From Below

Sunny Scale's Journal 5

Back to hell and back

We started today with a refreshing visit to my home. I personally started off with a lava bath, some rubies and a delightful rest on smooth massage stones. I expect my new companions found equal ways to refresh for our adventure.

Taking note there was no snooping I noticed in my home but we shall see in time how trustworthy this group really is. I can only hope for the best and keep my trust in Glow to remain helpful. As for Pennyworth, he was kept busy from the voracious appetite of my new acquaintances, namely Typhoon to spend too much time poking around in my more recent affairs, at the very least this group has proven useful in that respect. However out of caution I had to leave the helmet behind at the loft. If all goes well I can have Glow retrieve it when the time comes for it to be needed, since she brought it there Pennyworth may suspect it belongs to her.

After refreshments we packed our saddlebags with provisions and set off to Tartarus. We left earlier in the day than necessary, in part because I was unsure of how long the trip would take by hoof in the modified city and… also because just sitting around and watching everypony is a good way to start getting a judge of their character. Most of the group seemed impatient but Glow handled the waiting well and I just reassured everypony that this was in fact where we had to be.

Dusk approached, our tickets magically appeared before us and just in time for the tent to arrive and our entrance to open. I went through the motions first, being both the most experienced and as soon to be de-facto leader it was my duty to do so. No major problems occurred till the near end of Coppermane’s Last Trick… I can only sigh heavily as Glow bluntly dashed in to stop the trick from occurring and ‘killing’ the already dead magician. With that event the room flooded with darkness and through the void we fell. Regaining vision in a tunnel with Top Hat greeting us in his usual fashion.

The next sight, I admit I must have some hope to continue without fear. Because of Glow’s intervention, the weaver consumed a pony soul… and with what had just happened I was feared the worst that said soul was that of Coppermane herself… The mare was dense but she was a legend, she deserved better care of her soul than to be eaten like cheap pasta. Again, I have no conclusive proof of this, but the worry exists nonetheless.

Continuing on, we followed the tunnel down, being only able to go in that direction with our fiend blocking the exit. The walk seems to take longer every time, but we reached the end soon enough. I waited patiently for the other ponies to get their fill of the Ghost Town before we headed to the Prince’s palace.

After a brief introduction we were crossing the river yet again. That beautiful obsidian-like glassy water… I can not help but imagine how delicious such a delicacy would be to imbibe. Smooth and flowing, yet filling, and with a mild hint of sulfur. Such a drink would truly be an experience for any dragon. But enough daydreaming, we refreshed on our mission and got some new information at the Palace. Mostly in the form of the restoration process for The Six Artifacts, along with a crystal to help us get back to Tartarus when needed.

And right on time, the weaver decided to interrupt our trip back with more tricks and games. Walking through the Ghost Town we all stopped at once, and I saw Lifebringer, the Steelhoofed with my own two slit eyes. With just the slightest fancy I could see it, the master of artifice knowing the answers to my problem giving me my hearts desire immediately… But I’m no foal, or fool for that matter. Steelhoof died over six centuries ago. His legacy remains but his soul cannot. I held back only to see half of my companions dashing forward to him. I simply did what came naturally to me and grabbed the most familiar tail in front (The delightfully soft strands of Lt. Darkstar) and ordered the rest of us to stop them. Sadly only Glow was able to react in time to stop one of them. And so we were bested by the weaver once today.

Under my direction we followed the two unicorns who ran off to a tunnel which was not the one we entered. I should note that Typhoon was most helpful in this endevor, her skill set is showing and with any luck she will prove useful in the come trials. Sadly we could not abandon our comrades so we went directly into the weavers claws with a cautious dread.

Thankfully we had little issue finding the unicorns, but unfortunately we lost access to the way we came as a tunneler blocked our path. I expect we could have found a way past him but my companions insisted on playing the weavers game and continuing up his pathway.

Yet again, to no surprise we encountered Top Hat. He gave us a short speech on the joy of our deaths and his games coming together. I cannot help but note that his view makes perfect sense, but still bears the feeling of malice. To us, he sounded threatening and cruel with his casual assumption of our deaths and the benefit her derives from it. But for him I suspect death is just part of the food chain and ultimately a real common necessity for his kind. This helped me maintain my bearing, but I wonder how well my companions handled such talk.

Regardless, it was a short and less than sweet visit before we continued on to see what the weaver had in store for us. A riddle in an old language and two golems guarding the exit. Looking back it was child’s play, the weaver may have vastly underestimated our combined resources when he picked this trap to hold us. We passed through in under a minute, with Poole blurting out the answer immediately and the golems crumbling to pieces.

I must take a moment to pause, for that may truly end up being the greatest tragedy of the day. I could have used one of those golems for my plans as the simulacrum device, getting me so very close to freedom. And just like that, they crumble to dust, but at least they are relatively easy to come by. For what little consolation that gives.

With a deep breath I smelled the fresh air as we reached the surface yet again. Our destination was some open field, no Manehattan on the horizon but I expect that we can get back in due time. Only slightly more pressing than the lack of knowledge to our location is the lack of a volcano at our location. The underworld still leaves me in want of a lava bath, and now for once I shall have to continue without, and this may truly be the weaver’s first victory against me.

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Kragt

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