Fallout: Beyond Equestria 215: ...To Roam (Part 17)

Scorch_Mechanic Mar 8th, 2017 (edited) 86 Never
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  1. [2017-03-01 13:26:49] <Kkat> 3Previously...
  2. [2017-03-01 13:27:02] <Kkat> 3Mwana admits, "I have no idea what most of that meant.  But the stars and their necromancy have always been a threat, at least according to the old religion.  So of course Roam would have defenses against ghosts."
  3. [2017-03-01 13:27:12] <Kkat> 3Noble_Heart taps her chin thoughtfully. "We also believe it might be defenses against the catacombs. Apparently old Roam felt it important to have defenders of the -inside- of their catacombs. As if a threat would rise from them."
  4. [2017-03-01 13:27:40] <Kkat> 3Shatara says, "So stripeypones took their zombiegoasts very seriously..."
  5. [2017-03-01 13:27:47] <Kkat> 3Jugeote tells Shatara, "There is a reason that zebras burn their dead, and that the catacombs are not used as burial sites.  They were once.  That was a historically horrific mistake."
  6. [2017-03-01 13:27:54] <Kkat> 3Get_Lost says, "at least from how you put it, it must have been an entertaining horrible mistake"
  7. [2017-03-01 13:27:59] <Kkat> 3Jugeote answers, "It was the end of the First Age of Roam."
  8. [2017-03-01 13:28:01] <Kkat> 3...
  9. [2017-03-01 13:28:53] <Kkat> 3"The ghouls of Equestria are being sustained by irradiated water that is hauled into the country from foreign lands by caravans.  But the trips are long and dangerous... and grow moreso every day.  Many good ponies have been lost trying to bring dirty water from the zebra lands.  Soon, it may become too dangerous to continue..."
  10. [2017-03-01 13:28:59] <Kkat> 3Effigy frowns, "Or the water may become too expensive for many ghouls to afford."
  11. [2017-03-01 13:29:13] <Kkat> 3Kid grumbles. "Look, is there a point t' this? What 'r we deliverin'? Some sorta balefire talisman or whatsit?"
  12. [2017-03-01 13:29:35] <Kkat> 3Effigy nods. "Equestria would benefit greatly from having an irradiated zone within our borders. One which provided life-giving irradiated water for the ghouls... and irradiated material we could use to fuel Red Eye's old radiation engines. But thanks to the Gardens of Equestria, no such place exists here.  To create a new one, we would need a balefire bomb."
  13. [2017-03-01 13:29:38] <Kkat> 3...
  14. [2017-03-01 13:30:22] <Kkat> 3The /Shadowbolt/ begins to move, picking up speed.  Below, a creature that is mostly a dragon lumbers out of the entrance.  Amethyst scales and ruby-spined, the dragon is covered in black vines that thread in and out of its body, covering him like veins, with bulges of oily pustules and black flowers.  The creature stares up at the ship and roars.
  15. [2017-03-01 13:30:27] <Kkat> 3Mitzi gasps and slips Hunter behind her. "Wut eez dat?!"
  16. [2017-03-01 13:30:32] <Kkat> 3The Stripeless react with horror to the sight below.  The translator turns to Shatara, speaking in griffin.  "It is the Black Plague of the Anulus Mortis!"
  17. [2017-03-01 13:30:39] <Kkat> 3...
  18. [2017-03-01 13:30:46] <Kkat> 3Dragon_Lord_Ember frowns.  Then turns to Mitzi.  "In the spirit of building alliances, I can do you a favor in return.  I will send Citrine Glow to accompany you as my ambassador from the Dragonlands."
  19. [2017-03-01 13:30:47] <Kkat> 3...
  20. [2017-03-01 13:31:25] <Kkat> 3"Excuse me, gentleponies and griffins," the goldenrod-colored stallion finally says, nudging a button on his medical chair to make it roll forward.  "Allow me to interject, if only to welcome our guests aboard.  The /Golden Ursa/ is *my ship* after all."
  21. [2017-03-01 13:31:28] <Kkat> 3...
  22. [2017-03-01 13:31:53] <Kkat> 3Cottonseed presents Noble_Heart with a metal box containing several jars of green goop.
  23. [2017-03-01 13:31:59] <Kkat> 3"According to the zebra shamans, this stuff will 'show what shadows hide within you'," Cottonseed states.  "I don't know how literal you should take that, considering what the Enclave city just faced.  But what we do know is that when smeared on a pony, it will reveal if they are a changeling in disguise."
  24. [2017-03-01 13:32:10] <Kkat> 3"Given that even changelings can't seem to recognize other changelings who are disguised, that speaks pretty highly of the shamans.  And I've seen the stuff work, so I can vouch for it."  Cottonseed adds, "When you head into Roam, this should at least help protect you from getting replaced.  
  25. [2017-03-01 13:32:35] <Kkat> 3Noble_Heart looks down at the green goop. "We are fairly certain We have also seen it used. Though for different purposes." She paused briefly and frowned. "Or perhaps the same purposes. Merely very long ago." She carefully levitated it into her bags and nodded her head. "We shall keep a close eye on it."
  26. [2017-03-01 13:33:27] <Kkat> 3...
  27. [2017-03-01 13:33:28] <Kkat> 3I think," Mwana translates, "You have two objectives once you get to Roam.  The first is the catacombs.  That's where they throw all their prisoners.  That will be where you rescue your ghoul friend, as well as the diplomats from the N.C.R. and their changeling queen."
  28. [2017-03-01 13:34:32] <Kkat> 3...
  29. [2017-03-01 13:34:33] <Kkat> 3Jugeote clangs a hoof repeatedly on the gate.  The rattle of metal is loud in the undercity tunnel.
  30. [2017-03-01 13:34:39] <Kkat> 3After several very long minutes, the door at the other end of the tunnel opens.  And a zebra rifle floats out, held in a weak lavender glow.
  31. [2017-03-01 13:34:47] <Kkat> 3It is followed by the head of a unicorn filly, her horn glowing.  From her height, and her gangly legs, she appears in her mid-teens.  She sees the trio and speaks, fear pervading her attempt to sound fearsome.  
  32. [2017-03-01 13:34:56] <Kkat> 3Jugeote replies, and a few more words are exchanged.  Then she turns to Shatara.  "Not 'very bad'... but very unusual.  I think the stripes here is, or was, harboring an Equestrian.  Either that, or we've found a pony family... but I can't imagine how that could be.  Not in the heart of Roam."
  33. [2017-03-01 13:35:10] <Kkat> 3...
  34. [2017-03-01 13:36:38] <Kkat> 3Citrine Glow taps hooves together, then states sadly, "Dragon Lord Ember suspects that the changeling Caesar may be attempting to use a Dragon-made artifact, and the behavior of the shadows is a side-effect."
  35. [2017-03-01 13:36:52] <Kkat> 3Mitzi looks to Citrine Glow. "Wut artfact?"
  36. [2017-03-01 13:36:58] <Kkat> 3"The Obsidian Scepter," Citrine Glow says.  "Garble's Scepter."
  37. [2017-03-01 13:37:09] <Kkat> 3 Golden_Dream looks around as if that were meant to mean something heavy. "... What's that do?" She asked bluntly.
  38. [2017-03-01 13:37:13] <Kkat> 3Citrine Glow sighs.  "Remember, there was a schism.  Ember took over the position of Dragon Lord from Garble.  Garble and His loyalists fled back to Roam."
  39. [2017-03-01 13:37:18] <Kkat> 3"The Dragon Lord has a magical artifact called the Bloodstone Scepter, a symbol of rulership.  With it, the Dragon Lord can summon dragons to His or Her beck and call."
  40. [2017-03-01 13:37:27] <Kkat> 3Citrine Glow notes, "Of course, after the schism, Garble had His own version of the scepter made."  She says, "The magic of the scepter is only supposed to work for the Dragon Lord, but a changeling transformed to pretend /might/ be able to fool it."
  41. [2017-03-01 13:37:41] <Kkat> 3"But the Caesar isn't a real dragon, no matter what form she takes.  If she is trying to use the scepter to summon loyal allies, or coalesce her people around her, who knows what weird things might happen instead... and many of the shadow-things /were/ zebras loyal to Caesar in life."
  42. [2017-03-01 13:37:55] <Kkat> 3Bookwright feels the color drain from his face. "You're saying if we don't hurry we could face an army of shadows?"
  43. [2017-03-01 13:38:02] <Kkat> 3Noble_Heart scowls in concern. "No. She is saying if we do not hurry we may face an army of -seraphs-."
  44. [2017-03-01 13:38:06] <Kkat> 3...
  45. [2017-03-01 13:38:32] <Kkat> 3Fallout: Beyond Equestria, Session Two Hundred and Fifteen: ...To Roam (Part 17)
  46. [2017-03-01 13:41:48] <Kkat> 3"Emptiness," Pan tells Noble_Heart.  Then, at the look the spirit gets, the little draconequus explains, "Not Spirits of Whispers.  Those spirits enforce silence and horde secrets.  The spirits that fill the catacombs are Spirits of Emptiness."  Then, with a sigh.  "Anti-magic.  Also, anti-harmony, anti-friendship..."
  47. [2017-03-01 13:42:01] <Kkat> 3"You get the general idea."
  48. [2017-03-01 13:42:38] <Kkat> 3Pan blinks.  "Actually, that gives me an idea.  It's insanely stupid, but it might be up your alley."
  49. [2017-03-01 13:42:48] <Kkat> 3--- Session Begins ---
  50. [2017-03-01 13:44:06] * Bookwright "You're aware of some of the things we've done, aren't you? Insanely stupid is how we've gotten this far. Lay it on us."
  51. [2017-03-01 13:44:58] <Kkat> 3Pan rubs his paws together.  "Excellent!"
  52. [2017-03-01 13:45:39] * Noble_Heart nods her head. "Well, We are uncertain We would call most of these plans insane, or stupid. But We have certainly not been risk-averse in this expedition, by any stretch of the imagination."
  53. [2017-03-01 13:45:51] <Kkat> 3Pan looks at everyone, saying, "Now everyone here is well aware of how spirits put themselves into things.  Invest their power, make them their homes?"
  54. [2017-03-01 13:46:29] * Bookwright "To a greater or lesser degree, yes."
  55. [2017-03-01 13:46:53] * Get_Lost pouts "i'm not stupid, i'm crazy"
  56. [2017-03-01 13:48:39] <Kkat> 3"Spirits of Emptiness are an odd sort.  They don't like putting themselves into living things like trees, or precious things like gemstones.  But there is an old,dark stone that they do favor," Pan tells those below him.  "The catacombs are studded with them."
  57. [2017-03-01 13:50:17] <Kkat> 3"Now changelings, they feed on love.  And they are never, ever satiated.  Their hunger knows no end," Pan insists.  "Starvation is the core of their being.  Their magic resonates with it.  So much so that it is the one type of magic that the Spirits of Emptiness don't simply devour."
  58. [2017-03-01 13:50:51] <Kkat> 3Mwana frowns.  "You mean the changelings can use their magic in the catacombs even when no one else can?"
  59. [2017-03-01 13:51:07] <Kkat> 3Pan points towards Noble_Heart.  "Ask her."
  60. [2017-03-01 13:53:28] <Kkat> 3Pan notes, "Hell, I've heard of a changeling queen who made her throne out of the stuff.  Kept the hive safe from noble rescuer outsider magic."  He pauses, staring at an invisible fourth wall.
  61. [2017-03-01 13:53:29] * Noble_Heart blinks in some thought and taps her chin. "We do not think We have met any Changelings in the catacombs..." She paused and frowned. "But We were -sent- there by one. It is true, magic within the catacombs does not function properly. We found it strange that We could be transported in, but not out."
  62. [2017-03-01 13:54:54] <Kkat> 3Mwana notes, "The Caesar couldn't do that.  It would interfere with the magic protecting the Imperial Palace.  And everyone would know she is a changeling... or, at least, not a zebra."
  63. [2017-03-01 13:55:30] <Kkat> 3Pan adds temptingly, "Now if the ponies going into the catacombs were to take some of those stones out with them..."
  64. [2017-03-01 13:56:31] <Kkat> 3Mwana frowns at Pan.  "Then they wouldn't have their own magic, but the Caesar still would have Hers.  That would be insane."
  65. [2017-03-01 13:57:01] * Noble_Heart contemplates that. "Then their presence would interfere with any magic which does not belong to a Changeling..?" She tilted her head to one side thoughtfully. She looks to Mwana. "On the contrary. The Caesar would also not have her magic, not if she did not wish to reveal her nature to her entire country."
  66. [2017-03-01 13:57:30] <Kkat> 3Citrine Glow perks.  "/Plus/..." she points out, "That could shut down the Obsidian Scepter!"
  67. [2017-03-01 14:00:00] * Get_Lost "Say... how oes that stone work with arcanotech stuff?"
  68. [2017-03-01 14:00:18] * Bookwright "That sounds dreadfully dangerous."
  69. [2017-03-01 14:00:28] * Noble_Heart nods her head in agreement with Citrine Glow. "Much as We might like to believe it, We have doubts that Our magic would be so grand as to match a Changeling Queen who has been feeding upon the love of her people for decades."
  70. [2017-03-01 14:03:32] * Golden_Dream thinks. "Well, sure. Yeah, that'll work. I ain't got no magic anyway that's real applicable to th' situation at hoof. And besides, if we /really/ wanna even out th' playin' field, well." She hefts one gigaton of anti-matrix joy. "Betcha this'll at least make it hard for 'er."
  71. [2017-03-01 14:03:46] * Bookwright "Maybe not match, but at least if I /have/ my magic I can teleport myself and others away. If we take these stones with us... that will be a more difficult prospect. This changling has impersonated Caesar for so long, it wouldn't need to use changling magic to get rid of us. Just tell its guards to jail us. We'd have to force her hoof."
  72. [2017-03-01 14:14:51] <Kkat> 3...
  73. [2017-03-01 14:16:18] <Kkat> 3Beneath Roam, in a section of the Old Roam Sewers, Shatara listens in while Jugeote and Mwana converse with the juvenile unicorn filly on the other side of the gate.
  74. [2017-03-01 14:17:45] <Kkat> 3After several minutes, Jugeote frowns, turning to Shatara.  "How good are you at medical brews?"  She nods towards Mwana.  "I'm no good, and I wouldn't trust him to cook me breakfast.  He could burn toast."
  75. [2017-03-01 14:19:57] * Shatara frowns. "Well, I probably wouldn't burn toast...but I can't say I know much about potions..."
  76. [2017-03-01 14:22:49] <Kkat> 3"How about medicine?"
  77. [2017-03-01 14:25:31] <Kkat> 3Jugeote explains, "I think the girl has been hiding from the Imperial zebras above all her life, cared for by her 'papa' -- who is the alchemist that we seek."  With a grim expression, "But it seems he has fallen ill.  She's having to care for both herself an him now.  She won't say, but I get the feeling his condition is grave."
  78. [2017-03-01 14:29:08] * Shatara shakes his head. "I could probably indentify a gaping chest wound... would we be able to bring them back to the ship? Or try to get one of the others down here...?"
  79. [2017-03-01 14:32:37] <Kkat> 3Mwana nods.  "Perhaps we should stay here while you inform the others who we have found and bring Get_Lost?
  80. [2017-03-01 14:39:18] * Shatara nods. "Sounds good to me..." He promptly turns for the exit giving one last glance behind him before making haste back towards the ship, his handy pipbuck map guiding him back through the twisted alleys of Roam.
  81. [2017-03-01 14:45:01] * Mare-Do-Well 3appears next to Golden_Dream.  "Hey.  Just spotted Shatara flying around down there.  Looks like he's looking for us.  Somepony needs to guide him back to the invisible ship."
  82. [2017-03-01 14:49:59] * Shatara stops at the end of the map's trail, and looks around. "Well, shit."
  83. [2017-03-01 14:53:57] * Shatara sits and ponders. He knows the ship isn't *really* invisible, it just somehow forces observers to not notice it. He knows it's out there somewhere, but actively searching just makes your attention slip off. Maybe he could try...not searching for it? He looks up in the sky, in the best guess direction it may have drifted, letting is eyes unfocus as he stares up into space.
  84. [2017-03-01 15:09:00] * Noble_Heart moves to the edge of the ship, looking down to see if she could spot Shatara. "We wish to help, but We are concerned about being seen. There is little doubt that the locals would consider it quite strange."
  85. [2017-03-01 15:10:29] * Mare-Do-Well 3frowns.  Then ghostily facehoofs.  
  86. [2017-03-01 15:11:27] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Moments later, Mare-Do-Well flies alongside Shatara, the ghost invisible to those below as she guides Shatara to the ship.
  87. [2017-03-01 15:11:38] * Mitzi is keeping herself away from the edge of the ship, still not managing well on the flying boat, whether or not it was moving
  88. [2017-03-01 15:12:59] * Shatara follows the ghosatsus to the ship, settling onto the deck and getting straight to work. "We found a likely sympathetic alchemist...but he seems to be sick. We need to get a medic down there ASAP..."
  89. [2017-03-01 15:16:19] * Get_Lost gets up "Here we go... do you have something to wear above this fryingg pan that happens to be my skull?"
  90. [2017-03-01 15:19:24] * Golden_Dream does an imaginary little headpat onto Mare-Do-Well as she leaves. She's adorable for a legend.
  91. [2017-03-01 15:34:41] * Get_Lost puts on one of the cloaks the group got at some point that she doesn't remember and smiles at her favourite catbirb "show me the way"
  92. [2017-03-01 15:51:13] * Shatara leads Get_Lost down the winding streets, taking extra attention to make sure nobody was around to be suspicious of the cloaked figures in the first place
  93. [2017-03-01 15:51:44] <Mare-Do-Well> 3It is a dark and stormy night.  The griffin and the cyberpony easily slip down into the city without being seen.  Soon, Shatara is leading Get_Lost to where Jugeote and Mwana wait with the juvenile filly on the other side of the gate.
  94. [2017-03-01 15:52:41] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote swiftly speaks to the filly.  Then turns to Get_Lost and Shatara.  "I've told her the doctor is here."
  95. [2017-03-01 15:52:56] * Get_Lost smiles at the filly and shows the bags with the butterflies on them "where is the patient?"
  96. [2017-03-01 15:58:08] * Shatara points towards the zebra pirates to lead Get_Lost to the incapacitated alchemist.
  97. [2017-03-01 16:04:36] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote talks with the filly, sounding reassuring and urgent.  The filly looks shocked, simultaneously wondrous and taken aback at the sight of Get_Lost.  She shakes her head several times, once levitating her weapon.  But finally relents and unlocks the gate.  Jugeote turns to Shatara and Get_Lost.  "Follow her."
  98. [2017-03-01 16:05:40] * Get_Lost nods and follows, putting away the cloak "what a cute filly."
  99. [2017-03-01 16:06:05] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The juvenile filly floats the zebra rifle close to her and scampers ahead to the recessed door in the wall a few yards from where the sewer caved in.
  100. [2017-03-01 16:08:57] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The filly pushes the door open and steps inside.  Just beyond a little entryway, the space opens into a sizeable sealed basement.  Shatara and Get_Lost can see what Rainbow Dash meant as the place looking "Zecora-like".  
  101. [2017-03-01 16:10:14] * Get_Lost switchesamongher various visions for a moment, then steps inside "Peace and propsperity to this house"
  102. [2017-03-01 16:10:43] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Ropes criss-cross the room from which bottled potions and phylacteries hang.  Traditional zebra masks decorate the walls, along with painted glyphs.  Aside from the matresses laying on the floor, the most promenant furnishing is the pony-sized cast-iron kettle above a fire.
  103. [2017-03-01 16:19:52] <Mare-Do-Well> 3On one bed lays a middle-aged zebra stallion who is clearly in poor health.  The filly has him covered in blankets, both his and her own.  There is a sick bucket nearby which smells foul but has been recently emptied and rinsed.
  104. [2017-03-01 16:21:25] <Mare-Do-Well> 3There is a deeper unpleasant smell in the room.  Fetid, like boiled cabbage, peppermint and rot.
  105. [2017-03-01 16:22:00] * Get_Lost approaches the stallion and opens her dovtor bag, takes her instruments and starts studying the symptoms
  106. [2017-03-01 16:23:15] * Shatara mostly does his best to stay out of the way.
  107. [2017-03-01 16:28:21] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The filly whimpers when Get_Lost moves to pull back the blanket.  
  108. [2017-03-01 16:29:34] * Get_Lost hums some silly song while working. smiles at the filly trying to be reassuring, but when you have no face probably you can just look creepy, then goes back to work
  109. [2017-03-01 16:31:36] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Moving back the blanket even just a little, Get_Lost spots what looks like black veins that crawl up the zebra's side.  A closer look reveals they are dark vines that have taken root just below the skin and coat.  There are black pustules on his abdomen and down his left flank.  His left hindleg is a mess of black vines, many of which pierce the surface.
  110. [2017-03-01 16:33:12] * Get_Lost frowns "not good. not good at all. really, really not good."
  111. [2017-03-01 16:34:49] * Get_Lost "he's being taken by the vine. i could try to remove it surgically, but this is magic, i don't know if it will work. What do we know about this?"
  112. [2017-03-01 16:41:51] * Shatara urks at the sight. "Isn't this killer plant stuff Noble's area of expertise?"
  113. [2017-03-01 16:43:09] * Get_Lost starts looking around "he probably made some sort of antidote, but he needs more. help me looking for a used or half used concotion, a recipe or something like that... also, goldie is more expert than me at this, can you call her too?"
  114. [2017-03-01 16:50:13] * Get_Lost "i need to know how long he's been like this. there's some peppermint scent... can you ask the filly if she's been cooking or the last one that used the cauldron was him?"
  115. [2017-03-01 17:01:10] * Shatara sniffs cuiriously at the cauldron and pokes at its contents.
  116. [2017-03-01 17:01:39] * Get_Lost starts looking around, trying to identify some reently cooked stuff, but has never been an apothecary
  117. [2017-03-01 17:02:20] * Get_Lost helps shatare at her best. but that's not very much "we should call the others, and quickly"
  118. [2017-03-01 17:08:32] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The two soon realize the sick combination of smells are coming from the zebra's leg rather than the cauldron or anything else in the room.  However, Shatara's investigation of the cauldron does reveal an herbal residue that the griffin has seen before back during his time in Nexus.  Phantasmal flowers..  
  119. [2017-03-01 17:11:39] * Get_Lost opens a crypted channel to bookie's armor, explaining the situation
  120. [2017-03-01 17:11:48] * Shatara hmms. "Something phantom's rather distinctive..." He checks the alchemist's storage for something similiar-smelling.
  121. [2017-03-01 17:12:35] * Get_Lost once she's done, goes back to the search "i'm ho expert, do you think it's the only ingredient we need?"
  122. [2017-03-01 17:13:01] <Get_Lost> *no expert
  123. [2017-03-01 17:15:12] * Bookwright listens. "Okay, so it sounds like the alchemist is /very/ ill. He's infected with... well, it looks like the black blossom. Apparently the alchemist was keeping the infection at bay with some kind of concoction, but he's so sick now he's unconscious. Get thinks she can help him if we get more of the concoction into the zebra to slow down the infection, but we're not sure what the ingredients are."
  124. [2017-03-01 17:15:47] <Shatara> "Probably not...but it's one less we'd have to guess..."
  125. [2017-03-01 17:15:57] <Mare-Do-Well> 3--- End of Session ---
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