The Scorching Depths

Locales abroad of the city centers, from out of doors to the outer planes.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"You could go flying with mum, Bella, I'm sure she'd be happy to help you learn. I'll get better as soon as I can."
Mary shuffles herself over in bed to reach over the table. Even that short motion causes her to wince in pain, although she does her best to hide it from her friends.
"Okay, okay, fine, it's a surprise." Her smile says she's not really disappointed about not being told. She'll happily be surprised. "So how different are you guys from each other? Other than species."
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Or from her friend, as the case may be.

"I was kinda wanting to wait for you," Bella admits. "I thought it would be more special, maybe? Something to look forward to. Plus I won't feel as bad since we'll probably both be fumbling around like doofs."

"A little different?" Phelsie answers. "I've gotta have, like, at least sixty percent of Maridia's sugar-rush gremlin energy. I'm basically just a SUPERSIZED fairy dragon."

"The fox' Masks are all just basically different versions of me. Us? Whatever. I guess that's pretty weird for a kumiho, usually they make creepy collections of people they eat. Not that I'm complaining any," Olympia answers. Then visibly winces as the fox pulls her tail free.

The fox looks not just droopy. She looks drippy. Like you can see past the fuzzy fox fur and to the primordial darkness she's actually made of. "I'm gunna... take a nap... have fun..." she wheezes as she just sort of collapses where the unicorn's shadow ought to be, splatting back into an actual shadow in the process.

The unicorn gives a sudden snort, her butt finally dropping down as he back legs give out. She slowly opens her eyes, looking around blurry. "Did it work...?"

"Yeah."
"YEP!"
"Totally."

"Heh... cool beans," the unicorn says as she gets her hooves under herself, rising up again. She lights her horn and her backpack wriggles a bit. "So I was thinking about stuff we could do when I come over to visit and I decided to try doing that filter out the Names thing that you talked about Mary. Or... I guess it might have been Sapphira? Well, either way it basically worked. And we came up with a great idea."

Out of the backpack she draws forth-
-a box! The box features a picture of a spooky brickwork-lined cavern. At the center is a terrifying ogre holding a club! He's surrounded by four colorful equestrians in various adventure-y looking outfits! An armored earth pony holding a huge hammer with her tail, a unicorn levitating a staff and blasting the ogre with a ray of magic, a thestral sneaking up behind the ogre with a dagger in his teeth, an a pegasus in a priestly looking robe protecting the earth pony warrior from the ogre's club with a shield of light.

Oubliette's & Ogres
Euqestria's Greatest Fantasy Role-Playing Game
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"A board game?" Mary looks at the box quizzically. "A pony board game?" Of course the unicorn would have pony games but she's not going to make that comparison. "I think I can do that. It won't be too taxing on her wounded body, hopefully.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"Aunt Geneva got it for me on my ninth birthday, but it's not really a board game. It hasn't gotta board," Phelsie explains.
"It's sorta like an improve acting game," the succubus adds.
"Also an adventure game!" says the human.
"An acting-adventure game," the dragon giggles.

The unicorn opens up on the box and within are some little miniatures, dice, books, pencils and papers. It doesn't LOOK much like any game Mary has ever seen before, that's for sure. "So how this works is you make a character you pretend to be-"
"They're your Mask for the game," Bella interjects. Glister sticks her tongue out at the succubus.
"-that's called your avatar. And then one person plays the Oubliette Keeper, basically like a referee. Whenever you try to do something in the game that might fail, the Oubliette Keeper will tell you to roll some dice to find out if you succeeded or not," Glister continues. "The game came with a buncha adventure books so I'll just be running things outta one of those. We'll spend the first bit putting our characters together."

Then?

She floats six little cards over for Mary to examine. She's got six character classes to pick from! The erudite wizard! The stalwart knight! The cunning scoundrel! The pious mystic! The charming sorcerer! The brutal warrior!
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"Please don't keep talking all at once, I'm trying to pay attention." A room full of Khannies involves a lot of jokey banter, naturally.
Mary examines the six cards. The Sorcerer speaks to her a little, encouraging and helping others... But there's that subtext there. The Sorcerer uses their power to alter minds. That's an uncomfortable thought for Mary. It reminds her of Sapphira. She puts that card back and draws the one for the Mystic. That sounds good. "How about this one?" Healing abilities sound useful and Mary doesn't feel like being the one killing all the badguys.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"Okay, cool. So if you open up your card," Glister says as she snags the remaining cards with her magic and floats them back to the table for the rest of the players to root through. "On the inside it shows the abilities you can pick as you get stronger. We're just starting so you only need to worry about level one. The mystic should have a healing ability, a protection ability, a divination ability, and a prayer ability. Healing fixes people up, but it takes longer to do. Protection's for stopping something from hurting your friend RIGHT NOW. Divination is for finding secret stuff and bad-guy weakesses. Prayer can do lotsa different things; but it isn't super good at them compared to the abilities other classes get that ONLY do that thing. It's the only ability the mystic gets that can hurt badguys, too. You get to pick TWO of the abilities."

The rest of the girls are busy quietly chattering with each other over which of the classes they want and what their plans are. Since they're all Khannie they all know how the game works already. Glister is just helping to walk Mary through the steps slowly.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
Mary considers her options. Healing is slow but powerful. Protection is quicker. The other options are more versatile. "I'll, uh, use protection and divination, I think?" She's not ignoring the rest of the conversation either. She wants a sense for what everyone else is doing and what they consider important.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"That's not a bad combo,"
Glister says, smiling encouragingly at Mary. "That way you'll have something to do no matter what. Like if you go healing AND protection you're just super great at keeping your friends healthy, but then you can't get scared of stepping up to BONK! a monster if you don't gotta heal or protect anyone that turn."

The other three girls are currently having a pretty intense conversation on the subject of whether they should have TWO front-line characters or if it would be enough with just ONE provided Phelsie takes the Summoning ability on her Wizard.
"I really wanna do a knight with Eudaemonia as my emblem, it'll be cool," Bella insists.
"Yeah, but I was thinking of doing a big sword warrior," Olympia says. "We always used to go wizard so I thought it would be cool to try something different."
"I guess I can just drop Summoning and go Elemental and Arcane? Full blaster? Or maybe Arcane Alchemy for more support?" Phelsie wonders aloud.
"Mary's already doing full support I think going knives out blaster would be better," Olympia reasons.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"Okay then I'll do that." Mary confirms. She smiles and nods along to the ongoing discussion once she's mentioned, even if she doesn't really understand what's going on. "What next?" She continues. Or is this enough to start playing already?
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"See how it says 'Instant' on your protection ability? That means you can use it even if it's someone else's turn," Glister explains to Mary. "That way if one of your friends is gunna get BONK!ed you can protect them right away and then you can still use your turn to do divination stuff. But you can only use an instant effect once a round so you wanna make sure you're gunna protect against big hits."

She thinks that's a pretty important point to understand before they really get started.

"There's a couple more things to do still. I think we can just use the standard class skills instead of fussing with that since Mary is new. Do you guys wanna use the boxed creature rules or just wing it?"
Glister inquires of the group.

"Mary isn't gunna know what that means," Olympia points out.

Glister face-hoofs with an audible 'clop'. "Duh. Okay so this game was made in Equestria and the sortsa people you can make your character be are all from that version of Earth. There are like, five bazillion of 'em, not just the ponies. Dragons and griffins and abyssinians and yaks and changelings and just all sortsa stuff. But not humans or pokemon or demons or whatever. So sometimes when we were playing we'd just sorta wing it. You just say what sorta creature your avatar is and make up two cool things they can do 'cuz they're that sorta creature."
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"Okay?" Mary replies to the concept of instant abilities. But things keep moving on. "Class skills?" she asks. She's never played before, so she doesn't know what that means either.
And also she has to choose a creature type? "I'm okay with whatever you guys want," Mary says. She's not really sure what sort of things one could say their character could do, but she's sure she can figure it out.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"General stuff your avatar is good at, like studying or searching or sneaking," Bella says.
"Or stuff that doesn't start with 'S' like brawniness," Phelsie helpfully adds.

"They're marked on the front of your card. You can pick whichever four you want, but the classes all have suggested ones too," Glister clarifies. "The Mystic's suggested ones are religion, medicine, presence, and insight. We can just go with those and wing the creature type so we can get started."

Glister floats a little flat board over to Mary along with some dice to roll. The dice are funny shapes! Not just cubes.

"Okay," Glister begins, a SECOND crown of light flashing around her horn as she holds a rule book in front of herself and in the middle of the table the interior of a cheerful little tavern appears! Occupied by all sorts of people like one might expect to see around the Nexus. "Our adventure begins in the Inn of the Prancing Pony. Tell me about your avatar and I'll add 'em to the board."

This is actually pretty neat.

Glister is using her illusions to create a virtual game-board for the game!
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
Mary looks at the weird dice and the game board in confusion. What is she supposed to say? She doesn't know what kind of person her avatar is, she hasn't had time to think about it! She says the first thing that comes to mind. "My avatar is a... Gaiad named Marigold," she says.
She's under too much pressure to be creative in the moment. Besides her voice isn't changing when she says 'Marigold' so it's probably fine.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Glister raises an eyebrow at Mary's declaration, writing a note on the pad next to herself. "Okay, just so long as you don't turn into Marigold half way through the game. She's nice but I dunno if she's got the focus for something like this. But at least I'll be easy to illusion her up since I already know what she looks like," Glister says as a tiny version of Marigold appears in the inn wearing a mystic's robes.

Bella's next to speak up. "My avatar is the fearless goblin knight Bellnika! My trusty steed is a giant beetle named... umm... Skitters! Skitters the big bad battle-beetle!"

That alliteration gets a round of laughter from the players. At the table over from Marigold appears an armored goblin with a slight resemblance to Bella. The view of the inn expands slightly, showing just outside the entrance where some horses and one giant beetle are tied. The horses don't seem to know what to make of the beetle.

"I'll be playing as Yarpyis the kobold wizard," Phelsie announces. "She's got bright green scales and she's wearing a fake beard made of sheep-wool 'cuz beards are considered a wizard badge of prestige."

Olympia seems really thoughtful, though eventually she concludes, "Okay my avatar's gunna be Cold Steel the earth pony warrior. She's got a sandy brown coat and a mane the color of the sky just over the horizon with some frizzy white highlights."

The kobold and the mare are added to the mix! As soon as they appear the interior of the inn begins moving like a three dimensional movie! Glister's brow is furrowed her since this clearly takes a bit of effort on her part, but she's keeping it up.

"Okay, so all of you heard rumors that minions of the evil Skellizzard have been spotted near the town of Foalsom Creek-"
"Skellizzard's a monster that makes skeleton armies. He's hecking bad news," Bella helpfully interjects.
"-and your avatar has come here to try to stop whatever nefarious plans Skellizzard might have. So WHY have you set out on this adventure? How come you've left your home to seek out this evil? Or maybe your avatar is from Foalsom Creek? What ideal guides your hand and what bond has motivated you?"
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
At the question about turning into Marigold, Mary's face scrunches up and then seems to change. Marigold blossoms appear in her hair. "It's okay, I'm not gonna do that again. I was just trying to keep Sapphira contained that time. It... Didn't really work for long. And I'm not gonna change now because being stuck in bed is no fun, but being stuck in bed while not being shaped right to use a bed? Wowee, that'd be bad. I don't mind if Mary uses me for her avatar, you guys have fun okay!?" And then the demon princess reverts with a confused expression. "That was weird. I didn't know she could do that. And, uh, now that I think about it it's kinda creepy to play as her. Is it okay if I change?"
I thought it was a fun idea.
Sorry, I just don't really trust your judgement.
"I'll, uh, be a human instead. A druid? Named... Vanessa." Very clever Mary, you'd better hope none of the Khannies know that's your middle name. "Okay?" She considers motivation.
"I just want to keep my friends safe; I don't really want to rush into danger if I don't have to?" Is that a good enough answer?
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Well.

That does a pretty good job of derailing the current thought process.

"Wait... your names can do that?" Bella asks, quite shocked by all this. "Or is it just Marigold? Like... can dragon-you start talking through you all of a sudden?"
"Can YOU guys do that?" Glister asks.

Phelsie and Olympia exchange a look. "I mean, I think you're gunna have to ask the fox how that works but I dunno? I don't think so? She's gotta be wearing our Mask or dreaming us out in the world otherwise it's like... Like one of the game avatars you've been before. They're not just gunna pop up all of a sudden unless you decide to pretend to be them again," Olympia reasons.

"I think that's a good motivation," Phelsie says to Mary, trying to pull the conversation back on track. "Vanessa sees that the Skellizzard's a threat to her friends and even though she doesn't wanna fight she's still gunna do her best to help stop him!"

"Changing your avatar now's the best time to do it 'cuz we're just setting up still," Glister confirms, altering her notes a little and swapping out the appearance of 'Marigold' with a human druid. "Hey you want me to give your avatar some headgear? Like a holly berry and mistletoe wreath or something?"
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"I think all of them can?" Mary replies uncertainly, "But they mostly don't have a reason to?" Mary gives her Names a lot more free rein than Sekhmet does.
"Uh, a wreath sounds good. But how about marigold flowers?" A little nod to Marigold. "So... Do you guys have motivations too?" she asks. She's starting to get an idea for how this works.
At the same time, Mary's also peering at the little human druid representing her. It's a good likeness; Khannie is one of the few people Mary's friends with now who knows what Mary looked like before her transformation into a demon.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"Huh..." The Names seem WAY more like unique people to Bella than how the fox' Masks work. Which strikes her as an odd thing to think, given that she's sitting here playing a game with Glister and two other Masks dreamed out into the world. But it's all part of the dream, isn't it? Everyone in the dream is you, even if it doesn't seem that way at the time.

"Haha, yeah sure, that's a good idea," Glister laughs as she gives Mary's avatar a fun little crown of cheerful orange-yellow blossoms. Glister has put quite a bit of detail into it, but looking really closely Mary will be able to tell that it's a LITTLE abstracted. Since they're so small making them perfect isn't needed.

"Hmm..." Bella hums at that question. "Well, goblin knights are really rare, Bellnika doesn't know anyone here in... um...?"
"Foalsom Creek," Glister supplies.
"Right! Foalsom Creek. So she wants to prove herself with daring deeds of valor! And protecting people she doesn't know seemed really valorous to her."

"Cold Steel is out for revenge," Olympia says, her voice taking on an edge. "The Skelizzard's minions raided her home village and took the bodies to make into more minions. Half the people she knew are gone and she hates the Skelizzard. But maybe she can learn that there's more to justice than just retribution."

"Oh oh my turn! Yarpyis didn't even KNOW that stuff was going on here with the Skelizzard. She came here because she heard there's an artifact she wants to find. The... um... the Crown of Yendor! Maybe the Skelizzard's minions might find it first! She's gotta stop them! But she can't do it alone. I bet she'll discover that friendship was the REAL magic all along," Phelsie says.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
Mary nods along to the others explanations, although she frowns a little at Olympia's story of revenge. "Okay, so now what?" she asks. It seems like they should start the adventure, right?
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Now it's time to start the adventure!

"You have all traveled here Foalsom Creek following rumors of great evil," Glister reads from the book. "Some of your are weary from the long journey and have retired for the evening at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. What would normally be a lively place filled with po-eerr-people is instead somber, a malaise of worry heavy over the whole town. The minions of the Skelizzard have raided the village twice so far this week and the people fear that the time may come again soon. Most of the people you see are peasants, tradesmares, and the odd off-duty guard. But among the dour throng you see several faces that clearly must be adventurers. A grim-jawed earth pony with a sword leaning against her table. A scholarly kobold examining her collection of scrolls. A human druid in mystics robes and wearing a garland of marigolds. A stout goblin clade in heavy mail bright and shining. You all sense that they have common purpose with you. What will you-"

"Is the bartender cute?" Bella asks.

Glister gives the succubus a LOOK, scrunching her lips off to the side. She catches a ten-sided die in her magic and rolls it.

An eight!

"Eight outta ten. The guy's smoking hot-"

"Maybe I can try-"
"-for a pig-guy."

Bella looks a little put out by that.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
That response shows that Bella is definitely a succubus. But that's probably not important right now.
Mary stares awkwardly at everyone else around the table, unsure of how to begin. "Um... Shouldn't we get together and go out to fight the skellizard?" Why are they all messing around in a tavern?
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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"Our Oubliette Keeper said that we just got to the inn a little while ago and it's late, so we're probably a bit tired, right?" Olympia asks, to which Glister nods. "And we haven't got any leads yet. But if you wanted you could try talking to some of the people at the inn and find out if anyone knows anything?"

At this point Phelsie seems to have an idea! "So! Yarpyis is gunna gather up her scrolls in her arms, like a big mess of 'em just sticking every which way, and toddle right up to Vanessa and go, 'You there! Miss! Yes you with the lovely hat. Are you a native of these parts? I'm looking for something VITAL to my studies.'"

Then the faewild dragon sort of, smiles and nods encouragingly toward Mary. As if to say, go on you get to reply now.

"Okay 'Vanessa' there's a kobold with a clearly fake beard talking to you. What are you gunna to do?" Glister asks.
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Dramatic Bedroom
Mary looks confused. What's going on? Oh, they're acting. She speaks in an exaggerated voice. "Hello, strange kobold. Yes, this is my home. Why do you ask?"
Did she do that right? Is everyone staring at her? She's the only one here who's never played before and it makes her nervous.
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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"Haha! Strange kobold, eh? That isn't the oddest name I've been given. Please, please, call me Yarpyis!" Phelsie says, gesturing as if she were waving a rolled up scroll around. Then she makes a motion as if she's adjusting a pair of glasses balanced on her snoot and peers owlishly at her imaginary scroll.

Glister quickly adds a pair of glasses to Phelsie's avatar.

"Ha, well, what luck! You must know the local lay of the land, yes? I'm looking for a 'Galloping Glitter Cave' somewhere nearby. Do you know of it?"
Phelsie asks.

Glister clears her throat to get Mary's attention, flapping a few pages in her book. "Okay, Mary, since you're a native to Foalsom Creek you know about the cave. It's a source of magical gems but a clan of diamond dogs lives there-"

"They're kinda like dwarves or kobolds. Live underground and mine a lot," Olympia helpfully clarifies.

"-and no one has heard from them since the Skellizard's minions started showing up. Going there is probably dangerous," Olympia concludes.

Bella, meanwhile, is eyeing the pig-guy that Glister put at the bar and she's trying to decide whether or not she should continue with her original plan.
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Dramatic Bedroom
"So I just tell her? She just heard you say all that." Mary isn't sure if she should directly tell Phelsie or not. "I know where it is but... Um... It's dangerous. Nobody who's gone there has come back since the skellizard started ravaging our lands!" She looks at Glister. "Was that good? How'd I do?"
She's still getting the hang of this.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Glister gives Mary a nod and a smile. She's doing good!

Phelsie gives a shocked expression when Mary tells her of the TERRIBLE DOOM! that has befallen Foalsom Creek!

"The Skellizard? My goodness! That will certainly complicate matters! I can't very well explore a cave crawling with skeletons. Hm hmm... What to do," Phelsie muses.

BUT SUDDENLY! "Okay I'm gunna go over to their table too," Bella says. "Bellnika strides up to the table, pushing a little box with her, and then jumps up on top of the box to strike a HERO POSE! 'I heard you talking about that brigand the Skelizzard and his minions troubling the town! I, the greatest goblin knight of all time Bellnika, wish to prove my valor by aiding you in ridding the land of his foul grip!'"

"I've never heard of a goblin knight before, are those common? There couldn't be much competition for the title 'greatest goblin knight'," Phelsie asks, adjusting her imaginary glasses again.

Glister glances over at Olympia to see if she has anything to add. "Cold Steel's just sitting at her table. She's pulled out her sword and she's sharpening it ominously, watching you guys. But she doesn't say anything."
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"It's dangerous!" Mary replies. She's getting into it now, "Don't go to the cave, you'll get killed!"
Will Marigold's protests be heeded? Probably not but that's the point, isn't it? It would hardly be an adventure if they didn't put themselves in harm's way.
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

Staying at your house and eating grapes in bed definitely isn't much of an adventure.

"Only if we aren't stalwart in our quest for goodness and glory!" Bella replies, pumping her fist in the air while her avatar on the game board mimics the motion.

"Well, if we left with only the three of us I calculate a mere thirty two point three, repeating of course, chance of survival," Phelsie says in the nerdiest tone she can manage. "Our chances would be significantly better if we had another resilient friend to distract skeletons while I obliterate them with the fury of the elements."

"Okay NOW Cold Steel sheaths her sword and trots over. She looks at each of the adventurers at the table critically, chewing the inside of her lip, and goes, 'If you're crushing the Skelizzard's minions then I'm in,'" Olympia says.
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bc56
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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Dramatic Bedroom
"Wait! You're all going to get yourself killed!" Mary continues protesting. Then she lets out a mock sigh. "Then I guess I'd better go with you to keep you safe."

Great! The party is assembled! What next?
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Rebonack
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Re: The Scorching Depths

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[Dramatic Bedroom]

"It's decided then!" Bella declares. "Tomorrow at first light we will embark! For glory and adventure!"
"Maybe not FIRST light," Phelsie complains. "That's awful early."

"SUDDENLY!" Glister injects. "A disheveled looking unicorn bursts into the inn with a BONE ARROW sticking out of her flank! She looks terrified, too full of adrenaline to notice the pain of the arrow sticking out of her. 'HELP! It's a raid! The minions of the Skelizzard are attacking!"

Then the map zooms out a bit, showing the inn and the surrounding village! A group of four skeletons armed with BONE BOWS are getting ready to fire! Four skeletons with torches are spreading out to set buildings aflame! Four skeletons with BONE CLUBS are roving around looking for citizens to BONK!

"So who wants to go-"
"I use my CHARGE! ability to leap through the window onto Skitters and ride him straight into the middle of the archers!" Bella immediately declares.
"Okay, go ahead and give me a BONK! roll to see what happens," Glister prompts.

Bella picks up the nearly round die made of triangles and gives it a roll! "Oh, haha, gotta lucky 13!"

"Alright, so you leap onto Skitters and go charging into the archers! You trample the heck outta one of them, reducing it to scattered bones. Two more are knocked down by the impact but not really harmed. The last one was in the process of shooting, but the sudden BEETLE makes the shot go wide, sailing over the rooftops harmlessly,"
Glister narrates. "Now the club skeletons are gunna go. They move to surround some peasants with nefarious plans to BONK! 'em unless someone does something quick. Who wants to go next?"
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