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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.
333 posts omitted. Click reply to view.


…No. Nothing in the room ahead. It's devoid of presences, mechanical, necrotic or living.


A voice, from the far side of the room– or so it sounds. An echo follows; the voice bounces across the sweltering stone walls, obscuring its location.

"Whosthere," the voice repeats, a low hushed whisper.


Willow turned on his sun gun but didn't arm it entirely yet, letting it glow a bit as he used it a bit like a flashlight looking for the source.


>Master Thief: [1d10+1]
"Ah! I would not suppose the voice sounds familiar to anyone?" He asks, keeping his voice low.

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


Cloud doesn't answer, not wanting to expose himself to an enemy. He takes a few steps back, feeling this path may have been a bad idea.



Sir Pent is merely snek and lacks the ability to communicate back. He waits eagerly to see what the others do.


That voice… it's unmistakably Cutlass.

Alder's eyes catch the glint… of a dagger. The dagger flies down from the north, to your right. However, it comes out handle-first, and skitters to the ground some distance ahead.

As for why – perhaps to lower the risk of hitting an ally?

The others observe the dagger in silence.


"Literally everyone I know is here." he said turning his light to the north.



Upon realizing the sound of the voice, Sir Pent rushes toward the his beloved food source (aka Cutlass).


"C-Cutlass? Is that you?" Cloud asks after the dagger flies out towards the group, feeling more relieved now.
"Are these eggs holding pods or something? How far in are you?"


As Sir Pent hops from Alder's shoulder and slithers to the north, stone shudders, and gears creak and clack together. Sir Pent suddenly feels himself rising at an alarming rate. In the limited light of the sun gun, you see that, in the circular chamber ahead, a massive circular dais constitutes the bulk of the room. It's moving upwards, raised by a mechanical pillar system from below.

Sir Pent, chubby as he is, has only a sliver of a chance of getting off the dais safely at this rate.

The voice of Cutlass says nothing.


"Oh! Cutlass, is that you?" He asks, cautiously stepping over to the dagger, picking it up, and trying to figure where the dagger was thrown from.


"It's a trap." he hissed in annoyance as he scanned around trying to find the source of the voice.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 10 = 10


>revising the post, as Alder is now in the vicinity

Alder, having walked onto the mechanical dais as well, feels himself being raised up by the lift. A fading light starts to filter in from above, as the ceiling above parts. Alder can see that there is a shaft above him, which daylights in the surface world. The tips of the Ruby Round's high spires can be faintly seen as the dais lifts.

In other words, he and Sir Pent are being lifted up towards the heart of the arena.


"A-Ah, hmm." Alder remarks, frowning a little and attempting to slip off of the dias- he'll drag Sir Pent with him, since the chubby snake seems so caught out!
>Run away! [1d10+3] (+3 TBP)

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10


Cloud jumps back in panic as the room starts to shudder. Seeing the forward room rise up with Alder and Sir Pent on it, Cloud looks around in a hurry. Without thinking, he tries to jam up the lift to stop it with whatever vines he can grow from nearby.
>Earthen Grasp [Crits 9+] [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3


Cloud attempts to slow the dais's ascent, but the machinery, though ancient, is well-made, and slows not for him. With his Aura-boosted agility, Alder scoots off the dais before it can close the gap between the chamber and the shaft, and grabs Sir Pent, who lacks the cardio to escape himself. Together they dive to the circular chamber's floor.

As they do, Willow peers about the corner and scans with the sun gun's light, only to see the far end of the northern corridor. A figure back-dashes aside from the light's rays– but Willow still glimpses the hem of an unmistakably stark red dress.

"Definitely not her," Droplet whispers. "She'd have thrown it blade-first, damned who she hits."
"Shall we pursue?" Colobok asks.


He narrowed his eyes and cranked the cannon up to full power, aiming right where he saw the figure "I saw something at the end of the northern hallway, it's avoiding my light."



Sir Pent tries to find some recess he can slither in so as to not get crushed.


>+3 if this counts as a survival check

Roll #1 9 = 9



But, he gets saved before anything bad can happen to him. But, he is more sad than happy, for the others conclude that it is not Cutlass that they heard.



Still, he slithers on ahead to see where the source of the voice went.

>using the 9 to be unnoticed due to be a small snek


Cloud sighs in relief as Alder is able to dash off quickly enough.
"That was a close one… I didn't think these things could copy voices."

"Avoiding the light, you think it could be a small one of those metal men?"
Cloud asks. He looks down the Northern corridor, taking a few steps forward as he tries to pinpoint and track the figure in the darkness.
>Echolocation [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


"G-Goodness. A little too close for my tastes… I will be a little more careful from now on. But, perhaps we should pursue. It may lead us to another trap, though."

"Convincing actors, yes."


>dubs checked

As Cloud and Sir Pent step into the northern corridor, their heightened senses paint a peculiar tableau… there are a few figures to the northwest, they can sense. Their pace is… peculiar. At times the figures walk, and abruptly stop, only to break into a run the next moment. Then, they lunge or dash, or jump straight up with no horizontal momentum.

The only consistent thing about their pace is that they're constantly moving further west, away from you. It's as if these figures cannot competently flow from one movement to another. Though the movements themselves are there, the figures appear to be in the process of learning how to connect the dots.


Willow keeps his cannon blasting pure sunlight down the corridor as a preemptive measure as he moved up with the others.

"All I know is it avoided the light and I saw some kind of flash of red. Maybe fabric."


"Maybe this is a more… complex creation? It moves very interestingly, but rather jerkily- as if it is not wholly used to what it is doing."


"A flash of red? Hrm- maybe it is a duplicate of some kind?"


"A duplicate of what?"

It might occur Willow and Two Tons have never seen or even heard Cutlass.


"Red? Cutlass does wear a red dress, so it could be coping her clothes if it was a fake…"

Cloud observes the figures' movements, finding it odd how stuttered they are. He is genuinely unsure if they're trying to avoid them, or if its natural. He continues forward down the path, keeping track of them.



Sir Pent slithers onto Cloud's back.


The figures are fast, and getting away… but as the sounds of their steps fade, another sound, echoing off the walls of the undercroft, can be heard… a metallic, experimental clicking, just as awkward and stilted as the movements of the tricksters…



Willow turned immediately, scanning with his light gun to search for the source.

Two Tons meanwhile prepped to get a spell out.

[1d10] Scanning

Roll #1 6 = 6


Uhm… perhaps it could be something mimicking her. Could it have its own dress?"


Cerulean's tail gets a bit stiff and her posture becomes a bit more aggressive in nature as she looks almost ready to to leap and smash her tail into something.

"I dunno, but only one way to find out: either we wait for it, or we go to it."



The source is somewhere above you. You turn the light of your gun further down the hall, and see a stairwell, leading upwards…

"All roads lead to the surface, it seems," Colobok whispers.

"Riiight where they want us," Schnitzel grumbles.


"At least we are not split up and sent upwards, one at a time?"


"Oh! Me first," Cerulean exclaims excitedly, though still looks ready to pounce.
"I'm ready to start clobbering whatever is up there at this point!"


Cloud's eyes and ears follow the sounds as they go up above them, where the platform earlier was raising.
"I don't like the feel of this… Does anypony have something we can toss up there in case they have a trap or something setup for whatever exits?"


Willow sighed and holstered his weapon as he looked to the others "I suppose it's our only way forward."


Behind you, you hear the grinding of stone and machinery as the circular dais that rose up earlier comes back down to this subterranean level.

"Open invitation, looks like…" Splendid whispers.

"That, or we look for another way up there," Colobok reminds her.


"Hmm… perhaps, ah… we simply go? I do not know about remaining underground longer."


"We could try the staircase, where those hoofsteps went off to. At least we have a way to go back if it is a trap that way," Cloud suggests.


She seems to be getting bored of talking and deciding and decides a course of action herself as she begins towards the staircase with the hoofsteps from earlier.


"I concur as this limits potential attack vectors."


With a silent nod, your allies follow you as you proceed up the stairs. The grime and muck are almost non-existent here, though not due to any concerted sanitary efforts. You see many fresh tracks of various kinds of legs, which have cleared out the slime – or sometimes just tamped it down. The stairwell is long, and curves slowly along the shape of the stadium, and many inscriptions line the walls, hieroglyphs depicting warriors in the fray. Symbols adjacent seem to indicate years, or perhaps the names of teams.

At last, a light ahead signals the end of the stairwell… however, it is not sunlight, but moonlight.

The stairwell ends in an aperture that faces south. It overlooks the main arena of the great colosseum, still standing and magnificent despite years of no-one to repair it.

On the south side of the arena is another aperture, this one facing north. Above the aperture, on the guard rail of the audience stands, are perched several figures. These figures are covered with a most ill-fitting and uncomfortable armor, composed of scraps of Metal Man cloth, hunks of broken helmets, and an adhesive of slime.

And yet… they are recognizable.

Hollow Promise.
Auspicious Sign.
Two Reeds.
And, Captain Cutlass.

A few others are there as well, Watchkeepers possessed by the Metal slime.

All of them are obviously awaiting the grand entry of their opponents.


"Very glad I had my Sun Gun ready for this." He said as he got ready for a potential brawl.


Cerulean looks at the figures and her tail smacks the ground angrily.
"Hey! Give our friends back! Or am I gonna have to smash them out of that armor myself?!"


A-Ah… oh! I did not think such things were possible- if that is actually them, we will need to try and free them!"


Cloud follows up the stairs, worried what's waiting for them at the top. As they step out into an open arena, and that it is still the dead of night, he is immediately concerned. However, when they spot their friends that were taken, far off on the other side, donned in metal man armor, Cloud takes a step forward, hoping they aren't too late.
"H-Hey! Hey guys, can you here us! Y-You're still you, right?"


As you proceed into the arena, the others practically rush out behind you, Colobok and Droplet in particular. The assassins' faces are dark, dagger-point sharp, and full of malice, seeing what has been done to their comrades and captain.

Your six former crewmates, and their unlikely new allies, leap down from the audience stands into the arena.

The moment they touch down, a foul stench washes up. Dark green and black barriers shimmer into the world. To Cerulean, they resemble the water barriers she has seen in the Skull Temple and Heart Temple, only now, corrupted by the Metal Men's influence. They must be learning how to co-opt more and more of the ancient technology of the Mechpriests.

These water barriers form traps around you, in the shape of narrow corridors. At either end of each corridor is a single combatant, and their opponent.

Cerulean "the Hungry" versus Hollow Promise!
Alder "the Surgeon" versus Auspicious Sign!
Two Tons versus Vice-Captain Two Reeds!
Willow Wisp versus "Main Squeeze" Sparkler!
Splendid versus "Piggyback" Ossie!
"Azure-Eye" Cloud versus Captain "Red Dress" Cutlass!

Guest-starring Droplet "the Clown," Colobok "the Quiet," "Blacktongue" Schnitzel, and "Real Name" Puddin Tame versus the Watchkeepers Possessed!

Each of your opponents pantomimes a taunt. Their gestures are awkward and stiff, as their haphazard armor puppets their bodies.


From deeper inside the colosseum's walls echoes an amplified gurgle, the hideous bellow of another of the eldritch abominations…




Cloud looks around in a panic as barriers rise up around them, trapping them in narrowly in the arena. Cloud looks ahead, seeing everypony paired off into one on one faceoffs against one of their friends, and sees Cutlass facing off against him.
"Cutlass, please tell me you can hear me under that! C-Come on, you can be controlled like that, right?"
He says, hoping maybe he can reach her.

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