Tee-hee," she says.

Quietude descends as you journey along… and in the distance ahead, shapes greet the farthest edges of your vision…

Before you stretches a great and deep valley, a saddle pass carving between towering mountains on either side. You descend towards it through the darkness, your steps taking on a sudden steepness that feels like you could tumble into the valley with one wrong step.

You cannot see from here what material comprises this valley, but somehow, you sense it is not plant life.

Ahead of you is a sheer cliff, perfectly vertical, it too, made of an unknown material. It seems to stretch in untold distances to the right and left of your group.


Leather prioritizes his march over getting a better view for now, mind at ease at the calm of not hearing bickering or strange goat music every other minute.



Amy tentatively puts a hoof against the cliff. Then, another. Then, she just goes for it.

[1d10] to walk straight up the cliff

Roll #1 10 = 10


Shorthorns gasps as she sees Rooster's trunk attempting to cover up her eyes, shouting in confusion, "H-hey, what are you doing-?!"

However, as the moment passes and she finds herself locked in gaze with Supper, Shorthorns shakes her head as the spell seems to finally wear off. She blinks, looking around the darkened void and starting cautiously at Supper as she practices winking in her silly way. "What… what was that? What did you do?" She asks in an accusatory tone at first, before her eyes open wide at the lack of pain she's feeling. "Hey, the headache's gone! I can hear myself think again!"


"Shei's slumps comfortably into his smoke cloud as he zones out to Supper's spell. Wearing the same expression on his face one would wear were they to be looking at cute cat videos for too long.

After a while, once he gains some semblance f cognizance again he snaps to "That's it! That's how she's the greatest demon tamer!" He says with admiration for the gal.


As you walk toward the cliff, the Paper Trail slows its pace until it's roughly even with yours. You notice that it never moves ahead of yours after having slowed its pace.

Then, when you step onto the sheer cliff, you, much like in the Hanging Port, are able to walk straight up it. Your steps are fine at first, not any more difficult than walking across a dirt or rock road. But it's not more than a few steps in that you realize that there are no other hoofsteps accompanying yours. Looking about this way and that, you see that the others have vanished without a trace.

Shei attempts to speak, but all he can manage is a great cheer of sheer admiration at Supper's cuteness. His mouth fumbles as he tries to forge the words, but it's like a hand has wriggled up from his esophagas, the fingers writhing below his tongue, around his teeth, between each bone and muscle…

"Let's get along now, everyone," Supper says. What little bass was in her voice is now all gone, and it has become airy and ethereal – moreso than before, anyway…

Rooster quietly follows, his expression unreadable, as do Flow and Voyage.

As you approach the valley, you see that the valley and the "forest" that fills it is made of no plant life, but of a kind of mechanical material, reminiscent of magitech workings you have seen in your journeys in Accorsia, and in Ecclesian laboratories. These are cords, wires, and adapters of numerous types, tangled into knots and structures and shapes of many kinds. Yet in comparison to the kinds you have seen in Ecclesian workings, there is something very different about these cords that you cannot quite place yet.

Whatever the difference may be, this "forest" is wrought entirely of this material. What the "earth" below may be, you cannot see, for the carpet of "grass" below you is dense, and no trail exists that you can see.


Leather lets his mind finally set on something other than marching, committing to memory this landscape for a later drawing, before seeing if his eyes catch any movement among the "foliage".

[1d10] contraption cognizance

Roll #1 1 = 1



Amy looks around in confusion. She goes back to the bottom of the cliff to see if she's suddenly able to see them when she gets off the cliff.


Shei-Sher evokes the seal on his back, belonging to gabby. The scar Pryce helped him place there and after his kindling transformed into a preternaturally permanent mark

>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.


"Testing 1. 2. 3.. Testing." Shei tests his voice to see if it is his own again.

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


Shorthorns looks over at Shei as he foams at the mouth, falling over his words, and visibly cringes in response. "I mean, it's really great and all but, come on Shei you're better with your words than THAT."

She turns to look Supper, nodding as she follows along with the others. "So what was that? Some kind of spell to get us all in sync or, did it just make the pain go away like a healing spell?" She asks, curious as to what could have just happened.


The "hand" retracts, but you cannot tell whether you forced it out, or put up just enough resistance to coerce Supper to have it release. It feels like slime and air are playing in the space the hand occupied until now.

–"I mean, it's really great and all but… So what was that?"–

So you end up saying. You feel as though you had more words planned than just that, but, now you cannot recall what you had wanted to say… well, it mustn't have been very important.

"Can I have another smoothie?" Supper asks.

As you talk, you start to see something growing in the distance… it's… rain?

Indeed, it's beginning to rain. The Paper Trail unfolds an umbrella, and slows its pace, but does not stop its movements.

Back at the bottom of the cliff, once your hind paws finally leave the vicinity of the cliff, the other Witches just sort of appear, as if they had been there the whole time, and you'd not noticed it.

"Oh, there you are," Vizsla says. "This must be an anchor, no? Safe enough to speak. Where'd you go, then?"

As you start mentally breaking down the shapes of the forest into their constitutive shapes, you hear a voice behind you. "Zhere, by Cloak. Anzu, take care of–"
"Sir! It's not– my gun's not work–!"

The next words rush by you with the wind, as something ensnares your leg, flinging you to the ground. You are dragged from behind into a coil of cords, the world around you going dark as the canopy swiftly closes overhead.



"I just… stepped on the cliff," Amy answers. "It's easy enough to walk up. But, it looks like it's… somewhere else? So, we should go together."


Shorthorns barely has time to contemplate the rain as she thinks back on how her words seemed to simply, cut out on her. She could swear she had meant to say more but, simply lost them, perhaps as a result of the corridor's bizarre nature.

She looks ahead at the rain, looking to get out of this place as soon as possible so she can try to think clearly again. "There it is! Everyone double time, we're almost there!" She says as she tries to encourage everyone into a trot.


Shei's face smiles bemused at Supper's question "Incorrigible little marshmellow you are, of course you can have another smoothie."

Shei-Sher takes the plastic cup in her hoof and dispenses into more smoothie of the previous flavor from cape, as if it were a soft serve machine.
He then hands her the smoothie.

"A very difficult hex to work through, I could maybe dispel it. But there is hardly any satisfaction in doing that. I should hoist myself firmly on these marionette strings if I wish to train myself in self control."


Shei tries to recover his words again explain to Flaming. "Forget you ever saw that, I am not that embarassing. I was trying to say, That is her magic. A very clever manifestation oweing to her prowess as the greatest Demon Tamer."

Will roll is necessarry.


Knowing he's among Ecclesian allies he's been training with, Leather finally taps into the abilities he's been honing for the last half a year, quickly warping reality around the coiling cords to act with latency.

Attribute: Status Condition
Tags: Ranged; Instant Automatic
Effect: Inflict the Delayed Status Condition on a Target
Duration: N/A
Recharge: 1 Turn

Attribute: Status Condition
Tags: N/A
Effect: A character affected by Delayed can have any of their Actions retroactively Negated or Prohibited the turn AFTER their Action Resolves. This can be achieved by Blocking, Dodging, or other Skills which Prohibit or Negate Effects. Also, if a character would be or is made Helpless, killed or otherwise incapacitated by the affected character's Actions, they can, as a Free Action, either a) roll a universal Negation to Negate that Action prior to its Resolution or b) use any other Action they can ordinarily use that has a Negating or Prohibiting Effect, but only against that character.
Duration: Until Dispelled
Recharge: N/A

He reaches for his shield to slam it down on the cords as he's pulled, switching from total silence to whistling when he's not breathing in, making sure his squad knows he's being dragged at all times.

> Shatter: recharge 2, weapon; Breaks the target's defenses, opening them up for attack. Any attacks against a Shattered target crit on a 8+ for two+1 rounds. Can be used against inanimate objects or armor to break and damage them efficiently.


Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12


"Cliff?" Mudi, Vizsla and Hurricanrana ask.

"Yeah, the cliff," Desert Lamp says. "The cliff? Down that way over there?"

She points as if it were some distance off, and not a mere dozen strides away from you. You also don't recall seeing her walking with you up the cliffside, nor climbing it or even floating upward.

"You mean… the glacier?" Hurricanrana asks, and squints at the cliff like he's trying to pick out fine details in the rocks. "How'd you guys get that far ahead of us? I know it's hot, but it's dangerous, so don't just run off to a glacier solo! You'll get brain freeze!"

Vizsla and Mudi sigh like they're surrounded by idiots.

"Wow that's crazy," Supper says and sips her smoothie. You're not even halfway through your second sentence when she turns around and continues walking.

You run through the rain, but yet, you see nothing beyond it, just an utter darkness, same as it has been for quite some time now… there should be an anchor for there to be rain, no…?

You reach into the treasury of spiritual wealth you have cultivated, and call forth your honed powers – but something is deeply wrong. It's like trying to pull a solid, inflexible object through a gap too small and wrongly-shaped for it to pass.

Your supernatural powers failing you, you reach for your shield, only for it to slip from your grasp, as if you fumbled it… no, that's not quite it. It's like you could never grasp it from the start with a hoof.

You hear thundering hoofsteps following you, but no traces of flash-steps, nor any other supernatural powers being wrought here, at least not by your allies.

Suddenly you gain air as the cord binding your leg flings you up, and you hurtle toward a solid shape!



Roll #1 3, 1, 4, 7 + 3 = 18

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