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Sir Pent slithers off of your arm and crawls over to Sparkler, and bumps his head against her arm until she relents and gives him a pat. Sir Pent soon bites off an old scale, one already on its way to falling off, and holds it out to her. Curious, Sparkler takes it, and after some deliberation, starts to mash it in a pestle while her healing takes its effect.

*Click click* the beetle continues, patiently awaiting your questions with its forelegs folded up together in a professional posture.

Your shark senses tell you there's something worth taking in this room… but it might be a nap.

Juniper flings herself into the pool outside the room, and Cycle follows suit. Juniper then climbs out and steps through the doorway with no issue.

"Looks like the Mechpriests would have had to purify themselves with a ritual bath before entering here," Juniper says. "But for our purposes, just stepping into the pool is enough to enter one of these kinds of chambers, I suppose."

"Yeah…" Chiu mutters, but she does not sound very sure.
692 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


"A-Aha! Excellent work! O-On the plus side, it seems as if we may be capable of treating with them in order to fish here, should we need to." Alder says, rather dizzy.



"Well, it seems they won't appreciate us interrupting their fishing. If we want them to be on our side, I suggest we catch some lobster. There appears to be a good spot to catch them over that way," Cutlass says as she gestures to the rocky area on the south side of the lake.


Cloud holds his head as he tumbles through the sky, hoping that somepony manages to catch him. Thankfully, he finds a soft landing with Cerulean's mane, and after the world stops spinning around him, he hops off and cuts his spell to return to normal size.

"Phew, thanks for the catch Cerulean."


As Splendid flies over, she turns to Alder and Cutlass, given that they've reached different conclusions.

"We've got enough of us here, don't we? I was talkin' with Kukulcan, 'e says we'll need to catch quite a haul of fish to summon this Sky-Devourer guy. Why don't we divide up into groups and try to catch a lot of different kinds?"



"Sounds like a plan," Cutlass nods. "I'll make things go more smoothly by getting these monkeys to help us. If you need be, I'll be over there," Cutlass says as she starts heading toward the south side.


"I'll go with whatever group is not near the monkeys. Not feeling like being fished up again."


"Hrm… how much of this lake do they consider 'theirs'? Just this portion?" He asks, tilting his head to the side.

"Mhmm! What kind of fish do you want to try for, Splendid?"


"Two tons wants to stay with the monkeys ssf o I shall too. Can use themm as references for my trawling device."


"D'ye even have to ask?" Splendid teases. "Some shrimps of course."

You have a flashback to your encounter with the dastardly Professor Shrimp…

As the monkeys split the banana, they look pointedly at you. It seems like all these waters are theirs, but they're in a much better mood now than when you first crossed paths.

Hollow Promise – having waded over in absolute silence thanks to ninjutsu – chimes in to Cloud– "Doubt you'll be able to get much done if you want to avoid them."

You, Ossie and Make Believe split off from the main group, and cut back across town; your destination, the southwest end of the village, where the lobster potting is good.

As you do, you can't help but pass through the mosaic murals and monuments of the old town. Among their stone tapestries appear to be images of an historic and mythic nature…


"Hmph," Cloud grumbles as he will have to put up with monkey business in some way. He looks at them split up the banana, and gets an idea.

"Hey, you got any more fruit on you?"


Alder gives a playful huff and prod's Splendid's thigh, before chirping "I-I will let that slide for now if that is a joke at my expense! But, yes- some shrimp would be rather nice…"

>The memory of Professor Shrimp Lingers…



"I would imagine wherever the fishing is good. And, of course, that's where we need to be."


"Hmmm, their mythology and history seem to blend together…" Cutlass ponders out loud to her companions.

"Any idea what any of this art means, Monty?"


Willow did his best to pantomime wanting to see them fish as Two Tons did the same, being a bit more animated in his motions.


Monty scratches his chin with his tail. "Even I cannot become a cultural expert ssssimply from viewing a mural. But, a thought: There issss a high likelihood that at leasssst one of thesssse should hold the ssssstory of the Fish Who Devoured the Ssssky…"

Make Believe and Ossie check that Kukulcan isn't watching, then start to study the murals up and down.

Assuming that you have more fruit to give them, the monkeys, picking up on your pantomimes, will lead you out of the shallows of the lake, toward the storerooms where the village's old fishing equipment has been stored. Most of it looks functional enough, permitting you to take what supplies you need for a quick course in the local fishing.

>roll twice for learning from the monkeys on fishing, take the better. Any bonus to intellectual pursuits [such as the sciences, engineering, insight, etc] can be applied here.


Cloud follows the monkeys, being cautious to not upset them again. When introduced to the old equipment, he opts for a classic fishing rod. He gives it a few test flicks as he learns on.
>Bat See, Monkey Do [2d10]

Roll #1 9, 4 = 13



"That's very true," Cutlass nods. "Good thinking, Monty."

"Ossie, Make Believe, let me know if you find anything noteworthy."

[1d10] to discreetly study art
>Master Thief if that is somehow applicable here because discretion

Roll #1 8 = 8


Willow and Two Tons do their best to decipher this.

[2d10] Willow
[2d10] Teo Tons

Roll #1 5, 1 = 6 / Roll #2 5, 8 = 13


>Fruit Traded: Neuron Activation [2d10]

"Well- talk about handy! We should find better equipment here than simple rods to use for fishing normally. Let us see… nets?"

Roll #1 2, 2 = 4


Art history, it seems, was one of your stronger subjects growing up. The mosaic reliefs depict a number of scenes. Most focus on the Sun Serpent – what stands out to you is how antagonistic this Sun Serpent seems. In the mosaic, it dances in the air, as the people toil at their labor under its blinding light and heat. A few mortals in the next scene conspire, and perform a ritual at either the lake, or the ocean. From the water comes a mighty aquatic chimera, comprised of an amalgam of many different fish characteristics. The aquatic beast and the Sun Serpent do battle…

…and, most of the following scenes, at least in this relief, are lost to time.


The monkeys demonstrate their fishing techniques to you, although their differing physiology means that most of the lessons aren't that applicable to you quadrupeds. Cloud and Two Tons are able to get into a monkey mindset, and imitate them well enough, but the rest of you are going to need remedial lessons.

>Cloud and Two Tons gain a permanent +1 on Fishing attempts

"R-right…" Splendid says, scratching her head. "Well, in any case, I think we just need to make a big offerin' for the Big Fish to c'mon out, right?"

"From the Captain's instructions," Hollow Promise interjects. "We will need sufficient fish– and the blood of a mighty challenger in the water. The legend, as he recounted it, only depicts one hero who fought the rampaging Fish Who Devoured the Sky… but perhaps it's wiser to confront it as a group."


"Mmm. So, we fish until we have sufficient bait for this sky devourer, and then we best it. I believe this is simple enough. Should we all get started, then?"

>Alder didn't really get it- he's not much for monkey business. Maybe a remedial lesson would help… [2d10]

Roll #1 3, 7 = 10


File: 1693969529257.gif (599.78 KB, 308x328, Levelling_up.gif)

"You know, starting to see why some ponies enjoy this," Cloud muses as he gets a good grasp of fishing.

"Blood of a challenger? Sounds like we're hunting a shark or something," Cloud says as he tosses out the line to do some fishing. "Sounds like Cerulean would be the best pick then to call it out."
>Fishing [1d10+1]

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


Cerulean scratches her head as she's too focused on trying to grab stuff and make it stick to her hoof like it was a hand. Sadly for her, it obviously doesn't work.
"Oh forget this. I'm just gonna dive in and get them!"

Without too much more thought, Cerulean goes back to what she actually knows and gets herself wet after being on dry land for way too long.


Willow doubles down his attempt to learn the trade, while Two Tons goes right to work on his own!

[2d10] Willow
[1d10] Two Tons

Roll #1 9, 1 = 10 / Roll #2 7 = 7



I see, Cutlass thinks to her nearby crewmates on the same sticker network. The sun was their enemy, or perhaps a tyrant. So, they conspired against him with some deity in the water. I'm thinking something went wrong, though. It's worth noting that these thieving beasts are dressed in garb designed for water travel. It THIS what they accidentally summoned? And, now we are summoning the one that stole his divinity?

I should like to speak with whatever fish we summon, she thinks as she pensively touches the amulet that allows her to talk to marine life.

"Let's go catch some lobster," she says out loud as she heads toward the good lobster spot.


Some of the adolescent monkeys lose their patience, and go off on their own to catch more fish. However, the older, grayer crowd, having more patience, stick around to demonstrate the fundamentals once more. It seems that a number of younger monkeys, perhaps the grandchildren of the older ones, are around as well. They catch small things like shrimp, and the occasional goldfish, though mostly as an amusement, and with a gentle touch.

As the old and young monkeys go back to teaching, Cerulean, Two Tons and Cloud set about catching a haul of fish.

>Fishing lesson can be defaulted on at the cost of taking 'til the mid-afternoon

To add to that, Captain, Ossie replies. Kukulcan was light on the specifics of the legend, but I overheard him talking to Hollow Promise. As Kukulcan tells it, a mortal hero stepped in to fight the Fish Who Devoured the Sky, presumably after the Fish defeated one, or more, of the Serpents we see flying in the sky now. But, on the mural, I didn't see any mention of this hero…

Wait… Make-Believe thinks. Are you suggesting Kukulcan's getting 'his-story' wrong?

It's worth considering, Ossie adds.

As the theorycrafting goes on, you head down to the southern end of the town, where a huge monkey, accompanied by smaller, yet still tough-looking monkeys, are catching crustaceans. They look to you with a little jealousy– they'll not give up their good spots easy.

>fishing lesson, and fishing attempts, can be rolled here


Cerulean dives into the lake to fish, perhaps to get a fresher mind on what she was taught and maybe how to better adapt it to her style of fishing.

>Fishing Lessons


For now, she opts on locating some fish and swim slowly as to not immediately spook them.

Roll #1 5, 3 = 8


Willow was content to sit and learn for the time being, tinkering on a fishing device as he watched and observed.

Two tons meanwhile had a more novel idea for fishing, realizing his lack of need to breath and waterproofing offered a rare opportunity. He grabbed some nets, one large, one small, and proceeded to run under water, trying to use the large nets like a kite through forward momentum, while trying to catch other things with his small net.

[1d10+1] Fishing? Attempt
>Willow defaults and tinkers.

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4



Perhaps the hero came later? Or, this "hero" is only a hero from the perspective of the sun serpent. Thus, he doesn't get a place of honor in the mural.

When the monkeys eye Cutlass, she gives them a small, gentle, respectful nod. "I'm here to share," Cutlass says, using her aura in her words. They might not understand them, but they can still get the intent with help from her aura.

>Whisper in Your Ear


Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


>Alder tries to perform a few tricks for the monkeys, to curry a chance for another lesson. Going off of what he saw them do, he'll try to offer similar performances!
>[1d10+2] (Spending 1 TBP)

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"Wonder how well this would work on the ship when we're sailing…"
Cloud ponders aloud as they work on gathering their haul.
>Default Fish



Alder's underwater dancing-doggypaddling-dabbing attempt ends in him nearly drowning. If only he were more alert during the aftermath, he'd have gotten to witness Cerulean and Splendid, a pair of beautiful lifeguard sirens, rushing to his aid. The mishap in the water scares off some of the fish, and pickings are slim for some time, as Alder recovers, propped up in a recovery position in Splendid's lap.

Fortunately for Willow, the older monkeys had already moved him further up the shore, where he was able to observe and work in relative peace.

Your fish haul is moderate, but hardly enough to summon a god yet…

That's a plausible explanation, Ossie says. But what I'm getting at, is if Kukulcan really is a fraud… we'd catch him on the true happenings of the tale.

The tough-looking monkeys, perhaps sensing a kindred spirit in Cutlass for her directness of approach, make some room for her. Lobster is a bit trickier than shrimp, even more than trout, so is Cutlass up for the catch?


Cerulean gives Alder a pat on the head before going back into the water. Watching where the fish swim to, Cerulean attempts to swim in a sort of 'herding' fashion as she tries to bring fish back towards where everyone else is fishing.



Roll #1 5 = 5



Absolutely, Cutlass nods. I do like it when one's lies unravel themselves. All we need to do is know what to look for.

"How hard can it be?" Cutlass says as she telekinetically raises the harpoon she took with her. If all those bragging fat rich oafs that her grandfather surrounds herself with can do it, so can she.

>[1d10] to catch lobster!

>Master Thief???

Roll #1 9 = 9


Alder certainly isn't conscious enough to witness Cerulean and Splendid pulling him from the water, but he does get to wake up in Splendid's lap, which is a very nice place to be. He flushes with a bit of embarrassment and squirms around "Uhm, ah… thank you, both of you- I-I suppose I am not one for… monkey business?" He offers, giggling nervously. "Hmm… perhaps not the best time to mention it, but you look and feel a bit, ah… healthier. I am happy for you, Splendid. N-Now, ah, perhaps we ought to aid in fishing?"

>Fishing roll, if allowed [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2


Cloud looks at the pile of fish they got. While he has started down the path of fishing enlightenment, he is still a lazy bat at core. He looks at his fishing rod, pondering, then gets an idea.
"Think we need to spread this a little wider, that should get it!"
He sets the rod down. Focusing his magic, he grows out vines from the ground to spread into the lake, crossing over each other to form a plant net to entangle all it can.
>Earthen Grasp Fishing [Crits 9+] [1d10+1]

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


With his new knowhow and device, Willow went to work as well, with Two Tons continuing his master plan under the sea.

[1d10+2] Willow
[1d10+1] Two Tons

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2


As you make ready to head back to the fishy grind, Splendid catches you by the scruff, and yoinks you back with a blank expression.

"Don't make me save your life twice in one day now," Splendid says. "Else, I'll be ahead in score!"

Still, despite your teasing, Splendid permits you to sit near her at the shoreline as she makes an attempt at fishing.

This time, it's Two Tons who gets too enthusiastic, from seeing Willow bringing in a big haul, armed with technology and knowledge as he is. Two Tons ends up falling into the water in his victory cheers. Cerulean has her work cut out for her, as she swims around near the center of the lake, trying to keep the fish corralled near the shore for her allies to catch.

As Cloud and Willow struggle to hook Two Tons back to shore… Cerulean can get the sense that she's being watched from the depths, though not precisely from where…

There's no other way to describe it justly– you're absolutely filching these lobsters out from the rocky waters, completely pickpocketing the sea-beneath-the-sea. You take in a good-sized haul of lobster, now that you've had enough time to dredge up that old knowledge, stolen from your grandfather's old fishing buddies.

Ossie fails to catch much, to her chagrin, so she steps back to watch Make-Believe, as he hangs out with a little octopus that has crawled near the shore.


Willow resisted the urge to nail Two Tons with a hoof to the back of the head and instructed him to be more careful. He wasn't looking to dredge metal equines out of the depths today.

With that both dedicate themselves back to the haul once more.

[1d10+2] Willow
[1d10+1] Two Tons

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


Cloud sits back at the shore after the latest attempt. He then takes up his rod and casts the line out again.
"Maybe its better to go slow and steady."
>Fishing [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6



Make Believe, how well do your stickers work on animals?

Either way, once she has a hefty haul of shellfish, Cutlass approaches the nearby monkeys, telekinetically displaying a few of the lobsters to them.

"Take me to your leader," she says as she does so.

>Whisper in Your Ear


Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Alder yelps as he's pulled back and lifted by the scruff of his neck by the other, larger griffon. "A-Ah! I suppose you would be correct, unless allowing you to eat your fill counts… but, I do not think it is so." He offers, giving her a peck on the cheek and settling down to fish. His first attempt… well, doesn't go anywhere. He flicks his tail in annoyance, before curling it around Splendid's and making another attempt.
>Fishing Attempt 2! [1d10+1] (TBP)
>Master Thief: What progress is being made? Is something lurking? [1d10+1]

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


Cerulean does her best to keep up with keeping the fish corralled, but her instincts keep setting off some red flags. She gave a big swish of her tail to try and propel some fish towards the shore…or possibly launch a few out of the water and in that direction.

>Slam to fish, take better, DC -1


With her tail swish giving her a bit of momentum as well, she decides to dive down deeper into the depths, trying her best to sense out any movement the darker it gets.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12


Dunno, never tested on 'em, Make-Believe thinks. I'm very much against any and all forms of animal cruelty.

You recall that Make-Believe is widely feared for being a serial killer.

The huge monkey, evidently the leader, folds his arms and scoffs at you. Ossie stands at the ready, just in case you need defending…

With your efforts combined, and Cerulean's small tidal wave, you've gathered up quite the haul of fish. This could sustain a crew of meat-eaters for weeks, and only the most haughty of divines would be hard-pressed to overlook an offering like this…

Though, just as your thoughts turn to whose blood will have to stain the water, Cerulean senses something's amiss… she dives into the water, to scout ahead.

The lake proves surprisingly deep, and light from above cannot illuminate its depths. Cerulean, however, can feel with certainty that something approacheth… crustaceous in form, and mighty tall and wide, almost as big as a cog. And, with the demonic power she gained from her bargain with Stone Cold Classic, she senses a particular spiritual power, imbued into this gargantuan crustacean. Could this be the god of the lake, beckoned so quickly…?


"So do we do anything special with the fish? Or just leave them in a heap like this?"
Cloud questions while Cerulean checks the lake.


Willow set his machine aside and moved to comfort Two Tons as he was down over his failures.


There were even more red flags going up in Cerulean's predator brain, enough that it made her start swimming up towards the surface with exceptional speed.
>Earthly Affinity

When Cerulean eventually reaches the surface, she launches herself out as she breaches.
"DEMON!" She yells out before splashing back down into the water.


Alder receives a rather unsettling feeling himself- whether it's the result of his aura or something else entirely, he scrabbles up from the shore and pulls Splendid back- or tries to, at least. "Ah! Something is in the water- something powerful, I think."


"C-Cerulean, wait! The rest of us cannot be so quick to follow!"


Is it cruel to talk to animals? Cutlass retorts.

Cutlass gives the leader a nod of recognition. "My apologies," she says quietly and calmly. She then proceeds to slowly and gently place the lobsters with in arm's reach of the big simian.

>Whisper in Your Ear


Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


Make-Believe stares up at you with his blank, colorless eyes. Then, he goes back to hanging out with his octopus friend. The octopus looks incredibly annoyed with your attitude.

The big guy takes a lobster and appraises it. He doesn't seem super impressed with the size of each one, but the number you've brought in gives him pause. You sense that if you hadn't done so well, you'd have been chased off by now. So, there's a start.


As Cerulean tries to dive back down below the surface, a powerful current flings her back into the shallows! Monkeys scatter for dry land as a great wave crashes onto the sand! A great crab, bigger than some small ships, emerges from the water! Those of you with keen spiritual senses can tell this is no ordinary organism– despite its corporeal appearance, it is of significant spiritual power; some kind of magical beast, or perhaps even a demon, or god.

Yet… you haven't spilled the blood of a hero into the water – the key to drawing out the legendary Fish Who Devoured the Sky. Could Alder's mishap earlier have fulfilled that part of the legend? However, Alder didn't lose any blood earlier. Who knows what this giant crab might be?


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