The night is cold, dark, and a tad depressing. The blades in your hooves feel heavy with the weight of your mission. But it must be done. Your look over the location, an old mansion, four stories high its walls covered with ivory. Inside awaits a pony, once known as Franklin Stones, now known as Frank the Frozen, who has been making deals with demons to gain power, he has formed a small cult in the area, a cult your king and old friend declared too dangerous to exist.. A cult that is meeting in this abandoned old place.. their exact numbers are uncertain, but killing Frank should be priority.
>>489025 You clear off as much of the dirt and smoke as you can from the window. There is a red line on the inside of the window ledge, seems to be leading to a strange circle, but until you get inside it will be difficult to see. you could also try going in another way, there is a basement entrance, a front and back door, and numerous windows on all four floors.
>>489031 You drop silently down the chimney, merely a bit of wind to the five robed ponies standing around in the very.. oddly decorated living room. There are various piles of.. bones, ashes, and branches, the floor here is completely stone, and has some runes painted on it. The five ponies seem to be going over some notes together. "You're sure we needed gryphon claws for that part?" "Yea I'm sure."
>>489033 the outfits are black robes, with delicate red runes on the trimming. and symbols on the shoulders that seem to represent rank. you manage to make an illusion of a plain black robe.. maybe its close enough?
>>489036 "Well, damn…" Try to look estremely ashamed and scratch the back of my neck. "I kinda work down there, but got lost… They told me to go look for the… Uh… Spiders' eyes for the ritual, you know. Bring them to the chamber."
>>489038 >>489037 "Ah, here it is! Yea, you need a jar full of spiders, the whole spiders, not just the eyes. Easy mistake." The suspicious pony slowly nods, his gray eyes searching your form. "I'll help you get them.. Wouldn't want Frank to be disappointed."
>>489040 "You don't even know that much? Were you asleep during initiation or something?" grey eyes seems angry with you. one of the other four puts a hoof onto his shoulder "Hey.. don't be so hard on him.." to which grey eyes snaps "Why shouldn't I be? We can't have rookies ruining tonight's summoning!"
>>489044 the pony sighs once and once you are out of sight nudges you. "Hey, newbie, you can call me Luster." he takes a turn into a store room, lined to the brim with ingredients, but they aren't in any particular order. There are boxes of bones, horns of different animals, and bugs trapped in jars or glass containers. you can hear a soft hissing as if from a snake. "Look kid, we're trying to summon a whole horde of demons tonight. This has to be done just right if we are going to get the right ones, the ones we can control.. You do want your own demon don't you?"
>>489046 Luster smirks are you, his grey eyes following you as you check the room. "That's the spirit. Then don't mess this up, okay?"
You see about a dozen ways to create lethal poisons, a few plants that can cause delusions if prepared properly, while you can't make much out of the bones, you know that most the of living animals here have powerful venom, are are liking being kept here so they can be harvested for the various effects.
Luster hoofs you a jar of spiders. They are mostly dead, but a few twitch with life still. "Here."
>>489048 The creatures return your curious gaze, or perhaps you imagined it. the spiders still alive have stripes on their legs. they watch you with their beady eyes, and one launches at you sticking itself to the side of jar when you tap the glass. Luster rolls his grey eyes at you "You don't have do that. Just dump them into the cauldron and stir for a while." at this point his hood slips down and reveals that he is an older white unicorn. Confirmed not the target: Franklin Stone is an earth pony, and according to the latest report, his skin has become the same color as ice, and his eyes black as night.
>>489050 The cauldron bubbles a bit as you add in the spiders. The cultists seems pleased about this and barely notice you leaving. You could follow the sound of the low chanting, or perhaps just take a look around for another clue?
>>489052 You grin the bones quickly and quietly, soon their is nothing left but boxes and boxes of powder, which could be easily blow away by a breeze or rinsed away in water. Even if they could use the bone powder, its almost indistinguishable from normal dust now, and you mixed the different types of bones together to be sure.
>>489055 you move up the stairs quiet as a mouse. You pass a few rooms with red circles painted on them, a bit of smoke leaking out from the doors. The largest set of doors you have seen yet lies before you. There is a lot chanting coming from this way, as well as a strong burning smell.
>>489057 You see Frozen Frank, his skin pale blue, and his eyes darkened an unnatural black. He is surrounded by 14 cultists, all seem to be as high ranked as Luster was. They are all chanting something. There is a strange smoke rising up from five different flames, placed at the points on a pentagram circle that has been painted on the floor.. it looks like it was painted in blood. The smoke is circling the room instead of leaving like normal smoke.
>>489062 Good. Now, bring my mind back to the chanting. To the ponies channeling the demonic smoke. Frank has nowhere to run. Vanish. Grasp the swords. Ready myself for the quickdraw. Ejection. Split them. Slice clean the heads of six of them. Sentried Hot Irons.
>>489063 Six of the chanting cultists fall down with deep cuts on their necks, this blood spilling down into the circle. the other 8 stop what they are doing and look directly at you. Frank stares at you his eyes giving you an unnerving feeling. "You dare interfere?" The smoke spirals and forms a serpent like dragon, roaring at you.
>>489065 Your vast experience with combat tells you that something made of smoke will be hard to hit, hard to actually break, but it likely will not have much durability. It seems like its protecting Frank, perhaps controlled by him.
The cultist dodges you and punches you in the face.
>>489067 You cut them as much as you can while dodging a charge by the smoke dragon, by the time you stop moving four of the cultists are flailing around on the ground. Frank seems oddly pleased. "You certainly are as strong a demon." the other four cultists scream something demonic at you.
>>489069 The dragon tries to charge you again, but you use his smoky nature to your advantage and vanish into your own cloud. Your wings carrying your behind your target, you thrust your blades into his back his icy skin breaking as if it was glass or crystal, black inky blood leaks out as he kneels down gasping for air. "But how.." The dragon seems enraged and goes directly for you, roll to dodge in addition to your action.
>>489071 Frank screams as you cut at his insides and attempt to finish off the job by cutting his neck. The dragon tackles you lifting you up into the air and tearing at you in a furious rage, its smoky claws burn like fire. between the blows you can see frank and his cultists trying to regroup.
>>489075 The dragon looks confused when it finds itself scratching at nothing. The cultists have managed to help frank up but he's still heavily injured, his dark black eyes staring intently at you.. he causally slices the neck of one of the cultists and throws their body into the circle. The body convulses and take on a black aura.
>>489078 You movements take on a life of their own. Justice is guiding your hooves tonight, and it will not be stopped. You make it look effortless as you vanish behind each one slicing at their stomachs and shoving them over. Finally you approach Frank, the helpless bodies behind you making you even more menacing.. his eyes seems full of terror as you stab your blade into his chest. "No.. this is impossible!" The smoke Dragon flails wildly roaring. roll to dodge the dragon in edition to your action
>>489093 >>489094 His body slumps over. his final words "Im-impossible.." ringing throu the room. the dark magic fade from the body in the center and the dragon swipes at you in blind fury but it can not take you. its form wavers and fades as Frank's body stops moving completely. The cultists look at you in terror and back toward the door.
>>489110 No doubt it's the others. But I don't have to worry about them. First, the target. Cut his head off. Then, use my Master Thief abilities to find a way out. Without blowing the floor, if possible. '1d10'
>>489114 Securing Frank's head, you quickly discover a way out by creating your own window. The cold air beneath metal wings gliding you away. but the shouting dose not stop.
Then you realize the shouting is not coming from here, but from behind your own door. This is the bed and breakfast you purchased last night, down south in the Badlands. A little town called Bramblewood. ironic considering the lack of trees. "Hey, its past noon! If you plan on staying another night you'll need to pay." The voice shouts at you.
>>489119 Take a deep breath and step out of this bed. Don't even answer. Step inside the armor and put the sword into the sheat under my left wing. I hate this helmet. Then, activate the disguise function. '1d10' The same common pony I was yesterday will do.
>>489120 >>489121 This armor might be starting to have kinks after all these years, or maybe you are just too tired. There is small kettle over a magically activated stove, you could make yourself some coffee or tea to help you wake up.
"Hey, are you waking up?!" the voice shouts again before you hear grumbling "I'm giving him 10 more minutes" the hoof steps walk away.
>>489122 I could never stomach tea. Time to slip out of it and make some coffee. Smirk at the memory of that night, even if for just a moment. And hope the coffee is as effective as it was all those years ago. '1d10'
>>489126 You adjust the runes on stove, and the brew the coffee up a bit strong, but that's the way it works best. Nice black coffee, it goes down smooth, you don't even need to use the complimentry sugar or cream keep in the coolers. Magic really has made life easier, enchanting elemental effects to make storing and cooking things a breeze. Thinking back, you did well that night, stopping a maniac and his cult. Its nice when the purpose is clear isn't it? The law system Equestria has started to set up, its muddled things, some times sheriffs or mayors have the authority, sometimes the princesses do..
>>489133 Lull in the feeling of a hot coffee for this lone minute. Then, stand up. Forget putting my stuff on, it's too early in the morning for that. Fold the exoskeleton and wear it under my saddlebags, strapping it tight to my chest. The swords will have to sit on my side for now. And try to turn the shine off as much as possible. '1d10'
>>489138 >>489137 You manage to look like a normal pegasus, the streets are a bit crowded, ponies moving about their day, grabbing lunch or doing errands. Day time is the prime time for such things after all. The outfits are a little sparse for your taste, some wearing as little as a vest, but at least they wear something besides bags, which is good.
>>489144 You go to the plaza, its crowded with the main stores and restaurants being here. a cute mare in a light dress stops you. "Would you like a cool drink sir? You look awfully thirsty." she bumps against you a little as she says this. roll
>>489156 She looks a little off guard by your statement and nods. "Sure thing. Over here is the good pub, they serve a really nice taco salad. " Its a rather nice building with arch way doors and wooden shutters. There are a few ponies going out, and they do seem fond of their hats, tall hats. "This is were all your regular shops are, you can get some of those magic-pistols if you like, not good for much in my opinion." There are a couple different shops here, they sell clothing, weapons, or general goods. "up there is the sheriff's office" she points up to a building on a hill, its made of red-clay bricks and looks a bit sturdier. "That's it for the good side of town." she waits patiently.
>>489164 she licks her lips at bit and nods with a smile. "Sounds fair to me," and then adds looking you over " but I'm nopony's body guard, got it?"
She takes you down an alleyway, you feel the shadows themselves move as you follow this upbeat little earth pony thief. she waits patiently for you near a door on a tall building, with a worn down sign slightly resembling a bird.. "This is the Weeping Eagle, all the best mercs get their drinks here, a real rowdy bunch, soon as stab you as look at you. "
>>489172 she shakes her head at your impossible statement "Don't worry about me pretty boy. and might want to come up with a better lie." she vanishes as soon as you give her the coins. >>489173 You enter the Weaping Eagle. There are a few rugged looking ponies spending their coin on drinks even at this hour, In particular you see a group of four crowded in the corner playing cards. None of them seem to match the description of the pony you are looking for. a unicorn with a scar on his right eye: Agit the Agile. a bandit rumored to be holed up in this desert town
>>489182 "Well, I heard there is a need for a pegasus, one who can fly fast, and isn't afraid to get up close and personal. might be perfect for you." he tabs his chin "I just can't seem to remember the name of the one looking.. its like its on the tip of my tongue.."
>>489197 you go up to the north side, past several run-down looking town houses. before you can take another step you are surrounded by 4 ponies, a blue unicorn among them speaks to you, she looks surprisingly young. "What brings you here outsider?"
>>489201 "Well, you heard right, I hope you're up for it." she nods and the other three back off from you. "My name's Othan, and this is my crew. What should we call you, or are you happy with Outsider?"
She has a few valuable knives and rare coins on her, but you get the impression that she is a powerful caster aside from being stealthy. She has 5 hits and 5 wounds.
>>489208 You go into one of the town houses, its very.. basic, they have a kitchen, a living room, and and upstairs, the wall is lined with maps and drawings, a few old wanted posters, notably of Othan herself going back to when she was a foal. she lays down a road map, with an x on it where the canyon narrows. "The job is simple, we need a flier to help us cut of a certain group of merchants. Your cut with be 1/5 the profit, which was 200 bits last time. All you have to do is fly over and make them stop.. here" she points to the x. "then we'll come in from behind them. that pass is so narrow they won't have room to fight us properly. "
>>489216 you believe you have seen the place she means, if not, you have it memorized now. "Kill someone if you need to, we really just care about the loot, don't get it dirty. And don't blow up the pass, that is a sweet spot we'd hate to lose." she makes a blue C on the map "We'll be here, waiting for you to stop them. They ought to show up 2 hours before sundown, can you be ready by then?"
>>489233 "alright, we can provide you with some explosives then." she levitates up a case, and opens it showing you that its full of dynamite. "we can lend you a gun if you like, got an elemental preference Outsider?"
>>489243 I need a simple magical rune to trigget the explosion of this dynamite from afar. I should be able to do it alone with some time and quiet. Let's start heading for the ambush place now. And bring lunch along.
>>489245 You pick up some of those taco salads that that mare mentioned to you, and head to the canyon. The rune is simple to make, you remember it well enough, an ancient symbol for fire, old even when you were still young. You can now trigger the explosion whenever you feel ready.
>>489246 Reach the site where the others would wait in ambush and lie the dynamite down in the place where it'd be most effective and most concealed. Put together my Master Thief and Sabotage ability to find such spot. Maybe a flank of the cliff where it'd collapse the ground under their hooves… '1d10'
>>489247 Tapping the ground a bit you find the prefect spot. You set the explosive up under a loose bit of ground. you conceal the spot with a couple of rocks. You believe that the ground is weak enough that it will create a pit fall, and thus trap the criminals inside.
After taking time to eat and scout the area out. Pumpkin Swansong sees the group of four criminals approach the canyon pass and head to the formerly stated hiding spot. Othan gives him a slight nod. The merchant's caravan should be here soon.
>>489569 Curse this harsh weather and the complete lack of clouds. Lie in wait on top of the canyon, well hidden but ready for action. By now I'd be wearing the suit and have it projecting an image of suitless me. Stealth. '1d10'
>>489571 >>489570 You masterfully blend in atop the canyon. You can hear the hoof steps and wheels before you see it. There is a group of 6 armed ponies trotting around a cart covered by a tarp. four pegasi, two earth ponies, there are 4 unarmed ponies, two pulling the cart, and two just walking with the group. All of them seem tired, as if they were traveling a long time.
>>489575 Meh. No need. Blow their hiding place. This should be enough. Then, as everyone is turned away, slip out of my hiding place and calmly flutter right through the caravan, heading towards the explosion. "Sorry for startling you. Now, I might require your assistance. Come with me."
>>489577 "Bandits, trying to ambush you. Poor on the background checks for those they hire, I might add. Make sure nobody escapes, I'd rather not kill them." Keep moving calmly over there. Drop the disguise, revealing the armor.
>>489578 "Oh, thanks then." They draw their weapons and look a little concerned as you approach the hiding spot.
You head into the mini-cave you see the four bandits have fallen into a hole caused by your explosion, Othan is yelling at her three crew members who are attempting to stack on top of each other so they can climb out. "You fucking idiots, move faster"
>>489579 Sigh, shake my head and draw the gun they gave me, aiming it at them. Also, Appraise said gun. I've a bad feeling about it. '1d10' Master Thief check to keep tabs of the bandits. "One chance to leave this rock in one piece Othan. Where is Agit."
>>489580 >>489581 "So it was you, fuck if I'm talking to you about Agit. Outsider." a bad feeling about a free gun? Why would you have such a thing? You can't see anything obviously wrong with it.. until it starts to glow red and explodes. roll to see if you dropped it in time.
>>489583 Your reflexes fast as lighting they barely have time to move away from the blast.. and then something odd happens, the fire from the explosion forms into a coherent shape, like a pegasus made of fire. "Back off outsider." Othan warns you, her horn glowing slightly.
>>489584 Motion to the caravan guards to stand back, leave. "Othan, I know you don't want to kill ponies. And I'm giving you and your crew a way out of this. Don't make my hurt you." Appraise the elemental.
>>489586 Sigh. Vanish. In that one moment inbetween breaths, slip quickly behind her back. Let it all play out, the smooth rolling off of the sword, the silent motion of the air… Everything as it was always intended to be. But this time, don't go for the kill. Slice her horn off. Sentried attack.
>>489587 In a moment you move past her crew and slip next to her, your blade slicing at her horn while she watches horrified and falls over screaming in pain. "Aaah, fucking fuck. What the fuck have you done!" The elemental turns to you and attacks, as do the three ponies. roll you actions please
>>489589 You don't even concern yourself with the three ponies attempting to beat you down inside this pit and just take the hits while you focus on the fire elemental. Your blades shave off extra flames from the elemental, its little more than a smoldering cinder waiting to be snuffed out now. pumpkin: 2/5 fire elemental: 1/1
>>489591 >>489592 The space is simply too tight. You manage to trip over Othan as her crew and the elemental beat on you in a fury. "This fucking hurts you fucker" Othan screams at you as you trip on her.
>>489596 >>489597 You disperse the fire elemental, its flames turning to ashes which gently coat everyone in the pit. Othan looks bitterly at you "Its alright boys, I'll take the fall for this, its been a long time coming.." you find this an odd thing for a mare of only 15~ to say.
>>489598 It's been too damn long since I last walked the streets in their horseshoes. Maybe I'm becoming detached. Maybe I should sheate my blades and think, for a moment. '1d10+1' Master Thief. "There is always a way out."
>>489599 You think back looking at the poster on her wall, she the crimes listed were all thievery, certain objects, increasing in value as she increased in age, you notice her crew has a bit of make up on, as if they are pretending to be somepony else.. she seems.. oddly concerned about them. "What would you know about it?" she asks looking away from you staring at her broken horn in her hoofs.
>>489600 "Take my word for it. Tales of my life's story would do no good. Not now." Remove the helmet. "If you want to pull you and your friends out of this, I am giving you this one chance. But don't expect me to be around tomorrow."
>>489604 Chuckle. "Stopping a pony… That's not hard. Moving a mountain is. Changing the mind of a lovestruck fool. Caring for a daughter. This, this is just a matter of strenght. And out there, there will always be someone stronger than you are."
>>489605 she frowns "Then.. you are going to go after him? You know Agit has been hording magical items for years.." and then sighs her crew finally feeling brave enough to help her back up, one of them chips in. "Hey, we don't need your false hope outsider."
>>489613 at this Othan and her three lackies look surprised. as she finishes bandaging her forehead Othan replies "Fine.. this way" she moves fast and stealthily, heading to the back alleys of Bramblewood. Stopping before each corner, and whispering to her crew who spread out and then return to her before continuing. Eventually you come to a cellar door. she breathes heavily looking at you, and offers you a key. "You'll need this.."
>>489615 yes in fact. The key has the the symbols for 'disarm', 'light' and 'invisible' seems like its a special key, and that it can detect and open invisible doors. "good luck outsider, I'd offer my help, but you made me kind of useless.. we'll be at the Weeping Eagle if you survive."
>>489617 " A lot of the doors inside are invisible, it lets you see em', open most of them, but the best thing about this key. It opens the most important door: the vault door. You should destroy as much of that magical bullshit as you can, then you might have a chance, who knows." she seems eager to get out of here.
>>489619 You wait for a few hours, night falls and a pair of earth ponies, rush past you, they fiddle with the cellar doors for a moment, and then pop them open. you recognize one of them as the yellow mare from earlier.
>>489633 okay, this time I'll say you did.. you found a small picture of the two mares together, a dagger, small coin sack, her key ring. Yellow just sighs and walks inside, her blue eyes looking back at you with saddness "I'm not mad at you sis, we just need to drop off the payment tonight or we'll be in trouble."
>>489635 Yellow leads you inside, its very well lit down here. There is a small maze of hallways, but she navigates them easily. The halls at first seems barren but with your special key, You can see translucent doors placed regularly. The yellow mare stops infront of a real door, and enters.
>>489637 The yellow mare is speaking to a large brown stallion, a pile of coins poured out on the ground between them. "Really, Maddie, is that all you have?" "Its not easy with so few travelers." the yellow mare says defensively. "Do better, or maybe.. Lily will have to make up the difference.." the stallion says smirking at you. "Grutox, you know that she's not a part of this." the yellow mare glares at him.
>>489698 "Something wrong with your voice sweetheart?" you feel his hoof punch you hard in the stomach. "or are you Lily's boyfriend or something? She ain't worth the trouble you're going throu." pumpkin: H/4
>>489705 backstab has a cooldown of 1, so I will be taking that as a two to just stab him he rolls away from you before you can finish him, standing up shakily. "You must really love her, too bad I'm not the one you need to kill."
>>489706 Time to cheese it. "I will do anything for my beloved!" Appraise him. '1d10' And stab at him like a kid holding a knife for the first time. Hurt him, but don't kill him. Maybe cut off another hoof… '2d10'
>>489707 You see that he has a bit more toughness than your usual earth pony, like he's dealt with this kind of thing before. He is thrown off a bit by your first swing and you catch him on the second. "Stupid kids.."
>>489708 "I will make sure she is safe! No matter who I have to face against!" Keep dancing around him. But this time, don't be so gentle. He can take it after all. As soon as I find an opening, feign and backstab. '1d10+2'
>>489710 Stand atop him. Pretty risky, I know, but a kick in the groin should keep him quiet for a moment. '1d10' "Who is that laid hooves on my beloved! Tell me how to find him and I might let you live!"
>>489712 I wonder if I still know how to do bloodshot eyes at command… The suit should be able to! Stop playing around. Chop one of his legs off. No way he can stand after doing that. '1d10+2' "Where. Is. He."
>>489713 It seems like it worked. Grutux looks terrified and screams as you take off his leg, looking at the bloody mess and at you as if you were psychotic. "You want Agit? Fine! he's terrible at picking girls anyway. take my key and go to the 15th door on the left."
>>489716 It's not a dagger anymore! The blades are as long as a pony's leg! Still lots of work left to do. Loot his body, first for the keys and then for anything else I might need. '1d10' Master Thief inspection roll.
>>489720 its the same two mares you used to get inside here. the looks confused when you disappear again. "damn he's good." Maddie comments. "Too good." Lily adds "you're sure, you don't know him?" Maddie asks. "No I would have told you if I had someone like that.." '2d10' they try to disappear from your eyes.
>>489727 You quickly morph, much like a changeling, into a copy of the bulky pony you just killed. "Well, that's impressive." Maddie comments urging her sister away. "Lets go Lily.." Lily looks concerned "Hey, wait, if you're really doing this, because it does need to be done.. let me heal you, I saw you get hurt." Maddie nods slowly "Yea, if you want to, sis, but just heal him and we go.."
>>489733 "he's a dick." Maddie says bluntly. "he's dangerous, real dangerous." Lily adds "the magical stuff he wears makes him hard to hurt." "yea, he's a terrible guy, teleports magical shit from his personal arsenal, and he killed our mom, will kill us too if we don't keep working for him, can we move on now?" Maddie says suddenly.
>>489735 "Also a dick." Maddie says. "Grutux Darkbit, he's the accountant, collects Agit's cut, records how much you put in both percent and coin." Lily actually answers. "Yea, he did that. He was pretty much his right-hoof pony, so you ought to be able to get close."
>>489736 Pull out the books I looted. Check them quick and see which one is the accounting book. Hoof it over to them. "This will either get you killed or keep you safe. Go to the Weeping Eagle and look for Othan. Tell her the Outsider sent you and give it to her. Now, leave."
>>489741 Once inside you see that this room is set up like a lounge, long sofas, glass tables, fancy paintings on the walls, there is only one other door. Laying down on one of these long sofas is Agit, you recognize the unicorn right away by his scar on his right eye, his pale bluish skin, yellow eyes and dark blue mane almost making him look demonic. "Ah, Grutux you're early. Someone give you a hard time?" he lazily waves at you.
>>489745 You get closer by you can't get a good idea of what he has on-his-pony just now. "Those two sluts? Its been a while since they gave us trouble, do I need to get involved personally, or can you handle it?" Agit sits up as he says this.
>>489747 he smirks "well, give her an extra round from me when you do."
You see some kind of harness poking out from his outfit, notice a couple of braces with runes on them, likely back up catalysts, a couple vials of some kind of toxin, and he seems to have a single long sword on him right now, but the properties of that weapon, remain hidden from you. He appears to be able to take a quite a few hits: 19/15 : You believe that preventing him from casting may help a little, but he holds himself like a weapons master.
>>489764 he has them on him, I mentioned this when you appraised him.. >>489760 Agit pulls up a bottle of wine for you, and a set of glasses. "Wine? That's a bit classy for you Grutux.. you feeling okay? Did some-slut say something that's getting to you? I swear, we can just off her, whoever it is." He has absolutely no idea that snagged a small vial of poison from him while he was going on about this.
>>489765 Grunt and grumble. "There is this one slut. Not like all others, you know? She's just the best fuck I've ever had. And then out of the blue she says I'm not classy enough!" Good thing I have a golem armor with illusory spell to hide things in. So. Once I go for the glass… Pour the poison! '1d10'
>>489767 >7 you apply the toxin without any sign of doing anything odd at all. "Come on, you don't need her. How about I call us up some sluts tonight, right now even, We'll enjoy ourselves, forget about that bitch." he slaps a wheel of cheese on the table. "Here, wine and cheese, that's classy enough for anypony, and if it ain't just gut em' "
>>489775 >>489774 he hesitates a moment his yellow eyes darting toward you, he pulls a vial out of his pocket and drinks it quickly. His color starts to return. Seems like he felt the effect at least. "You think this is a game?" he asks you.
>>489776 Gulp the glass and raise a brow. Then, throw the glass away, making it crash against a wall. "Ahw now. You figured it out. And here I was hoping to do this clean and simple." Vanish. Sentried slash to cut off his horn. Call the crit on the Sabotaged bracers to blow them up.
>>489777 you move quickly and precisely in an effort to remove his horn but a shield activates, clearly radiating from the harness. The bracers rattle to the floor, and Agit has drawn his sword. "Hope? Such a foolish thing to cling to."
>>489783 "but.. then why.. didn't I always treat you right.." you execute the bastard, running your jagged blade into his heart. Its rather unceremonious, how he is laying there, a look of clear sadness stuck on his face, died thinking that his only real friend betrayed him.
>>489784 They will make peace in the afterlife. Pull the blades out and clean them, in the silence of this room. Loose the diguise, open the frontal panel of my helmet. Breath in the heavy air of this room, the cold of my blades and the heat of sweat on my forehead. Then, after sheating my blades once more, uncerimoniously check over the body of this bastard. '1d10+1' Master Thief.
>>489790 You manage to pick off the sword and strange glowing key before the harness glows and warps his body away. It leaves behind a pile of dynamite, with a timer that starts to tic at a glance you have. '3d2' turns
>>489793 >>489794 >>489796 Your suit transforms your appearance to that of Agit the Agile, who just wasn't Agile enough to get away from true justice. The pale blue skin, the dark mane, and the yellow eyes all perfect. At your shouting several ponies appear from the various doors some more quickly, or willing than others. Most of them fan out and search the building. '1d10' but 6 stay by your side surrounding you in a circle as you continue to flee. Only one out of these speaks. roll "We are here Agile One."
>>489922 You appraise the remaining ponies. They are: 9 rogues: 5/5: wielding a variety of weapons 5 mages: 5/5 typical mages have a weakness to being stabbed 1 cleric: weakness to losing their powers by not believing in gods none of them are ponies you know, and they all follow you toward the exit.
>>489923 "Half of you, stay inside. Me and the others will go search around the compound, in case he's found or made another way out." Take the cleric with me, nodding him to follow. Leave this place and lock the door behind me.
>>489924 a few grumble at the idea but most just nod. "Got it."
you have 3 rogues, 1 mage, and 1 cleric following you. Your group moves outside and once everyone is clear of the cellar door you lock it tight. The night has gone on a long time you note, as the moon is high in the sky now. The rogues spread around you looking for trouble while the two casters stand next to you.
>>489925 Look up. It's almost time. Better deal with this as soon as possible. Vanish. Hop from shadow to shadow. Make sure they can't even let out as much as a whimper. Sentried Hot Irons. Slice their heads clean off.
>>489926 >5th turn Even if they could have said something, the loud explosion would have covered it up. They lie helplessly on the ground as parts of the building start to fall down around them. Roll to get away unharmed.
>>489928 You take to the wind and fly, but can't avoid the explosion entirely and are soon grounded, luckily you have been pushed a safe distance away by the force of the air moving away from the explosion, with little more than a scratch and easily shake it off.
You are in one of the many back alleys of Bramblewood, a few eyes peering at you from the dark corners.
>>489932 The door is somewhat intact, but uselessly ajar. There are dead ponies strewn about the outside of compound. Inside you can see more dead bodies. okay. how many of those do you want to play out
>>489940 They were already damaged by the you kill them, creating panic in the other 2. meh we can just say you killed them all if you want, I don't really want to write it out if you're not wanting to play it
>>489942 Oh, you wanted to go to the vault, the vault that was in the building that blew up, and that you don't actually know where it is? Well, you find it, after a while of looking, but its bricks have fallen in the way of actually opening it.
>>489944 You arrive at the bar, the Weeping Eagle, its considerably more crowded than earlier, you can overhear whispers about the recent events as you pass various ponies. "Grutux was killed" "did you hear the explosion?" "Do you think Agit is really dead?" you keep pushing your way past them, and find Othan, Maddie, Lily, and the three stallions in Othan's crew all sitting together sharing drinks. It looks like Lily was unable to fix Othan's horn since Othan is still horn-less.
>>489950 They all look impressed. "Really?" Othan sighs clearly relieved "That's like a fucking miracle." Maddie nods "Yea, I'd believe it after what Lily and I saw.." Lily just smiles at you. one of the stallions speaks up "So.. how about sharing that drink now?"
>>489951 Smile. "I got all night." Then, stand up. "But you might want to send somepony over to Agit's old place. The access to the vault crumbled, so I have been unable to destroy the artifacts. And my work might not be over yet. I did kill Agit, but the body disappeared."
>>489958 Othan smiles back at you "Well, that." she pauses slightly as she attempts to refill her glass with her hoof, apparently not used to being deprived of her telekinesis. "But whoever takes over can not possibly be as big of a fucker as Agit."
Maddie seems to be holding back a chuckle a Othan's plight, but lily helps steady her.
Othan looks up at your eyes. "more importantly, I think I'm ready to hear about that hope you mentioned.."
>>489964 "Well, that does sound fucking nice. Easy even." Othan leans back. "Is it really that easy? Just fucking leave town and forget about all this?" Maddie: "It seems like it might be." Stallion "we'd stick with you Othan, we're still your crew, whatever we do." Stallion 2 "Yea, we got enough skills between us to get by doing somethin'.." Othan looks over at them a bit watery eyed. "Boys.."
>>489976 Othan looks between you and her crew with a chuckle and a deep nod "Then its fucking settled, we'll pack up and leave this fucking town." at which the stallions give a hearty cheer and raise their glasses together. "right after the vault is taken care of." she adds. "So, that no one can fucking use that shit." Maddie and Lily nod at this sentiment.
Its a pleasant sight, seeing them all so happy. Like a weight has been lifted from their lives. They offer to buy you whatever drinks you want.
This goes on for about an hour, then a few others of Othan's crew report back that they cleared a way to the vault and used the remainder of the explosives to destroy it. A little after this point Maddie slips away.
>>489982 I guess it's been a proving night for her. Except not really, she didn't do much. This is suspicious. I'd rather not see her go for the vault just to become the next Agit. Use my social kung-fu to slip away, and then into stealth. '1d10'
>>489993 You catch up to Maddie, her yellow coat and blue mane surprisingly quiet in the moonlight. You follow her over to remains of agit's hide out, but she isn't the first one here, most of the bodies have been cleared out, and nothing valuable is left sitting out. She sits a moment looking at the wreckage.
>>490014 Maddie turns her blue eyes away from you and back to the scene before her. "I hated them.. I really did." and then turns her eyes back to you, looking confused but nods. "I am glad Agit can't harm anyone else. That Lily will be safe."
>>490033 "Yea, there is a town being built two days north of here. Gonna buy a building." she smiles to herself as she said something funny. "Yea, gonna set up a legit service, my boys fucking love the idea already, body guards. Protecting ponies instead of stealing from them. Hell, even Lily loved it, wants to be our receptionist since she's good with ponies."
>>490035 "You're fucking joking right?" she replies to you. "That's too rich." You get the impression that she didn't actually get to keep much of what she stole, since most of the things are very common quality. You see a small pile of crumpled up paper in the corner, looks like the wanted posters she was previously so proud of. There is a small book about making catalysts, and a sheet with sloppy runes practiced on it. You spot in the corner of the bed a child's toy, a bunny that seems like it has seen a lot of love, next to it is a long knife.. Over all you get the impression that she is trying to leave the bad behind.
>>490037 She laughs "Fucking wow. A real assassin body guard. I thought those were only in stories.." she then looks at you "Don't tell me that you were a thief before that too? That would just be too fucking much."
>>490045 You sleep rather well, you did do the right thing after all. Nobody tries to come into your room either which is surprising, or it would be if you didn't hear the drunken fighting already starting on the streets. trying to fight each other for control over the crime in this area already will keep most of the busy.
>>490057 "Nothing good." Maddie frowns. "Born to be a thief they say, sheltered Lily as best I could.. did all the worst things so she wouldn't have to." You note that he cutie mark is a half hidden by cloth. "You already know about my mom, but she wasn't actually my mother, just lily's."
>>490061 She handles it rather naturally. and follows you from the shadows.
You head to an old half-dead orchard to meet with an older stallion, Gusting Tome, he is grey, black mane, one good blue eye, and wears an eye patch, which you know covers up a fake eye used to see past disguises. He has light weight armor on under his clothes. He nods as you approach.
>>490063 "Efficient as always, I knew I could count on you. A few street riots won't be an issue, they are divided now." The stallion looks you over with a sigh "..I don't suppose you'll actually accept payment for this?"
>>490067 "There is some trouble in Durance, near the Horsehoe Bay. A mare by the name of Gretchen has been kidnapping ponies, making them into her slaves. She has some kind of magical shield around her place, can't even get a donkey close to her." he points on the map. "Gretchen is said to be a lot of colors, from those who we are able to recover from her anyway, but everyone she's always a pegasus about 25."
>>490073 "Yea, I was never too fond of it, always thirsty." Maddie comments.
As you move into the swamp area a large black bird flies over head and perches itself on a low branch. You instantly recognize the pendant dangling around its neck, containing the symbols for the United Northlands and the Underkingdom in old Northern script. This must be Morrigan, Kilana's daughter.
>>490081 "How long has it been now? Time seems so.. strange now.. Mother is where she usually is, you should come up north and visit her. She sent you a note." Morrigan hoofs you a sealed tube with the writing 'do not shake' and a space to fill in the correct answer. "Still paranoid as ever." "Myself I've been trying doing some spying near the everfree, keeping tabs on the monsters." she looks distracted for a second and then focuses back. "I see you picked up a friend."
>>490095 Morrigan nods at you "You should take a break once in a while uncle, running from job to job can't be good for a man your age." Dearest Brother Swansong, How have you been? I've been doing well, the weather is colder this year again. The other night, it was a full moon, I was walking to check on the puppies, when my hooves were caught in mud. the dogs then tackled me, it was adorable. I think one of them has a flu, poor puppy. Write back soon, I miss you your sister Kilana.
When we last left The Northlander, He had finished up a job taking care of Agit the Agile, and picked up a yellow mare called Maddie, they headed out immediately to the next job, taking out a witch called Gretchen in Durance. While traveling through a swamp, he was visited by Morrigan, who gave him a note from Kilana. Here we find our hero yet again, standing alone in this foul smelling swamplands, looking up at Morrigan's black dot as she vanishes into the horizon.
>>491314 Earth pony, yellow fur, blue mane, blue eyes. Cutie Mark: a coin half covered with cloth Moving on you feel a strange chill come over the air, a few recently fallen trees up ahead, and an odd lack of animals.
>>491318 She nods and quietly follows you as you lead the way, The tracks lead you to a clearing full of recently downed trees, a few beaten bodies of ponies lie on the ground. There are five hulking figures, their bull horns, and large muscles identifying them as much as their cow-like smell, these minotaurs are standing around in this gorish and unnatural clearing. There is sort of hut like structure behind them, but it looks more like a pile of logs than anything truly functional.
>>491326 One of the Minotaurs leans on his axe making it steady enough and close enough for you to reach it from the shadows. You hear them laugh and one of them tosses the body of a pony into the air only to slice it in half making the blood splash on himself including his eyes which he has issues clearing out and has to dunk his head into some nearby water. The others laugh at this. Your rune is in place.
>>491332 The explosion makes him grunt like a surprised pig and he is covered in burns. The other four are distracted enough by this that you catch them off guard and force them to the ground. Their blood hardly noticeable among the already gory ground.
#Maddie: 6/6 Pumpkin: 5/5
4 Minotaur: 0/8 1 Minotaur: with one horn and burns: 0/4
>>491340 >>491342 You start a dashing run across the field, but the Minotaurs move in a surprising way and manage to put you on the ground. Maddie attempts to pull you free but instead can not get around the raging creatures.
#Maddie: 6/6 Pumpkin: 0/4
3 Minotaur: 6/8 1 minotaur stabbed: 3/5 1 Minotaur: with one horn and burns: 0/4
>>491352 >>491351 You fly out of the way with natural ease, doing a backflip to show off which makes maddie roll her eyes. but you can't get a good hit in now that they are enraged. On of them slices at you with his axe.
>>491364 lucky for you minotaurs don't fly. but they can throw things, like dead bodies. which one of them does while you are attempting to sharpen your blade. You fall to the ground under the weight of the dead pony. # Maddie: 6/6 Pumpkin: 0/3
>>491366 You get up from under the dead body only to be met with and Axe cutting at your armor, you feel an uncomfortable crunch in your chest. Maddie looks anxiously at you. # Maddie: 6/6 Pumpkin: 0/2
>>491381 I'm sure you knew something about this even before you started traveling alone, you clean and bandage the area properly, not much you can do about your rib but wait. "I don't think they followed us." Maddie informs you.
>>491389 >>491390 there is a small swampy area to the north, a hut that is essential a pile of broken logs, much like something a beaver would assemble but the size for minotaurs, there are two minotaur bodies on the ground, and '2d2' whole pony bodies among some cut up remains. The circle the minotaurs are pacing in has a clear pattern and you can time it right to recover bodies.
>>491399 Most of their notes were covered in blood or water, but their outfits are still recognizable. They are the same ones used by the Equestrian Monster Hunters. Of course they could have just stole these from someone, who knows.
>>491405 you make it about a mile before you start to falter and are forced to stop and catch your breath. This area looks safe enough at least, the ground is solid, the trees cover you, and smell is not as bad here. Maddie stands next to you. "You gonna be okay?"
>>491409 >>491410 You head into the town of Durance, its a much nicer looking place than Bramblewood was, but that's not saying all too much. The town has brick homes, with triangle roofs covered in shingles. There doctor is easy enough to find, seems like its a larger home converted into a small clinic. There is a Zebra stallion inside who looks surprised to see you and maddie walk in. "What happened?"
>>491418 He smiles at you and you arrive at the inn, its mid afternoon and the air smells like warm food, some kind of fresh bread. The Inn itself is a brick building with a nice sign shaped a bit like a moon. Inside there is an area on the first floor for eating, behind the counter an older stallion greets you. "Good afternoon travelers, would you like a room or a meal?"
>>491420 He pulls out a key for each of you. "The second and third room are all yours, as for folk lore, This town was once a home to unicorn nobles, a bit of a vacation area back in its time. They say its lucky because of its proximity to Horseshoe Bay, I don't know about that but it does keep travelers coming at least. There are some rumors about a witch that came from the swamps, they say she can make you do anything. It seems more likely that ponies are just blaming their problems on others to me."
>>491423 The stallion shrugs. "Just the last.. two, three years now? Believe it or not some ponies find that stuff interesting. I think its just a bunch of hearsay, rumors made up to cover the truth. Kind of like unfaithful stallions that say they were seduced by a demoness. Nothing you should have to worry about." Out of the corner of your eye you see Maddie reading something from behind the counter before putting it back. The inn keeper fails to notice. "If you have any questions about Durance feel free to ask. Other than that we can fix you something to eat when you're ready. My wife makes a fine cabbage stew." via the window you can see the day light hours are waning.
>>491537 He shows you to the dining area, there are a few ponies eating here already, seems like the cabbage stew is actually really popular, the smell is comforting. Maddie sits across from you. After a moment you are presented with bowls of steaming hot cabbage stew, a basket of fresh bread rolls and your choice of drinks, Maddie seems to have chosen water.
>>491544 >>491543 there is no issue with the soup, its perfect, the leaves of cabbage are tender, the broth is rich with flavor, just a hint of pumpkin spice. The issue is only with Maddie, perhaps she simply can't stomach a lot of food since she never really had much food to eat.
>>491547 Stare into her eyes for a moment. "Then you need to know a few rules. Number one, no killing innocents. As in, anyone who hasn't ever killed before. Number two, no killing kids. Anything below twelve is a no go. Number three, the target comes before everything else. This includes you and me."
>>491549 "Lets go upstairs." Take our leave and head for the rooms. Take my time, make it a normal thing. Be sure to greet the bartender and let him know I'm heading upstairs. Then, take both me and Maddie to my room.
>>491550 The bartender wishes you a good night, and that you take it easy on your injury. Your room is very nice for the price you paid, plush pillows that feel as natural as a cloud, there is a full bath, stocked with towels and soaps. The window is covered with thick curtains, which would allow you to sleep in. Maddie calmly watches as you close the door behind you.
>>491552 She pulls out a pair of sharp daggers and shows them to you, they are surprisingly well made, a gentle curve to the blade, the center has a bit of an inlaid line used to hold poison, nothing has been applied there now. The hilts look like the end of a fan, but seem to provide a good grip. "I can also use swords and bows." she informs you.
>>491554 She smiles slightly at that. "Hitting weak points, escaping from traps, you already have seen me move quietly." She fans out a deck of cards, pretending to shuffle them and pulls out an ace from the middle of the deck, after this she gives you back your coin purse. "and that," she smirks.
>>491569 It is late now, there are about 5 ponies here: a drunken unicorn stallion in the corner, who seems close to passing out; A pegasus mare who is flirting with a a pair of earth pony stallions; and a cloaked pony drinking alone at a table. The bartender smiles warmly at you. "Need a drink traveler?"
>>491571 The figure is leaning forward, appearing to support their weight with their front hooves, as if depressed, but its clear after a moment that this is an act and the figure could spring into action at a moment's notice. You gather that the figure is a pony, stallion, but can't get a handle on what he might be carrying. For now, he just seems like he is taking a break.
The bartender, a green unicorn stallion, "Feeling lost in Durance?" he gestures to the small drink menu lying on the counter. "What's your drink?"
>>491580 "Wine. On the house's discretion." Sit down. "I might need some info on a more… Mundane matter. See, my friend, upstairs, she's got a bad stomacache. Anything you can do for her? Some light soup, some hay…"
>>491581 He pours you a glass of wine. "Yea, something can be sent up for her. Maybe some carrot broth and a dandelion sandwich?" He stares at you for a moment. and leans in a hushed tone. "she's not.. expecting is she?"
>>491621 "That one? They call him Kack, He's gotten pretty regular, stopped by about seven months ago with another stallion, a pegasus, best of friends those two. Apparently they had some kind of fight later that week, that one came back alone refused to mention where his friend was, just that it was his fault. Feel bad for the guy really, he just seems lost without his friend. "
>>491626 He seems like a nice guy, a pure kind of innocent. He goes to the back and brings out a tray with some hay, a sandwich and a carrot soup. "Let me know if she gets worse, I can have a doctor come by."
>>491679 You stand in front of the mirror and remember perfectly how you should look. Seeing yourself like this, it makes you feel proud, you have come a long way. You can feel your self-pride radiating, and while its not visible, you know you are shining with joy. +1
>>491702 Roll my eyes. "You kids never get tired of this trick." Nod her to follow, and move downstairs. Take a look around the inn's main hall as I enter. '1d10+1' Master Thief. Then, seat and order some breakfast.
>>491750 She watches him get up and leave out of the corner of her eyes. "on it" she sneaks away quickly and quietly, you aren't sure what direction she went, but are confident she won't be seen. You have your tasty pancakes in front of you, maddie's are about half eaten. There inn itself is fairly busy right now, guests just waking up and all hungry.
>>491761 >>491762 You look around the room and begin to flash back to your past. To an inn much like this one that you could not save. So many good ponies died.. maybe if you had gotten there sooner.. You sigh depressed. -1
>>491767 There are many things I haven't been able to save… Finish Maddie's plate and stand up. Time to leave. In the streets, listen in to passerby's conversations. '1d10-1' Try getting some leads on this "witch".
>>491771 >>491772 You head onto the street listen in on the conversations, but they are loud, annoying, jumbled. You bump into a pegasus mare, her fur pink and her mane white, she has a mint candy as her cutie mark. "And who are you?" She asks curiously.
>>491806 >>491807 "I will show you the best view in the whole city come on." She picks up the pace to nearly a run and helps you get airborne. You both sail over the town, the brick buildings shrinking below you, the wind feeling cool and natural from the nearby water. She takes you to the top of a light house. "Here. Now you will be able to just see what y u were looking for." she waits for your reaction.
>>491816 Fashinating! From here, stare down into the streets. Use my mechanical eye to spy at every small nook and cranny, every road, every window. Master Thief. '1d10' And Appraise this lovely pegasus lady with a pink fur I'm sure wasn't pink just last night. '1d10'
>>491819 You look down and try to scan the area, but the sunlight reflects into your eyes blinding you temporarily. The mare giggles at you. "Hey, how about I show you something even better, you're a traveler right? So, you must want to see all the best things." You get the feeling that this is worth checking out.
>>491833 You follow her through the sky, her pink body leading you north west, away from the city. You land at a nice looking wooden house, it appears to have been recently expanded, the garden is well kept, there are crystals dangling from the roof, and various other places. Very mesmerizing crystals. "This is paradise." she declares. "Please take your time and look around. I'm quite proud of how it turned out." There are a couple other ponies here, of various race and gender, all look stunning and they all seem happy, blissfully so. Mint sticks by your side smiling at you.
The cool breeze feels wonderful on your wings, you spot a spring in the back yard, there is an inviting circular gazebo here with benches, room enough for eight ponies to relax, you can see a few crystals have been wrapped around the poles here, giving the gazebo a nice reflective sparkle. A tan unicorn is tending a carrot patch, which seems to match her cutie mark of a gardening spade and a carrot. The house itself looks hoof-made, it has the natural feeling of being made of all wooden logs, yet is as complex and beautiful as if a talented builder had designed it. Three stories, a large deck decorated with comfortable looking chairs and some tables. Crystals decorate the railing like wind chimes.
>>491856 Mint gazes at you with a cheerful, satisfied look, her pink wings, and white mane blowing gently in the breeze. "Yes, Its really perfect." How could there be anything wrong? This place is peaceful, everyone so happy. They are all relaxing, why shouldn't you?
>>491858 "We built it. Our own paradise, a place where we could be happy. I started this when I saw how unhappy ponies were, unable to truly be at peace." She gestures to the house. "Before Hammer came this was much smaller, he is such a talented builder." She then points to the lovely gardens, bursting with flowers and hard to grow plants. "Daisy did most of this. Carrot Root, and Cabbage Tuft did a complete overhaul on the vegetable garden.. and you should see what Velvet Plush has done with the interior.."
>>491860 Mint giggles at you "Well, me naturally. I did start it" She guides you inside, the interior is just as breathtaking as the exterior. Each room having its own theme, its own feeling. There is a vibrant romantic room, seats meant for two to share, small cakes on the end table, a pleasant mix of red and pink. Next to this is a room full of tea pots, as decoration, with the furnishings themed like teaware: tea cup seats, tea cup print table clothes. Mint takes you past about six of these themed rooms and then stops at a winter themed room. The walls have been painted to look like its snowing, there are white throw blankets and table clothes, patterned to look like snow flakes, little figures of snow ponies decorate this room. She offers you a seat at a table. "This I think will be your favorite room."
>>491862 Mint just smiles "It was written all over you face." This is highly suspicious, how could she have known? You suddenly remember that you were supposed to be looking for a pegasus mare. You look at the room again inside each snowflake on the wall is a crystal, clever hiding place really. Staring at mint you feel like something is wrong with her, like she's too perfect. "Something wrong?" she asks you sweetly. "Maybe you'd like some wine?"
>>491866 >>491867 You approach the wall and stare at the crystal, you pretend to be lost in memories as you touch it and stealthily place a small explosive behind it. Mint looks worried. "Is something on your mind?"
>>491872 She looks surprised. "Kidnap? What are you talking about? No one is here unwillingly.. We all made this paradise together.. We are all happy here, don't you deserve to be happy, to be at peace? It can be easy, if you just let yourself have it.." roll
>>491876 Knowing full well she is the one I've been sent to kill? Is my will really this weak? '1d10' to snap out of it. Slide beside her on the couch, getting close. "It'd take a lot to make me stay…"
>>491877 No, of course it isn't, you flash back to your family, trapped, time locked in the crystal empire. To Kilana, her constant searching for a way to help them, her endless waiting, guarding the lands for when the time finally comes for them to return.. didn't she need your help as well? You can't stop here. Not now. "What is it you desire?" Mint slides a wing behind your back.
>>491879 All you can tell is that these are not her real eyes, they are very pretty cyan eyes, which compliment her pink fur, and white mane. She pulls you in close, covering you with her soft wings, guiding your head to her shoulder. "I know you have.. don't worry, it is all fine now. You can rest."
>>491882 Impose myself over her, using my full weight to pin her down in what would seem to be a passionate series of kisses to the neck. But as I go down, as the moments slow to nothing, once she lies helpless and entirely open in my hooves… Sentried backstab. Stick a small, simple dagger into her throat.
>>491883 You draw your weapon faster than she can blink she never even saw it coming. The dagger sticking out of her neck, and her breathing stilled the illusion fades. Her real fur, mane and feathers are a pale white, and her eyes are green insect like, she has tiny fangs in her mouth. Outside, and echoing in the house you can hear screams of pain, as if all the ponies here were suddenly in great agony.
>>491887 My face will grow in disgust as she turns into her real self. "Your kind… Hunting me since five hundread years…" Shove the dagger deeper, and leave it there as I stand up. Go for the door. Close the helmet's faceplate. Drop the disguise. I don't want to explain the panicked ponies here why I can change my outside shape.
>>491890 Her blood gently dribbles down onto the couch, looking around again you can see some of the objects in the room were fake as well. The wine was regular wine, and a recent brew at that likely grown here.
Going outside you can see the poor saps in distress, some of them laying down curled up and crying, some of them hugging each other, some just staring at the crystals as if hoping to go back.. a few look up at you with confusion and distrust. The tan unicorn with the carrot and spade cutie mark approaches you with anger and distrust, tears on her cheeks. "Who are you?"
>>491938 For a bunch of dirt it moves surprisingly fast, your hooves are quickly surrounded by soil which hardens after a moment. The tan pony comes closer to you, tears in his eyes. "What have you done?!"
>>491953 >>491954 You can practically feel his sadness, no wait, you actually can feel his sadness, even if only a fraction, you feel pain at losing the happiness that she was trying to give you. He slowly looks up at you. "Leave." he demands.
>>491962 When you return there are seven ponies here, they are all holding hooves in a circle around her body, most of them crying. The tan unicorn with the carrot cutiemark glares at you as you approach, his horn lighting up and you feel him trying to lift you and throw you out of the room.
>>491965 The crystal explodes into a rainbow of colors, it falls down almost like snow. The explosion however leaves a charred hole in the wall, Instantly five of the ponies leave in panic. The two who remain are the same unicorn and an earth pony with a roll of fabric for a cutie mark. "No, you get out." "This is our home! Our paradise.. Why are you doing this to us?!" the mare shouts at you.
>>491973 "Because I can." Utter these words with the utmost calm. Appraise both. '2d10' "Make no mistake. I am evil. The kind of evil who has no problems killing a mare as she gives herself to me. You have no chance to take me on in combat. Leave me to my devices and I shall leave you alive."
>>491976 The unicorn, he is clearly a shaman, he has 7/7 health. The mare, well she could be anything really, but mostly she's just upset and screaming obscene things at you. The unicorn breathes heavily and carries the mare away with a magical aura. "I hope you can live with what you have done." he says glaring as he levitates the mare into the next room with him, leaving you alone with this pale white-pegasus-changeling.
>>491982 Don't even look at them. I know the answer to that question already. Take the changeling and tie her body to mine, flying away, remaining above the clouds, until I leave town altogether. Find the meeting point. There should be someone of them.
>>491987 You fly outside of town, to an old abandoned mill surrounded by trees and vines a small symbol painted on the stone indicating that its safe, there you find Gust Tome the grey bodied, black maned earth pony stallion. His eye patch is lifted when you arrive, his fake eye piercing right through you.
>>491996 "..A changeling, well I suspected as much, with the different colors.. " he lifts up her wing and nods. "This explains why she was always a pegasus at least.. but not exactly how she came to be."
>>492007 he nods. "Thanks, I'll let you know when we figure her out." "I've got a specialist on stand by for the victims. We'll help them." he pauses sitting down, and cautiously asking. "Did you see him? Did he talk to you?"
>>492087 "Mostly, he talked about his partner, said he was a pegasus like you." She looks a bit sad. "Among other things, He said to be careful, that she'd make us become monsters if we let her, and that I should watch out for you.."
>>492754 She nods. "Yea, no problem." She leads you outside, to the road, the blue evening sky lit by a half moon, the air cool and damp. She creeps along the walkways quietly as a cat and soon you arrive at 435 Pine street. Pine street itself is a residential area, full of small houses. Kack's place seems completely normal, you see throu the window that there is a light on in the first floor. Maddie just nods toward the house. "In there"
>>492756 You fly up to the window and peer inside, Its a fairly normal living room area, there is a book shelf, a desk, a table and a sofa. You can spot a brown and orange unicorn stallion reading a book on the sofa, he glances toward you but says nothing and continues to read.
>>492778 You poke into her room and see that your yellow earth pony friend is sleeping with a stallion in her bed, her blue mane is a bit messy. She stirs when you open the window, her blue eyes opening slowly. She crawls out of bed.
>>492784 Maddie meets you downstairs. The innkeeper is setting up the tables when you come in. "Sure, I'll bring some right out for you, and you probably want the north east road, leads almost directly there."
>>492788 Maddie manages to finish her food, althou it is a very light breakfast, she seems to struggle with it as if it were a feast. You finish your breakfast before the sun comes up and march toward the north east. The air feels relatively cold, compared to the places you've been recently.
>>492790 Hmm warm snug wings. Maddie seems fine, smiling at you, and full of energy at least. She even managed to make her mane behave again. She only shivers for a moment before covering herself in a traveling cloak.. which she didn't have before this morning.
>>492798 You travel until late afternoon, the journey made lighter by company. A large stone gate stands before you, the phrase 'Horseshoe Bay: The luckiest port.' written on the top. The whole city seems to be walled in, the gate is currently open. A blue unicorn pony guard lazily looks you over, his armor has the symbol of the sun on it.
>>492800 In a bored practiced tone he replies. "Good day traveler. Welcome to Horseshoe Bay, the best sea-port this side Celetia's Sun, may her light bless your journey here. Do you require assistance?"
>>492806 Maddie is standing back quietly, seems like she isn't keep on talking to the guard, probably an old habit. The unicorn guard whispers to you. "There is a good place up on 2nd street, fair prices, The Second Stitch.
>>492808 Her eyes light up a bit when you say this and she nods. "Can do." soon enough she slides into the crowd and you lose track of her. Up ahead you find the Second Stitch, their window holds a simple sign and allows you to peer inside to see a variety of clothes suited for various weather conditions.
>>492812 The stallion flies over to the coat rack selecting a couple of very fluffy coats. "Would one of these work?" He shows them to you, there is a blue one with wolf's fur as a lining, a white coat that seems to be purely fur, and a dark brown coat likely bear pelt. their sizes are made for an adult earth pony and should fit her fine.
>>492814 "Oh, that sounds nice." The stallion places the two you chose on the counter while the mare rings up your total. "I like the blue one myself." the mare comments and then smiles sweetly. "Is that all we can do for you today?"
>>492818 You fly over the city, the crowded streets make it difficult to pick out one lone mare, you perch yourself discretely on a roof and watch like a hawk until you see her, her blue mane and yellow fur visible under her traveling cloak.
>>492823 How could I ever think ill of her. "Looks like I won't have to get rid of you after all." Smirk and start reading. What's the first ship leaving for the northmost port in all of equestria? '1d10'
>>492824 She grins at you "As if you could get rid of me." You blink looking at this writing, for a moment you can't read it, you feel dizzy, translating the words back and forth instantly but understanding none of the meaning. "Hey." Maddie waves a hoof in front of your face "Hey, wake up."
Oh, right, this is how you read this. There is a ship sailing tonight headed for a port up in Snow Border, doesn't seem like any of them are actually going all the way up north today.
>>492828 Maddie disappears before you reach the guard station. "What are we doing here?" she whispers at you from the shadows.
The guard station is a stone building, there are several guards inside, all have that same sun emblazoned armor. One of the guards greets you. "Good Day Citizen. Is there some trouble I can help you with?"
>>492831 Good. Then there are pirates in these waters after all! "O' can ah shoo you, they be all out in da watters!" Turn around and start mumbling about crazy guardsponies stealin' me wee men, rambling to myself and never turning back.
I hadn't really thought this out through. Going to an inn and asking would have been much more efficient and less silly.
I was looking for info about pirates in the area, to assault them and use their ship to reach the north. My first line of thought was to ask the guards straight, but that would be silly. Then I thought, let's pretend I am a sailor to get info, but had the genial idea to make it "comical" and pretend to be a crazy scotsman. Just because. When really the smartest thing to do would have been asking in any inn near the docks.
>>492838 "A few things. First, to see if there are pirates around. Seems so, given how mundane my accusation sounded to them. Second, to see if they are bribing the guards. Seems not, given how willing they were to help."
>>492843 You change into a pony right in front of you at first and then decide against stealing his image and manage to disguise as a common pony, tan body body, green eyes and brown mane. Maddie rolls her eyes a bit. "Alright, I'm sorry. It won't happen again."
>>492847 You head into the Inn, a small but upbeat place. There is a band playing on a small stage, looks like their theme is songs about love and vacation, the drum line is slow and steady, the guitar makes the whole thing very pleasant to listen to. There are about a dozen ponies here right now. Behind the counter the bar tender, a white unicorn mare with a two-tone pink mane greets you. "Well, come on' in! Ya'll are in time for happy hour!" the time is 5 o clock.
>>493019 "Yess sir! All liquids are half price, and ya'll get either a bottomless appetizer basket with your order! either potato wedges or carrot nachos. Both come with cheese." She hooves you a short menu with an impressive variety of foods, seems like they try to please travelers from all over. Most of the dishes have carrots or potatoes included.
Taking a look around you see a red earth pony stallion, looks to be about 30, with a green mane, green eyes, a familiar hammer cutie mark and a smile that you will never forget.. this must be Hulking Strike. The last time you saw him he was just a foal, a poor kid in a bad situation. That was a cold winter in the blue mountains. Almost as cold as the heart goat you had decided to take care of. Ramzel the Everstrong her called himself. Well, he wouldn't be calling himself that for long. The trail has lead you near to the top of the mountain, to a mine. ..now did you come disguised as something or just sneak in?
>>493025 >>493026 Your eyes really do hurt, must have been all that heavy drinking last night when you were gathering information from that stallion… Two-Shot McBluff.. He certainly could do more than two shots! but after enough drinks his bluff didn't work so well.
There are ponies constantly walking in and out of the mine, occasionally bringing a cart with them. They seem afraid of you, and move in teams of three.. some of these ponies seem young..
>>493028 You walk past the cowering ponies and slip into a dark corner, after a moment you know that no one can see you. The mine smells like chalk, metal, and stagnate water, you can hear slight dripping from a stalactite. Your eyes quickly adjust to the darkness, you can feel free to navigate further in now.
>>493041 You know this goat has been forging armor to make himself strong, you follow the clink of metal from with in the cave, traveling past ponies in chains mining at the walls, past the guards that are encouraging the miners, the gentlest with harsh words, the worst with fierce beatings.. but they can be dealt with later. Here in the deepest parts you can see a locked gate blocking you path, the heat down here feels as if there is a large forge, or small volcano, the clinking of metal is loud, and there is occasional laughter.
>>493060 Moving silently you approach the source of the heat, a large forge, taking lava from the core of this mountain, to your surprise there is a boy here hammering at some kind of hoof-armor, no more than 11, he is nearly covered in charcoal dust but what you can see of him is red fur, and green eyes. Nearby you see a goat in heavy looking armor, there are spikes visible on the side on shoulder. He has three ponies nearby, all unicorns with large crystal staffs. There are discarded weapons and armor on the ground here.
>>493066 You set explosive charges on the weapons, the Goat starts yelling toward the colt. "Hey, hurry up with those. I don't have all day to wait! ..and if I get impatient.. you know what will happen." The colt's green eyes widen and he works faster.
>>493080 The flying bits of metal make their way into the enemy, the unicorns and goat assaulted by the scraps they scream, and before they can react your long curved blades run into their sides leaving deep gashes. The Goat's armor now has a long cut, oil leaking out of it. and he turns to you and does something between a cough and a laugh. "You shouldn't have come here."
>>493085 You rush at him, your seudo-metal suit feeling hot but slick and making you seem like a shadow before the goat can move you are already under him and slice past his armor into his stomach and leg before emerging on the on the other side. The goat falls down helpless. The Unicorns look shocked.
>>493090 >>493091 The unicorns each fire a blast of elemental magic at you, one fire, one ice, and one lightining, you then take another pass at them, the jagged edge of your blades hitting them each in turn, and keeping Ramzel down. "WHAT!" Ramzel shouts at you. "My armor is invincible!"
Ramzel the Everstrong: helpless 3 mage unicorns: ???
>>493100 You go to finish him but the barrage of elemental magic is too much for you to dodge, you feel cold, hot, and shocked all at once, you can feel your armor giving under the stress of the elements and you are force to the ground. Ramzel laughs "Good job! I might not have to punish you now!"
Ramzel the Everstrong: helpless 3 mage unicorns: ???
>>493113 You throw a smoke pellet down and vanish away from their attacks, sneaking from behind you slice all three in mere moment, by the time the smoke clears all three are helpless and bleeding. They are pretty clearly elemental specialists, reliant too heavily on their casting their actual bodies are weak. "Lord Ramzel.. " one of them calls out The goat cackles insanely.
Ramzel the Everstrong: helpless 3 mage unicorns: helpless/2
>>493124 You stab him in the chest and he bleeds just like any other goat, The armor seems to mean nothing before your blades of justice, the laughing stops along with his breathing. The stubborn fool's armor glows dimly, a blue color, and then you hear a click from behind the forge and it stops glowing.
Now that the goat is dead, you see that he was capable of doing heavy damage with detachable spikes, extra limbs, and explosives, he had some kind of trigger attached to his heart beat, but it isn't going off.
>>493143 He gasps as your blade pierces his heart, stilling his body completely. The room is quiet now, the scraps of metal covered with black dust from the explosion, the four bodies on the floor. The charcoal covered colt cautiously peering at you from behind the forge, his green eyes following you curiously.
>>493168 He has a few cuts that look like they sting, a few scars here and there. Nothing that looks like its life threatening or from this particular encounter. You get a look at his cutie mark now that he's a little less dirty, a hammer. "…Uh, your armor, I can fix that.." he points to the tear your armor suffered earlier. "…"
>>493243 You pick the foal up, taking him all the way to the top of the mountain his eyes widen and his green mane flows back and when you stop you can see an excited smile on the boy's face. "Wow! Its.. beautiful.. "
>>493253 >>493254 "A whole world.. I want to see more.. I want to see it all!" He announces loudly. You can see just about everything from here, the view is breath taking to be sure,the way the snow and trees look and how it slowly gets more green the further down you look. There are several villages nearby. The foal points to the east. "Down there. ..but I don't know if Miss Berry is still there, its been 2 years.."
>>493267 You go to the village, taking the child's directions you arrive at a cobblestone house, Hulking hops off you squeezing you tightly in a hug. "Thank you Mr. Swansong." he hugs you smiling hopefully.
>>493271 The big green eyes of his look surprised and nod, he takes your hoof guiding your inside opening the door. Inside you find a normal house, living room, kitchen, a pair of doors that lead to bed rooms. The colt lets go of your hoof and checks each room, until you hear a very surprised yelp. "Hulking?! You're home?" you see the colt embracing a mare with a dark purple coat and pink mane, her mark is a bunch of berries. "Child.. what happened to you?" "…" Hulking Strike doesn't answer and just hugs her not letting go.
>>493282 You blink and you are back in the bar with Maddie, the yellow earth pony with the blue eyes and blue mane, she has ordered a drink some kind of fruity thing, she has a basket of potato wedges that just got placed in front of her. The white unicorn mare, with the pink mane tending is smiling sweetly at you, "And what can I get for you sweet heart?"
>>493566 "Freedom, huh? Well, I've not been here terribly long, a week now. I've grown to love the sea, something about roaming those open waters is.. cleansing. I've been sailing for the past 5 years. "
>>493588 Hulking looks concerned. "Well, that's an odd place to call home…" The he smiles "You know, I've never actually been up there.. sounds like an adventure. A good chance to put Hellequin to test."
>>493592 He chuckles at the idea. "Pirates? Mr. Swansong, please, Its not as if I am actually expected anywhere. I don't have anybody I'd be keeping waiting. Besides, any ship they have wouldn't be as reliable as Hellequin, I've been modifying her in my spare time, she's really unique. "
>>493613 "Got a free ride through half the nation, sounds like luck to me." Off to the streets! First of all, always keep an eye out for danger. Master Thief. '1d10' And make my way back to the shop where I bought the coats.
>>493615 Maddie just looks shocked and follows you. "…what.. where are we going?" You watch closely, the evening time bringing out the worst ponies, but you are you easily able to avoid them. The shop is pretty much empty only the pegasus stallion from before is here. He greets you warmly. "Good evening."
>>493648 back in your day you got clothes from the royal tailors. You go back to the same inn, its not too late in the evening so things are still fairly busy. Hulking Strike is nearby if you wish to approach him.
>>493658 Maddie looks a little bored. Strike smiles "Well, what do you like to do? There are all the usual entertainments, this place specifically puts on a shoreside show, a kind of good luck display for travelers. Its pretty interesting if you've never seen it."
>>494289 He goes past the board-walk, a line of shops that are open late and sell various souvenirs, foods, and beach supplies, these is another Inn here, called the Sea Shell Retreat. There is something called "shell fish racing" being advertised to start soon, ice cream is being peddled to you every 2nd block. Eventually he turns down a wooden bridge build over the sand, that leads to the beach. There is a large crowd gathered up ahead watching the skies. The smell of their foods, the fresh cool ocean air, carrying a bit of salt. Your hooves sink into the soft sand slightly as the wooden bridge ends. "Looks like it hasn't started yet." Strike comments toward the crowd. "Now this seems like it could be fun.." Maddie say happily and dashes off to crowd before disappearing into it.
>>494308 No one in the crowd seems to be a real threat, they have various lavels of money, some have weapons, and well there is Maddie, but she's mostly a threat to that poor stallion she's convinced to sit with her.
>>494327 "You must have quite a lot of stories to tell then.." You can spot a team of six wearing the same light blue uniform with colorful stars in the shape of horseshoes on it, 3 pegasi 2 unicorns and a griffon. They get in place and the four fliers take off over the crowd, their outfits lighting up and changing colors as they go throu practiced formations. Behind them bursts of color pop in the air, forming a detailed scene of an ship sailing on the waves, dolphins jumping out the water next to it. The crowd oohs and awes at this.
>>494346 Strike smirks at you while keeping an eye on the skies. "Told ya it was worth seeing at least once."
The scene moves forward, under the water, the griffon changing direction from the others an image of a dolphin with a horseshoe on his head behind him, the three pegasi have a kracken's image behind them and a fast paced battle plays out, the dolphin winning after a fierce struggle. Then the dolphin image is seen jumping emerging next to the ship, this is followed by a few loops and circle before the scene ends. The show ends with a horseshoe shaped formation and several bursts of color that spell out Good Luckand then fade, leaving the sky empty and black except for the stars. The crowd explodes into cheering.
>>494417 "You think so?" Hulking leads you through the docks, the scent of wood, metal, booze, and polish, mixed with salty sea air, the cool night breeze, the moonlight reflecting off the water, and the sheer variety of ships.. All coming together to provide an interesting memory.. There is just about everything from small river boats, to large cargo ships. Eventually you come to the dock labeled 16, at the end of the dock is a relatively small ship, Its painted white with blue accents, Hellequin written is fancy blue writing. On the side are three folded up tabs clearly mechanical or golem in nature, the shop has a few . Hulking Strike approaches the ship with a smile, he flips a small switch and lets down a set of stairs for you both. “Well, here she is.”
>>494895 You walk up and inside the ship, there are six doors, Hulking shows you them, they are three rooms fit staying in, one of these clearly occupied by Hulking himself, and one half full of boxes, but there is space in the storage area for these, Hulking assures you he can have it moved in no time. Hulking briefly shows you the engine room, full of all the magi-tech engineering that will keep the ship moving. He then leads you up the stairs and into the Helm, there is a wheel, and a control panel as expected. It has a nice view of where the ship is headed. There is also a very well made long sword on the wall. Hulking stares at this a moment and then turns back to you. "So, any questions?"
>>494897 This sword is genuinely impressive, the metal is close to flawless, the curve is perfect, the edge is sharp. This sword could likely cut a fruit so perfectly that you could set the fruit back together and no one would be able to see the cut. "Yes, its for my father, should I ever locate him." Hulking looks mildly angry when he says this.
>>494900 "Noble? I don't know about that. " Hulking pauses staring at you as if considering whether or not to continue. "Depending on what the man has to say for himself that blade may go into his heart."
>>494902 Hulking shakes his head. "I'll have to find him first, and that's proven no easy task. I see new pieces with his mark on them, but the trail is long gone cold. Its as if he doesn't want to be found."
>>494904 "Yes, somewhere.. Or someone who is very good clone.. I doubt you know but I have to ask, have you seen a traveling smith, large orange fur, brown mane, green eyes, goes by the name Roasting Forge?"
>>494912 He smiles and pulls up a seat for you, he pulls out a pair of glasses fills them with ice and pours a nice smelling whiskey into them. "I don't suppose you're a stallion for cards or board games?"
>>494921 you got a really terrible hand that time. New hand.
"Often, there is more to family then blood.." He shakes he head and drinks. "But in my case I knew my blood family, at least I had some memories from when I was young, a few pictures. I was told stories of how great my father was, but I am not sure how much of that was truth, and how much was ponies lying to make me feel better."
>>494922 "My adoptive mother told me stories of the stallion I called a father. He was the most feared assassin in the world and nopony even knew it. And he had been ordered to kill me and my friends. And I had been ordered to kill his whole world."
>>494927 using your experience and instincts you've picked up on a few of Hulking's tells, you can now roll with a +1 against him. He chuckles. "Well, you have that yellow mare following you, that's something lucky already isn't it?"
>>494931 You both have terrible hands, unplayable even. Hulking shuffles the deck for a while before dealing again.
While he does this you feel suspicious your eyes dart to every shadow, you look out at the sea as if it intended to report back on your location, the birds flying by make you uneasy, and you generally feel restless.
"You don't think just telling her to leave would work?"
>>494933 Hulking sighs and holds the weapon in his hooves. You look around, checking all the exists the windows and spotting all the good places to place explosives to completely disable the ship. You see a single zonkey-shaped shadow peering at you from the window, the ocean is moving as normal, and the birds are most likely just birds, but you could kill them to be sure.
>>494961 "Well, I didn't want to fly back up there, no. Particularly since I had to leave Kit on duty. Are really you going to send me back? When you're letting that new girl come?"
Hulking shakes his head "This looks like a family matter, but for what its worth I don't mind an extra passenger, long as I know how many of you there are." he turns to leave you two alone after replacing his sword.
>>494993 "Only when I can spare it." She grins at you. "I haven't been listening to you if that's what your worried about. To busy checking in on mother, she seems distracted lately, more so than usual."
>>495004 You find her relaxing on the beach she has a small pile of coins near by and is counting them, next to her is a small table with only her deck of cards on it. She waves at you, you can see a small cut on her cheek, "Hey there pretty boy."
>>495028 Everyone else seems to be in agreement, Hulking is already in his room, persuably asleep, Morrigan and Maddie share the second room which was cleared out earlier. The night is fairly quiet, and the bed is soft enough that you should be able to sleep well.
>>495033 "Its not the first time i've shared a bed with a mare." Maddie replies. "Sleep well uncle" Morrigan says with a giggle.
however, far from sleeping well, your dream takes a dark turn. You see Kilana before you, her blood running dark black, her eyes full of blood lust and dark energy, her voice truly demonic. Behind her cultists are laughing, as if they have succeeded in something truly evil. You spring awake and find it has not been even an hour.