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File 156393346605.png - (177.57KB , 533x700 , 10-1.png )
940228 No. 940228 ID: 7816e7

18+ adult content
Chapter 10: Heart of the Mountain

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/932953.html
Expand all images
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No. 940229 ID: 7816e7
File 156393350815.png - (149.28KB , 700x700 , 10-2.png )
940229

Parting the clouds with a flick of his wing, a blurred shape descends over Moot Point. It flickers and writhes like a ribbon in the breeze, before alighting on a platform sticking out above the trees.
>>
No. 940230 ID: 7816e7
File 156393351574.png - (174.11KB , 583x700 , 10-3.png )
940230

Cecil Ochre watches as the shape shrinks and stands upright in a regal pose. The god strides over and pulls him into a winged embrace and kisses him on the beak. The bird laughs and baps the coatl on the chest, “Now, now, we have company. How was your flight, Flashing Feathers?”

“The sky today is very good Most Beloved. An excellent sign: the Fates smile upon us.” Flashing Feathers grins, his gleaming teeth and iridescent scales bathing the bird in a resplendent glow. He turns to the guests, welcoming them as equals, “Welcome friends of my Beloved. We are honored by your presence.”
>>
No. 940233 ID: 094652

D'aww.

Do a little bow, all the researched niceties. Then ask what you came for. Any scrap of information about the world before.
>>
No. 940234 ID: 91ee5f

>>940230
He can change his shape? That’s new! And it’s good to see that he’s managed to pick up the modern language so quickly! No more language barrier!

Oh, right! Uh, politely bow and return the greeting.
>>
No. 940239 ID: ccd2ca

Honored to be received! And impressed at Flashing Feathers' speedy adaptation.

I'm sure we brought some sort of appropriate little gift? If we're someone who's introducing themselves for the first time? Not Casey, in other words, who'd be well in the good books already. Yes?
>>
No. 940240 ID: 3ed3c3

>>940230
It's wonderful to see you again, Flashing Feathers. How have you and Mr. Ochre been? All's well, we trust?
>>
No. 940249 ID: f0762a

Really like the last picture, super cute. Also Flashing Feathers' anthro form is very sexy(is this the right shade of blue?). Looking forward to see more of it.

Ask him how he feels about this new era.
>>
No. 940344 ID: 83bf07

Congrats on your high standing, Cecil!
>>
No. 940357 ID: 7816e7
File 156402924133.png - (162.01KB , 700x606 , 10-4.png )
940357

The mice look to one another in surprise. Mr. Ochre had mentioned how well Flashing Feathers had done adopting the modern dialect, but his new form comes as a bit of a shock. “T-thank you, Flashing Feathers. Its good to see you again.” Says Casey after shaking off her shock.

The glittering scaled head dips. “And you, Receiver of my Blessing. Thank you again for your gift of freedom. How may we help you?”

“We’re looking to explore the ruins belonging to one of the old vampire lords. The problem is that its located somewhere in the Highspires. Gabe can gate us there, but...”

“I have seen this place in the travels since our meeting. Very high. The air is thin. Too weak to breathe.” He nods. “You request my aid.” He states.

“Yes, if you would give it.”

“And you-“ Flashing Feathers turns to his partner. “Most Beloved. You wish to go with them. I feel your heart: it beats for this as it does when we couple.”

The bird rolls his eyes and sighs, “I can’t keep anything from you, now can I? Yes, I’m dying to go. Unexplored ruins at the top of the world? It sounds spectacular.” He takes the deity by the wing and leads him on. “Come, join us on the veranda for tea. There’s much to discuss.”
>>
No. 940358 ID: 7816e7
File 156402924646.png - (226.58KB , 700x700 , 10-5.png )
940358

The host takes them down the staircase, across the the immaculate lawn to a gazebo. An arrangement of Miki’s cupcakes sit on silver serving trays as well as a selection of loose and bagged teas from faraway lands.

The party sets about the tea service, and sit down in the shade of the gazebo while Flashing Feathers opts to sit in the sun.

“We didn’t realize you had adapted so much to modern living Flashing Feathers.” Says Casey, munching a muffin.

“Unfortunately my home is just not built to accommodate Flashing Feathers’ full glory, so he finds this form a tad more comfortable. Though he prefers not being under a roof.” Cecil explains, “You can hardly blame him having been locked up all those years...” he reaches out and pats a wingtip. “Since his release we have been traveling everywhere. I’ll tell you, I feel like I’ve been unchained too! This world is just marvelous: so vibrant and wild! To think I’ve spent all these years cooped up like an old crow.”
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No. 940359 ID: 7816e7
File 156402925137.png - (350.54KB , 583x700 , 10-6.png )
940359

“It feels good to soar again. To hear the air sing.” Flashing Feathers sips his tea with uncanny daintiness. “What was your favorite, Most Beloved?”

The bowerbird gasps and clutches his knees. “Oh! So we found this town and decided to stay the night. But it turned out we arrived just in time for the annual festival of colors. Everyone fills the streets and they throw just...” he gesticulates with a swirl of his hands, “gobs of pigment at one another: just handfuls of brilliant powder all over the place. I thought I was losing my mind!” He dishes excitedly. “So much passion and life! Apparently it’s all about love and rebirth, and well...”

“There was much love making.” The coatl remarks calmly. He crosses his legs and leans back, catching more of the afternoon sun.
>>
No. 940360 ID: 7816e7
File 156402925589.png - (140.38KB , 700x517 , 10-7.png )
940360

“We’ll definitely be going back next year.” Mr Ochre assures them over his tea.
>>
No. 940362 ID: 094652

... I don't get it. That wasn't blue.

Ask for spells related to high-altitude survival. Like feather fall and air filtering.
>>
No. 940366 ID: b1b4f3

>>940359
Haha some pigment got on his dick.

>>940360
I think just about everybody here would like to go.
>>
No. 940378 ID: 864e49

>Receiver of my Blessing
Oh god is that how he's going to remember you?

>>940360
We may end up going with you.
>>
No. 940454 ID: 7816e7
File 156411220418.png - (171.00KB , 700x543 , 10-8.png )
940454

“We’re so happy for you two. We'll have to join you next time.” Says Casey suppressing a giggle. “I can’t imagine what it must have felt like bottled up for all that time.”

“It was...” The reptile stares in to space and blinks slowly. “Dull.”

“In the old days, there were rites and worship. I was needed and I gave to the people the gift of sweet rains and calm winds. I did not know the kings and priests saw the people’s love and were jealous. They sealed me away with cunning magic and told the people that no one may rise above the kings. I was made to do their bidding and in my anger, the rains became heavy and the winds cruel. Crops failed and when the people became hungry they threw down the kings and priests. Those that remained feared my wrath should I be released and sealed me away beneath the city.” He slurps his tea between shining teeth as his mind drifts back to the fall of the old kingdoms.

“Do you know anything about the place we mentioned?” Kol asks.

“No. Before I was sealed away, I had no knowledge of this mountain. I suspect powerful magic was responsible for its creation.”
>>
No. 940460 ID: b1b4f3

>>940454
Hmm you know, his old prison might make an okay habitat for Fennel. Are the archaeologists done with it yet? I'm sure they'd want it preserved, but I also suspect Flashing Feathers might have the final word on it and may enjoy that particular room being repurposed and possibly eroded over time.

But enough business! Tell them about stuff you did since you last saw them.
>>
No. 940461 ID: e7848c

He may not know about our target, but there's probably still so much we could learn from him. Sitting down with a historian would be a great boon for knowledge. That's for another time though. How do we go about safely exploring these ruins?
>>
No. 940501 ID: e8421c

Now thinking about it, how you take time to make all the different coloured texts is very impressive. Again thank you for the great work Toxo! So, what can you do to help our guides ascend that mountain? Air Bubble and Wind Walk?
>>
No. 940545 ID: 7816e7
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940545

“Ah well, it was worth a shot.” Kol leans back, and swigs his tea. “But you can still help us out though, right?”

The glittering serpent nods, “Yes. A feather given to you will give you breath for some time. In the old days, swimmers would place one upon their tongue before diving for pearls. There are other dangers: the cold, the sun, the wind. I will accompany you, and assist however I can, but time must be taken to prepare for the threats you will face.“ The snake god turns to Mr. Ochre and asks, Most Beloved, do you still wish to go?”

The bowerbird smiles back. His chest swells with dauntless confidence as he answers in his partner’s old tongue.

The coatl chuckles and translates, “He says ‘may I stand among the heavens with you by my side.’ Very well, let us make arrangements.”
>>
No. 940546 ID: 83bf07

I love it when someone speaks another language they just learned, with confidence.
>>
No. 940557 ID: a9af05

>>940545
I see Flashing Feathers isn't the only one that's learned a language.
>>
No. 940695 ID: ac10e5

Ask him how long it took him to learn to speak that way! It's very neat.
>>
No. 940785 ID: 7816e7
File 156437072694.png - (202.60KB , 700x707 , 10-10.png )
940785

"Wow, you can speak his language already? How long did that take?" Casey asks.

"I've always had a bit of an ear for languages, and my rather unique perspective of color has helped a lot." Says Mr. Ochre as he polishes off his tea. "During the last few month's we've been teaching one another during our flights and have built up quite the shared vocabulary. I feel as though I'm still years away from a true, natural grammatical comprehension, but as far as everyday use goes: I'm getting the hang of it."

Mr. Ochre puts his cup aside and pulls out a leather-bound pad of paper. A slim, silver propelling pencil clicks meaningfully in his hand. "So! As assets manager of this little excursion, what assets will we need?"
>>
No. 940789 ID: 7c21ff

Climbing gear, winter clothing, thick boots AND socks. Bring literally all of the rope, ever. Hammer and chisel just in case.

And a flare gun for each member, incase of dire emergency to signal flashing feathers to swoop on in and evac whoever fired theirs.
>>
No. 940791 ID: 83bf07

>>940789
Neat idea with the flares but don't those need oxygen to burn? Either way don't we also have flares in the form of Kol's beacons? That might been a byproduct of the Lich though..
>>
No. 940794 ID: 10c408

>>940791
Thin air doesn't mean no air, and I'm pretty sure that Feathers was going to help with any oxygen problems.

but just in case, sure. Some form of signalling that doesn't use oxygen would be vastly superior to normal flares.

...Except for Mr Ochre, who will probably still need one.
>>
No. 940798 ID: 91ee5f

>>940785
Heavy winter clothes.

.....and considering how often his wardrobe is “barely anything at all”, bring extra clothes for Gabe. Possibly consider getting super glue to attach the clothes to Gabe, so that he’s forced to actually wear them.
>>
No. 940799 ID: b1b4f3

General camping gear probably.
>>
No. 940805 ID: f57349

There are flares that can burn underwater, and stuff for rocket engines that burns in hard vacuum (by including it's own oxidizer), pretty sure some kind of chemical stick that'll make heat and light up in the death zone is possible.

In terms of protective clothing, you'll want to be particularly careful about extremities with limited blood flow: fingers, toes, ears, noses, tails. Climbing harnesses with a rope linking everyone together so you don't get separated. Food, water, first aid supplies, all that basic stuff. Shelter with appropriately sturdy tie-downs. Lip balm, since cold thin air is extremely dry.

And, of course, whatever scientific equipment you might need for studying the actual site!
>>
No. 940902 ID: f0762a

Archaeology field gears. Measurement, recording, excavation, first aid. Should we bring Pezzi and Rufus? They should be most familiar with mana wells. How are they right now?
>>
No. 941029 ID: 7816e7
File 156453841236.png - (137.83KB , 598x700 , 10-11.png )
941029

“Well first up is the cold. We can bundle up right?” Says Gabe.

“That high, the cold is like a knife. You must armor yourself against it. Eyes, ears, tails, all must be protected.”

Cecil scribbles a note in shorthand. “What else?”

Kol scratches his chin. “Ropes, anchors, climbing equipment. The beacon that the Senders worked out bypasses the worst of the climb, but there's no telling what things will be like up there.”

Another note, “Good. I suggest we get some practice in with them before we depart. What else?”

Casey thinks, “You still have your backpack with the spacial charm right? Gabe can store things in his gates, but it would probably be a good idea to bring it along with extra supplies, just in case. Some digging equipment in case we need to excavate anything...”

“Easily done.”

“I dunno if this’ll help but, flares?” Gabe shrugs, “We might need to signal someone. If you want I might be able to arrange some senders to make an extraction team if we need it. If we need to get out, they could signal them for an emergency gate.”

“Good thinking...” Mr Ochre notes this down.
>>
No. 941030 ID: 7816e7
File 156453841959.png - (64.09KB , 700x466 , 10-12.png )
941030

Shadows stretch over the garden as the evening wears on. More food is brought out as the team pours over plans and contingencies. Orders for equipment are handed off to couriers, who spread out into the streets. One by one, the finest craftsmen and suppliers in the city receive Mr. Ochre’s scribbled notes and set to work.

As lamplighters set about their nightly task, each mysterious piece of the expedition comes together. Leatherworkers craft whole suits of padded, windproof outerwear. Dockhands trim yard after yard of lightweight, twisted rope and canvas. Alchemists mix long tubes of powdered magnesium, sulfur, and iron into brilliant, long lasting flares. Late into the night, a jigsaw puzzle of vast complexity comes together piece by piece.
>>
No. 941031 ID: 7816e7
File 156453842311.png - (0B , 700x596 )
941031

In Mr Ochre’s garden Gabe and Kol cuddle on a glider. Gabe rubs a sleepy cheek against his partner while Kol's steady breath rocks him to sleep as it has a thousand times before. Casey drapes a blanket over them as mousey snores drift through the night like fireflies.

"I didn't realize it was getting so late. I apologize." Murmurs Mr. Ochre quietly. "If you'd like, I could have them taken up to one of the guest rooms."
>>
No. 941033 ID: e7848c

Only if they're not imposing. It's been a long day. What's left on the docket?
>>
No. 941060 ID: 10c408

Politely decline Cecil's offer, they're both cute right now and if we want them up they might get a little... frisky. And this isn't the best time for that considering how big a day tomorrow is.
>>
No. 941063 ID: e6f10c

Ordinarily you'd leave 'em 'cause they look so cute and it'd be a shame to disturb them, but we've got a big day tomorrow and it'd be better if they didn't wake up sore, cold and tired from sleeping outside on a wooden glider. Better have them taken to the guest room so they can a good night's sleep in a good bed. If possible, do it without waking them. And Casey can also sleep here tonight as well.
>>
No. 941066 ID: 0420dd

That would be nice. While you're having a quiet talk with Cecil, though, Casey, ask him if there's any good ideas for a gift to repay Flashing Feathers for his assistance. You set him free but that was correcting an injustice, and you got to keep the spell, so you can't really claim any debt from that. So you need to do something nice for him.
>>
No. 941100 ID: 7816e7
File 156461908066.png - (175.36KB , 700x534 , 10-14.png )
941100

“That’d be very nice, thank you.” Casey nods, realizing her eyelids are feeling heavy themselves. “You both are doing so much for us, is there anything we can do to thank you?”

Cecil and Flashing Feathers rock backwards and then chuckle to one another. “My dear, its us that should thank you.” The bird smiles warmly and takes off his glasses to wipe them clean.

Bearer of my Blessing, you have given me more than my freedom. Without you, I would never have met my Most Beloved.” In the dull light, the coatl’s scales twinkle like diamonds in in murky water. He steps close to Casey and in a rustle of feathers, pulls her into an embrace. “I wish to thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
>>
No. 941108 ID: e7848c

I think we can make the time for a god. Hell, we might get a night of more winged hugs.
>>
No. 941109 ID: 91ee5f

>>941100
>Bearer of my Blessing
Hey, listen, I know he keeps calling you that because he shared his mana with you, but do you think it might have some other meaning to it? Like, maybe he got you pregnant or something?
>>
No. 941112 ID: 094652

"Okay, but only if we do it with Mr. Ochre. Again."
>>
No. 941117 ID: b1b4f3

>>941100
Tell him you're happy, and honored, to have helped him.
>>
No. 941146 ID: 75a903

Awww, how sweet. Wing hugs are great. Especially deific ones.
>>
No. 941160 ID: 8eaf98

>>941112
no. Just like they needed sleep EVERYONE needs sleep for the expedition.
>>
No. 941195 ID: f0762a

>>941109
Worth asking.

>>941117
This. And it's great to be able to meet him as a friend. Though they really should rest for tonight.
>>
No. 941199 ID: 7816e7
File 156471334335.png - (113.12KB , 499x700 , 10-15.png )
941199

The fearsome beast from her childhood is still warm from the afternoon sun. His feathers tickle as his wings encircle her. Casey hugs him back, feeling safe she sighs and rests her head against the jeweled serpent. “I’m very honored to have helped you. We’re so happy for you both.”

“May we show you something?” Flashing Feathers asks, his voice a soft, deep rumble.

“I think I can make time for a god.”

The coatl kicks off the ground and glides on the gentle sea breeze into a grove of trees. Taking Cecil’s hand, Casey follows the elemental between a gap in the junipers.
>>
No. 941200 ID: 7816e7
File 156471334877.png - (191.42KB , 700x500 , 10-16.png )
941200

She step into the moonlit glade and gasps. Illuminated by slivers of moonlight is a private garden dominated by an immense, curious bed. Its frame, bent into a curious hyperbolic shape, cradles the reclining form of the snake god as he stretches out under the stars. He beckons them closer with a drifting wingtip.
>>
No. 941202 ID: 83bf07

Oh you're going to sleep well tonight.
Watch your step.
>>
No. 941203 ID: a9af05

>>941200
If this is going to lead to sex, then Gabe and Kol are gonna be upset they missed out on having sex with a god for the 2nd time!
>>
No. 941211 ID: 10c408

Well that's definitely a "come and have sex with me" expression.

Poor gabe and Kol, they missed out *again*
>>
No. 941215 ID: b1b4f3

>>941200
What are we gonna do on the bed?
>>
No. 941216 ID: 094652

Is this one of those things where he tessarects his dick by transforming while penetrating you?
>>
No. 941260 ID: 7816e7
File 156480164463.png - (223.79KB , 700x700 , 10-17.png )
941260

“What is this place?” Casey asks as her feet crunch against round, smooth stones. Using the bed frame, she levers herself up onto the cushion and shuffles over to the coatl on her knees.

Mr. Ochre swings up with a practiced hand and joins them. “A bedroom... of sorts. I had it made specially for him. Well, us really. Flashing Feathers just doesn’t feel comfortable sleeping indoors, so I had this crafted. I spend more nights out here than I do in my own bed.” He chuckles.

“Don’t you ever get cold, or rained on or anything?” Casey wonders, finding herself sandwiched between the snake and the bird.

“Well, he is a weather god.” Cecil reminds her. “Although once the seasons turn, we may have to find a more comfortable solution. Perhaps a trip to a warmer climate will be in order.”

Casey turns to the elemental and asks, “This is very lovely, Flashing feathers, but why bring me here?”

“I believe he would like to thank you.” Cecil’s hand comes to rest on her thigh, “We would both like to... if that’s alright with you.”
>>
No. 941261 ID: 7816e7
File 156480164920.png - (134.90KB , 499x700 , 10-18.png )
941261

“Gabe might be a bit jealous: missing another chance to sleep with a god.” Casey giggles and shimmies her tail, getting comfortable between the two feathered lovebirds.

“Oh!” Mr. Ochre puts a hand to his beak. “Should we go wake them up?”

She answers him with a kiss on the beak. “Its fine: they understand. Besides, he’s the lucky little squeaker who got a private party in Vivian’s boudoir. I’ve been dying to meet her.”

“Vivian? The Vivian?” His beak hangs open with amazement. “I would very much like to hear about that. Her performances are simply exhilarating: an absolute feast of color and sound!”

“I’m sure he’d love to tell you every detail over breakfast. But for now...” There's a shuffle as Casey slips out of her skirt. “Don’t keep me waiting, boys.”
>>
No. 941264 ID: e7848c

>>941261
Bold move Casey.
I approve.
Promise no restraints on Flashing Feathers, yeah?
>>
No. 941268 ID: 9d50cc

>>941264
Better not to even mention the possibility, I think.
>>
No. 941270 ID: 91ee5f

>>941261
>Vivian
I wonder if Flashing Feathers would enjoy going to one of Vivian’s shows? And would he be willing to wear a fancy suit to the theater?

>sex
So, same positions as last time? Or are we going to try something new?
>>
No. 941272 ID: b1b4f3

>>941261
Two on one means more hands to cover more body. Though I suppose Flashing Feathers will be more likely to use his lips and tongue.
>>
No. 941300 ID: 7816e7
File 156488545875.png - (212.74KB , 500x700 , 10-19.png )
941300

The pair take their cue and pull themselves close, sandwiching the wriggling mouse between them. Despite his gleaming fangs, Flashing feathers proves better equipped for kissing, trading long moaning smooches with Casey as he grinds between her thighs.

Mr. Ochre quickly sheds his suit and cuddles up behind her. His hands slide under her shirt and lift it away and Cecil leans in to cup her curves and tweak her nipples. At Casey’s moaned behest, one hand drifts along her side to her hip and a pair of questing fingers trace the edge of her undergarments. Cecil reaches lower and Casey arches her back suddenly, dragging air into her lungs as a muffled squeal escapes her lips. She nods her head vigorously at the touch and spreads her knees for the bird.

>>
No. 941302 ID: edf377

>>941300
Only one thing to do, get those panties off and go with the flow.
>>
No. 941317 ID: cc6fbf

Careful with those glasses, Cecil. Your gaze is going to head down south soon.
>>
No. 941354 ID: 7816e7
File 156496236473.png - (163.17KB , 551x700 , 10-20.png )
941354

Cecil gently tugs the fabric out of the way and slides his fingertips along the cleft of Casey’s bare pussy. Feeling her buck her hips into the touch, the emboldened bird parts her folds with a careful finger, followed by another.

“I must admit, this my first time, uh- pleasuring someone else like this...” Mr. Ocher blushes. He stirrs his fingers in slow circles, searching for familiar places. “Am I doing this right?”

Casey nods, her eyes closed and mouth agape in an expression of bliss. “Mmm hmm. Keep going!” Her words come in short gasps between shivers of sensation.

>>
No. 941357 ID: e7848c

Mind your claws, steady your pace and build your rhythm. Then enjoy the mouse squeaks.
>>
No. 941484 ID: b1b4f3

Flashing Feathers can work on her tits too, and after this I'm guessing everyone will be ready to escalate.
>>
No. 941651 ID: 7816e7
File 156514179488.png - (138.12KB , 500x700 , 10-21.png )
941651

Pleasure crackles up Casey’s spine and her knees buckle for a moment as Cecil slowly builds up a rhythm. She squeaks a warning moments before clenching down on his fingers. The bird jabs furiously at her g-spot as she rides the orgasm, helping her crest again in a rolling wave. 

Mr. Ochre pulls his fingers free from the panting mouse and admires the gleam of slickness. “Oh my, I think she enjoyed that. Wouldn’t you, my dear?”

>>
No. 941652 ID: 7816e7
File 156514179932.png - (164.92KB , 700x555 , 10-22.png )
941652

The coatl leans over her and grins, “Oh yes, Most Beloved. You have done well. Now, Blessing Bearer, are you ready?”

Casey looks down and watches as a slick, blue shaft glides back and forth across the lips of her vulva. An unseen poke beneath her tail hints at the intentions of his second cock.

>>
No. 941657 ID: e7848c

Get ready for a heavenly experience. Don't hold your breath~ Cecil, give that mouse something to lick when she opens her mouth in a second here.
>>
No. 941662 ID: b1b4f3

>>941657
Agreed.
>>
No. 941761 ID: 7816e7
File 156522851307.png - (189.05KB , 700x500 , 10-23.png )
941761

“Yesssss...” Casey urges as the tapered tips gently pierce her. The mouse softly moans as each inch slides inside, until glimmering scales bump against her pubic bone. She lays back, letting the coatl cuddle close to her and feeling her body adjust to the twin cocks.

Flashing Feathers leans close and smiles with satisfaction. “Your body is as wonderful as I remember it, Blessing Bearer. It is a good and joyous thing to feel myself within you again.” He pulls his hips back experimentally, savoring the shiver as her body clings to his shafts. “I will make love to you as only a god can.” He declares, pushing forward again achingly slow, letting Casey feel every millimeter of his gleaming sapphire shafts.

>>
No. 941762 ID: 7816e7
File 156522852680.png - (121.60KB , 416x700 , 10-24.png )
941762

As Casey lays back, something shuffles behind her. She opens her eyes to find a pair of feathery legs straddling her head. Cecil blushes in the moonlight and fidgets nervously with his glasses. “I- I hope I’m not imposing, but w-would you mind?”

Casey wordlessly reaches for his hips, diving between Cecil’s thighs. The bowerbird gasps as her tongue goes to work coating her taste buds with his pleasure. She traces his folds, finding where they meet and hide the sensitive pearl. She sucks hungrily at her prize and is rewarded with a clenching shiver from the bird.

"Ah! Oh my! Ohhhhh, I- I must admit, I wish I had your skill at… mmph- oral activities." Mr. Ochre pants as his glasses fall askew. "I- I still have much to learn, I see."

>>
No. 941780 ID: ca7cac

Now this is a love train. Casey, everything you get from Flashing Feathers, make sure to put it right forward into Cecil.
>>
No. 941833 ID: e6f10c

Disengage long enough to tell Cecil that you could be his teacher on that matter, if he wishes so. Then dive back in to pleasuring him.
>>
No. 941877 ID: bddb0f

>>941761
Go on to show him how much more he has to learn.

Also; let the very filling - and fulfilling - sex by Flashing Feathers slowly push you over the edge - and beyond.
>>
No. 941896 ID: 7816e7
File 156532313309.png - (90.04KB , 700x476 , 10-25.png )
941896

Casey takes a breather and wipes the dripping pleasure from her chin. "Don't worry, I have a lot to teach you." She goes back to eating him out, slipping a pair of fingers in alongside her busy tongue.
>>
No. 941897 ID: 7816e7
File 156532313864.png - (210.15KB , 593x700 , 10-26.png )
941897

Cecil grinds his hips in place, letting her have her way with him. He casts a backwards glance at Flashing Feathers and watches the hint of blue cock appear and disappear between their bodies. He clutches at his chest as the color fills his eyes. "Fates, you look simply magnificent, my dear. I could watch you for hours."

The great snake chuckles, leaning back to give the bird a better view. "Would that please you Most Beloved? To watch me fuck our cherished Blessing Bearer until the sun rises?" Flashing Feathers smiles, driving his hips forward again. His pace is slow and gentle, relying on the sinuous ripple of his spine to arc his shafts into Casey; hitting each and every angle within her. Judging from the muffled moans from beneath his beloved and the steady trickle of lust coating his dicks, he can tell she's enjoying herself. "Give me the word and I will pleasure her until she can not stand."

>>
No. 941898 ID: 2df440

Yes, do it~
>>
No. 941900 ID: b1b4f3

Good thing we're not leaving tomorrow.
>>
No. 941907 ID: 91ee5f

>>941897
Cecil, open your mouth to give the word. Immediately get interrupted by Casey giving a thumbs up.

Then tell Flashing Feathers, “Well, it looks like we’re going until sunrise!”
>>
No. 941910 ID: e6f10c

>>941907
Make it a double thumbs up.
>>
No. 941922 ID: 9d50cc

It'd be easier for Cecil to watch if he turned around.
>>
No. 941936 ID: 83bf07

Let the sun greet us as one under the sky.
>>
No. 942006 ID: 7816e7
File 156540591395.png - (190.67KB , 700x536 , 10-27.png )
942006

Mr. Ochre looks down at the mouse between his thighs and gets an enthusiastic thumbs up. “Nothing would make us happier, my dear.”

“Very well. You should get comfortable, Most Beloved.” The elemental pulls himself loose and gently flips Casey onto her knees. He looms over the mouse and his voice rumbles in her ear, “Let us know if you require a break, Blessing Bearer. You will be well cared for.”

Casey nods in consent and gasps as the great serpent pushes back into her; spreading her ass and a moment later, her pussy.

The scaly body bumps flush with her asscheeks and pumps back and forth experimentally, feeling her readjust. Satisfied, the coatl swings his hips forward with a slap, building speed until he finds a comfortable pace. “Let us give my Beloved a show...” Flashing Feathers grins as the mouse squeaks beneath him.

Mr. Ochre lays back in font of the pair and spreads his legs for Casey. The mouse happily dives back in, her nose booping forward against his pubis with every pump of the god’s hips. He moans in appreciation, watching the thick, sapphire shaft slip in and out of Casey’s ass; each glimpse of color filling his eyes with an ecstatic flash.

>>
No. 942007 ID: 7816e7
File 156540591835.png - (179.06KB , 700x476 , 10-28.png )
942007

As the night goes on, Casey lays forward keeping her tail held high. The snake god grasps her hips, pounding away at her body. His long, powerful strokes pull his cocks out to the tip, showing off as much of the beautiful shafts as possible.

Mr Ochre grins, watching every glistening inch piston in and out. “That’s it. Give it to her my dear.” He cups Casey’s ears gently, “Are we doing alright down here?”

The thump, thump, thump interrupts Casey as she struggles to speak, "Fu-u-u-uck! Fu-Fuck! Go-od, ye-es! Fu-uck me-e-e."

>>
No. 942008 ID: 7816e7
File 156540592337.png - (180.27KB , 700x476 , 10-29.png )
942008

Time passes and the moon traces across the night sky. Casey moans, feeling the same relentless fucking from behind. She lays in Cecil’s lap, her chin dripping with his juices after a night of cunnilingus. Unable to keep going, she rests her tongue and watches the bird idly pleasure himself.

Her eyes roll back as another orgasm shudders through her, ejaculating another wave of her pleasure down her matted thighs to stain the coatl’s bed. The strange, smooth dicks continue their ceaseless rhythm; having paused only for the occasional glass of water or application of lube.

Somewhere above her, Cecil’s clipped voice remarks, “Was that another orgasm?”

Flashing Feathers huffs in between his thrusts. “Yes. It fills my heart with joy to see you still enjoying yourself, Bearer of my Blessing.”

“Mmmm, absolutely.” Cecil pets her head affectionately and yawns. “A simply amazing performance. But unless my eyes deceive me, I believe the sky is growing light. I think it may be time to finish our wonderful night together.”

>>
No. 942021 ID: 83bf07

I think she's earned her second blessing, yeah?
>>
No. 942022 ID: 2df440

let her bear your blessing deeply
>>
No. 942231 ID: 4c46b6

“Second blessing",ha! How about try sending her to another peak while bestow your seed?
>>
No. 942281 ID: 7816e7
File 156557693023.png - (207.39KB , 476x700 , 10-30.png )
942281

“Very well. Blessing Bearer, will you watch the sunrise[color] with me?”

Casey nods her head weakly, managing a “Y-yeh...yeh”

Gentle wingtips lift her up, until she’s braced against the coatl’s chest. One goes under her leg and supports it, leaving her exposed for Cecil to watch. Flashing Feathers rests his head against hers and cradles her close. “I have been waiting for this. Please, receive my [color=teal]blessing
. Take all of me and let me fill your body and soul.”

>>
No. 942282 ID: 7816e7
File 156557693594.png - (192.23KB , 537x700 , 10-31.png )
942282

The serpent slowly starts to ratchet up his movements, building momentum in anticipation of a new day. His hips blur in a rainbow of scales as his shafts arc up into Casey again and again. The exhausted mouse bounces on the paired cocks, mouth agape and exhaling a rising, wordless cry. After riding out countless orgasms, she feels herself cresting the largest yet as the seconds tick down to daybreak.
>>
No. 942283 ID: 7816e7
File 156557694033.png - (208.27KB , 700x694 , 10-32.png )
942283

Her eyes drift down, watching Mr Ochre fingering himself furiously, matching their pace and staring hungrily at the glistening cocks as they slip in an out. In this endless pre-dawn moment, time stretches out into an endless curve, bringing each of them infinitesimally close to a finale.
>>
No. 942284 ID: 7816e7
File 156557694682.png - (230.70KB , 476x700 , 10-33.png )
942284

The first rays of sunlight stab through the trees and Flashing Feathers buries himself. Having held himself on the edge all night, the great serpent god finally lets loose, unleashing twin fountains of potent, magical cum deep within the twitching mouse. So great is his blessing that it rapidly fills the helpless rodent, and runs out of her gaping body in long rivulets. The coatl bucks, his cocks coated white, and drives himself back inside as more jets of built up mana fire off in sequence.

Casey shudders and squeals, her voice shattering the peaceful morning air. She feels each spurt crashing against her walls and leaking as tired muscles clench around the tapered shafts. Her own body, blazing with pleasure, goes rigid and bucks her hips back and forth frantically.

>>
No. 942285 ID: 7816e7
File 156557695166.png - (203.65KB , 476x700 , 10-34.png )
942285

As the last few trickles of endorphins fade from Casey’s mind, a sudden surge rushes through her. Pure, blazing mana courses across her skin as her aura boils over, forming strange prominences and arcs. Her thoughts are wiped blank and her eyes filled with blinding fire. As the morning sun slowly rises, so does she: floating a few feet over the amazed Flashing Feathers. Riding a double dose of magical energy, her aura bends itself into a symmetrical set of wings, which flap slowly in the morning air.
>>
No. 942286 ID: 83bf07

Welcome to ascension, Casey. How does it feel?
>>
No. 942287 ID: e6f10c

Casey, float above Flashing Feathers, tip forward 'till you're facing downward and passionately kiss him. Then disengage, flap your aura wings 'till they're a blur, and zoom around the clearing and over the pond like a ecstatic hummingbird.
>>
No. 942288 ID: 91ee5f

>>942284
>Casey shudders and squeals, her voice shattering the peaceful morning air.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that woke up Gabe and Kol. Then they come over here and realize they missed out again.

>>942285
And now Casey has become a butterfly!
>>
No. 942291 ID: b1b4f3

>>942285
Once you start to think clearly again, try to hold onto as much mana as you safely can, and control your flight. Use this as an opportunity to increase your maximum and learn how to use it. Maybe someday you can reach this state on your own...
>>
No. 942297 ID: 10c408

Use up that influx of mana, see if you can fly a little.

But most importantly, you need to remember this for your eventual test to become a full-fledged guardian.
>>
No. 942380 ID: 9d50cc

I'm guessing the concentrated essence of a sky god at a moment of celestial importance has given you some sort of sudden awareness and comprehension of the firmament, air and flight, which has allowed you to transcend the limits of gravity and leverage. In other words, where you were able to lift other things using your tendrils, you can now lift yourself! Possibly through the function of the conceptually infinite edges of a butterfly's wing allowing you to anchor yourself into the atmosphere. I didn't notice you having to counterbalance yourself or act like you were supporting more weight when you lifted things with your tendrils before, so this is actually a relatively small shift in capability, from a certain point of view.

You're probably a bit tired out now, but perhaps some other time you could explore the possibilities of zero-g intimacy and joining the [distance] high club. For now, once your mind comes back, have fun at a safe height and make sure to give your thanks. Maybe try a spiderman-style kiss for your companions. Don't rush yourself, though - let your consciousness come back naturally, so you can be sure to remember what you're doing and feeling now.
>>
No. 942381 ID: a9af05

So, any chance Casey is now pregnant with a god baby?
>>
No. 942497 ID: 7816e7
File 156574590514.png - (198.33KB , 700x700 , 10-35.png )
942497

“Hey, uh... Kol?”

“Huh, that’s new....”
>>
No. 942498 ID: 7816e7
File 156574591014.png - (202.29KB , 700x476 , 10-36.png )
942498

Flashing Feathers kicks off the ground and brings himself face to face with the ascended mouse. “Blessing Bearer? Casey? Are- are you alright?”

Casey slowly turns to focus on the deity and somewhere in the distant fog of her mind recollection sparks. “Oh, hello...” She places a glowing hand against his cheek and leans in to kiss the concerned serpent.

As she does, her wings start to unravel, flitting away on the wind like scattered butterflies. Flashing Feathers scoops under her just as gravity takes hold and brings her back down to earth.
>>
No. 942499 ID: 7816e7
File 156574596220.png - (159.32KB , 700x519 , 10-37.png )
942499

He lays the dazed mouse across the bed and Mr. Ochre crawls over to check on her. “Casey? Dear, are you okay? Should I- d-do you need a healer?”

“Mmm? Cecil? Mmmtired...” She nuzzles up to his lap and sighs. “Feel loooovely, all floaty... you’re a sweet guy Cecil. Mmm... that was funnn.” She pats his thigh, puts her head down and immediately starts to snore. As the last of the mana-fire fades, it etches itself into her fur, leaving a smoldering rune across her shoulders.
>>
No. 942504 ID: e7848c

Cecil, think fondly of your first interaction with Casey. I think it's okay to be a little proud of having helped her achieve this new blessing.
>>
No. 942506 ID: 9d50cc

Well, Flashing Feathers, that mark is pretty distinctly in your style, so I'd say you made that blessing bearer title a bit more official this morning. I do wonder if Mr. Ochre might feel a little left out, though. You should think of something nice to do for him.

For now, maybe switch to your larger form so you can curl up around your partners, add a nice wing blanket, and keep them warm while you all catch some sleep.
>>
No. 942508 ID: b1b4f3

Cecil ask Flashing Feathers if he's ever seen anything like that before.

Also I guess Gabe and Kol are gonna come down to find out what that was about.
>>
No. 942509 ID: 10c408

Huh.

Well the style is different and most likely more permanent given that it's from a god... But this isn't the first time that we've seen someone use more mana than normal all at once.

Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if Gabe knows just as much about this as his girlfriend.
>>
No. 942615 ID: 7816e7
File 156583346477.png - (175.14KB , 700x476 , 10-38.png )
942615

Cecil scratches his head feathers and wonders, “Have you ever seen anything like that?” His fingertip traces one of the coiled shapes on her shoulder-blade and Casey shifts slightly.

The coatl shrugs, “When Casey removed the spell binding me to my prison, she took the spell for her own. I do not understand how her magic works, but it seems tied to the markings on her body. It is an old magic; very primal.”

“Well, I suppose we should let her sleep. You were simply spectacular my dear.”

“As were you Most Beloved. You should rest as well. There will be much to do this day, and we will require you to be sharp and alert.”

The bird lays back and chuckles, “Very well, I suppose it was a bit indulgent to watch you all night.” He yawns and puts his spectacles aside, happy to have shared such an intimate moment between the three of them. As Flashing Feathers coils around the pair in a scaly blanket, he pulls himself close to the slumbering mouse. He takes one last look before drifting off to sleep at the massive house where he spent so many years cloistered away from the world and sighs. Despite his exhaustion, his heart races with warmth and love.
>>
No. 942616 ID: 7816e7
File 156583347092.png - (146.16KB , 700x509 , 10-39.png )
942616

“Looks like they’re going to nap.” Kol looks down from the tall window and smiles. “We should probably let them sleep in a bit.”

“You mean they were at it all night?” Gabe ties a bathrobe shut around his waist, hiding the cum streaks dripping down his chest. “Fates, that Casey has all the luck.”

“Gabe, you had an all night long orgy with three beautiful women a couple of months ago and left with, what I understand as, on open invitation.”

“Heheh, oh yeah.” He grins, remembering that night. “I gotta see if Del wants to have a little fun before our trip. I wouldn’t mind another romp between Viv’s sheets.” The mouse stretches and scratches his neck. “ I’m gonna pop down and scrounge up some breakfast. You want anything?”
>>
No. 942618 ID: 2df440

Pancakes and sausage!
>>
No. 942626 ID: e7848c

Nikki's!
>>
No. 942628 ID: b1b4f3

>>942615
yessss coatl bed

>>942616
Scrambled eggs and sausage with toast.
>>
No. 942634 ID: f0762a

I don't think you should feel bad Kol, considering your trip with Caleb. Actually if Gabe really went with Daliah, maybe you can meet him again? Or perhaps Nixxy and Fennel?
>>
No. 942647 ID: 10c408

sausage, eggs, toast and tea.

In fact, just go with him Kol. It's going to be a long day and having a really good meal for breakfast is important.
>>
No. 942699 ID: 7816e7
File 156591403704.png - (117.48KB , 700x507 , 10-40.png )
942699

“Could you get me some eggs and toast, oh and some sausage?” Kol flops back onto the Nixxy-sized bed, sinking several inches into the mattress.

“Eggs and toast sound nice, but I already got stuffed full of sausage this morning.” Gabe winks and opens up a gate. “I’ll see what I can find.”

Kol lays back and smiles, happy to see Mr. Ochre opening up to see Casey having fun. His eyes cast around the room, picking out details in the new environment. Everything is well made, but worn slightly in a way that suggests years of use. Despite the obvious wealth on display, the room is largely unadorned: furnished with a rather spartan looking dresser and wardrobe. A slight concave to the mattress beneath him gives the faded impression of a single occupant. A reading lamp near the bed hangs over a copy of The First Guardians: Legends and Mysteries. Next to that lies a small glass etching, depicting a trio of birds clustered together stiffly.
>>
No. 942700 ID: 7816e7
File 156591404142.png - (103.48KB , 476x700 , 10-41.png )
942700

A few moments later and Gabe reappears, carrying a pair of plates. “Breakfast in bed for you, good sir.” He drawls, depositing Kol’s order in his hands. “Its still pretty quiet downstairs, so I had a look about. Check out what I found.” Gabe turns around and lifts his tail, revealing a gleaming silver plug.
>>
No. 942702 ID: b1b4f3

Gabe, do you have permission to use Cecil's toys?
>>
No. 942705 ID: edf377

>>942616
Haven't heard from Delilah in while so it sounds like a good idea, not just because I like the idea of the main 3 taking Cecil and Flashing to the bathhouse for a bit of wet naked goodtimes.
>>
No. 942711 ID: 9d50cc

Gaaaabe, you can't just stick things you find lying around into yourself! The last time you were here one of those was possessed!

Also it's not yours! That's very rude!!
>>
No. 942724 ID: e6f10c

Dude, you don't stick other people's things up your butt without asking their permission first. That's just common courtesy. Better get that plug out before Cecil finds it's missing, and with enough time to spare to wash, scrub and polish it before putting it back.

...Hey, wait a second. Doesn't Cecil keep all his sex toys in that hidden vault room under the stairs? Hm, he may have some elsewhere nowadays. Still, Gabe, just how much of a detour from the kitchens did you take to nab that silver buttplug?
>>
No. 942740 ID: f4c35e

>>942724
Maybe it had just been cleaned and was on the drainrack?
>>
No. 942743 ID: 83bf07

Oh my gosh. Gabe. Wonder how far in the day we can get with that hidden away.
>>
No. 942745 ID: a9af05

>>942700
Gabe, we ask for permission before using someone else's things.
>>
No. 942795 ID: 7816e7
File 156600365022.png - (153.29KB , 700x641 , 10-42.png )
942795

“Gabe! Don’t just use our host’s stuff without asking!” Kol admonishes, waving a sausage laden fork at him.

“I just wanted to pop in and have a look at his collection.” Gabe waggles his tail back at him in impish delight. “Honestly, looked like he hadn’t been in there in a while: everything was kinda dusty. I thought I’d borrow this little beaut’ so I wouldn’t leak cum everywhere.” He pokes it with a finger and gasps as it starts to hum. “Ooohh, someone got a vibration charm installed.”

“Well we should probably get it washed and cleaned so we can put it back.” The mouse takes a bite of toast laden with scrambled eggs. “We could probably do with a bit of a wash ourselves.”

“Oh! We could visit Delilah’s! There’s practically no one there this time of day. We could have a bath all by ourselves!”
>>
No. 942797 ID: 9d50cc

Not just using someone's stuff without permission, but actually taking it out of their house? And what are you going to say when Del asks you where you got it? You can't just blab to people about other folks' intimate item collections. Were you raised in a barn, young man? A sex barn?

Also pretty sure if you can enchant something to vibrate you can probably also enchant valuable items to raise an alarm when they're removed from an area, and anything made of silver probably qualifies.
>>
No. 942803 ID: b1b4f3

>>942795
A visit to the spa does sound nice.
>>
No. 942804 ID: ce39da

"Clean that off and put it back where you found it first, then we'll see~"
>>
No. 942805 ID: f9852f

>>942795
we don’t have to put the plug back if we ask Cecil if we use it first! then go to delilah’s~
>>
No. 942819 ID: e7848c

Hell yeah, let's go visit Del
>>
No. 942821 ID: b1b4f3

Haha wait a fucking minute why didn't we think of inviting Delilah to the mountain adventure? She can keep everyone warm and in good health.
>>
No. 942828 ID: 10c408

>>942821
There was a bigger focus on the whole lack of oxygen problem to even think of inviting Delilah to do something about the cold.
>>
No. 942829 ID: 864e49

Oh so you do want some sausage after all?

You think we should tall Delilah where we're planning to go?
>>
No. 942830 ID: f57349

Open up a face-sized gate to the vicinity of that bed outside and get Mr. Ocher's retroactive permission before proceeding with any further buttplug hijinx.
>>
No. 942831 ID: 4c46b6

>>942821
Good idea. Deliah is a medic who's also quite strong, someone every adventurer party would like to have.
>>
No. 942840 ID: 91ee5f

>>942795
Gabe, aren’t you the one that’s teaching Clio to not steal things anymore? What would she say if she knew you were taking things without permission?

Also, even though the plan was to leave later today, I think after 3 of our team stayed up all night, we’d better plan to leave tomorrow instead. That way we give everyone a chance to be rested for the trip.

>>942821
But she runs the spa. She can’t just up and leave like that. Unless she’s got someone else that can run the spa while she’s gone, I don’t think she can come with us.

It doesn’t hurt to at least ask if she could come.
>>
No. 942873 ID: 7816e7
File 156609290906.png - (122.17KB , 700x589 , 10-43.png )
942873

Kol chews his toast thoughtfully. “It has been a while since I last visited the bathhouse. You should probably ask Mr. Ochre before running off with part of his collection, though.”

“Yeaaah, thats fair. Gimme a sec.” A small gate opens and he pokes his head through. On the other side, a sleepy bird blinks groggily at him. “Hey, sorry to bug you, Cecil. Quick question: could I borrow one of your, you know, toys?”

“Its not the blue one, is it?” Mr. Ochre yawns.

“Nah, its silver.”

“Oh, that one.” He waves his hand dismissively. “I felt like experimenting with materials, but the color never did anything for me. Just make sure its clean when you return it.” He yawns and lays back down on one of the coatl’s wings.
>>
No. 942875 ID: 7816e7
File 156609291586.png - (169.76KB , 653x700 , 10-44.png )
942875

A few minutes later a crack of thunder announces their arrival in the bathhouse. Delilah pokes her head through a doorway curiously. “Gabe? Is that you?”

“Hey, Del!” He waves, still clad in his borrowed robe. “Kol and I were wondering if we could snag a private bath real quick.”

The powerful pup hugs her pint sized lover and they share a quick smooch. “Yeah sure! I didn’t expect to see you up this early.”
One of her hands goes for a flirty butt squeeze and pauses. “Ooh, what’s going on back here?”
>>
No. 942877 ID: e7848c

>>942875
Oh you know..
The Good Touch™️
>>
No. 942902 ID: 91ee5f

>>942875
>”Ooh, what’s going on back here?”
I’m wagging my tail so fast, it looks like it’s not moving at all!
>>
No. 942905 ID: 094652

How about sqrt(Bad Touch)?
>>
No. 942944 ID: 3ed3c3

>>942875
Did she just "OwO what's this" Gabe?
>>
No. 942999 ID: edf377

>>942875
Only one thing left to do: Get everyone naked (del too) and get on with the skinship.
>>
No. 943005 ID: b1b4f3

>>942875
Show her.
>>
No. 943007 ID: 7816e7
File 156618198556.png - (162.57KB , 585x700 , 10-45.png )
943007

“A little borrowed toy from Cecil.” Says Kol as Gabe starts to blush. “Gabe and I were having some fun and well...”

“Oh, can I see?”

Gabe obliges, lifting his tail for the healer and she takes an admiring look. “Pretty! Suits you well, Gabe!” She twists the plug between her thumb and finger and Gabe shudders. “Nice and tight.”

Gabe hangs onto her shoulders, his knees buckling as she tugs at it lightly. “Ah! Oh Fates, Del!” The metal plug thrums against his prostate and he squeaks. “Careful, I’m gonna-!”

>>
No. 943008 ID: 7816e7
File 156618199048.png - (123.96KB , 435x700 , 10-46.png )
943008

“Oh, no not all over my floor, you’re not.” Delilah hefts him over her shoulder, his butt hanging in the air for all to see. “Let’s get you dirty mice into a bath...”
>>
No. 943009 ID: e7848c

>>943008
Is it bad that I want to see Del yeet Gabe and dive in after him? Naked of course.
>>
No. 943010 ID: cb6404

>>943008

That is, without a doubt, the toothy smirk of "I'm gonna WRECK IT."
>>
No. 943022 ID: 10c408

Gabe, make doubly sure that Kol actually came with you and that you didn't leave him behind by accident before you and your girlfriend get frisky.
>>
No. 943078 ID: 7816e7
File 156626886706.png - (136.11KB , 700x476 , 10-47.png )
943078

"Here we go! Oof-!" Delilah heaves and sends Gabe sailing through the air.
>>
No. 943079 ID: 7816e7
File 156626887241.png - (168.12KB , 700x661 , 10-48.png )
943079

"Nice form!" Kol chuckles, unwrapping his towel and leaning back from the splash.
>>
No. 943080 ID: 7816e7
File 156626887817.png - (128.03KB , 529x700 , 10-49.png )
943080

"What's the point of being a lifeguard if you don’t get to sling people around every once in a while?" Delilah steps out of her swimsuit and dips a toe in, testing the water. "Nice timing, guys. I was feeling a bit frisky this morning." Her tail wags excitedly as the grins at the mice.
>>
No. 943115 ID: 83bf07

>>943080
Ya got the dog exited with a new toy in her boy toy. Best spoil her, lads.
>>
No. 943134 ID: b1b4f3

Kol, show off your own strength and toss HER in the pool. Don't hit gabe tho.
>>
No. 943167 ID: 7816e7
File 156635257271.png - (91.49KB , 700x476 , 10-50.png )
943167

Gabe comes sputtering to the surface and wipes the water from his eyes just in time to see a fluffy tail sharking towards him. The water surges as Delilah’s sleek form arrows under the surface and she wraps her arms around him.
>>
No. 943168 ID: 7816e7
File 156635257729.png - (129.42KB , 476x700 , 10-51.png )
943168

“Del-oooohhh!” Gabe braces himself against the tile as she engulfs him. Her enthusiastic tongue curls underneath his shaft as her lips form a tight seal against any water. She grabs his hips and pistons the helpless mouse in and out of her mouth, feeling him swelling between her lips as he edges closer. A warm hand cups his butt and presses the buzzing toy deep inside him. “Ah! Del, I- oh Fates! I’m gonna nut if you keep that up!”
>>
No. 943174 ID: b1b4f3

I think that's what she wants. Kol can help her out after, and then Gabe will probably be ready for another round...
Heck, maybe they can keep taking turns. See if they can wear Delilah out.
>>
No. 943180 ID: e7848c

>>943168
SHARK IN THE WATER
Kol, help!
>>
No. 943182 ID: 9a6a4f

>>943180
OH NO
>>
No. 943187 ID: 094652

Wait, I thought life guards were taught about the dangers of underwater blowjobs.

You might want to show Kol.
>>
No. 943252 ID: 7816e7
File 156643824619.png - (176.64KB , 630x700 , 10-52.png )
943252

“Ah, Del! I’m-!” Gabe’s squeaks echo off the tile as he empties himself in a series of shuddering, hip-jerking spasms. Delilah gulps hungrily as the spurts paint the back of her throat and pool on her tongue. The last of the load tapers off and she pulls away with one last slurp.


>>
No. 943253 ID: 7816e7
File 156643825107.png - (207.91KB , 700x700 , 10-53.png )
943253

Rising out of the bath like a horny titan, Delilah takes a breath, licking her lips and smiling. “Not bad for a start. You up for more, Gabe?” She helps steady the mouse as he drapes himself in the shallow pool. He pants and coughs, but nods.

Kol sloshes up from behind, his dick bobbing above the warm water. “Mind if I join in?”

Del pulls him close with one hand, feeling him teasing under her tail. “Now, we're talking! Okay boys, let’s see what you got!”

>>
No. 943267 ID: 83bf07

>>943253
Oh dear, is Del about to run these boys into the ground? Heard those early morning workouts were intense.

fuck yes
>>
No. 943278 ID: 58b4f3

>>943253
Accidentally shove the butt plug all the way up Gabe's butt. Make an embarrassing visit to the doctor to get help with removing it.
>>
No. 943285 ID: 864e49

Remove putt blug from Gabe, it either goes into Kol or, preferably, Del.
>Butt then only one hole
Shes a big girl I'm sure she'll manage.
>>
No. 943360 ID: 7816e7
File 156652646982.png - (163.07KB , 560x700 , 10-54.png )
943360

Kol presses prods beneath her tail insistently. “Am I okay here?”

The massive pup nods eagerly, holding one of her asscheeks aside for him. “Ohhh yeah, do it!” She grunts as he slowly works himself through her tail-hole, giving her plenty of time to adjust to his girth. “Ahhhh, yeah. Thaaaat’s it. Give it to me....” Delilah moans as she’s carefully stretched.


>>
No. 943361 ID: 7816e7
File 156652647402.png - (185.22KB , 700x644 , 10-55.png )
943361

Once Kol feels her loosen up enough, he starts thrusting, slapping up against her backside with a steady tempo. He grabs hold of her wagging tail and tugs himself forward, causing Delilah to yap with delight.

“Ha- ah- hah- eyeah! Yeah! Hah-!” She pants with each stroke of Kols hips, letting the thrusts drive the breath out of her. She steadies herself and looks over her shoulder to admire his handy-work. “Fates, that’s good! Really give it to me, Kol! This- ah -ll count as a-ha- good -hah- workout!”

>>
No. 943362 ID: 7816e7
File 156652648009.png - (134.76KB , 700x476 , 10-56.png )
943362

Gabe lounges in the shallows, feeling his refractory period slowly fade as his shaft perks back up. “I didn’t realize you were so into butt stuff, Del.” He fondles himself lazily as his two lovers fill the tiled room with echoing slaps.

“Hah- ooh- you- oh - were such a-h gentle- man, you-h never- h-asked!” She smiles at him, hair bobbing as Kol pounds her ass. “Fuck, he’s -ah - good at this!”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Gabe chuckles, his own tailhole delightfully sore from Kol’s early morning fucking. The still buzzing toy stirs the trapped mousey cum inside him, and he shifts in place as it thrums against his sensitive inner walls.

>>
No. 943363 ID: 83bf07

Gabe if you sit up on the floor, Del can get another round out of you and have her hands open to play with your plug.
>>
No. 943462 ID: 7816e7
File 156661336438.png - (171.75KB , 700x560 , 10-57.png )
943462

Gabe pulls himself out of the bath with a splash and pads over to the pair. He plops himself down at the edge of the water and spreads his legs for them. “Here you go, Del. How about another taste?”

Delilah leans forward and takes him in, slurping up and down as her body is rocked back and forth. The hard thumps against her hips tingle with that blissful warmth of well worked muscle. The tip of Kol’s shaft stretches her as it dips in and out of her ass, and the tap, tap, tap of his sack against her mound makes the healer moan with delight.

Kol leans over her and reaches underneath. His fingertips find the cleft between her legs and rub back and forth, helping her along. The big pup “mmph!”s with her mouth full and rolls her hips into the stimulation. Kol picks up the pace as his cock twitches, leaking frantic little pulses of precum as the tight passage flexes and ripples around it. He pants against her broad back in short, rapid breaths as he races towards climax with each thump of his hips.

>>
No. 943463 ID: 7816e7
File 156661337014.png - (178.70KB , 561x700 , 10-58.png )
943463

Gabe leans back with a big smile on his face, enjoying the sight of Delilah happily spitroasted between him and his partner. He feels her fingers slip under him and find the humming plug, which is twisted and rocked inside him as she teeters him closer to yet another orgasm. With one hand, he pushes the hair out of Delilah’s eye and as she catches his gaze, she blushes deeply; as if suddenly embarrassed to be enjoying herself so much. Her eye flits sideways and closes as a tiny smile pulls at the edges of her busy lips.
>>
No. 943465 ID: e7848c

By the fates Gabe, you tell her she's a good girl.
>>
No. 943473 ID: 2df440

>>943465
this
>>
No. 943491 ID: 094652

Well, that explains the hairstyle; her eyeballs are too cute to be taken seriously! Also did she shrink?

Put 'shampoo' in her hair.
>>
No. 943500 ID: 231877

>>943463
Gabe, kiss the top of Delilah's head, Kol, witness this and do the same to Gabe
>>
No. 943515 ID: b1b4f3

Compliment her eyes.
>>
No. 943537 ID: 7816e7
File 156669926238.png - (144.23KB , 700x560 , 10-59.png )
943537

Kol pounds away at the pup from behind, his pace steadily building and his breath coming in ragged huffs. Gabe recognizes the imminent finish and lifts Delilah’s face. “Having fun, Del?”

She looks back at him with one exposed eye and nods, her mouth still traveling up and down Gabe’s shaft.

“Can you feel him? He’s getting close.”

She nods again, wanting to say Oh Fates, I can feel it; he’s getting so big. I want it so bad! but she manages a “Mmm hmm...”

“You want him to fill you up?”

Oh Fates, please! “Mmm HMMM!”

She tries to look back at the jackhammering mouse, but Gabe stops her. “Nah- ah! I want to see your face. You’re so cute like this.”

“MMPH!” Her gaze darts around frantically, her face turning beet red as the thrusting approaches a crescendo. Finally, her gaze settles on his and she stares straight ahead; feeling Kol’s hot breath in her ear and the push and pull of the thick shaft under her tail.

“Kol, how’re you doin’?”

Through gritted teeth, the pre orgasmic mouse hangs on for a last few seconds. “I- I’m gonna-!” 

“Go for it, dude. Give it to her!”


>>
No. 943539 ID: 7816e7
File 156669932403.png - (134.55KB , 466x700 , 10-60.png )
943539

Given the green light, Kol hilts himself and flicks his tail wildly as the built up momentum crashes to a halt.

Delilah eye goes wide, locked in Gabe’s gaze as jets of hot cum lance deep with in her. His expression of love and trust fills her whole gaze as he tells her, “That’s it. Good girl. Take it alllll. You’re doing so good.” The world falls away as bliss fills her vision like pink fog.

Delilah crashes over the edge in an instant. Her knees buckle underneath her as her muscles rebel and clench up in misfiring spasms. Gabe’s cock finally slips loose from her as she struggles and fails to hang on. “MMMPH! MMMPH! MMM-OHFUCK! AH! HAAAH! AHHH!” She lays at the water’s edge shivering with Kol still clinging to her back. She stares up at Gabe’s satisfied smile as her mouth opens and closes wordlessly, gasping like a beached fish. Orgasmic blisses, both hers and Kol’s, trail down her thighs as little aftershocks ripple through her.

>>
No. 943541 ID: 2df440

Oh my, what a good girl~

Time for some hugs, I think~
>>
No. 943544 ID: a9af05

>>943539
Now it's time for everyone to clean up. Good thing we're all already in a bathhouse.
>>
No. 943554 ID: e7848c

>>943539
Sweet mercy what a trooper. Give her the good pets and help clean up.
>>
No. 943555 ID: b1b4f3

We're not done. Gabe still has a second load. Where's it gonna go? idk
>>
No. 943597 ID: 7816e7
File 156677032125.png - (115.12KB , 700x530 , 10-61.png )
943597

With a splash, Delilah heaves herself out of the bath and beaches herself on the cool tile floor. She lays on her back and moans, "That… was amazing, guys. Ohhh man. You two- ah- you really wore me out…"

Gabe pops into her view and gives her another cheeky grin. "Heh, we're not quite done yet. May I..?"

A husky chuckle coughs out of the spent pup and she pulls him close. "Heh. Come here you."


>>
No. 943598 ID: 7816e7
File 156677033336.png - (126.76KB , 700x466 , 10-62.png )
943598

She feels the mouse slip inside her easily and, as he starts to thrust in and out, she lifts her head to bring him in for a kiss. Gabe's steady pace helps her wind down from the exhausting orgasm, sending little buzzing tingles through already dazed nerves. His motions are fluid and gentle, shifting his hips to find angles she likes or quick, shallow thrusts to her sensitive opening. Gabe's lovemaking is exactly what she needs after a hard, satisfying fuck.

"Ah! Fates, you two are so good!"

"Practice makes perfect." Gabe giggles.

"Its been so long since anyone's looked at me like that. How'd you know?" The blush beneath Delilah's fur lingers at the memory.

"I didn't" Gabe grinds hip to hip with her, "I just wanted to see you. You're so beautiful, Del." He closes his eyes, thrusts building intensity. At the peak of his climax, Gabe kisses her deeply as his hips shudder to a halt. Delilah feels him pulsing inside, filling her with warmth that radiates through her whole being. She moans into the kiss and holds him close in as the last spurts of cum spill, loving every moment they're together.

>>
No. 943607 ID: e7848c

What a legend. Hold her hand, Gabe. Listen to her heartbeat. Match your breathing. Kol, get up in there too.
>>
No. 943713 ID: 7816e7
File 156696020447.png - (121.34KB , 700x353 , 10-63.png )
943713

Gabe flops down next to her and puts his hand in hers. Opposite him, Kol lays back on the tiles, and takes her other hand.

“Oof... You guys are something else...” The three of them stare up at the ceiling, which depicts a blue sky speckled with clouds picked out in mosaic, and pant away the last of the blissful endorphins. “Kol, you were incredible. I really needed that.”

“Thanks! You were fantastic, too. Gabe’s really lucky to be with you.” He blushes a bit under his dreadlocks and shares a kiss with her.

“He’s lucky to have us both...” She smirks at Gabe, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. “He’s no slouch either. Thanks, guys. It... It feels nice to be wanted, and feel loved like that.”

The mice feel a tingle run up their arms as Delilah’s healing magic courses through them. Complaints from their sore muscles fade, leaving them rested and full of energy.

“Not too much,” Delilah explains, “As much as I’d love to go another round with you two, we should probably wash up. I’ll have guests looking for us to open up before long.”

“Yeah, we should be getting back to Cecil’s place. We need to pick up our clothes and stuff.” Gabe slides forward, back into the bath and dunks his head before breaching the surface.

“Mr. Ochre? I didn’t realize he was back in town. What's he up to?”
>>
No. 943714 ID: 10c408

"Well..." Tell her and invite her along. We might need to set up an actual date for the expedition instead of not confirming a time.
>>
No. 943715 ID: 2df440

>>943714
this
>>
No. 943717 ID: 3ed3c3

>>943713
Spill the beans on the whole endeavor.
>>
No. 943726 ID: 83bf07

Being a messiah
>>
No. 943730 ID: f57349

Oh, y'know, the usual. Reviving forgotten gods, poking at ancient holes in the world. Remember that weird dog that almost wandered into town? We're still kinda following up on that. See, we found this room in the library that didn't have any books in it, but then there was this other room that DID have some books, but they were all soggy and useless, and anyway now we're planning an expedition to one of the tallest mountains in the world. You want to come along?
>>
No. 943814 ID: 7816e7
File 156712920310.png - (94.51KB , 574x700 , 10-64.png )
943814

“Uh, long story short: we’re planning on some mountain climbing.” Gabe admits, wriggling a pinky in his ear.

“Mountain climbing? Where?” Delilah steps back into the bath and cocks her head.

“Uh, the Highspires...” Kol admits.

Theres a long pause, broken only by the gentle lap of water against the sides of the bath. “You’re kidding, right?” Delilah looks back and forth at the two boys incredulously.

“Well, there might be a forgotten mana well up there among the ruins of a vampire lord’s lair.” Gabe shrugs. “We’ve got a plan, and Flashing Feathers has a way to let us breathe up there. And the senders have a beacon that I can use to gate us to the top.”

She sighs, sitting down on the shallow step. “Gabe, honey, that’s great, but do any of you actually have mountain climbing experience?”
>>
No. 943815 ID: 7816e7
File 156712920971.png - (121.78KB , 700x679 , 10-65.png )
943815

“I’ve got some.” Kol raises a hand with a slosh. “The Path of the Medium is literally that: a path. We have several sites that must be visited during our training and the path between them is designed to train our bodies as we train our spirits.”

“Okay, so one of you...” Delilah waves a hand in acknowledgement. “I’m still worried though. I mean, no offense but look at you, Gabe.”

The mouse glances down at his skinny frame and splashes. “What about me?”

“Do you remember when we first met? How we went swimming back into the undine’s cave and the cold sucked all the strength out of you? Imagine doing that on top of a mountain, carrying a pack full of survival gear in blinding snow. It takes years of training to survive in places like that!”

“We don’t have years: we only have a couple of months.” Kol explains, “And if we don’t find some way of sustaining the bargast, or some answer to his past, there’s no telling what could happen. Why don’t you come with us?”
>>
No. 943816 ID: 7816e7
File 156712921407.png - (156.06KB , 700x607 , 10-66.png )
943816

“I- huh...” Delilah mulls this over. “I dunno, I’d have to close the bathhouse for a while, but it would be safer... How soon do you plan to go?”

Kol shrugs “I’m not sure. Cecil put out the orders for equipment last night. We still need to talk to the Sender Academy about the beacon coordinates and arranging a rescue gate if need be. A few weeks, maybe?”

“Right.” She claps her hands together once, the boom echoes off tile and sends ripples across the surface of the water. “I’ll go. But first... I’m gonna do my best to get you all in shape.”
>>
No. 943817 ID: 2df440

Exercise?! Oh nooooooo
>>
No. 943818 ID: b1b4f3

>>943816
A high intensity exercise program, led by a healer? Gabe, there is much suffering in your future.
>>
No. 943821 ID: e7848c

>>943816
TRAINING MONTAGE

with some sexercise thrown in
>>
No. 943823 ID: 3ed3c3

>>943816
Be gentle. They are squishy mage types.
>>
No. 943829 ID: 10c408

>>943823
Not for much longer!
>>
No. 943854 ID: 12a614

>>943816
No mercy on the mousey. It's for their own good!
>>
No. 943864 ID: 8eaf98

>>943816
oh no....
>>
No. 943868 ID: 094652

Sexercise!

(means no sex until you do your training)
>>
No. 943936 ID: 7816e7
File 156721734370.png - (157.74KB , 700x560 , 10-67.png )
943936

Gabe’s gate rattles the windows in Mr. Ochre’s mansion as the three of them return. The boys scramble into their clothes and follow as Delilah stalks through the halls, drawing curious looks from the staff.

“Huh, nice place.” She nods approvingly. “Where’d you say Cecil was?”

Gabe drops the still buzzing plug onto a silver tray being carried by a white-gloved attendant. “Hey, put this back for me, would you?” The gleaming metal shape rattles the tray like an expensive gong. “They were napping out in the garden when we left.”
>>
No. 943937 ID: 7816e7
File 156721735161.png - (133.14KB , 560x700 , 10-68.png )
943937

A moment later a long shadow stretches over the sleeping forms of Mr. Ochre and Casey. The bird turns his head and flails around for his spectacles. Once the imposing lavender figure comes into view, she smiles at him and booms, “Hope you don’t mind, I’ve elected to come along with you guys.”
>>
No. 943938 ID: e7848c

I hope you're ready for PT.

She's going to make you ready for PT.
>>
No. 943946 ID: b1b4f3

Mr Ochre's gonna have to get into shape too...
Gabe, introduce Del and warn him the next few weeks are gonna be tough. From one weedy man to another.
>>
No. 943947 ID: 91ee5f

>>943937
Flashing Feathers, this imposing woman is giving a menacing look at your Most Beloved! Quickly shield him with your wings!
>>
No. 943968 ID: 864e49

>>943936
Gabe you ass you could at least turn it off first.

>>943937
Gabe, introductions.
>>
No. 943991 ID: e443b4

Everyone hop into the hyper symbolic lime chamber for training
>>
No. 944006 ID: e6f10c

Gabe, introduce Delilah, how you and your partners know her and her abilities and why she's coming along on the expedition.

Delilah, tell 'em how you're gonna put everyone in the expedition through a super-intense training regime until y'all leave, with your healing magic restoring them all over and over so they can keep training all day long. Even Kol, to make sure he's more than up to snuff, and Flashing Feathers if physical training would improve him at all. So that'll be Gabe, Cecil, Casey and Kol for sure, with Flashing Feathers a maybe.

Delilah, also work out financial compensation from Cecil for your time training and travelling on the expedition, since you'll be closing your bathhouse for the duration.
>>
No. 944009 ID: 015bf2

>>943968
Gabe's ass can only turn things on.
>>
No. 944191 ID: 7816e7
File 156747144116.png - (144.31KB , 700x560 , 10-69.png )
944191

As the day wears on, Casey rolls out of bed and climbs back into her clothes. She steps out of the secluded grove and looks around for the others. Just as she’s about to call out for them, Kol runs by shirtless and sweating at a steady jog.

“Hey, Case!” His voice dopplers past as he turns the corner and disappears behind a hedge.

The binder follows after him, but turns at a sound behind her.
>>
No. 944192 ID: 7816e7
File 156747144911.png - (143.02KB , 700x560 , 10-70.png )
944192

Gabe staggers close, his eyes wide and hair disheveled. “Case! Run while you can! We’ve made a huge mistake! She’s gonna kill us!”

“Who?” Casey cocks an eyebrow at the exhausted mouse.

A large hand clamps down on his shoulder and mana flows through his body. Gabe stands up straighter and groans.

“Come on, Gabe! Don’t make me burn all my healing on you. You’ve got three more laps!” Delilah claps him on the butt and sends the skinny mouse running off after Kol. “Morning Casey! How’re you doing?”

“Kinda sore to be honest...” Delilah takes her hand and pours more healing energy through her. Casey smiles although not without a trace of confusion. “Thanks! Wh- what’re you doing here Delilah?”

“I’m going to be joining you guys, plus I want to get everybody in shape so you all actually survive this insane trip.” She grins and wags at the mouse. “You should get some breakfast, but I’d keep it light. I want to see ten laps out of you before lunchtime!” She wanders off and Casey watches as she lends her magic to a rather disheveled Cecil.
>>
No. 944196 ID: 83bf07

I would take her advice. Get something light but carb packed. Toast?
>>
No. 944204 ID: 91ee5f

>>944192
Well that’s simply not fair.

Both Mr. Ochre and Casey stayed up all night, but Mr. Ochre was forced to get up and work out, while Casey was allowed to sleep in. Why the hell didn’t anyone wake Casey up so that she could do the same amount of working out as everyone else?
>>
No. 944208 ID: b1b4f3

>>944204
I'd guess it's because Mr Ochre needed it more.

>>944192
Casey: tell Delilah you can fly now so she should factor that into your exercise schedule. Maybe part of it should focus on learning how to use your flight efficiently? It's a new spell, after all.
>>
No. 944210 ID: 9d50cc

See if you can figure out how to fly again, use that to make laps. It's training either way, and in either case for something that could be very important to a mountaineering trip!
>>
No. 944216 ID: 10c408

Casey, take a quick stop in the bathroom to take a look at your back via mirrors.

After that toast and maybe some eggs.
>>
No. 944238 ID: a9af05

>>944192
Any chance Flashing Feathers would join in the exercising? I doubt he'd need it, but I'd think it would be a new thing for him to experience after being stuck in a jar for thousands of years.

There's also the possibility that he'd join in to provide encouraging words to his Most Beloved, Cecil.
>>
No. 944284 ID: f57349

>>944238
If the main limiting factor on exercise is physical stamina, and Delilah's healing magic can effectively convert mana into more physical stamina for anyone she touches... maybe the quick fix here is to have Flashing Feathers somehow keep Delilah's mana reserves topped up?
>>
No. 944290 ID: b1b4f3

>>944284
We can't solve EVERYTHING with sex!
(also we at least need better muscle tone on the weaker members so that they don't injure themselves from overexertion, which we can't always stop to heal)
>>
No. 944299 ID: 7816e7
File 156764208786.png - (117.07KB , 560x700 , 10-71.png )
944299

Casey heads inside to freshen up and get breakfast. She pauses to examine the new runes etched between her shoulder blades. "Huh… that really did happen, didn't it?" Binding magic allows one to shape their aura into anything as long as the user has identified the "ideal form" for the magic. Thinking back to the night before, Casey recalls the sense of weightlessness and ease. Something about her blissful, euphoric state combined with the sudden injection of mana must have triggered the spontaneous formation of a new spell.
>>
No. 944300 ID: 7816e7
File 156764209388.png - (111.03KB , 519x700 , 10-72.png )
944300

Casey blushes as she remembers long intimate night; filled with soft, sweet touches, the push and pull within her, the sound of her own moans in the dark. Her aura flows along newly forged channels, filling the rune and blossoming into a pair of iridescent wings.

She watches from the corner of her eye as they flitter. "Look at me, I look like some kind of fey princess!" Casey bounces on her heels and watches as the wings blur to keep her aloft. She lands after a solid second of frantic wing flapping, sensing a noticeable strain on her mana reserves. "Hmm, not exactly soaring above the treetops yet. Maybe I can work on developing them before the trip."
>>
No. 944314 ID: b1b4f3

>>944300
Sounds like a plan. Gotta do flight training alongside your body training.
>>
No. 944329 ID: 91ee5f

>>944300
Flight training sounds like a good idea. Of course, this means you’ll have to do twice as much exercising as everyone else, since you’ll be doing both physical workouts with them and flight training with your new wings!
>>
No. 944332 ID: e7848c

Good thing you're going into training right after you clean up
>>
No. 944381 ID: be926c

>>944300
Be sure to test how 'real' they are. Can you touch them? Can they touch things? People? Magic?
>>
No. 944386 ID: e6f10c

Yeah, intensively train this new flight spell 'cause it may very well save your life or your companion's once up on the mountain. Testing if and how much less mana it uses if you just glide would be a good place to start.
>>
No. 944389 ID: 8eaf98

>>944386
and how much you can lift with them active.
>>
No. 944396 ID: 10c408

If the spell-wings can't hold your own weight for more than a second then actively flying with them with for a prolonged period could very well take months of work that we don't just have right now.

Honestly, I would start small with this and work on using the wings to add a certain amount of lift/distance to standing and running jumps. A few (or even several) inches of extra clearance would be all the difference between being able to climb up a ledge or land on a distant platform from some form of danger.
>>
No. 944401 ID: bb78f2

Perform the celebratory "I got laid" dance in front of the mirror
"I got laid! I got laid! I got laid!"
>>
No. 944594 ID: 7816e7
File 156791295576.png - (143.44KB , 700x560 , 10-73.png )
944594

Casey does a little dance, celebrating the new spell as well as the wonderful night that gave it to her. She heads back downstairs, letting her wings carry her from landing to landing in long, graceful leaps. As she touches down she gauges roughly a quarter of her mana reserves to be depleted by the experiment; four long jumps and a hover.
>>
No. 944595 ID: 7816e7
File 156791298250.png - (160.84KB , 700x560 , 10-74.png )
944595

She breezes through the kitchen grabbing some toast with jam and a banana and munches them down, watching Gabe stagger past the window on his final lap. Having broken her fast, she stretches a bit and heads out into the garden to jump into what feels like a training montage.
>>
No. 944601 ID: 83bf07
File 156794128736.png - (0B , 700x579 )
944601

LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS

TO CLIMB THE SPIRE
>>
No. 944602 ID: 670bb6
File 156794605043.png - (0B , 700x560 )
944602

DID YOU PACK ME SEX TOYS

WHEN I ASKED FOR FIRE
>>
No. 944603 ID: 094652
File 156794627732.png - (0B , 700x560 )
944603

DON'T FORGET THE ROPES

I WON'T BE TIED DOWN WITH WIRE
>>
No. 944620 ID: 0d220a
File 156796976078.png - (0B , 700x484 )
944620

YOU'RE THE SKINNIEST BUNCH I'VE EVER MET, BUT YOU CAN BET BEFORE WE'RE THROUGH

SOMETHING NEW
WILL HAVE SEX
WITH ALL'A YOU!
>>
No. 944786 ID: 7816e7

Not gonna lie, that came together pretty much perfectly. A+ training song
>>
No. 944801 ID: 3ed3c3

Is this real life?
Is this fantasy?
>>
No. 944803 ID: 549e24

Worried about a landslide, must thwart gravity.
>>
No. 944824 ID: 83bf07

>>944620
Open your eyes, look up to the sky and see
>>
No. 944882 ID: 864e49

Started out fuck boys, pushed to the nth degree.
>>
No. 944920 ID: 7816e7
File 156834328182.png - (151.85KB , 700x400 , 10-79.png )
944920

A circle of white light opens at the top of the world. Air roars through the blazing tunnel as snow crunches under heavy boots as figures climb out in a line. Their eyes adjust, under smoked glass goggles, taking in a landscape unseen by mortals for hundreds of years.

The sterile, stone monument creaks slightly in the wind. Snow and ice blanket every surface, forced into crevices and wedging apart solid rock. Ancient, disused chains dangle from the cliff face, leaving long ruddy stains through the grey stone.
>>
No. 944922 ID: b1b4f3

Oh good, there are trails already here. Is that from the scouts who set the beacon? Or do they lead to where we need to go?
Well, first order of business is to figure out which way to go from here.
>>
No. 944923 ID: 10c408

Take a quick look around without moving too much. it'd suck for the person in the lead (who appears to be deliliah) to fall prey to a concealed pitfall or some such.
>>
No. 944988 ID: bc90b1

>>944920
Strudy up, everyone. Watch your step give Del a hiking pole to check for pits.
>>
No. 945012 ID: 7816e7
File 156842609664.png - (136.44KB , 700x400 , 10-80.png )
945012

Delilah reaches out with a gloved hand and tests the rusting chains. The metal crackles as the layer of ice covering it shatters and stone grinds where its pinned to the mountain. “I don’t know if I’d trust these for support. I wonder who made them...” Her voice is muffled by the strange leather and metal mask clamped over her face. A long tube runs under her arm and connects with a gleaming brass canister containing a single Coatl feather.

“Not the senders. Probably whatever vampire lord built the place.” Gabe twitches his nose under the mask, annoyed that he can’t itch it. The thin wind whips at him and he tucks the crimson cloth given to him by Vivian closer.

“Let’s not risk relying on them. Gabe, give me an anchor point.”

The mouse twiddles his chilly fingers in their thick gloves and cuts a hole into the rock. Delilah hammers a thick piton into place and twists it, securing the anchor before tying off the group’s guideline to it. “Okay, let’s get our bearings. How’s everyone doing?”

“This is simply marvelous!” Mr. Ochre beams from beneath his odd, beak-shaped mask. “The sky is so black. Is that normal, my dear?”

Flashing Feathers nods, his voice oddly resonant in the thin atmosphere. “Yes. Beyond this there is only the stars.”

“They’re so brilliant up here. I wonder if we could travel to them someday...”

“Supposedly, there was a group of senders that opened a gate to the moon once.“ Gabe chimes in, his voice carries through the thin air. “Not sure about the details, but the academy makes it a point to warn students: no moon gates.”
>>
No. 945013 ID: 7816e7
File 156842611129.png - (152.88KB , 700x560 , 10-81.png )
945013

Kol cranes his head, taking in the steep drop back to the plains. “Where should we go? These feathers won’t last forever.”

“We could follow the chains, maybe they’ll lead to some kind of structure.” Casey suggests.

Delilah nods. “Good thinking. Okay, everyone follow me. Lets take our time and watch your feet. Call out if we need to stop. Flashing Feathers, can you see if there’s anything up ahead?”

The coatl launches himself into the air with a series of powerful wingbeats. He circles the area twice before landing in the snow with a thump. “There is a flat depression up ahead between the peaks. Hard to say, but it looks unnatural.”
>>
No. 945014 ID: b1b4f3

Then let's head there for starters.
>>
No. 945016 ID: e7848c

>>945013
Almost looks carved by gate. Let's move up. Pace ourselves, and be careful.
>>
No. 945019 ID: 91ee5f

>>945012
>no moon gates
That’s because once the gate opened, everything nearby was in danger of getting sucked into space.

>>945013
Let’s go take a look at that.
>>
No. 945055 ID: 3ce8ff

>“Where should we go? These feathers won’t last forever.”
but like the source of the feathers is right there can you not just get more if you need them? (obviously don't like strip flashing feathers of his feathers but like...)
>flat depression
seems to have like a birdbath type thing in the middle.
>>
No. 945291 ID: 7816e7
File 156877847301.png - (128.57KB , 700x393 , 10-82.png )
945291

Following the lines of rusted chains, the group crunches over hard packed ice and snow. Cresting the ridge overlooking the depression, they take their time descending, picking carefully at the snow and checking for gaps in the ice.

By the time they reach the flat, stone surface they’re sweating in their suits and huffing with exertion.

“Fates, my legs feel heavy...” Gabe groans and takes a knee.

“Keep it up, you’re doing great, gabe.” Delilah surveys the circular space. “What do you guys think?”

Gabe runs a gloved hand over the stone. The leather catches slightly on some imperfection in the texture. “I don’t think it was made with a gate: too rough. Still, its pretty smooth. Can’t tell what tools they used.”

Kol approaches the large vessel in the center of the clearing. “You don’t suppose this is the mana well do you?” Craning his neck to look over the rim, Kol finds the surface streaked with soot marks.
>>
No. 945299 ID: b1b4f3

>>945291
Doubtful, looks like a beacon. Wanna light it and see what shows up?
>>
No. 945303 ID: 5b93d3

With air this thin, anything that burns would be unusual.
>>
No. 945315 ID: 83bf07

Can we pour a little mana into this?
>>
No. 945371 ID: 7816e7
File 156885744220.png - (132.29KB , 560x700 , 10-83.png )
945371

“Probably not. I imagine that its some kind of beacon.” Casey boosts herself up with a flutter of her wing spell to peek into it. “Yeah, see its all burnt.”

“What would burn all the way up here? There’s no air for it.”

“Lichfire?” Casey shrugs. “Remember how Adrian called the bargast from miles away with his flare?”

“Do we have any way of making lichfire?”Gabe asks. “Seems like we’d need mana oil, right?”

“If we had that, we wouldn’t need to be looking for a well.” Kol sighs. Behind his goggles, he closes his eyes and looks inward. Somewhere deep within he feels the essence Adrian left from their brief time together. “I- I might be able to make a little...”

“Are you sure?” Casey puts a hand on his shoulder. “Careful with magic like that.”
>>
No. 945372 ID: 7816e7
File 156885744769.png - (80.55KB , 700x560 , 10-84.png )
945372

Kol reaches out a hand and feels a chill unrelated to the frigid air. He hisses through gritted teeth, sweating under layers of cloth and leather. He unclenches his fist and a tiny, emerald flicker tumbles from between his fingers. It lands on the stone brasier, shining brightly in defiance of the elements.
>>
No. 945373 ID: 7816e7
File 156885745219.png - (104.92KB , 700x560 , 10-85.png )
945373

For a moment, nothing happens.

Stone suddenly lurches and grinds. The Mice step back out of surprise as a cylinder of stone rises up from underneath the beacon. The thick slab extends roughly a foot out of the ground before grinding to a halt. revealing a gap roughly large enough to fit a thumb into.
>>
No. 945374 ID: e7848c

Hm. I'm assuming that it needs more fire to rise farther. We don't have that. Can Casey and Del get a grip in there? Or can Gabe open a portal and see what's past that gap?
>>
No. 945375 ID: 91ee5f

>>945373
That’s perfect. All Gabe needs to do is get down and look through the hole so that he can see inside. If he sees that the space beyond is big enough for a portal, he can make one and everyone can go inside.
>>
No. 945377 ID: b1b4f3

Don't stick your fingers in there, you might lose them.
Portaling in seems the best option, but could there be traps? Might want to scout a little with a binder tendril or something.
>>
No. 945383 ID: 10c408

There probably won't be traps in the passageway. The combination of the exact location for the braiser (nothing that breathes) and it's requirements (nothing that can't produce lichefire) exclude probably every kind of creature, that has ever existed.

...However, that doesn't rule out any inanimate guardians or other security features around the braiser that activate to slay those who try and tamper with the braiser.
>>
No. 945388 ID: 1c0f98

>>945383
A place that hasn't been designed to accommodate living people seems like somewhere one would want to be careful in general.
>>
No. 945391 ID: f57349

>>945383
Since when do ghosts need to breathe? If this is a functional mana well, something old and nasty could have been feeding on it all this time.

>>945019
Moot Point's textile industry might not be up to the task of building a mechanical counterpressure suit, but if they can, and if the problem is essentially environmental rather than some fundamental problem with gates where the ends are more than a light-second apart, I think limited moon exploration should be doable with established capabilities. Trick is to build an airlock. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, maybe just an isolated pocket inside some nice sturdy piece of stone, sealed airtight and totally inaccessible except by portal. Each hop to or from the moon stops inside the box and allows the pressure to equalize, so only a few cubic yards of air are lost instead of a continuous roaring hurricane.
>>
No. 945394 ID: f0762a

Can Flashing Feathers use wind magic to explore buildings/structures?

>>945391
Very professional opinion. I'd love to see a moon mission in the future!
>>
No. 945403 ID: 10c408

>>945391
I said the word "exclude" didn't I?
>>
No. 945431 ID: 7816e7
File 156894334419.png - (65.96KB , 617x700 , 10-86.png )
945431

Casey kneels down and peers into the crevice. “Looks like a passage! Good job, Kol!”

“You think its safe?”

She extends an aura tendril and snakes it into the crack. “We’ll know in a minute...” Letting the spell grope blindly in the dark, Casey feels it bump and angle its way around. “There’s definitely stairs, feels like it spirals down... can’t feel the end of it.”
>>
No. 945432 ID: 7816e7
File 156894335163.png - (183.97KB , 575x700 , 10-87.png )
945432

“Sounds good to me.” Gabe wiggles his fingers, “You guys ready?”

Flashing Featherers rustles his scales, looking nervous. “You... wish to go inside? I- I- Most Beloved I don’t believe I can follow.” He recoils from the opening, looking as though he wants to take to the sky again. “It is... too much for me; to once again be trapped beneath stone.”
>>
No. 945433 ID: b1b4f3

>>945432
Aw. That's understandable. He was a lot of help already, as he found the entrance for us. Does he want to wait out here or go back home?
Up to Cecil if he wants to venture down there with the other members of the group or stay with Flashing Feathers. It's possible there's something down there suited to his expertise, or maybe not...

There shouldn't be much danger since we can set a beacon, then just portal out if we need to resupply or recuperate.
>>
No. 945449 ID: 91ee5f

>>945432
You sure you want to stay out here all by yourself? There’s no telling how long we’ll be down there and you might get lonely by yourself.

But we won’t force you to come with us if you don’t want to.
>>
No. 945486 ID: e6f10c

We understand and won't try and convince him otherwise. He can stay up top and keep lookout. And Cecil ought to hug and kiss-Oh, wait, the mask. Well, just a hug will have to do. He'll make up the kisses later.

Now, Gabe ought to drop a beacon out here before the group goes inside, as well as mini-Gate to the Senders that were helping them get up here to tell 'em the coords of the beacon. This way Gabe can quick-Gate out here to escape and the Senders can bring help here quickly if things go awry. It'd also ease checking in with Flashing Feathers so he doesn't worry so much about Cecil.
>>
No. 945487 ID: 10c408

Console the coatl, he doesn't have to go underground if he doesn't want to. In fact it's probably better to have him out here and exploring the immediate area for anything of note.
>>
No. 945492 ID: a9af05

>>945486
>Gabe can quick-Gate out here to escape quickly if things go awry.
That's assuming that there isn't anything in place that blocks portal magic to trap intruders inside this place. Because I've got a feeling that if you've got a super secret hideout all the way up here, anti-portal magic would be a top priority to install.
>>
No. 945505 ID: e6f10c

>>945492
Which is why Gabe will do a test mini-Gate up to the surface once the group is a little deeper and follow with Gates at regular intervals to check in. If there's no regular Gate for a significant time then Flashing Feathers will know something has gone awry.
>>
No. 945521 ID: f57349

How are we doing in terms of air supply? If those bottled feathers can be recharged, better to fill 'em up now than run low on the way out.
>>
No. 945598 ID: 7816e7
File 156918453371.png - (167.31KB , 520x700 , 10-88.png )
945598

“Are you sure?” Casey asks, placing a gloved hand on the snake god’s shoulder. “If you’d rather, it might be best if you stay up here and keep an eye out. We should still have plenty of air left in our feathers, and if anything happens, we’ll gate out or take shelter in Vivian’s heartspace.” She embraces the coatl warmly. “You’ve already done so much for us, thank you.”

Flashing Feathers hugs her back and takes off into the sky, circling the peak on glittering wings.

Casey watches him drift for a moment and smiles under her breathing mask. “You coming Cecil?”

“Oh yes! The call to adventure is simply too great! Onward and downward!”
>>
No. 945599 ID: 7816e7
File 156918454005.png - (178.45KB , 700x700 , 10-89.png )
945599

“Sounds good!” Gabe summons a gate and the group files through into a dark, narrow stairwell. Delilah lights a flare, which sears away the shadows, allowing them to pick their way downstairs in a careful line.

The corridor winds its way deep into the mountain. Delilah, tracing the wall with one hand, feels the stone disappear. She pulls up short and stops the group, “Hang on...”

Swinging the flare out ahead of her, the healer finds a void. The staircase continues downward, wrapping around a massive, dark chasm. A breeze pours up over the lip of the stone, causing the flare to blaze brighter in her hand.
>>
No. 945603 ID: 015bf2

>>945599
Investigate everything.

Also, watch your steps so you don't stumble or slip.
>>
No. 945604 ID: cb6404

>>945599

Well, whoever built this place was somewhat safety-conscious, as there appear to be (or have been) little cordons along some of the ledges.
>>
No. 945605 ID: ccf36d

Those nested diamond carvings on the wall are suspicious. The steps and chains and the bowl outside and so on all seem built purely for a kind of clean and blocky practicality, so the chances of those being just decoration seem slim.

Of course, the other concerning thing is that something down there is glowing.
>>
No. 945606 ID: 2b3343

Check the square things on the wall. Are they lighting sconces, booby traps?
>>
No. 945611 ID: 5b93d3

>>945599
>A breeze pours up over the lip of the stone, causing the flare to blaze brighter in her hand.
Huh, the air is thicker inside.
>>
No. 945618 ID: 10c408

>>945611
Well, it was an enclosed space until the hidden entrance was moved very slightly.

In any case, the air is probably rushing out now.

Check the stairs very carefully, and be mindful of the wall carvings as you work your way down the chamber to the box like object.
>>
No. 945630 ID: 91ee5f

>>945606
>booby traps
Who here thinks Gabe is going to start giggling and making jokes about boobs being traps?
>>
No. 945649 ID: f57349

Consider skipping past the possible wall traps by opening a portal directly to the central platform.
>>
No. 945651 ID: ce39da

Was there air rushing out of the hole you made outside? If so, we should probably plug that up.
>>
No. 945793 ID: 7816e7
File 156945781188.png - (160.68KB , 541x700 , 10-90.png )
945793

“Careful, stay close to the wall, guys...” Delilah motions them over with the flare. They stick together, carefully tracing step by step down to the platform illuminated from below.

“Who would have thought this mountain was hollow?” Mr Ochre wonders aloud, craning to peek over the edge. “And what could be making that glow?”

As if to answer him, light pierces the wall ahead of them. They freeze in place, breaths held in their masks, letting the seconds tick by as nothing happens. Delilah slowly stands up from her cautious crouch and approaches the source.

She peers into the recessed diamond shape cut into the stone, finding a flat, translucent tile that glows from within, casting a pale greenish light over the stairway. “Its some kind of magelight. Lets keep going...”

As the descend, their hands trace the stone, finding impossibly thin seams in the wall. The stones seem to have been carved to hook together, using their own weight to form a rigid structure rather than using mortar.
>>
No. 945794 ID: 7816e7
File 156945781705.png - (97.59KB , 700x350 , 10-91.png )
945794

The reach the end of the staircase: a flat landing that connects to a large, central pillar with a heavy stone bridge. Broken iron chains dangle uselessly over the edge, indicating whoever built the structure was at least somewhat safety conscious.

Gabe shuffles anxiously and mutters, “Guys, should we be worried about traps or anything?”

“I think the whole reason behind this place is its sheer inaccessibility. We should definitely keep our eyes out, but something tells me the mountain itself is enough to discourage most visitors.” Casey explains. “But who knows? Vampire lords were very protective of their secrets.”
>>
No. 945795 ID: b1b4f3

>>945794
That platform should be an elevator, since there's what looks like a button connected to a clearly marked central area.
I see some T-shaped markings on the floor of the bridge. Maybe try poking at them with a tendril.
>>
No. 945809 ID: a9af05

>>945795
This
>>
No. 945810 ID: e7848c

>>945794
Can Gabe inspect the dias through a portal?
>>
No. 945838 ID: 7fb87a

>>945794
>>945810
a closer look with a portal is also a good test if portals are being blocked
>>
No. 945850 ID: ce39da

Let's try not to be too frivolous with the portals; Gabe's not an infinite mana tap.
>>
No. 945861 ID: e6f10c

>>945850
Yes, let us not act like Gabe can Gate without limits. Gotta be frugal with his mana just in case he has to make a emergency Gate.

Now, considering the number of ways that the central pillar could be reached without using the bridge that were available in the age this place was made, (including but not limited to flying, gliding, levitating, and Gating,) putting a trap on the bridge does not seem like the most sensible place for one. That doesn't mean don't check for pressure plates and the like on the bridge, but we must consider that if there are traps then they'll be of a magical type. That means they could sense people entering a area without any visual or physical indication that the trap is there.

Also, the most sensible place to locate a trap would be on the pillar elevator platform itself or on the controls for the pillar elevator. That's the two locations anyone trying to get in via the elevator would have to be. And I would not be surprised if the elevator controls are locked too, possible with a code or by biometrics.

Anyway, I'd suggest Casey feels ahead with her mana tentacles and uses them to manipulate anything we encounter here from a distance. That way if they trigger a trap it'll be less likely someone will be hurt.
>>
No. 945862 ID: 91ee5f

>>945794
What is Mr Ochre leaning on? Is that a pickaxe? Let’s use that to poke the odd “T” shaped floor tiles on the bridge to check and see if they’re traps.

>>945861
>I'd suggest Casey feels ahead with her mana tentacles
Let’s not instantly jump to using magic to solve all of our problems. Casey has a limit on how much mana she can use, the same way Gabe has a limit on how much he can open gates.

Let’s try a non magical solution, so that everyone can save their mana for emergencies.
>>
No. 945864 ID: b1b4f3

...true, we could just poke it with a stick.
>>
No. 945865 ID: a9af05

>>945862
>Let’s try a non magical solution, so that everyone can save their mana for emergencies.
Good idea.
>>
No. 945999 ID: 7816e7
File 156971665260.png - (95.89KB , 700x371 , 10-92.png )
945999

“I’ll go first, I do believe I am the lightest among us.” Mr. Ochre steps out onto the bridge, poking at the razor thin seams between stones with his ice axe. “Seems fine to me...”

About halfway across the bridge, a crack rings out like a gunshot as one of the titanic stones slips loose from its neighbors with a grinding sound.

Cecil mutters, “Oh, bugger me...” and freezes in place
>>
No. 946003 ID: cb6404

>>945999

Moving back to our friends might be safest ...?
>>
No. 946007 ID: e7848c

>>945999
He better start moving forward or he's going to have to expect a sudden landing after Gabe opens a gate under him.
>>
No. 946012 ID: ce39da

He didn’t step on the stone that came loose? That displays less malicious entrapment, and more compromised structural integrity. The elevator itself should be stable, so Mr. Ochre should proceed. It might be an isolated stone coming loose, so let’s not jump to the portal solution just yet.
>>
No. 946025 ID: e6f10c

>>946012
>That displays less malicious entrapment, and more compromised structural integrity.
Yeah. Considering all the stonework here seems to be just fitted blocks then any geological shifting since they were built could have weakened them.

Cecil should move on ahead with as much speed as he safely can while checking his footing ahead of him. At the same time Casey should advance, since she can use her aura tentacles to grab Cecil if the floor drops out from under him, as well as use them to haul him and herself back up if the whole bridge falls apart. Better figure out anchor points for her if that happens. No time to hammer any in, and doing so might weaken the structure more. Kol and Delilah will have to act as the anchors for Casey.
>>
No. 946026 ID: b1b4f3

Once Cecil is on the other side the team can throw a rope over to tie to something so we have a more secure crossing.
>>
No. 946041 ID: ce12d1

“like a gunshot" guns exist in this universe?
I think Cecil should stop further movement, while Casey has her aura ready. Otherwise if anything does happen after he moves forward it's going to be difficult to reach him.
>>
No. 946046 ID: a9af05

>>945999
At least it isn't a trap laid by whoever built this place, it was simple a trap that was laid in place by time and no maintenance to keep it secure.

Cecil is so close to the other side, he might as well continue walking over there as carefully as possible.
>>
No. 946232 ID: 7816e7
File 156997391521.png - (166.46KB , 700x597 , 10-93.png )
946232

"Cecil, keep moving!" Casey yells. "I've got you!"

The bird shuffles forward, feeling the stones shift beneath his feet. "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!"

Casey extends a hand and unwinds her binding spell. The coil rolls outward, lifting Mr. Ochre off of his feet and giving him the added push needed to bring him to safety.

The stones grind to a halt against one another as a chain falls somewhere into the depths with a clink of metal.

Cecil picks himself up and dusts off his legs. "Well… that was invigorating! Thank you for the save, Casey."
>>
No. 946235 ID: b1b4f3

>>946232
Well, everyone else needs to get across. We gotta either use some rope or a portal.
>>
No. 946236 ID: e6f10c

Good thing we've got Casey along, even though the bridge didn't collapse in the end. Still, it could have and we don't have unlimited mana either. Better use mundane means of safety to get everyone across now.

Run two ropes across the bridge and anchor 'em at both ends. That way y'all will have a backup in case one pops loose. Then the group can cross one by one, hooked to the ropes as they go. Having Kol and Delilah hold the ends of the ropes before they cross will provide additional support as well.
>>
No. 946237 ID: 2dbe9a

The way those stones have moved make me think this is some sort of contraption. Can you hear anything else moving? Any changing in the light?
>>
No. 946291 ID: 7816e7
File 157006294843.png - (141.79KB , 700x535 , 10-94.png )
946291

“Thank the Fates, he’s okay.” Delilah sighs. “Gabe can you just gate us over there? I think it’d probably be safer.”

Mr. Ochre looks up from the pedestal as Gabe’s portal booms in the cavern. “Come see! There’s runes that appear when you approach!”

“Can you read them?” Casey asks.

“No. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered these before.”
>>
No. 946292 ID: 7816e7
File 157006295316.png - (122.09KB , 700x439 , 10-95.png )
946292

“They look kind of familiar...” Kol mentions. “The Path of the Mediums uses a runic structure like that.”

“Do any of them make sense?”

He points to three. “This one looks like ‘garden’... this one is ‘vessel’ or something hollow... and this, I think, means ‘help’.”
>>
No. 946294 ID: b1b4f3

>>946292
Seems appropriate to try the "help" rune first. Is the middle thing a dial? Or do we touch a rune to select it?
>>
No. 946297 ID: cb6404

>>946292

Destinations? A gating mechanism? Hmmmmmm ...
>>
No. 946299 ID: 2fa945

>>946292
This seems like transport vessel. Try garden first to confirm it takes you to a garden
>>
No. 946342 ID: ce39da

... Don't tell me this also only works with lichfire... In any case, see if you can get "help" to work. If you must use that harmful magic, do so; I don't think its use, to begin with, is damaging to your soul or anything, but an exorbitant amount of mana is wasted in the course of its casting due to its nature. That's just my theory, anyway. We should probably think about consulting with good ol' uncle about it sometime soon.
>>
No. 946345 ID: ce12d1

"help"...this place has an assistance center? Majical help manual? Who'd have thought this is such a customer-friendly place? Let's see what can of help we are able to get here.
>>
No. 946354 ID: 10c408

>>946345
This place was built by vampires. "help" will likely be some form of security feature or personnel that will either arm itself or take umbrage with a bunch of mortals traipsing about the place.

Look around the edges of the platform for further structural instability and then try pushing the rune marked "garden"
>>
No. 946494 ID: 7816e7
File 157023783719.png - (131.94KB , 700x500 , 10-96.png )
946494

“Huh, why don’t we start with ‘help’?” Casey suggests.

“That makes sense.” Kol reaches out and turns the dial. A pulse of light flickers through the pedestal and the block of stone rumbles slightly.

The giant block slowly detaches itself from the crumbling bridge and hangs in space perfectly still. Everyone watches as the stone blocks tumble into the abyss like the dice of the Fates.

The crashes of broken rock fade away and Gabe manages a muffled “Oops.”
>>
No. 946495 ID: 7816e7
File 157023784327.png - (127.10KB , 500x700 , 10-97.png )
946495

The hovering platform starts to descend, moving smoothly into the depths of the mountain. The group clings to one another uncertainly as the ancient tunnel flashes by, lit by chunks of glowing green crystal.

“Ugh anybody else getting hotter?” Gabe pushes back the hood of his coat and pulls his goggles off.

Delilah follows suit, “Yeah its definitely warming up. Feel that breeze too? The air is thicker down here...”
>>
No. 946502 ID: b1b4f3

Makes sense. Even unintentionally, if the operational structure of the spire is at a lower elevation, it will be more inhabitable. We could stop using the feathers until it's time to leave (or not even exit the same way)
>>
No. 946504 ID: 9f5bef

Let Delilah make the call whether it's safe to save our feather-air and drop the masks.
>>
No. 946552 ID: 83bf07

This wouldn't happen to be a volcano, would it?
>>
No. 946585 ID: e6f10c

The group should take a peek over the edges of the elevator platform to try and see what y'all are heading towards.

Resist the temptation to pull your air masks off immediately. Just because there's more air doesn't mean it's good, breathable air. There's all manner of ways the air down here could have gone bad. Especially if this place reaches all the way down to magma, since volcanoes are known to put out all kinds of nasty gasses.

To test the air, have one person unseal their mask, shut off their air feather canister and breathe for a minute or two. Another person should stand by to reseal the tester's mask and reopen their air feather canister if the tester has a adverse reaction. And Delilah or Gabe shouldn't test the air, since whoever does so may need healing and we also can't risk our only Sender being incapacitated.

If the air checks out, then all but one of the group can remove their masks and shut off their air supply canisters. Delilah should keep hers on in case we hit a pocket of bad air that knocks out the group faster than they can put their air gear back on.

Otherwise, everyone should unbutton, open or remove their clothes until they feel comfortable in the rising heat. Better do so quickly, before y'all sweat 'em up in case the group has to leave the way y'all came in. Sweaty, wet cold weather gear will become icy and frigid once in the extreme cold, so gotta keep 'em dry.
>>
No. 946694 ID: 7816e7
File 157048868727.png - (121.15KB , 700x598 , 10-98.png )
946694

“You don’t think this thing is, like, a volcano do you?”

“I believe that’s unlikely. The current understanding is that whoever created the highpeaks used some form of geomancy to pull the earth into shape. None of the terrain surrounding the area has shown any signs of volcanic activity.”” Mr. Ochre points out. He tugs at his jacket, “Although I agree it is getting quite warm...” 

“What do you think, Del? Is it safe to strip down a bit?”

“No sense in getting heatstroke. Go for it.” Experimentally, she takes off her mask and sniffs. “Hmm... musky but breathable.” 
>>
No. 946695 ID: 7816e7
File 157048869219.png - (96.47KB , 700x377 , 10-99.png )
946695

As the party stashes away their heavy weather gear, the stone slab starts to slow. As it drifts in for a landing, it slots neatly into a square hole cut into the ground. 

The group stares. Scattered across the cavern is a shantytown composed of stone and adobe. The village is composed of dozens of roughly square structures, with very few standing more than 2 meters tall. There are clearly two architectural styles on display: newer wattle and daub walls and ceilings placed over or incorporating much older, and sophisticated stonework. Nearby, a few of the larger blocks from the collapsed bridge occupy shallow craters. 

The village is deathly silent. The musk Delilah mentioned is stronger here, showing clear evidence of life somewhere in the cavern. 
>>
No. 946706 ID: b1b4f3

>>946695
I think you found "the help".
Approach one of the shanties and knock.
>>
No. 946710 ID: e6f10c

This looks like it might have been the quarters for the servants, or "help," that lived here. Really hope that if anyone was living down here none of them got crushed or maimed by the collapsed bridge. It's bad enough you crushed some of their homes, even inadvertently. Accidentally killing or harming any of the locals would be way worse. But if this place is deserted, then hope nothing that'd help with your quest got crushed.

The heavy cold weather gear can be stashed in Gabe's "portable closet." Keep the air gear out but not active, just in case of bad air pockets or the air pressure dropping too low down here over time due to breaking the seal up top.

Better inspect the site of the bridge impact first on the slim chance someone got trapped under the falling stone and is still alive. If there is then you can save and heal them. If there's nobody there, or nobody still alive, then check out the nearest buildings for any locals and work your way around the site until you've either found someone or checked all the buildings. And stick together. Last thing we need is a member of the group getting split off and in trouble alone.

Watch for any signs of recent habitation. Fresh food, lack of dust on surfaces, that sort of thing.

Anybody in the group heard about folks living underground with no contact with the outside before? Maybe even whole subterranean civilizations? Mr. Ocher?
>>
No. 946714 ID: 7dd1d8

>>946695
Check for movement. Ears open. Kol, can you project and see if there's any life in these buildings?
>>
No. 946729 ID: e6f10c

>>946714
Good idea. Gabe would have to set up a spirit ward to protect Kol's body while his soul is out and about, but it'd be worth it for the speed Kol could go and being able to pass through solid objects to search the place.

Out-of-body Kol ought to sweep the bridge impact zone first for anyone alive and injured or trapped. If anyone is there that needs aid then Delilah or Casey can run over to help 'em while Kol continues checking the rest of the buildings.
>>
No. 946731 ID: 91ee5f

>>946729
Isn’t there a risk that something down here could actually harm Kol’s spirit while it’s out of his body?

I mean, I know nothing we’ve run into before has been able to touch his spirit, but I’ve got a feeling that if there is anything that can touch his spirit, we’d definitely find it here.
>>
No. 946765 ID: a5e0db

>>946731
Hm. Right, right. And it violates the whole "no splitting up the party" rule too. Yeah, safer and better to stick together while searching the place.
>>
No. 946768 ID: cc6788

>>946765
This assumes that Kol doesn't know how to defend himself in spirit form. Or that he doesn't immediately flee at the first sign of non-physical danger.
>>
No. 946779 ID: cb6404

>>946695

Smells like zombuddies.
>>
No. 946795 ID: 7816e7
File 157058967282.png - (124.26KB , 588x700 , 10-100.png )
946795

“Seems empty. We should be careful though.” Casey squints at the village with suspicion. “I hope nobody got hurt when the bridge came down.”

“I could check.” Kol offers, sitting down and preparing to enter a spirit walk. “Gabe, can you give me a ward? We don’t know what might be down here.”

Gabe nods and focuses, creating a red glow around the edge of the elevator.

Closing his eyes, Kol steps out of his body and floats momentarily in front of them. “I won’t be long, I’ll just circle around and see what I can spot.” Gabe opens the ward for him to pass through and the ghostly mouse takes off on his journey.
>>
No. 946796 ID: 7816e7
File 157058969087.png - (193.00KB , 700x700 , 10-101.png )
946796

The ghostly figure sweeps low over the tiny houses, phasing through walls in search of life. Checking the ruins beneath the fallen stones, he finds the remains of some kind of storehouse. Scattered about are dried fungi, broken pottery and scurrying insects making a break for freedom.

Satisfied there’s no casualties, he phases into some of the houses, finding small, low beds and simple accommodations carved from stone or woven from some form of natural fibers. All of the structures appear to be empty.
>>
No. 946797 ID: b1b4f3

Nobody home, but what's that green thing? Let's check it out.
>>
No. 946798 ID: 958d59

>>946796
We have our target. That cube and that bowl. Were those mushrooms picked recently?
>>
No. 946807 ID: e3730d

What's behind the table, on the same wall as the door?
>>
No. 946817 ID: 3ce8ff

>>946797
i think it is just a light?
>>
No. 946819 ID: e6f10c

Inspect the food in the houses. If there is recently prepared food that isn't dried or otherwise preserved, that means there were people living here. Most likely they fled to a safer or more defensible position when the bridge chunks impacted. We ought to inspect the exits from this chamber for signs of recent mass movement to try and pick up their trail.

Return to the group and report your findings and be relieved that nobody was hurt or killed by the bridge collapse.
>>
No. 946822 ID: f57349

Now that we've found a habitable environment, would it make any sense to drop a beacon here, write down those runes from the elevator controls (or take a picture or something) and portal back to the library to attempt a more thorough translation? If the main reason we're rushing in is strategic time pressure, it'd be really embarrassing to miss something like a clearly-labeled "mana well maintenance" level.
>>
No. 946823 ID: 8226f2

Hm. Interesting. The undead lord had living serfs. I mean, given, it seems like plenty of the undead used to be on pretty chill terms with living people back in the day.
Still, if there's anyone still alive, and they've been living down here since the old days....there's no telling how they'll react to your presence. Making contact should be a priority now, but boy howdy do be cautious.
>>
No. 946842 ID: 7816e7
File 157067439666.png - (115.58KB , 700x700 , 10-102.png )
946842

Kol sweeps the room, eyeing the spilled bowl. Freshly cut mushrooms ooze onto the floor and mix with some kind of exotic grain: this was spilled recently. 

Evidence in hand, he turns to leave and rebounds against something. 

“What? What is this? Gabe, are you messing around with wards?” Dazed, the ethereal mouse backs off to examine the barrier and finds himself hemmed in on all sides.
>>
No. 946843 ID: 7816e7
File 157067440250.png - (159.20KB , 700x700 , 10-103.png )
946843

Glowing crystal walls converge around him, shrinking and squeezing the hapless figure within. Without a physical body, Kol finds himself condensed into a dense vapor, caged within a fist sized construct of energy. 

Kol fights back a rising panic as a scaled hand reaches out and clasps his prison. 
“Well, well, well. What have we here?”
>>
No. 946844 ID: 2df440

“Well hey there, cutie~. You’ve definitely caught my eye!”
cue finger guns
>>
No. 946845 ID: 028f23

This is the exact time to draw on those wellsprings of self-control and temperance you've developed, mate. This is a bad situation, but panicking can literally only make it harder to salvage.
Are you able to tell if they're undead or something different? They seem to have some sort of crystal prosthesis or focus, but it could be a totally different kind than the one they just trapped you in.
Whether undead or alive, we've learned that these old feudal types go whole hog for professional and dignified introductions, so give 'em one of those.
Or, ah, as best as you can manage while you're soul trapped i guess.
>>
No. 946846 ID: 91ee5f

>>946843
>Kol got caught
Called it. I knew there was going to be something down here that could affect Kol’s spirit, which is why I said that we should explore the area together in a group and not split up!

>What do?
I guess just explain that you and your friends were exploring this place and you’ve separated your spirit from your body so that you could scout around the area for any unstable structures that you’d need to avoid stepping on, like the bridge that collapsed earlier. Then politely ask to be released so you can go back to your body and friends.
>>
No. 946848 ID: 094652

Quick, shape your spirit form into a giant dildo!
>>
No. 946849 ID: 28ae7c

>>946843
A spirit guide, and an apologetic one at that. Forgive our trespass.
>>
No. 946850 ID: b1b4f3

>>946843
Apologize for the intrusion, introduce yourself, and ask to be released.
>>
No. 946851 ID: e3730d

>>946849
Secondly this.
>>946846
Congratulations, you're very smart. Now how much do you want to bet that if Kol didn't split off they'd ALL have been captured?
>>
No. 946857 ID: f0762a

Explain that you're part of an exploration team who were directed here because of a "help" sign. Apologize if you have disturbed anything. Ask who they are and offer to introduce your friends. And silently examine if there is any way for you to break free if necessary; and/or signal others.
>>
No. 946869 ID: cb6404

>>946843

>Musty smell

Oh. Right. Serpents.

Guess we found those Nagas someone mentioned a while back.
>>
No. 946873 ID: 91ee5f

>>946851
>Congratulations, you're very smart. Now how much do you want to bet that if Kol didn't split off they'd ALL have been captured?
There was probably no way of avoiding being caught, but with everyone in a group with physical bodies, we probably wouldn’t have been put in a very tiny crystal. Which is seriously triggering my claustrophobia right now.
>>
No. 946874 ID: a9af05

>>946843
Kol has always had a ghostly tail connecting his spirit to his body. Now that he's been trapped, his ghostly tail isn't connected to his body anymore. That is a very obvious sign to the others that something has happened to Kol and he's in trouble.

Which means that the others are going to be here any second now in order to find out what happened to Kol.
>>
No. 946897 ID: 7816e7
File 157076965503.png - (180.31KB , 700x700 , 10-104.png )
946897

Kol takes a moment to steady himself. Were he in his body, he’d take a deep breath, but instead closes his eyes and focuses.

“Uh, hello? Can you hear me?” He speaks through the crystalline barrier, watching her eyes narrow. “I’m sorry to intrude. I’m Kol, a spirit guide. My friends and I are exploring these caverns. We’re sorry if we caused any damage coming down here.”

His captor snorts, bringing the spirit close to her face. “Kol spirit guide, I am Three Horns. wisest of the warren. It is I who was chosen by the elders to carry the magics of the old masters.“ Looking into her face, Kol recognizes the glow of an arcane tattoo across her forehead. “My people have fled into the deep tunnels. Scared off by your arrival.”

“We’re very sorry about that. We had no idea anyone was living here. We saw the rune that said ‘help’ and decided to examine it.”

“The rune of ‘servant’ you mean? We were once the playthings of powerful magic users. Lost. Forgotten. This place is ours now.”
>>
No. 946898 ID: 7816e7
File 157076966008.png - (75.10KB , 445x700 , 10-105.png )
946898

“We? Who are your people?”

“We are the kobolds.”
>>
No. 946899 ID: b1b4f3

>>946898
Well good news, there aren't any magic users of that caliber anymore so they don't need to fear slavery, and we can open up trade for their settlement here.
Tell her you really mean no harm, and if she wants she can talk to the rest of your group? Or is there some way you can prove your intentions are good?
>>
No. 946901 ID: f57349

Okay, time to dust off the ol' first contact procedures. Common language seems to have been established, they've made a territorial claim. Have you got official diplomatic authority to recognize that claim on behalf of Moot Point's government? Probably not, and you shouldn't set yourself up for trouble later by pretending to, but offering introductions to appropriate officials might be reasonable - or for that matter, introductions to the rest of your group. She'd probably need to let you out of the yasal crystal to accept.

You came here for access to the mana well, and if you're acknowledging it as their territory they're well within their rights to deny that, so think about what you're able and willing to offer in exchange, and what they'd want. Mineral wealth would probably be redundant. Medical supplies, and magical healing? Mountaineering equipment? Ethically sourced coatl feathers? Fruits, vegetables, and/or fish by the ton? Cash money, and a portal back to markets in Moot Point where they can spend it as they choose?
>>
No. 946903 ID: 7dc36a

Steps for Diplomacy of Liberated Kobolds:
-Congratulate her tribe on their freedom. May be long overdue, but still deserved.
-Swear that her clan will not be thrall to the dragon they may or may not have sensed outside. Really, he's a nice Coatl, he'd never want anything like that.
-Explain what you are here for and reassure you mean no harm
-Request, as politely as you can, that she help your friends through any traps she or her former masters set up to protect themselves
>>
No. 946904 ID: e3730d

Ask her what her clan's diplomatic stance is on meddling explorers, such as yourself.

>>946901
This. A thousand times over, this.
>>
No. 946905 ID: 094652

"How would YOU like to shove a pole up a Dragon's ass? Repeatedly? I can hook you up. Please don't smash me."
>>
No. 946906 ID: 0ecf4c

>>946903
This seems fair. Let's play diplomat.

... Is this binding magic?
>>
No. 946910 ID: cb6404

>>946897
>>946898

>'help', but actually it's 'servant'

... ooops. Guess we napped through those lessons a bit, huh?

Well, good that we explained things. Guess we should probably tell Three-Horns why we're here, and ask nicely if we can be let out.

In the very least, we're here to help, since Three-Horns and the other kobolds will probably know a lot more about this place than we will. Maybe they can guide us so we can get this mana-well thing figured out?
>>
No. 946911 ID: a9af05

>>946898
"You want to meet my friends? We can all sit down and talk with each other."

Kol, do you have a time limit on how long your spirit can be separated from your body? Like, if you don't get back in your body within a certain amount of time, your body will die and you're stuck as a spirit?

If there's anything like that, then you might want to consider asking to be let out before you die.
>>
No. 946916 ID: 7816e7
File 157083955450.png - (136.62KB , 700x466 , 10-106.png )
946916

“Thats fantastic! We come from a free and open society that doesn’t believe in the enslavement of sentient species. The ways of the Wild Age have long been abolished.” Kol explains from his prison.

She eyes him suspiciously.

“We’re sorry for intruding, and want to respect your territory, but are here searching for something. Is there anything that we can do to help you trust us?” He offers.

Three Horns nudges the spilled mushroom based meal with a toe claw. “Yes. But not for you. You stay with me for the safety of my people and yours. When we can trust you, you go free.” She hefts the crystal and strides out of the tiny hut in a haughty swagger. “You come with me, Kol spirit guide. Your friends will answer for your trespass.”

Striding into view, clad in strands of bronze jewelry, Three Horns approaches the stone elevator and stops. The kobold holds up her captive and announces, “Friends of Kol spirit guide! I am Three Horns, wisest of the kobolds! Your intrusion has disrupted the lives of our warren. You will make right the damage you have caused, or we shall keep your friend’s spirit for always!” She thrusts the crystal forward, giving it a slight shake.

“H-hey, careful! Uh, hi guys...” Kol’s dejected voice emerges from the glowing shard.

“What? Kol? Is that binding magic?” Casey demands. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. I guess we never really considered the possibility of running into another binder.” He admits.

“What do you want from him?”

Three horns continues, her voice echoing off of the stone ceiling and giving the diminutive lizard much more presence than one would expect. “You will appease us, or Kol spirit guide will remain here. There are old magics here, left by the lost masters to bind a spirit to machine-things. As such he will serve us: we who were once servants.”

Casey puts her hands up, acknowledging the kobold’s position. “Okay, okay. No need for that. We’re sorry for intruding on your territory, Three Horns. What can we do to help establish trust between us?”
>>
No. 946917 ID: 7816e7
File 157083956638.png - (121.82KB , 700x700 , 10-107.png )
946917

Three horns points to the wreckage left by the falling bridge. “Our village’s food supply, smashed by your actions. First: you will bring food, so that my people do not go hungry.”

“Oh is that all?” Gabe opens a gate and pulls out a sandwich. “We can get you whatever you want. What’cha thinkin: pasta, fish? Uhhhh, got some cheese puffs in here...”

“No!” Three Horns folds her arms. “I do not trust outsider food. Not yet.” She points up, back towards the top of the mountain. “Our food comes from the garden. In the old days, the machine-things cultivated it for the masters. Now it grows wild and unchecked. You will bring us enough to sustain ourselves.”
>>
No. 946918 ID: 54fe4d

Alright. Enough food for how long? I see no way to fix that bridge back to the main entrance, But the elevator shouldn't need that particular birdge right? We can just go directly to the garden from here, yeah? Also Cecil should stay here and talk with Three Horns. Trade info.
>>
No. 946923 ID: a9af05

>>946917
Ask if she'd be willing to come with us? Since we've never been here before, we need someone to act as a guide to make sure we don't get lost and to make sure we don't grab anything that would be poisonous. We'd also need her to read any signs we come across, since she can apparently read this language better than we can.

She can keep Kol with her the whole time she's with us.

Also, who's going to volunteer to watch over Kol's body?
>>
No. 946925 ID: ce39da

>>946918
>>946923
Both of these sound good. Open with immediate acceptance of her demands, first; a flat "Sure!" will do. Perhaps the sudden, no-hesitation agreement less than a second after she's done saying all that will catch her off-guard, at the very least. XD
>>
No. 946936 ID: b1b4f3

>>946917
Alright, ask for details. What kind of plants are we looking for, and how much do we need to collect?
>>
No. 946944 ID: 91ee5f

>>946916
>uses machines that are powered by trapped spirits
Isn’t that pretty much slavery? I’d like to point that out to her. But let’s wait until after we rescue Kol before we do that.

>>946917
>go get food for the kobolds
How do we know she’s not going to put Kol into one of those machines as soon as we leave? We’ve got no guarantee that she’ll keep her word. In fact, as long as she has Kol, she could continuously make up more things for us to do for her and never release Kol.

>>946923
>have her come with us
>we need a guide
>make sure we don’t grab poisonous food
>she can read the signs
>let her hold onto Kol while she’s with us
These are good points. Plus, if she comes with us and she has Kol with her, we can make sure she doesn’t put Kol into one of those machines she talked about.
>>
No. 946946 ID: 7dc36a

>>946925
Double this, yes.

>>946944
>Isn’t that pretty much slavery?
Well anthropologically speaking, living within a closed homogeneous society like the kobolds do would lead them to treat outsiders as more alien, and thus more enslavable, than they really are. Exposure and integration with the outside would help diminish this kind of thinking. We could invite someone on a tour of Moot Point, for later.
In this case though, Kol's predicament looks less like a normal practice of theirs and more like the worst punishment they can think of.
>>
No. 946982 ID: 015bf2

>>946917
Sure! Meanwhile, will they take care of Kol's body? He's kind of, uh, limp right now and his body needs to remain within the circle so nothing else, y'know, comes around to take it while he's a hostage. Would suck if some errant ghost ran off with your friend's physical form! Oh, and no eating him! (that's a joke)

... also, you don't mind paying the dues of your mistake, but if there's anything you should be careful about, you'd really appreciate an advance warning! Clearly you don't know what to activate and not. Oh, and what's the food plants look like?

As for Kol, ask if the whole being bound to a machine-spirit thing is reversible like other binder skills can be. Perhaps you could ask to be temporarily bound to one and check out what it's like? That way you could help clear the rubble while the others are gone. Pay your own dues. And while the food is probably squashed, Gabe could probably slice the rock that fell on the storage house before he goes so that it becomes more managable to shift. Maybe something survived?

Anyway, all efforts should be made to get along with this cute li'l imperious kobold and her people. Imagine that, an entirely new race, hidden in a mountain! A secret culture to explore and greet! People with memories of and skills passed down from the Vampire Lords!
>>
No. 946983 ID: 015bf2

>>946982
Oh, and if Three Horns is confused about Kol being willing to voluntarily get bound, he should pshaw and say "I'm not worried, Three Horns. Casey once freed a Coatl from an Ages-old bondage, y'know. That's how we could even get here over the mountains - with our friend's blessing."
>>
No. 946987 ID: f57349

How much was in the smashed stockpile? Unpack and hand over at least twice that much "outsider food" as a gift/collateral (presumably there are some not-the-wisest kobolds willing to taste-test cheese puffs so everyone else can find out whether they're poison or what), but try to get a complete, quantified list of demands before you run off and start doing all the farm work.
>>
No. 946989 ID: a9af05

>>946944
>How do we know that she'll keep her word and not harm Kol?
>How do we know she won't make Kol a permanent hostage to make us always do things for her?
Yes, those are legit concerns. But the real question is, should we ask those questions?
>>
No. 947004 ID: e6f10c

Okay, y'all will do that, but you need some info first. First, y'all don't know what mushrooms to harvest, since this is the first time any of you have had experience with picking mushrooms, let alone these kind. We do know there are toxic mushrooms, so we don't want to pick any bad ones. Also, we don't want to pick any immature ones, so what does a mature, but not too mature, type of mushroom she wants look like?

Second, how many mushrooms would she consider enough for her village to "sustain ourselves?" Maybe she could mark out a square and hold her hand up how high it'd have to be filled to be enough. But related, how much can we take without over-harvesting? Since their storehouse already had a harvest in it, would taking another now be too much? Do we have to put anything back, like fertilized dirt or compost?

How long can Gabe keep up the binding circle around Kol's body at his current mana drain? We talkin' minutes, hours or indefinitely if Gabe doesn't expend mana on other things? Because if we don't have enough time to harvest what Three Horns wants before the protection around Kol's body runs out then we've got a big problem and should voice it. And does Gabe have to stay near the binding circle to keep it up? That'd slow down harvesting if Gabe has to stay near Kol's body. Also ask Three Horns if there are known hazards around here for a spirit-less body, even one protected by a binding circle. Don't want to come across something down here that could punch through a binding circle to possess his empty body.

Actually, suggest that another person stay as Three Horns hostage, since her holding Kol's spirit would make it harder for your group perform the harvest for her. See, Gabe here has to keep the binding circle up to protect Kol's empty body, so that means he can't help physically or magically. And Kol in his body would be able to work way harder than a normal person, owing to his spirit magic training. So, would Cecil be alright with staying? I'm sure he'd love to talk with Three Horns about her people's history and share our people's with her.

Also offer to clear away the rubble of the fallen bridge and help rebuild their storehouse when your group returns.

>>946944
If Three Horns turns out untrustworthy, then we'll deal with it. But until then we'll assume she's operating in good faith.
>>
No. 947018 ID: 10c408

>>946983
We may be playing the peaceful diplomat, but we should still hold certain things close to the chest. Especially our very powerful weather god friend.
>>
No. 947053 ID: 015bf2

>>947018
Nah, that's too much paranoia. I think they'll be impressed despite themselves if we can claim (and prove, whether through the feather, Casey's Wings or an eventual meeting) that Casey freed a friggin' Coatl from a thousand-year bondage. Given Three Horns' aversion to the idea of enslavement as anything other than a form of punishment, that should earn the home team some brownie points on the 'huh, maybe not bad guys' scale. We'll need those when we are to discuss the use of their mana well by a remnant of the old masters!

Also, if you personally know a 'god', why NOT flaunt it to the tribal society magic-user? Worst thing she'll doubt us (when we can show proof) or be thoroughly unimpressed and go 'pshaw, everyone knows a coatl, we got dozens down here' in which case, uh... just call that bluff? Gently.

Also also, I really wanna see mecha ghost Kol, so let's play all the cards we can! The tech in those ghost-machines could also end up being used as new 'bodies' for a certain silly pair of spirit medium friends, y'know?
>>
No. 947054 ID: 10c408

>>947053
Okay, first of all, it's not paranoia. I'm just being cautious since they're holding Kol's spirit hostage.

Secondly, the two groups are still feeling each other out and while I don't think it's a bad idea to introduce flashing feathers to the kobolds, doing so right now before at least assessing the task they've given us to build trust is not only bra
>>
No. 947055 ID: 10c408

>>947054
(apologizes, I was still typing when my post was submitted somehow)
-brazen and a huge dick move from the gunboat diplomacy playbook, revealing that we do in fact have a bigger stick then her isn't wise at the moment. It's not a bad idea later, but we're not done with the speaking softly part of the proverb just yet and there's a lot of groundwork we can lay after the current task is accomplished.

Plus, accomplishing all of her tasks WITHOUT requiring the aid of a literal god is only going to add weight to her opinion of us since we could have threatened her with sucking the air out of the cavern to release Kol and didn't do so.

(and speaking of, when we eventually do go to get flashing feathers, Gabe is going to have to re-suit up and make his portal pretty far away from the periphery of the village so the oxygen getting sucked out is negligible)
>>
No. 947108 ID: 7816e7
File 157109687408.png - (195.65KB , 700x700 , 10-108.png )
947108

Casey nods and agrees, “Sure, we’d be happy to. Anything we can do do help restore your food stores. Would you be willing to go with us? We might need help reading the runes here and we don’t want to damage any important parts of the garden.”

Three Horns considers this. “No, I cannot go with you, too risky.” She turns to the village and calls out, “Zafi!!!”

A second kobold scrambles out of the darkness. They hurry up to Three Horns and stand more-or-less at attention. Slightly taller, the lanky kobold looks like a marionette someone made of a lizard, all knock-kneed and awkward angles.

“Zafi is my assistant. She will take you to the garden in my stead. Keep her safe.” She nods to Zafi and the skinny kobold scurries up to the stone plinth, with a little help from Delilah.
>>
No. 947109 ID: 7816e7
File 157109688074.png - (172.35KB , 700x600 , 10-109.png )
947109

The kobold takes a moment to look over the runes on the control dial and twists it to the one Kol identified as the garden. The slab once again rises into the central shaft and sails towards its destination.
>>
No. 947111 ID: b1b4f3

Ask what the other runes mean.
>>
No. 947114 ID: 91ee5f

>>947109
Might as well talk with Zafi until you arrive at the garden. Make sure you get down to eye level with her, in an attempt to be as friendly and non threatening as possible.
>>
No. 947116 ID: 7fb87a

>>947109
How is Mr Ochre holding up?
>>
No. 947126 ID: 015bf2

*crouch down*

Hi. How are you doing?

Again, sorry about the collapse. We really had no idea anyone were living here. What can you tell us about the garden - and your people?
>>
No. 947129 ID: 10c408

back up a bit, give her some space and DON'T smile on the slight chance that she'll take it as a threat.

Do whatever else you feel necessary to make her feel as safe as possible.
>>
No. 947130 ID: f57349

Lift Zafi up to ride on your shoulders.
>>
No. 947153 ID: 83bf07

Will we need our suits again now that we're ascending?
>>
No. 947178 ID: a9af05

>>947109
Gabe won't be able to help, since he's gotta stay on the elevator to protect Kol's body from being possessed by a stray spirit. That means it's up to Casey, Delilah, and Cecil to get the mushrooms.

Let's start asking Zafi about the mushrooms we're supposed to be looking for.

>>947130
Let's not grab her out of nowhere, that'll only spook her.
>>
No. 947190 ID: 7816e7
File 157118604743.png - (213.71KB , 700x700 , 10-110.png )
947190

Casey hunches down to help the Kobold feel more comfortable. “Hey Zafi, I’m Casey. This is Delilah, Gabe and Cecil. Nice to meet you.”

Zafi blinks and stretches her lips into a nervous smile. She manages a ,“H-hi.”

“Sorry about dropping those blocks on your warren. We were coming down from the top of the mountain and a bridge fell apart while we were crossing it. We honestly didn’t think anyone was still living down here.”

The kobold cocks her head, “You came from the top? But, no one goes up there: Its too hard to breathe. Too cold too. You get all sleepy up there.”

Casey taps the metal cylinder containing the feather. “We got help from a friend of ours. He lent us some feathers that let us breathe in the thin air. We had to pack up all our cold weather gear when we came down.”
>>
No. 947191 ID: 7816e7
File 157118605241.png - (108.94KB , 700x500 , 10-111.png )
947191

The elevator slows to a halt, before lurching suddenly and taking off horizontally through a tunnel carved in the wall. Crystals flash by at regular intervals, illuminating Zafi, who seems unfazed by the change in direction.

“Actually, we’re curious: we could only read a few of these runes. Where do the other runes lead?” Casey asks, pointing to the control dial.

“Oh!” The kobold beams, showing pride in her mastery of the elevator, “There’s the bronze machine vessels, the spell foundry, the quicksilver channels, the twin lakes, and the sanctum of the old masters.”

“Fascinating!” Mr. Ochre pulls out his notebook and starts making sketches. “I would love a chance to map these tunnels! Its a once in a lifetime opportunity! Oh, there’s so much to discover!”

Their ride starts to slow once more, before docking itself in a square slot built into the mountain right next to another, identical, stone block. Before the party lies a massive pair of stone doors built into the arch of the tunnel
>>
No. 947198 ID: b1b4f3

>>947191
Ah, we're here.
...how do we open the doors? Or is there already a gap we can walk through?
>>
No. 947199 ID: 10c408

>>947198
Looks like there is a gap.

Let Zaffi lead.
>>
No. 947202 ID: 91ee5f

>>947191
Alright, Zafi, lead the way.

Make sure to ask if there is anything we need to watch out for. Giant carnivorous plants, giant insects, poisonous plants, etc.
>>
No. 947242 ID: a9af05

>>947191
Is Gabe going to stay behind to keep up the ward to protect Kol's body from being possessed? Or can we put Kol's body in Gabe's pocket dimension portal thingy to protect it and carry it with us?

>bronze machine vessels
That sounds like the place where they're going to take Kol to put his spirit into a machine.

>Door is open
>Another elevator is here
Ask Zafi if the door is supposed to be open and if that other elevator has always been there?
>>
No. 947260 ID: 83bf07

Is that other elevator functional?
>>
No. 947320 ID: 7816e7
File 157135980627.png - (268.87KB , 700x500 , 10-112.png )
947320

Delilah eyes the gap between the doors; beyond which is visible a dark stew of organic shapes. “Is it supposed to be open?”

“Yah. It used to open by itself but stopped. The warren had to make a gap long ago for us to get in.”

“Uh, hey guys?” Gabe twists his lip nervously. “What should I do? I don’t know if we should be moving Kol around too much...”

“Stay here and keep him safe Gabe. Delilah, Cecil and I will get what we need for now. We also need to make sure you can get us out if we need help.” Casey shoulders her backpack and steps off of the elevator.

“Uh, sure thing. Stay safe!” Gabe calls after them.

Pausing at the entrance, they nod and squeeze through the narrow gap left by kobold foragers.

Around them, the garden sprawls in an uncontrolled mess. Warm, humid air glows around strange greeny-yellow lights hung across the ceiling. Strange plants crowd one another for light and water, filling the space with bristles and broad leaves. Unseen things buzz from flower to flower like angry sawblades.

Delilah ducks as something flits past her ear. “Okay, we need to get mushrooms right? Where do we find them and what all do we need to watch out for?”

“They usually grow in clumps around the base of larger trees. They’re pretty much all safe to eat, at least for us kobolds.” Zafi explains. “There’s some plants that might try to grab you, aaand you don’t want to get the hive angry, but nothing too dangerous.”
>>
No. 947323 ID: b1b4f3

>>947320
Okay how do we avoid angering the hive?
>>
No. 947326 ID: ce39da

Hive of what, exactly? And where?

Ah, so tentacles are the name of the fetish game today.
>>
No. 947327 ID: 91ee5f

>>947320
Let’s stick with Zafi and have her show us what the mushrooms look like. Then we’ll have an easier time collecting them.

Just make sure we don’t over harvest them.

>nothing too dangerous
Maybe not for someone that’s been doing this for their entire life, but since this is our first time, everything will be pretty dangerous for us!

>>947323
If it’s anything like real life, the best way to not anger a hive is to not throw things at it and to not go anywhere near it.
>>
No. 947333 ID: 83bf07

...hive?
>>
No. 947334 ID: de3d9f

>Hive

Pray there's no wicker.
>>
No. 947492 ID: 7816e7
File 157160862009.png - (198.04KB , 700x500 , 10-113.png )
947492

“A hive of what, exactly?” Delilah asks as another buzzing creature flits by her head.

“I dunno... bugs? They’re black and loud and buzz. They build nests in rotten logs and make honey. Every once in a while we use smoke to take some wax and honey and a bit of larva for the warren.”

“Ugh, thanks for the warning.” Delilah shudders, clearly not a bug person. “Would you mind showing us a bit of harvesting? We don’t want to take too much or ruin harvests for later.”

Zafi shrugs, and indicates they follow her. She picks out a large, gnarled trunk that explodes outward into a dome-like canopy. The kobold crawls between the roots, sniffing here and there and pushing aside leaves. Within minutes, she finds a handful of soft morels and pinches them out of the dirt. A further sniff and she locates a row of shelf fungi, which she carves off of the bark with a sharp claw.

She hands them off to Mr. Ochre, who turns them over. Enraptured, the bird squints and beams back at her. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this species! I’m hardly an expert but I wonder if these have ever been documented? I may want to take some notes!”
He stuffs them into his backpack and feels the spacial charm make room.
>>
No. 947493 ID: 7816e7
File 157160863491.png - (181.63KB , 700x500 , 10-114.png )
947493

“Okay, everyone. Let’s stay close to one another and try to find more.” Casey instructs before shuffling into the underbrush.

Working quickly, the group starts to replenish the warren’s damaged stores. Delilah finds a likely looking trunk and brushes aside some dirt. Beneath her hand, a shape takes form followed by another. As the soil falls away, she finds herself staring at a foot.
>>
No. 947494 ID: cdabe3

>>947493
... look up and say hello?
>>
No. 947496 ID: 028f23

Hm. I suppose this is one of the soul-powered golems they mentioned. Must have been stationed in here since before the lords of this hall disappeared.
Let's hope it wasn't ordered to defend this garden against intruders.
....might want to holler over to Zafi about that, just in case.
>>
No. 947499 ID: e7848c

>>947493
That doesn't look like flesh and bone. Careful not to touch it, it might activate.
>>
No. 947500 ID: 91ee5f

>>947493
Those aren’t mushrooms. Let’s look somewhere else.

>>947494
If it’s feet have been buried in the dirt and trees have grown around it, odds are that it’s inactive and isn’t going to turn on anytime soon.
>>
No. 947502 ID: 015bf2

Oooh. Call the others over and get their opinion.
>>
No. 947509 ID: a9af05

>>947493
It's neat and you can tell the others that it's there, but don't let it distract you from gathering mushrooms.
>>
No. 947524 ID: e6f10c

Looks like one of those spirit-less spirit-powered gardening golems Three Horns mentioned. Worth a look over if it won't take long. Mr. Ochre will likely want to inspect it extra long, so give him time while everyone else continues gathering.
>>
No. 947530 ID: 91ee5f

>>947524
I’d rather leave it alone and not touch it at all. We know they’re powered by spirits, but we don’t know how the spirits are put in there.

Are they manually put in there? Or will the machine turn on long enough to suck out the spirit of the closest person in order to power itself?

If it’s the first one, we don’t have to worry. But if it’s the second one, then we’re in trouble!
>>
No. 947533 ID: b1b4f3

Remember, someone said earlier this might be a place we can find replacement bodies for the two ghostly Mediums we found.
This could be one!
>>
No. 947538 ID: 028f23

>>947533
Ooooooh, well bloody said!
I hadn't connected that, but there very well could be research or technology in this spire that could lead directly to a new body for our friends!
Maybe not these bodies specifically, seeing as they probably lack any senses or vitality whatsoever, but if the power to do transfer disembodied spirits into manufactured vessels exists, then we can probably work something out.
>>
No. 947540 ID: 91ee5f

>>947533
Yeah, I guess you’ve got a point.

But would they actually be able to control it once they got in it? Or would they have no control and just be used up as a battery while the golem did it’s own thing?
>>
No. 947542 ID: cb6404

>>947493

Looks like an old automaton pissed off the garden ...?
>>
No. 947640 ID: 7816e7
File 157179730278.png - (220.61KB , 700x500 , 10-115.png )
947640

Delilah traces her gaze up the pair of legs and finds a bronze figure, partially obscured by vines, slouched against the tree trunk. She flicks at it with a finger and a hollow sound rings forth. “Huh. Hey Casey! Come check this out!”

Casey pauses her harvesting to examine the metal figure. “Ohh, this must be one of those spirit machine things.” She runs her fingers across its surface, examining the joints and seams. “I don’t know if this one is going to be of any use: looks kind of rusted together. If we can find some in better shape, I know some disembodied spirits that might be able to use them. Good find though!”

They pat the automaton farewell and continue hunting for mushrooms.
>>
No. 947641 ID: 7816e7
File 157179730804.png - (173.17KB , 700x500 , 10-116.png )
947641

Cecil runs a finger along some ferns and remarks to himself, “This whole collection seems quite unearthly. I’ll have to arrange for some further study...”
>>
No. 947642 ID: ce39da

Careful of those vines, Mr. Ochre!
>>
No. 947644 ID: cdabe3

Oh no! lewd vines incoming!
>>
No. 947645 ID: 028f23

>>947641
Oh my.
Seems good sir Ochre is in for some pollination.

You should probably warn him in case he doesn't feel like indulging the local flora. It would no doubt be a fascinating study of a highly specialized specimen, but uh....we should make sure he's down to pound pistils. Also that it's safe. That too.
>>
No. 947649 ID: 83bf07

>>947641
Watch your six!
>>
No. 947741 ID: 7816e7
File 157188977967.png - (152.20KB , 700x500 , 10-117.png )
947741

Eyeing the vines creeping towards the bird, Casey shouts a warning, “Hey, Cecil! Behind you!”

Mr. Ochre half turns and is startled by the sinuous tendrils snaking towards him. “Oh! Oh my!” Stumbling away and his foot catches on a stray tree root.
>>
No. 947742 ID: 7816e7
File 157188979273.png - (171.09KB , 700x499 , 10-118.png )
947742

The bird lands heavily in the dirt with the wind knocked out of him. Cecil’s arm flattens a cluster of mushrooms as he arrests his fall and he coughs as a could of spores erupts from the puffballs.
>>
No. 947746 ID: e7848c

>>947742
Hey, let's just go ahead and move to respiratory precautions. Masks up everyone
>>
No. 947747 ID: b1b4f3

Oh hey aren't puffballs usually edible? Should be fine, Casey help the poor bird up.
>>
No. 947748 ID: 91ee5f

>>947742
Please tell me those aren’t poisonous and/or capable of making him high as a kite. And if it is either of those things, I certainly hope the kobolds will have some kind of antidote!

We’d better ask Zafi if we should be worried about those mushrooms Cecil landed on.
>>
No. 947764 ID: ce39da

It looks like in avoiding the 'tentacle' route, we ended up picking the 'tripping balls' route for this upcoming scene instead.

Respiratory check, get Zafi over here to advise, all good suggestions. This could end up fun for him, but we can't take any risks in the meantime. Oh, and move him away from the vines; he can wander back into their embrace on his own if they're safe and he just needs to ride this out, but in this time of uncertainty, we can't afford to have him in an arrested state.
>>
No. 947769 ID: a9af05

>>947742
Cecil, no offense or anything, bit we're trying to rescue Kol right now. So could you please focus on gathering mushrooms instead of looking at the other plants?

As soon as we've rescued Kol, you can come back up here (in a group for safety reasons) and look at all these plants as much as you want.

>>947748
>Will mushrooms poision Cecil or make him high?
You're thinking too mundane for a fictional universe.

The real thing we need to worry about is him becoming a weird mushroom zombie like in The Last of Us game.
>>
No. 947770 ID: 824a3f

Oh dear. Say, do those coatl feathers just provide air, or do they have some sort of purification effect? Maybe using one would clean up the air in Cecil's lungs?
>>
No. 947772 ID: 10c408

>>947770
Little late for that. He'd have to not breath right now and then some to avoid the spores.
>>
No. 947775 ID: 7816e7
File 157196332110.png - (238.45KB , 700x561 , 10-119.png )
947775

“Cecil are you okay?” Casey turns him over and helps him up.

“Qu-quite alright, my dear...” Mr. Ochre adjusts his glasses as he stands. “Merely startled, thats alllllll...” His voice trails off as his vision shifts. Patterns seem to ripple around him and he blinks rapidly.

“Cecil?” Casey looks into his face as he starts to sway. “Hello?”

“Casey?” He reaches out with his fingers and traces the air around her. “What have you done with your hair? This color is amazing!” He stops and turns his hands this way and that. “Are these my hands? Should they be vibrating like that?”

“Uhhhh... Delilah?” Casey calls over her shoulder, “Something’s up with Mr. Ochre...”
>>
No. 947776 ID: 7816e7
File 157196332605.png - (197.39KB , 700x500 , 10-120.png )
947776

Something large and exploding with lavender-orange rainbows takes Cecil by the beak and stares into his dilated pupil. “Hmm, some kind of hallucinogenic response? Zafi, are any of these mushrooms toxic?”

A brilliant green zigzag shrugs and remarks that “Some of them give a tingle on the tongue, but we don’t get sick. Kobolds can eat pretty much anything that isn’t rocks.”

“Hmm, we might want to wear our air tanks in here then.” A pulse of neon purple light floods Cecil’s vision as mana washes over him. “That should neutralize anything toxic, but it might be a while before he comes down from wherever he is.”

The bird giggles and pets the friendly giant on the arm, “Delilah, I wish you could see yourself! You look stunning!”
>>
No. 947777 ID: 7816e7
File 157196333376.png - (252.44KB , 700x499 , 10-121.png )
947777

As the healer blushes, Casey takes the tripping bird by the hand and leads him gently through the underbrush. “Why don’t you sit down for a bit, Cecil? Until you feel better?”

“Oh, I feel marvelous, my dear!” He says, staring at his extended arm. “I’ve never seen colors like these!" Cecil wiggles with delight as the myriad hues flicker across his skin like electricity.

Casey nod and starts to back away, "I'll be right back. Okay?"

Cecil clutches his fingers together and gives her a bashful look. "Wait!" He hesitates before asking, "Casey... may I touch you?"
>>
No. 947778 ID: a9af05

>>947777
Casey, it might be better if you take Cecil to Gabe, so that he can watch the tripping bird and make sure none of the plants grab him while he's too drugged to fight back.

You also need to go to Gabe to get your air tanks from his pocket dimensional storage thingy.

>Can I touch you?
As long as it isn't sexual touching. That will have to wait until later.
>>
No. 947779 ID: a0dfd2

>>947777

Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe we've found a cache of The Good Shit.
>>
No. 947780 ID: cdabe3

>>947777
oh boy, let him touch you! he probably just has a completely innocent, scientific reason to do so
>>
No. 947786 ID: ce39da

Maybe if you reeeeeeeeally focus on the way the colors are flickering on your body, you can try to control it like all your friends seem to be able to do! Unlock the secrets of manacolor! Understand something new about the whole freaking universe!
>>
No. 947788 ID: b1b4f3

Assuming there are no serious side effects, we should take samples of those puffballs to show someone once we're out. Maybe we found a new recreational drug?
Cecil still needs to be closely monitored, since we don't know what he's on. Might as well keep him entertained while we're at it.
>>
No. 947796 ID: 83bf07

Let's get within eyesight of Gabe at least
>>
No. 947809 ID: a9af05

>>947788
I'm not entirely sure introducing a new drug to the world is such a good idea.
>>
No. 947831 ID: 7816e7
File 157205686940.png - (250.77KB , 700x499 , 10-122.png )
947831

“Uh, sure?” Casey extends a hand.

Cecil traces a finger up her arm, gasping as color ripples outward like a flock of birds. “Ohhh, simply splendid!”

A shiver runs through Casey’s fur as his claws caress her arm. “I... really should get back to helping Delilah. Maybe it would be best to leave you with Gabe. Would that be okay?”

“Oh! Yes, lets go see him!” Cecil burbles and happily trails behind her.
>>
No. 947832 ID: 7816e7
File 157205687431.png - (278.23KB , 499x700 , 10-123.png )
947832

Gabe gives them a wave as they approach, “Hey! What’s up?”

“Cecil got a lung-full of some kind of spores and now he’s... well, he’s a bit high. It might be safer if he stays here with you.” Casey explains.

“Ahh, yeah sure. I was getting a bit lonely anyway.” Gabe pats the ground and Mr. Ochre sits next to him.

“Oh, you have a marvelous tint, Gabe! Can I touch you?” The bird beams at him hopefully.

“Uh, sure. Knock yourself out, dude.” Gabe giggles as the bird starts to get handsy. "Oh hey, heh, that tickles!" The mouse squirms as blunt clawtips rake through his short fur.

“You two have fun!” Casey straps on her air mask and turns to head back to the garden. “Just keep an eye on him for a bit, will you?”
>>
No. 947833 ID: 3ce8ff

>>947809
hey if it isn't addictive and non-toxic the question becomes what is the harm?
>>
No. 947836 ID: ce39da

“I got to see Casey and Delilah move their colors around in such a fascinating way. How do you move your colors when you do magic? Could I try moving my colors around? I can see them now! Even more than I already could before...”

>>947833
Possible addiction if it’s used too much, harmful long-term damage, the usual. Winners don’t do drugs.
>>
No. 947838 ID: a0dfd2

>>947832

I think we'll have no trouble keeping both eyes on him.

And maybe a dick.
>>
No. 947839 ID: e7848c

Hey, at least they're in somewhat safe supervision. Gabe's our quick exit.
>>
No. 947841 ID: a9af05

>>947832
Gabe, you can let him touch you, but just make sure you don't let your concentration slip on the ward. You're the only one that's capable of protecting Kol's body from being possessed by any potential stray spirits.
>>
No. 947842 ID: 7fb87a

>>947832
Poke those green ears.. they're different, there's got to be a reason
>>
No. 947846 ID: b1b4f3

>>947832
Poke Kol too!
>>
No. 947850 ID: e6f10c

>>947846
Yeah, poke Kol's body too! I wonder what it'll look like to Mr. Ochre, since Kol's spirit isn't in it.
>>
No. 947851 ID: 4fdd25

Let me be straightforward: I'd like to see them have sex in this state.
>>
No. 947861 ID: 91ee5f

>>947841
I agree with this.

>>947851
There is a time and a place for having sex. This is neither the time nor the place for that.

We are in an area that has unknown dangers and getting caught while being distracted might end with someone getting killed. We’re better off waiting until we get to a safe location before anyone can have sex.
>>
No. 948015 ID: 7816e7
File 157222846864.png - (283.87KB , 499x700 , 10-124.png )
948015

Mr. Ochre’s exploring hands trace their way up Gabe’s body. The bird grins as fireworks crackle off of the technicolor fur. His fingers find Gabe’s ears and the mouse squeaks.

“EEK! Oh man!” Gabe shivers and a blush blooms through his thin ears. “Oh man, oh man!”

“Are you alright?” Cecil pauses his colorful journey for a moment and cocks his head.

The mouse nods with a dreamy look in his eyes. “Mmmmhmm. Its been a while since anybody fooled with my ears. Keep going, dude!”

Buoyed by the encouragement, Mr. Ochre continues his fingering. Eliciting further squeaks, he doodle soft circles on Gabe’s naked ears; tracing every curve with delight. With the mouses pulse beating under his fingertips, Mr. Ochre giggles as colors blossom and fade like fireflies.

The mouse arches his back and squirms in Cecil’s grip. He falls back against the bird, surrendering totally to the stimulation. Gabe’s tail twitches this way and that, his feet scuffing against the stone as he wriggles with pleasure. His knees lock together as things start to get awkwardly tight in his pants.

“W-wait, Cecil. I’m- oh that’s good- I don’t know if we should. AAAAOOOhhhhhh!” As his ear gets chomped lightly in Cecil’s beak, his defenses dissolve into a needy moan.
>>
No. 948024 ID: e7848c

Cecil: investigate fire in Gabe's pants
>>
No. 948059 ID: cdabe3

>>948024
Yes, Cecil! This warrants further investigations!
>>
No. 948069 ID: a9af05

>>948015
I certainly hope Gabe isn't losing his concentration on that ward! It would really suck if a stray spirit decided to steal Kol's body right now!
>>
No. 948112 ID: ce39da

>>948069
Kol's body might be safe within the protection of those spirit-snatching kobolds, but you're right, we shouldn't risk it. What to distract Cecil with, though... We can't just tell him not to do anything. How about...

Cecil, see if you can try to catch the colorful sparks coming off of him; surely, those aren't just hallucinatory abstractions!

(This may or may not also be yet another attempt to see if Cecil can gain a skill or ability from this experience.)
>>
No. 948133 ID: 8313b0

The fires in his loins must be quenched. I vote by application if birdtongue
>>
No. 948151 ID: 824a3f

No sex with people who are drugged up without prior consent! Cecil will be mortified later. Probably. Possibly. But that's enough!
>>
No. 948157 ID: e29ced

>>948151
This.
While the idea of having sex while high does sound fun, this kind of thing needs to be worked out in advance.
So you keep it in your pants for this time, but make sure to have a stash handy for when you actually want high sex.
>>
No. 948169 ID: 68f9ae

Lick the mouse
>>
No. 948199 ID: 7816e7
File 157232277701.png - (230.08KB , 680x700 , 10-125.png )
948199

"Oh my, are you alright down here?" Mr. Ochre's fingers spread out across Gabe's belly and under his waistband. He lifts the fabric aside and grins as his prize slips free. "Oh, lovely! So vibrant, Gabe! I'm going to have to get something for my collection this color. You know, this whole experience has been quite fascinating!"

>>
No. 948201 ID: 7816e7
File 157232302384.png - (293.83KB , 700x660 , 10-126.png )
948201

The mouse bites his lip, as another caress of his ear sends him shuddering. His skinny chest heaves and he moans as Cecil takes him in hand and pumps back and forth.

"Am, I doing this right? I'm afraid I'm still rather new to all this. Oh but this is so fun! I believe much more research will be in order." Watching intently as new and impossible hues blossom in front of his eyes, a wide smile splits His beak. Slickness coats his fingers and the bird redoubles his efforts, happily polishing Gabe's shaft as the mouse inches closer.

With his willpower rapidly eroding, Gabe lays back and nods encouragingly, mewling little cries of pleasure. "Oh, Fates, ohhhh man, Cecil. yes, YES! Don't stop! MMMMMmmmmm, fuck! Gonna cum if you keep that up!"

>>
No. 948203 ID: 500e12

Keep it up, Cecil! You need to see all pretty colors! Tell Gabe how much you want to see his pretty colors!
>>
No. 948224 ID: 83bf07

Shoot your goo my dude

Cecil, this going to be like nothing you've ever seen before. Please watch closely as you open this door. After this, Gabe will be begging for more..
>>
No. 948328 ID: 7816e7
File 157240520011.png - (236.01KB , 500x700 , 10-127.png )
948328

Feeling Gabe’s body tighten up in anticipation, Cecil urges him on. His hand pumps frantically at the mouse’s cock as the pressure builds within. The tip flares against his grip as the last few seconds before release tick by. "Yes! Let me see it! Cum for me, Gabe!"

“F-fuck!” Gabe lurches forward, his hips jerking. Bright, arcs of color fountain between Cecil’s fingers and splatter against the stone. Dizzy with pleasure, Gabe empties himself; feeling each pulse blaze through his body like fire. He hangs on to the bird for support as the blissful post coital haze takes hold, leaving him senseless and weak.

>>
No. 948329 ID: 7816e7
File 157240520551.png - (198.74KB , 700x500 , 10-128.png )
948329

Mr. Ochre carefully lets go of the spent cock, and lifts his hand. Ribbons of cum drape across his fingers, shifting like liquid rainbows. In the bird’s eyes, the swirl of colors trigger a whirlwind of emotions and sensations. A thin tongue laps gently at the beautiful mess as he savors the taste of color itself.

Mr. Ochre swallows daintily. Closing his eyes, he lets out a satisfied breath. “Ah! Exquisite...”

>>
No. 948332 ID: 7816e7
File 157240530262.png - (82.31KB , 700x500 , 10-129.png )
948332

Gabe pants, watching the bird with amazement. “W-wow, Cecil. That- that was intense. Thanks! I- uh. I never expected you to, uh- you know...”

The bird opens his eyes and shrugs bashfully, giving Gabe a smile. “Oh, well... I hope I wasn’t too forward. Ever since I met you and your partners, I've been so excited to try new things. This... sensation I'm experiencing is just so dazzling, I couldn't let it go to waste.”

“Its okay, Cecil. I was just...”

“Uh... where’s Kol?”
>>
No. 948334 ID: b1b4f3

>>948332
Well well well. Looks like you dropped the ball, and someone made off with his body using the second platform.
See if you can still spot it in the chasms around here. Your kobold guide should be able to tell you which destination to pick from which direction it went.
>>
No. 948343 ID: 91ee5f

>>948332
To Gabe: Wow, good going. You had one job and you fucked up big time. You should’ve known better than to let yourself get distracted like that. You better hope you can find Kol’s body before the spirit possessing it can get away!

You’d better go and alert the others, right now!

To Cecil: There is a time and a place for trying new things. This was neither the time nor the place for that. You’ve only got yourself to blame for distracting Gabe.
>>
No. 948344 ID: 0f57ee

Oh boy.
Alrighty, Gabe make a shouting portal in the garden. Up high to avoid any traffic. Yell out that Kol is gone and to run out here. Look through another portal to see if the other elevator is back at the warren.
>>
No. 948420 ID: f57349

Raise your shorts, and the alarm.
>>
No. 948421 ID: eba8a7

Dammit, Kol is gonna be furious at you that you let his body get hijacked by getting a handjob. And if you don't get his bod back...

Get your shorts then your ass up. You need to locate the second elevator which whoever hijacked Kol's body presumably took ASAP. Look down the tunnel you came in via to see if it's there. If it is then you need to Gate to it before it gets out of sight. Then you can either drop possessed-Kol into your extra-dimensional closet or use a Gate to dump him... Where? Back on the platform he could just take the other elevator. Drop him in the Garden instead.

If you can't see the elevator block, then hope that the vertical shaft that you came in on is the only way to get to all the destinations it could go to and open a peephole Gate to the vertical shaft. Use it to look up and down the shaft for the elevator. Whether you locate it or not, run back into the Garden and yell for help. If you do locate the elevator, keep re-positioning the Gate to keep it in view. If you don't locate the elevator... I dunno what can be done.
>>
No. 948492 ID: a9af05

>>948332
Gabe, since Cecil was high, that means he's unable to think clearly. Do you know what that means? It means this is entirely your fault. You've got no one to blame but yourself for how badly you've fucked up.

Instead of sitting there and feeling sorry for yourself, get up of your ass and do something! If you can see the other lift, put a portal in front of it to redirect it back to you.

You've obviously gotta punish yourself. Since sex got you into this mess, that means you're not allowed to have any kind of sex for a whole month! This also means that you're not allowed to go on any adventures with the others, until you can prove that you can be trusted to handle your responsibilities without your dick out of your pants.
>>
No. 948493 ID: 7816e7
File 157256846916.png - (126.03KB , 700x500 , 10-130.png )
948493

“Oh lichfire.” Mr. Ochre points to the missing space next to them. “The other transporter is missing! What do we do?”

Gabe takes a deep breath. He stands and pulls up his shorts. “Okay, let’s not panic. He can’t get that far then. Spirit guides are taught to prepare in case something like this happens.”

He waves a hand and opens a gate a couple feet across. Sticking his head through, he gazes out into the lush jungle growing underground. “Woah, cool...”

“Hey, Casey! Delilah!” Gabe calls out, scanning the underbrush.

“Gabe? What’s up?”

“Something nabbed Kol! He took off in the other transport! I, uh- let my concentration slip, I guess.”

Casey sighs and stuff the last of her mushroom harvest in her pack. “Alright, we’ll be right out.”

The party reconvenes on the remaining transport. Gabe hangs his head anxiously, “Sorry, I fucked up. I shouldn’t have gotten distracted.”

He’s pulled into a hug by Casey and she pats reassurances into his back. “Hey, it’ll be okay. Kol trusts us and we’ll get his body back.” She turns to their kobold guide. “Zafi, we’re assuming a sprit of some kind has taken control of Kol’s body. Is there anywhere a ghost might want to take him?”

Zafi fidgets and thinks, “They say the sanctum once held a place of power. Its possible they might go there.”
>>
No. 948494 ID: cdabe3

By the spirits, y’all are some salty suggestors! Kol’s body is probably fine, and I’m sure he’ll forgive Gabe’s slip in concentration, especially since we helped influence it.

Gabe, do you have any magical means to track kol? Maybe he left a trail of magic or footprints behind.
>>
No. 948495 ID: 695467

>>948492 >>948421 >>948343
Stop. This is counterproductive, nothing good can come of heaping negative thoughts on Gabe. Think of it this way: A spirit nabbed Kol's body while Gabe while they were distracted, if Gabe wasn't distracted then that doesn't necessarily mean we could've kept Kol's possessed body here, the spirit could've used Kol's body to overpower Gabe and escape. Keep your focus on resolving this, not pointlessly demoralising Gabe further.

I suggest following Zafi's advice and heading to the sanctum, but keep an eye out while you travel. It's possible the transporter was sent down as misdirection.
>>
No. 948496 ID: ce39da

Pop a portal to warn the village to be on the lookout, too. This is a pretty ballsy move on the spirit's part, considering what these kobolds are capable of. Then head to the Sanctum; even if the spirit isn't there, we need to check there because that's supposedly where the spirit can do the most damage. Have Zafi point out the correct option on the platform.
>>
No. 948497 ID: b1b4f3

Okay, let's head there. Hmm, any chance we could open a portal to deliver the mushrooms and retrieve Kol's spirit before we head to the Sanctum?
>>
No. 948498 ID: a9af05

>>948493
>Zafi fidgets and thinks, “They say the sanctum once held a place of power. Its possible they might go there.”
Then let's go there.

>>948495
>nothing good can come of heaping negative thoughts on Gabe.
The negative thoughts will keep him focused on fixing his mistake.

>if Gabe wasn't distracted then that doesn't necessarily mean we could've kept Kol's possessed body here, the spirit could've used Kol's body to overpower Gabe and escape.
Incorrect.

If Gabe wasn't distracted, then the spirit wouldn't have been able to possess Kol's body in the first place, since that's the whole reason Gabe had a ward set up around Kol's body.

>pointlessly demoralising Gabe further.
It's not pointless if it teaches a lesson to not repeat the same mistake in the future.
>>
No. 948499 ID: e7848c

>>948497
Let's go ahead and drop off the mushrooms real quick so we don't have that weighing us down. To the Sanctum.
>>
No. 948500 ID: eba8a7

Considering how massive this place is and how easily Kol's body could be lost down here, you've gotta try to get better than "possible."

Ask Zafi if the transport that left here would have to go through the central vertical shaft to get to any of its destinations. If so, or if for most of them, then it'd make sense to open a "peephole" Gate to the shaft at the same level as the Garden and look up and down it for the transport. If you spot it then Zafi can say where it could be going based on if it's higher or lower. Gabe could even open a mini-Gate well above the transport and use a spyglass or binoculars to get a look at its controls and see exactly where it's going. He might even be able to widen the Gate to allow Casey to glide in on her mana wings and subdue Kol's body.
>>
No. 948502 ID: b1b4f3

If we CAN get Kol's spirit quickly, then he could possess that golem body in the garden and use it to help get his real body back.
>>
No. 948503 ID: 91ee5f

>>948493
>Spirit guides are taught to prepare in case something like this happens.
You were taught to prepare, but were you taught what to do when something like this actually happens? Because there’s a big difference between preparing to prevent this from happening and what to do when it does happen.

Does any of your training involve forcibly removing a spirit that’s possessing a body that doesn’t belong to them?

>>948497
If either Three Horns knows how to deal with these stray spirits or if we need Kol’s magic to remove the spirit from Kol’s body, we can portal down there, since taking the lift would take too long.

However, if we don’t need either of them, we might just end up wasting time going back to the kobold village instead of chasing after Kol’s body right now.

>>948495
>if Gabe wasn't distracted.....
If he wasn’t distracted, this wouldn’t have happened.

>>948502
I think that one is too damaged to be used.

And even if it was operational, I don’t trust using it. It’s a machine that’s meant to enslave spirits, so whoever built it wouldn’t have included a way for the spirit to get out of the machine.
>>
No. 948677 ID: 7816e7
File 157282850480.png - (148.70KB , 700x499 , 10-131.png )
948677

They pass though the threshold into the central shaft and the transport slows to a halt. A moment later it begins descending, traveling further into the mountain.

“Is Kol going to be okay?” Cecil asks, squinting his eyes as long streaks of light blur past him. “Will you be able to take it back from whatever’s using it?”

“It happens. There are times where a medium needs to lend a spirit their body to help them complete unfinished business before passing on. Its to be expected that some spirits aren’t willing to part with a living body so easily.“ Casey explains. “Wards are supposed to keep a borrowed body from running off, or protect  a medium while spirit walking. We’ve never had to deal with it before, but we’re not exactly novices.” She smiles sideways at him as the transport changes directions again.
>>
No. 948678 ID: 7816e7
File 157282851471.png - (98.88KB , 700x499 , 10-132.png )
948678

The stone block begins to slow, and pulls up to a docking station. Before it lies an immense iron door, forced open wider to accommodate someone much larger than a kobold. A single set of bootprints scuff through the dust, leading deep inside. The gloom within reveals a tunnel braced with stone arches like the ribs of the earth itself.  
>>
No. 948679 ID: e7848c

>>948678
Only a single set of tracks. Perhaps it was a spare that took him? Onwards.
>>
No. 948680 ID: 66815b

Do we have any magical means to stealthily scout ahead for traps and whatnot? Do that, and then carefully walk through.
>>
No. 948681 ID: ce39da

He can’t have too much of a head start. Full sprint time.
>>
No. 948682 ID: 91ee5f

>>948677
>We’ve never had to deal with it before, but we’re not exactly novices.
That’s not very reassuring. Never having to deal with it before means that you have no experience in recovering a body that a spirit has possessed.

What’s worse is that you didn’t even explain how you were going to get the spirit out of Kol’s body, which make me think that you don’t even know how to do it!

>>948678
>Before it lies an immense iron door, forced open wider to accommodate someone much larger than a kobold. A single set of bootprints scuff through the dust, leading deep inside.
Kol’s body is bigger than a kobold and was also wearing boots. Seems like this is the correct way to go, so let’s go!
>>
No. 948683 ID: eba8a7

Looks like Kol's body got boosted by the hijacking spirit to push that door open. Gonna have to keep that in mind when we confront them 'cause they're very likely gonna fight us. That may also mean the speed of Kol's body has been boosted, so we gotta get the lead out to catch up.

Ask Zafi if she'd agree to being carried by Delilah or riding piggyback on her. We only ask because we need the greater speed our longer legs would give us right now. If she doesn't agree, then ask if she'd be okay with catching up while we run ahead.

Ask Zafi just why a spirit that has been wandering about down here would want to come to this place of power, how they'd know about it and what they'd need a body to do once there. Presumably the spirit could have slipped into this place of power at any point, barring anti-spirit wards, so what do they need to occupy a body for? Is there something in there that they need to physically move? Or maybe something hazardous to loose spirits, like a giant version of that crystal Three Horns had, that they couldn't get near? ...And could the spirit be that of one of the kobolds' old masters?

Also ask Zafi what she knows of what this place was used for, back when her people were still enslaved by their old masters.
>>
No. 948685 ID: 91ee5f

>>948683
>a giant version of that crystal Three Horns had
Three Horns didn’t have a crystal. She made the crystal with her magic.
>>
No. 948703 ID: eba8a7

>>948685
Oh, right. Still, there could be spirit trapping wards in there that'd do similar.
>>
No. 948717 ID: a0dfd2

>>948678

Speaking of, where's Delilah?

She's the only one I can think of who has the kind of strength to do that, and ... we've not seen her in the last several minutes.
>>
No. 948724 ID: 91ee5f

>>948717
She’s with everyone, she’s just not on screen.
>>
No. 948923 ID: 7816e7
File 157309343472.png - (155.67KB , 500x700 , 10-133.png )
948923

“Why would a spirit want to get in here?” Delilah asks. She tests the door and it groans as rusted bearings grind in place.

“The lord of the mountain ruled from here many years ago.” Zafi explained. “Its said this place granted him power, and he had the walls built to keep spirits from entering.”

“It looks like your people haven’t come here in a long time.” Casey notes, eyeing the dust. “Why not? It seems like that kind of power would be hard to resist.”

Zafi seems to stand up higher, her skinny chest puffed up proudly. “Kobolds were slaves to that power, and refuse to let it control others! The danger of it being misused is too great.”

“Well said.” Casey smiles and beckons, “We better hurry then before whatever took our friend seizes it.”

She hurries off into the dark, followed by her friends. After a moment of worry, staring at the threshold, Zafi scurries after them.

The tunnel spirals down, into the bones of the earth. Lit by the same strange crystal fragments, wedged into stone sconces, strange shadows seem to lunge at them as they run past. The dusty, unused air scours at their lungs as they race deeper: privately glad of Delilah’s stamina training.
>>
No. 948924 ID: 7816e7
File 157309343969.png - (137.17KB , 700x388 , 10-134.png )
948924

They come to a halt the the end of the tunnel, beyond which lies the sanctum of the vampire lord. Built in a low dome held up by stone ribs, the chamber is empty, save for three stone chairs set in a semicircle around the rim of a circular pit. Each of the thrones is occupied by a pile of bones, strewn about by time and decay.
>>
No. 948925 ID: 83bf07

>>948924
Investigate pit, but keep your eyes open. You don't want to be pushed in there.
>>
No. 948926 ID: b1b4f3

Look around in all directions. A possessed body could jump quite high I imagine.
>>
No. 948932 ID: 91ee5f

>>948924
Could they be on top of those arches that’s holding that green crystal up there? Or perhaps they’re hiding behind one of the thrones?

This place is supposed to be covered in dust, right? Look for more boot prints and follow them!
>>
No. 948936 ID: d004e0

Check floor for bootprints to locate Kol's hijacked body. Failing that, there's few hiding spots in here to check. Behind the three thrones and possibly between the ribs near the apex of the chamber. (The spirit could brace Kol's body between them.) If Kol's body isn't anyplace you can see, then barring invisibility magic he very likely went down the pit as it's the only other exit.
>>
No. 948976 ID: ce39da

Yeah, footprints should be a dead giveaway to where he went; don’t hesitate in following.

“If the spirit wanted to seize this power, how would they do it?”
>>
No. 948998 ID: a9af05

>>948924
Have we ever considered the possibility that maybe the spirit is a follower of Ms. Moot? They could've died before they completed their final mission, which was to seal the mana well.

Although, even if that's what's going on, it doesn't change our objective: Stop the spirit. Because even if they're just here to seal the mana well, we know for a fact that the process involves the sealer sacrificing their body. So we'd better stop that spirit before they sacrifice Kol's body!
>>
No. 949006 ID: 7816e7
File 157318512120.png - (161.38KB , 700x500 , 10-135.png )
949006

Casey follows the trail of bootprints, squinting into the dust as they lead her closer to the pit. She stands at the edge, squinting into the yawning void for signs of movement.
>>
No. 949007 ID: 7816e7
File 157318513010.png - (161.71KB , 499x700 , 10-136.png )
949007

Dust trickles past her face and the sound of a foot scuffing echoes from above. The mouse half-turns and extends a hand. Aura flares around her fingers for a second and arrests the falling figure, shackling it in midair with a bracelet of light.

Kol’s body grins back at her, dangling from one arm. He chuckles, twisting Kol’s voice with an unfamiliar sharpness, “Very well, then. I suppose we should talk.”
>>
No. 949013 ID: b1b4f3

>>949007
I think so, yes.
Who are you, and what do you want so badly that you'd steal a body to get it?
>>
No. 949021 ID: 8b43ab

Quite. But we are NOT talking in here.
>>
No. 949022 ID: a9af05

>>949007
We can talk after you leave our friend's body.

>>949021
I agree with this. Let's move the conversation to a different location.

How about the kobold village? Three Horns might be able to help us evict this spirit from Kol's body, if we can't negotiate them to leave on their own.
>>
No. 949025 ID: feecd8

>>949007
If wards are supposed to stop spirits from running off with bodies, then Gabe better put one up to prevent this spirit from running off.

>>949022
>Move to Kobold village
Yeah, let's do that. Gabe, give us a portal to the village. That way both of the lifts will be up here and the spirit can't use them. Then he can set up a ward to keep the spirit in place.

Or would Gabe prefer fucking up and letting the spirit run off with Kol's body again?
>>
No. 949029 ID: 91ee5f

>>949025
>portal to kobold village
>leave the both lifts up here to prevent the spirit from using them
>place a ward to hold the spirit in place
That sounds like a good plan. Just as long as we move the spirit away from this place.

>Or would Gabe prefer fucking up and letting the spirit run off with Kol's body again?
That’s enough of that.
>>
No. 949042 ID: 83bf07

Yeah, let's talk, thief. Name first.
>>
No. 949045 ID: d3a7f5

>>949007
Yep! But not here! We can't talk to spirits without our trusty medium, y'know?

Tuck him through a portal to the kobold village (if possible - given this is a sanctum, it might be warded against outtrusions as well as intrusions).

It should probably be far better we have this discussion under Kol and the auspices of someone familiar with the local spirits - not to mention someone with a gem they can yoink uppity spirits into!

That said, should someone stay behind to see if the guy's fiddled with anything here that seems important? Would suck if he pressed the 'evil lair self-destruct' switch or 'activate security' button.
>>
No. 949047 ID: a0dfd2

>>949007

Oh boy. Here comes the cliche monologue about how long they've been waiting here for some mortal of superior biology to blah blah blah blah blah and finally they've a chance to blah blah yammer blah and will soon be able to--

Anyway, let's ask that they leave Kol be, since it's really rude to run off with him like that. Then we can all have a nice, civil discussion and figure things out. Like proper Spirit Guardians (or whatever we're called; I forget).
>>
No. 949067 ID: d004e0

Whoever took Kol's body has already demonstrated bad intent by the theft and their actions afterwards, including trying to drop on you. They get no benefit of the doubt and whatever they say will be taken with a grain of salt the size of a cinder block.

Conjure binds around his ankles, wrists, waist and neck, pull him into a hogtied position and carry him along in the air towards the exit. "No, you're going to vacate my partner's body you stole, thief. Then, maybe, we'll talk." Tell Delilah to pull the entry door shut once we get past it.
>>
No. 949097 ID: 10c408

>>949067
seconding this.
>>
No. 949101 ID: d004e0

>>949067
In addendum to my suggestion: Use your god-tier binding magic to hold Kol's body and whoever is inside. They've already shown they could juice it up to the point of shifting massive rusty metal doors, so they're not getting any chance to break free.
>>
No. 949127 ID: a9af05

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this spirit is one of the kobold's old masters and they're here to get enough power to reclaim their "property".

They might even try to offer us some of that power in exchange for helping them enslave the kobolds.

Obviously, we're going to refuse helping them.

>>949067
>Bad intent
I agree with this. I mean, do you see that evil look the spirit is giving us with Kol's face? That's clearly not a look a trustworthy person would use!
>>
No. 949259 ID: 7816e7
File 157351502182.png - (113.82KB , 500x700 , 10-137.png )
949259

“Of course, but I suggest a change of venue first.” Casey nods to Gabe.

The sender consults his mental map of the tunnels, does a few quick calculations and rounds things out a bit. His hands move in a series of mage signs and a gate opens to the kobold village.

Casey clamps the wayward spirit with a few more magical bindings and floats him through the gate. As he passes through, the thief stares at the gate spell with growing interest; as if finally understanding some long hidden puzzle. As a few kobold faces peer out of the ramshackle structures, he smiles. “Ahh! The servants! Good to see they’re still thriving.”

A square of red flares on the ground around Kol’s body as Gabe wards him in place.

“Okay, first off: who are you?” Casey demands.

Head held high, the spirit adopts an imperious tone, “I am the lord of this mountain! Muir the Mountain King! The-“

“Yeah okay, we get the idea. Question two: may we have our partner’s body back?”

“Had my other bodies not crumbled into dust, I might have relinquished this form. But no. Its been several hundred years since I last had a body and I quite like it.” He tries to cross his arms in defiance, but the shackles hold him in place. He settles on closing his eyes stubbornly.
>>
No. 949263 ID: cdabe3

Well that’s no good!

First off, ask about the mechanical body we found earlier, and then suggest building a new body if that isn’t suitable; leaving the spirit in Gabe’s body ain’t gonna fly.
>>
No. 949277 ID: 3ce8ff

rather than think all that hard about this, sex usually seems to solve problems. (or cause them I suppose) So offer sex in exchange for body?
>>
No. 949278 ID: a0dfd2

>>949259

So not even like, that cool mechanical body we saw in the garden? Something like that would last for at least ... well, several centuries.
>>
No. 949281 ID: 094652

>No spare bodies
Easily fixed; we have a necromancer on call!
>>
No. 949282 ID: 3ed3c3

>>949259
Well, that's bad for you, buddy boy. Because if you can't think of an alternative for yourself here soon, we'll exorcise your spectral ass and slam dunk it into the GHOST ZONE.
>>
No. 949309 ID: b1b4f3

>>949259
Hey, get Kol over here. Can't he reconnect and regain control over the body once released from his crystalline prison? After all, we did live up to our end of the deal.

The spirit doesn't *really* have to leave the body. As we've seen before, Kol can share.
>>
No. 949318 ID: 91ee5f

>>949259
Alright, we’re back in the village. Let’s call Three Horns and have her bring Kol over here.

We brought her mushrooms and now the spirit of someone that enslaved the kobolds has invaded our friend’s body. We’d like her help to get our friend’s spirit back into his body and to pull this guy out of our friend’s body.
>>
No. 949320 ID: f57349

Ask the kobolds if permanently neutralizing Muir for them would settle our debt and get diplomacy back on track. I mean, given that he's not willing to negotiate, they've kinda got the more legitimate claim in our eyes just by default.
>>
No. 949335 ID: 83bf07

Well we happen to know of a spare body. We need our friend back first.
>>
No. 949344 ID: d3cb99

I don't think we'll be able to please both this guy and the kobolds, because I'm pretty sure he still wants to be their boss.
>>
No. 949352 ID: a9af05

>>949318
This
>>
No. 949375 ID: 7816e7
File 157361202477.png - (128.04KB , 649x700 , 10-138.png )
949375

“Are you sure? Why can’t you use one of the hollow machine bodies?” Casey asks.

Muir scowls. “Useless to me! They have... limitations built into them. Fit for a servant or a guard perhaps, but completely beneath me.”

Casey clicks her tongue and shrugs. “Well, we tried things the nice way...” She looks around and spots Three Horns striding her way.

“We brought you the supplies you asked for.” Casey opens her pack to show the kobold a varied collection of mushrooms.

“And another present, I see.” The binder holds up the gem with Kol’s sprit in it. “A deal is a deal. I’m very interested in seeing how this plays out. Oh ho ho ho ho!” She releases the crystal and it unweaves itself instantly, letting Kol’s spirit float free.
>>
No. 949376 ID: 7816e7
File 157361203030.png - (113.60KB , 700x499 , 10-139.png )
949376

“Oh, that’s so much better! What’s happening?” Kol stretches his ghostly limbs.

“Uh, I kind got your body snatched. Sorry man.” Gabe shrugs.

“It sounds like he doesn’t want to leave. We were hoping you could get him out without too much of a fuss.”

“I’ll give it a shot.” The spirit plunges back into its body, settling in like a comfortable pair of clothes.
>>
No. 949377 ID: 7816e7
File 157361203723.png - (16.24KB , 700x700 , 10-140.png )
949377

Within Kol’s consciousness, two flames burn in the dark.

One says to the other, “What is this?”

The other says, “A memory.”

>>
No. 949387 ID: 2f854d

Oh dear. This might get interesting
>>
No. 949389 ID: b1b4f3

Well let's see it then, and no funny business. Optimally it'll have something to do with Augustine Moot.
>>
No. 949391 ID: ce39da

Stay vigilant. If the other flame makes a move, act in kind.
>>
No. 949393 ID: 91ee5f

>>949377
Uh, are we supposed to wait for Toxo to finish the update or are we supposed to suggest for something to happen?

Because this seems like an unfinished update and we’re supposed to wait for Toxo to upload the picture or pictures with the memory we’re supposed to be looking at.
>>
No. 949409 ID: a9af05

>>949393
I agree, it does look like there's supposed to be more.

To be honest, this is a really awkward update. It kinda looks incomplete.
>>
No. 949410 ID: 3ed3c3

>>949377
Buckle up, spanky.
>>
No. 949415 ID: 83bf07

Perhaps you've seen it, maybe in a dream.

A murky, forgotten land..
>>
No. 949457 ID: 7816e7
File 157369289908.png - (52.37KB , 700x700 , 10-141.png )
949457

”A memory? Of what?” Asks the first flame.

It cautiously explores its surroundings, any light it casts instantly swallowed up by the dark.

“A place where I go when I need to think.” Says the other. “

The flame reaches some kind of wall, sensing roughly hewn stone blocks, icy cold and held together by mortar. A quick circuit reveals a space barely large enough for a person to stand in, only a few meter or so across.

“Why did you bring us here?”

“To die.”

>>
No. 949463 ID: b1b4f3

>>949457
Incorrect. Ghosts don't die, and must be Sent. To be Sent, you must leave the body.
>>
No. 949467 ID: 015bf2

>>949457
Dramatic! So he's reliving the memory of his death, then?

Wait... would that be death death, or just death?

Either way, interesting. Perhaps it'll be related to Augustine's attacks on Vampire Lords? She did have something to do with Hekal's disappearance around five hundred years ago, and this guy has been a spirit for several hundred years - which give or take sounds like it could be in the same region. Mountain King Muir is definitely some manner of Vampire Lord ghost, too. Guess he didn't get his spirit dispersed when his kingdom came apart, which fits with this place not being closed down properly by the Guardian Alliance.
>>
No. 949473 ID: a31c7b

Were it so easy..
>>
No. 949513 ID: 008e66

>>949457
Then, now or forever?
>>
No. 949582 ID: 7816e7
File 157386407524.png - (46.84KB , 700x700 , 10-142.png )
949582

”To die? This is the memory of your death?” Says the first flame.

“Correct.”

The flame snickers, “You think its that easy? I can’t pass on unless I want to.”

“Are you sure about that?” The second flame flickers, growing noticeably dimmer.

The confidence in the first flame wavers as the cold of the stones seeps through it. The darkness seems more immediate as its light starts to fade.

>>
No. 949583 ID: 824a3f

The place the dead go isn't cold. In the world of the living, the dead can be cold - Kol's felt the chill of a dead man who tried to stay in the living world. But the world that they depart to, that's not cold at all. Kol's seen through that door. This isn't the place.

There's a ring hanging from the arch. Is it just hanging there? Supposed to be pulled? A tiny shackle?
>>
No. 949584 ID: b1b4f3

>>949582
Okay so he's trying to kill Kol like this. Best to try to actually do something rather than talk.
Can you summon up your own memories? Warm ones. What's with the chain on the ceiling, can you interact with that?
Another thought is to eat his flame or otherwise attack directly.
As a fallback plan could you just leave the body to recover?
>>
No. 949585 ID: 7816e7
File 157386577664.png - (51.58KB , 700x700 , 10-143.png )
949585

The flame runs itself across the stones once again, in desperation. As it does, a simple ring made of metal bumps against it. It twists gently, hanging from a metal chain.

“Looking for a way out? That won’t help you.” Says the second flame.

The first flame pulls on the chain. Mortar crumbles as the links grind through the crudely cut hole. Somewhere on the other side of the wall a small bell rings. A shaft of dingy, secondhand light threads through the hole like a single grey hair.

>>
No. 949586 ID: a9af05

>>949582
That fucking bastard is trying to kill you within your own body so he can take complete control!

Kol, think back to your training. You were properly trained on what to do in a situation like this, right?
>>
No. 949588 ID: b1b4f3

>>949585
Flames are shapeless. Squeeze through the hole.
>>
No. 949589 ID: 015bf2

Hm. Psychology and Spirit Guardian-ing might do us one better. Don’t panic, Kol. You’re a medium. You’ve talked to spirits and demons and fey fair. Dealing with the tricks of a disembodied Vampire Lord is just another facet of your job.

And since you’re here, talking, you can still do your job. Find common ground. Establish what keeps them here on the mortal coil.

“Oubliette. But one with... room service? Was this an end of your own making? If not, who’d you even piss off to get thrown in here?”
>>
No. 949592 ID: 7816e7
File 157387066623.png - (56.20KB , 700x700 , 10-144.png )
949592

”Not long now.” Comments the second flame, the last few flickers of its light slipping away.

The first flame tries to cram itself into the hole, squeezing but not quite fitting yet. It heaves on the chain, sawing back and forth as the bell jangles alarums. Gritty chunks of mortar rain down into the oubliette as the hole grows wider by whiskerbreadths.

>>
No. 949593 ID: b1b4f3

>>949592
In the event you break free of the memory, bring him with you. He's dying more than you are.
>>
No. 949594 ID: a9af05

>>949592
Keep pulling!
>>
No. 949596 ID: e7848c

Keep note that he's showing you that he died inside his tomb. stringer pulling on is attached to a bell that alerts gravekeepers that they mistakenly buried someone still alive. Doesn't seem like anyone was around answer his calls though.
>>
No. 949598 ID: 91ee5f

>>949596
>Doesn't seem like anyone was around answer his calls though.
Either that or his call were heard, but were purposefully ignored because everyone wanted him dead.
>>
No. 949599 ID: 824a3f

Hmm. What makes a flame go out? I don't think it's lack of air, especially now a gap is open. The cold is being emphasized. Cold can make a flame go out.

Let's see... the one flame is staying in place. Which would heat up the air around it, and delay the rate it's going out slightly compared to the other, which by moving around would expose it to new cold things and get its heat drained faster.

So the best way to keep the cold at bay would be to... keep the flames together? Though a flame sticking itself straight into a stream of fresh air could help too. Perhaps the one flame should try grab the other and bring it with. "That won't help you", but staying isn't helping either, so nothing to lose, right?
>>
No. 949600 ID: 7816e7
File 157387611672.png - (60.34KB , 700x700 , 10-145.png )
949600

”Are you prepared?” Asks the second flame, almost to itself, its voice reduced to a whisper.

“Nice try, but I’m not sticking around!” Gasps the first flame, its voice filled with determination as it digs. Suddenly the chain snaps off, dangling limply in the dark. The flame curses and hurls itself into the hole, pushing with its last remaining ounces of strength.

It claws its way between the stones towards the grey, unwashed light outside its prison...

>>
No. 949601 ID: 7816e7
File 157387612191.png - (126.16KB , 700x500 , 10-146.png )
949601

Kol’s body heaves. Light pours out of it and resolves itself into a triumphant shape. It turns and its expression turns from celebration to realization.
>>
No. 949602 ID: 094652

Grab the other flame, stuff him in the hole, and continue sawing until the pressure from the squirming flame is enough to get you both through.
>>
No. 949603 ID: b1b4f3

>>949601
Oh that's a fine trick. Was the perspective switched somehow, or memories mixed up? How did Kol pull that off? I'm sure the ghost will want to know.
...wait, was that played straight? Is part of Medium training experiencing death?

Casey grab that fucker. Time for some interrogation and hostile negotiations.
>>
No. 949604 ID: e7848c

>>949601
Grab it!
>>
No. 949605 ID: 91ee5f

>>949601
>It turns and its expression turns from celebration
He thought he won...

>to realization.
...until he realized he’s being kicked out.

Gabe or Casey or Three Horns, would one of you please grab that spirit and hold him in place? It’s time for us to interrogate him.
>>
No. 949606 ID: b1b4f3

Three Horns capturing this spirit would be real poetic, I wanna see that.
>>
No. 949607 ID: 5b0071

Hoo boy.. is that how Kol learned how to leave his body?
>>
No. 949613 ID: 10c408

>>949607
I'm not sure on that. It's way too risky of an approach for teaching, though it is perfect for driving out an enemy spirit trying to bodyjack a binder who knows it.

Deliliah, Kol could maybe use an infusion of life energy. (apply directly to the lips!)
>>
No. 949621 ID: ce39da

Looks like we got switcharoo'd on the perspective there. Where'd you learn that little trick, Kol?
>>
No. 949631 ID: 91ee5f

>>949605
Actually, now that I think about it, Casey keep holding Kol’s body in place until we’re absolutely sure it’s Kol in there and not the spirit.

I want to make sure this isn’t a trick where the spirit somehow changed Kol’s appearance so that we’d catch him, while the spirit is still in Kol’s body.
>>
No. 949671 ID: 10c408

>>949631
If the hostile spirit was capable of such subterfuge and needs a living body to accomplish goals AND was powerful/skilled enough to kick out a binder from their rightful body, why hasn't he done so already to Three horns, or any of the other kobolds who aren't binders?

Obvious answer: he can't. He's relied on opportunity and stealth to try and accomplish whatever his goal is, but those can only get you so far and now that he's been caught, he's got nothing left.
>>
No. 949748 ID: 7816e7
File 157403179844.png - (161.27KB , 700x700 , 10-147.png )
949748

Muir the king of the mountain dives back towards Kol’s living body, fury etched across his features and slams headfirst into a wall. He tries to escape but the crystal prison encircles him, shrinking and forming a perfect prism of outrage.

“My people have looked for this one for as long as we can remember.” Three Horns smirks, grasping the caged spirit in her claws. “For bringing him, you have our utmost thanks.”

Kol nods and steps down as Casey’s binding spells dissolve. “Well, thanks for my body back.”
>>
No. 949749 ID: 7816e7
File 157403180398.png - (164.69KB , 700x700 , 10-148.png )
949749

“You bastard! What was that?!?” Demands the spirit in a tiny voice.

Kol looks down at the unfortunate ghost and says in a voice that’s not unkindly, “The final test of the Path of the Medium: the Walled Chamber. In order for a living person to learn to spirit walk, they must first embrace death and the loss of self.” He shrugs and continues, “Don’t feel bad; it takes years of preparation to undertake it. The teachers joke that its the easiest test in the world: sooner or later all of us will pass.”

Muir snarls and sulks at the bottom of his crystal, knowing he’s been beaten.
>>
No. 949750 ID: 7816e7
File 157403181063.png - (901.18KB , 2344x2500 , 10-149.png )
949750

Three Horns claps her hands together, eliciting anger from her prisoner. “Such an auspicious day! I declare a feast in celebration! Come, share our bowls! Allow us to welcome you!”
>>
No. 949751 ID: cdabe3

Yay! Check on everyone’s status, and then join the feast!
>>
No. 949756 ID: e7848c

>>949750
What's on the menu? Mushrooms make great palette cleansers but leave one wanting for a flavorful entree!
>>
No. 949758 ID: 10c408

As nice as a celebration would be, it'd be prudent to start asking Muir some questions.

And also we should check in with flashing feathers so he doesn't worry.
>>
No. 949759 ID: b1b4f3

>>949750
We can share more than bowls if you know what I mean
>>
No. 949763 ID: 91ee5f

>>949750
Well that’s a much better offer than being their prisoner! Let’s accept the offer!

And if they’re willing to give it a try, we could offer to share that “outsider food” that Three Horns said she didn’t trust.

>>949758
>flashing feathers
Would it be possible to invite him to join us? I know he said he didn’t like the idea of being indoors, but I’d feel bad if we left him out of the feast.

>>949759
If that’s a suggestion for sex, then I’m going to have to say that we shouldn’t do that.

As much fun as it would be, we already saw what happened when Gabe got distracted, so let’s not distract Three Horns and give Muir a chance to run off again.
>>
No. 949776 ID: ce39da

Opening a portal to the harsh vacuum outside probably isn't a smart idea, Flashing Feathers made it clear he was content with staying out there, and his presence might alarm the kobolds. Let's not.
>>
No. 949778 ID: 10c408

>>949776
Did I say they should open a portal to do this? I did not say they should use a portal to do this.

They'd have to trek back to the cold weather gear at any rate and at that point it wouldn't be much further to the entrance to use a smaller portal from the entrance to topside.

...And come to think of it, we should probably do that since the air is very slowly getting sucked out and the kobolds have no clue.
>>
No. 949780 ID: 3ce8ff

>>949778
>since the air is very slowly getting sucked out and the kobolds have no clue.
feel like the air isn't getting slowly sucked out, (any more than air is getting sucked out of the planet by space that is) pressure being a continuous scale and all. so up at the mountain entrance is low pressure same as outside, so you just have normal random air in air out.
>>
No. 949829 ID: a9af05

>>949750
Let's party!

>>949763
All of this sounds good.

>No sex, might distract Three Horns and give Muir a chance to run off again.
Sadly, I have to agree with this.

We'll have fun with the kobolds some other time.
>>
No. 949832 ID: b1b4f3

Could you anti-pervs at least wait until we find out if she CAN be distracted enough to drop the crystal?
It might be permanent until she wills it to be released.
>>
No. 949837 ID: a9af05

>>949832
After what happened with Gabe, it's kinda hard to want to do anything sexual again.

And I still believe that Gabe should be grounded from any kind of sex for a month. He needs some kind of punishment for making such a careless mistake.
>>
No. 949921 ID: 7816e7
File 157421504859.png - (133.27KB , 656x700 , 10-150.png )
949921

“Is he going to be safe in there?” Casey asks, “We may want to ask some questions at some point.”

“Oh yes, very safe!” Three Horns tosses the crystal up, letting it spin end over end before catching it. Muffled swearing emerges from within. “It is a very strong spell. A gift passed down from the first free kobolds and the emancipators before that. We can transfer him to a machine body if my mana runs low. They’re built with wards that keep them from harming others and entering certain areas; which is why I imagine he didn’t use one.” She grins impishly.
>>
No. 949922 ID: 7816e7
File 157421505438.png - (169.30KB , 629x700 , 10-151.png )
949922

Casey nods in approval and turns to the rest of the group. “What do you guys think? You guys want to join them?”

“I could eat.” Says Delilah, threatening to bring famine upon the warren. “What about you, Cecil? You feeling better?”

“Y-yes I believe so. That was quite the experience. I think I’d enjoy it again in a more controlled setting.” He taps his beak, “I do hope Flashing Feathers isn’t worried about me.”

“We could send him a signal, if you’d like.” Casey rummages around in her bag and pulls out a flare with a small parachute attached. “Watch your eyes everyone...” She cracks the seal on it, igniting a brilliant emerald blaze. Gabe opens a gate for her and she drops it through.
>>
No. 949923 ID: 7816e7
File 157421506128.png - (125.98KB , 700x514 , 10-152.png )
949923

Gabe reaches into his spacial pocket and pulls out some snacks, “If you like, we could share some of our food with you too.”

This sends a smattering of murmurs through the assembled kobolds. Three Horns raises a hand and the sound stops. “We would be honored to partake. What better step towards friendship than the sharing of dishes?” Behind her, lizard grins grow wider and tails wag. She turns and shoos them, “Well, what are you lot standing around for? Don’t you have a feast to prepare?” The diminutive citizens scatter, taking the mushrooms with them.
>>
No. 949929 ID: 7816e7

Also, y'all can shut up about how Gabe needs to be punished. Take that shit elsewhere.
>>
No. 949934 ID: e7848c

>>949837
Stop.

>>949923
Hell yeah, let's eat!
>>
No. 949939 ID: bb78f2

>>949921
Yeah, no, Kol, buddy, ask Three Horns out. I don't care that she trapped your soul for a bit, my man, she's got that tail swagger I've never seen before, goddamn.

Put that Ass on the menu and ask for seconds, Kol. GODDAMN.

In all seriousness lets get down to grubbin'. Where's the kitchen, who's the best cook?
>>
No. 949952 ID: 094652

Grab the pastries from your pocket dimension
>>
No. 949953 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, it occurs to me that our group probably can't eat most of the mushrooms. If someone identified some of them as safe for consumption, then whoever's got that information can go help with the mushroom dishes to make sure to separate them into toxic and nontoxic portions. Then we can share properly!
>>
No. 949968 ID: 10c408

eat first, make sure the mushrooms are safe enough for consumption, seque into asking Muir some very pointed questions after....

Then Kol should ask Three Horns if she's willing to share her binding spell with him. A private lesson, if you will.
>>
No. 949977 ID: 91ee5f

>>949968
>Then Kol should ask Three Horns if she's willing to share her binding spell with him.
That seems more like something Casey would do, since she’s the one that knows Binder magic.
>>
No. 949982 ID: 7e1c22

>>949977
Agreed!
>>
No. 950013 ID: 824a3f

>>949977
Perhaps studying those artificial bodies could somehow teach him how to possess inanimate objects?
>>
No. 950016 ID: 7816e7
File 157430112771.png - (136.59KB , 500x700 , 10-153.png )
950016

Casey approaches the kobold leader and drops down on one knee to converse: Three Horns seems to approve. “Can I ask you about that spell? It looks like what we call binding magic.”

“It was a gift, passed down to the wisest of kobolds.” Three horns explains, “Its said that long ago, a small band of outsiders somehow found a way into the mountain. With the defenses in chaos, the lord of the mountain himself stepped up to deal with them.” She gives the crystal a little shake and chuckles. “Unfortunately for him, the trespassers were ready. His body was destroyed and upon retreating to his well of power, found that they had sealed the chambers from within. Afraid for his life, the spirit fled deep within the tunnels.”

Indicating the shape etched into her forehead, the kobold continues, “Our people were free’d and offered a path to the outside world. But the kobolds were still scared and cowed by fear of reprisal, so they stayed. As a gift, one of the champions taught the kobolds the magic of the gem prison, in case our master ever should choose to return.”

“Do you think you could teach me that magic? I specialize in binding spells, see?” Casey’s aura extends in demonstration.

Three Horns shrugs. “I don’t see why not. I Imagine one with your talents would learn quickly. Perhaps we could share gifts?”

“I’d like that! Your magic might be an important piece of what we’re looking for.”

Her scaly eyebrows raise and the leader grins. “Oh? We will have to discuss things over dinner then.”
>>
No. 950017 ID: 7816e7
File 157430113398.png - (162.78KB , 700x700 , 10-154.png )
950017

“Speaking of dinner...” Delilah speaks up, “Our friend here had some kind of reaction to some spores. I’m worried that some of those mushrooms might not be safe for us to eat.”

“Hmm. I must confess, poisons and illness from food is nearly unknown to our people. We were chosen as servants for our hardiness and cunning as scavengers. Our chefs may have trouble discerning what is toxic to you.” Three Horns mulls this over. ”I’m at a loss. What would you recommend?”

Delilah scratches her chin, “Well. I’m a healer: I can negate the effects of poison pretty quickly in my own body. If you let me taste a bit of each type, I should be able to work out which ones are safe to eat.”

“Very well. Zafi, would you show our guest to the kitchens?”

The kobold bows shyly and leads the way for Delilah, eclipsed completely by her shadow.
>>
No. 950020 ID: b1b4f3

We can get a tour of their settlement while dinner is being prepared, and maybe get introduced to more kobolds too.
>>
No. 950021 ID: a0dfd2

>>950017

If Gabe is feeling up to it, couldn't we portal in some stuff for everyone (the kobolds included) and have a big, grand feast?
>>
No. 950036 ID: 10c408

>>950021
He just did that with the snacks. Not only do we want to ease them onto modern food, he also needs to conserve mana for when they eventually have to leave instead of blowing it all right now for one gate over a potentially gargantuan distance for a undetermined amount of time for city-wide catering.
>>
No. 950038 ID: 83bf07

Why don't we offer a breakdown of all the snacks that we have?
>>
No. 950061 ID: 812ad3

Just saying, but I guess kobolds would LOVE to try someone's baked goods.
Why not invite her?
>>
No. 950063 ID: a0dfd2

>>950036

Whoa, chill out, dude.

I'd presume they have a pantry and cookware that could be borrowed. We know Cecil does.
>>
No. 950064 ID: a9af05

>>950017
So Casey, what was the point of sending that flare to Flashing Feathers? Do you guys have a predetermined message system involving the color of the flare?

Because as far as Flashing Feathers is concerned, you just sent him a distress signal and he's currently looking for a way to tear down a wall to rescue you. And of that happens, the kobolds will be even more upset when their village gets damaged again.

>>950021
He can only do that with whatever he's already packed in his pocket dimension portal.

He's most likely only packed snacks, so I've got no idea why you think he's going to pull out something the size of a feast.

>>950061
Because she is way too far away for Gabe to make a portal to. We need him to conserve his mana for when it's time for us to go home.

She's also a little busy planning her wedding, so I'd rather not interrupt that.
>>
No. 950103 ID: 7816e7
File 157447495108.png - (86.08KB , 700x387 , 10-155.png )
950103

“While we wait, perhaps I could show you around?” Three Horns leads the way with a swish of her tail. They venture past the collection of roughly assembled sheds into a series of low tunnels. “In the days of our servitude, we were expected to stay out of sight. Tunnels like these run throughout the mountain and were the servant’s highways.”

After a short walk, the tunnel opens up to a large chamber formed around a large, natural pond. “We call this the twin lakes.”
>>
No. 950109 ID: 34cb4e

I suppose this is where we ask why its called the twin lakes when there's only one?

Also that 'bold is lookin hella smug.
>>
No. 950113 ID: b1b4f3

Do they get any fish here?
>>
No. 950115 ID: e7848c

>>950103
Twin? Also is this the communal bath area?
>>
No. 950222 ID: 7816e7
File 157456528307.png - (122.41KB , 700x700 , 10-156.png )
950222

Cecil adjusts his glasses and comments, “Why the twin lakes? I only see the one.”

She chuckles and picks up a rock. “Look deeper, my friend.” Three Horns hurls the stone and it splashes a respectable distance away. As it descends it disturbs a second layer hidden several meters below the surface. Sluggish waves ripple out in a lazy circle, forming strange, flowing reflections.

“What on earth is that?” Asks Casey, squinting at the liquid.
>>
No. 950223 ID: 7816e7
File 157456528893.png - (180.04KB , 500x700 , 10-157.png )
950223

“Come. You traveled here seeking knowledge, yes?” She waves the on, “Perhaps I know something that can help.” Three Horns shepherds them into another tunnel, which winds its way several levels higher in the mountain. They emerge outside of a large, metal door open just wide enough to admit a kobold.

A squeal of hinges later and they step inside. The kobold stops and warns them, “You must be careful. There are fragile places. Keep to the main walkway.”

Following the kobold, they find themselves standing in a large, open chamber. A wide podium covered in runes and shapes occupies the center of the space. It faces a shallow, circular depression measuring several meters across. Aside from a path stretching from the door to the podium, the floor is covered with a maze of narrow, interlocking channels roughly as wide and deep as a fingertip, studded here and there by tiny metallic pearls.

She waves a tiny arm at the strange room. “These are the quicksilver channels. Stories claim that by manipulating the flow of the liquid, one could access the secrets of the old master.” She sighs, “Or at least, you could before the quicksilver reservoir leaked into the lake below. My people have had no way to pull the metal out; as even a kobold can be poisoned by enough contact.”
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No. 950224 ID: b1b4f3

>>950223
We can pull out the quicksilver with a portal!
Time to figure out how this thing works I guess.
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No. 950231 ID: d004e0

They couldn't come up with a way to use tools to extract the quicksilver without any bodily contact? Off the top of my head a weighted bucket with a rope attached to drop in to scoop up the quicksilver and lift it out, a carrying jug with a sealable top to pour it into for transport to the reservoir and wooden rods to manipulate everything without skin touching would have worked. Is there hazard to this quicksilver beyond just a touch toxin risk? It gets airborne and is a inhalation risk?

Well, whatever the reasons simple mechanical means would not work, then perhaps magical ones would. Gabe could open a portal from the base of the quicksilver pool to the quicksilver reservoir. Gotta make sure the reservoir has been patched first or it's all gonna run right back out. Or maybe it'll run out slow, but we want as much time as we can to figure out the quicksilver channels. ...But maybe Gabe could just Gate small amounts from below to the four quicksilver outlets in this chamber's wall. Dunno if it'll work without the full flow, though. Worth a try. Still would prefer to fix the reservoir and fill it and leave this place fully working for Three Horn and her people, if possible.

Also gotta come up with a way to filter the quicksilver. Don't want silt, rock or water getting into the channels. Taking it from around the lower quarter of the quicksilver pool should keep most of that back 'till the pool gets low. The pressure is gonna be high, though, so use a small Gate to keep it under control.

And since the quicksilver is toxic even to kobolds, with prolonged exposure, it is very likely very toxic to everyone else. Make sure to keep the number of non-kobolds around when its flowing to a absolute minimum, and that whoever they are is wearing full body covering and respiration gear. Their clothing and gear is likely gonna be contaminated, so make sure nobody touches it with bare hands as its taken off and stuff it in a sealed container for disposal.

Alternatively, if Casey can form a fully atmo-sealed "second skin" around a person to protect them from quicksilver contamination, then she could do so for Gabe while he weaves Gates to get the quicksilver in. Though, he'll have to wear a air feather canister to breath. Just gotta make sure in the end to "peel" the protective skin off in a way that no quicksilver falls on the person.

But before y'all go mucking about with quicksilver, thoroughly examine the controls and the channels of this chamber. Try and get some idea of what they do and what to do with 'em before there's toxic liquid metal flowing about. Cecil ought to look for any text to read and Casey can use her aura tentacles to lower herself closer to the channels and metallic pearls to see what they may do and if any are damaged.
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No. 950232 ID: 4ea248

I think we could figure out a way to clean out this lake and learn something. First, we have to find out why it leaked. Patch the hole if needed.
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No. 950234 ID: 91ee5f

>>950223
>“You must be careful. There are fragile places. Keep to the main walkway.”
“It’s not going to fall on your village again, right?”

“No, seriously, we feel really bad about doing that earlier and we don’t want to accidentally do it again.”

>the quicksilver reservoir leaked into the lake below.
Wait, are you telling me that they named it the Twin Lakes after the quicksilver leaked into it? Does that mean that the lake had a different name before the quicksilver got into it?

>My people have had no way to pull the metal out
Gabe could probably portal it out. But before we even think about doing that, we should at least take a look at that podium.

And we’d probably need to find and plug that leak so that any quicksilver we bring up here doesn’t just leak back out when we’re trying to use it for whatever this room needs it for.
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No. 950261 ID: de4944

Well for starters, we need to make sure the quicksilver reservoir is patched up and watertight again. Until then we have no place to store the quicksilver.
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No. 950270 ID: 10c408

It'd be best to have a bucket or similar large container on the floor with a very small portal placed an inch or two above it and a similarly small portal in the lake.

..But I'm not sure we've got a bucket on hand or any kind of spoon/ladle/scoop to go with safety gloves to try and refill the channels.

I'd say just mark this down for our eventual return trip.
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No. 950440 ID: 7816e7
File 157482179163.png - (120.60KB , 499x700 , 10-158.png )
950440

“I could do it with gates...” Gabe steps up, doing math in his head. “But to do it safely and keep an even flow, we’d have to use a fairly small gate to drain the lake. That’ll eat up my mana fairly quickly; it would probably be easier if I had one or two other senders to help.”

“We should get the leak fixed first. Wouldn’t want all that hard work to go to waste.” Casey suggests.

Mr Ochre jots down a few notes. “I know a few workmen that should be able to help. Once were back in Moot Point, I’ll make arrangements with them to join us on a return trip.”

Three Horns claps her hands once in celebration. “Good! Good! I was hoping you might be able to provide a solution. With your help, someday we may be able to turn the lake into a usable water source again!” She wags her tail and beams with tiny, sharp teeth. “You work together quite well, like a good kobold warren. I’m eager to learn more about you!”
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No. 950441 ID: 7816e7
File 157482180108.png - (140.82KB , 700x500 , 10-159.png )
950441

“Is that how the channels are controlled?” Kol points to the podium, “Would you mind if we take a look at it? I’d like to see if we can learn anything from it.”

“Please, be my guest..” Three Horns beckons him forward. “I don’t believe anyone knows how it works anymore, besides our gracious master...” She holds up the caged spirit, who sulks and glares at his captor.

Kol steps forward, eyeing the controls. Like earlier, the symbols seem familiar, but don’t have any obvious meaning. On one side, a glossy sphere sits cradled in a small depression, which spins loosely when touched. Next to it is a small, flat grid of blank squares. In one corner is a series of rings that rotate in place, clicking slightly and displaying a set of symbols. An array of runes is clustered in the lower section of the podium, laid out a comfortable finger distance apart.
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No. 950444 ID: a9af05

>>950441
Since the only ones that understand these symbols are Muir and the kobolds, let's ask Three Horns if she can tell us what the symbols mean.
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No. 950445 ID: b1b4f3

I bet this can be used to call up specific subjects by stringing together symbols to narrow down what you're looking for. Kindof looks like those symbols in the key grid should be letters?
Yeah we'll need someone to tell us what the symbols mean before we can make any further guesses as how to use this.
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No. 950446 ID: d004e0

Since Three Horns is the only one here who knows the Old Master's language and is cooperative, ask her to step forward and translate the control panel for us all. Also ask her she knows of what this quicksilver machine did when it worked. Was it simply the Old Master's analog to a library and personal notes and records or was it more? Like, could it remote control systems throughout the mountain? View areas of the mountain remotely? That kind of thing.

And off topic, ask Three Horns if one or two of her people could come back to Moot Point as guests at some point. There's only so much telling stories of the outside world can convey. Seeing it in person would be so much better, and then they can come back and share their experience with their fellow kobolds.
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No. 950448 ID: 91ee5f

>>950446
>Also ask her she knows of what this quicksilver machine did when it worked.
I believe she already told us everything she could know is based on stories passed down by her people, but there’s no way of knowing if any of the stories are true. Also, she wouldn’t have been born at the time the machine was working in the past.
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No. 950449 ID: e7848c

Such advanced technology to be lost to the ages.. would our spectral ghast be interested in explaining it's workings if we cut them a deal?
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No. 950451 ID: 91ee5f

>>950449
I don’t think we should cut a deal with him. We should just do this without his help.
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No. 950453 ID: a03998

My TRPG experiences would urge me to always try solving a problem on spot instead "coming back in the future", which rarely happens......

Either way, the complexity of that keyboard seems to indicate that to use it one would need to type in "command". I doubt that's a puzzle our crew (us) can solve. Perhaps we will need to strike a deal with our captive.
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No. 950459 ID: 10c408

Hmm...

best guess? Some kind of portal system. There's a LOT of buttons (far left and far right) to go with the gauge (top-middle), two adustable inputs (sphere and dials).

Ask Muir about it. If he continues to sulk, have a not quiet at all conversation between everyone but three horns that letting the various historians, repairmen and other busybodies visit over the coming weeks is going to ensure that nothing is left untouched, like the control panel.
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No. 950462 ID: a0dfd2

>>950441

Holy heck, it's a circuit controlled by the flow of mercury, ergo the conveyance of power through it. The "fragile places" are channels on layers beneath here, I imagine, that connect near the nodes.

The sphere bit probably turns the main circle and alters which pathways are enabled or "active," whilst the dials perhaps control flow rates. The concentric rings may have a similar function given the overall layout.

As for the rune buttons ... I imagine they're like the elevator -- set spells that alter the quicksilver itself, and thus what flows through it?
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No. 950465 ID: d004e0

Muse out loud, so Muir can hear, why he'd design a control chamber that'd risk exposing the operator to quicksilver in the air. The seemingly smart thing to do would have been to keep all the channels, and especially the falling quicksilver from the inlets, in a separate chamber. So why build it this way? Are there things the operator has to do with the quicksilver to make this run that can't be done with just the console? He was no kobold, so even small exposure would have led to rapidly increasing neurological damage from regular use. Did he just jump to a new body and ditch the damaged one when it got to be too much, or did he have or wear protection, either mundane or magical?

Well, whatever the reasons it was built in such a hazardous way, we have to account for that for whoever operates it. Better ask Mr. Ocher to add getting protective gear for whoever is going to try operating this machine once it's filled with quicksilver.
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No. 950468 ID: 10c408

>>950465
This place was built by vampires, or vampire allied individuals with the hubris to go with it. Most likely the kobolds were never allowed into this chamber and thus there was no risk whatsoever.
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No. 950515 ID: 7816e7
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950515

“Hmm, some of it clearly operates like the transport cubes, but most of this is mystery until we actually get it working.” Kol scratches under his dreads and nibbles his bottom lip. “Maybe Muir could illuminate some of the meaning?”

Three Horns holds up the crystal and the caged vampire grumps back at them silently.

“Really? Anything we can offer that might entice you?”

More silence. The defeated spirit turns away from him and curls up.

“Maybe now isn’t the best time...” Kol shrugs. “Do you think you could help translate it?”

Three Horns squints at the symbols and hmm’s to herself. “Given time, possibly. Some of these lexicons are new and meaningless to kobolds.”

“Alright, a mystery for another time then. Looks like we’re going to have to do more research.”

Gabe groans to himself.

“Very well! Let us retire to the dining chamber, then?” Three Horns leads them back the way they came.

“Three Horns, do you think any of your people would like to come with us when we leave?” Casey asks.

The kobold sighs and nods. “Even I have dreamt of the world outside the mountain. Much debate has been had over what remains outside: some theorizing that the magic users destroyed themselves, or that the world devolved into bloodlust. Clearly they were wrong.”
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No. 950519 ID: e7848c

>>950515
Well if you would allow us the honor of showing you just how welcoming the outside world is, we promise you'll enjoy yourselves.
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No. 950525 ID: 015bf2

>>950515
Casey, smile wide and say if it's world history they want to hear, they've come by the right person! Any questions they have, you'd be happy to answer before, during or after the feast.

At some point, you also need to tell them the real reason why you're here. Perhaps in confidence with Three Horns, first of all.

>Backstory
Summarizing quickly and roughly, when the Spirit Guardians of old shut down the Masters' mana wells the world stabilized, over time, as the great powers were unable to draw on the strength they once had.

The Masters are now gone, defeated, passed on, or vanished. People have lived without them and made cities, towns, villages with all kinds of industries and cultures. The world has by and large become a far more peaceful and prosperous place, with less mana-reliant technologies. Though the Spirit Guides remain to usher the dead on, to keep the cycle of life and death true, and prevent the rise of lost souls or new Masters.

>More backstory
You are actually ona quest hunting for information on a particular old Master, Lord Hekal, who vanished some five hundred years ago at the hands of Augustine Moot, one of the Spirit Guardians' great champions. You were also looking for an alternative place for a retainer of Hekal where they might stay to maintain their existence, for they can no longer last for long due to the world's current levels of mana.

Unfortunately, due to a fae-like bond of loyalty, the retainer feels beholden to search until proof of Hekal's passing - or lasting - is found. You'd like to resolve that, and not only because it has left a giant barghast sitting outside your hometown! It is a tragic remnant of an ancient betrayal, and is long overdue some peace of mind.

>Even more backstory
In your search for answers, you came across old records that indicated this place was one of the few mana wells that were not outright collapsed, so came to investigate whether it could be a viable solution for extending the timeline given by the barghast's keeper. Now, finding the kobolds here is exciting beyond words, but may leave you hanging for want of a solution. You feel like the Warren wouldn't be very welcoming of new neighbours that still espouse loyalty to a long-gone Master.

And no, you're certainly not going to force anything on them.
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No. 950527 ID: 10c408

>>950525
Let's not inform the kobolds that we're directly helping an ally of their old masters just yet. Keep that cat in the bag until later.
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No. 950528 ID: 91ee5f

>>950515
“We could tell you what it’s like outside.”

So if any of the kobolds wanted to come with us now, how are we going to bring them with us? We’d have to go back to the top of the mountain to get Flashing Feathers and so that Gabe can portal us back home. But the kobolds can’t go to the top because it’s too cold for them.
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No. 950542 ID: 10c408

>>950528
I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a signal flare color for "we're leaving via portal and under no duress" that could easily be sent via portal to flashing feathers so he can leave himself. We don't have to go and 'get' the flying weather god. At worst the only thing to do is recollect the discarded cold weather gear
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No. 950545 ID: bb78f2

Oh no, we've devolved into lust alright. Just not bloodlust.
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No. 950551 ID: 91ee5f

>>950542
But Flashing Feathers came with us through the portal. If we leave without him, would he even know how to get back to Moot Point from here?

And it’s been explained that Gabe needs to do some math in his head to figure out coordinates for his portals. Wouldn’t it be easier for him to return to the top, where he already made a portal, since he already knows the coordinates from up there? That way he doesn’t have to strain his brain trying to figure out the coordinates from within the village.
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No. 950590 ID: 7816e7
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950590

“Well, you’d be more than welcome to join us when we leave. Gabe can create a beacon before we go, which should make it easier for any sender to create gates here.”

“What is it like, you know, on the outside?” Three Horns asks.

“We come from a place called Moot Point. The founder of the city was one of several people who helped seal the spirit wells that were the source of power for people like the old master. Together, they helped usher in an age of peace and stability and ended the wars between the magical powers.”

The tiny kobold looks thoughtful as she brings the group down a different tunnel. After a short walk, they find themselves standing in a round, domed room, divided into a circular amphitheater. Kobolds of all shapes and sizes sprawl on woven mats around a large, low fire pit. Delilah waves them over from her seat near the fire.
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No. 950596 ID: e7848c

Oh sweet, this is the perfect place to have a rad BBQ
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No. 950597 ID: a9af05

>>950590
Well Delilah, what's the verdict? Is the kobold's food safe for us to eat?
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No. 950613 ID: b1b4f3

Looks like a couple of them aren't wearing anything at all.
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No. 950630 ID: 864e49

>>950613
Looks like a couple of them have already started celebrating.
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No. 950636 ID: bb78f2

>>950630
Nothin' like a handjob before dinner, I guess
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No. 950652 ID: a0dfd2

>>950596

Oh heck yeah. Fun storytelling and a huge communal meal!
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No. 950852 ID: 7816e7
File 157542310631.png - (147.38KB , 700x500 , 10-162.png )
950852

“Hey Del!” Gabe plops down next to her and starts soaking up some of the heat. “How’s the food testing going?”

“Pretty good. I had them put the toxic fungi aside, just stay away from anything with the red spots on them, or any of the puffballs.” Delilah points to a basket of innocuous looking mushrooms. “They seem pretty excited about the snacks you brought. The chefs were experimenting with how to incorporate them with their diet, so be prepared for some odd dishes.”

“Sounds fun!” Gabe takes a peek around, eyeing the kobolds huddled together. “I see some of them have already gotten a head start on things. Is that common?”

“Apparently, yeah. When they come together for a celebration, they take the opportunity to bond with each other and have a little fun. With how excited everyone is, I wouldn’t be surprised if things get a bit wild tonight.”

“Our kind of party, eh?” Gabe sidles close and gives Del a nudge. The healer’s lavender fur blushes slightly and she wraps an arm around the mouse.

As everyone finds a place to sit down, curious kobolds join them and pepper them with rapid fire questions.

“Are you from outside?”

“Is it safe out there?”

“What are these clothes? Does everyone dress like that?”

“Is everyone outside so big?”

“Can you do magic too?”

As various answers are tended to, Three Horns asks a question of her own: “So why did you come here in the first place?”

Casey explains, “We came here looking for information on one of the old masters: a vampire lord named Hekal. Supposedly, the founder of our city appeared before him and he vanished shortly after. We thought we might find some clues about what happened to him.”

“Yes." Three Horns nods, "This Hekal is unfamiliar but if your founder took on one of the old masters by herself, it is likely she was one of our champions. What's more, the magic you have displayed is similar to that of our legends."
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No. 950853 ID: 7816e7
File 157542311119.png - (133.79KB , 700x500 , 10-163.png )
950853

"There were three of them. One, who moved like lightning: flickering from place to place in flashes of light. Another, a ghostly, spectral shape that slipped through stone like fog. and the third, who's brilliant gemstone eyes could freeze with a glare."
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No. 950855 ID: e7848c

Can we hear these legends? See how far they match up with the founders of each of magic for our guides
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No. 950856 ID: 34cb4e

>>950853
if this is a place where our "choice" serendipitously decides what future powers one of the lads gets, I'm most interested in the eyece dude. Otherwise we should ask about the flickering one, because its probs Moot.
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No. 950857 ID: b1b4f3

Did the flickering one wield a blade of light?
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No. 950875 ID: ce39da

The flickering figure may very well be Moot, which might be a lead. By the way, are there stories about the founding members of the other two magic schools, or are they an enigma? If the latter, it might be cool to get stories about those two as well, and chasing after their trails might lend further leads on Moot.
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No. 950884 ID: 10c408

>>950875
From the sound of things these ARE the first clues we're getting about the other two first guardians that worked with Moot. (binder in the middle and medium on the far right.)

Ask more about this, we can compare notes with Pezzi and Rufus later.
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No. 950917 ID: 56076d

>>950853
Oh my! Is this in our own records, or something entirely new? Either way, it sounds like it's time for a story swap!
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No. 950965 ID: 7816e7
File 157558278916.png - (124.73KB , 700x437 , 10-164.png )
950965

“That flickering person certainly sounds like a sender: probably madam Moot herself. And the spirit was likely one of the original mediums.” Casey agrees. “As for the third, that can only be one person: Tuvara-malli, the teacher! They were a corocotta, a very rare fae born with gemstone eyes. They were the first fae to share binding magic with mortals and one of the founders of the Binding Circle.” She grins with the intense satisfaction of someone unlocking a puzzle. “This proves it! You were visited by the First Guardians! This might be a real clue, guys!”

“Okay, but what does it tell us?” Gabe asks.

“I don’t know yet, but we’re on the right track!”

“So... what about the third one? Must have been the founder of the mediums, right?” Gabe turns to Kol and cocks an eyebrow.

“Possibly. But it gets complicated.” Kol stirs the fire with a poker. “We don’t have a founder. The Path was created by a council of eight who undertook the trials to become mediums. Of the eight, only five survived. Supposedly, the Bardo family can trace their lineage back to one of those five.”
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No. 950966 ID: 7816e7
File 157558279894.png - (165.81KB , 700x500 , 10-165.png )
950966

“So, wait. They had basically a fifty-fifty chance of survival?” Gabe’s cocked eyebrow cranks upwards a few degrees.

“Its better now. Closer to like 80- 90 percent chance of success.”

“Still not great, dude!” Gabe scowls and points an incredulous arm across the fire. “It sucks thinking you could have died!”

“Aw, thats very sweet, Gabe.” Kol gives him a bashful half-smile out of the corner of his mouth. “No one undertakes the trials without fully preparing and understanding the risks. Magic like ours isn’t free, or easy to learn. Each of us worked hard and sacrificed to earn it. Its okay if you don’t agree with the way the Path works, but its something I undertook because it meant a lot to me.”
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No. 950970 ID: b1b4f3

>>950966
Because of his great-uncle Bardo?

Also, slowly succumb to kobold flirtation.
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No. 950980 ID: 3ce8ff

>>950966
gabe looks PISSED despite the happy kobold hug
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No. 950985 ID: 7dc36a

>>950966
Is it possible that part of the council died because they found out they liked being dead more than being alive?
Gabe, is Kol this distant often? Quick, Motivate him to stay alive somehow before his spirit floats away.
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