/q/ - Quest


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File: 1407018840808.png (229.81 KB, 2500x2100, NotR.png, IO Google TinEye)

ID: dbb67 592918

Previously, on MAQ:

Feeling suspicious of this Cobalt character who took you in after what had to have been one heck of a nightmare, you listened through the door as he and some other pony discussed how well they could trust you.
Feeling something was up, you looked through the kitchen window on the side of the house.
And promptly spotted two Cobalts sitting at the table together.

After confronting Cobalt and his twin about it, they merged back into a single Cobalt and finalized the plans to interrupt Brynn's expected ritual.

With that out of the way, you went to the RGIA building to check in with Cherry. Only to be ambushed by Rarity and Sweetie, who were concerned about you after spotting you flying recklessly the night before.

Reassuring everyone that you were alright, you had a solo meeting with Cherry, who had been so distraught as to your location she apparently hadn't slept. Or at least that's what it looked like, if your memory serves.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with Rarity and Sweetie. More specifically, with Sweetie on the couch in the living room of Rarity's boutique. The two of you snuggled and watched television: A rare break in both of your schedules, and in the…shenanigans associated with this case, that had you feeling happy and recharged by the time you had to go.

There was no shortage of regret on your part. But the case has to be closed.

And you intend to close it tonight.




Don't be so optimistic Anon.

ID: dbb67 592927

Alright, back from the restroom. I'll get to typing so we can get this show rolling. Sorry for the delay.


but seriously
something horrible is going to happen to Cobolt

ID: dbb67 592932

The sun is setting as you make your way back to Cobalt's house on the edge of town. The heat of the day is nearly finished, a cool breeze having moved in while you were indoors. Enough to keep the air cool without chilling you. A good night to lay out on a blanket and watch the stars with-

You shake your head, firmly reminding yourself of the important task ahead of you. Now isn't the time to be daydreaming about Sweetie.

The outskirts of Ponyville have little activity at this hour. Most folks are in their homes or at restaurants, enjoying hot meals and friendly company.

You hold more than a little resentment at the thought as Cobalt's house comes into view. But, you'd accepted the case. True that you hadn't known it was going to end up getting you involved in some strange things going on. And even if you had known, would you have turned it down?

The door to Cobalt's house opens, and the blue stallion in question steps out. He wears a jacket; One that seems too small for his build and sports a number of tears and worn areas. As you draw closer, you make out some kind of emblem on the left shoulder while Cobalt locks the door to the house.

He spots you as he turns back around, and waves with a small smile. One that conveys friendliness, but the firm understanding of what lies ahead.

You shudder slightly at the thought. Perhaps it's better you don't know all the details. At least not for now.

Cobalt walks to meet you half a block from his house, stopping in front of you and nodding.

"Thanks for coming, Puff," he says softly, "Part of me wasn't sure you'd show up. I'm glad it was wrong."


We're in this together now and I told you you can trust me
So what do we do now?


"I told you I can't just let this be."

ID: dbb67 592939

Cobalt smirks at your response.

"Yeah, guess you did. Like I said: I'm just glad you kept your word. You'd be surprised how many don't. And good on you for digging into something strange," his smile broadens at the look you give him, "What? Show me a pony who thinks what I've been telling you is normal and I'll show you one stuck in an asylum."

He looks around slowly, no doubt checking for any suspicious individuals. Then he continues.

"So, you got everything you think you'll need to help me stop this thing?"


Wait we needed to get things? Shit what do we even have? Check inventory




did we pick up supplies?
We're gonna need some bright lights for visibility
I think an air horn or two would be good to disrupt any sinister chanting
Rope is always handy to have

What else should we bring to the party?

ID: dbb67 592945

"Don't look so worried," Cobalt says, his grin slowly fading, "I've got enough stuff with me or in the house to cover you if you need something. And besides, most the plan relies on you and your brain, not what you have."

#Inventory of usable items
-Small canteen filled with water
-Short length of rope, about as long as you are tall
-Emergency medical kit: Contains 2 leg bandages, 1 head wrap, and a myriad of smaller bandages for general scrapes
-Small box of matches; Contains about 12
-Snack bar



Well we should get an air horn and rope.
No lights. We don't need to be visible


Got any flares?
Nothing makes a gathering in a field a party like a bunch of road flares

>We don't need to be visible
dude, we don't know what's going to be hiding in the darkness
at the very least we should get some chemlight bracelets so we can identify each-other

ID: dbb67 592953

"An air horn?" Cobalt says incredulously, cocking an eyebrow, "Well I think I might have one in the house. No guarantees though. I don't typically think of something like that being needed."

"Flares, though, I know I have a couple of those lying around. Good for emergencies and getting attention. Just try not to start a fire with them since we'll be out in a field."

Cobalt turns around and unlocks the door to his house, leading the way inside and beckoning for you to follow.

You enter the house after Cobalt flicks the kitchen lights on and heads down the hallway, unlocking one of the side doors you hadn't entered before.

You take a seat and wait while he rummages through a room of supplies, the sound of things being tossed around echoing slightly down the hall.


Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


How much of this stuff can we carry?


Oh god the rolls. The rolls are beginning.
At least we got a good one here.


none of that seems particularly heavy
we should be able to fit it all in saddlebags without being overburdened

ID: dbb67 592959

"HA! Found it!" Cobalt says with triumph before exiting the room ad slamming the door shut behind him. You can see the flares and air horn sticking out of a bag he now wears on his back. Cobalt locks the room back up and walks over with a big grin on his face.

"You're in luck! I found it! It's a fresh one too, so it should be good for all your noise making needs the entire night at least."

Cobalt swings the bag from his back onto the table in front of you, pulling out two red stick flares and an air horn. He sets them in front of you, still smiling as he readjusts his own modest sized bag before putting it back on his back.

You open your saddlebag and start rummaging through, trying to find space for the flares and air horn.

After moving some stuff around, you decide you'll have to leave some stuff behind on the table to fit the air horn in one of the bags due to its size.

You eye your case notes and notepad as the first things that could probably be taken out. While they have important information about the case on them, they aren't particularly useful in a field assignment.


Be very very careful on how we put the horn. We don't want it to go off accidentally


I guess we leave behind the canteen?
I'd say drop the med kit but that seems like tempting fate

surely there's a cover on it

ID: dbb67 592969

You remove your case notes and notepad, clearing enough space in your saddlebag for the air horn. Which you ensure is positioned upright and unable to be set off without you trying to, as unlikely as that is with the horn proper being over the top of the can of pressurized air. It'll require some assembly before use, but that shouldn't take more than a few moments.

"Is that your case file?" Cobalt asks quietly, eyeing the small stack of papers that lie on the table.

"Maybe," you reply.

"Mind if I take a look?" Cobalt asks, "I've been curious how detectives write things out, especially about this mess. I'll understand if you say no, though."

>Let him look through the file, what could it hurt?

>Better not. Don't want him tampering with anything.
>How about we just lock the file up somewhere and worry about that later?


Nah man we trust him. And letting he look trough the notes will show him that we trust him


fuck it, let him see
it's not like we have anything that sensitive in there anyway


He can look. This time.

ID: dbb67 592980

You sigh before pushing the stack toward him.

"Sure. Go ahead."

Cobalt smiles widely. A pure, genuine smile. He pulls the stack to himself and takes a seat, quickly reading through each page and nodding as he understands.

He laughs a couple of times as well, no doubt reading your notes on the heist of the mannequin or what the vendor who saw it moving around saw.

Eventually, he sets the pages down.

"Well. Thank you for that, Puff. It's nice to see a fresh perspective on what I've been doing with myself the last few years."

He laughs at the strange look you give him.

"I don't mean that these encompass what I've been doing. But what you're doing now is the kind of thing I've been doing for the last couple of years. I hadn't had the chance to work with anyone else, or get their opinions, so I always wondered what ponies who found out about it thought. Maybe they think I'm crazy. Hah. Maybe I am, even." He shakes his head a bit, sighing, "I wonder how much trouble I've caused."

He stands from the table, pushing the case file of sorts back to the center of it as he looks toward the front door.

"Well. The sun has set. We're on a bit of a timer now. I think it's best we get moving."

#If you have any final questions for Cobalt before heading to the field, now is the time for them.


Just out of curiosity, on a scale from 1 to 10 how dangerous does he think this will be?


so the goal is just to stop the ritual, right?
should be easy once we find what we're looking for!


And also in the worst case scenario, if we don't stop the ritual and we won't what will happen?

ID: dbb67 592990

"Uhh," Cobalt says, thinking hard, "Probably like, a 3 or something. Maybe a 6 if you piss off Harley. A definite 10 if you stand in place of the vessel he's picked out for this spirit. So, whatever you do, don't stand over any masks or ride any mannequins."

"Yep. If we stop him here, I might be able to talk sense into him. No matter what happens, he and I have some stuff to work out and tonight's a great opportunity. The first I've had in over a year, in fact."

"We WILL succeed," Cobalt says sternly, eyes narrowing as he speaks with confidence, "One way or another, I'll make sure he understands what he's putting at stake in this game he's playing. Do your part and everything will be just fine. That said," he says, voice and expression softening, "If he does summon whoever he's trying to….well, then they'll be here, on this plane, bound to him or whoever he signifies in the ritual. It'll be another freed from the Harbinger's realm, bringing untold powers to ours. And causing yet unknown consequences."

He makes eye contact with you as he says, "But we're going to make sure that doesn't happen."


Well that's reassuring.
I guess we're ready to go.


Let's get to it then.

ID: dbb67 593008

"Hey, just remember I've got your back out there. Just holler if you need help. I won't let anything happen to you, okay?"

You nod as you rise from your seat at the kitchen table, exiting through the door Cobalt holds open for you. Back out into the rapidly descending night.

Cobalt locks the door as he exits the house, before taking the lead and taking you down a trail that leads past the house and further from town.

Toward the Everfree.

"So, where's this field, exactly?" you ask, hoping that it isn't just a clearing in the Everfree. You might not have been from Ponyville originally, but you'd had your fill of incidents involving trekking the Everfree already.

"It's not in the forest," Cobalt replies, no doubt feeling your concern, "It's close to it, but it doesn't seem to be under the effects of your locally cursed woods."

You breathe a sigh of relief. Well, one less danger anyway.

The trip is quiet. The predominant sound merely the crunch of your hooves on the packed dirt of a barely worn trail. More than once you have to step carefully over a tree root or large rock that threaten to trip you.
Even the birds and insect life out here seems absent. Hardly a sound comes from around, until the wind blows and knocks some tree limbs together. The trees themselves are sporadic in this area; Some close to the road and some bunched up in small groves some distance out. Not nearly as organized as they are closer to town.

Eventually even the trail falls off; The packed dirt disappearing into lengthy grass.

But Cobalt keeps going as though he knows the area by heart, showing no concern for the lack of trail or typical forest sounds.

Minutes later, the trees give way to a large clearing of tall grass, glowing with fireflies and bathing in the first beams of a rising full moon in a partly cloudy sky.

Nothing seems out of place, at least for the time being.

"We're here," Cobalt whispers, motioning for you to stand beside him, "Seems our target beat us out here, though."

But….you don't see anything.

Maybe you just aren't looking hard enough?

The wind blows and a few fireflies are taken with the breeze, floating away from you and toward the tree line.

Something about the way they're flying just….doesn't seem right, though.

#Perception or Sanity roll
>You have the choice between making a Perception roll [A way to spot things traditionally, i.e. with your eyes] or by grabbing onto that little thread in your mind that tells you something isn't right and focusing on it until what's wrong becomes apparent [Sanity Roll]

>As a Detective, your perception is pretty top notch in most situations.

>Your Sanity is in good condition right now, and focusing on what's wrong may degrade it should you roll really poorly.
>The tradeoff is that it's easier to spot what's wrong via Sanity than Perception, but Perception holds less risk.

>Choose wisely!

>First, collectively decide which type of roll you'd like to make

>Then we'll do dice rolling.


Well we're still with Cobalt so I don't see why we should risk with Sanity. I say we use perception for this one.


Perception. Use dat detective bonus.



Roll Sanity!


Are you crazy?!




Not yet!


Well he is asking for a Sanity Roll…


We're a detective. Let's put our perceptive abilities to use.

ID: dbb67 593025

Perception selected!

First 3 rolls of 1d10+4 taken.

Threshold isn't known, but the better you do the more you'll notice.
Natural 1's are bad, Natural 10's are great.

Good luck!



Roll #1 2 + 4 = 6



Roll #1 8 = 8


oops, +4


Here goes…

Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8


whoop whoop


Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8


Well that's pretty good right?
God that bonus is a life saver




ID: dbb67 593042


You squint as you look across the field, looking from left to right. Something is amiss…..

Suddenly, it strikes you: The fireflies are patterned from left to right. Certain numbers are in one row, then a slightly larger amount in the next, but all equally distributed to form a pattern that sets the entire field aglow.

You feel something click in your head, and for a moment your vision wavers. The sensation makes you blink and rub your eyes before looking out at the field again.

The field is no longer covered in long grass or fireflies.

Instead, the grass is clipped quite short and there are no fireflies to be seen. Some of the trees in the background seem further away as well. But that's not the strangest thing you spot.

In the center of the field is a mannequin, surrounded by lines and circles drawn in the ground, rich, brown earth furrows forming strange symbols and drawings focused on the mannequin.

The entire area is illuminated by a healthy number of lit torches placed around the diagrams. At one end, where the diagrams form a point, similar to an arrow, a pony wearing a hood stands, a large tome in his hooves. A dark colored mare with a flowing mane stands beside him, looking around the diagram. They're too far away for you to make out many details, but they're almost certainly Brynn and Harley.

"Ah, so you see it now," Cobalt whispers, "Aren't you full of surprises. It's tough to break Harley's illusions if you've never seen them or been affected by one before."

Is that what that click was?

"Either way, no time to pat you on the back," Cobalt says, "The diagram is laid out, the offerings in place, and the vessel in the center. We've gotta move quick! Tell me now: Do you want to distract Brynn and Harley, or would you rather disrupt the diagram? I want you confident in what you're doing, so pick the one you're most ready for!"







Disruption. Cobalt can handle the distraction.


Brynn could be to concentrate to be distracted. If we try to disrupt he either won't see us so no problem or try to stop us and thus move and interrupt whatever he does.

ID: dbb67 593053

Cobalt nods before patting you on the shoulder, "Alright. I'm counting on you, Puff. Stop him from following through with the summoning. If something happens to me, halting the ritual takes priority. Got it?"


"Don't get yourself killed…alright?"

ID: dbb67 593063

Cobalt laughs, actually laughs, at your words.

"Please, it's not going to be that bad. No time to chat about it though," he looks down at the two ponies at the top of the diagram. Luckly the diagram is pointing to your left, so the pair of ponies are closer to you than further away. "I'm gonna charge in there and see how off track I can get him before Harley tries to really stop me. You get around and mess with the diagram. If you can, make it subtle so Brynn doesn't just run over and fix a pile of dirt or something. Either that, or wreck so much of it so completely he can't do it right now. Now go!"

Cobalt shoves you to the right before taking off toward the pair of ponies ahead. You couldn't tell from where you were standing, but the two of you were on a small hill overlooking the field, and you nearly stumble down the side of it even as Cobalt charges down at the unsuspecting ponies ahead of him.

You do as your told, sneaking off to the side, staying from the view of the hooded figure until he turns to see Cobalt charging him. Even from where you are you see the hooded figure's jaw drop in surprise before he stumbles backwards, tripping over his own feet as the mare jumps between him and Cobalt.

Now is as good a time as any.

#Target selection
- Rows of dirt that make up the diagram
- Items inside circles of the diagram
- The mannequin


how good are we at flying
can we kick up a dusty tornado to wipe it clear?




Try the subtle approach

I kind want to go for the items inside the circle


I know he said not to, but I feel like taking out the mannequin early is a good strategy

ID: dbb67 593070

The rows of dirt are not dust, but dug up earth. The mounds aren't very large, but moving dirt packed into lines with wind gusts would be difficult for a single Pegasus.

Far easier to walk up to one and stomp it out or kick the dirt everywhere.

It's not feasible that you'll be able to eliminate all the lines or circles, and you have no idea what effect they have on the ritual.

Then again, you aren't certain what anything in the ritual does other than the mannequin being called a "vessel."


my thoughts exactly

ID: dbb67 593072

Choice of Target?

Majority rules since time is of the essence.









yeah mannequin sounds like the most fun choice


>just dirt
>mannequin that will probably kill us dead
Go for the middle option, the items in the circles.


I hate you guys so much


it's not going to kill us
it'll just enslave us or banish us to a hellscape from which there is not return


File: 1407027102454.png (140.27 KB, 500x500, Derpy you too.png, IO Google TinEye)

ID: dbb67 593092


The ritual can't succeed if there's no vessel, or whatever, right?

You flap your wings, taking to the sky as you build speed and get a greater view of what's going down between the other three.

Or four, rather.

Two Cobalts are squared off against the mare, while the hooded figure stands behind her, book open and mouth moving.

As you watch, both Cobalts rush the mare and hooded figure, moving fast as one literally leaps off the other to try and vault Harley.

The move fails as Harley pushes Brynn away from her, knocking him on his butt, just before jumping into the air and grabbing the airborne Cobalt. She twists as she grabs him, slamming him into the ground on his side with a dreadful thud that you hear from halfway across the field.
The other cobalt tackles Harley, the two rolling end over end past Brynn as each tries to stay atop the other. The Cobalt just slammed into the ground gets to his hooves shakily, swaying as he stands upright before trying to shake it off. It only works partially as he staggers toward Brynn, who resumes reading from the book even as he scoots backwards, away from the wounded Cobalt.

You have no idea how much time is left before the ritual goes off.

With that in mind, you bolt down toward the mannequin, the earth screaming past in a blur as you drop toward the ground and bodily slam the mannequin.

And nearly break your shoulder.

Screaming in pain, you bounce off and over the mannequin, tumbling through the air before hitting the ground and promptly destroying five or so lines in the diagram with your body as you make divets in the ground with every bounce.

The mannequin itself shudders under the blow, and tips over, landing on its side, but otherwise not moving.

#Right shoulder injured, flying and walking affected but still very doable.

You grit your teeth as you get to your hooves. You eye the downed mannequin, noting a wide circle of ground displaced where it's fallen. It has to be imbued with some kind of magic already for it to be that heavy and resistant to getting smashed like that. You debate throwing a flare onto the thing, to try to burn it, but with this new information you're not certain it'll work. That and it wouldn't be subtle in the least.

#Choose a target




of course fire will work
fire always works

We've already ruined the subtle approach by crying like a bitch




we already destroyed some of the dirt when we skidded across the field


>as one literally leaps off the other to try and vault Harley.

And OUCH. At least we're not dead, though.
What's wrong with killing all the dirt?
If we fuck up ALL the dirt, Brynn's ritual is fucked completely. Mission accomplished.
So I say we FUCK that dirt UP.


I think trying to take some of the items is a good idea
Brynn and Harley don't necessarily know we're here yet, the flare will definitely get their attention


we have no idea how much dirt there is. getting rid of all of it could take ages.


>Brynn and Harley don't necessarily know we're here yet
we were screaming in pain and we knocked over their iron doll
they probably know we're here

but I guess you're right, let's try and throw the other items around to get them out of play


if we want to disrupt the ritual why don't we just sneak-attack the guy doing the incantation?


that's not a bad idea
maybe try to steal his book?


Kind of risky, if Harley sees us and blocks before we reach him, he might still have what he needs to perform the ritual even with some dirt displaced

ID: dbb67 593109

Since a new idea was just posited, I'll let you rehash your decision.

Majority of replies to this one will happen.

Choose wisely.


I say we disrupt more dirt. Just to be sure


I'm still for grabbing some of the items in the circle


go for the items
scatter them the best we can


considering that we're wounded, trying to go into combat might not go over so well. we should stick to disrupting the items in the inner circle.



Those items might hurt like the mannequin did.
Fuck the dirt circles up.


well we're not going to literally charge head first into them, just try and move them

ID: dbb67 593123

You run past the outer lines of dirt, already disrupted from your impacts, toward the nearest circle on the edge of the diagram. But when you get there, you find yourself at a loss: The circle is empty.

Looking around quickly, you notice something sliding across the ground away from the circle, along one of the lines of the diagram toward the now tipped over mannequin. The item itself surprises you: It's merely a small bouquet of flowers. All of one type that you don't recognize, since you're not all that familiar with plants.

Even so, you chase it down, watching it skid softly across the ground for a moment before picking it up.

It resists. You pull it a few inches off the ground when it suddenly stops, like the item itself is clinging to the ground, desperate not to leave the ground. You pull and you tug, before finally it comes free with an audible snap. Suddenly it weighs what it should, and behaves as it should. No more than a bundle of flowers, easily capable of drifting away on a stiff breeze.

>Put them in your saddlebag

>Toss them outside the diagram


eat the flowers


yeah, eat them


Throw it away from the diagram


because we can?


quick and easy way to destroy them
if they move on their own they might start to slide toward the center again


If we survive this Cobalt will never stop nagging us

ID: dbb67 593135

You have a sudden urge to eat the flowers, one that you can't quite explain.

Taking a bite into the bouquet, you eat three or so of the delicate things in one chomp. They taste alright, if a little tart. Which is weird, because flowers aren't usually tart.

Still, they're pretty tasty, and you find yourself eating the rest in a flash, still mindful of the time limit you're on. The only thing to hit the ground when you're done is the loose plastic wrapping that kept the flowers together.

Surprisingly, your shoulder feels a bit better. In fact, you find yourself more relaxed and less anxious. It's a pleasant feeling.

You look around, searching for other circles of items. Most the circles near you are empty, the items already sliding along the ground toward the tipped over mannequin. The other items that you can see are less edible: Some kind of small idol on the opposite side of the mannequin, a necklace in another. Other items are just as edible: Fruit, candy, a bottle of water or something.

What was the purpose of these offerings? What do they do?

Questions that remain unanswered, for now.

You look over to where the Cobalts and others were last.

The action seems to have died down a bit. Harley and one of the Cobalts lie on the ground, breathing heavily, unable to move or perhaps just choosing not to. The other Cobalt is talking with Brynn, a deep scowl on his face as he speaks to the now unhooded figure clutching his book to his chest as he sits on his butt, looking scared.

The unicorn is clearly no longer casting a spell, so then why is everything still moving?


Chase down the idol.


maybe we could go around and collect the other items and just put them in our bag
hopefully having already taken out 1 of them will be enough to stop the ritual though



[spoilers]sounds like Cobalt talked him out of it a little too late


I think we should go to them. Or at least get out of the circle


As long as we don't stand in the mannequin's place we should be fine. We promised Cobalt we'd prioritize disrupting the ritual.



It sounds like the ritual is still happening even without Cobalt now though. I really think we need to grab those items before they reach the middle.


That's what I meant.

ID: dbb67 593156

You track down the idol, stuffing the small emblem of Celestia and Luna's reign into your bag. Next up is the necklace. The thing breaks apart when it resists, and the pieces are too small to get a good grip on. Deciding that one is a lost cause, you go for the food stuffs.

You toss the bottle of water out of the diagram with a hefty throw, then dash toward the candies that move along as a small pile, when someone suddenly yells at you.


You stop, looking up to see the unicorn with the book clutched to his chest standing, holding the book with one hoof as he waves for you to move.


Cobalt stands next to him, looking confused as he grabs Brynn by the shoulder and asks him something.

Whatever the answer is, it isn't good. Cobalt's eyes go wide as he looks up at you.

"RUN!" he screams, "IT'S TOO LATE! RUN, DARNIT!"

#Haste roll

>First 4 rolls of 1d10 taken

>Nat 1's slow you down
>Nat 10's speed you up
>Get a 25 or better to escape the diagram before something happens

>Good luck!


fuck fuck fuck FUCK!

Roll #1 9 = 9



Roll #1 9 = 9


make like a tree and get the hell out of there

Roll #1 8 = 8


Sonic Puffball


And one more for good measure.

Roll #1 7 = 7


>all those excellent rolls
Great, we're officially out of luck, hope the next roll won't be important.
At least it wasn't wasted

Told you we won't stop the ritual




Well, we tried.

ID: dbb67 593174


You don't think you've ever run so fast in your life.

Dropping everything that wasn't already in your bag, you take off at a gallop as you transition into flight that takes you out of the diagram in a flash.

And not a moment too soon.

The earth itself lurches, knocking Cobalt and Brynn from their hooves as they back away from the diagram. You float over to where they sit as the earth shudders and quakes, the three of you unable to peel your gaze from what's happening inside the diagram.

The lines themselves are shifting, changing from piles of dirt to streaks of blue energy that lash against the ground. Frayed ends where the dirt was disrupted thrash wildly, one entire side disrupted.

The circles change colors and become green ellipses full of a rainbows gallery of energy, all of it pulsing in a rhythm akin to a heartbeat.

Some of the ellipses turn red, and collapse, suddenly fading into nothing but scorched ground as they fail.

The mannequin, still on its side, rises into the air and slowly spins. It's no longer upright, but is intact for the most part.


You and Cobalt turn to look at the unicorn, who stares in wide eyed horror at the scene unfolding before him.

"He did as I asked. He stopped you." Cobalt replies coldly, turning from Brynn to look at the wild display of raw energy and colors taking place in the field, "And he did a darn good job by the looks of it."

Brynn shakes his head slowly, trying to say something. But no words come out. Not until the blue lines of the diagram suddenly raise from the ground, angling toward the mannequin and rising to meet it, dozens of lines flowing from the ground toward the mannequin.

"No," he finally says, "He didn't stop it. He changed it! HE CHANGED IT!"

He opens his book, suddenly flipping through pages of foreign characters and drawings, each page covered in a myriad of notes and half finished translations. Finally, he settles on a page, rapidly reading something to himself as you and Cobalt share a concerned look.

"What did he change it to?" Cobalt finally asks.

"I'M TRYING TO FIGURE THAT OUT!" Brynn screams in frustration, flipping through more pages and reading aloud, "Blue lines! Myriad of colors! Beneath the full moon will she rise, returning to….Oh….oh no….."

"What is it?" Cobalt says, moving over to try and read over Brynn's shoulder, "Who or what is being summoned?"

"Leifjka Neferat," Brynn says, reading from the page and swallowing nervously, "Heir to the Forest."

"Heir to the Forest?" Cobalt says with a slight grin, "That doesn't sound so bad!"

"Which forest do you think she's in charge of, Cobalt?" Brynn says slowly, "Here's a hint: You aren't far from it."

Cobalt's smile fades.

"That's right," Brynn says as he shuts his book, "The Everfree. Unable to be controlled by pony-kind for as long as anyone remembers. Filled with monsters and dark secrets."

He stands slowly as the quakes in the earth subside, a bright green light suddenly stretching between the mannequin and the cloudy sky above.

"And she comes. Untethered to anyone."

"What do we do?" Cobalt asks, rising as well, "What CAN we do?"

"Someone has to stand in the light, I think," Brynn says slowly, thinking out his process, "I cannot. I don't know what will happen exactly, and I have the two tethered to me to consider."

"Then one of us has to do it," Cobalt says, looking at you.

A moment of awkward silence passes, before he finally says, "I'll do it."

ID: dbb67 593176

Body was too long

>Let him do it

>Protest, do it yourself
>Try to convince Brynn to go
>Why can't we let her show up untethered, as you put it?


>>Why can't we let her show up untethered, as you put it?
This, for now, start panicking later



you and your damn dirt
but yes, ask that question quickly




But what about Sweetie? She'd be heart broken


We can fight it. We'll have to.

ID: dbb67 593186

"Why can't we let her be free?" you ask.

"If she shows up untethered, who knows how she'll react?" Brynn says over the softening din of the earth shaking, "She could go crazy just from shifting planes without a guide, let alone the power she can wield if someone doesn't keep her in check. She's in the book because she's a legendary figure for past deeds, and not all the ones in the book are in there for good things either!"


…Fuck it. Go into the light without saying anything.


We'll do it.
And don't leave room for discussion. Fucking leg it over there!


File: 1407031613621.gif (432.16 KB, 576x324, Sweetie panic.gif, IO Google TinEye)


As much as I hate it we can't risk it. We can't let something free. We can't put her in danger.

Scream to Cobalt that if anything happens tell Sweetie we're sorry and we love her


Sorry babe. This could be where we get off.


Cobalt is already kind of ..split though
could he even handle being tethered to something like that as well?


Obviously not.


oh for some reason I thought your post was saying we should tell Cobalt to go

ID: dbb67 593196


Before the others can move or say anything more, you bolt from your hovering position toward the green light emanating from the ground.


You don't turn to look at Cobalt as he yells for you to stop, that you don't know what you're doing. He's right, in a sense. You don't know what you're doing.

But you feel you have to do it.

The last thing you scream out before you hit the green light is simply:

"Tell Sweetie I'm sorry! And that I love-"

The green light envelops you, swallowing the rest of your words as the world suddenly goes black.


You wake with a start, sitting up in a bed you aren't familiar with for the second time in just as many days.

You look around the room, seeing that it's….oddly familiar. A bag of what you think is your things sits on a night stand. There's a clothing closet at the end of the bed, though there's nothing in it.

You get out of bed and stretch, yawning despite the fact you don't feel sleepy at all. You meander from your room, already convinced Cobalt or Brynn are waiting for you in the kitchen.

But there's no smell of oat pancakes. No gentle din of someone busy in the kitchen, or the quiet ticking of some unseen clock. Not even the floor boards creak as you walk down the hallway and find nobody in the kitchen at all.

"Maybe they just stepped out for a moment," you think to yourself, moving toward the window and drawing back the curtains. But instead of sunlight streaming in, you have to keep yourself from screaming as you stare out into a void of featureless white.

You shut the curtains again, turning around and closing your eyes as you focus your thoughts on the tangible things in the kitchen. Slowly, you find the will to open your eyes again.

And are greeted by a pony, of your height and build. An Earth Pony, who shares your colors as well. In fact, he kind of looks like you.

He smiles, nodding once, then suddenly shifts his form, changing to a much taller and broader stallion, as green as polished emeralds. He's a unicorn, now, but there's something more to him than that. You can feel it even if you can't put your hoof on why.

"Greetings, Puff," the stallion says without moving his mouth, "You are not who I was expecting. Proof that even I can still be surprised."


"Leifjka Neferat."
Meet his gaze. Try not to shit yourself.


he seems nice, say this

ID: dbb67 593199

The stallion laughs, a thunderous sound that somehow carries a warming charm to it despite the volume. Perhaps its the silence outside of his words that makes it merely seem loud.

"Ah, so you know that name. Sadly, I am not she, though you will meet her. After all you have a pact to agree upon with her," He smiles widely, revealing perfect, near blinding white teeth, "But she will be at least somewhat impressed you know her original name."


diggin the music tonight


You are…a companion of hers?
How many otherworldly things did I just welcome into my head?


who are you then?


Great, so instead of one entity we have multiple entities…Things just get better and better

ID: dbb67 593204

He laughs again, a sound that's becoming increasingly endearing somehow.

"A little off the mark. Typical during the first time in the realm between. Allow me to explain, somewhat. Now, you entered the light of a portal designed to bring you and Leifjka Neferat together. For the purpose of coming to an agreement that will allow her to enter your plane of being. For, as you can see, she comes from somewhere else."

"Now, as for myself: My relationship with Leifjka is somewhat like a manager in a business. I'm the manager, or boss, however you wish to phrase it. She is my employee of sorts. Although in the agreement we share, she doesn't earn a wage exactly. Not much use for that out here. But that's neither here nor there. Pardon if I ramble a bit, I haven't had a visitor face to face for some time."

"Next, then, is where you'll be going. It's not far. In fact, it's the living room behind me. Leifjka waits for you, and you'll have a chance to introduce yourselves, maybe get to know each other. Or, depending on how impatient the two of you are, you can get right to the nitty gritty of choosing the terms for which she will accompany you to your plane. Seeing as how you didn't use a mask, but there was a separate vessel with limbs and such, I wager you decided to summon her as a companion of sorts. Not a bad choice for Leifjka."

"Oh and, just to be clear: This isn't in your head. You are actually treading upon ground of a different plane of existence! Try not to think about it too hard, just enjoy it!"

"Why does it look like a house I've been to before, you might be thinking. Well, that's because when you enter the portal part of what makes up you sets a reference point that is simple to impart on this plane and easily recognizable to you. That way, when you get here, it's not some crazy wobbly landscape or something really freaky."

The green stallion bows slightly, stepping to the side and revealing a door.

"Now, if there's no further questions: Leifjka awaits you on the other side of this door."


We could have been a model, a pretty pony with Charisma and get a good deal from the negotiation that is about to happen.
Oh well enter the door


Ask him if there's any danger to our world in having her come to our plane

and how do you pronounce her name anyways, "Leaf-ka" ?


Thank him for the information and head inside.

ID: dbb67 593208

He smiles at your question.

"Ah, concern for your plane. Very noble. Be assured that her transfer will cause a slight fluctuation in how things operate. After all, she used to be from your plane. She carries a certain power that I'm sure you're aware of, and the return of that power could cause things you might consider strange to happen. Nothing world ending, of course."

"Lay-ef-ka," he says slowly, "Though I wouldn't worry too much about it. Part of the agreement is that you can pick a new name for her! Hopefully the two of you can work one out that she actually likes. Nothing like having a name you resent being yelled at you forever."

You thank him for the information, feeling a little better about the situation.

"My pleasure, my boy, my pleasure."

He opens the door for you, smiling happily as you walk through the door, into a well lit living room.

The door shuts behind you, and suddenly a petite, almost mint-green pony with a red-violet mane and tail pops out of thin air and drops into one of the comfy looking padded recliners with a squeak. She's a little on the small side, though she's certainly not a filly. Her mane is long and full, easily capable of covering both her eyes if it wasn't pulled back a bit. Even so, strands of her mane hang just above one of her eyes. She pushes it back a bit as she looks about the room, shifting in her seat until she's comfortable. The motion makes you realize she has some fairly wide hips.

She looks over at you, locking eyes, though she doesn't say anything. Her eyes are a dazzling yellow-orange.

Moments pass without a word being spoken, until finally she speaks up.

"So. You know who I am, but I don't know who you are. Introduce yourself. Please."


Well, be a gent. Introduce yourself


Puff. I'm a detective.


>she has some fairly wide hips.
I know who I'm voting for for the next waifu quest


>petite mare with wide hips
think about sweetie think about sweetie think about sweetie

ID: dbb67 593213

"I'm Puff. A detective. Nice to meet you," you say politely as you move to a seat across from her and sit.

"The pleasure is mine, detective," she says as she bows in her seat toward you, "I am Leifjka Neferat. Or, that was my name, long ago. I suppose by the time we're through here that will no longer be what I am called. Or that's what I was lead to believe, anyway."

She seems pleasant enough.

>Ask about herself

>Tell her more about yourself
>Let's skip this part for now and get to the details of the contract


Well ask about herself. We gotta be polite and it helps knowing more about her.


Ask her about herself. Dames love to talk about themselves.

ID: dbb67 593216


"Well, I already told you my name. Or what I was called, at least. There isn't much to my story, but since you asked I'll tell you so you can understand why I ended up here."

"I lived in a land of green fields and tall trees, a place where the sun shone often and in good temperatures. Spring became my favorite time of year due to the cool breezes and warm sun, the flowers that began to bud on trees and plants outside my home. It was during this season that the passion of my town came to the fore. For you see, my town was a town of farmers, gardeners, caretakers of the land. We kept the area beautiful and flourishing."

"I was average at gardening. My mother was far better at it than myself, and my father was a wonderful farmer. He kept us fed, told me stories of the land's spirits, and did everything he could to better the town."

"One day I traveled into the forest, alone. I was searching for fruits to hand out to the other towns people. I happened upon a mighty tree, taller, more ancient, than all the others I had seen. It had beautiful red fruits that grew on the low branches, and I began to collect them for my town. It was then that I noticed a single purple fruit, near the top. Curiosity got the better of me, and I climbed. It was perilous, when I think back on it, but I was so enthralled I couldn't stop and paid no heed."

"Ultimately, I reached the strange fruit. It was smaller than the apples other townsfolk collected. Wondering if it was worth collecting such a hard to reach fruit, I picked it and looked for others. There were none to be found upon the tree."

"There was no way to share it with the others. It was far too small. So I did what any child would do: I ate it."

"I can still remember perfectly how it tasted: Sweeter than any apple I'd ever had, and the flesh of the fruit was soft to the point it nearly melted in my mouth. It's hard to describe anything beyond that."

"I didn't know it would change me, at the time. And the changes weren't apparent for over a year. It was then, on my next birthday, my sixteenth, that the color of my mane and tail changed. Not gradually, either. Suddenly. My silver-white mane and tail, the colors of my mother's family, were replaced with red."

"And I began to hear the trees whisper. In time, I whispered back. They greeted me, surprised, but soon we were having conversations of all they'd seen. I told them of lands they hadn't seen. Things not even very far away, but places they couldn't go."

"After a time, they began to do things for me. I didn't know a tree could do more than sway. But these trees, they took it upon themselves to do my bidding at times. Usually to help me collect fruits from themselves, but once or twice at night a tree protected me from the sole threat to my town: the timber wolves."

"When the town learned of what I could do, they gave me the title 'Heir to the Forest.' They believed that someday, when I was older, the forest itself would heed my call and do as I asked. So long as I showed it respect and compassion."

She trails off, no doubt thinking of her past. Eventually she sighs.

"And that's my tale. It isn't very exciting, but that's what makes me special, I suppose."


Well I guess we could tell her a bit about us, how we got here and all that stuff.


How did you come to be in this place?


what he said


ID: dbb67 593221

She sighs again.

"There was a huge storm. Bigger than anything I'd ever experienced. Some of the townsfolk thought it was caused by a deity, or some magic wielder. Naturally, they came to me for help. 'You can control the forest!' they said, 'Have the trees help shield us from the storm with their canopies and limbs!'"

"I obeyed. I could not turn down the request of my elders, despite my misgivings. So the trees listened, and formed a protective circle around the village, uprooting themselves and moving to protect us. A veritable wall of tree limbs and leaves kept the worst of the storm at bay. That is, until the wind increased. A howling gale pulled a tree completely out of the ground, and it fell into the midst of our townsfolk."

"The tree moved its branches while it fell, in a way I instructed it to. It avoided the massed townsfolk, who huddled together for comfort and protection."

"And instead fell onto me, the lone figure in its path."

She shudders slightly.

"My life flashed before my eyes. But, just as the tree was about to hit me, a stallion made of emerald came into view. Everything was slow, save for him. He walked casually beneath the tree that still fell, looking up at it and whistling until he reached me. He patted me on the head and asked, 'Would you rather not be here right now?'"

"I nodded, finding that I could move. He said, 'Well, I can take you to a safe place. It won't be here, and you'll likely not come back here for a long, long time. But you'll be safe and out of harms way.'"

"I accepted, as should be obvious by my being here. I had no reason to let myself be crushed, nor did I want that."

"How about you, Detective? What is your story?"

You give her a brief rundown of your past: Moving from one town to the next, before your family finally settled in Ponyville. The trials and tribulations of making new friends. And the odd problems you solved, the fun competitions you had.

And how later you opened up your detective office, backed by local authorities and the RGIA, you help solve crime and mysteries. The result of which, had led to being here and meeting her.

"It sounds exciting," she says with a grin, leaning forward in her seat, "And quite different from how my town operated. I look forward to seeing how things work where you're from."


Well I guess we should see how that contract thing will work


yeah I'd like to figure out the details of this

I think Brynn may have been overly dramatic about this whole thing if what our green stallion bro can be trusted

ID: dbb67 593224

"To my knowledge it's simply an agreement on how I'll behave in your realm. Nothing strict, as far as I know. Mostly just what I'm allowed to do with my powers without telling you in some way. At least, that's my understanding of it."

The door opens and the emerald stallion walks in, a paper and pair of quills held aloft in a similarly green field of magic.

"Not too far from how it is, my dear," he says happily, "The main sticking points are the following. One. What will our beloved Puff here call you? Two. How much freedom of power usage will you be permitted to have without him directing it while observing you. Three. Will thought sharing be permitted, and if so, to what extent? Four. Stance on relationships between Guide and Guided. And Five. What the terms of completion of contract are. That is to say, when this final statement is accomplished, she will be freed from you as a guide and returned here."

He sets the contract and quills down on the small table that appears between the two of you.

"And please, no trying to make loopholes. I've already got a pair on my 'Hunt down and repossess from' list. And trust me. You don't want to be on that list."

He wanders to the door, stepping out before poking his head back in with a smile.

"Whatever you decide, just remember to have fun when you get back. Life's a journey and all that!"

He shuts the door quietly, leaving the two of you alone again.

"Sometimes I wonder if he just acts like that, or if that's really how he is," Leifjka says softly, "He certainly didn't act that way when we met. He was more…somber."




Well a new, more simple to pronounce name would be nice, if she wants to

As for the others I don't know.
I'd rather not give her too much power without telling us and some thought sharing would be cool.
What the hell does 4 and 5 even mean?
And what does she mean by more somber?


File: 1407037865221.png (389.24 KB, 642x569, Pinkie Head ache.PNG, IO Google TinEye)

seems like there are quite a few details to work out

I'd be fine with just calling her by her actual name if that's okay

ID: dbb67 593228

"Well when he first brought me here he showed me how to craft my area of living to whatever I wanted, but something seemed to bother him the whole time. I'm not sure what it was, but he was….less green, for one. Something was bothering him. We don't talk often, though, and the passage of time in this realm is strange. He certainly seems healthier or more active. Happier, at the very least."


Maybe he got in a fight.


Well that sounds a little ominous
I'm not sure what else we can do right now other than round out the details of this contract though

ID: dbb67 593231

The door swings back open, the green stallion poking his head in.

"Four means what relationship restrictions you want between you and her. Should the two of you start falling for each other, this would be a clause to potentially get a replacement Guide or keep things in check. Rarely does anyone stipulate something like that, since it often turns to unrequited love or some complex stuff that nobody wants. If you let things go naturally, it generally works out better."

"And five is just your goal with the Guide. Like, lets say you want her to help you take over the world. While I advise against it, you could do that. And if you successfully take over the world, BAM, she's completed her contract and can be brought back here or set free. Now you can't set that goal as something super near term. Not much point. It has to be something significant and probably challenging. Like 'travel around the world one time' or something to that effect. Alternatively, it can be something time related. Like 'be my Guide for six years.' I don't particularly advise that because they can either get too attached or being in the other plane sometimes leads to Guides going a little….nuts, under the wrong conditions."


<do you want us to think of terms for this contract or do you have some ideas already?>


What IS our goal, even? Our plans to stop the ritual sort of fell through.

ID: dbb67 593234


The green stallion walks back into the room, pulling a seat up from seemingly nowhere and raising the contract in front of him.

"Alright, let me see if I can help you come up with something. One is completely up to you. Whatever you want to call her, that's your choice. It's better if she agrees to it, otherwise you two might not get along so well."

"Two: Freedom of power usage. Let me go ahead and suggest that she can use her powers to defend herself, right some wrongs, take care of someone, and basic needs without being observed. Controlling entire forests or making trees move, anything on that level, only under your supervision and/or request."

"Three: Thought sharing. I always thought this was a neat thing, but sometimes you think stuff you don't want to share. So how about an 'important things only' rule. You can ask to send something more mundane over, like what you're doing for lunch, what kind of outfit you should wear, so on. Important things, like where you are, where you're going, where the two of you will meet, those things don't require asking. You'll get used to what it feels like to send stuff to each other, don't worry."

"Four: Relationship status. I say leave this blank. Completely optional restrictions that really only complicate things. If you fall for each other, but don't want that, then get through it like reasonable adults. Right? Right."

"And Five: End Goal. This one is kind of up to you. If you're looking for someone, maybe have her help you find them. You said you're a detective, right? Maybe have her help you solve a certain number of cases or solve the world's toughest crime or something. Then when you fulfill that, she can come back here or be free. It's kind of a mutual decision thing when it hits that point."

He sets the contract back down on the table.

"Those are my suggestions. One and Five are completely up to you, unless you really, really want me to pick something at random."

ID: dbb67 593235

We're almost at the end guys, promise.

If you'd rather hold off on the decision though, we can postpone it. But this is pretty near the end of Chapter 1


As far as her name goes, I'm fine with calling her Leifjka. Nicknames may or may not come later.

2 concerns me a bit, I don't want her randomly taking over. If she needs to do anything short of defend herself I think we should be addressed first.
3 sounds fine
4, obviously we're with Sweetie so no worries there
5 is a tough one. I wonder, does she have any goals herself that she was unable to accomplish while in this plane?

That might be for the best since it got late and we may have lost a few people


She can help us solve this case. I get the sense that it's gonna go on awhile yet.

As for a name…maybe Petal? I dunno.

ID: dbb67 593238

Alright, yeah, gonna postpone it until next week then since we lost a few people as far as I can tell.

I want everyone on board with what they're defining as end game and naming the lass.

Sorry guys. I guess we'll be having a Chapter 1 wrap up next week.


That's fine by me. A bit more happened tonight than expected!


No problem, this was a really fun session. I especially liked the music with the posts.

ID: dbb67 593241

Thanks! I try to pick out stuff that goes along with what's happening. Tough to get that feel with some scenarios though. Glad to hear it worked out.

Thanks for participating guys and working with me late into the night. Get some rest and I'll see you all next week. Same time, same place.


Thanks Aspirant!

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