It is high noon in the shining capital of the Crystal Empire, the purple and white white flag flying high. The citizens are peacefully going about their days, when the bell sounds making their shiny skin darken in fear. They run inside, except for the few, the brave, the strong. The Crystal Guard. They charge into battle against the vicious changelings, sounds of their battle can be heard all over.
Your role in this? While the Guard can act as a big target, you will sneak around and take out more threatening enemies from behind. Should you find a queen commanding them from back there, you are to prioritize killing her: these creatures should be useless without a leader to coordinate them.
>>459076 You are in position at the south side, The guards have the changeling horde occupied for now and have drawn them over to the east side facing them north.. so you can proceed to flank them and cut down the most threatening of the horde. The buzzing of their grotesque wings is loud, like a swarm of bees. You can spot a target from here actually, a larger changeling, with some kind of heavy armored shell, unfortunate for him that stupid shell slowed him down enough that you can make sure he never touches the city.
>>459078 >>459079 The beast turns with surprising speed attempting to slam his outrageously large shell into you, but Cobalt Bar pulls you both back before it can land. vanguard "No need to thank me ladies." he smirks "Just doing our job."
>>459081 he spots your lyre and seems to understand that it would be helpful, he targets you specifically ignoring everything to barrel into you. You notice how heavy he actually is as you nearly buckle under the weight. >>459082 Cobalt and you work in perfect harmony, he knows when its time to get serious. Utilizing the Changeling's focus on Peaches, you attack it unopposed with a leaping strike, breaking its obnoxiously large shell into pieces. As the changeling lies exposed and shocked Cobalt slices and dices the vermin. The target is down and wounded but seems to still have some fight left. your shiny skin lighting up in pride at your teamwork.
>>459084 You feel cool relief as you bath yourself in a healing light. >>459085 >>459086 You slam down on the target with righteous fury while Cobalt covers you. You keep slamming until the bug's eyes go completely out and legs have stopped twitching. Its organs are now usable for any kind of study, unless you wanted to study what changeling paste taste like. You crystal skin continues to shine so bright, no one can even see the blood splatter on your skin. Just the pretty Crystal Pony..
"Up ahead. I see the next target." Cobalt informs you. There is a Changeling leading 4 others, but it doesn't look like a queen, too small. It has a kind of purple mane on it, and green eyes.
>>459088 You play a song about victory and coming home to have cool cider with friends. +1 to all rolls next turn >>459089 You swish, swing and miss past a changeling drone who bites your hoof. Cobalt gets his part done, slicing at the purple maned changeling.
>>459091 Your words ring very true for Rose Shard, who seems more confident now. >>459092 The drone hisses and jumps back from your blade getting close to the Purple maned changeling who speaks to you: "I am Fel Horn. I have seen you before Crystal Pony.. In a dream? A vision? Doesn't matter.. I know how to beat you already." Cobalt tries to silence her but is met with a green bolt to the face.
You feel extremely confident that your next action will succeed.
Rose shard 4/5 Cobalt bar 3/5
Fel Horn: ???/??? 1 drone harmed 3 drones unharmed
>>459095 Cobalt goes for a drone but Fel Horn keeps pressing on him "You rely on this one, I've ssseen it" she hisses as she fires more green magic at him. "If I take thisss one away.." Cobalt looks dazed and dull as he falls to the ground. In pure rage you charge her with your hammer and shake the foundations of her core, she falls down helpless and looks.. scared.. "I see.. but what If.. I was him.." she now resembles an exact replicate of Cobalt. "Hey, partner, help me up won't ya?" your coat is shimmering again, cobalt (both of them) have dull coats.
>>459094 you throw out the best healing spell you've ever done, and Cobalt is even better than before, springing to his hooves. "Ah, sweet peach, thanks for the boost, but what am I doing over there?" he points to the duplicate of himself on ground.
the four changeling drones decide now is a nice time to act, and deal damage. 2 to peaches and 2 to Cobalt. "They're trying to distract us? Pathetic." Cobalt says.
>>459097 You twist your dagger into the drone, is staggers back, breathing heavily. However you take damage from an unopposed drone. >>459099 "Aw, come on, you know its me.." you hesitate, This face, that voice.. its your Cobalt's, you flashback to when you first met.. The Cobalt in front of you stands up his hoof on your shoulder "Thanks Rose Cheeks. Let's hurry with our mission now."
Cobalt finishes off one of the drones, and the other strikes him in spite.
>>459101 you take damage from the two changelings that were after you, and fall helpless. >>459102 there, you smash apart a drone, and look worriedly over that Cobalt and Cobalt locked in combat. They switch places several times and one of them pins the other.. but which ones is which.
>>459113 the drone moves bit faster than you and punches you in the face. The one on top makes an odd face at you as it keeps punching the bottom one "We can talk about that later can't we?" coughing up a bit of blood the bottom Cobalt "Room 310.. at the academy.. Now, hit her already!" >>459112 You heal the bottom one, better safe than sorry I suppose.
>>459115 as you try to attack, the last drone launches at you, causing you both to tumble, you crash onto the ground and stare up at… yourself?" >>459116 launch yourself and the top cobalt away swiping at its leg with your hammer, he seems to be limping a bit after that hit. "Wha-what are you doing?! The Mighty Fel Horn is going to get away!" >>459117 he gets to his hooves.
>>459122 You spring to your hooves, the other you stands aggressively and does not speak. >>459124 The limping Cobalt looks frightened "come to your senses Partner. Its me.." you come down hard on his other leg leaving him helpless.. and revealing that it was Fel Horn all along, her green eyes have that marks of panic in them. Cobalt covers you.
>>459137 there isn't much to work with here, dead bugs aren't as inspiring as you would think, they're kind of gross.. oh and there is a bolt of magic hitting you in the face too, that might be the problem. >>459138 you jump up and strike her with you great hammer, hitting her injured leg makes her come back down in pain, she is standing awkwardly on her back hooves using her wings to help her balance. "Ssstop.."
>>459140 you heal yourself from that blast. >>459141 With Cobalt at your side you knock over the Fel Horn, getting on top of her. and Cobalt helps hold her down. clearly desperate to live the changeling pleas for her life "For your mercy.. I could.. help.. tell your cryssstal princessss where the queen isss.." she offers. "I can be.. your ssslave? Poniesss like ssslavess yesss? "
>>459144 She copies your image and voice "I can look like anyone, I can look like you, be your body double." >>459145 "Fel Horn is not stupid. You will just kill me if I do that, or worse leave me here for her to come finish me off. No. I will only tell if you bring me to the city first."
>>459161 she screams loudly in your ear deafening you, but your partner has you covered and stabs her in her heart, silencing the Changeling, her green eyes going completely vacant as movement and sound seize. "Glad that's over, she was really starting to bug me. I'll let you have the honor of reporting back, be sure to give me proper credit." he smiles and then vanishes, leaving you to clean up as usual.
>>459172 >>459170 >>459175 You go to the captain of the Crystal Guard who seems to have just finished talking to one the Crystal guards. "Welcome back, and good job out there, thanks to your help we have them on the run."
>>459185 "Getting past the whole hive will require a lot of pony power and my men are still not all back from the battle. We can leave tonight, give them a chance to eat and recover." >>459188 "The hive is never distracted Peaches, their minds work.. differently. She probably called back her swarm for a reason and will be wary of anyone following them. I'll assemble my best and we'll go tonight. But, I must emphasis this, do not go in alone, is suicide and will alert her to move."