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Sir Pent slithers off of your arm and crawls over to Sparkler, and bumps his head against her arm until she relents and gives him a pat. Sir Pent soon bites off an old scale, one already on its way to falling off, and holds it out to her. Curious, Sparkler takes it, and after some deliberation, starts to mash it in a pestle while her healing takes its effect.

*Click click* the beetle continues, patiently awaiting your questions with its forelegs folded up together in a professional posture.

Your shark senses tell you there's something worth taking in this room… but it might be a nap.

Juniper flings herself into the pool outside the room, and Cycle follows suit. Juniper then climbs out and steps through the doorway with no issue.

"Looks like the Mechpriests would have had to purify themselves with a ritual bath before entering here," Juniper says. "But for our purposes, just stepping into the pool is enough to enter one of these kinds of chambers, I suppose."

"Yeah…" Chiu mutters, but she does not sound very sure.
862 posts and 3 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


"No…maybe? I mean, I was trying to hit a giant fish just before." Cerulean just lays in the water, seeming more confused.
"Also, I think I lost your net. Sorry."



"That's fine… I stand corrected about the net…" Cutlass says, in a rare moment of humility.


"Oh. I dunno then."


"Ah! Got it!" Alder screeches with triumph, holding it aloft and flying back to the others.

>Master Thief [1d10+1]

"So… what exactly is this thing? I feel like, ah… I feel something emanating from it."

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


A quietude descends upon your group as you focus, letting all thoughts arise and drift away as they will. You neither hold onto the thoughts, nor chase them away, taking on a purely receptive meditative state of being… in preparation tto hear the voice of a supposed god.

The noise of thoughts lingers for a time, until in your meditative state, you are even able to drift away from them… and welcome the silence to linger…

Until… the crab manages to cut Alder's hand with the very tip of one bound claw. Alder drops the crab in surprise, and it's at this point…


…You begin to hear the distressed voice of the Fish Who Devoured the Sky.

"Oh this is bad," the Crab continues, writhing in the seaweed wrap as it is. "I can't break free! Okay, okay shit. Shit okay… I just gotta ride the rest of this out. Then I can formulate a plan once I can think straight… oh shiiiiiiiiit…"

The rest of your allies start to wake up, appearing all the more confused as they perceive you conversing with a struggling crab.

"Oh…" Ossie says. "It might be a bit early to tell, Captain, but it's possible. Whether illusory or not, we've overcome a fair amount of challenges in the past few days. We could all be getting close to gaining more Aura power. But, we'll have to meditate on our experiences later to be sure."

"D-did I get one too!?" Splendid gasps.

"Mmm…" Ossie murmurs. "I'm not a master, but I think you need to have Aura already for it to work like that for you."

Splendid grumbles with disappointment.


Cloud's ears perk as he begins to hear the voice, looking around to see where the panic is coming from, until he realizes that it is indeed the crab making that sound.
"You can talk?" He asks the crab.


Alder lets out an angered screech as the crab nicks him, and responds by dropping it- and immediately grabbing it again! He slaps it on the shoreline with an angered huff, reacting much like a bird would. "W-Wait… you can talk?"

He blinks in surprise and looks around, letting out a flustered noise. "A-Ah! Everyone is awake… and, I do not know- maybe you could develop an Aura from this, Splendid. Do not give up hope just yet." He offers, keeping a careful claw on the crabby crustacean.


Willow picked the seaweed wrap up from the back end, keeping the snippy bits away from his face as he balanced it on his hoof delicately.

"Smarter than you look little crab, how'd you do that?" he asked with a more business like approach.



"Wait a minute…" Cutlass says. "I can talk to sea life!"

"What the heck is this thing?" Cutlass asks as she inspects the crab, touching her amulet.


"I'd say!" Cerulean calls out about the past few days remark.
"I feel like I'm been walking and fighting non-stop."

As Cerulean complains a bit, she continues to watch everyone talk to a weird crab.


"I just dunno how I haven't gotten any Aura by this point, though…" Splendid mumbles. "Surely I've been through enough?"

It's true. She's been on your adventures since the end of your time on Kaco Island.

Your responses seem to break the Crab's horrified stupor. "Oh, you can hear me! Huh, okay. Just give me a second here."

The crab thrashes about in Alder's grasp, screeching all the while, but it doesn't seem like it's trying to escape. The thrashes almost seem involuntary, just as one who is wracked by spasms can do little more than to allow the affliction to take its course. This continues for awhile, until the Crab settles down and lies inert for a little while. It's at this point that Willow picks up the Crab, and he doesn't get a hard time for it.

"Ugh, that never gets easier," the crab says. "You seem like good kids. Don't be like me. Being worshiped through fear just ain't what it's cracked up to be. Stay in school."

"So you are the Fish Who Devoured the Sky after all," Kukulcan says.

"That's what they say," the crab says in a cryptic tone. "So who do they say you all are?"


"Guessing that was a big illusion you cast on us?" he asked curious about his power manifestation "And my name is Willow Wisp."

"AND I'M TWO TONS!" the mechanical minion cried out in the distance approaching rapidly



Cutlass slowly blinks. "I'm Captain Cutlass. I have many questions. But, my first one is this:"

She points her hoof at Splendid. "Do you know what's happening to her?"


"This is the Fish Who Devoured the Sky? Huh, I thought it would've been… you know, a fish." Cloud comments.

"Oh, I'm Cloud Shear," He answers, adjusting to the seemingly normal discussion they're having with the crab that tried to crush them. "A better introduction in the future might help the fear worship," he adds.


"Maybe there's… some sort of interaction you need to have? Ours was with a rather powerful pony that had access to it. Maybe it requires some sort of special exposure?" He suggests, frowning a little.

He mulls it over for a moment or two, before trying to reach out with his Aura and… jog her? Throw some at her? He's not sure what he's doing, but he figured it could work.
>[1d10+2] Aura: +2 TBP?

"Ah- Alder, of the Frostclaw Tribe."

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


"Hmm…I wouldn't try to worry too much," she says, getting out of the water and patting Splendid on the shoulder. No doubt making said shoulder wet now.
"I mean, you're in the deep end with us, and still doing great without them! That's gotta count for something, right? Like…what do they say in those movies?" She pauses to think a moment.
"Oh right! The best power is what you have in here." Cerulean then pokes Splendid in the stomach, likely meaning to poke where the heart is…but it is Cerulean.


"The word 'cast' is doing a lot of work there," the Fish says. "It's more like… you saw the fear that I'd been forced to bear on behalf of the worshipers… who are no longer with us. Fear, broiling for centuries with no damn outlet… hmm, nice to meet you, anyway."

In response to Cutlass's question, the Fish peers over at Splendid. "…Midlife crisis?"

"I'm in my twenties!" Splendid says. "I think! I don't know when exactly I was born!"

"Hey some people die early," the Fish says. "Could be the middle of your life for all you know."

Splendid whines with terror. At least, until Cerulean intervenes. Her whine turns into a tickled squeak, and she cheers up.

You extend your Aura to Splendid, touching her own. You meet with heavy resistance. It's not that she doesn't have Aura, as she feared. That was a misunderstanding on her part; all things, living and non-living, have at least some Aura. In fact, she possesses a lot of Aura… very strong Aura, too. If you didn't know better, you'd mistake her for a proficient user. But for some reason not yet understood, she's incapable of accessing it, or sensing it for that matter.

"It's like how people call both spiders and insects 'bugs'," the Fish says, rolling its many eyes.

"So," the Fish says. "I'm guessing you didn't just summon me to throw me on the barbie, right? Looks like you've already got plenty."

The monkeys have mostly gotten their fill of seconds from the sushi prepared.


"Hmm… strange- it is not that you do not have aura, Splendid. You have an incredible amount; it is just that… it feels as if it is blocked off from you? I do not understand how…"

"We, uh… summoned you at the behest of another, actually. I do not know what a barbie is."



"I…" Cutlass begins a sentence, but it just devolves into frustrated groans.

"What the FUCK are you!?" Cutlass asks the fish, clearly losing her patience. "And, I swear, if you tell me you're a fish or a crab or any other mundane animal, I will flip my lid! You know what I mean!"


Looking back to Splendid, Alder offers a soft smile and says "Barbie question aside… I-I mean to say you are definitely full of Aura. Maybe something was placed on you in the past, and left as a block. All we need to do is remove it, yes?"


Cerulean couldn't help but giggle a bit from Splendid's reaction, but it made Cerulean happier nonetheless.
"See? Its all good! Now c'mon! Let's get some of that sushi stuff before those monkeys eat it all!"

As Cerulean gets some sushi before the monkeys get it, she looks over and asks the most important question…with her mouth full.
"Mwuts mh bfarbvie?"
(Whats a barbie?)


Splendid smirks. "So, I was so badass that somebody had to seal my power away… but… you'd think I'd remember something like that, but I don't, not at all."

Splendid points at the grill where you cooked all that fish earlier. "Barbie's a regional term… haven't heard it often outside of Sepulchre Island."

"I'm a god," the Fish says. "I don't literally speak your language, but I can speak to you, soul-to-soul. That means I can use any local terminology you know."

The Fish's mouth opens as soon as you start questioning him. Then it shuts as you outlaw any smart-ass responses.

"Okay, straight to the real answer, then," the Fish says. "I am a god. And for your information! I really was a brackish water crab at one point… though no longer.

"It started long ago, back when sea-lions smoked from pipes. Times were bad back then. Monsters abounded in the Ribcage– even more than there are today. The Monsters loved to surface whenever they wanted to stir shit up. Sometimes they got in a fight over a lady or over treasure, or sometimes they had a party, and got drunk and rowdy. But whatever the case, they'd come to the surface to have more space to rampage. There would be so many, it seemed as if there was no water in the ocean– there was that many Monsters, blotting out the surface.

"Of course, this was a problem for the villagers by the sea. It was said their fear would attract the Monsters. The people had to keep their fears bottled up, lest the Monsters come to the surface even more often. That's no way to live, and the villagers became miserable. They developed compulsions and all manner of bad habits. One of these was to throw things. But, throwing things in a crowded village was a quick way to make enemies. So, they started throwing things into the lake 'round yonder."

The Fish gestures with his many eye-stalks towards the lake from which you fished him.

"Now this wasn't too much better. The villagers threw so many things into the lake that it pissed off all us fish living in the lake! But, one of the Fish in the lake was clever – and handsome, if I may add. He went to the villagers and told them to stop throwing random things into the lake, and start throwing in their fears instead. Was a little difficult switching over, but the Fish helped them learn how to do it.

"The Fish gathered up all the fear they threw, and made a mask out of it. Then when the Monsters came to the surface, the villagers would warn the Fish, and the Fish put on the mask and chased off the Monsters. So it is done to this day… well, it hasn't been done in quite a long time, with the villagers all gone."

The Fish looks up at you as if that answered your question. It's a different legend than the one Kukulcan told you…


Alder giggles softly, and rubs Splendid's side. "I suppose you are right, yes! As for not remembering… it could have been at a point where you weren't awareness or knowledge of it?"

"Soul-to-soul… strange. And, a Barbie is a… grill? I see. Though, this story is quite different from the last one we heard- it makes me wonder which one is true, and which one is… incorrect. So, that earlier form was merely an illusion, of some sort?"


"Fair point."

Cloud listens to the story, sounding like an old fairy tale one would find in the older section of a library.
"So what we saw before was just that mask of fear then?" Cloud asks. "Wait, so you thought we were monsters?"



Cutlass stares at the fish as it tells this story with a furrowed brow and her mouth slightly agape.

"Okay… To be clear, you're saying that this island used to be on the surface? How did it end up down here, in that case?"


"A noticeable deviation from my previous hearing of this tale." Willow replied dryly as he pulled out a book and took notes.


"Eh, force of habit," the Fish says. "It's been a long time, and it's a lot of fear I've had to take on to keep the islanders safe. What, did I scare you?"

"Assuming my Aura's been sealed," Splendid says. "Maybe whoever did it sealed it in my sleep… well, I guess it could have been part of my training, back when I still lived on Sepulchre," Splendid says. "Or, maybe before then… Hmm… what should I do to unseal it?"

"As you no doubt noticed," the Fish says. "Another Monster has taken a bite out of Cuauhtemoc. It sounds like… you've been calling it the Vault. That name will suffice for our purposes. The Island-Turtle Cuauhtemoc, with the help of us gods, sank to the bottom of the sea, that way the Vault couldn't get to all his brother and sister islands, up on the surface. We gods tried to fight the Vault off, but it's repelled us each time… I'd say we're at a stalemate, but now, I'm afraid it's a slow battle of attrition we're eventually going to lose."

"And what story would that be?" the Fish asks. "My life is made of more than one story, just as yours is."

Some of his eyes glance toward Kukulcan…



"Alright…" Cutlass says, rubbing her temples trying to keep up.

"You're saying the Vault is a monster? And, there's… other monsters coming out of it?"

"So, I'm guessing some 'god's' power," she makes a point of doing air quotes to show her disbelief on this matter, "is responsible for the air bubble around this island?"


Willow cleared his throat and did his best to retell the tale as he heard from Kukulcan or via second hand, he was entirely sure who told him but he had been informed and he did his best to relay that. Two Tons for his part sat back and let Willow explain, correcting when he needed to.


"A little, yea. We've been attacked non stop by stuff since we got here."

"So, how long have you been here? Like, was that story about you, or is The Fish Who Devoured The Sky a title that gets passed down?"


"Part of your training on the Sepulchre? That could be it, actually- maybe if there was something in specific that was done… and, I do not know! But, now we know you have it! It is just a matter of unsealing it- we can ask around, and maybe it has happened before- then we can try what they did!"

"I believe Kukulcan here would explain it better than we could, if he would not mind sharing it again."


"Hmm…how to unseal it…." Cerulean thinks on it for a bit, but then shrugs.
"I mean, whenever I encountered a sealed jar, I'm typically just brute force it open somehow. I'd kinda lose the jar…and have to watch out for glass bits floating around. But I got what was in those jars!"


"P-Please do not drink glass shards." Alder says, looking very worried.


"Well frankly at this point, I'd like Cerulean's approach," Splendid says. "I've been waiting to get some powers like you lot have. It's been bothering me forever that I can't fight like you guys do. Feels like I'm dead weight. So until we can find a suitable Master to teach me, maybe you can just… bonk me with Aura time to time?"

"Those overgrown thieves in the suits of metal and cloth, yes, those monsters," the Fish says.

He then looks up at the sky. "That's how it works. Not my power, but yes."

"Oh that was me in the story," the Fish says. "I told it in third-person for the dramatic flair."

His tone of voice might suggest he's enhancing the truth a little… but only a little.

Willow Wisp relays the legend of the Fish Who Devoured the Sky as Kukulcan told it.

As you recall, the legend held that a mighty sea-monster – the Fish – rampaged all about Cuauhtemoc, swimming in the waters about the island, up the rivers, into the lakes, wreaking havoc all the way. The people of the island tried to appease the Fish with offerings, but the Fish's appetite eclipsed these. A warrior had to rise from among the people of the island to defeat the Fish. The warrior sought the help of the Sun Serpent, and lured the Fish out by pretending that he was going to feed the Sun Serpent to the Fish… only it was a trap that they used to get the drop on the Fish. When they defeated the Fish, the Sun Serpent got to eat the Fish as his payment. This started a bitter rivalry between the Sun Serpent and the Fish – and over the years, one would devour the other in an endless battle.

"Hmmmmmmm…!" the Fish says, hearing this story about himself. "Well… definitely sounds like something I'd do."

Then, as Alder introduces Kukulcan, the Thunder Serpent, he steps forward, and nods to the Fish. Behind him, Two Reeds, the Smoke-and-Mirrors, follows. Lightning flashes about Kukulcan, and Two Reeds is illuminated by luminescent smoke, potent with powerful magic. Their demeanor takes on the current of regal divinity you've seen them wear when they first told you of their past – as gods of this island.

Thunder Serpent Kukulcan speaks. "Greetings, brother Fish. I, the Thunder Serpent, have returned. I have regained the divine spirit I lost when I fled… so long ago. Cuauhtemoc needs all the help it can get, brother Fish. From the gods of the island, to the mighty warriors who are on the surface of the seas above. This is only a small fraction of the number I have brought here for us to finally shake off the Vault! If you can help us summon the Sun Serpent– we'll finally have everything we need to attack the Vault one last time… and set our home free."

The Fish nods repeatedly. "Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm… yeah that all sounds about right…"

He looks up, at all of you. "Just got one question though…"

The Fish Who Devoured the Sky points at Kukulcan and Two Reeds. "Do you really believe what these two impostor gods have been telling you?"


"Drink glass? Alder, that's silly. You can't drink glass." She giggles and ruffles his head feathers a bit.

Cerulean has a thinking expression, but it turns a bit uneasy.
"Uhh…I dunno. I mean, I bonk pretty hard, ya know. I mean I'd like to help, but I also don't wanna hurt you. Especially not right now. It'd be bad if I injured you or something while we're this far away from the ships."


To be honest the second you explained how you got so big, is when I realized neither of you may indeed be gods." Willow said dryly "I do not mean to offend but if you two are gods you are… pitiful." he said with a shrug "Again, no offense."


"Hmm… deal! I would be happy to help however I can." He offers, prodding Splendid's side a little before looking back to the others.

Alder would try to explain what he meant, but… she clearly isn't drinking something with glass shards in it. And, the head-ruffling is nice.

"Imposters? They do seem rather insistent about it… are you suggesting they are charlatans, or that they are mistaken?"



"Not even slightly," Cutlass says flatly in response to the fish. "But, that's because I don't believe any of you."

"Oh, to be sure, I'm willing to believe that Aura allows for the impossible to be possible. I've already chalked all this 'demon' talk up to people becoming partially immortal and corrupted by their own aura. I'm also believing that YOU," she points to the fish, "are of some race of ancient fish people, and your aura has come to the point that you're godlike."

"But, no. I do not believe any of you are gods. I do not believe in such things in general. It's a silly notion. But, it's also all irrelevant to why I'm here. My one and only concern is whether or not all these lies and delusions will come back to negatively impact me."

"I'm willing to believe that you've deluded yourself, fish. To be fair, what is a god but someone who is worshipped for their power. So, in that sense, fine, I can see how you would call yourself a god. So, perhaps 'delusion' in your case is a bit too harsh of a word. But, my point is that your story - questionable veracity aside - is harmless to me."

"But, HIS," Cutlass points to Kukulcan, "story is still of great concern to me. His story seems intent on fooling US, not himself. And, I've yet to determine why that is so important to him. And, that is the only thing that concerns me."


After the Fish speaks up after Kukulcan's dramatic display, Cloud looks between the two groups. Another bit of conflicting information going against Kukulcan's identity.
"I mean, I'm kind of just going along with things, since we don't have much choice down here. After seeing what the Vault did to one village over on the coast, I'm really not sure."


"Could bonk me just about as hard as you want," Splendid riffs with a chuckle. "Eh… only if Alder's there, though. My room, tonight?"

"Fish people!?" the Fish gasps. "That's our word."


Kukulcan and Two Reeds stand there in shock as both you, and the Fish Who Devoured the Sky – a true god of the island – reject their acclaimed divinity. Their silence continues all through Cutlass's dissection of the situation.

"I'm in agreement with the Captain," Ossie says.

"As am I," says Colobok.

Make Believe shrugs, and Splendid – after looking at Kukulcan and Two Reeds a moment, steps forward. "I… believed them, for what it's worth. But, I think you'd be the expert in divinity here."

"Hey, as long as we're all being open here," Schnitzel says. "I'm the expert on lying, and I thought it was a lie from the start."

Droplet scratches his chin for a little while, before smiling. "Oh, don't get me wrong. They are definitely impostors… but I believe every word they tell me."

The Fish shakes his head and clicks his tongue. "Man… you two gotta work on that. You people are pirates, am I right? Pirates're the most superstitious crowd on all the seas. If you can't convince them, you got no shot at being gods."

The Vola standing before you – whatever his name or title may be – struggles to formulate words. The Krikal who stands beside him is similarly tongue-tied.

"Hey, now," the Fish continues. "That don't mean I'm not gonna help you. I didn't say that. My options are to fight against the Vault, or to let everything wear away in that slow battle of attrition. If I got a fighting chance – and more importantly, some warriors on my side – I'm ready to take another stab at it. Got nothin' better to do with the villagers all gone. And you know what, pirates, if we win, I'll let you have some of the wealth that the Vault's been stealing from us. Just a li'l bit, though. Deal?"


"Yea, I agree," Cloud says following the Fish's statement. "We do have bigger fish to fry right now with the Vault and all. We can put the rest aside for now." He adds, helping alleviate the awkward silence.



"The fact that we're all so willing to help him, yet he continues to insist that he is a god of this land - despite all the evidence to the contrary - is what has me so concerned. What does his deception stand to give him? And, more importantly, does it come at a cost to me?"

"Some answers would be nice, 'Thunder Serpent'," Cutlass says the words sarcastically.

"I can already tell I'm not gaining as much from him as I was promised…" Cutlass continues on, looking back to the Fish. "He already promised me all the riches we could find on this expedition. But, I'm guessing that doesn't hold much weight to you, does it?"


Alder blinks a little. There's something… more, to that comment. Is he being teased? After a moment or two, he shrugs. "Uhm… sure! We could try tonight, yes."

"Hrm… I was not fully sure what to make off them. He has shown off power, but… I do not know if that is really enough. But… yes, we have more important things to deal with for the moment- if we work together, we ought to have a better chance, right?"

"T-That idiom seems a tad inappropriate, given the circumstances."


"That just means he's a bad negotiator too," the Fish says. "Please do not tell me that 'all the riches' was his opening bid."

"Everything is as I have already told you," Kukulcan says, regaining his composure as you call him Thunder Serpent. "Not one word of it was ever any sort of lie."

"I do believe that," the Fish says. "I said these two were imposters… but I didn't say they weren't gods." The Fish then looks over at Two Reeds. "Well… you aren't there yet."

"M-my divine spirit was taken into the Vault," Two Reeds says. "I saw it stolen from me with my own eyes!"

"So you've got the spirit, not the materiel," the Fish says. "We can work on the latter part."

Two Reeds sputters with increased confusion.

"Anyway…" the Fish says. "We'd better get around to summoning the Sun Serpent soon."

"Indeed," Kukulcan says. "The ideal summoning time approaches. He becomes weary in the afternoon."

"Okay, you know your stuff," the Fish says.

"I would certainly hope that I do," Kukulcan retorts. "I am a god."

"I just said you were, man, relax, relax!" the Fish chuckles.



Cutlass looks around at some of the people around her (some of which on her own crew) who seem to be accepting the existence of gods.

"Okay, I suppose it's a question worth asking since we're here now… How many people here believe in all this business about gods?"


"It was not his opening bid, no," Cutlass responds.

Then, she listens to the conversation between "gods" with increased confusion.


"I am amenable to an alliance of convenience with you, though I doubt you are entirely capable of enforcing that latter statement." he said mildly amused.

Two Tons raised a brow but nodded "Honestly I like the fish, he's funny."


"Ay yi yi," the Fish groans. "We gotta do somethin' about all this neigh-saying. Just 'cause I'm a crab don't mean you can crush my shell so easily." He then looks at Two Tons and nods (by flicking his eye-stalks up and then down). "You, you're cool."


"Hmm… do you mean to imply that they are gods, just not the gods they think they are?" Alder asks, tilting his head to the side.


Cloud looks to the Fish, who has so far been more informative on the situation.
"So, how do we summon the Sun Serpent then?"

"Do you mean Kukulcan, or gods in general?" Cloud asks back.


"My day has not exactly been the best." Willow remarked with a sigh, though he scooped the crab up and deposited him on Two Tons back.

"That being said, I enjoy seeing Two Tons make friends, so I shall refrain from antagonizing you if you do the same." he said offering an olive branch.

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