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File 155993935327.png - (609.16KB , 700x600 , title.png )
935060 No. 935060 ID: 395c02

576 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 972942 ID: 0fae41

B/c. Name it Steve.
No. 972943 ID: cdabe3

Primary A, secondary c

Name the plant, uh

“The Big, Glowy Plant Thing”
No. 972944 ID: b1b4f3

The plant pushed against the spikes but not you. I think it's safe.

Name the plant the Glowstalk.
No. 972947 ID: a9af05


No. 972948 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, Tyrsis should check how close he can get before he's uncomfortable. Also he should walk around to the side where you plan to dig, to make sure there isn't more of it hidden there.
Come to think of it, you should scout a little bit past the plant to see if there's more behind it, so that you don't waste time digging around it only to find a second obstruction.
No. 972949 ID: 736b7e

B, C

Also supporting "Glowstalk"
No. 972955 ID: 365ffb

A c

name it the Door to Plantomile
No. 972963 ID: b099e2


The plant seems to repel those with Shaia's Love, so let's call it Shaia's Scorn.
No. 972974 ID: 7f1230

backing this name
No. 973027 ID: fa2754

B, c "Nishalm"
No. 973030 ID: 3fd119

A, and Glowstalk sounds like a good, simple name.
No. 973091 ID: 663062
File 159564108674.png - (257.75KB , 900x600 , 153.png )

Since it seems to be safe for me, I carefully approach the hole the glowing plant thing is partially blocking and take a peak...

"What do you see with your tiny adorable slissa eyes?"

"My what?"

"What's in there?"

"Uh, the path continues forward as you'd expect, but instead of tsiki spikes everywhere there's more glowing plant-things? Wait-- in the back near the wall..."

"What is it?"

'It's a glowgem, but some of the glowing plants have wrapped around it."

"Huh. Maybe they're attracted to light?"

"That's the thing. It's not glowing."


"It's completely dim!

Glowgems shine eternally, from the beginning of time to now. There's only one real explanation for this one being devoid of light.

"The glowing plant absorbed its light, maybe? Hmm. I think that makes sense, actually."

"How the heck does any of this make sense!?"

"Well, the plant doesn't affect you, but kinda affects me. One possible explanation is that this stuff was made to be an anti-ketza weapon, or at least a barrier."

"I'm not sure the slissas were capable of making something like this. And if we did, we'd have written it down somewhere!"

"True, but remember what we were talking about before? This and the glowgems might be what the slissas got instead of Shaia's Love. A silent protector of sorts."

"I guess, but this doesn't feel like 'love' so much. Shaia's scorn, maybe. Hey, we should call it that!"

"We could, but... as explorers, I think we should stick to simpler names, just so we can keep track of what's what."

"You're counting yourself as an explorer, I see."

"Being afraid of the outside world doesn't mean I don't enjoy finding new things."

Nice to see him coming around.

"Well, what should we call these things, then?"

"Let's see. Since it's so plant-like, how about 'glowstalk'?

"Works for me!"

"So we're gonna crawl on through?"

I dunno. I was thinking of digging a path for you, but if glowstalks litter the place I'm not sure you can come with me."

"I think I'll be fine. I feel a push from these things, but it's not all that bad."

"You sure? If Shaia or whoever made these to be an anti-ketza weapon, there's no telling what'd happen if you accidentally touched one."

"Yeah. They push against me, so the only way I'd touch one is if I were trying to."
No. 973092 ID: 663062
File 159564108911.png - (341.84KB , 900x600 , 154.png )

"Besides, it's not like I'm a real ketza."
No. 973093 ID: 663062
File 159564109371.png - (286.67KB , 900x600 , 155.png )

I get to digging.


"You shouldn't say things like that."

"It's true, isn't it? I'm only half ketza."

"Doesn't mean you should think you're a fake or something."

"Sorry, I just misspoke."

"You're an explorer and part of The Seekers. That makes you worth a thousand ketzas."

"Is that good?"

"It's like forty slissas."

"Holy shit."

"Yeah. So no feeling inferior or anything, okay?"

"But forty slissas is so many..."

"And that's just in general! To me you're worth a hundred slissas, which is more ketzas than currently exists!"

"Hehe... thanks, Kliss."

Thankfully, Tyrsis is able to make his way through my side path without issue. We continue forward carefully, doing our best to keep some distance between us and the various glowstalks.

Before long, the path once again opens up.
No. 973094 ID: 663062
File 159564109771.png - (409.23KB , 900x600 , 156.png )


A winding path upwards, marked by several signs that likely tell the story of the war and Shisae the hero. The glowstalks have ravaged the place, much as tsiki spikes destroyed the rooms before. One way or another, time has taken its toll on this place.

Every glowgem in is as dim as the one we saw earlier, sucked dry of the luminosity they once shed.

Near the top I notice a gap in the path, a spot probably destroyed by the nearby glowstalk.

Was it really okay to bring Tyrsis with me?

"It's a shame we're not wishbes."

"Uh... why's that?"

"Cause then we could just fly up there."

"But then I couldn't be a hundred slissas."

"Darn, you're right! Guess we'll have to figure something else out."

Getting Tyrsis most of the way up there shouldn't be too bad, as long as we're careful not to repeat what happened last time. That gap near the top could be trouble, though. Normally we'd have no choice but to spend a lot of time digging a way around it...
No. 973095 ID: 663062
File 159564110059.png - (7.22KB , 900x600 , 157.png )

...But that's why we bought the stuff we did, right? Let's see...

:SQ_ration: 3 food rations
:SQ_water: 2 water canteens
:SQ_rope: 1 rope
:SQ_cloth: 1 bundle of cloth
:SQ_sewingkit: 1 sewing kit
:SQ_knife: 1 knife
:SQ_hammer: 1 hammer
:SQ_firstaid: 1 first aid kit
:SQ_triage: 1 triage kit
:SQ_pen: 1 pen
:SQ_notebook: 1 notebook
:SQ_goggles: 1 pair of goggles (currently put away)

:sq_optbubble_left:What should we do?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 973099 ID: b1b4f3

This looks like a job for rope! You can go up, and tie the rope to something so he can climb up too. Or you could pull him up if you're stronk enuff.
No. 973100 ID: 193edf

"Well, yes. You're a real Tysis. You don't have to be exactly like them or do what they say or believe what they demand you believe."

>What do
Take samples of the plant for further study. Look at how it shines, it's even brighter than glowgems and it might even be capable of auto-photosynthesis!

Also, do not let the plants near your glowgem stash or they'll literally drain the currency out of your money.
No. 973107 ID: 736b7e

Not a whole lot in your kit to make getting over that gap easier but you wouldn't need to dig a hole large enough for Tyrsis if you can tie off the rope at the top. Depending on how long the rope is you might even consider tying it off along the way for Tyrsis to hold onto while you ascend, so no glowstalk pushy-weirdness easily knocks him off.
No. 973109 ID: b099e2

The gap doesn't look too bad, I think you can probably climb through it. If you do that, then you can tie the rope to that big glowstalk by the door and throw it to Tyrsis over on the other path.
No. 973127 ID: 36784c

>"My what?"
He said your eyes are adorable! That means that he thinks you’re adorable!

>Thankfully, Tyrsis is able to make his way through my side path without issue.
Good, you remembered to dig the path extra wide for Tyrsis and his extra wide butt!

Do this.
No. 973134 ID: 0fae41

Stab the root that blocks the path, try to cut your way through. If only we had brought enough for knife hands...
No. 973138 ID: fa2754

Rope and anchor! Progress as best as you can. Depending on how much push Tyrsis feels, you might need to tie yourselves together. When it comes to the gap, have him be your anchor while you scale down and back up on the other side. Use the knife, hammer and your body weight to anchor for him while he scales it.
No. 973327 ID: 3fd119

So if Tyrsis is directly above a glowstalk, will he land on it and touch it, or will he start flying? This seems like important and forbidden knowledge. Maybe you could ride your flying friend to safety!
No. 973446 ID: 663062
File 159597965426.png - (388.46KB , 900x600 , 158.png )

>So if Tyrsis is directly above a glowstalk, will he land on it and touch it, or will he start flying? This seems like important and forbidden knowledge
"I have the best idea! I'll take this rope--"


"What do you mean 'no'!?"

"Whatever you're planning is probably horribly dangerous and involves me in some way, so no."

"It's a crime how well you know me."

"It really isn't."

"Maybe it should be!"

"Gonna join the council and make it a law, then?"

"I would, but that'd get in the way of exploring stuff."

>Rope and anchor!
"Wait! I have a less dangerous idea this time probably!"

"I'll be the judge of that."

"I'll tie us together and try to climb up the other side. That way you can catch me if I fall."

"This is the less dangerous idea?"

"Believe it or not, yes. Once I get to the other side, I'll use my tools to fashion an anchor so you can safely climb to me."

"'Safely' is a very, very strong word."

"Do you have any better ideas? We can't abandon Mama!"

"Spee... Ugh. Fine. Fine! I'll go along with this insane plan, but only because we need to save your mother."

"I'll make it up to you somehow, I promise!"

"We'll worry about that later. Let's... let's just do this insane thing we're about to do."

I finish tying the rope around myself, then help Tyrsis get secured.
No. 973447 ID: 663062
File 159597965708.png - (250.47KB , 900x600 , 159.png )

I climb down without too much issue, then get to work climbing up the other side.

The rocks in this part of the cave are fairly soft, allowing me to dig my claws into the walls for a better grip. Nearby are signs of other slissas doing similar. Maybe left by Mama, or even my father long ago?

I spend some extra time digging extra large climbing holes for Tyrsis to grip onto. This slows me down, but better safe than sorry.

In the distance, I think I hear the 6th bell toll. There's only one left before I'm on my own for keeping track of time. My mind begins to wander as I try to focus on the climb...

>Good, you remembered to dig the path extra wide for Tyrsis and his extra wide butt!
I always work extra hard for Tyrsis's butt.

Wait that came out wrong.

Focus, Kliss.

>He said your eyes are adorable! That means that he thinks you’re adorable!
That's not how you focus!

Look, of course he thinks that. Not everyone can win the 'adorable tiny slissa' award like I did in my early years of schooling!

Though it's strange that everyone else won too. I guess we were just an especially cute class!

Thankfully I don't need to think about it any further as I reach the top of the other side.
No. 973448 ID: 663062
File 159597966072.png - (326.52KB , 900x600 , 160.png )

I use my claws to dig a short tunnel and run the rope through it, tying the end to my hammer and knife so they can act as an anchor.

I don't trust them to do the job alone, so I'll also be pulling with all my might to keep as much tension off them as possible while Tyrsis does his climb.

"Okay! Come on over!" I shout.

"This is still crazy!" He shouts back.

"Just go slowly and carefully, and use the holes I left for you!"

He slowly makes his way down as I dig my claws into the rock, ready to do everything I can to save the big fluffy boy should he run into trouble.

So far so good as he manages to climb down without issue. I keep close watch on him as he starts to climb up the other side, ready to react to anything.

I soon notice the glowstalks pushing against his feathers.

"Are you okay down there? You're not getting pushed too hard, are you?"

"Trying to focus!"

"Sss! Sorry!"

"I'm fine! Getting pushed some, but it's not that bad! Silent time now!"

At any moment I expect disaster, and I try very hard not to jinx it by thinking about it. Wait, this doesn't count, does it?
No. 973449 ID: 663062
File 159597966440.png - (239.92KB , 900x600 , 161.png )

In the end, it didn't.

"You did it! I'm so proud of you!"

"Can't... believe... huff... you want to do this stuff... on purpose..."

"Well, yeah! Don't you feel alive right now?"


"Still catching your breath?"

"My brain isn't willing to accept my answer so I'm just not going to say it."

"I knew it! The spark of exploration's in you too!"

"Let's not go that far. I'm just really glad to not be dead right now."

"No ketza would have been willing to do that, not for a slissa. See? You're better than a 'real' ketza!"

"Come on, the ketzas aren't that cowardly. Uh, I think."

I consider objecting, but he's just been through a lot.

"Anyway... thanks."

We rest a bit to recover from our ordeal. I undo my Tyrsis-saving contraption and place the items back in my backpack. That trip to the store has already proven valuable!


"Mama originally wanted us to come this way, right?"

"I mean, probably?"

"How the heck was she hoping to get past this part?"


"You know, she might have gone the other way earlier."

"We chose the wrong path!? I guess it was a 50/50 shot."

"I mean, we can't know without taking both paths, but it's definitely possible we made things harder on ourselves than... you know what, I'm gonna not think about that and focus on still being alive."

"Probably for the best, buddy."

My thoughts turn to Mama. If she's been in here since last wake, then every moment counts. I consider nudging Tyrsis to continue forward, but he's exhausted. We can't help anyone if either of us collapses.

Still, this will likely be our last chance to rest.

:sq_optbubble_left:Is there anything I should discuss with Tyrsis before we continue?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 973450 ID: 736b7e

Like every opportunity with Tyrsis, you should hug him. Also contemplate discussing your definitely very real feelings for him!

Maybe question why he follows you so steadily on adventures like these.
No. 973455 ID: cdabe3

yes do this :3
No. 973457 ID: b1b4f3

So what do the signs all say?
No. 973462 ID: b099e2

Maybe you guys should rest a bit and have a serious conversation about your long-term plans. You want to go to the surface world and explore it. He's said he's coming with you, but that means leaving behind everyone & everything he knows and possibly never seeing them again. Has he considered that? I mean, really considered it? Does he understand what he'd be giving up to follow you out there?

You guys are gonna have to confront this dilemma eventually. You might as well talk about it now.
No. 973481 ID: fa2754

Give him a head pat for being such a good boy. Thank him for being the friend you've always needed. Perhaps you can scout ahead while he catches his breath? Just to see how much further this path leads.
No. 973485 ID: bac822

This says it better than I could. If he's following you this far, he'll probably want to follow you all the way. Tyrsis needs to be sure that's what he really wants, so he won't regret it later.
No. 973497 ID: a9af05

>Wait that came out wrong.
Did it? Because I think it came out exactly the way you meant for it to come out.

Ask him if he knows what the sign says.
No. 973742 ID: 663062
File 159649105580.png - (349.30KB , 900x600 , 162.png )

"You know..."


"I wasn't just saying that in the heat of the moment. I really am proud of you."

"Oh, um... thanks. That means a lot coming from you."

"I can remember a time when you'd never agree to come with me, not even for the short test trip we're planning. You've really grown up.”

"I guess both of us had to grow up eventually, huh?"

"But even though we're using this trip to figure things out, I can't help but think about the long term. What happens if you come with me for the real thing. What happens if you... don't."

"It'll be a while before we need to cross that tunnel."

"Yeah, but it doesn't stop me worrying about it. I don't want you to end up sad and alone, nor do I want you spending multiple seasons doing something you hate. Especially something so dangerous."

"I understand that, but it's not like I'd be alone if I stayed behind. I still have my dad, and a few friends I've been meaning to get back in touch with."

"I guess. But you know me; I couldn't leave without making sure you had someone to keep you company. Someone to share... certain feelings with."

"What, were you secretly planning to find me a life-mate along the way or something?"

"What? That's silly! That's a silly thing you said."

"Doesn't make it less true."

I smush his fluffy face.

"SsSsss I'm trying to have a serious discussion, you goofball!"


"And if you do decide to join me... It has to be because you want to. Not because you feel like you owe it to me, or because you have feelings for me."

Wait did I just say the quiet part loud?
No. 973743 ID: 663062
File 159649105981.png - (323.05KB , 900x600 , 163.png )

"Haha what?? That's silly! That's a silly thing you said."

"That doesn't make it less true."

"Guess I deserved that."

"You did. But I'm serious-- we're talking about leaving behind everyone and everything you know and love. We're talking about the chance of never coming back."

"I know. I know that. Why do you think it's been so hard to give you an answer? You're very important to me. You're kinda the reason I'm still here. You kept me going when things got hard."

I wince slightly as painful memories start to resurface.

"But this is about more than my um, feelings. I agreed to the test-run because I don't want to live my life knowing I missed out on the adventure of a lifetime because I was scared. Without at least trying."

"Wait, a part of you wants to go?"

"It's a chance to put pen to paper and publish our findings for all to see. I might not have your zeal for exploring the unknown, but I've always enjoyed learning new things and solving mysteries."

Can't deny how handy his knowledge has been while exploring these caves.

"For me, this trip is about learning if my thirst for knowledge is enough that I'm willing to take the risk of going on a longer voyage. It's about showing that I can hit my head and not cry. After that, if it turns out exploring's not for me, I'll wish you well and head home. Either way, I won't have any regrets."

"I'm glad to hear that. Really glad. In that case, I won't try to set you up with a lovely ketza after all."

"Yeah, I'm good. Besides, I'd never get used to being the small one."

We share a laugh, a boulder of weight lifted from both our backs. I give him a slissa hug and let him rest a little longer.

"Okay, I think I'm ready to keep going."

"Ah, good. Let's get moving, then."

Tyrsis lifts himself up and I start leading the way, before pausing to look back at him.

"Hey, Tyrsis?"


"Whatever you decide, I want you to know that when we make it to the end and I'm seeing the outside world for the first time..."
No. 973744 ID: 663062
File 159649106384.png - (336.94KB , 900x600 , 164.png )

"...I'm glad you'll be there with me."

There's no way to know how we'll feel about the long journey until we have firsthand experience of what it's like in the world above. Until then, I don't want to risk making our goodbye that much more painful.

But at the very least, I can rest easy knowing that if Tyrsis chooses to stay behind, he'll be okay.

And if it does choose to come with me...

Well, we can explore that tunnel when we get there.

For now, this is enough.

We continue on, feeling confident in our ability to handle what comes next.
No. 973745 ID: 663062
File 159649106658.png - (361.31KB , 900x600 , 165.png )

That confidence would prove short-lived.


"Kliss? Kliss! By Shaia's love, am I glad to see you!"

"Starting with the important questions: Why are you up there and why is a tunnel-grub here!?"

"See the break in the path over there?"

"On the right?"

"This guy burrowed out from under me, causing the path to collapse! He got really aggressive, so I scrambled up here hoping he'd calm down and leave."

"You sat there this whole time!?"

"I haven't been here that long. I spent most of the wake at my friend's place!"


"Not to alarm you, but I'm pretty sure the tunnel-grub can reach you from there. You should get somewhere safer!"

"That's the thing. I think he's scared of the white stuff!"

I examine the room. The tsiki spikes make a return, though once again they seem unwilling to get close to the glowstalks. I could try to fashion one into a weapon, but I don't fancy my chances against an angry tunnel-grub.

Why's it so angry, anyway? They're generally passive and easily frightened.


:sq_optbubble_left:What do I do?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 973748 ID: b1b4f3

Investigate! Keep the glowstalks between you and the grub, and look around a little.
Could it be protecting a nest? What do grub nests look like?
No. 973754 ID: 62e4df

A nest seems likely, but there's also the possibility it's injured. Can you check it for injuries without getting close?
No. 973756 ID: 2aa5f0

could be hungry, what do they normally eat?
No. 973761 ID: 0fae41

Cut off some of the white stuff as a ward. A Tsiki spike for a sword, and a root for a shield!
No. 973765 ID: b1b4f3

Well if that's the case we might be able to toss it some rations. They're not that expensive.
No. 973767 ID: 736b7e

Giving it food might be a good idea.
No. 973792 ID: fa2754

Yeah an aversion/diversion plan could work. Glow stalks and Shaia's love to drive it back from your mom and some rations to lead it away further. Are the glow stalks safe to touch though?
No. 973793 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, we should ask her how safe the glowstalks are. She should know a little more about them. I'm sure she'd be interested to know that Tyrsis has a reaction to them.
No. 973806 ID: b099e2

Can we have Tyrsis scare it away with some fire?
No. 973896 ID: 36784c

I'm worried about asking Tyrsis to scare it away with fire. The glowstalks might end up pushing away his fire and make it fly in a different direction than where he was aiming.
No. 973961 ID: 3fd119

If it attacks, you and your mom can probably escape onto the stalks. Assuming it's safe to touch. But Tyrsis doesn't have that option and should keep especially safe.
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