I'm here to serve.
Once again, I would like if I could rejoin the group on my own, and not just magically be there, if that's not a problem
Freke is wearing a different set of clothes now. No longer the old traveling gear he had, he now has a white robe, with a black hem. The entire inside of his robes are also black.
Freke looks like he has years of weariness on him, but stands tall as he teleports in.
A hole appears in midair, and with a burst of white lightning Freke falls out. He's wearing a new set of robes, white with a black hem on the outside, and entire black with a white hem within.
He looks weary, but does his best to stand tall.
As I slowly walk to the others with my head hanging low, I can be heard muttering.
"I failed her. She trusted me and I failed her."
I look up to the others, with red, swollen eyes, but with no more tears to shed.
"It's over. I've lost the Sun. I'm no longer the avatar of it. I'm nothing but a simple preacher, with a dead god…"
At this point you can no longer tell whether I'm talkint to you or myself.
"She was there. She was, there, and she smiled at me, and she held me…
I heard her scream in pain, and I caused it. I watched her die again, and I killed her…"
I start to walk towards the mines.
"The sun will not rise again because of me. Let's just go so I can die and join her in the dark nothingness."
"Please.. pardon my absence. I am somewhat aware of the going-ons that have transpired. Those vile things…
I will need one to confirm what I have be shown is correct. What has transpired?"
"You, Paladin.. no, Sun Bearer. Would you speak to me?"
"Beyonders are attacking and we have to go kill another dragon before he kills time."
Starswils and Starswils look a bit worried
>"What happened to you?"
"Or you for that matter"
Then then look at each other and nod
>"Nevermind. Time has run out on us and this world."
"In but a few hours all of time will end as Distortion's infernal device reaches it's full power"
>"If there are still things left unsaid or undone, do and say them now. Once we enter the mines, there will be no more time to stop and chat"
"Not particularly.. well, not physically, at least. Never mind."
"Right, so I wasn't mistaken after all."
"It is fine, be still for now. The fate of this land can wait until we are finished here.
Incidentally, is anyone attending to Lady Sparkle?"
"Lady Sparkle? I almost killed her. I wish I could do it. I wish I did it. I wanted to kill her. I couldn't…
She no longer has a horn, though."
"Yes, that is why I am asking. With some of the things I have in mind, I am going to need.. assistance."
"What is the point? I failed the last task Celestia gave me, watched her die, and killed her the same day.
Even if we fix the timeline, she will still remain dead because of me.
I no longer have anything to fight for in this world.
The only reason I don't abandon you is my sense of duty and loyalty."
"She deserved it. She didn't deserve death. Her punishment had to me more severe, and that means she will have to live with what she have done and lost until the end of her miserable life."
"She is useless now. Forget it."
"Resignation in the face of impossible odds grants Distortion his victory here. Perhaps fate's wheel can be turned back through our victory, perhaps not."
"Know this though. If we fail, not only will we lose the future, but the past as well. Everything you accomplished, all that you mourn now will cease to be. If the future no longer matters to you, at least take solace in what you have accomplished thus far. Fight to keep her alive in here." I point towards her heart.
"If you forget what she was, not just to you, but to every one of her subjects, then she is truly gone forever, Distortion or not. Believe me…I know."
"I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the old you. Do I have to start blaspheming to get you fired up?"
Hmm. Perhaps time will not allow me, but it would be worth remembering her anyway.
Incidentally, if what you speak of how you feel is truth… I have a proposal, though I was waiting until all of this was over to finish.
"I didn't say what you did was unjustified, it usually is. I'm just saying.. It.. nevermind we're wasting our time"
Rolling to become the Lord of Cinders.
"Now if everyone is ready?"
Rolled 8 = 8
"Hmmph.. no, it doesn't concern that. My personal opinions not withstanding, that would be an impossibility.
No, what I propose is the fate of Equestria as a whole. If you truly are broken by the passing of your princess.. then break, break all you like. The only thing you shall need to do is raise the sun, with your princess by your side, then sleep until it is time to let it set, then repeat. A new council of visionaries shall lead Equestria, and you will no longer need to feel such pain.
Do you remember what I told you all those.. centuries ago? About how your loyalty to a single entity would be your undoing… I was mistaken. It will be the undoing of all of Equestria. If, by the end of this, you still cannot find your own feet to stand, to no longer live as a faithful of Celestia, but as a Visionary of your own, with ideals and truths of oyur own, then I say let your mind die so you will find peace, and Equestria will rebuild."
"The choice is yours, you who now hold the sun. But remember that you can either put both yourself and us all into suffering, or you can lead us to a new Dawn. But if you cannot, do not try."
The two old mages watch you, then gaze up the mountain.
There is a massive rift in the sky. Leaves are falling back up onto a nearby tree. A shooting star is flying backwards, then colliding into itself and vanishing.
>"We should hurry…"
Starswirls the Endless lets out a pained gasp as he breaks a crystal off his leg and smashes it. Time bends for a moment and everything around you crawls to almost a complete halt.
>"Well. At least those still work. So long as we have crystals, we can make most of the few hours we have left."
"You need not reply now. Use what is left to think it over carefully, Sun bearer."
"Sir. I am ready."
"What part of the 'I no longer have control over the Sun' did you not understand?
Even if we win here, I'm not sure it will ever rise agaian.
And I'm not giving up. The Sun maybe abandoned me, Celestia may be dead, but I will carry both in my heart until my last breath."
I take the lead and head towards the enterance.
>"Slowly and painfully."
The party steps inside the mines. Even at night, the inside is illuminated by a pale teal glow. You can hear ponies walking around, as well as sharp striking noises, possibly from pickaxes.
Look for a path?
Fly up for a better view?
There is. Your light illuminates the area somewhat, reflecting off the crystals.
You can see some rails have been set up for minecarts.
You realize this mine is massive. Most of the entire mountain must be hollowed out. Every surface is lined with the crystals.
There is a long, winding path leading upwards. You cannot see where it ends.
You are almost blinded. It is not that dark in here.
You can see one leading down, another leading up.
They must be for transporting crystals.
The power of the broken crystal wears off. Time flows normally.
>"These are just raw crystal. They do not contain any time in them. The process needs live souls to act as a growing bed. We can only harvest crystals off creatures, not simply pick them like mushrooms"
The minecarts seem to be working, but they are quite heavy.
As the party begins heading upwards, you see just how huge this mining operation is. There mineshaft leads more or less directly down into a lightless abyss, and the rails and rafters lead far upwards into the darkness above.
"Sir, does that mean that the crystals we harvested off the crystallized have soul fragments within?"
"Do either of you Starswirls know if a mine cart could get us to our destination faster?"
>"No. Like a flower needs soul, these crystals need souls to root in. There they sit and grow, feeding on time, storing it within them. Distortion has harvested massive amounts of them, but always needed more. Nearly all his servants are now used as growing beds."
"Impossible to say. But it must go very deep. I do not understand why it would though."
If you want to push it up with you, go ahead.
"Minecarts go down without someone to push them along"
>"Distortion is at the top of the mountain however."
>"I sincerely hope my assumptions are incorrect"
"As do I. We locked that research away for a reason."
As you head upwards, you can hear someone coming down the tracks.
There are several crystal outcrops nearby where you can get out of the way, or you can face them head on.
"Situations force boundaries, sir. Our priority is making sure existence does not come to an end at a whim."
>"Beware though. Your soul is not strong enough to handle that sort of magic. With every use, a part of you will erode away. Memories. Feelings. Desires. Motivations. Words. Thoughts. And eventually, all life"
You are smashes aside as a minecart rolls down the tracks. You fall into the gaping abyss
The same minecart bumps both of you as you reach for the outcrop
You hide, and from your positions you can see that three crystallized ponies are in the cart. They have seen the party.
Looks like the ponies in the cart alerted everyone on the lower levels. They are coming up to kill you.
As the party hurries onwards, you find a fork in the path. The rails lean both ways. One path clearly leads upwards, the other seems to just stay level.
"There's something wrong, the choice may not be as clear cut as it seems."
Put a layer of ice on the tracks behind us.
Rolled 6 = 6
"It's worth a shot."
I create a wall of flame separating between us and the approaching hoard.
Rolled 7 = 7
>"How should I know, I've never been here. I only know this place EXISTS."
The tracks are frozen
And on fire.
They are still too far away.
You can make out the top of the mine not too far above.
He said The level path has TNT and minecarts, The other path goes to Distortion
Rolled 7 = 7
You are nearing the top. There is a Dire Beyonder guarding the door. He is petting a crystal pony.
Dont you think we should use the carts and the bombs? They are following us.
Rolled 5 = 5
Ready a lightning charge.
"A bomb would be our best option, but how do we propose to send it uphill here?"
Rolled 9 = 9
The Dire Beyonder notices you and Grabs you into a hug. It is comfy. You don't even want to leave.
You are helpless and will soon be poisoned.
You drop the poison and it falls into the abyss below.
The sight of such a gruesome terror causes you to choke and throw up. That is not inspiring at all.
As it slowly pets Dawn, it turns to look at you.
"Let her go, you filthy wretch!"
I leap at him and strike his face with my hammer.
Rolled 6 = 6
You ignite it's hair. It is now a burning beyonder. Dawn takes fire damage.
You miss your mark and bounce off the fat. You are disarmed.
Your horn crackles with energy, the spell is ready to release.
Your combined efforts allow Dawn to break loose before the poison bites in. She did get burned though.
The Beyonder stands up. The entire walkway squeaks and bends under it's weight.
It tries a grab.
The massive lighting bolt crashes into the Beyonder's twisted visage with a booming impact. One of it's eyes boils and explodes, and it grasps it's chest, going "HNNNG"
Nope. Dry heaving is not inspiring either.
You land a solid hit, blinding the other eye as well.
+2 to all rolls against the beyonder.
You get your weapon but the Beyonder grabs you, rendering you helpless.
You focus your power
Your next roll will be a crit.
Her wounds heal, but some of her mane will never grow back.
You blow the hand away from you
He is already blind
Your dagger fails to cut the fat flesh, and the beyonder turns, sensing you there. It belly flops on you, then, as you lay helpless, it begins spreading your ass cheeks.
>effective roll: 00
Your fire goes out of control, even beyond what the Torch-staff can subdue. It explodes in your face, and even though your avatar form protects you, the fire sprays all over.
Party: roll to evade being burned.
No no that is farting. Only Farticus can inspire by farting. What are you even doing?
There is no escape. He shoves a fat finger in your anus.
Your ass is poisoned with cheetos dust.
Roll to not get aroused.
He hugs you harder, crushing you a little. You need outside assistance.
Your hammer bounces off harmlessly.
His toes get cold
Finally, a worthy blow. You rend the entire back open, releasing the curved, twisted spine in a spray of blood and lard.
You blast him over, knocking him down as his spine takes a hit.
The beyonder is lying down
Gaius and Groves are under him
No homo bro. You don't like that shit.
You det out from under the Beyonder. You are butthurt. You also dodged the flames.
You manage to avoid the fire
You, however, are not quite as lucky. One of your ears is singed.
You fare ever worse. Your tail is on fire.
He crawls out from under the hulking beyonder, only slightly worse for ware.
Your spell causes the spine to explode. You are sprayed with foul fluids for standing so close.
The Beyonder dies.
The horde is currently struggling with the wall of fire and ice.
"Sorry about all that. Someone else put out Dawn's tail, I'm afraid of what might happen if I try."
I gasp and hobble over to Campfire, gagging at the stench of burnt pork in my nostrils.
"You have my thanks. Much longer under there and I may have lost control," I whisper.
"HELP ME! DISINFECT ME NOW!"
Freeze the tracks out of range of the flame wall.
Rolled 1 = 1
The tail is no longer on fire, but only half of it remains.
>"THE MINERS ARE ALMOST HERE. QUICKLY! WHAT DO WE DO?"
Starswirls smashes the entire crystal pony, slowing time around you. You have a moment to think.
"You are mages, right? I'm sure you have some fancy spells to collapse the tunnel behind us after we entered this door."
You get out of there, but still feel stiff. You won't be running for a while.
>"Raw crystal is spell reflective. We can try, but it can backfire horribly."
His ass is ok now.
Only his wounded pride remains.
"Thank you very much, Campfire."
Find a good angle at which to aim a spell to cause as much destruction as possible out of reach of us.
Rolled 3 = 3
"I'm a fucking soldier. I kill. Apparently, that is the only thing I can do right. You are the fucking wizards! Do something!"
"Exactly. And each of these crystal have many surfaces, meaning that with a single well aimed cast we can cause quite the chain reaction."
"Campfire! Any luck?"
Rolled 8 = 8
As the time bubble starts to break, Starswirls lifts the dead Beyonder up and rolls it down the tracks towards the fire wall
"I hope that is enough. We can also risk going back for the explosives, but that wastes time."
"And time is something we don't have. We can find a way to seal the door on the other side."
You head through the door and arrive in some sort of lab.
There are ponies in cages, each with large crystal clusters growing on them. A few more are walking around further away. A beyonder is practicing knife poses near the exit.
Ignore everything that is not hostile, keep going.
If anything attacks, retaliate.
I lock the door behind us with my magic, then place a hoof over the lock until it has melted shut.
Do I need to roll for this?
He is mumbling to himself
You walk on in, brazen as brass.
You alert fucking everyone in the room with your massive obviousness. Seven crystal ponies and the beyonder all attack you. Roll for initiative.
Rolled 8 = 8
These are just worthless, mindless followers of destruction.
They got nothing on us.
Cast Aura of Protection on everyone.
You attempt to stab one of the crystal ponies in the privates.
It does not work at all, but his counter attack lands a bit too well.
You are helpless.
It sidestep you with ease, being constantly under a time shifting effect. It lashes out with a crystal covered limb. You fall helpless, and one of your wings is badly messed up.
Your aura manifests, and your comrades struggle back up.
Their pain is not gone, but they can stand and fight.
You blast the beyonder off it's raised position. It looks quite badly hurt as it clambers up and draws the knife out of it's chest.
Radiant's aura guards you as you focus your power. Your next roll is a crit.
Luckily the aura is there to save you. Otherwise you might be dead now. The jagged crystals on the pony's back bounce harmlessly off your neck.
>double critical miscast
Your spell goes horribly, horribly wrong. Your blood freezes into a jagged slurry, your limbs stiffen, and the very air itself near you freezes, then detonates.
You are rendered helpless and need immediate help.
The rest of the party, roll to not get hit with exploding ice.
The Beyonder is consumed in flames. It screams and flails around wildly, killing one of the crystal ponies before falling helpless.
The aura of protection vanishes ahead of time.
You make everyone feel better about themselves, but no less healthier.
I trust that my fiery body will protect me from the ice while I Heal Freke.
Rolled 7 = 7
You stab it, shattering several crystals, sending you into a timeless state as well. The pony falls helpless.
Your retaliation crushes the crystal pony, rendering it helpless.
u wot m8?
No you don't. You eat a shard of ice in the side.
You roll under the large ice shard
You try to take flight but fail to do so, the ice shard scratching you in the hurt wing.
You evade with ease
Nope. Your have brain freeze.
You fail to heal him enough to bring him back to his feet
However, that helped a lot. Everything from Dawn's messed up wing to Freke's frozen blood is fixed, but you fall helpless.
Four crystal ponies and the helpless beyonder are still alive
"SOMEONE KILL THAT BEYONDER!"
I Power Attack any of the crytal ponies who might try to attack Aenoi.
Land on the Beyonder and gut it.
"You and your monstrous kind are sorely tempting me to raze whatever pit you call home to the ground…"
Rolled 2 = 2
With a 10, yes
You struggle back up
You hold the enemy back as Aenoi gets up
Its clothes are now on fire
It pulls a tail feather off you and sticks it in his fedora
Haveing expended so much power, you fail to manifest more ice at this time
Your stab lands, and the beyonder dies.
I snarl, reclaim my feather, and slam the nearest crystal pony into a wall.
Rolled 4 = 4
The crystal reflects your spell. However, the fire cannot harm you in your avatar form.
You send both flying, shattering enough crystals to slow down time.
It sweeps under you and leaps up, tearing a large, fleshy chunk off your wing.
You are helpless.
You fare little better. The crystal pony is still mad at you for trying such an underhoofed trick earlier and aims low.
Roll to ever have kids.
At long last, something other than bodily functions!
+1 to all rolls next turn.
It fizzles out. Your magic seems weak. but your soul is strong
The feather smells like cheap cologne and greasy hair.
The crystal pony laugh at you.
"I refuse to be mocked by you, pitiful creature!"
I attempt to shatter its head.
Rolled 5 = 5
No turning back now."
Freke's horn glows its usual blueish aura, but it suddenly changes to a blinding white, save for the deep black silloute of his horn within, as if it were struggling with the white around it for dominance. This aura envelops his whole body and begins to let loose sparks of energy, while looking at Freke's eyes they appear to be burning with the same colour of white, with a ring of black surrounding where the irises should be.
Demon Soul cast: Lightning discharge at all crystal ponies.
Rolled 5 = 5
Welp, sucks to be you.
That should teach you for trying to rape ponies with daggers. You are helpless.
Her wing is still busted.
Now it just looks worse.
Your double attacks kills it swiftly, sending the body crashing into a wall.
You fail to kill it, but it is rendered helpless by your blow.
You forget the taste of your favourite food. You can no longer remember why flowers are beautiful.
However, the spell is unleashed with massive force, annihilating the helpless ponies and leaving only one standing.
There is heavy backing on the door. Looks like you are being caught up to.
Time stops once again.
The last crystal pony falls
Dawn's wing returns to working shape, but looks mismatched compared to the other one
And the door is frozen solid, buying you time.
Starswils and Starswirls finish breaking the equipment in the room and rush to the upper door
>"WE MUST HURRY. TIME IS ALMOST OVER!"
Oddly enough, my mind is now wondering what that dead crystal pony's favourite food was. Or what his or her opinions on sunflowers were.
Rolled 3 = 3
Well they at least look more presentable now.
You enter another staircase. Which given the size and orientation of the mountain, makes no sense at all. By now you should have reached the summit.
There are two spiral staircases, one rotates from left to right, the other from right to left.
With all that happened just now, I can't really focus. Go over to the dead pony we carried and start looking in its mouth.
Rolled 7 = 7
Think somewhat audibly.
"I wonder.. did he like eating daffodils?"
Check the mouth for any food remains.
Rolled 3 = 3
"Snap out of it!"
I smack his hooves away.
"We don't have time for this!
Which way to go?"
"Ah.. oh, goodness. I'm sorry."
Examine where the staircases reach up to.
"Sir, would Disortion likely try to fit some symbolism in his work?"
Rolled 5 = 5
You can no longer see the party
The staircase leads on higher
How curious. You cannot see one from the other, even though they begin almost next to eachother.
You soon lose sight of the other staircase. You can hear soft rumbling from above.
As you run up, you begin to hear deep bells ringing in the far distance above
The rumbling grows louder. You can her the occasional sharp 'ting'
You can make out a shape at the top of the stairs.
Keep going, but maintain fair distance behind Radiant.
"Dawn! Stay back for a bit, we need to be wary."
You regroup with them
Both Starswirls' are also there.
>"A bit EERIE, Avatar of Flame? Oh, I do hope you did not MEAN to insult me. Because I can see you there. And THIS TIME. You are in MY realm."
Get ready, the most powerful foe is right there.
>Try to talk with Campfire using thr 4th wall
>We need you here Campy
Rolled 6 = 6
"So we fight and waste time yet again."
Charge my Hammer with Blast so I can automatically use it when the combat starts.
Rolled 7 = 7
"Are you ready to do this? Good. To the vanguard!"
I charge the beast, and aim for the neck.
Rolled 7 = 7
You see the the sky behind a large pane of glass. There are trees aro- wait a second. This is the lake from the forest. But that means…
You look down.
The Death God stares back at you with a thousand eyes
>Welcome back. Let us see if you are still as strong as you were last time.
Roll for initiative
The Neckbear is massive. Dire Beyonders were horrors enough, but this hulking mass is almost too much for your mind to comprehend. Rolls of fat covered in matted hair droop everywhere. Beady eyes stare at you from behind thick lenses.
And the head of a crazed bear juts from the neck.
Your blow strikes the bear. It roars, sending you tumbling.
The neck bites down on your, and the beyonder grabs your wings.
Your spear connects. The lenses break, and the beyonder reels, but quickly regains footing.
It casts Bear Lore.
Roll to dodge.
Rolled 5 = 5
A massive tentacle grasps you off the stairs.
>Ah. Fresh meat.
You blast the tentacle with fire, forcing it to release Groves.
Three more tentacles ascend from the darkness below. Dozens of eyes on them stare at you
>There is NO ESCAPE
You manage to barely avoid the ultimate power as it annihilates the very air around you.
You are not as lucky. The Bear Lore strikes you head on. You thrown down the stairs, every bone and organ in your body smashing into paste.
Roll to see how many turns it takes for Reincarnation to kick in.
You just barely avoid the blast and stab him in the eye.
Half blinded, all roll gain +1
You break loose and evade the bear lore as well.
You are caught by the blast, but not horribly. You tumble back. Luckily your armour protected you somewhat.
After some coughing
"Aenoi! Damn it!"
Activate Last Stand. I need the Sun's protection.
Dive back at the Neckbearer again.
Rolled 6 = 6
Teleport above, and while discharging lightning through spear try a plunging attack into the face.
Rolled 3 = 3
I continue to go for his neck with Fervor, focusing on the blackness within me. Our darkest hour draws ever closer.
Rolled 1 + 1 = 2
The beyonder's other eye is burned away.
+2 to all rolls as it is blind
You manage to cut the leg, but all that bleeds out is gravy and lard.
You pierce the eye on the tentacle, and Death roars in pain, retracting the limb.
You smash it back, forcing it to brace better and miss an opportunity to strike.
You will get up in 8 turns, or when the fight ends.
The beyonder grabs your spear, then hurls you down the staircase.
The Beyonder grabs you by the throat. The bear opens up, preparing to bite down on you.
If you intend to live, now is the time to call upon whatever power you have left untapped.
"No! I have come too far to be prey to such repulsive abominations! I am the night's favored servant! I am the daRKNESS YOU FEAR! I AM NOT YOUR PLAYTHING!"
I transform and smite this beast with Last Stand.
Rolled 4 + 1 = 5
You take on your Nightmare Form, allowing the black soul fragment to take power
Your feathers glow black and slick like those of a raven. Your eyes become empty pits of merciless hate, and your tail explodes into an ethereal cloud. You have become the terror that stalks the night.
With this power, you smash the beyonder aside with ease.
With the Beyonder reeling from the previous attack, your combined assault topples it. The bear roars.
You can see a possible escape route. The stairs leading down, if you can get past the main body of Death, might lead you back to the platform you started on.
More tentacles burst forth.
Me and Groves start making our way towards the exit; me blasting tentacles with improved Fire Spray and him slashing tentacles with his dagger as we go.
Rolled 1, 7 = 8
"GAIUS! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?"
I'm reeling with shock, and try to finish off the beast.
Keep a distance at Gais too.
Rolled 1 = 1
I float above the Beyonder, smothering it with the power of darkness at my disposal as I reach down to separate its twisted head from its bulbous body.
Rolled 5 + 2 = 7
The bear shuts up
You can see the body of Death. It has anchored itself into the dark abyss around you with several tentacles.
If you go fast, you might be able to avoid the main body.
The Beyonder is nearly helpless after the stab cracks it's spine
However before it goes down, it spins around with speeds seemingly impossible for such a corpulent mass and strikes Radiant with a massive backhand, crushing a part of the Sun Plate, and sending her falling, helplessly, off the staircase.
You rend the head off the shoulders and cast it aside. The Beyonder falls over.
Then it slowly and painfully struggles back onto all fours. The neck bear claws its front paws and torso out of the neck hole.
It has become a Beyonderbeartaur.
You do get up.
In mid air.
Luckily your ever vigilant, if no longer very pretty sister is there to catch you.
But you are far away from the others now.
And you can see the horde climbing the staircase.
Campfire and Groves are running ahead of them.
And at the back, Death itself is greedily rending and devouring the slowest of the horde.
Yelling a challenge to the shapechanging creature, I lay into it with beak, claw, and the cold, lightless night of the void.
Rolled 1 + 2 = 3
"Thank you… but we're not done yet!"
Activate my wings of light, and go back to attacking the Beyonderbeartaur.
Rolled 4 = 4
It lashes out. Had you been any weaker, you would have died from such a blow. But the Nightmare Form is more than any mere mortal frame.
Your lightning strikes it hard, sending causing it to slump
Several crystal ponies are knocked off and they fall into Death's tentacles.
You attack the slumped over monster, and Starswirls join the assault, forcing the massive monster over the edge.
Starswirls the Endless then breaks off a massive bundle of crystals with a pained scream and shatters them, granting a time bubble.
>"T-Time… time is running… … …out. GO. GO!"
"Crystal Starswirl! You hold them off! We need more time!"
Go past the Beyonderbeartaur and hurry.
If we have time after, would you please eat some daffodil sandwiches with me?"
I turn from the Beyonderbeartaur and streak after Radiant and the rest of the party.
>"If… any more t-t-time is… lost. There will be. No. More…. d-d-daff… daffodils… to eat…"
He has spent every crystal he can give.
You enter through the door.
There is but a single room, entirely carved from crystal.
At the back there is a large door. You can see reflections of the outside world in the crystals. It is late at night. Stars are forming and dying within seconds of eachother in the sky. Parts of the world are already missing. Canterlot is little more than a ruin. The moon has a large gash in it.
The only other thing in the room is a white dragon. His wings are translucent and frail. His tail a bloated mess, his legs malformed and stunted.
He turns as he hears you enter.
"Who is there?"
He has no eyes.
"Your demise. You will pay for everything you've done, mutant."
Make sure my Wings of Light are up.
"Aether Node? You're here too? Oh my, such a joyous reunion! How have you been? Please, please friends, come, tell me, where have you been all this time?"
"I am Radiant Isabella Goldentail Dawn, Paladin, follower, and Heir of Celestia, not your auntie!
How would you know me, beast? I'm only here to end your destructive ways!"
It's his fault. She is dead because him. Show him no mercy.
Hold back the charge.
"Excuse me, but.. what do you like to eat? And.. what are so nice to look at in flowers?"
"STAY YOUR TOUNGE 'AUNTY.'
>turn to distortion
"It has been awhile, I've been under some pressure as of late.. Where are we?"
"Oh, that? I've locked that away for now. It still needs some more time. But then, then we can all be happy once more. Then, I can go and fix all that has gone wrong in the past."
"Autie Radiant, what has gotten into you? Don't you remember how we used to play all the time when I was younger? You were cuh good friends with …mother…"
He pauses for a moment
"…oh what fun we had. You and Dawn used to take me flying. Taught me how to whistle. Read me stories."
>Summon a APPLE cake out of nowhere and stuff her in Radiants mouth
Do you mind if we see this hourglass Sweetie?
Rolled 3 = 3
"We want to fix everything in the past too. Can you please let us examine it? If anything at all is wrong with it who knows what could happen."
"I have not eaten anything but crystals in such a long time… nor have I ever seen a flower. But I do remember that I was allowed to eat gems at the royal vaults when I was a baby. I could never forget that taste."
"This marvelous place is where I found my safe haven. These crystals, though bland in taste, possess the remarkable ability to store time in them. I became enthralled by them very quickly, and wanted to know just how they, and through them, time, worked.
It gave me something to do when I no longer had you to play with, nor mother to care after."
"Oh no. No no. It is delicate. It must not be disturbed. That is why I have put it in a safe place. So it can work in peace."
The dragon drags itself closer to you with it's malformed legs.
"Autie. Tell me what is bothering you. You always said it's best to talk about things and not leave them bottled inside. You said you heard that from Celestia herself"
He thinks for a while
"Oh, perhaps two hundred years ago. Perhaps a few dozen more. I've lost count, to be honest.
Now, does anyone want any tea?"
>Use a word in your ear
I would really like see your horuglass, pretty please?
Rolled 7 = 7
"What's bothering me?
I can tell you what's bothering me.
Are you sure you want to hear it?
I'd hate to hurt your feelings, or break your heart."
I walk closer to him.
"Come here down, I want your ears to be near. Wouldn't want to shout with you."
Oh, tea. It might have been a little too long since my last cup,I can't seem to remember much of it, ahahaha. How kind of you."
Well I want to help you because im your auntie but I have to see this hourglass first.
Rolled 3 = 3
Shed a few tears while thinking about tea and sandwiches in a corner.
"I.. there's something missing, I think…
Is he missing something, too?"
I put my hoof on his head, and start to soothingly talk in his ear.
"Want to know what's bothering me? Someone, that was very, very important to me, died recently. She gave me a task, and I have failed. After that, someone that was apparently following this very important person too decieved me, and I almost had to kill her. I did have to kill the reincarnation of this very important person, though. That made me, very, very upset, as you can imagine."
I caress his face with a hoof.
"It has been night ever since. This happened in the near past. Also, one of my friends transformed into a being of the Night. That made me upset to…"
My tone gets a bit harsher.
"As you can hear, your Auntie is very, very upset now. All I want to do, is to get back to the past, and fix everything. Do do that, I need to check this hourglass of yours. I really do. And you are stopping me. And you know me. You know what happens when people are stopping me when I want to do something and I'm upset. So, are you going to make your Auntie even more upset, or are you going to let me and my sister, and our little friends take a look at it? We could have some tea and cake afterwards, and talk about what happened to you!"
"If… if we disturb the hourglass now… it might not work.
Are… are you sure?"
Death is rending apart the horde at the spiral stairs. The shredded remains of the beartaur hang splattered around the steps.
You find a little kitchen with a teapot and some cups.
"Is that a kitchen, there? Maybe I could.. make some tea for us.
Why don't I make you some tea while your aunties see your hourglass, boy?"
"After everything we've been through, you don't trust your Auntie Radiant?"
I continue to caress his face.
"You know what, I'll stay here with you while my sister checks it out."
I nod to Dawn.
"So tell me, where is it? And how was your day?"
The dragon slowly drags itself across the smooth crystal floor to the other door.
"It is in here. Today I added the last crystals it needed. It finally sounds like it should. It is working now, after more than a hundred years of effort poured into it."
He unlocks the door
"I'll be right with you. Let me just help your friends with the tea."
He begins dragging himself to the others
"What kind of tea would you like, friends?"
"something nice and warm, just like before."
>trip on my shield and make a large noise
Rolled 1 = 1
It's a tea set. One cup is big enough for a dragon. Several others look like they came from an old toy set.
Outside the door, Death and the crystal ponies are fighting.
Starswirls the Endless is near the door. He is exhausted. One of his crystal legs is missing.
"Oh yes, the kind the tastes like.. tastes like…
I think it tastes like something I liked. It was… warm. And it tasted like tea, I think."
I motion with my head to the others to go the Hourglass.
"What kinds do you got? And my, you've gotten big! You mother would be proud…"
"StarWIND, our pegasus friend. Right, STARWIND?"
I stare at groves.
"So, about your mother…"
I try to caress him with a hoof again.
"Do you want to talk about her?"
You drag him inside the crystal room and close the door.
His breathing is shallow.
The Other Starswirls reaches the hourglass. It is massive, at least the size of a small dragon. Hundreds of intricate parts slowly turn, chiming as they hit eachother, causing them to change directions and cause other reactions in other parts in perfect harmony.
Inside it, you can see softly glowing sand flow in countless directions at the same time.
It is all quite breathtaking.
Starswirls tenses up when he hears the dragon call out half his name, but says nothing.
The dragon calms down
"Oh… oh good. For a moment I was afraid Starswirls had escaped. Had that been the case. Well. I fear we might all have been in danger.
I hope the tea is good, yes?"
He slowly flaps his stunted wings
"Yes. I remember. It was… it was fun. I always waited for the days you'd take me flying. I liked flying. But, well, you know I never could do it myself. That's why it was always super special when you came to visit."
"This tea is.. ah, very warm. And tealike, I think. I'm sorry, I seem to be having a bit of trouble here tasting things of late."
Rolled 6 = 6
His voice grows darker
"That mad mage has sought for so long to subvert not only mortality, but causality and even reality. He is drunk with power, and has used his magic to alter time. No. To rule time with an iron hoof. He has used his power to become a dictator far more evil than any tyrant or warlord. He has coldly calculated what he dictates the best outcome for time, and then enforced it upon all.
I have come this far. Worked in secret. Fought him in person. Taken him prisoner and used his weapons to undo his evil.
Now, once my hourglass can gather enough power, and without him to stop me, I can finally realign time, undoing his work and allowing things to happen once again without an external force dictating how they should unfold."
His disposition grows happier again
"I'm glad for that"
>"I… I will not live through this. Not for long… Where… is the other… me?"
"Remember when I used to tell you stories about creatures I fought? You liked those didn't you… I have a brand new story. It's about Beyonders. Want to hear it?"
"..would you allow your aunties to use this hourglass once it's complete? I believe it is best.. if you trust the judgement of all of us."
Rolled 6 = 6
>Use a word in your ear in Starswirl and whisper
Do you have something to say old man?
Rolled 2 = 2
>take a few sips
"..so this.. time dictator. ahh- you've heard this from him in person?"
"Elsewhere. Now timewalker, you make sense of this. What is the past of this sad beast, and does he realize what he does here?"
"How much have you hidden from us? Is this all your doing?"
Rolled 8 = 8
"Once the hourglass is ready, time will unwind back to a point I have calculated. That point is far enough so Starswirls can not undo my work, but not so far that any permanent damage to time could happen.
As for you, me, us, well. We, per se, will cease to exist. But ourselves in the past will live, free at last of the twisted manipulation of Starswirls. Free to live our lives as we wanted to live them, without him telling us how do so, directly or indirectly."
"Oh please autie Radiant. A final story would be… everything I can ask for any more."
He rests his head on his arms and listens intently.
The Timewarden is circling the hourglass, inspecting it, and trying to understand it better.
The Endless is drawing his final, shallow breaths in the corner.
The tea pot is slowly boiling
Time is close to it's end
"How far exactly? We went to great lengths to stop Ironhide and Stife after he was resurrected. Will they still be defeated?"
"How much do you know he has changed? I appreciate our time together, thank you for that. But please, I'd like to know.."
Starswirls ignores you
"Magnificent. Truly… magnificent."
>"He is… but some… blind… fool. I… I… My work… I… TIME… time needs… help… my… h..help. I ensure… that all… things will… happen… as they… need to. You… you… know this. You s… saw… were with… me… to stop Strife… To stop… the death… of… of Equestria… if that… MONSTER… undoes my work… what will become… of… EVERYTHING?
"It is a story about ponies, and a race of terrible aliens, called Beyonders. These Beyonders are terrible to witness, and not everyone who lays eye on them can stay sane. You think you could be safe, but that's not their only weapon. Their stench is lethal as well, and they posess unearthy powers. A group of brave ponies lead by a mage, took to battle and fought back the terrible beasts. They were lead to the fortress of these so called aliens, to stop them, once and for all, but what they found shocked them. They found a child, a long lost friend. This child was living there, unknowing of the scourge surrounding it. When he saw the mage, he was mad, saying that the mage was evil and tricking them all! Could you belive it! The ponies were dumbfounded. They didn't know what to do. The child was sure of himself, but the ponies were afraid, because the child had something that might destroy more than simple material things and life. The ponies were confused and lost. As lost as the child was. How do you think the story ended? Do you think the ponies should listen to the Child? Or Should they trust the mage?"
Distortion puts his tea down
"To be absolutely sure, I must wind time back to the key event that allowed Starswirls his rise to power. I must stop him from going back and teaching himself all he knew at the beginning of his studies. If I can break that loop of infinite knowledge, he will never discover his time spell and can never rise to become the lord of time. In doing so, I know I risk my own hatching. And any other things. But I cannot allow things to go on like this, knowing that free will is but an illusion permitted by an old wizard hiding from death in his fortress outside time."
"Look at this device. It is brilliant. So intricate. So precise. So spellbinding. Even I can only begin to understand it's true functions."
>"I… cannot. If I do… then… I risk… every… worst case… scenario… I have… prevented… Every di… disaster…. every… war… murder… plague… I risk it… all… happening… again…"
"But what happens if Discord cannot be defeated or something terrible happens? What happens if some is going to end the world and it cannot be stopped?"
"You sound desperate, old one. I may be out of my element here, but your words are those of one desperate to keep control of what must flow free. Perhaps I was blind to your machinations before now, but is that not how it should be? Time waits for no creature."
"Besides, that is the fun of the journey. Life is to be lived by your own steps, not following the path set out by another. Perhaps Strife would have won had you not intervened. But what kept you, with all your power, from saving the buffalo nation as well? What made Equestria any more deserving of your mercy then they?"
"Face it, Starswirl. By guiding us you also stifle us. You are no better then the creature I imprison within my own breast."
Rolled 6 = 6
"Is that responsibility truly yours, sir? Or that of the collective whole of every thing that desires life, desires knowledge, happiness
And.. it might be audacious, but what point is there in stripping all of their ability to live, by coddling them so?"
"A pleasant story, auntie. I am glad I will never have to meet such terrors."
"I cannot know. What will happen, will happen through the brave hearts of ponies and the happenstance neutrality of nature, not the calculated oppression of a self-appointed ruler."
"I agree with him. I have no idea if this is suicide or not, but I agree with him. What do the rest of you think?"
"I have lived, believing with all my being that everything I risked, everything I gained, was through my self alone. And if.. if you would really seek to stop such vibrancy so…
Perhaps it would be better if it all returned to nothing."
His crystal-covered face contorts into a pained expression
>"You.. you… how could you.. even know. I have… seen it… all of it… great… wars… horrible… tyrants.. disease and suffering… monsters… deaths of nations and… empires… I have seen every point… of time… lead… to another… and through… countless… attempts… found the path… the one… path… that avoids… all those… POINTLESS… hardships. I gave… ponykind… the best.. POSSIBLE… past… and future…
"Those terrors are closer than you might think… As are those ponies, and that evil mage… But the closest to you, is the Child. Now tell me, dear, is the Child right about everything, or just delusional?"
"It definitely sounds like suicide. But all that we went through wasn't by our doing. We were calculated to have done everything up to this…
And I don't like that. Not. One. Bit."
"If there is one thing I can know, sir, there is not one who is truly righteous, or flawless, or perfect, or all knowing.
Such power, should not be at the mercy of one alone. Do you understand what I am saying, sir?"
Distortion moves his large frame one more time, leans down and picks you up. His touch is soft as he brings yo up to his eyeless face. He silently whispers
"That, autie, is something I cannot decide for you."
He softly nuzzles you with his large nose and puts you down.
"The time is almost upon us. I can feel it. Can you feel it too? Time is shaking. We are almost there."
Starswirls is feverishly observing the crystal device.
"I… I think I understand now. Yes. Yes yes I do. I do understand it now. With just a few key adjustments I can still save all of time."
He turns to Dawn
"I need the other me in here, right now. If we are to save time, I need his help."
>"I would… never… abandon any… race. The one.. who… watches over time… must… always… be fair… and equal…"
>"You would… rather… watch… entire nations… burn? Diseases… ravage lives… friends turn… against friends… monsters… destroy civilizations…?"
Time to quit the act.
"Distortion, wait! I need you to answer me! Are you absolutely sure you will only reset time, and not destroy it?"
The Timewarden pushes Campfire aside and drags his future self's broken form to the hourglass
"Quickly now. Explain to me if I understood this thing right."
They begin talking in very very specific jargon you can't even understand a word of.
"Destroy time? Auntie Radiant, where ever would you get such a strange idea?"
No, sir. I would rather have the burden be shared not just with you, but among a multitude of minds. Together, we will crate new, better times, with not just you as sole carrier of the burden, or absolute judge. That.. would be more fair, wouldn't it.
All I ask is for your cooperation with the rest of us on this.
"Starswirl. He said this will destroy everything. I don't trust him. I never did. I trust you. And I will help you, but only if you are one hundred percent sure it will work. If you say this will only reset time, I'm with you."
>"Consensus can never be reached… among even the best… of groups. I have… seen… every event. Every… connection. I KNOW… the path of minimum… possible… suffering. It cannot… be… improved."
"Even seeing us, do you continue to insist that?
I will not ask again, but know this: I am prepared to do anything to bring about a better past, present and future, sir. I believe.. I already have lost quite a few things."
He is not evil.
Distortion pulls up to his full height
"WHERE DID YOU MEET HIM? HOW? DO YOU KNOW WHERE HE IS!?"
>"I have… no reason… to lie to you. I only… wish… to serve.. all life… as best… I can.
The Timewarden looks surprised and worried
"What are you doing, child?"
"You serve yourself more then the world. Depriving it of the chance to grow and decide on its own is not a service, it is a crime."
"We are from the Past. He brought us here to stop you. But no more of that. WE will stop HIM! He decieved us all. He tries to inspect and ruin your work as we speak, but he didn't do anything yet! We can still roll back time, and stop him from ever playing with our lives around! Thank you, Distortion, for opening my eyes!"
>"A single… anomaly… like this monster… is unfortunate… but now that I know of it… once we stop it's plan… I can go back… and repair things… stop it from happening… prevent this tragedy… save Canterlot from… the beyonders…"
"I know I can stop it. Or at least HARNESS it. I can send you back in time with sufficient reliability. You will go back and kill this beast before it can hatch. I will stay behind and stabilize time for long enough for you to step back in time to do it. I will die, but as long as the timestream itself is not shattered, there will always be a past me to take my place"
"If you are capable of missing even a single anomaly like this then you are not fit to rule time. I agree with your goal of ensuring the best for as many people as possible, but you are not fit for the job. I cannot let you do this."
"No living creature should be able to make decisions on such a large scale on its own."
Distortion tosses his tea aside
"HE IS HERE? THE TYRANT MAGE IS HERE!? NO! NO IT CANNOT BE! HE MUST BE STOPPED!"
He begins to slowly move towards the hourglass chamber
Inside, Starswirls leaps in shock
"Curse that paladin, does she seek to kill us all? Quickly now. Get the others here, and prepare to go back in time. You must stop that monster before it can grow to such immense power!"
"If we are all in agreement…"
"Distortion! You must teach us how to operate the device. To simply let time go without a guardian is to doom existence, but to let one mere, flawed mind rule as tyrant is to doom us all as well.
Your aunties and friends, I wish for them to overthrow what you call a tyrant and rule in his place. No longer will we be subject to one, but rather, the collective will of many, so no one shall be left out, and no one can be corrupted.
All I ask is for your agreement."
I run to the chamber, weapons out.
"I never trusted you, Starswirl, and never liked how you played God with the lives of others just because you could! I never wanted to leave my own time, I never wanted to leave her side! Now I'll put a stop to this, once and for all! You won't fool me any longer!"
"Time is like fire, Starswirl. You can harness it only for so long before it burns you. You've already been burned once, surrender before you are burned again."
"Distortion, do you know that right now parts of Equestria are fading and the stars are burning out? Is this supposed to happen?"
"It is simply time turning in upon itself. I expected side effects, but since if all goes well, this time never existed, it will not matter."
"You.. you would not?
The possibility of burning out truly does not faze you? Of letting existence die in a whimper, of great beast rampaging through world, or uncaring Demiurges leaving our kind to rot in filth… are you alright with that?
ALL OF YOU, ARE YOU ALRIGHT WIT HTHIS?
Why not? You would kill me if She gave you the order!
>My tail start twitching
Oh no this is not good, something big is going to happend!
"Yes. History is written by those who persevere, not some omniscient arbiter watching from on high with no investment. We have no right."
"You can't just completely change the plan on a whim without even thinking it over just because of some dragon!"
"You've been seeking power this whole time haven't you? Starswirl, Distortion, time itself. You are truly evil"
Starswirls looks around, wild eyed.
"Madness. Madness everywhere. You have all fallen for the dragon's ignorance-born lies. It cannot know what it is doing!
BAH! SO BE IT THEN."
>"The time has come then… let me… help you… one final… time…"
"Thank you, future self. Your sacrifice may well yet save all of time."
The Timewarden blasts his future self, shattering every remaining crystal. All that remains of Starswirls the Endless is a bunch of gory bones with grotesque holes in them, left by the crystals.
"THOSE WHO STILL WISH TO SEE THEIR TIME, STAND AT MY SIDE. THE REST OF YOU, PREPARE TO FACE OBLIVION."
Starswirls charges up a spell and launches everyone out of the hourglass room.
He then leaps out as well, closing the door behind him, leaving the device in stasis inside the time field left by the Endless.
At one end, stands Starswirls, the King of Time
At the other, stands Distortion, the Architect of Freedom
Choose your sides.
Starswirls, as a masterful spellcaster, grasps it in mid flights, spins it around a few times and flings it back. The explosion is violent and you are thrown back. Amazingly, even though your entire body is fire, you still felt it burn you.
"I always knew you were delusional with power, Time Mage."
Charge a Blast.
Rolled 7 = 7
You hide behind the big teacup. It is not a good hiding place.
"I cannot allow you to destroy time. This is simply another unacceptable course of time I cannot permit to remain in the timestream. This is an error I must fix."
"STARSWIRL! Is this the end you desire? To truly return everything to what was and remain outside imposing your desired outcome on it all?!"
"I see the wisdom of your words, but your principals are flawed! You have no faith in any other than yourself!"
Campfire gets up, still shocked from feeling hostile fire
Your blast is prepared
"And I have for an infinite eternities known that you are as sickeningly ugly on the inside as on the outside you worthless impulsive child!"
He is forces to leap out of the way this time, and is not able to turn the tables.
"If I must be.. then I will.
Roll to freeze Aenoi.
"TO YOU WHO WOULD SEEK TO TOPPLE EXISTENCE, ALL OF YOU. I WILL NOT YIELD UNLESS YOU SHOW YOUR WILL TO BE THE GREATER ONE."
Rolled 3 = 3
>the freeze bounces off the shield, and only adds some weight
"GO SUCK YOUR GREAT SWIRLING TIME WARDEN'S COCK SOME MORE! MAYBE IT'LL HELP YOU FOCUS FOR ONCE!"
Rolled 10 = 10
"Dawn, cover me! I have a score to settle with the Mage himself!"
Leap up and Power Attack Starswirl.
"Save your breath, Tryant! You fail to realize how you are doing more damage than good! You are taking away free will!"
Rolled 5 = 5
Starswirls assesses the situation, then overpowers control of the fire from Campfire and redirects the flaming torrent into Radiant's face. She is badly burned and misses her strike because of it.
Pssst, DM. How about that Terrify I used on Radiant?
In any case, roll for stealth
Rolled 3 = 3
Freke is blasted back by the blow, a piece of debris strikes his left eye. He is now left lying on the floor, unable to move.
>roll to teleport into standing position
"Ahahahahaha… IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN THAT TO SECURE EXISTENCE, HOT-BLOOD! DO YOU, OR DO YOU NOT HAVE WILL?"
"What do you care?! What have you invested in the outcome of all this?!"
"I sacrificed my freedom to take on this cursed body and ensure a future for all of you! Would you do the same if you were offered it?! Would Starswirl?! WHY DID HE DO NOTHING?!"
I charge a Blast and unleash it on Starswirl.
Rolled 10 = 10
All actions directed at players are resolved by players.
This is now a full on PVP session, with Starswirls and Distortion as my characters.
Starswirls is thrown back by the massive blast, his body cracking the crystal wall on impact. He falls down with a hard thud, then gets back up, spitting out a few bloody teeth.
"Fools. MAD. FOOLS!"
His eyes grow dark for a moment as he consumes a part of his own soul. His horn vibrates with power.
Groves gets stabbed badly, blood streaming out of the wound.
"AAAAAAAHHH DAMN YOU!"
I fire my crossbow at Dawn.
Rolled 2 = 2
"Just what are you fighting for, boy? To see me crushed, or to bring about a time that all in existence can agree is best?"
Freeze his entire front.
Rolled 3 = 3
The fireball stops inches from his face, then grows and darkens into a horrifying orb of molten iron and granite
"WITNESS TRUE MASTERY OF MAGIC."
The molten boulder slams into you. Your flaming body protects you from some of it, but you can still feel his dark burning anger seat at your flesh. You are now knee deep in molten iron. I suggest trying to get loose.
A good try, but not good enough.
Use Terrify on Dawn.
"I don't even want to fight you, stupid!"
Rolled 4 = 4
You look like a retard doing that and I dont want to fight you! Please you have to help me!
Cast heal on Campfire.
Rolled 7 = 7
>hitting just enough to stop the spell, but not enough to cause damage, Aenoi and Freke are locked
"I'm fighting to kill you. You stand to gain for yourself, when there are countless others who must LIVE how they choose! As I said: Go suck a cock"
>headbutt the Mage
Rolled 10 = 10
He turns to you
"I have waited an infinite lifetimes for this."
He conjures a magical greathammer and catches you with an upward swing.
The armour of the sun shatters.
You are rendered helpless.
You pull out of the molten mass as it hardens into a lump on the floor.
"Tell your idiot sister to stop trying to fuck over time then! Don't you see we could be destroying time by doing this?"
Roll for stealth
Rolled 2 = 2
"Is it madness to trust in the strength of others, Timewarden?! To trust in the strength of your comrades and work together to forge a better future?!"
I summon the darkness and bury him in it, the gaseous cloud of my tail billowing out in all directions.
"How do you even judge what is worth changing and what isn't?! When does it end?!"
Rolled 8 = 8
He is lost in the darkness, unable to locate you. He is open for an attack.
"It ends when the world has to suffer the least possible amount. Sometimes innocents must die for the greater good, but the momentary suffering of hundreds is no price to save millions!"
"Look at who you are fighting alongside with! The spirit of nightmare moon! An insane dragon and a religious zealot blinded by anger and sorrow! Celestia and Luna both trusted Timeswirls!"
Use Terrify on Campfire
Rolled 3 = 3
Being distracted by the swirling darkness, he fails to counter your spell and is burned by it.
"And you served a corrupt and dying princess for your own pleasure!"
Rolled 4 = 4
Having already fallen for the distracting darkness once, he senses the next spell coming, and dives into the swirling shadow to dodge it.
>crippled by the invading and overpowering voices and visions, Aenoi is rendered helpless
>roll to shake free and get up
Rolled 6 = 6
"And what gives you the right to pick and choose?! Sacrifices are a tragic necessity, but they are to be made by those with the insight to judge their decisions!"
I slam into him with Fervor.
"You sit in your fortress, free from all such distractions, and pick and choose based solely on your own preferences! HOW IS THAT JUST?!"
Rolled 9 = 9
I stand up with the help of my sister, and nod a thanks to her.
"I knew I could count on you."
I Power Attack Starswirl.
Rolled 2 = 2
>as terrifying as they were, Aenoi manages to recollect
>inspire current allies
Rolled 10 = 10
He is smashes against the floor. His old bones begin to crack, and he spits out some blood.
"I have observed all possibilities. Seen all beginnings. All endings. Calculated. Watched. Listened. Felt. Experiences. I have rendered the well being of the world down to mathematical perfection."
He still gets back up.
"Anomalies like this happen. They bring with them great suffering. And I exist to fix them. Once I am done with you, Canterlot will not burn. The beyonders will not destroy this land. And the sun will rise once more."
"I warned you!"
I unleash a spray of fire from my mouth and aim it at Groves.
Rolled 5 = 5
Use my expertise at doing nothing to continue perfectly observing each and every movement in the carnage before me.
If.. if they do not win by the time I allow them, then I shall have to make that sacrifice myself.
Rolled 9 = 9
Visions of a cold sun and a world smothered in ice leave me Helpless.
Rolling to shake it off and get back in the fight.
Rolled 5 = 5
>seeing the events transpire
Rolled 3 = 3
He leaps out of the way and brings his own hammer down upon your now unarmoured form with immense force, shattering bones and grinding organs. He then wrests the Celestial Hammer from your helpless hooves and raises it for a killing blow.
"You need not ask me again when you willg et to go back to talk to your princess. It is now. Now you may go back to talk to her."
"Your loud wailing doesn't scar-URK!"
I get stabbed by Dawn, now rendered helpless due to the loss of blood
Rolled 5 = 5
"Disortion! Auntie Radiant is in a bit of trouble!
Activate Fervor, and try to jump up from my helplessness and headbutt him.
"I WILL BE TAKING YOU WITH ME!"
Rolled 6 = 6
"And yet, somehow you missed the pony in Tartarus, or the outcome of this exchange. You withheld the truth behind Distortion! You may be powerful and wise, Timewarden, but you are not as omniscient as you claim!"
I grab and throw him across the room.
"Nobody in your position can claim to be so perfect and infallible with such black marks staining your record! And we were with you for all of HOW LONG?! HOW MANY INNOCENTS HAVE PAID FOR YOUR MISTAKES?!"
Rolled 7 = 7
You leap onto Radiant, keeping her down
Your backstab connects with nothing vital
The dragon blasts Starswirls off his hooves with a massive blast of dark fire.
As he emerges from the swirling clouds of flame, several crystals are jutting out of his flesh. He is visibly very shaken.
"I hate you Starswirl. I hated you from the beginning, but I hate you more for what you made me witness."
I cast Aura of Protection on all my allies.
"With you out of the way, I shall be at Celestia's side again! YOU WON'T STOP ME THIS TIME!"
Rolled 4 = 4
The shaken and crystallized mage is easy to toss around, but he quickly gets up, though his legs are shaking.
"I cannot let you destroy time. Call me what you will. Tyrant. False god. I care not for name calling. What I care for is the well being of all creatures, great and small, and NO SACRIFICE CAN BE TOO GREAT TO PROTECT THEM."
He charges up his horn again.
"I can always come back and fix this later. Even if I have to make a bit of a mess now to stabilize the situation."
>seeing the paladin better, Aenoi turns and focuses on Starswirl
"burn in your desire and passion you fool"
Rolled 1 = 1
Try to maintain the Aura.
"You only care to be the puppet master of every and all!"
Rolled 4 = 4
He turns to you.
He tares the very fire out of your heart and consumes it.
You have lost the Fire Avatar form.
Starswirls has activated it instead.
With his focus on draining Campfire, he fails to spot you, and your blade forces him down to a knee. He growls and unleases a fiery blast, knocking you away.
Your aura fails to manifest properly. It only protects you.
"I WILL SEND YOU TO CELESTIA'S SIDE IF THAT IS WHAT YOU SO DEARLY DESIRE!"
He breathes out a massive torrent of fire, and had it not been for your spell, you would be little more than ash now. The aura fades.
Starswirls lifts you via telekinesis and slams you down hard enough to render you helpless.
He grabs it in mid flight and breaks it.
"For one who stole my dearest secrets, you are one sad, sad failure."
"Really? And how will you justify it to us then? Claim we went mad? That we were won over by honeyed words? If you failed to convince us this time, what makes you think you can succeed in any of your possible futures?!"
I Blast his horn again.
"You were the one who forced us into this! We are here solely because you told us we had no other choice! Did you intend to bring this on yourself, or was it another one of your mistakes so easy to rectify by crushing it underhoof?!"
Rolled 2 = 2
I try to get my Celestial Hammer back.
"At least she is a true and just leader, unlike you, Deciever!"
Rolled 10 = 10
"Oh no, I'm sorry, sir. Perhaps I'll do better now."
soul cast: Freeze.
Every single particle around me simply stops in movement, as does the trail as the attack travels to starswirl.
Rolled 9 = 9
He grabs you mid flight, then, crushing you like an insect, draws you right up to his flaming body
"You. Would NEVER. Have the capacity to come CLOSE to understanding."
He throws you into the struggling Aenoi >>16502 rendering you both helpless.
You wrestle the hammer from his fiery grasp. It is yours once more. He is somewhat shocked.
Starswirls is too slow to react to your attack, and is hit head on by the soul-empowered blast. The ice digs deep into his burning flesh, extinguishing much of the fire.
You cannot recall the names of your own parents. Nor can you comprehend why many call certain air vibrations "music".
Starswirls is breathing heavily, but still standing. His fire avatar form is almost destroyed.
Though all Aenoi can feel is pain, he muscles up and gives a truly soul-shaking command.
+2 to all rolls.
I WILL see Celestia again, in LIFE!
Use his inital shock to swing it at his horn.
Rolled 7 = 7
I get up, nodding thanks to my comrades as I turn back towards Starswirl.
"Have you run out of rationalizations, traveler?! Perhaps I do fail to understand, but I comprehend everything I just said clear as Day itself!"
I throw my spear straight for his heart.
"THAT IS ALL I NEED TO SEE YOU ARE NOT WORTHY!"
Rolled 5 + 2 = 7
You knock him on his side
Your blade sinks deep into the extinguished side, meeting little resistance from the already broken insides
The spear sinks deep, drawing lifeblood.
And finally, the ice puts out what remains of his fire.
Starswirls struggles up one final time.
"I. CANNOT. ALLOW. TIME. TO. DIE."
He consumes more of his soul. A massive part of it by the looks of it, and charges one final attack. The crystals on his body resonate so heavily they begin to crack and shatter.
"FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. DIE."
Roll to dodge his final attack.
May Celestia protect me.
Try to dodge whatever he plans.
And look out for Dawn's safety too.
Rolled 10 = 10
As Starswirls floats into the air, his horn glowing, indeed, SHAKING with dark power, ready to unleash his final spell-
-Distortion grabs him from the air
"Your reign is over, tyrant."
He smashes the mage into the floor, then slams him aside with his tail
"From now on, all life will be allowed to direct itself. You will no longer be a factor in deciding what may or may not happen."
He lifts the broken pony one more time
"I know there are more of you hiding in time. But soon, I will undo all that. You have lost."
He bites down on Starswirls. The mage screams as he is devoured, bits of bloodied crystal flying from the mutant dragon's mouth."
After it is over, Distortion lumbers over to you
"It is over, friends."
He sweeps a claw across the crystal walls, and the images change. You can see the night sky. It is slowly turning pitch black as the stars stop shining.
"In just a few more moments, my work will be complete. Our moment of victory. Come. I have some nice cake for us to share as we wait for the last of the sands of time to set in place."
Distortion slides back to his kitchen and sets a cake on the table. It is a nice cake.
I raise myself up, and limp to Dawn to hug her.
"I would never hurt you. Even if Celestia commanded me to. I'm glad I didn't have to fight you."
I turn to the dragon.
"And now we just wait?"
Then to myself.
"I guess I'll be with her, one way or another now…"
I slump down on my flanks.
"So, this is the result of Our Will, …friends."
"This new world will be ours to make into a heaven beyond our imagining or a hell even Tartarus would cower before. If we a truly people of the ordinary that were simply in the right places at the right time.. Then we may have confidence in our new Dawn."
I look up at the night sky as the stars die out one after the other.
"Is this the sky she wanted? So empty and bleak?" I brush my new ebony coat and look at the ethereal mass of my tail.
"Princess…I'm sorry. In the end, I did what I thought was right. If I ever see you again…I just hope you understand that. Forgive me."
As you look at the image drawn across the crystal, you see parts of the sky and earth shatter and disintegrate.
"Time is coming apart. All is as it should. Soon, all will be rewound, so it may, for the first time, try again without outside guidance. A new history will be made, dictated not by some single pony, but by nature and happenstance."
He takes a bit of cake and eats it
"If there is anything left to say, say it now. For soon enough, nothing will remain of us.
Do now, as you have always wanted. There can be to repercussions. No hard feelings. Nothing. Enjoy these moments, for now, unlike ever before, you are free."
>grab a slice of cake and kiss everyone before chowing down on it
"You're all freaking beautiful! I love youall!"
"I'm glad that I can call you all friends and I'm going to miss all of you. You too, Radiant, even though you are a zealous old nag."
This was our will, Groves. If truly, this is the wish of the people who long to live every day, then it would have been inevitable.
As it is now, though, people are free to do as they wish, Should we want a timewarden after all, a new one shall eventually appear. Until then..
I think I"ll have some.. cake. I;m not sure if I tried any before, come to think of it..
>I rest in my head in Radiant shoulder
Im not hungry I just want to go home.
This time thing is going to fix my face Distorsion?
"Indeed." I stand and face them all.
"Friends, whether we face a new beginning or oblivion here and now, I just want to say it's been an honor. I only hope we can remember what transpired here, in case our paths cross again."
I turn to the others.
"Thank you, friends. I'm not sure if I made the right decision. Thank you for fighting by my side. It was an honour to call all of you my friends."
I sit down next to Dawn, and put one of my hooves over her shoulder.
"I love you, sister."
"Miss me? We won't go anywhere. I'll bother you back in our time, don't you worry!"
I can only pray that.. since we are returned and are no longer bound by anything.. I will remember you all.
Especially you, preacher. I don't recall ever actually siding with the Timewareden back then, you know.
"Touché, but if we had a chance to go back to the Gilded Teat I can find a few mares who can tell you they still work. One of them might be burned pretty bad, but that was an accident."
"That Avatar form is a bit hard to control, but this isn't really a good topic for the dinner table."
The walls of the mountain are collapsing into nothingness. There is no longer an image of the night sky. Only a void.
The last things that exist in the universe are this room and the hourglass room.
Distortion reaches out both his hands
"Could we… please… hold hooves while this happens?"
You have less than a minute to live.
"Paladin.. Radiant Dawn?
Listen. This is a new world. It is up to you if you wish to carry on the legacy of the one you are devoted you, or to forge your own, one tat would make her proud. This is a chance to do nothing but as we believe and are convicted in.
There is much within you. Use or squander it as you like. But for now, let us await our dawn."
I hold hooves with the others, hugging Dawn with one hoof.
"Farewell to you all. It was nice knowing you."
Maybe there is still one tear left to shed…
Put a hoof on the dragon while letting the other open.
"Perhaps, we could sing a.. I.. I don't know. But it was something pleasing to listen to, some nice pattern of vibrations in the air that manifested like something I loved."
Im going to miss the old man and if we have time when we come back I can tell you more foalhoad things.
There will be a new world, Groves. If you wish it, work to return order, do as you wish. But know that it is the will of us all that will dictate your success.
Distortion raises his head
May the future we create be better than the one we leave behind."
The last fragments of reality disappear as only the crystal hourglass remains. It hums for a while, then slowly turns around.
Time rewinds. Events unfold. The years roll back. The once dead are born anew. A new beginning is allowed for every creature great and small.
"And that is how equestria was made."
Twilight closes the storybook.
"Good night Spike, sleep well"
BUT WHAT IF OUR HEROES HAD CHOSEN ANOTHER WAY?
Distortion falls at last under your relentless barrage.
"WHY? WHY WOULD YOU TAKE ORDERS FROM THAT MAD…ugh… Auntie… please don't… leave me…"
The dragon is dead.
Starswirls opens the door to the Hourglass room and casts a spell, reflecting it off the crystal construct.
He opens a portal.
"Get in! This will take you back to the exact moment I took you from. It is HIGHLY unstable, so you may indeed lose things you found while outside your own time. I will stay here and hold it steady for as long as reality exists.
Now remember - you MUST find and kill Distortion before he can hatch. GO!"
You are back at Canterlot.
Dawn's face is pretty once again.
Radiant has the amulet back.
Indeed you all look like you never went anywhere.
Celestia, Dagger and the others look a bit confused as you seem to have suddenly paused your talking.
I look at Celestia with some tears in my eyes.
I turn to the others.
"I'll be with you in a moment…"
I turn back to Celestia.
"Y-Your Highness? Could I speak with you in private?"
I blink at the return to familiar surroundings. I'm not even sure whether or not I still have the Nightmare soul fragment in me.
Celestia looks at you like she is a bit worried
"The Ambassador is in her quarters at the tower. Why the sudden change of topic?
Now, about the cleanup regarding Strife-"
"Strife is dead. We need not to worry about him anymore. And if we could speak in private, about right now, that would be great, Your Highness. I'll explain everything to you."
"Radiant, what is going on? All of you suddenly seem like something has happened when just a moment ago you were perfectly calm."
"Do you have any idea how to keep her from going mad? We just fought a dragon and I really don't want to have to fight one again so soon."
"You died! And I could do nothing!"
Try to speak between sobs.
"And then Twilight took your ashes, but she ressurected, you and sent you to kill me, but then I shattered her horn, but then you died again, and I even lost the Sun when you trusted me with it, and I have failed you! I'm sorry!"
"I know we have to do that, but once the egg is broken she'll be out for blood? I don't see any way we can do this violently without it spiraling into another war between ponies and dragons."
>Time… trave- Dawn what the feather are you talking about? Are you feeling ok? You were right there in front of me. We were just talking not ten seconds ago.
Celestia just looks around awkwardly
"Are you sure you're feeling fine after the battle with Strife? Perhaps you inhaled some of those broken magic crystals. Come, let's go get you to a doctor."
>Well? Is she?
"She's right. Starswirl appeared and took us off to correct a problem in the timeline. Things spiraled out of control and now our only hope of making things right is to destroy the tainted egg Noise laid."
>Run up to a guard pony instead
"Are there records to a pegasus stronghold named.. hale-helio- IT STARTS WITH H!"
"No, I'm fine!
It was Starswirl and time travel! In the future, just before you gave me the Sun, you said you even saw me after Luna and you defeated Discord! It was because I WAS there! We killed Strife for the first time to begin with! Trust me!"
Start to sob again.
"And you died, but you are fine now! And we can prevent it all!"
>Well ain't that something. Ok. I think that makes sense. I doubt you'd all be going crazy at the same time. Ambassador noise is in that room there.
He points at a door.
"Uh… Hurricania comes to mind. Unless you meant Galeopolis."
Celestia thinks for a while
"Starswirls… Starswirls… oh yes. Him. I do remember him. He indeed did develop a time travel spell. So he took you on a journey did he? How curious."
"No. No that is a bad idea. We are going to wait for Radiant to get here. Noise knows the two of you best and she will listen to you two. We've technically made sure that the future is safe and I will not start a war here in my time just to make certain that the world doesn't end after I die. I've done enough and seen enough already."
"Yes… It was terrible to lose you… but it's all right now. You are here, and we will prevent everything bad from happening. I was honest with you, do you belive me? Do you trust me, my Princess?"
I bow a little to her.
"We should probably go find her. If I know her she's either tripping over her tongue or giving some long speech instead of simply telling Celestia what happened."
"I don't trust you. Once you get your mind set on something you hardly ever change it. You and Dagger need to come with me."
>in as calm a voice as i can muster, after running
"are there enlistment records of Galeopolis during the fall of Unicornia? there is a pegasus pony I must look for"
"Sure. Just look in the Canterlot Population Archive, third door on the left should be pegasus cities"
Step back to face her, and take a deep breath before speaking.
"Then I ask you to be honest with me. Some bad ponies, and even Strife himself was talking about a secret of yours, that you can never forget or erase from your past. I want to know what it is. I trust you with my very life. I need to know this."
Try to look as determined as I can.
"Oh, uh, alright. Dagger, I'm trusting you to keep her from starting a war."
I run back to the conference room.
>Head in and start searching through the files for galeopolis
Rolled 9 = 9
"Are you afraid that it might shatter my faith in you?
You attacking me didn't even budge it. I'm willing to give up everything for you, I believe I deserve to know it."
You find it. Minor fort, abandoned as a major command post shortly after a raid killed a commander there.
Precursor to the wildly successful Cloudsdale and it's sister cities.
Last notable leader: Commander Windsock.
Dustbunny pokes his head in the door
"My dubious status as royalty is a dead serious thing, Radiant Dawn. My right to rule does not come from royal blood but from conquest, and if word of that got out, Equestria may well face civil war or worse."
"Why? Almost everyone loves you! You control the Sun! You fight to make the lives of everypony in Equestria better! Why would a title change their opinions? Then what are you really, if not a Princess?"
"I am Celestia. Chosen Avatar of the Virtuous Sun. Slayer of Discord and Conqueror of Equestria.
The Sun is my god and master, I serve it each day."
"hehe, hoo.. "
"shame I can't go looking for his ancestors.."
>head back to the meeting room
"So… This is it? This is your big secret? Are you sure you are not hiding anything from me? And dark secrets in your past? Anything?"
"I don't think you are taking this very seriously. You are now the sole other person beyond my sister and myself to know we are not true gods. This knowledge could bring down Equestrian society as we know it. What on earth were you EXPECTING me to tell you?"
I release a breath I didn't realise I was holding with relief.
"I don't know. Maybe that you had to kill somepony or burn a city or something."
I then salute.
"Don't worry, this secret is in good hooves. I will carry it to my grave."
After a short bit.
"You DID say you have mourned me when I died…"
"And you are a True God. At least for me, you are. No mortal could give me such power as you do."
Hug her again, and whisper.
"I love you too, Radiant.
Now, can we get back to the meeting? There is lots of cleanup to do at the catacombs."
"Umm, there is this another thing…"
I stand tall again and hold my head high.
"I want to be your personal guard, so I can always be with you.
Well, not when you sleep, or when you go to the toilet, well, maybe when you bath-I mean, you know. Your personal Elite Guard."
"I figured that it was Radiant and Princess Celestia . They didn't come with us and I'm guessing they didn't go wherever you went."
"Well you are a devoted servant. We must discuss this issue when a new Captain is appointed to replace the fallen Dusklight.
But I'd love to have you watching over me."
You reunite with the others at the meeting room
>Dawn, what is taking them so long?
"Dawn's either starting a war or letting a close friend know how much she missed him. I guess the others are at a bar getting drunk."
"Princess, has Dawn told you what Starswirl asked of us yet or has she been telling you about or adventures in the past and how she saw you and your sister at that ceremony?"
"Oh, and Your Highness, I almost forgot to mention that we must smash the egg of our Dragon ambadassor, Noise. I do not like this, but it must be done to preserve time."
"Starswirl had fight Strife back when he was simply a Draconequus. During the fighting he discovered that a hostile dragon had started manipulating the timeline. In the end this unleashed an invasion of Beyonders and nearly destroyed time itself. We must smash Noise's egg to prevent this from happening."
I just remember my sister and my faggot friends are coming soon.
>Push him to the wall and make out
"Well, I have no rule over time. I trust he knows what he asks for. Do you need me along with you or would you prefer to go alone?"
>Whoa now. Someone's really been missing me.
He checks the hallway
>Nobody here yet. You can show me just how much you missed me if you're fast.
"yesyesyes that's all good and well but we need to finish this NOW. my apologies Princess"
"Right outside Noise's room. If you could try and keep this peaceful that would be great."
I start walking through the castle to where I left Dawn.
He grinds against you with remarkable flexibility and precision. Not a single muscle movement is wasted as he applies his deathly accuracy in ways intended for much the opposite of what they were designed for. You feel him push into you as you walk along the razor's edge, don't look down, just keep your head and you'll be finished. You Open up the limit past the point of no return, You've reached the top but still you gotta learn how to keep it the rest of the party walks into the corridor Celestia looks a bit shocked, wondering why you are standing there, spread against a wall. Dagger, standing at her side with a serious expression and neatly wrapped cape says nothing.
Celestia, does the royal armory have chastity belts? Preferably those heavy iron ones?"
This situation seems perfectly legit.
Celestia looks much more aroused and uncomfortable than you do.
I-Im just stretching my legs! This rogue deal is really hard and taxing you know?
Rolled 9 = 9
I lean to Celestia and whisper when i see her face.
I could do that if you want me to do it
Rolled 10 = 10
"What sm-Oh. Oh I've smelled this somewhere before. I think it was Unicopia. Hum, was it at the library? No that wasn't it…"
Noise is resting in her chamber. She has gathered a small hoard of jewels and god around the room, and made a nest out of some pillows.
She lifts her head as you enter
"Oh. Hello friends! So good to see you once again. And a good day to you as well, Princess."
I walk up to her, and put my hoof on her shoulder.
"About those eggs… Remember the Holy Water I made you drink?"
"You don't understand… It didn't work. We could't clear you of Taint. I'm afriad your children might be corrupted, especially after your other injury."
She snaps out of it a little
"So sorry. I just get really protective about them. They are my everything now."
"What… what are you saying, exactly?"
She looks at the dark mark on her body
"This? But you healed it!"
"We did, yes, but corruption and evil magics are no joking matter. All I say is that we should just check up on them, see if evertyhing is fine, if that is okay with you."
"We think the taint from the fire blast Ironhide hit you with did more damage than first assumed."
"I don't know if there is any way to be sure until they hatch. If any of them are mutated, well…"
"Aenoi could search for traces of evil in them. There might be also some visible proof."
I conjure up SunLight so we can inspect the inside of the eggs.
Rolled 2 = 2
>Auto-success is enabled for now.
You can see that one egg is empty. There is a hard to define mass within the other. Though it outwardly has a signature that implies evil origin, it's heart, though tiny, is pure.
I look at Noise with a sad expression.
"I'm sorry. Looks like the Water did cure the Darkness in one of them… And the other looks infected too. I'm so sorry."
I try to hug her.
"It could be a serious threat if we let him or her hatch. We can't risk another Ironhide."
"Of course he's sweet. He was raised well. But we cannot allow events to happen as they did before"
"There may be a way to ensure that any future eggs are fine, but the one that has a baby in it is a threat to the entire world."
Noise has curled back around her eggs
"You are NOT touching them. As long as I live, it my duty as their mother to guard them!"
"Noise, please. You know we don't want to hurt you. Don't make this any harder than it needs to be."
"It's my fault, really.
Afterwards, you may insult me, maim me, or whatever. But we cannot leave without those eggs."
"WHAT SORT OF A MOTHER WOULD SIMPLY GIVE HER CHILDREN AWAY TO BE KILLED?"
The tears in her eyes are almost nostalgic. She had that same determined, sad look a lot when facing hardships before.
"Please, Noise. He nearly destroys all of time and space in the future. He is responsible for the near extinction of every species in this world."
"It's not your fault. I assure you, we will be as gentle as we can. It's not your failuer as a mother. It's your duty so the World may live in peace. I know you are not that selfish to sacrifice the safety of everything that lives. You can have more eggs later, under controlled circumstances."
"CONTROLLED? CIRCUMSTANCES!? WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM? SOMETHING TO EXPERIMENT WITH!? I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS!"
"You're not an experiment! I just want you to have healthy kids, that are not afflicted by evil! We are friends! I'm trying to help you!"
"Starswirl took Radiant, Dawn, me, and several others to the future. He would have come back with us but time was so unstable that he had to remain behind to ensure that it did not all come apart at the seams."
"I'm sure that she meant monitored. A team of clerics and doctors can hopefully fix whatever it was that Ironhide did to you."
"He was called Distortion, I'm not entirely sure if that's of his choice or no, but he spoke highly of you. and retold the stories you told him when he was young."
She slowly takes a cautious step away from the nest.
Wow. You kinda forgot just how big she was. She'd be as tall as Celestia if she stood up.
She is giving you sharp, twitchy looks
"But… even then… it was hard enough to get to this point in the first place."
"You are a charming young dragon with a wonderful personality. You won't have any problems with finding a mate and having healthy kids. Please, you must understand."
"You're a hero. You are the reason that the dragon species was able to survive. You'll be swamped with suitors during the next migration."
Dont worry well get you a nice dragon and you are going to have pure eggs just like you.
"Then how can you still say he was evil?"
"Somehow I doubt that. And the next migration is decades away. Am I simply to waste away that time cradling the shattered shells of my supposedly "evil" children for that time?"
"He is a threat to Time, Space, and Life. And we will be always here for you if you need us until the next migration."
"You were dead in the future. They way he talked about made it sound, well, I don't really want to say it, but he wasn't right of mind."
Oh dont say that you are beautiful! You can find a good dragon around equestria we can help you.
"I know it must not be easy. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made, for the greater good. You've got this far once, I'm sure you will succeed again."
"I don't want to be shoving it to you, but my hammer would be a bit excessive. A well placed blade to the heart could be more simple. If you don't want to, I'll do it… but at least give me your blade."
I take the sword from Dawn, and kneel down beside the egg.
Can I see where the heart should be?
"Maybe you are right. We shouldn't leave anything that might remind her of it."
I try to find a place where it can be done without leaving behind any traces of blood or egg-fluids.
"Hold on. Celestia, do you think you could undo the mutations with your magic? If it is born normal I don't think it will be driven to do any of this."
"…I wanted Radiant to be their auntie… I wanted to watch them grow with you, my friends at my side. And theirs. I wanted to watch their first steps. Their first flutters. Their first fire and first flight. I wanted to feed them gems and play with them all day. I wanted to hear them call me… mom…"
"We didn't know about his mutation until he had hatched. Maybe he can be modified while still in the egg?"
Im sorry Noise but remember you will find another dragon and you will have babies with him.
>putting a hoof on her arm
"And he did. Before we had to change anything, you did all that. He loved you so, so much. But He also wanted to keep things forever, When we saw him he…
He wasn't the dragon any of us could change back. We've tried, but there was no other option than now."
"We can't help it then…"
I take it to the tub and look back at the others.
"Anything final before I do it? Some final words?"
I look back at the egg.
"I'm sorry, kid. I'm sorry we can't do anything for you. May the Sun bless your soul in the afterlife."
I wait if Celestia or Campfire has anything to say.
At the observation deck, Noise cringes heavily.
You retract the blade. There is a little black blood on it.
Distortion is dead.
The timeline has been altered. A new point of divergence has been added. Starswirls now has another infinite new timelines to witness and experience, to judge and to shape. It will take him a thousand more lifetimes, but his dedication remains. He will toil without end to make sure the greatest disasters of history will be avoided.
However, for now, all is well and time itself is saved.
You clean up what little mess there is and leave the room.
Noise has stopped crying by now.
But a sombre mood still hangs above everyone.
"You did what you had to. That is an important quality in a guard."
Noise is still on the observation deck. She could probably do with some company or a distraction or something.
"Do you think it would be a good or bad idea for me to see her now? It was me, who did it, after all…"
Hey I never said that but we just kill her baby! What will you do if it was your son?
"Uh, oh, Yes! Wait a bit!"
I cover up the tub with something, like a cape or anything.
I also drop the sword in the tub too.
>I know every place there is in Canterlot, legal or not. What would you like to have?
She waits for you outside
"No need for that. I never want to go in there again. It hurts too much. Just come… come here."
I leave the room, and stand to face her.
"Uh… Hi I guess?"
I shuffle my hooves uncomfortably and stare at the ground.
>watching from afar, Aenoi mutters
"that's nice, but I'm thirsty, and unneeded here"
>heads out in search for a bar
>wander in, looking confused
"Ah.. excuse me, Miss.. ma'am?"
>turn to noise
"What does your… favourite food taste like? And do you like looking at flowers?"
I look her in her eyes.
"I would love to be your friend… if you will still tolerate me as one…
And I would have loved to be his auntie…"
You appear on a small rooftop, under some overhanging branches. You are perfectly hidden from sight to the world, but have a great view of all of Canterlot
>Here we are then.
There aren't many ponies at the bar. Just a lonely looking gal and a pair of stallions.
The barkeep asks what you'd like.
This is a different storyline. I think you can assume you didn't ask anywhere near as many soul spells here.
"Well I'll leave you two alone. I'll be at the closest bar if either of you need me."
I go looking for a bar.
Noise hugs you warmly. You have not lost a friend this day.
"Huh? Me? I uh… I always liked gems myself. Amethyst. Yeah.
And flowers are nice I guess."
>It wasn't hard. This is where I live. Welcome home dear.
Really? I always thought you have a great room with all your treasures haha but this place is perfect.
You arrive at the same bar
"WILL DO. HERE YOU, FIRST ONE IS ON THE HOUSE TODAY."
It looks fizzy and hard.
"No, but I did get to keep a very important friend. Come now. I have a lot of life left to live before the next migration, and I do not intend to spend it inside these walls."
>There is use for a trophy room and an office. But nothing can compare to one's own home. Wait there. I'll go prepare something for you.
"Yes, yes, I suppose.
…I think I'll go drink as well, I might forget while I'm forgetting."
Wander off to bar.
Ok. I remember when I was a newbie in this business all the low lifes fear you and your brother.
Never cross with Celestia they always said.
"I will let the winds guide me. Maybe I'll find another clan to join. Maybe not. Perhaps one day I will return to Canterlot too."
"TOUGH GUY HUH? I LIKE THAT."
He gives you a tall drink and lights it on fire
"THERE YA GO. FIREWATER ON FIRE ON THE ROCKS"
It tastes like being hit in the face with iron shod teats. Painful and pleasant. You loosed up notably.
"Well, I plan to live the rest of my life as Celestia's bodyguard, so I'll be here in Canterlot. If you return while I am still alive, that is."
I just barely activate my Avatar of Flame power so that I don't get burned, then down it in one gulp. Once that's done I go back to normal.
"WHOA! NICE TRICK BUDDY! HOWDYA DO THAT?"
He returns with some sandwiches
>It's not much, but I made it myself…
"I hope we will see eachother again then. Would you like to come fly with me for one more time before I depart?"
"I'm still trying to figure that out. I need to go talk with a friend now that I've gotten this out of the way."
I head back to the castle.
DM, do you mind if I get back before Noise leaves? Campfire said he'd be there for his friend and if I thought she'd be leaving right away I'd have waited on going to the bar.
You can be waiting when Noise and Radiant get back from their flight
There is a hard metal object inside
You spit it out. It is a small key.
Dagger smiles and pulls out a lockbox which he puts on the table
>Open it when you think you're ready to go all the way regarding… everything.
You manifest your wings and the two of you take off into the warm afternoon sky.
Noise seems as happy as she could be given the circumstances. She will doubtlessly enjoy her life to the fullest now.
As you return, Campfire and Celestia are waiting for you.
A shitload. Celestia's coffers are deep and generous.
"Thank you for this flight, Noise. You are a great friend and person. I hope you will remember me as a friend, and not as… you know…
I hope I will see you soon. I'll be here in Canterlot if you ever need me."
After that, I bow down before the Princess.
"I am. Thanks. Did you want something?"
Inside you find a set of blades like the twins carried.
>Put them on and it is sealed. You will become Celestia's new ears, replacing my brother. We will forever be bound by our duty. To the princess, and to one another.
"Radiant. My quarters. Now."
>talking to myself
"a healer of Canterlot.. that's what I aspired to be. maybe one day I'll meet a possible descendent of Windsock. but not today."
>get up and head to the barracks
I glance at Campfire and Noise at a worried look.
"Uh, I think I have to leave now. Do you think I'm in trouble?"
"I know this isn't the best time to ask, but I don't know when I'll ever get another opportunity. Dragons have a mastery over fire, and I picked up a interesting skill during my travels."
I activate my Avatar of Flame form.
"I can control this somewhat, but it fails me far too often. Is there any way you could train me to control fire better?"
>I'm glad you think so. The rest of that sandwich is perfectly edible. And my bed is soft.
"A dragon's fire is natural, not learned. All I can offer for you is the advice my mother gave me. A try a day keeps the flames at bay."
I extinguish myself.
"Thank you for the advice. You saved my life back in the Forest of Illusions if you ever need anything all you have to do is find me. Unless you still want company I'm going to go home and sleep."
"Healer, right? Medical ward is that way. There are still dozens wounded. Tend to them."
Celestia is waiting for you.
She is looking away from you.
The room is not lit.
"Radiant. Isabella. Goldentail. Dawn."
I bow down and cower
"Y-y-yees? I'm sorry for whatever I did! I'll make up for it, I promise!"
>take off my helmet and head in the pointed direction. Going through the doors and moving to heal the first one I see
>Then follow me inside
His room is quite simple. Small. There is a bed. A rack for his equipment. A mirror facing the door.
"I think I'll manage. Rest well, hero."
"Indeed you will. Up against that wall. NOW."
The first of the wounded is a pegasus guard. He has a small head wound and a cracked jaw.
I give a small bow then head home. Once I get there I down half a bottle of something hard then go to bed. I'm asleep before my head even hits the pillow.
I get up to that wall as fast as my legs can carry.
"uuuh, may I at least know what I did to wrong you, Your Majesty?"
>use heal on the pegasus, making sure nothing else is broken or torn
"looks like your lucky day. this should clear soon, if not now. rest up"
>head to the next
"..oh, goodness. Nevermind. I already the know the princess was one of us, anyhow."
Get out some paper and draft up my plans for a way to share the burden of managing time existence itself, so what we've seen here won't repeat.
>That you are
He removes all his equipment, save for one of the hidden blades, then lays on the bed
She has a very stern, disappointed expression
"Remember what you said in that corridor not too long ago? And before that, at the end of out private talk?"
"Th…thanks man. Hey, before you go, where you from? I'm kinda new here…"
>Remove my gear and get on top
You dont have idea how much I miss you, you can say I wait a 1000 years for you.
My legs start to shake.
>What a beautiful thing to say. Almost as beautiful as you. Now, let us make it worth the wait…
"where I- haha, Here, mainly. Got most of my training and soon to be too much living in Canterlot. If you're new you can always ask the higher ups for help. Now I got to go there's quite a few here and little time between them"
I start to stutter nervously.
"t-t-that I-I want to b-be your guard a-and t-that I can d-do that t-thing too?"
"Majesty, if you are free now, I would really like to speak with you on-"
Stay outside the door.
"Oh yes, yes of course. I'm from Cloudsdale by the way. Dad was from Galeopo- oh sorry I, uh, I'm bothering you aren't I?
She stared you right in the eyes. Her expression is one of deep resentment.
"And just WHAT was THAT THING?"
>in between healing another
"Well you're not running around a battlefield hammering enemies into the ground. Keep talking! I can manage"
"I don't know I just said that because I saw you like it and if you like it then I must know it but she was just standing at a wall! But I can stand at walls too, for days if you'd like that!"
"Well dad was the grandson of the most important pegasus of Galeopolis, or, well, the only important pony ever to come out of that place. Great-grandpa even was Commander for a while. He was called Windsock. Dad used to tell me this story he heard from Windsock. It was about this one pony he met during a riot. Saved his life that pony did. Said he came from the future. I think that last part is made up though.
She leans in right next to you stares at you sharply.
Then she smiles and pushes you over
She then climbs on top of you
"Oh I remember that pla- "
>turning to the pegasus
"…Do you remember what the pony was called?"
"Anything for my 'Princess'!
I'll have to punish you for lying to me sometime, though."
>with a disney grin, turn to him and say
"Aether Node, great to meet you. Your grandfather was a good man."
"Ten minutes? I'm a trained soldier, not a little filly. I have waaaaaay more battle stamina than that!"
And here I was thinking that everything I've seen in my me time was just fantasy!"
>This, and our duties to Celestia. We will live in the shadows, and die in the shadows.
>Tonight though, we must do one special task. There are no graves or tombs that await any of us. We must recover Cloak's body and take him to the pauper graves. There he may rest, nameless and forgotten, like he swore to be.
He faints from the revelation. You keep on healing the wounded. You could indeed get used to this hero business.
"Save some for tonight then. You will need it."
And so end the tales of our heroes. They each lead their lives as they saw fit, in a peaceful world watched over by Starswirls. They would be remembered as legends and heroes for their deeds, and forever leave their mark in the history of Equestria.
Oh and you went on to become a famous composer.
Without any way to comprehend why music works, you created an absolutely new genre that took modern Equestria by storm.
But amidst the ever shifting sands of time, there was a voice.
A voice that was calling out to those willing to seek it out.
Heroes of the past, of the present and of the future.
All those worthy would soon be called for one final quest.
But those lacking the will to strive for such goals, those content with what they had and those who had long since lost their wanderlust, would be left behind.
The voice now awaits, calling out into the endless darkness.
Come, come, heroes of old. Come and stand one final time.
Soon, soon, champions bold. The final battle awaits.