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

574 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 972940 ID: 663062
File 159536844576.png - (424.98KB , 900x600 , 151.png )

As I draw the spike closer, it starts to feel warm. The closer I get, the harder it becomes to make progress, as if some invisible force is pushing them apart. I consider using more force to make them touch, but ultimately decide it best if I follow my own advice and show a bit of caution.

I notice that there's no force pushing back on me directly, just the tsiki spike. Still, I should at least look around before experimenting too much.

"Why'd you stop short? Did reason finally get to you?"

"Oh, nothing like that. That thing's pushing against tsiki spikes somehow?"

"Is that what that is?"


"Don't you feel it? It's like something is pushing against me slightly."

"I don't feel anything.

"I guess Shaia's Embrace really does contain unsolved mysteries, then."

"Wanna go hug the 'plant' and solve one?"

"I do not."

"You and your 'reason'. Well, what about the signs? Do they say anything interesting?"

"One says 'scoppa ssi arping'. Probably mentioning some kind of gift shop. The other says 'brimla baeldor'. Path of the hero, maybe?"

"That's kinda interesting! Just not that helpful to us. Let's take a look inside the building. Maybe there's another secret path?"
No. 972941 ID: 663062
File 159536844935.png - (303.20KB , 900x600 , 152.png )

This must be the 'gift shop' mentioned by the sign.

The tsiki spikes have not been kind to this place. Various dolls and mini-statues reveal that even in generations past, Shisae Point had a healthy dose of merchandising.

Rather than waste time considering which momento to take with me, I instead focus on the path near the back of the room.

"There! Could she have gone up there?"

"If only there was a way to know for sure which way she went."

"What about footprints? Do any of them look recent? What about back at the 'plant'?"

"It's hard to tell how old any of the prints are, thanks to the lack of erosion."


"The caves are a lot drier here than near the ponds, so the only signs of time passing are the damage caused by tsiki spikes and hungry insects. It's hard to tell if there's any prints with more signs of decay than the others."

"Why is there decay, anyway? Why would Shaia make that part of her world? If she did make the world..."

"Well, the world was already here when she showed up. Likely she wanted to preserve the natural order of things."

"The natural order of things... Look, we can discuss that later. Is there any way we can infer which way Mama went?"

"We can puzzle it out. For one thing, your mother never brought up the 'plant'. Maybe she didn't think it was worth mentioning?"

"Or she intended to talk about it once we got here."

"There's also the fact that the plant doesn't seem to affect slissas the same way it affects me and the spikes."

"Could it be related to Shaia's Love? Man, now I wish we figured out that thing about if slissas have a tiny bit of it or not."

"Well, can you make a flame?"

"Hsss...! Uh... Nope."

"The effect would probably be unnoticable, then. With that in mind, we could just split up and try both paths."


:SQ_pathL: Path of the plant... :SQ_pathR:
Mama likely meant for us to stay on the main path. Looking at the prints, there is one set that seems to avoid all the tsiki spikes. I think. Maybe.
:sq_optbubble_left:A: Dig a path around the plant, so Tyrsis can hopefully come with.:sq_optbubble_right:
:sq_optbubble_left:B: Crawl through the hole and send Tyrsis the other way. Have him hold my stuff, to be safe.:sq_optbubble_right:

:SQ_pathL: Path of the ascent... :SQ_pathR:
There's no way Mama threw herself at a spooky plant, even in the company of my father! Heck, maybe he dug the second path himself out of what used to be a closet. It'd have certainly put Mama at ease.
:sq_optbubble_left:C: Go through the store path with Tyrsis.:sq_optbubble_right:

:sq_optbubble_left:This 'plant' might mark my first discovery! What should I name it?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 972942 ID: 0fae41

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

Primary A, secondary c

Name the plant, uh

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

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

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


No. 972948 ID: b1b4f3

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

B, C

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

A c

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


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

backing this name
No. 973027 ID: fa2754

B, c "Nishalm"
No. 973030 ID: 3fd119

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

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

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

"My what?"

"What's in there?"

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

"What is it?"

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

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

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


"It's completely dim!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice to see him coming around.

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

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

"Works for me!"

"So we're gonna crawl on through?"

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

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

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

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

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

I get to digging.


"You shouldn't say things like that."

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

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

"Sorry, I just misspoke."

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

"Is that good?"

"It's like forty slissas."

"Holy shit."

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

"But forty slissas is so many..."

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

"Hehe... thanks, Kliss."

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

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


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

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

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

Was it really okay to bring Tyrsis with me?

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

"Uh... why's that?"

"Cause then we could just fly up there."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do this.
No. 973134 ID: 0fae41

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

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

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

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


"What do you mean 'no'!?"

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

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

"It really isn't."

"Maybe it should be!"

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

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

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

"I'll be the judge of that."

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

"This is the less dangerous idea?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait that came out wrong.

Focus, Kliss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Okay! Come on over!" I shout.

"This is still crazy!" He shouts back.

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

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

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

I soon notice the glowstalks pushing against his feathers.

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

"Trying to focus!"

"Sss! Sorry!"

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

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

In the end, it didn't.

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

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

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


"Still catching your breath?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Anyway... thanks."

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


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

"I mean, probably?"

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


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

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

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

"Probably for the best, buddy."

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

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

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

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

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

yes do this :3
No. 973457 ID: b1b4f3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"You know..."


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Doesn't make it less true."

I smush his fluffy face.

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


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

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

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

"That doesn't make it less true."

"Guess I deserved that."

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

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

I wince slightly as painful memories start to resurface.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey, Tyrsis?"


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

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

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

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

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

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

For now, this is enough.

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

That confidence would prove short-lived.


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

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

"See the break in the path over there?"

"On the right?"

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

"You sat there this whole time!?"

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it attacks, you and your mom can probably escape onto the stalks. Assuming it's safe to touch. But Tyrsis doesn't have that option and should keep especially safe.
No. 974184 ID: 663062
File 159693406936.png - (293.79KB , 900x600 , 166.png )

"Tyrsis! Can you use Shaia's Love to scare it away? I don't really want to keep sitting up here!"

I turn to him. "They scare pretty easily. Think it'd work?"

"Possibly, but I'm worried the glowstalks will push against the flames and make it impossible to predict where it ends up."

"If heat won't work, what about cold?"

"I don't know if my abilities are strong enough to like, freeze it. I'd also hate to kill it if it's just protecting a nest or something..."

"I'd like to avoid hurting it too, but we might have no choice if we're to save Mama."

"Let's try scaring it with flame first. If that doesn't work, just say the word and I'll do my best with cold."

Before committing to this plan, I consider other options...

>Giving it food might be a good idea.
Against any other threat that'd be a great plan, but tunnel-grubs only eat a specific type of mushroom that's toxic to slissas. The mushroom is easy to grow, making them good farm animals. They're normally very tame, albeit easily scared.

I don't see any obvious signs that this one's hurt, so it's likely protecting a nest nearby.

>Are the glow stalks safe to touch though?
If anyone would know...

"Mama! Did you touch any of the glowing white things? Are they safe?"

"Didn't you!?"

"Why would I randomly touch them!?"

"You had to climb around one to get through the doorway a couple rooms back!"

"I ended up digging around it!"


"I should have done that!"

So we did go the right way in the end. Mystery solved, I guess!

"Miss Kyra, did you feel anything at all while touching them? They seem to push against me and tsiki spikes!"

"They feel weirdly smooth, I guess? Other than that, not really!"

"Can you climb the one behind you and escape that way, maybe?"

"I can't reach the one above me, and the one behind me just goes to the ceiling!"

Looks like our best bet is to try scaring it off, or at least distracting it long enough for Mama to escape.
No. 974185 ID: 663062
File 159693407385.png - (300.78KB , 900x600 , 167.png )

I nervously approach a glowstalk, half expecting it to wrap around me or something. But like Mama said, there's no real reaction to touching it, at least from me.

I really hope that stays true as I do what I'm about to do.

I get my knife and cut into the glowstalk, cutting the end off.

"This'll be our insurance. If your flame doesn't scare it, this might do the trick. We just need to give Mama room to escape."

"Assuming it's actually scared of glowstalks. It could just be trying to intimidate her hoping she leaves. It's not like it eats slissas or anything."

"If the glowstalk doesn't work, then your flame will! There's no way both ideas would fail!"


"But if you're that worried about it..."

I make for the nearest tsiki spike and slice the end of it off as well.

"...I can use this as a weapon!"


"What, are saying you'd rather be the one using it?"

"No no, be my guest. But let's really hope it doesn't come down to that."
No. 974186 ID: 663062
File 159693407743.png - (280.61KB , 900x600 , 168.png )

With both hands full, I have no choice but to awkwardly sidle towards the tunnel-grub on two legs. Despite my almost comedic shambling, the insect starts to back away as we approach. Maybe I should have had Tyrsis hold the spike after all.

"It's working! I knew my plan wasn't crazy!"

"Thank the blessed Shaia. But it seems reluctant to back away further, and it's definitely not running away."

"If it had eyes, I'd accuse it of staring. Does this confirm that it's guarding a nest? In that case, why would it burst out of a tunnel? Wouldn't it understand that it's safer to leave a wall between it and us?"

"It's an insect. Not really capable of thinking in those terms."

"Come on, insects aren't that dumb!"

"They really are. But now's not the time; We need to focus on getting your mother to safety."

"Right, we can banter about the details later. Mama! Now's your chance!"
No. 974187 ID: 663062
File 159693408033.png - (228.25KB , 900x600 , 169.png )

"I... I can't! I hurt my leg!"

"What!? Why didn't you say that earlier!?"

"You didn't tell me what your plan was! You just started asking questions then climbed down!"

"You still should have-- nevermind! Which leg is it? Can you use the other three?"

"My hind leg! I could try to climb down anyway, but what if I fall?"

"It's not that long a drop! You'll be fine!"

"Despite my youthful appearance I'm not as young as I used to be! But if there's no other choice..."

:sq_optbubble_left:A: "There isn't! Just take it slow and careful, like you taught me!":sq_optbubble_right:

:sq_optbubble_left:B: "Tyrsis, go help her! I'll hold the tunnel-bug off!":sq_optbubble_right:

:sq_optbubble_left:C: "Tyrsis, hold it off! I'll go help Mama!":sq_optbubble_right:

:sq_optbubble_left:D: "Tyrsis, try to freeze it with Shaia's Love!" :sq_optbubble_right:
No. 974189 ID: 094652

No. 974190 ID: f8fa51

B. Tyrsis is taller and stronger than you, both of which should be useful here.
No. 974191 ID: e7848c

B, a
Test the waters first though. Have Tyrsis back away just a little bit and see if the bug advances. Depending on if it reacts more strongly when he retreats or if you do, that's who you should send in to help your mother.
No. 974193 ID: 739d6f

C, D I trust Tyrsis’s abilities more than anything. Definitely don’t leave her to get down by herself.
No. 974194 ID: b1b4f3

No. 974197 ID: cdabe3

No. 974217 ID: 0fae41

No. 974220 ID: dbd72b

B c

Whichever one of you is holding it off, the other one should help out Mama. Leaning towards Tyrsis because he's bigger and can probably catch her if she falls
No. 974261 ID: e3e7b5

Also seconding this, as Tyrsis is softer if Mama should land on him.
No. 974329 ID: 9c48ac

No. 974441 ID: 663062
File 159735671701.png - (282.72KB , 900x600 , 170.png )

"Okay! Tyrsis, I need you to go help Mama get down."

"And leave you with the tunnel-grub? That's not happening."

"I can hold it back with the glowstalk!"

"We can't be sure it's actually afraid of them. No, if anything, it's likely scared of my flame. You should help your mother and I... I'll keep it at bay."

"There's no guarantee your flame's keeping it back either! How about this: you go ahead and back up slowly, and we'll see if it advances towards me. If it does, we'll know it's scared of Shaia's Love."

"Huh. Normally I'm the one with the good ideas."

"Name one bad idea I've-- no nevermind let's just do the thing."

Tyrsis takes a few cautious steps back. I keep an eye on the tunnel-bug, which seems content to remain where it is.

I keep the glowstalk and tsiki spike front and center. In that moment, I can't help but notice their juxtaposition. Light and dark, pushing against each other even now. We still don't fully understand tsiki spikes, and it'd probably take generations to unravel the secrets behind glowstalks.

But in this moment they are all that stand between me and certain doom.

"Looks like it's working. Go ahead and help Mama!"


"Look, you're both stronger and softer than me. If she loses her footing, better she fall on you than me!"

"Thanks for the confidence? Right, let's just do this and get the hell out of here."
No. 974442 ID: 663062
File 159735672004.png - (254.07KB , 900x600 , 171.png )

I stare at the insect with my meanest scary-face to keep it from getting any ideas. I hear Tyrsis moving behind me, getting ready to help Mama.

"Okay, Miss Kyra! Just take it slow! If you stumble, I'll catch you!"

"Be a good boy and don't miss, okay?"

Good thinking, Mama! With the promise of being a good boy, Tyrsis will catch you for sure!

I hear some grunts and scraping sounds, likely from Mama climbing down. You can do it!


I'm immediately wrong!?
No. 974443 ID: 663062
File 159735672294.png - (371.93KB , 900x600 , 172.png )

"Oof! Gotcha!"

"Sssahahaha! Never want to do that again!"

Thank goodness.

"You okay? Hopefully more-so than my arms?"


There's an awkward pause, maybe? Why...?

"I didn't know you were so strong. Or soft."

"Oh, um... thanks?"

"Kliss needs to learn to appreciate what she has."

"But she doesn't have any fluff."

"Hsshsshss! Oh, you're just adorable! I could eat you up!"

"Please don't. "

"Flirt later! Tyrsis, get her out of there while I keep the tunnel-grub distracted!"
No. 974444 ID: 663062
File 159735672441.png - (251.12KB , 900x600 , 173.png )

"What? I was just... kidding...?"

"Kliss! Behind you!"

No. 974445 ID: 663062
File 159735672733.png - (224.16KB , 900x600 , 174.png )


It's not scared!

It's not scared!

:sq_optbubble_left:What do I do!?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 974446 ID: b1b4f3

But... is it still aggressive?
You turned away, which means the glowstalk isn't pointed at it anymore; fix that. Hold the glowstalk in front of you and back away, be prepared to dodge or run if it turns aggressive.
No. 974447 ID: 0fae41

Toss the pointy things at its mouth, one after the other. Then run!
Get Tyrsis to carry you both.
No. 974450 ID: 5378af

How strongly are the tsiki spike and glowstalk pushing against each other?
If it is strong enough could you use one to launch the other if you push them against each other really closely?
No. 974451 ID: fa2754

Throw the glow stalk at it's mouth first! With your hand free you can quickly javelin the spike down it's throat!
No. 974452 ID: 3edd0d

Hold both the spike and glowstalk close to you, their points facing the grub!
No. 974454 ID: b099e2

Tell Tyrsis to run, first of all. Then you only need to distract the grub for a few more seconds while he gets a head start.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to fight it. Do what threatened animals do: try to make yourself look bigger and scarier. Wave your arms around and make loud scary noises at it. Try pointing the glowstalk at it again because that seemed to help before.

Hopefully it'll either be intimidated or confused, and either one will give you the chance to back away until you can safely run.
No. 974478 ID: dbd72b

Hold up the stalk and stand firm. Don't run, that invites chase. And don't attack, that might put a fight on your hands.
Firmly and steadily stand your ground, and let it back off. Don't move from where you are unless it lunges. Then and only then, as a last resort, bring up the spike.
No. 974635 ID: 99d5d4

These things don't have eyes, right? Can they see you somehow, or are they navigating by sound? If it's the second one, you can probably throw the spike away from you and keep quiet and hope that it thinks you've run a different way.
No. 974763 ID: 663062
File 159787522404.png - (227.46KB , 900x600 , 175.png )

>Throw the glow stalk at it's mouth first!
There's no other choice! I have to fight! I know I can't win, but I have to give Mama and Tyrsis an opening! TAKE--

>Whatever you do, do NOT try to fight it.
What am I doing!?

Jumping in without thinking is an easy way to get myself killed.

It's approaching cautiously, not lunging towards me. It's probably as wary of me as I am of it.

>How strongly are the tsiki spike and glowstalk pushing against each other?
The closer I bring them together, the harder they push against each other. They act very much like magnetic metal, except they repel regardless of orientation.

I could try to use one to propel the other, but I'm not sure that'd launch it any faster than I could throw it.

I slowly turn towards it, keeping the spikes in front of me. I make no sudden movements. It doesn't back away, either.

Okay. Tunnel-grubs are timid and easily scared, but I don't think this one's afraid of either of my 'weapons'. It's likely trying to protect a nest, and feels like a cornered animal. To get out of this situation, I too need to think like an animal myself.

"Tyrsis, I need you to take Mama and flee. I'll keep it distracted."

"Are you crazy!? No! We'll run together!"

Not like him to raise his voice.

"I'll be fine. I have a plan."

"But your plans never work!"

"This one will. Trust me."

Please Shaia let this plan work.
No. 974764 ID: 663062
File 159787522743.png - (306.12KB , 900x600 , 176.png )


I gesture wildly, making the loudest noises I know to make. I'm big! I'm scary! Be afraid of me!

I try to ignore the faces I can feel Tyrsis and Mama making behind me and continue.


It's starting to back away! I stay put, continuing my display!


Yes! it's backed up all the way to the tunnel it came from!

Okay! Now for the next part of my plan! I throw my weapons at the bug to distract it!
No. 974765 ID: 663062
File 159787523057.png - (296.28KB , 900x600 , 177.png )

No. 974766 ID: 663062
File 159787523388.png - (305.79KB , 900x600 , 178.png )

*Huff... huff...*

We managed to find a soft enough incline to scramble our way back up top. I worry the tunnel-grub could follow us up, but... I see no sign of it. Either it got scared the second I moved, or it's satisfied that its nest is no longer in danger.

Either way, we made it out unharmed.

"That... hah... that was..."


"That was fun!"

"I rescind my previous response."

"Fun!? We nearly died!"

"Yeah, but we didn't! That's the important part!"

"Hsss... it's been many seasons since I last heard those words."

"Also you have literally no room to talk! Why were you here by yourself!?"

She points to the path leading ahead.

"Your answer lies in there, the final room of the Old Path."

"What? Come ooon, just tell me! Please?"

"Okay, okay."
No. 974767 ID: 663062
File 159787523751.png - (565.40KB , 900x600 , 179.png )

"Your father wanted to make sure he got you something for your hatching day. His gift is in the next room. It's been waiting there all this time, hidden from public view until you came of age."

Oh, That's right. The letter at the graveyard mentioned her wanting to take me to 'their spot'.

"But after what happened, I wasn't sure you'd want to come here again. It even seemed like you might give up on adventuring altogether. I wanted to keep my promise to him, and maybe it'd help rekindle your passion."

"But... why? Don't you want me to give up and live my life here?"


"Not as much as I want you to be happy. That's why I didn't stop him then, and why I won't stop you now. Besides..."

She tries to move her wounded leg, but can only wince.

"...It's a mother's duty to make sacrifices for her children."


Words fail me.

I glance at the path forward. Thanks to the Tunnel-grub, there's another gap to conquer. It wouldn't be hard to climb across since it's near the wall, but Mama's in no condition to do any climbing. Maybe I could fashion a bridge or support using my ROPE?

But if my father left me something, it's probably very personal. Maybe it'd be best to have Tyrsis carry Mama to the clinic and continue onwards alone.

:sq_optbubble_left:A: "Tyrsis, take Mama home. I'll grab Papa's present then follow.":sq_optbubble_right:
:sq_optbubble_left:B: "Tyrsis, can you carry Mama for a while? Let's check out the final room.":sq_optbubble_right:


:sq_optbubble_left:Is there anything I'd like to discuss with my companions before we finish things off?:sq_optbubble_right:
No. 974768 ID: 0fae41

No. 974769 ID: cdabe3

first, HUG EVERYONE this is super important!!!

then do B

(after you ask questions, i can't think of any right now though...)
No. 974770 ID: b1b4f3

A. You don't need to put either of them in more danger.
Though, you could go halfway and ask them to just wait here. You can fetch it and come back then go with them to the clinic.
No. 974774 ID: fa2754

Hug your mom and tell her you're glad to be family.

A. But ask them to wait like five minutes while you get a head start. You'll want to walk with them to the clinic if you can catch up.
No. 974775 ID: 2aa5f0

I feel like A would probably be the smart option here but I'm not sure they'll want to leave you alone either

So go with A but if they complain B wouldn't be to big of an issue.

>Is there anything I'd like to discuss with my companions before we finish things off?
well you noticed how flushed your mom got when Tyrsis was carrying her, you've said how you've been trying to find a date for your mom and Tyrsis for awhile now, maybe you could try to get the two of them to hook up! this is a joke btw
No. 974776 ID: f8fa51

Yeah, assuming it's not some huge puzzle or something and is just a gift, there's no reason for them not to wait for you. You can all go home together once you've got it.

Check if Mum is okay. You haven't really had time to pause since you encountered her, and if she's hurt it'll at least be nice to ask her how it is.
No. 974780 ID: 736b7e


It would be better for you all to go down together. They don't need to go with you to get whatever is waiting but they shouldn't leave without you there to help them down.
No. 974782 ID: a9af05


You don't know what your father's present looks like and you might end up missing it entirety! Your mom will be able to show you so you won't have to worry about not seeing the present.
No. 974783 ID: a9af05

For something to discuss, talk to them on the possibility of tying your mom to Tyrsis' back. That way Tyrsis can carry her and have his hands free so he can more easily climb.
No. 974784 ID: 9c48ac

B. Safety in numbers, and they should be there when you see it!
No. 974786 ID: 36784c


>Is there anything I'd like to discuss with my companions before we finish things off?
The glowstalks and how much they could push against the ketzas. Since Tyrsis feels a little push, imagine how much it would push a normal ketza.

>tying your mom to Tyrsis' back.
That sounds like it could work.
No. 975037 ID: b099e2

A, except instead of leaving with her right away, give Tyrsis the first aid kit before you go and have him splint your mom's leg or something. You'll probably be back by the time he's done and you can all leave together.
No. 975833 ID: 663062

Youtube version: https://youtu.be/dLPLGCx9EYQ
No. 975842 ID: f8fa51

Is that the end of the chapter?
No. 975849 ID: 2aa5f0

that was fun. See you all in the next thread.
No. 975852 ID: 36784c

Off to adventure!

The name of the video is “Slissa Quest Omega: Thread 1 ending”, so I’m pretty sure it is the end of the chapter.
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