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"Are we supposing there's a little teapot somewhere in this valley we gotta find?" Hurricanrana says, tilting his head. "Is it perhaps short and stout?"

"No more singing, please," Desert sighs.

"Actually…" Mudi says. "In Tartarus, the will is supreme… It's even true at an Anchor. You saw how people suffered when they used techniques to move great distances without being seen, like the Ecclesian flash step. Oh! And we all had to agree on what we saw before we could even enter the anchor!"

"Oh no…" Desert groans.

"The singing probably helped us get this far!" Mudi extrapolates.

"No, no, no–!" Vizsla complains.

"We gotta sing to find the tea ingredient!!!" Mudi declares.

The Paper Trail shrugs.

"R-right?" Mudi asks, losing all her momentary bravado.


As a unit, with paces in sync despite the disparities in height and length, the Ecclesians move out, following behind the Paper Trail.


"Take it from someone who has spent more time down here than you–" the Witch says. "Anything you hear claim to belong to or be from 'God' is not to be believed. Best not to overuse that word. An Anchor may be safe enough, but in the Abyss – tantamount to suicide. What you encountered was most likely an Umbral who became overmuch obsessed with that thing, and began to hallucinate a theosis."

>Shei and Flaming

"Cursed?" the Witch repeats. "Is that what they're saying?"

She scoffs, then full-on laughs, like it's the only funny thing she's heard all day. She shakes a ratchet at you. "My Craft is in the mechanical arts. I put no curse on any one of them.


"People like them… don't need any curse from anyone. They are curses unto themselves. Curses unto one another… you get me?"

The others ponder this in silence.

She looks at Flow. "But, it is true I got into a dispute with the royals. Must be the genesis of this rumor. Why do you ask?"
92 posts omitted. Click reply to view.



Amy asks the Vestigial Sunlight for the name of Viszla's deity.


Attribute: Buff
Tags: Spell
Effect: Roll for a Hint from those who have been a situation such as yours before.
Duration: N/A
Recharge: 1

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"Right- But I demand a battle royal of party tricks during our next juncture with lunch time!" Shei beams with enthusiasm with the suggestion, flinging his guitar about as if readying a rapier, to the aching strain of his wrist to do so.

"Lets be on our way. With some luck I can still play a gig today."


Shorthorns nods in agreement with the others. "Yep, I think that should be enough proof to go off of. Let's see if we can settle this disagreement between the King and Queen once and for all."

Shorthorns leads the way towards the castle, looking ahead to see if there's still a massive line of people trying to help the Princess.


"You want to see party tricks? I think I might have an idea for juggling beetles…"


"Did not the Morte Legionem bring marbles into popularity in the early days of the Ecclesiachy? I have been playing since colthood." Leather raises an eyebrow.


Shei flicks Shorthorn's horns "You insult me with your plebian sense for party tricks. We are the pigmy foam of God stuff, we can do a little better than juggling."


Something about the flecks of minerals in the nearby dirt catches your eye… azure and translucent… the words, "Ice Age," come to mind.

Though you are not yet at the Abyss, something about it… seems to tremble. Those words may best be left for another time.

Falling silent, the others step into the Abyss once more.

"Yes," Hours says. "But I came to Ecclesia through the priesthood, not the order of assassins. I always had more of an affinity for games of strategy more than dexterity."

"Mere excuses," Freischutz scoffs. "If you haff need of schooling, I simply require a tutor's fee."

Hours rolls his eyes.

As you plan out some cantrip competitions, you make your way back to town, where you see the tent of the Somnists in the distance. The crowds have greatly thinned since the last time you were there. Your chances to petition the royals there could be fast slipping away…


"I guess that's true, but after that stunt Rooster just pulled I REALLY want to do something with juggling beetles. Or elephants…." she says with a hint of soreness in her tone.

As they see the last of the Somnists in line, Shorthorns snorts in frustration. "Uh oh, it looks like they're almost finished. I don't know if they'll just let us stand in line again and even if we did they wouldn't like us telling everyone about Tartarus out in the open."

She looks at the castle, smirking as she says, "I think we should wait for them inside the castle itself! Lot more private that way, right?"



Amy stares at the words for a moment. Then, she shrugs and moves on. She enters the Abyss, hoping to find a friend.

[1d10] for friend finding!

Roll #1 9 = 9


"A good shooter bowled violently now will always be better than a perfect shot planned for weeks. Marbles is all about the moment to moment, not a grand strategy." Leather remarks.


"I offer a fair warning. I am exceedingly socially inept. I'm sure that's no mystery to anyone here. In that spirit, I also nominate Shorthorns as group captain and general spokesperson. Congratulations Shorthorns."

>"I REALLY want to do something with juggling beetles"
Shei chastises Shorthorns "You will turn my organs inside out and you will like it."

"We have no guarantee they will allow us an audience once the time to petition are finished. And the use of force is not an option. We may end up causing wide spread panick or outrage with our allegations. But our message being received is at least more certain than seeking audience afterward."


Following Shei's nomination of Shorthorned, the others look to her with interest as to what she may propose for the plan of (rhetorical) attack.

As the Witches of Gehenna venture forth into the Abyss, a small storm of marbles brews, within the space of an Abyssal flower.

…Some time later, following a rigorous discussion of marble theory, history and strategy, the Ecclesians freeze and fall silent, directing their eyes to the Abyss. Figures appear in the distance, regaining shape, color and form…

"Well well well," Fox says, once the figures step between the outermost petals of the great, white flower. "Are you the genuine articles, I wonder?"

Mudi waits until the flower's petals fold back in around them, shutting off the gateway to the Abyss, before she nods. "As real as you lot are."


"Feels like we haven't seen them in a while, a lot longer than we likely have actually been out. A quick reminder about using names, before we all converse again," Leather notes to the approaching and current parties, feeling the moment opportune to prevent slip-ups with re-greetings.



Amy cocks her head to one side at Fox. "Why wouldn't we be real?"


As she's nominated as group captain, Shorthorned Dragon takes in a deep breath, trying not to let the pressure get to her as she thinks up a plan.

"Okay, we need to show the King and Queen, in PRIVATE, that it's possible to leave Tartarus using the trick Rooster just showed us. We need to do it in private and I doubt they'll be willing to entertain us if we just stand in line with the somnists again, so I say we go into the Castle itself and wait for them there so we can talk things out with them."

She looks at the foreboding castle again, "So, the tricky part is figuring out which room is the King and Queen's, and how exactly to get in. I'm sure I could use my powers to make a hole and close it up again, but I don't know if that'll draw any attention. Does anyone have any ideas for how we can sneak in without even the gards seeing us?"


Shei-Sher holds up another black thread. In response to Shorthorned Dragon's question shei asks "There is something I could do. Bit it's a tad invasive is it not? I wager there'd be an immediate quarrel, should the King and Queen find us in their private chambers unannounced."


"Well, consider an apple," Fox says. "Now, take a bite of it. Do you still have–"
Collective groans rise from the Ecclesians as Fox haphazardly steers your question into an ontological quandary.

"Hmm…" Anzu ponders. "I wonder how long we could get away with using nicknames. Gestures, perhaps?"

As the Witches of Gehenna make themselves comfortable, the Ecclesians scoot away from the entrance, to give them a little more room – and to make sure all of them remain in their field of vision.

"Your Paper Trail led you here," Holy Hours observes. "I trust this means you've secured your gift for the tea party."
"Oh yeah," Hurricanrana says. "I only wish we could go get more. That was fun!"
"How nice," Freischutz deadpans.
"Any luck on your end?" Mudi asks.
Holy Hours nods, but doesn't show off the ingredient the Ecclesians secured.
"Now all that's left is the last piece…" Desert Lamp says. "And we can, quite literally, get this party started."

Great Voyage clicks a horn against Shorty's. "Since when are we the type to sneak around…?"
"Hmm…" Supper mutters. "We – or, rather, I – could also bring them to us, but I'd need an idea of where they are– the more accurate, the better."
Rooster, still a beetle, opens his shell and flies about. "Would anyone care to join me for reconnaissance?"


Shorthorns takes Shei's words into consideration. "Hmm… they may panic when they see us at first but if we can calm them down quickly and explain why we're there I'm sure they'll listen. Better than they would to just another bunch of people in line."

To Voyage, she shakes her head, "I know, it's not exactly what buffalo DO, we're not built for sneaky but we can't just go barging in there either, we'll scare them off and maybe even make them think we're bad guys. We have to be smart about it."

As Rooster flies about, Shorthorns rubs her chin, "Now THERE'S one idea… what if we all snuck into the castle as bugs?"



"If I eat an apple, I still have an apple. Some of it is just inside of me now," Amy states simply.


"What else do we need?" Amy asks, her tail wagging enthusiastically. She doesn't have a single concern with the fact that she forgot.


"I'll take voyeur over trespassing." Shei obliges Rooster's offer and transforms into a small spider with tiny goat horns, flying on a strand spider silk made from his cape.

The transformation is as gruesome as it is quick, as without a puff of smoke or obscurity to the magic Shei's body condenses, the sound of bones snapping and flesh re-knitting itself sound in the span of a couple seconds.


Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


"Knowing this place, it seems like a good way to overwrite our original names or something similarly unideal." Leather shrugs, "At least it teaches good eye contact."

"I like as few steps as possible, if we can. I rather like having higher cognition."


With a miniscule soprano voice, Shei speaks in bolsterous triumph over his new form "Let's gooo! My mind feels so clear after Supper gave me the googly eyes. I only want for something menial to do as I think! There's so much to think about, while clarity is so fleeting."


"But at what point is–" Fox continues, before dodging an overhead kick from Anzu. "Istheapplenolongeranappl–" he rushes out, before other Ecclesians rush to duel him. You get the sense they've had to endure this concept from him many times over.

"Catch!" Rooster commands. With a small puff of smoke, he produces a little trinket on a small cord, which he throws to Shorthorns. She hooks it onto a horn, and before she knows it, she too has joined the buggy crew, two beetles and one spider strong.

GV leans down to inspect the bugs. "Okay… just don't fall into any traps or veer too close to any strong light sources."

Supper nods. "We'll need you at your full strength for the bug-fighting tournament later."

Living Saint Zoantharia speaks up. "Our ability to plan an attack – or rather, a tea party – is held back by the fact that we know too little of our target's hiding-spot. 'Twould behoove us to scout the target's location ahead of time… but doing so may risk giving away our intentions."

The Paper Trail who guided the Ecclesians turns its head toward LSZ.

"…You've kept your peace 'til now," LSZ says. "Have you something to say?"

Red lines scrawl across the crumpled sheafs that comprises the Paper Trail's noggin. The lines form words:

"Questions? / Inquiry / Information / Limited / Questions?"


"Put me in coach! Put. Me. In!" Shei shouts to Supper in his tiny squeaky spider voice. Shei zips around in circles, aloft on his strand of spider web.

"Let us gangpress our enemies into allies, and peer pressure our allies into immigrants!"


Shorthorns looks down at herself as she sees her formerly divine, white-coated body is shrunken down and suddenly takes on the hues of many rainbows, her new carapace glistening in the sun as she turns around on six legs to survey herself.

"Ooooh, look at me! I'm so pretty!" She says in a bit of indulgence, watching her shimmering shell. "It reminds me of the rainbow crow from my clan's old stories, so cooool…."

She manages to stop gushing as she clears her throat, expanding her back to try out her new wings (not that she has much experience at flying, as she quickly tries to learn how to balance)

"W-we won't!" she shouts up to Voyage as she struggles to maintain her altitude. "Okay, let's go in and find the King and Queen's bedroom, if we're lucky we might catch them in there. Supper, Voyage," she says, looking up to her two normal sized companions. "Keep an eye on them from out here as best you can, if anything about the situation changes find a way to let us know."



Amy giggles at Fox's antics. "Maybe we're all apples," she goads him on.


Then, Amy cocks her head at Zoantharia. "Why do we need to know where she's hiding, Zoro? Won't she come to us?"


Leather rubs his chin, "Hmnn.. Well, since MISTER MOOLAH seemed short on time, or perhaps more accurately short-coming with it. Now would be a good time to hear a more detailed report on what his company knows about the target's realm." He makes sure to match the demon's bombastic inflection for mentioning it's name.


Supper just looks down at Shei as if he were speaking three, or perhaps four different languages.

"I don't quite get it, but… well, you asked for it."

She looks off in the direction of the painted world's castle town, producing a plumb line from her pocket for depth gauging purposes. "Got it," she says, then looks back down at the three bugs.

All at once, her pupils split, fanning out into black spirals that fill the entirety of her eyes.

"La Chute."

You fall.

Colors and darkness streak upward around you in a nauseating stream. Everything inside, from your stomach to your lungs to your very veins, rushes upward. A force yanks you down through ungraspable grotesquerie, until a surface of cold water breaks upon you–

In the very next instant, you stand upon solid stone. Gone without a trace is the dread feeling of falling, a distant memory fading. You look up, and see that the three of you have been dropped off right in front of the dragon's castle. It's even larger now that you're bugs, and it was hardly a small construction before.

With a blink, and an awkward cough, Rooster spreads his wings to fly for a window.

>roll for dragon-searching

"Guess we really are what we eat after all!" Fox says.
"I vould not mind being rock candy, I zuppose," Freischutz admits.

The red lines shift across the crumpled paper, forming disjointed sentences across the folds and ripples.

"A paradise / Impossible / Of / Non- / Sacred geometry
"Collage-style / Mosaic / A logic / peculiar to / her
"Divided into / Districts
"Boundary / Village / Plaza / Market / Orchards / Boundary"


Shei-Sher emerges belly side up and in a stir of sensations. His spidery limbs instinctively grasp a thread from his thorax and knit a parasail by their rythmic twitching.

Shei catches a draft onto his webby parasail and begins drifting away to scale the castle.

rolling to find what was it we were searching for?

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


Shorthorn's newly compound eyes feel like they're about to melt out of her eye-sockets as the new scarabuff falls through madness due to Supper's spell, screaming wildly as she beholds the horrors in nearly 360* vision

After they're deposited out in front of the castle, Shorthorns is practically frozen with terror for a few moments, having to be prodded once or twice by her companions in order to get her abdomen moving again. "What… that… d-do I even wanna know what all that was?"

She said as she tries practicing her newfound wings and flying up after Rooster, looking down at Shei as she also looks for a window. "Shei, you sure you should be a spider? I think wings would have been better for you on this mission."

[1d10] Searching for the King/Queen's bedroom

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Would a party be hosted in all of these districts? Or just familiarize ourselves with one?"


"…My stature now matches my attention-span." Shei-Sher says without ego nor resentment. As if he were freed from the vicissitudes of life, Shei says this and glides away on his parasail.



Amy stares at the squiggling lines being produced across the Paper Trail's face.

Then, she says with a deadpan expression. "I don't know how to read…"

Then, she shrugs. "Do the voices in my head have any ideas?"


Attribute: Buff
Tags: Spell
Effect: Roll for a Hint from those who have been a situation such as yours before.
Duration: N/A
Recharge: 1

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11



>[1d10] for insight

Amy has no intuition.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"La Chute," Rooster says. "One of the loyal demons of Mortalkind's Strongest Demon Tamer– along with L'Etranger, et La Peste. I think this makes me one of the only Ecclesians to have experienced its power… and probably the only one to have lived! Hahaha! I survive another day to be a menace."

Though he's a beetle, something in your mind's eye tells you that Rooster now wears a terrible smile.

You fly up to the western end of the third floor of the castle – or so common sense would tell you. What appears from your perspective to be the third floor is in fact but a high window, in a gargantuan room. It needs to be so large, to hold the dragon King. He, alone in the bedroom, is fuming over documents. Scrolls, papyrus, codices, and the like. Many torn-up, burned and crumpled bits of paper are scattered around, destroyed by his frustrations.

As large as this bedroom is, it seems to have been built to accommodate two dragons. Yet now, it houses only one. The Queen must be elsewhere.

Amy remembers with certainty.

In an instant, she remembers.

The Vestal will be in the Village. But, it's best to host the party in the Orchards. Yet, the Plaza and Market shouldn't be overlooked– useful trappings will be found there.

In an instant, she forgets.

Such notions of remembrance are just as instantly gone.

All that remains is the certainty of that knowledge, of the Orchards, and the Plaza, and the Market.

As all of this unfolds in Amy's mind, the Paper Trail asserts to Cloak that the Vestal was last observed spending most of her time in the Plaza.


"And are the any additional rules to the mosaic that have been observed? Best practices in transportation between them or additional caveats like the threat mitigation?"


Shei-Sher is driven by primeval sensations. Compelled by his spidery nature Shei casts a web at one corner of the room and begins spinning his web to create a nest. The webs are made from the threads of his cape, so it appears lush and velvety red.

[1d10+1] for spider nest making

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8



"We should hold the party in the orchard," Amy says with casual certainty. "The Vestal is in the village, but she likes the orchard. She'll come to us if we have the party there."


As they roll up to the window, Shorthorns leans up against the tremendous glass as she peers at the dragon king waiting inside.

"There's the King, but no sign of the Queen… Hmmm…" she pauses, thinking to herself, "We could start off by talking to the King alone. Given he and the queen argue so much, it might make it more difficult to explain ourselves if they're together to start. If we present it to just one of them first, and let them show it to the other, think that'd work in our favor?" She asks her two companions, not quite sure if it'd be better to speak to them both at once or one at a time.



"Hm, well the writing said she's recently spent her most time in the plaza, but I do like the prospect of a party in an orchard. Geometry permitting, it's easiest to watch over: Just put my Spook up a tree and paint his nails red." Leather grins.



"Why are you painting his nails?" Amy asks curiously.


"So he can hide in a cherry tree, of course."



"Why not just paint his nails the same color as the leaves?"


Well have you ever seen an elephant with painted nails in a cherry tree before?"


"Movement / Between / Districts / Always / can she / See
"Never / a / Discourtesy / shall you / show / to a / Villager
"Else / shall she / Plant / you"

"It would be most difficult to get Rooster up a tree," Hours says. "But that'd not stop him from trying."

Freischutz, glancing between the Paper Trail and Amy, tilts her head. "In zhe village? Vhat makes you so sure? Zhat isn't vhat zhe Paper Trail said."

Rooster waits quietly, perched on the window-sill as Shei starts putting together a decent web across the span of the great room. You'll still need some way of getting the dragon to look up at whatever web-based message you're going to convey.


Shei-Sher begin knitting together a thicket of web strands that make a short sentence across the web. When Shei finishes the web reads 'Consult with the goat.'

Shei-sher is too engrossed in his spidery nature to do anything else. He leaves the rest up to Flaming and Rooster.


Shorthorns looks on as Shei finishes weaving together a message using his silk to show to the King, not doing anything to stop him or change the message as she tries to roll with her plan on the fly.

"Okay, I guess that'll work. Now we just need to get him to notice it…"

Shorthorns enters into the great room and flies directly above the Dragon King, perching herself upside down on the cieling. Thinking of a way to get him to look up and at the spider-web Shei created, she uses her Sphere to transmute a small part of the ceiling from stone into water, making it drip slowly but noticeably down on the Dragon's head as though a leak had sprung on the floor above. Hopefully, in doing so making him catch sight of the web message

[1d10] Sphere of Dark: Transmute stone to small, dripping water on the ceiling

Roll #1 3 = 3



Amy stares at Cloak with a stupefied expression for a second. Then, she giggles. "Now I HAVE to see it."


Amy shrugs. "I just… know."

"But, we should check the plaza and the market first. There's good stuff there," she says before hopping off in the direction that she assumes is the market.

[1d10] to market, to market, to buy a fat hog

Roll #1 10 = 10


"That's the thing: if you haven't seen it before, now you know it works." Leather taps his cloth-wrapped head twice with his hoof.

"The pachyderm is capable of most anything if it would aid a party, that I know for sure."


The dragon King refuses to move from his suitably large desk as the water drips… but within a few moments, the repetitive sound at last elicits an angry snarl from the King, who glares up at the ceiling, not noticing the message in his annoyance. He spreads his wings, and at first looks like he's about to fly straight through the web– but Rooster buzzes overhead, stalling his ascent. Flames swirl around the King's exhaled breath, but as Rooster zips back up to the window, he crosses the path of the message, and the King's rage finally settles on it.

"The goat… so, he's to blame for this once again," the King snarls, and tramples toward the exit of the bedroom.

The Ecclesians hold fast, while Amy bounces toward the edge of the colossal lotus-flower offering everyone respite from the Abyss. Mudi follows, and then do Desert, Hurricanrana and a reluctant Vizsla.

"We will continue our game of marbles here until the rest of the party guests have arrived," Hours says.

"That's great, didn't ask," Vizsla sneers.

"D-don't be rude," Mudi grumbles. "You were making such progress. I thought the singing cheered you up."

"Did someone say singing!?" Hurricanrana, Desert and Anzu exclaim at once.

Vizsla seethes like a cat subjected to a bath.


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