After a long boat ride home, Pumpkin Swansong returns to find the North over run with a demonologist cult called The Childern of Tartarus. He has made contact with the Celestia Intelligence Agency, and is coordinating with their leader Crisp Evergrasp. As the Northlander's most current exploit he saved a dragon from being turned into a demonic host. He now seeks advice from his old friend, a zebra necromancer, and the queen of the dead.
>>501909 Kilana smiles back and then shakes her hoof at you mocking a stern voice. "A dragon is a big responsibility, you have to take good care of it, I don't want to see any scales on my floor." She is eyeing the bundle you are carrying closely.
>>502247 You watch as the object slowly spins, its leaves are completely soaked in black, a steady motion like a heart beating is coming from it. Kilana looks at it with hate and channels a dark flame into her scythe, "I can see what you want to become. That will not happen." She slices into the bundle of leaves, as the dark flame covers it the leaves wither and turn to dust, the slime with-in being sucked into the scythe, and a small squeal can be heard.
>>502274 The massive three headed beast, known as Codar spreads its wings and carries its master after you. You track the dragon easily, its large tracks and the burnt area of ground outside of a cave let you know exactly where he is. Inside the cave you see the large red scaled dragon laying down, he lazily opens an eye at your approach.
>>502282 He nods replying slowly in norse. "You may approach Underqueen." Kilana strides closer putting a concerned hoof on the dragon and climbs up to get a better look. "How did they get to you?" "I was sleeping.." he answers reluctantly.
>>502307 "You should find a safer place for you naps then." Kilana examines the wound and nods slowly "You'll be okay, looks like pumpkin removed that thing before it could really infect you." The dragon nods and then looks slowly to you. "I suppose I owe you now pony."
>>502407 You spend the rest of the day together, talking about old things, laughing, and even enjoying another meal together complete with red wine. Kilana seems much happier by the time the day is over, relaxed even. When she notices the sun hanging low in the sky she give a pleasant sigh and a nod to you. "Good luck, bro"
>>502409 Its not very far away actually. You spot all fifteen of them gathered together inside of a cave, four of them standing together inside of a runic circle, each holding a small vial liquid. "Well. You are ready for this?" The pegasus that you spoke with before asks. The four nod. "Lets give it a try right?" "We just take the potion and say the words right?" "No, you just take the potion and then they say the words for us." "Oh, right." "Lets just do this before someone forgets how to swallow" A few of them chuckle at that.
>>502416 Much like a shadow in the darkness, you are perfectly well hidden.
The mages all nod to each other, the four inside the circle drink up and the others chant a spell, magic swirls around the circle, and a bluish spark of magic hits each of the four in the circle, the fall over, two scream, one cries, and the last one just looks amazed. The spell finishes and the other mages look concerned but the pegasus stallion from before is the first to try and comfort them. "Hey, calm down.." he says placing a wing over the crying one, the others soon follow suit and try to comfort the four.
>>502425 "It worked.." the amazed mage says. "..yea" the sobbing mage says. "I remember now.." The other two don't say anything just holding onto their fellow mages. "Well.. do you remember too?" The both of them slowly nod, but refuse to speak.
>>502432 You remember them from before: 3 unicorn and one earth pony, they are capable of casting dark magic and arcane magic, they are physically weak, and one of the unicorns is a mare. 3 unicorn casters: 5/3 1 earth pony caster: 5/4
>>502438 >>502439 Aside from the crying and looking terrified nothing odd is happening, and after a while they calm down, and sit together comparing notes on what exactly they remember. "So.. you and I met at the cultist meeting in Pone Brier.." "Yea, It was about midnight and we had just killed a boar."
>>502441 "Huh, you guys killed a boar? We killed a lion." the earth pony brags. "A lion, what did you do with that?" "We used its heart for our first ritual, hey, I even got to keep most of the bones! of course the thing I made with them was destroyed later.. but it was fun for a while." "Sounds like it, but when did you get up here?" "That was when Grey was still in charge here, man do you remember him?" "Grey, yea, he was an ass, even for a cultist."
>>502445 "Ah, well.. my father would have wanted me to become a merchant, I guess its not too late for that." the unicorn mare says. "I'm not going to do anything like that anymore. ..It was terrible the things we all did.. I wish I didn't remember.." one of the unicorns says. "I don't really know what I'll do, all I've learned here, is it even useful for anything else?" the earth pony ponders. "I promise I won't go back.. Just don't kill me.." the third unicorn says.
>>502449 "..yea, one of the others backed out at the last moment." the earth pony says. "He was lucky, screw remembering everything." one unicorn says the scared unicorn levitates a vial with the potion inside to you. "H-here.."
>>502451 >>502452 You firmly believe that its not toxic at all. "Right.. you're not a mage, you probably need one of us to go with you." The scared unicorn cowers behind the other three and nudges the earth pony forward with magic. "Were you always this brave, or did you remember how to be?" the earth pony says rolling his eyes.
>>502456 "…" he looks to his other mages for help and they shake their heads. "He said you man, just go." "..but.." "I'm sure he won't kill you." "…okay.." The unicorn hangs his head a bit and comes to stand next to you.
>>502458 "…right." You guide him to the CIA moutain base, arriving about where the door should be, nothing but another rocky mountain side by appearances. it begins to snow. Explosive rune secretly placed, he probably can't even reach that.
>>502460 Very well then, standing out in the cold, you hear nothing but the wind to affirm your request, but with in five minutes a yellow mare with blue eyes and blue mane arrives in front of you. "You called?" She smirks at you.
>>502464 "Right.. Miss, to get your memory back.. y-you need stand in runic circle, just a little one will due for you.. and then you drink that.. and I say the spell and.. your memories are zapped back to you.." He looks nervously at you as if to ask if that was good enough.
>>502466 "Um.. it might hurt.. but your memories are out there in the void between here and the other realms, and the spell calls them back to you, sort of like.. calling your dog back." he draws the appropriate circle with a steady stream of magic.
>>502468 He finishes drawing it and nods. "Step inside Miss.." Madison stands inside the circle. "..okay then." "And just.. drink that when you're r-ready.." She drinks the mixture and he begins to chant the spell, magic surrounds the area of the circle and blue sparks start to materialize Madison looks worried as they strike her as fast as lighting, she screams and falls over her eyes wide in fear of something.
He is carrying a copy of We are The Children of Tartarus, a rock shaped like a butterfly, a small length of rope and a bit of bread wrapped up.
>>502472 He gulps hard and nudges Madison who recoils from his touch and springs to her hooves, she glances around quickly and the focuses on you, she seems to relax a bit. "So, not getting rid of me yet pretty boy?"
>>502484 You both make your way up to the mountain. To the spot where the door will open up. Maddie glaces around before pressing in the stone and walking into the dull identical halls, lit by floating lights. You soon arrive at Crisp's office door.
>>502496 "Somewhere besides my office you mean?" He raises an eye brow "I'd start with the pony going by Eson, his demon isn't very strong, but its crafty, he might even suspect something. He's in the file I gave you before, of course I hear you like to do your own homework, but if you really want to be helpful, just stay in touch."
>>502498 She lays down next to you in bed. "Well, he seems to have lightened up a bit, what happened?"
"Eston": Male Pegasus pony Red Eyes- demonic Yellow fur White mane age 45
While he tires easily and must take frequent naps he lays down deadly traps without even warning his own men. Eson is difficult to get close to talking only to his five assistants, which frequently rotate and undergo various identity tests. He was once called Blustering Falls, and went to the Canterlot Mage Academy. He was teased, about his failures with expressions like "Blustering fails", he looked up to a Professor of Magical research a goat named "Darwin Tusk" who died of a heart attack.
Eston is currently located at an old stone palace in this location, the area is heavily fortified. His capabilities include: flight, identifying false hoods, ice magic, expert trap laying, limited mind control, demonic armor on skin.
>>502500 "Yea, Jasmine's doing okay thou, I saw her earlier today. If I didn't know better I'd think she likes you or something." You take out the scroll with the gate on it, and wait a moment for it to activate, the familiar purple light on the arcane symbol glowing steadily at you, the symbol for death blinking rapidly a black arrow forming in the middle of the gate and pointing back at you. Maddie looks surprised, "So, this is what you meant by a scroll."
>>502542 "Right, well, this place really isn't so bad. A lot nicer than Bramblewood." You take the scarab pendant out and touch the paper. The blinking light on the symbol for death becomes solid and the arrow fades, after a while you see a single blink of red light on the symbol for fire, and a single blink on the symbol for holy magic, No arrow appears.
>>502568 Maddie follows you this time. "Hey, you don't know where you're going." You move down the halls, annoying identical aside from markings on the ends and the doors, they seems a little more crowded than before, but the faces are mostly happy.
>>502609 The pony flips a few pages and nods, "Yes, I'll see if she's up to have visitors, you can follow me." She goes down the hall and knocks once on a door before entering and speaking softly with someone inside. The nurse pony then nods to you both. "She actually wants to see you."
>>502619 "Friends, right of course." the nurse says as she walks away. You see the jenny sitting up, she waves as you enter, she seems to be healing up quickly. "Oh, so you and your friend are here together now?" She says. Maddie smirks "Yea, of course."
>>502646 "Somewhere else." Jasmine smirks at you and takes you down some stairs past a few more ordinary looking ponies, you can smell some the scent of food on the air "But, you can always get a warm meal, with the weird hours we have here, somepony would always be hungry." The stairs open up to a room with tables, several ponies are sitting together eating and chatting. Jasmine walks over to the counter greeting the brownish unicorn mare with a smile. "Evening Ginger, what have you got for us tonight?' "For you JJ, I've got a carrot cake with extra icing." "Nah, we need some real food." "Alright, I've got plenty of salad, or a nice carrot and dandelion soup if your friends are feeling cold." Jasmine looks at you "Well, what are you in the mood for?"
>>502680 Jasmine tilts her head at you. "I never think of it that way you know, its just eating with co-workers to me." "Salad should be fine then, and I'll take that cake on the side, I hope there is enough for three.." "I knew you would say that JJ." the unicorn mare steps to the side and serves up a tray with three bowls of salad and three slices of carrot cake on it, a small bottle of salad dressing is on the tray. "What do you want to drink?" "Just water for me." Jasmine says.
>>502701 Maddie nods. "Water is fine." "Three waters then, you feeling well enough to carry this?" The unicorn asks as she sets the waters on the tray. "Please I can manage a tray." "Just let me. I won't see you dropping that nice salad on the ground."
Jasmine nods to you. "I think I understand what you're saying."
>>502737 The unicorn mare levitate your meal to a table for you and the three of you sit down together comfortably. "What's there to say? I do my job, I'm told I do I did well, but there is always somepony better." Jasmine says as she eats.
>>502748 Its really nice, crunch salad leaves, the salad dressing makes it a bit sweet in a good way. The carrot cake is probably the best you've had since that one bakery in Pona-cola town. Jasmine smiles softly "Well, I'm pretty good at fishing, impressed a gryphon once or twice with the size of cat fish I was able to reel in."
>>502766 Jasmine lets you help her up. Maddie narrows her eyes at this situation. "Yea.. I think I'll go ahead.. just to be sure there aren't any demons or anything outside.." and with that Madison leaves you and the Jenny alone. Jasmine sighs at that and smiles to you. "Shall we go then?"
>>502770 You lead Jasmine outside, both of you covered in puffy winter coats. The night is dark, overcast with clouds, the snow is freshly fallen, you now recall it was snowing earlier when you got here. "Guess there isn't much inspiration here either." She comments looking up at the skies.
>>502791 You do a wonderful job of covering up her mistakes, while making her voice actually the star of the song. You swear you can see the stars spinning around you, a low humming of birds complimenting your song perhaps. By the time you both finish Jasmine is grinning and giving you a calm yet happy stare.
>>502793 You probably just imagined them, this song is supposed to have birds as back up when preformed properly, usually a druid or shaman would be hired for this. You decide to let yourself shine a bit, and Jas looks surprised at your glowing body. "You always this bright, or was it something I said?" She smirks.
>>502799 Her eyes go wide in surprise at the sudden kiss, and she returns it gently with a slight blush. You shine even brighter, reflecting a bit of the moonlight from yourself, a soft bluish white glow, you can feel Jasmine's heart beat in excitement.
>>502800 Push deeper, wrapping my wings around her. Then roll over slightly, moving on top, and break the kiss, pulling back, staring into her eyes without a word, and with a confident smile on my face.
>>502801 With only your wings between her and the cloud you stand over her and searches your face and body language for motive. Finding no answers she continues to smile up at you, "Okay, that is a little impressive."
>>502818 She chuckles back poking you in the side and speaking softly "At least Crispy would be in a good mood, but we could always pop over to the gryphon town, Eagle's Rock, the inn there isn't bad."
>>502830 You really don't care it seems. You fall asleep next to the jenny called Jasmine jewels, you hear some hoof steps wander into the room sometime after you are both settled in and move into the other bed, but you don't really care about that either. Maybe you will care in the morning, maybe not. #pause
>>502939 You have a nice enough dream. Walking in the snowfall, looking up at a full moon, you see a few owls pass over you. Suddenly you walk into grass, bright green grass, you look up and there is a field of flowers before you, the sunlight dripping into the area like honey, butterflies and birds peacefully flying around. You think you can make out somepony in the middle of this, but its a bit difficult, they are as green as the very grass. You notice a large tree with the image of a wolf craved into it. After this you wake up feeling curious but refreshed.
>>502967 Nod slowly. "Be careful with what you let slip off those lips of yours. We are not amongst friends." Bring two cups of coffee back to the other room, setting one near Jasmine, and sitting beside her with a smile.
>>503017 "Short term goals are the best kind of goals." Finish cleaning her '1d10' and then turn my back, waiting for her to help. "Believe it or not, it's been long since I've had anything like… This."
>>503060 She smiles back. "Should be to problem for you then." Jasmine looks back at the clock and then leaves after you turning toward the infirmary. "I should let the doctors do their job I suppose."
>>503076 She chuckles at you and turns into the door. She is greeted by a pegasus mare with a scowl on her face. "Jasmine Jewels. I believe you were told to stay here." "I tried, but my legs were restless!" The pegasus mare rolls her eyes. "Lets check you over, I want to see just how much your legs agree with you running around." "Fine.." Jasmine follows them #pause Next time Another way to die
>>503081 >>503082 The doctor glares at you as you try to leave without a word. "Steal another of my patients and you'll be staying here overnight." She warns you before taking Jasmine further away, you can hear a door shut just a little too firmly and a muffled "What were you thinking" as you turn to leave.
>>503138 Maddie follows you outside, there is even more snow right now, the trees are heavy with it. The smell of the freshly fallen snow is kind of pleasant, familiar, like home.. "Nothing important." Tsk, She has that touch of upsetness in her tone.
>>503148 Maddie scoffs. "All this time you don't sleep with anypony, then she comes along and you can't wait to get in bed with her. I don't get it." You listen to the area around you, you can hear a single steady heartbeat staying about 20ft from you. Also you and maddie both have a small listening device on you, small as a tick, behind your ears.
>>503164 You keep walking until you see the old cliffs of Stormheart, Maddie frowns at them, they look a bit intimidating. You can see one of Morrigan's shadows lurking nearby you now, it offers Maddie the golem wings back.
>>503166 "Yes. There are a few fliers to watch out for on your way over there, they have sharp eyes. The actual building has about 25 guards on it, and is three stories tall, I would guess that anyone important is up top." Maddie silently straps on the wings and looks ahead.
>>503168 You can see it from here, its a tall building on a cliff, surrounded by a fence, There are windows, but they are covered in bars. The surest way in is the door, and guards roam the area outside. two teams of three fliers swoop by at regular intervals.
>>503172 there are 7 guards on foot outside, they vigilantly look around themselves for any signs of danger, carefully watching their steps as if afraid of falling into a pit. You crawl close to the tall gate which wraps around the building, you could risk flying above it or opening it.
>>503175 The two closest are a unicorn healer and an earth pony fighter. 5/5 unicorn cleric 6/6 earth pony paladin
The three to the left are a unicorn dark artist, a diamond dog ranged attacker, and a unicorn wearing bulky armor. Unicorn dark artist: 5/5 Diamond Dog ranger: 5/5 Unicorn knight: 10/5
The three to the right are: a blue unicorn caster with yellow eyes, she seems to be teleporting more than walking, an earth with a set of guns, and a diamond dog with a heavy set of armor and a hammer. Blue Unicorn caster: 5/5 Earth pony Ranger: 6/6 Diamond Dog paladin: 8/5
You note certain areas where the guards ovoid walking. The closest guards seem particularly uneasy as they walk.
>>503179 You try to shake off the snow and make it over the fence but wind up hoovering mid air and the unicorn cleric fires a bolt of magic at you knocking you down and altering the others of your presence. "STOP!" The Earth pony paladin shouts at you. Pumpkin 0/4
>>503182 You stand up and sharpen your blades, the earth pony slowly approaches you looking through the gate at you. Two of the other guards have joined his group, the ranged Diamond dog, and the teleporting blue unicorn. "Last chance to turn back." The earth pony speaks to you.
Diamond Dog ranger: 5/5 Blue Unicorn caster: 5/5 5/5 unicorn cleric 6/6 earth pony paladin
>>503184 In the blink of an eye you fly up past the gate and land behind the cleric stabbing your blade swiftly into his back you watch him fall down. The caster and the ranger both fire at you and the earth pony charges at you with his hammer.
5/5 Diamond Dog ranger: 5/5 Blue Unicorn caster: 0/4 unicorn cleric 6/6 earth pony paladin
>>503186 Like leading a charging buffalo you put him exactly where you want him, doing a swift flip at the last moment makes him your shield against the projectiles and allows you to make two long cuts on his back he falls to the snowy ground with a thud and scowls up at you. The Diamond dog motions for the others to keep looking around. '1d10'
5/5 Diamond Dog ranger: 5/5 Blue Unicorn caster: 0/4 unicorn cleric 0/5 earth pony paladin
>>503189 You quickly stab clean into his heart, the blood stains the snow red around him as he goes limp. The unicorn and diamond dog look angry at you, the unicorn seems to be prepping for a big attack.
5/5 Diamond Dog ranger: 5/5 Blue Unicorn caster: 0/4 unicorn cleric 0/5 earth pony paladin
>>503191 You throw down a smoke pellet and flip to the side, lining up perfectly, and then sprinting towards them blades drawn, realizing that they have no time to stop the Diamond Dog give a signal to the other guards who send up a flare, and the blue unicorn's eyes grow wide in panic as you kill the cleric with a slice on the neck and then slice away her own right hoof before she can teleport away.
0/4 Diamond Dog ranger: 0/4 Blue Unicorn caster: -missing a hoof
>>503193 You finish off the diamond dog, with a thrust to his heart, and then turn to the blue unicorn who is attempting to crawl away from you notably trying to put one of those areas she was avoiding between you and her, bleeding profusely into the snow from her wound. "..I don't suppose we could talk about this?" 0/4 Blue Unicorn caster: -missing a hoof
>>503194 Confidently walk up to her, silently staring into her eyes. Swift, immovable, slice her horn clean off. "Now we can." And appraise her for hidden catalysts. Or MT if that's what is needed. '1d10'
>>503195 You slowly walk up to her following her same path instead of cutting across like she wanted you too. she bites her lip in pain as her horn falls onto the snow and stares up terrified at you. You look her over and snatch a small pendant, and a dagger off her, seeing nothing else dangerous you feel confident she can't get away from you.
>>503214 She gulps and looks around. "Okay, we put some marks like this." she dips her hoof in her blood and draws a little arrow with a swirl in it. "To tell each other about traps.. Is that good enough?"
>>503294 >>503291 You sneak up to the door and open it, only to hear a snap of a string being pulled and broken you fly back and there is a small explosion behind the door. You hear hooves move inside.
>>503320 You move quickly behind them and make deep cuts into their necks, The ponies fall down helplessly to you blades, and you feel your skin shining with pride. You doubt they can get back up without help. 3 ponies: HELPLESS Pumpkin: 5/4
>>503329 You crystal skin continuing to show encouragement, you kill them each in turn before they can do more than glance up at you. Their bodies lie still and the way is yours to explore for now, you can hear distant mumbling and moving around.
You move inside and see a small mark like the mare said on the floor board pointing toward the east door. The lights in here make it difficult for you to be sure, but you feel hidden. The wooden floor boards seem normal enough. You can still hear the echoing hoof steps from the left.
>>503376 You dodge to the side just as the floor opens up to a spike pit. Whew. At the door way stand four ponies with weapons drawn they glance at the sprung trap and shoot a glance in your direction. "You will go no further!"
>>503396 You throw down a smoke pellet and disappear, they group together in a diamond shape, flank-to-flank, back stabbing them will be a little harder this way. DC 7 Your paper slips out of your hooves and lands upside down. "Stay alert, he could be anywhere.."
>>503405 Thee of them begin to slip into the pit, but the fourth one grabs them in a remarkable effort, supporting all three by himself: one with TK, and one with each hoof. he tries to pull them back away from the spikes.
>>503426 This room is large and has two doors to the north as well as a set a stairs. You don't hear anything moving right now, but it looks as if this room is used to move things around and work on them, there are tables and a few carts here. You also notice another arrow with a swirl inside pointing toward one of the doors..
>>503435 Huh, strange you don't see any traps on this door.. You see a pair of ponies looking around this room, "You're sure the traps will get him?" "Fuck, they almost got me, of course they will get him.." "We should activate more defenses don't you think? The others have been gone too long.." You also see a few switches in this room.
>>503441 You activate your suit's shadow function and move silently toward the switches. There are four of them next to each other. "Man.. where are those guys.." "I don't want to go look.." "..okay, just a few more minutes and then we can call in the elemental.." "..yea, I hope the prisoners don't die this time, that one unicorn is supposed be important.." "We'd catch hell for that its true, golems instead then?" "Yea, Golems instead."
>>503446 You sneak above the earth pony and come down hard on him with your blade, his body crushing under you, he falls helpless from the pain and your weight. The other pony is a pegasus who flare out his wings in surprise and draws a gun at you. You can see a an iron pendant in the shape of a summoning rune on his neck as well.
>>503448 >>503449 You don't even bother with a smoke pellet you just flip behind him and bring your swords down on him, you slice through both of his wings at once to cut deep into his sides, not even flinching as he collapses you emerge on the other side of him and flick his blood off your blades. +1 for CE Earth pony: 0/5 melee, ranged pegasus pony: 0/3 ranged. casting
>>503465 You stab the pegasus' heart before he can protest and watch as his body goes limp. A quick clean kill, just like you were trained to do, and using that training on ponies that deserve it feels right. +1 CE
>>503467 You locate a loose floor board where the switches are, carefully examining it and lifting very gingerly to get a better look.. You can see that it pulls back and some kind of black tile is under it, you can see the edge of a rune on it. +1 CE
>>503475 You stare at the orb, drawing closer to it, examining it. Its a truly beautiful object, a pure kind of blue matched only by the clear winter skies, it sparkles a bit as if a spark of sunshine were trapped inside. You feel drawn to it, you hoof begins to move on its own toward the glistening orb.. roll
>>503479 Its a well made trap that draws the victim in with the lure of the pretty orb and then freezes them in place, you can disarm it by opening up the statue and removing the power source crystals or destroying the active runes. Otherwise, ovoid direct eye contact with the orb and you won't be drawn in.
>>503481 You cut open the diamond dog statue by slicing into its side, leaving it stable enough that the orb is still balanced in the statue's paws while you can see inside to the runic pattern and the small crystals storing the energy needed for the spell. +1
>>503483 Man this runework is hard to read.. what is this fucking Prench runes? Ugh.. >>503484 Oh, duh, this is the Old Pomanian style of rune work, you read this in a circular pattern like so and.. Yea, you can totally copy this, but it won't work without a power source and an object to channel the spell throu.
>>503488 You cautiously move down the hallway, hoovering gently and peak around the corner cautiously. This room is dimly lit has a table with a pair of chairs at it, there is a locked cabinet against the western wall, and the eastern wall has three iron-bar cells which contain a single prisoner each, but there is room for more than that. The first one you notice is the source of the tapping, an orange unicorn stallion is tapping on the ground with his left hoof at a regular pace, his irises are white, his right hoof is shackled to the floor and he has a sort of ring attached to his horn. The cell next to him has a tired looking gryphon, grey and white with blue eyes, he sighs "I'm pretty sure they are dead, that tapping won't help." He says toward to unicorn. "Just let him go, its not like you have any ideas." the blue earth pony mare in the next cell replies and covers herself with a blanket.
>>503513 The earth pony rolls over and looks at you with a raised eyebrow. "..uh hello there." She looks a little hurt, a few bandage on her left back leg. She doesn't have any weapons on her, or much of anything really, but she seems like she could use a sword. 6/3 The gryphon moves closer to the bars a small smile on his beak. "Oh, really?", he seems better off than the mare, but his wings are bruised. 5/4 The unicorn stops tapping and nods in your general direction. His eyes don't move toward you, as if he can't see you. You guess that he's some kind of caster, but he looks really frail right now, his breathing is a little heavy too. 5/2
>>503541 You disappear quietly into the shadows. The gryphon looks disappointed and lays back down, the earth pony mare looks annoyed, and the unicorn stallion just keeps staring ahead as if nothing changed.
>>503547 >>503548 You don't notice anything off, to the right there is another arrow with a swirl in it pointing toward a circle covered in runes. To the left is a small room with shelves full of regents: herbs, bones, a few vials of things, and a live snake in a glass box.
>>503568 >>503567 You walk through the storage area and into a small room you spot a single pony standing guard here, and some stairs, when go to step into the room you notice a small bit of string and a slight glow on the floor, this is a trap meant to set anyone on fire who passes into it.
>>503589 >>503590 >rolling before I tell you ~ You head back down the hall to investigate the other door, you note that while this doornob turns it doesn't open, as if it was blocked from the otherside, and you can hear voices from beyond the door.
>>503665 You sharpen your blades with practiced precision, and then slice the hinges off the door, as well as cutting it in half, as it falls down you can now see into the room, behind a table that is laid sideways there is a pile of stuff, just whatever was in the room it looks like.. and behind that, there are six ponies here, one of them looks to be a pegasus guard, he boldly stands in front of the other five ponies who seem terrified.
>>503669 You toss a smoke pellet down and disappear, you quickly make your way to each one of the ponies, ensuring that they each meet your blade in turn, cutting their sides as you move to the other side of the room. Before you can turn back you hear them all fall on to the ground, gasping in pain. "But.. who are you?"
Pegasus guard: 0/4: melee, range(gun) white unicorn stallion: 0/4 caster Blue unicorn stallion, glowing left eye: 0/4 caster yellow pegasus mare: 0/4 caster white earth pony mare, orange mane, glowing right eye: 0/4 caster grey unicorn mare, dark mane, yellow eyes: 0/4 caster
>>503671 You finish off the blue unicorn with a clean stab to the heart. his eye continues to glow. "..but is it really just you?" A few of the others sigh, and seem to be trying to struggle to get back to their hooves.
Pegasus guard: 0/4: melee, range(gun) white unicorn stallion: 0/4 caster Blue unicorn stallion, glowing left eye: 0/4 caster yellow pegasus mare: 0/4 caster white earth pony mare, orange mane, glowing right eye: 0/4 caster grey unicorn mare, dark mane, yellow eyes: 0/4 caster
>>503678 The eyes persist to glow. The Blue unicorn has: a copy of We are The Children of Tartarus, a sliver key dangling around his neck, an eye patch, a cracked mirror, and a notebook. The white earth pony has: a copy of We are The Childern of Tartarus, a silver key dangling around her neck, an eye patch, a notebook, a blue crystal, and a talisman.
>>503680 You find that the other three casters also have sliver keys, but they do not have notebooks. Skimming the notebooks they seem to be detailing personal experiences with demonic blood, written like diaries they have dates and times of each experience, many of them are similar, the unicorn's progress a bit more rapid and violent. It is noted that gryphons are not as easily influenced.
>>503691 You hear a slow tumble, a clicking from with in the wall, and then the wall sinks down revealing the stairs, the bulky guards pony you saw before looks up at you with shock and draws a pole arm toward you. "Stop."
>>503728 His weapon explodes in his face and you take advantage of this momentary confusion to charge in an slice him with each of your blades. He huffs angrily as you send him to the ground again and with shear will power rises up, he is breathing much more heavily now and doesn't reply.
>>503731 You toss another smoke pellet in his face. "You're just taunting me now." He says as he tries to clear the air around him and stab into his side, making a long slice that tears open his leg. He falls down and doesn't get back up this time. "damn it…"
>>503740 He rolls to the side to ovoid you. "They always think they're right." He breathes heavily and closes his eyes, "they think they're smarter than everyone else.." with a last effort he rolls himself into the fire trap and is engulfed in flames. Roll.
>>503760 You looks away and from the top of the stairs, slowly backing off and see a translucent pony appear next to you and strike you with its hoof, it hurts a lot more than you would think. Pumpkin: 1/4
>>503868 You flip backwards and sharpen your blades against each other making sure you are ready to kill and look at the pony attacking you, its a more transparent version of a tan unicorn wearing a cultist rope.. This is a hastily formed doppelganger, which means that the caster can't be far away.
>>503875 You look around and don't see anyone, but you do see a bolt of magic being fired toward you, its just a little too fast to dodge and you fall helpless, a very real looking tan colored unicorn then choosing to emerge from his hiding place, staring you down from under the hood of his robe. "You will leave here in pieces."
>>503923 >>503922 You rush toward them and they both swing at you once you get in range. Predictable, foolish even, you easily dodge to the left and cut one hoof off each of them, they struggle with their axe's weight look at you with their gently pulsing eyes, you can see a network of glowing runes on the inside of their shell like bodies. Some magic seems to leak out. 2 golem ponies: 2/5
>>503931 yea, a paladin would be a good ally wouldn't they.. Using your pouch of infinite smoke pellets you blind the golems, and flip behind one, slicing off a section of its back, and throwing his balance off.. he lands on the ground magic seeping into the room. 1 golem pony: 2/5 1 golem pony: 0/4
>>503939 The golem sees you coming and tries to stop you with his axe, he can't put much power behind it with only one hoof to hold it up.. You take advantage of the opening after his strike to deal a slicing blow, cutting the rune off his chest and watching as he falls to the ground. His eyes show some kind of recognition at the fallen piece of his chest and he pushes it away from himself.
>>503950 You move quietly away from the fallen golems, The shadows hiding you, your hoofsteps muffled, and your breath as quiet as a whispering wind. You turn the corner and see that the hall keeps going north and to the right there is a path. Down the right path you see a strange plant, its green leaves glowing a dull blue color.
>>504651 You turn the key into the slot and the door before you opens slowly, the sound of tiles flipping and setting into place. Behind the door is what looks like a library, shelves full of books line the walls and create three rows, you can hear someone moving around in here, mumbling to themselves. "..witch weed.. poison joke.. snow.."
>>504662 You see a yellow pegasus stallion, his eyes are an unnatural red, and shaped a bit like a bird's eyes. His mane is white, and his chest and back area are covered with some kind of dark.. skin? It resembles cooled off lava.
>>504667 You can tell a few things right away: He's wearing a catalyst pendant, a sliver bird with a blue gem in the center, his eyes dart around as he picks up a few more books, perhaps he is aware of certain certain sneaky things, less sneaky than you of course, you who cleverly lurk a top the shelves. He probably uses a lot of ice magic, he has a bracelet on his left ankle, and his right back hoof has a demonic symbol on it.. and that.. odd shell he has will make it hard to get at his vitals, but maybe you can pry it off somehow. He matches the description for Eston perfectly. He twitches a bit, and then throws the whole stack of books onto the floor, grumbling angerily at them before turning toward the wall and shakily hoovering to a small yellow gem at the top of the wall.
>>504670 You carefully try to rig the shelves, but find yourself too distracted by Eston, who opens up a secret passage in the wall just big enough for a pegasus to fly into. "Fire ferns, the key must be fire ferns.." he says as he slips into the opening.
>>504672 You follow him quickly down the tunnel and emerge into an actual room, there is a summoning circle on the floor, a sofa against the wall, a table full of various objects, potion vials, and a small burner, a bed with the sheets tossed onto the floor, and another of those odd fern plants like in the hallway.
>>504674 It is complete, and old, as if placed here at least a year ago. You float over to it and place an explosive rune inside the circle, next to another of the runes, you try to match the color as best you can, but it still stands out as new. Eston twitches and hoovers over his table examining the various vials of things, eventually he picks one up looking it over and mixes it with another. "yes, just be quiet a moment.. a moment of rest.. no.. I know what we need, but Merdith is not here, we must do it ourselves." he turns on the burner and begins to heat the mixture.
>>504676 You sharpen your blades against each other and drop down from above, but Eston swivels to the side. "YOU! You must be the one who ruined all my traps!" He says with his red eyes glaring at you.
>>504678 "My ponies.. yes, you must he seen them.. Probably dead.. but.. I can bring them back! The good ones like Merdith, and Hanset.. Once I deal with you.." You cut at the bracelet, weakening it enough that another hit will take it off, the strike also hits his hoof.
>>504680 He twitches even more attempting to aim a bluish ball of magical energy at you but missing as you move and circle behind him, cutting into his right leg directly through the demonic rune peeling off part of the skin, black blood drips to the floor. "ugh, that hurts!" Eston says as his spell hits nothing but his wall, and he looks back at the mixture on the burner.
>>504682 "What about side effects of ice?" His body pluses and a blue wave knocks into you, you feel cold, in your bones, as if you are moving slower now. Before this can take full effect you slice off the bracelet leaving a small cut on his hoof.
2 is also a crit fail for the next 1 turn for the next '1d3' turns only nat 10 crits or stealth crits are crits
>>504684 You try to slice the blackened chest area off, Eston looking horrified as you try this, he back away, and you leave him with a cut, red ooze slowly drips from the strange chest armor. "Don't touch that!" His tone between a whisper and a hiss, something deep about it.
>>504686 The explosion causing him to duck behind the table, and cover his eyes with his wings he looks a little sad as his circle falls apart.. The floor there breaks and crumbles into the floor below, you hear a soft scream of surprise from the newly formed hole. Eston never sees you move to the other side of him and place an explosive rune on his darkened chest plate. "You don't understand what you're doing!" He cries out at you. "What you're undoing!"
>>504690 >>504689 You can't tell much about it, except that where you cut.. the red ooze leaking out seems almost.. alive.. You feel Eston tackle you down to the ground, his red eyes looking insane at you. "You won't separate us. I won't let you."
>>504692 You slip away and trigger the explosion before he can even blink, he screams in pain and falls to the ground on fire, the blacked shell now a mound of red ooze that seems more inhibiting than anything, sticking to his hooves and wings in a tangled mess, but at least that ooze seems to have put out most of the fire, only a few feathers and tuffs of fur remain in flames.
>>504694 "…no.. not now.." The ooze slows your blade down but you power through it and stab into his heart a gentle beating sound echos through the ooze as you feel the pony's heart stop, black blood leaking into the red ooze.
>>504696 Inspecting the body you see the ooze is soaking up the blackened blood, the bird shaped necklace with the blue gem shines at you, and he has a book on alchemy on him. Looking around the room you see the alchemical nature of the objects on the table, the plant in the corner still pluses gently, the hole where the summoning circle was leads down to where the prisoners are. The bed sheets on the floor, and the slightly burnt bed frame seems ordinary enough, a few boxes are stored under here. The sofa has fallen completely through the hole.
>>504699 >>504698 The boxes are sealed with a magical spell, there are three total, each about a foot long. You flutter down the hole and look at the prisoners, seems like you didn't hurt them with the mess but they are backed away as far as possible from the wreckage. "Yea, just fine.." The mare says staring at you. The gryphon is passed out in his cell, and the unicorn tilts his head at you. "He's dead right?"
>>504701 >>504702 The earth pony mare walks out of her cell to stand next to you, as you whistle to try and wake the gryphon. You open the Unicorn's cell and he gently tugs on the shackle on his hoof and looks in your direction expectantly. You note that the ring is still locked on his horn. "Its probably no use, cat-bird has been asleep ever since you left. The explosion didn't do anything to stir him." The mare explains.
>>504709 You pick the locks on the shackles and remove the ring from the unicorn's horn. The orange unicorn smiles and his body glows yellow a moment, he comes closer to you. "He's not a demon, its okay." the unicorn whispers to you. You look the gryphon over, he shakes slightly, and coughs a bit. He is reacting as if he was poisoned by something. 5/3 "Hey.. Glenn.. wake up!" The blue mare tries. The gryphon reacts to her, opening his eyes. "Yea, that's it big guy, try to get up." The gryphon stands up slowly and looks at you. "I knew you'd come back."
>>504713 You can counter this with a mixture of Black Carapone, Mint DiamondWeed, and Safforic Leaves, boiled for 6 minutes or until a pale blue color. "Demons, it was always about the demons, wanting to know how to enhance gryphons with demon blood or something." The gryphons says bitterly.
>>504721 "Alright." She nods to you, Glenn leans on her shoulder as she reads, and the unicorn absently presses the room with yellowish magic. Eston had a lab set up, yes. You go back to his room, his dead body still on the floor near the table, the ooze darkened black by his blood, and find the substance he was heating is completely burnt now.
>>504723 You toss the old mixture away and take your time to clean out the tools, you mix up your own potion and wait for it to brew, …6 minutes later you have a vial with a pale blue substance inside.
>>504727 You mix another batch and wait for it to change to that pale blue color, it looks deeper and richer than last time, and you can smell the Mint diamondweed this time, this should help a lot more.
>>504729 You return to the gryphon and hoof over to potion to him, he looks at it a moment before drinking it. He coughs a bit and falls to his knees but then seems to get some color back as the blue mare helps him stand back up. "I feel a little better now." Glenn says. "Yea, you're going to be fine now big guy." V.V. encourages him. The unicorn stays quiet.
>>504731 "Nothing useful, this seems like its all about the ponies. They mention Ongoing fustrations with trying to spread the corruption to gryphons several times, and.." She frowns and flips the pages. "There is one entry from 2 weeks ago: finally a success with the gryphon, strength was amplified, fatigue still an issue. " she reads aloud.
>>504737 You continue past the plant, and spot a runic circle that matches the one on the floor below, there is an arrow with a swirl pointing at it. There are two doors here, one you believe would lead to the library, and another you aren't sure about.
>>504739 You find the lock on this door has been broken and it pushes open easily. Inside you see the a few tables and chairs, the wall looks like it has fold-down beds, You notice about six pegasi on the ground with small throwing knives lodged into them, in the heart of one of them you see a dagger with a fan-like hilt, you look up at the ceiling and see a familiar yellow mare upside down with goo on her hooves, she is attempting to remove the gunk with a knife and not seeing much success, but one of her hooves is not attached to the ceiling at least. She looks over at you and seems to sigh.
>>504748 "Ew." She says as she follows you. You carefully step to the right of a subtly placed trap, there is another plant here in the corner, and a few benches on the side, a shelf above each one with a small statue, and the center of the room is totally and completely empty. made of smooth black stone.
>>504750 You and maddie head back to the three prisoners. Glenn looks a little warily at you, Veil greets you with a simple nod, and the unicorn doesn't acknowledge you, staring off into the distance with his white irises.
>>504754 The unicorn sighs and follows behind. "Anywhere would be preferable Blade Master.." He adds the last part in Norse. Glenn: "Well, as long as they don't separate us." V. Veil "It will probably be for the best, at least to get looked over." Maddie: "I don't think they can fly."
>>504756 No, just some random orange unicorn, he's even blind, so its not like he recognized your appearance, maybe your voice? They nod. Maddie looks them over once more and also nods. "Okay, lets got then, its a long walk."
>>504758 "I am Tiresias, I am supposed to help you.. You who will secure the keys. The Northlander. This will be difficult if Evergrasp keeps me in his hide out.." He whispers in a hushed tone, switching over to norse just to be sure.
>>504778 The unicorn smiles slightly. "Long ago, before time was charted, and ponies were a new creature, The Seven Great Elementals roamed the lands, using their powers to influence the world, and keeping in balance with each other. All the creatures adored the Great Elementals and sought them out for advice, aid, or company, all except the Elemental of Death. The Death Elemental was lonely, and only had one creature as its friend, a gray fox called Lilith, and they spent many years together speaking of many things. The creatures of the world grew stranger and more powerful as time went on, some of them blessed with powerful magic from the other elementals. One day, Lilith complained to Death about how she could eat nothing but scraps and that the other creatures were cruel to her because she did not have any magic. Lilith pleaded to the Elemental of Death, to grant her some kind of magic, her long tail swishing and her ears bent back to make her eyes seem larger, Death took pity on her and called to meeting the other elementals. "We must help the Gray foxes, they can no longer hunt in this world without magic" Death declared. The Elementals of Life and Earth replied with scorn "The gray foxes have been fine all this time, there is no need to do this, and it would throw off the balance of the world." "This creature is taking advantage of you Death, it has no need of such powers." The others seemed not so eager to go against Life and Earth.. However the ever curious Arcane Elemental replied "I will help you Death, together we shall bless your Gray fox with an all new magic, that will surely protect them." For you see, when two elementals work together, they can create something that normally would not exist, Earth and Ice together made the northern lands we now trot under.." Tiresias pauses to take a breath. "Death sighed and looked to the group "Any who wish to help me, Acrane and I will bestow a gift of power to the gray fox at the next high moon." And so at the next high moon, Lilith sat with the Arcane and Death elementals, and to their great surprise Earth and Life came as well. "We will lend some of our power to your cause Death. Surely this creature that means so much to you deserves our attention." "Thank you Cousins." Death replied with a smile on his voice. And so the four of them combined their efforts and gave Lilith a new kind of magic. Or so it appeared. Life and Earth were concerned about the kind of results this new magic would have, and what they really did was to insert a weakness into Lilith's new power, a weakness that would be needed all too soon.. As Lilith used her new energy to ravage the world and take what she wanted, she found she was able to infect other creatures, twisting their desires to her own, and making them more like her. By the time that Death saw her again, Lilith was a fox no more, but a demon, and she had changed a thousand creatures to be like her. Death pleaded for her to stop this madness, and Lilith refused, leaving no choice for the elementals but to fight her and all the other demons, and create an isolated space for them. The seven elementals each played a part: Earth and Fire formed the new world for the demons, Arcane took it upon himself to maintain the portal to the new world, Life lead the fight against the demons, followed by Ice, and Lighting, and then Fire and Earth once they had completed the new world. Many who were blessed by the Elementals, directly or indirectly, also fought in this great battle."
>>504779 "The tide was so greatly against the demons, that they were forced into the portal, Lilith being the origin was the most powerful and the last to be pushed into the portal. At this moment The Seven Great Elementals combined their powers, in what they had agreed would be their last act in the world.. for their interference had caused this mess, more interference must be avoided.. They sealed the portal forever, leaving nothing behind but a small chunk of themselves, which was then scattered to the winds so that none could abuse their powers again. But, even in that final moment, Death pitied Lilith and left a small crack in his magic that could lead to her, so that in someway, Death would still be connected to his old friend Lilith. Others would come to know about this crack, this path, and would use it to contact demons, the place they were banished to, became known as Tartarus."
"That is what the keys are, They seal away the most powerful and ancient demons."
>>504786 "They were supposed to stay dormant forever, hidden away as nothing more than old relics or good luck charms, some guarded by those descended from the armies that pushed back the demons in the olden times. But, time wears on the memory, and few even know more than the barest of facts about the legend. Shrines once put in place to honor the Elementals and safegaurd their essence, now lie in ruins and the keys stolen like common loot."
"But, this time is important, 500 years ago, a great deal of magic was gathered, an empire created that could influence lands beyond its borders with its very emotions.. and this empire wanted power.. It needed power to survive, this pure desire awakened the keys, because they are power, and the elementals themselves were power, made to grant power to those who needed it. The sudden silence of that call came too late, and the keys were already seeking to fulfill their purpose. It has taken these five hundred for anypony to realize what they had, for the legend was all but lost. "
>>504800 "That is more correct than you may realize Lord Swansong. The key you must secure next is the key of Life, for it has strayed close to the Sun Princess and should she notice it, she will not give it up easily."
>>504823 After hearing your explanation Kilana nods. "Tiresias.. You are welcome here, would you like an undead to help escort your around? I could assign you one." "That would be helpful Lady Kilana." "Of course."
>>504859 You hug her with perfect placement, and emit a gentle warmth from your crystal body, Kilana giggles softly back "Better not. I can only revive you about a hundred more times after all." She comments as she releases you.
>>504869 Maddie silently returns them to you, and nods. V. sighs "Right, are we close now? I'd really like to see Glenn lie down to rest.." "I'm alright, really.. You're the one with the bad leg" Glenn says. "I can walk just fine." Maddie rolls her eyes at the conversation, apparently they have been going on like this for a while.
>>504874 You lead them to the mountain where the secret base is, and feel the wind blowing, night has fallen yet again, the moon is a little fuller than last night, a few clouds dot the skies, and you feel as if you're being watched.
>>504883 A pair of stallions in stealth suits drop down seemingly out of nowhere, Veil and Glenn look a little intimidated by this. "Your friends are hurt. So are you." One of them says. The other produces a pair of blindfolds "For your friends." He gives you a flat expression that sort of asks do I really have to explain why
>>504889 "They aren't bad." With the blindfolds secure on the former prisoners the stallions nod to you and help escort your group inside, turning down the brightened halls to guide the four of you to the infirmary before removing the blindfolds and taking their leave. Quickly a group of four ponies in nurse uniforms come to your sides, a unicorn stallion, a unicorn mare, a pegasus stallion, and lastly the pegasus mare from last night that scolded jasmine. The unicorn mare smiles sweetly, approaching Victory Veil, "I'm Heartful Hooves, please let me look you over Miss." The pegasus nods toward the gryphon. "Lets see what we can do for you, alright?" The unicorn stallion looks between you and maddie and then to the pegasus mare who has a small smirk. "So, you found your way here on your own, huh?" She says to you teasingly.
Glenn shys away from the doctors. "I'd rather not.. be alone.." "Come on big guy, its not so bad." V. nudges him. "Probably the best help around. And I'll be right around the corner."
>>504932 As Glenn and Victory are lead away down the hall you are left with the unicorn stallion and pegasus mare.
"Nurse Ethan Pom, Please examine this stallion for head trauma, I think he may be suffering sort-term memory loss." She says continuing her smirk. The unicorn raises a brow at her as if trying to see if she's serious "…" which causes the mare to sigh a little at him. "They don't look too bad, just do a basic healing and check up. " "Yea, of course. I'll start with you then." He says to Maddie and guides her to the hall full of small beds surrounded by curtains, apparently that's the light care section, he guides her to an empty bed and closes the curtain around them.
>>505178 The pegasus mare tilts her head at you and guides you to a bed with a curtain as well. "Where does it hurt?" She says as she puts a hoof over your vial organs pressing gently. You feel a stinging pain as she touches your left side, just about where your kidney is.
>>505192 >>505193 "Tsk. I thought you'd be more careful, seems like you really do want to stay here overnight." She lays you down and heals each of the spots you indicated, wrapping some of them with bandages that feel very nice, as if they are numbing the pain. It takes '1d3' hours in total and she seems a little tired afterward. "Stay here a moment." She says firmly.
>>505201 Its a white liquid, that strong smell, its definitely an antibiotic, with a touch of cleansing magic to combat any demonic or dark magic you may have encountered. If you were a weaker pony it would also make you fall asleep for about 2 hours, but you have a high tolerance. what you think she was trying to poison you?
>>505207 "Some things never change." She smiles softly at you and takes the empty bottle from your hooves. "You can leave when you feel up to it." As your doctor turns to leave Madison pokes her head behind your curtain "Hey, feeling better pretty boy?"
>>505248 "Of course I'm fine, It wasn't even that deep of a cut. " She smiles and brings a tray with soup and a glass of wine to set down next to you. "So.. I heard you haven't eaten yet?" She comes close to your side.
>>505328 "Yea, I kind of get you being like 500 or something.. you wouldn't be interested in anypony since you've seen them all.. but then we come here, and you meet her.. I can't figure out why you like her."
>>505361 She smiles proudly as she leaves. "I'll come find you in the morning." You rest very well, hospital beds are always firm, the pure white sheets have that fresh new feeling, and the snug corners make it easy to relax. Morning comes you can hear the sounds of ponies moving around, you can smell pancakes and coffee from down the hall, and you hear the voice of a certain jenny nearby.
>>505369 You sneak quietly toward the sweet scent of pancakes, following it down the stairs to the cafeteria where a short line has been formed, ponies and a gryphon or two all gathered around tables eating and talking, the soft roar of the crowd comforting in a way.
>>505373 You sneak past the other ponies, some of them seeming to vanish from the doctor's sides leaving the med staff annoyed. You see Jasmine in one of the rooms talking to a pale blue mare. "Yea, It was great to see again, try to make it home alright?" "Don't worry J.J. I'll be fine." The blue mare smiles as she disappears.
>>505380 She smiles and takes a bite of the pancakes. "Hmm, that flavor.. Wheat Seed must have made these." She comments with a smile. "So, you made it back in one piece." poking gently at your bandages. "Or mostly anyway."
>>505381 "I can sleep this stuff off. Replacing legs, that's a pain, let me tell you!" Nod towards a table and go sit down. "And you?" How does she look? Has she slept enough, does she have fresh cuts.. All that stuff. '1d10' Appraise.
>>505383 You guide her over to a table and sit down with her, she looks a little a tired, and is leaning just barely to her left instead of keeping a balanced pose. "I'm fine, nothing a little rest won't cure."
>>505433 You find his office easily and knock on the door hearing a subtle cough from behind you. You turn around to see a white unicorn with a blue mane, he is wearing a dark blue suit and tie. "Mr. Evergrasp is a little busy right now, perhaps I can assist you?"
>>505435 He seems to be a capable fighter, you discern that he has no less than 14 hidden blades on him, as well as a gun and a pouch of smoke pellets. 15/10 "No, I don't think that I will be doing that just now." You can't hear anything from behind the door.
>>505443 you jump backward letting go of the door before it can electrocute you. The stallion is still staring at you, and you hear a [pomf] of teleportation from behind the door before it slides open to reveal the familiar tan unicorn, Crisp Evergrasp. "You can go Trent." Crisp says to the stallion who nods and leaves.
>>505447 Crisp Evergrasp: Apparent leader of the Celestia Intelligence Agency, You aren't sure if his qualifications are purely in his orderly nature and high efficiency at managing ponies, and how much of it was earned through skill. "I don't like ponies in my office without me here." He says plainly. "I assume this is urgent, or you would not have attempted to break in."
>>505450 Ponder over the map for a moment. "You should send your ponies here, here and here." Point out on the map the few exits from the harsh cold valleys of Stormheart, Timberjaw and Rockeye. "I will take care of the Mage Academy. And then, if none slip through, they will either be dead or holed up in northscrown."
>>505457 "I think you two are a better match than us two." He says a bit absently as he looks into the distance past you. "But you do need my help, I already helped you on this once, giving anymore is not in my favor."
>>505466 "Start with assuming the worst. If nothing you will have overplanned. Still worth it." Stand up. "Now, I should leave. Whatever your decision is, I will make sure to complete the mission." Leave and go to Madison.
>>505576 No pony you can see, but they could be hiding.. At first you don't see anything, then you go closer and you see a curious thing.. The tan unicorn known as Crisp emerges from the shadows, using telekenesis to pluck a listening device off you and Maddie and crush them before you. He then presents you with a small box and Maddie with a slightly larger box.
>>505580 "Officially nothing." He opens it for you. Its two crystals, one decorated with an eye, and one decorated with a phoenix. He magically lifts up the one with the eye. "Talk to me." Then he magically lifts up the one with the phoenix "Talk to Tome." Then sets them both down in the box and again. "They only work when both sides are holding theirs, and will get warm when the other party picks theirs up." "Maddison's is just a suit." He adds and waits for you to accept the box.
>>505582 You pocket the box, Maddie smiles slightly and opens her box holding up the stealth suit, before trying it on, it seems effective enough, she looks almost professional in it. Crisp nods at you both and turns to leave. "I'll do what I can for you."
>>505584 You move toward rockeye, the snow getting less and less as you move further south, the land changing to hills. The old academy stands intact, mostly, and the spot with the x isn't too far from that.
>>505594 You sneak behind the of group casters, hiding near the building while rubbing your blades against each other. They seems a little cold despite their fluffy hooded robes with the runes embroidered on the trimming. By now you can identify their rankings, these guys are all pretty low ranking except for one, a green earth pony stallion with a strange blue tattoo on his face. Madison sneaks behind one of the healers you indicated and attempts to stab him. '1d10'
>>505598 With a darting glaring and a swift strike from above, you bring your blades down on the guard making him drop his weapon as he falls down in into the snow. Not wasting any time Maddie goes for the healer again.
>>505604 >>505605 She doesn't see your smirk, because of your mask, you quickly fly from one end of the area to the other, cutting each of the healers once. maddie tries the goblin sword on one of them.
>>505608 You dive past the barrage of spells to get to the casters, knocking them all to the ground with a sweeping slash of your blades, their legs seem heavily injured. The guards turn towards you shouting something, but its as if they are speaking in slow motion.
>>505611 "Right." She replies smoothly as she rolls over and gets back to her hooves. The You go for the healer but nearby guard draw a gun and shoots you with a blast of a hot fiery ball. Its a bit bigger than you expected and you get knocked down from the blast. The healer seems scared at your statement but goes to go help the fallen mages.
Maddie: 6/5 Pumpkin: 0/4
1 healer: 5/2 4 dark artists: 0/3 4 guards melee and ranged: 5/5 1 undead dog: 7/1
>>505615 You get back to your hooves, all four of the guards are aiming weapons at you, one of them charging in to attack you with a sword. Over where the casters are you see the healer manage to help one of the fallen dark artists while maddie scurries around the undead mutt taking a bit of a bite from him before she can reach the cleric, and cut him, the cleric seems tired and falls down.
Maddie: 2/5 Pumpkin: 5/4
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 5/4 3 dark artists: 0/3 4 guards melee and ranged: 5/5 1 undead dog: 7/1
>>505621 Approaching the dark artist squarely, he attempts to lock eyes with you guessing a little to low about where your eyes actually are. He commands the undead to attack you and blasts you with his own bolt of magic, but this does not stop you and you leave a small cut on his chest. Maddie finishes off that guard but one of the others slices her with a sword and she falls down.
Maddie: 0/4 Pumpkin: 5/4
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 2/4 3 dark artists: 0/3 3 guards melee and ranged: 5/5 1 undead dog: 7/1
>>505624 The dark artist back away in horror as you completely smash his undead and then rush at him before he can even start to cast severing one of his legs off. Maddie gets away from the guards and back to her hooves.
Maddie: 6/4 Pumpkin: 5/4
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 3 guards melee and ranged: 5/5
>>505627 >>505626 You toss a smoke pellet toward the guards and jump into the air leaving the guards confused as you attack the same on that shot at you before pinning him down with the force of you blade. "He's over here!" you hear the guard say below you and you hear shots fire in your direction. You hear a blade slicing flesh from inside the smoke. Maddie: 6/4 Pumpkin: 5/4
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 1 guard: 0/4 1 guard: 3/5 1 guards melee and ranged: 5/5
>>505629 >>505630 With practiced precision you make the killing blow, a slice into the heart and beheading to be sure. Maddie is locked blade to blade with one of the guards when the other takes a cheap shot at her with an ice blast of magic.
Maddie: 4/4 Pumpkin: 5/4
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 1 guard: 3/5 1 guards melee and ranged: 5/5
>>505632 >>505633 You get a little emotional and move too slowly receiving a large blast of cold magic for your trouble. You fall down into the snow, and the guard maddie is struggling with cuts her slightly. Maddie: 2/4 Pumpkin: 0/3
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 1 guard: 3/5 1 guards melee and ranged: 5/5
>>505640 >>505641 "I doubt you would understand them, I've seen clouds that are quicker than you." He says as he shoots you again making you fall down in pain. Maddie focuses on the other one finally gaining the upper hoof and forcing him down.
Maddie: 6/3 Pumpkin: 0/2
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 1 guard -sword: 0/4 1 guard -gun: 5/5
>>505644 >>505643 You stand back up and stare down the smug bastard, "You think you can handle more? You look a little tired there buddy." Just then maddison slices at him with the goblin blade, electricity sparking from it, the guard collapses twitching as the electricity pluses through him. "finally" she whispers to the sword.
Maddie: 6/3 Pumpkin: 5/2
1 healer -sleep- : 0/1 1 dark artist: 0/3 -missing a leg 3 dark artists: 0/3 1 guard -sword: 0/4 1 guard -gun- paralyzed : 0/4
>>505646 Together you stab each of them in the heart, silencing their protests and futile efforts to survive, leaving only the healer alive, who seems to be waking up. "Yea, they were tougher than they looked." no #pause Everyone knows about it From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell
Here in the snow, outside of a small stone building, two assassins stand side by side, both seem youthful, in the prime of their lives even, one is a male pegasus, and one is female earth pony. The pegasus appears to be in charge, perhaps ironically calling the mare kid.. Here among the scattered dead bodies of their enemies, my allies, the pair rest a moment.. Most disturbing to me is that before I passed out, I heard them saying that they wanted me alive.. but for what purpose? There was a higher ranking member with us.. So probably not information.. I wonder if they noticed me I'm awake yet..
One the ground the red and green pegasus stallion healer has opened his eyes and is staring at you and Madison with a curious and slightly fearful expression.
>>506417 "…Okay.." He watches timidly as you carefully search him and take away anything that looks even a little dangerous, that little letter opener of a knife, that vial of unknown substance, that little notebook that he could maybe write in, and that very sharp edged crystal. You leave him with his catalyst, a small rat talisman.
>>506422 He nods slowly and shakily stands up reaching a hoof towards you, a soft light emits from him resonating from his talisman and bouncing toward you, the familiar feeling of healing magic washing over you, after several minutes of this, you feel stronger, its easier to breath, your burns and cuts begin to disappear.
>>506431 He looks hopelessly depressed at the idea and pushes his hoof against the snow. "..Oh.. I see.." He slowly looks up past you toward the skies letting his wings get pushed open slightly by the wind. He then brings his eyes back to you, and Madison who is at your side looking suspiciously at him. Glancing at the bodies and the building he gives a solemn nod. "Fair enough.."
>>506644 The hilly terrain here could make for a way to break up large groups, the scattered buildings would make decent hiding spots, of course, they might already be hiding there on their way south. And you can spot the outline of a castle in the distance.
>>506646 You scatter a few explosive runes onto the entrances to larger buildings you pass and make your way to the castle. This is where the bulk of the ponies seem to be gathering, there is dangerous looking mote, a draw bridge, roaming guards on the inside, a few pegasi floating by, and the castle itself is decently sized, two towers spiraling up on the north and south side.
>>506648 You hide against the wall and try to count the ponies, but before you can get a handle on even just the fliers, one of them swoops down near you to rest and spots you. "STOP RIGHT THERE!" He shouts at you and draws a weapon. Madison has caught up to you and remains unseen so far.
>>506657 >>506658 You stealthily fly in past the gate and pick one of the groups to follow, the seem to be going back and forth between the north or south tower. "Hey, careful, they are right above you." Maddie whispers.
>>506660 You roll forward toward a pile of snow just a little too slowly. The patrol descends around you surrounding you, they draw their weapons on you, two with swords and shields, two with pistols, and one appears to be getting read to cast a spell. "I don't suppose you want to come quietly?" The caster asks as he examines you. One of the melee guards scoffs at that. Maddie lurks nearby watching you.
>>507238 Vanishing into a powdery whirlwind you move between them all slicing with your twin blades and making them fall onto the ground in, they look around quickly trying to get a lock on you and find you hoovering above them.
>>507255 With a swift diving motion you bring your blades down on the caster. He closes his eyes at the last moment as you pierce his heart. Meanwhile, the two melee guards have made it to their hooves.
>>507260 name The melee fighters see you coming this time and do their best to block you, but your blades are a bit stronger then their defenses and you break through cutting through their armor and leaving a decent wound on both of them as they fall back down, the two ranged attackers have little chance to react before you are on them, slicing their necks. 2 melee pegasus : 0/??? 2 ranged pegasus: 0/?? 1 caster pegasus
>>507284 He dashes toward you while you are sharpening your blades, from the way he fights you guess that he has some training in stances, his movements are a bit different than the others, and you note his blood is a bit darker than theirs. He clips you on the side with one of his many fast attacks.
>>507291 he probably thinks the same about you Regardless you toss a smoke pellet down and move behind him cutting into his stomach with a strong and sure strike. He stumbles forward in pain and looks back at you.
>>507313 You watch him as you wipe your blades clean and seeing nothing you almost leave, you even step away, but then you notice a slow thumping of his heart, his body seems to be warming the area around him.
>>507360 >>507362 >>507359 "Alright." Maddie watches you attempt to take off effectively soaking her with water as you dry off your wings and groans softly flicking most of the water off her onto the ground before climbing up the tower, and scoffing as you then soar past her to arrive just inside the window first. There are 4 ranged fighters, 4 casters, and two melee, they seem to be resting.
>>507370 There are stairs, benches, a small table with snacks on it, The guards chat with each other. "So, are you going further south?" "Yea, Something's not right up here anymore, with ponies winding up dead like that." "You think its a… spy?!" one of the ranged attackers comments dramatically. "Well, if anyone is a spy its not you, moron."
>>507377 Abusing your wings you silently stick an explosive rune to the ceiling, then sneaking over to the two standing off to the side. Maddie circles around near the boxes "Yea, well at least I'm good with the mares, unlike you, who seriously tried that demon line" the room bursts into laughter. "Yea, it almost worked." "no, it really didn't."
>>507397 You sharpen your blades looking down on the pair of guards, a couple of them stand up and stretch moving about the room. "Yea, I'm going to head downstairs and see how the gate room guys are doing." "I'll go with you, its not safe to go alone." "I'm not alone, not really." "Bragging won't deter me." "Ha, alright then." A caster and a ranged attacker leave down the stairs.